Agile is a mindset for many organisations and it’s a guiding principle helping direct the way businesses operate, and the value they provide their customers says Craig Catley, director, StrategyBlocks
For marketers it’s importance is exponential as today’s digital environment presents a dearth of complex challenges.
Thankfully marketers are slowly embracing agile marketing. No longer is marketing a marathon; rather, it’s a field full of mini sprints that support long-term marketing goals. Quarterly and annual plans are those of yesteryear. Today, digital marketers are working with campaigns that last one week or only one month. Fortunately, in the midst of this chaos, hope lies with the mindset of agile marketing and the use of strategic execution tools to help establish and keep strategic goals on track.
What are your starting blocks?
So you’ve decided to incorporate agile marketing into your day-to-day operations. As a marketer who is likely wearing multiple hats, you’ve recognised the benefits of this tool -flexibility, efficiency and results- and want to communicate these to your team members. How can this be done?
You may very well encounter ‘isn’t this just a way for us to do it faster?’, or ‘where is our strategic plan?’ Moreover, teammates might ask if you are sacrificing quality in favour of this increased momentum. Relax these are all misconceptions and can safely be put to rest. Get everyone in the right frame of mind. As the old adage says, ‘mind over matter.’
First sit down with your team and explain the approach. Agile marketing works for both small and large projects. Highlight that the time is long enough to complete a project, but short enough to gather feedback and pivot accordingly. Priorities will remain unchanged during this time. Agile marketing is one way to avoid burn-out by establishing clear priorities. Be transparent and encourage your team and a willingness to take risks, not just once but frequently.
You see the half mile marker ahead and you’ve got 800 metres in your rearview mirror. What’s next? Continue head-on in your campaign knowing that if another priority lands on your plate there will be a trade-off in terms of priorities.
Perhaps it is a PR blunder with the C-suite or negative customer reviews of your product that have gone viral without an end in sight. In this 24/7 digital era, whether the scenario is positive or negative, now is the time to iterate and respond.
Be innovative when this happens and encourage your team to do the same. Agile marketing’s key feature of transparency allows each team member to have full visibility into who’s in the ‘lead’ and what projects are in the queue. Team members will never be left in the lurch.
The Finish Line
You’re heading down the straightaway with the finish line in sight. The campaign has come to a close. Afterwards, gather your team members and carry out a review on what worked/didn’t work. Recognise that failings are expected and part of the process. Use this time to solve problems together. Beyond this use it as a moment to reflect and spotlight the work achieved.
Lastly don’t think your time on the sidelines will be long. You’ll need to begin planning for your next sprint and course-correct based on the learnings from your previous sprint. In doing so, you’ll effectively inform your strategy for your next race out of the gates.