Agile marketing is a popular marketing strategy that involves working in short bursts known as sprints, continually testing new solutions to problems, evaluating the results in real-time, and making constant adjustments to improve with every sprint.
For marketing teams in the B2B world, agile marketing has the potential to increase both revenue and brand awareness when utilized effectively. It can increase marketing team productivity by 53% and show improvements in adaptivity, project visibility, and responsivity to feedback.
With an incredible 98% of organizations in one survey claiming to have had success with agile, there’s no reason not to consider how it could benefit your business.
In this guide, we’ll take you through what exactly agile marketing is, its benefits, how to implement it, and some examples of how it’s being done.
- What is agile marketing?
- Benefits of agile marketing
- How to implement agile marketing
- Agile marketing examples
What is agile marketing?
Agile marketing is a method of working that breaks projects down into small increments to allow for continuous feedback gathering so teams have the flexibility to adapt to changes. It requires a strategic vision and short, medium, and long-term goal planning.
Plans are more flexible in agile marketing, with just the main goals outlined rather than every step broken down and accounted for. That way, a company can adapt to any rapid changes in their industry on the fly and achieve greater success.
These goals are then re-prioritized on a monthly or even bi-weekly basis to ensure the agile marketing team is always working towards success.
Agile marketing also means looking at and using the data, rather than relying on opinions and conventions. Using carefully chosen metrics ensures the right decisions are made, and any plans that don’t work out can be used to learn from in the future. Marketers can then make small tweaks and experiments throughout a campaign to discover what works best.
Another important aspect is the elimination of silos and encouraging collaboration between teams. When teams like marketing, sales, and management all work together towards the common agile marketing goals, the outcomes will be better. We’ve written before about how you can structure your agile team meetings for success.
Companies will also often choose a particular agile marketing framework that works for them, either Scrum, Kanban, or a mix of the two known as Scrumban. In a nutshell, Scrum delivers chunks of deliverables with short deadlines, whereas Kanban is more continuous and flexible and goes from the start of a project to completion. The hybrid approach provides you with the structure of Scrum and the flexibility of Kanban.
You can learn more in our dedicated article on agile marketing frameworks.
If you’re new to the world of agile marketing, take a look at this article detailing how you can discover if your brand is ready to take on this marketing strategy:
Benefits of agile marketing
So, why are nearly half of marketers implementing agile marketing into their business?
When you implement an agile methodology, the analysis of data and prioritization of workflows becomes much easier. This in turn means an increase in productivity as resources can be allocated to the right place for maximum efficiency.
Greater transparency across all departments ensures no one is left in the dark at any stage of a project. Everyone involved across the company can clearly see where resources are needed and being used, making it easy to streamline and improve processes.
When more teams have access to better data, there are more opportunities to measure results. Teams such as marketing then have a better understanding of how they can adjust their campaigns to maximize the effectiveness of their agile marketing.
When the workflow improves, this translates to better customer service. As companies strive to streamline their processes and produce faster turnaround times on projects, you’ll see happier customers as a result.
When you break down those silos and teams work together on projects, everyone’s communication improves. With more transparency across all departments and the sharing of more data, agile marketing provides the groundwork for better communication in the workspace.
Agile marketing is all about flexibility. Working in small sprints means spending more time examining how things are working as a project progresses, and making changes throughout to continuously improve over time, rather than waiting for the end of a project to have a discussion of how everything went.
Using data and analytics to better understand how a project is performing means that the work can be better distributed among teams, so everyone is flexible enough to prioritize the most important projects while still leaving enough time for smaller projects and personal development.
When processes are streamlined and everything is more efficient, you’ll see an increase in ROI. as resources will be more efficiently distributed, and there’s more flexibility with time to spend on new projects, agile marketing can have a serious impact on revenue growth.
Want to learn more about agile marketing and its benefits? Take a look at our blog below:
How to implement agile marketing
So if you think agile marketing could be an effective way to work at your organization, how can you implement it in your team? Here are the steps to consider.
Put together your team
You need to bring together your team to work together under the agile methodology so everyone’s on board. Everyone needs to understand the goals and objectives of agile marketing and why your team is making the switch.
For the process to work, your team needs a clear direction of what they want to achieve, like if there are specific customer journey points that need improving or a target market you want to acquire.
Your team needs to be trained in the agile ways of working, by ensuring they have the proper marketing tools, web analytics, and overall technological infrastructure in place before you can get started. This will allow them to capture the data needed and respond to trends.
Plan the first sprint
Once the team is on board and sufficiently prepped, it’s time to plan that first sprint. Sprints are short bursts rather than long-term marketing strategies. They can be as short as two weeks, or perhaps as long as six weeks, depending on the specific goals you have for the sprint. Either way, you’ll need to define the sprint and the timeframe.
When planning, the team needs to agree on a particular project and divide up roles and responsibilities. Work from the top of the priority backlog to the bottom until the team runs out of capacity for any remaining work - that’s how you know you’ve drawn the line for the sprint.
Now your team members need to work independently, taking responsibility for their own tasks. This is where they can use their creative freedom and find a working style that is most productive for them.
Daily stand-ups are a helpful tool in the agile methodology to help keep everyone on track and ensure they have what they need to complete their work.
Review and analyze
When the sprint ends, you need to review the results. Conduct a sprint review where the team is brought together to discuss whether the sprint was completed and whether it yielded positive results. Review which goals were met, and whether any were missed.
This way you can discuss what you’ve learned about the workflow and whether your daily standups were efficient. You can then take what you learned and incorporate those changes into the next cycle.
For a closer look at how to implement agile marketing and how to avoid common pitfalls, take a look at this article about agile marketing dos and don’ts.
Agile marketing examples
Still hungry to learn more? Check out our article all about how some of the biggest B2B brands are currently using agile marketing in their operations, including big names such as:
- IBM - they’ve been utilizing agile frameworks since 2016 to encourage greater innovation and collaboration between different types of marketers.
- SEMRush - they use a dedicated Scrum agile framework, where their teams develop and evolve through experiences, wins and losses, and self-organize to make improvements.
- HubSpot - an early adaptor, they adopted agile as they moved out of being a start-up when they felt the marketing department was losing effectiveness. The result was greater clarity on goals and purposes.
Looking for ideas for the right kind of marketing tech stack to get started with agile marketing? Take a look at this article where we outline what you need for collaboration, communication, copywriting, planning, content management, data collection, customer relationships, and automation.
If you’ve already implemented agile marketing but you’re not sure if you’re seeing the ROI you’d like, read this article to find out what metrics you should be looking at.
Need a hand with your short and long-term goals for agile marketing? Check out this article outlining your agile marketing at strategic and tactical levels.
If you’re more interested in account-based marketing, take a look at this article where we outline how you can combine it with agile to implement an agile account-based marketing methodology.
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