Using the Agile Marketing Methodology to Update Your Marketing Strategy | Hacker Noon

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@unispadeVishwa Vijay Rana

Vishwa Vijay Rana is the co-founder of Unispade, an Agency discovery platform for Brands.

What if you could add 75% more value to your target customers by doing 35% less work than before?

You must have heard about Agile and Scrum before which is usually always related to software development processes to build complex software quickly on the go.

You get up in the morning and think about what you want to achieve and when you look at the metrics from your last campaign, you get back at damage control.

With a rapidly changing environment, marketers are usually in a reactive mode and Agile Marketing gives the marketers a chance to become pro-active in their approach.

What is Agile Marketing Framework (AMF)?

When you think of Agile Marketing, rather than defining it, think of what it can do.

The AMF is not a tool or software but a set of guidelines derived from the Agile Methodologies developed for the purpose of simplifying and speeding up processes for complex software development projects.

Now there are various different Agile Frameworks but the most well-adapted frameworks for marketing are:

  1. Scrum
  2. Kanban
  3. Lean Management

It is an iterative approach to where you get regular continuous feedback from the users, team members, and other stakeholders.

This lets the team come back and check up on their activities and improve what they are doing as soon as the metrics or feedback comes in.

Thus, Agile Marketing Framework is a pre-defined set of actions. Budgets may change rapidly when you work with an Agile framework.

The Difference Between Traditional Processes & Agile Processes

Traditional Processes are as follows in the image below.

Image Source:- www.scrum.org

Agile processes are as follows in the image below.

Image Source:- www.scrum.org

What is the need for Agile Marketing now? Why should you care about it?

  • Users are consuming content in a completely different manner, especially after the pandemic.
  • The user journey has drastically changed.
  • The buying cycle has shortened because of increased options and technology advancements.
  • We are getting more information about consumer buying behaviors and user journeys than we ever had.

All these changes has lead to a demand to replace the old outdated planning and strategizing processes.

The older processes have no scope to respond to feedbacks and entertain changes rapidly.

Some processes do not even have a structure to receive feedbacks from the major stakeholders.

Agile Marketing Framework provides an approach to pull together a cross functional team, plan and re-plan marketing operations on a daily basis depending on the qualitative and quantitative feedbacks received.

AMF helps teams in the following ways:

  • Brings teams together and creates transparent work flows. Everybody on the team knows what everybody else is working on and thus helps every member to see the logic behind the processes. They have complete visibility in what you’re doing that that builds trust of the team and gives meaning to everyone’s task, no matter how small and repetitive it may be.
  • Flexibility with requirement changes and better command over budget changes. AMFs are meant to keep budgets near the lower limits as much as possible, all while responding to market changes and requirements in real-time. The focus is on delivering value and doing the stuff that is important at the moment.

What Agile Marketing Framework does not help with?

1. Incompetent Marketers

If your organization is not hiring the right team with the right skill set, AMF can not help you. A skilled marketing workforce is the key to implementation of Agile Methodologies.

2. The Illusion of being Agile

Moment Marketing is not Agile Marketing. The difference between Traditional Teams and Agile teams (As elaborated further in the article) is that Agile Marketing is an overall framework, a strategic decision and not a tactical one.

3. Inefficient Strategy

Agile framework will not help you in deciding which marketing channels will yield best results. This is totally up to the team’s brainstorming, strategizing and experience capabilities.

Traditional Marketing Teams vs Agile Marketing Teams

Traditional Marketing Teams

  • Work in silos. Team members not aware about other members’ tasks and individual goals
  • Hierarchical teams & a Top-Down approach
  • Risk averse and require approval for little changes in decisions, roadmaps or strategies which ultimately leads to delays. Assumptions & opinions are the major drivers
  • Company focus
  • Often take too long to strategize and execute one single offering

Agile Marketing Teams

  • Cross functional teams with transparent workflows and every member knows their & other members’ involvement in the bigger scheme of things
  • Shared accountability with all team members working on an equal platform
  • Experimental approach via testing & iterating in real time. Shared environment teams work in cohesive manner. Real-time data and actionable metrics are the major drivers
  • Customer focus
  • Often focus on small incremental deliveries continuously

Path Towards Building Agile Teams

There are 2 concepts you need to keep in mind while transitioning towards Agile Methodology:

  1. Team
  2. Process

Prerequisites of Building an Agile Marketing Team

  1. Define a goal or objective before forming a team
  2. Have the right technology infrastructure in place to accomplish that task

Team

  • Remove the Hierarchical Structure & Create Cross Functional Teams and bring the team together on the same table away from the concepts of boss and employee. This is the first step towards building a shared working environment to receive feedbacks from every team member.
  • The team members must possess skills across multiple functions. These cross functional skills depend on the goal that has been set for the project.
  • Communication among team members must not be impeded or influenced because of any old process flows. The top level management must be kept in a constant loop.

Source: McKinsey

Process

  • All processes must be designed with customer in mind. How can you add maximum value in minimum time frame?
  • The processes must be quickly implemented, experimented and iterated. As soon as the feedback is received from the users or market, in terms of actionable metrics, study them properly and improve them as soon as possible.
  • Reporting must happen in a collective manner where everyone reports their activities and feedbacks are considered with equal significance and shared way.

Which Agile Framework to adopt? Kanban or Scrum or Lean Management?

However, teams do not necessarily need to adopt a single particular framework.

Many organizations work with a hybrid framework model that embraces good things and eliminate irrelevant things from each framework.

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