As marketing ideas continue to evolve, a lot of seemingly nonsensical words tend to get thrown around. You may have come across the phrase “agile marketing” and dismissed it as another one of those fancy word-soup ideas that go just as quickly as they come.
But in reality, it's not just a trendy fad. In fact, it has had exquisite results in getting business marketing ideas to the ready stage in a short amount of time. We may go as far as to say that it’s one of the more exciting marketing tactics to crop up in a long time.
How agile marketing works, though, is a little complex. At its core it may seem simple, but you need to adhere to specific rules in order to achieve the best results.
Managing to get all of your departments working together as a unit on projects requires the utmost in organization, especially in a big company. The main purpose of agile marketing is to eliminate all the hierarchy that can confound launching a campaign and consolidate ideas into a massive group effort.
In the end, agile marketing has the potential to change companies so that business ideas become true group efforts, not just brain-dumps from a few.
We’ve talked about the idea of agile development as it applies to the technical construction of a website. Here's how you can apply it to your marketing efforts and even other parts of your branding, like your web design. You'll also see how it's working for other companies and why it's worth your while to try agile marketing as a major business goal in 2016.
Setting Up Your Agile Marketing Tactics
Most experts say honing in on high-value projects is the real heart of the agile marketing process. When you can consolidate your entire team on a project, it brings on the ultimate team spirit, which is probably a dream of yours for your company. After all, who doesn’t want everyone involved to be enthusiastic and engaged?
The above is never easy, and you’ve likely found this out the hard way in the past trying to get everyone on the same page. Nevertheless, agile marketing has some smart techniques you can use to get you there. The first technique is going through a creative group process that works very differently than more granular planning techniques.
Using the tactic of what's called a "sprint", your agile marketing team ultimately brainstorms on a huge project and then tweaks it as they go along.
Analyzing the Sprint Technique
The philosophy behind a sprint is it can get bigger ideas on the drawing board faster than they would if you had a more incremental creative plan. Rather than a long, drawn-out process of trying to get everything done in one fell swoop, a sprint allows you to identify individual actionable items and knock them out one at a time, each with their own goals and KPIs that you can track over time.
By bringing bigger ideas to life sooner, you can capture customers faster and then tweak the details based on response. If this sounds risky, keep in mind the creative result of a big project has a better chance of success when you have all of your marketing departments working together.
Ultimately, integrating every department brings more creative focus thanks to using all available resources. Yet, the timing you place on sprints is a matter of personal preference. Generally, they last anywhere from two to six weeks, which gives enough time to help your agile marketing team develop a major marketing idea and then track its success.
You still have the challenge of dealing with how you keep everyone together so wires don't cross in the creative process. What kind of steps can you take to make sure everyone understands what's going on and stays creatively focused?
It's imperative to hold daily or weekly meetings with your team so there isn't any confusion on what everyone's role is. These meetings are usually called scrums (and more frequently, stand-up meetings) where everyone involved in the project meets to get the group up to speed on who's doing what.
How should you conduct these meetings so they aren't just a waste of time? You need to address what your team already accomplished, what they'll accomplish today, and what's on the agenda until the next meeting. Taking a day-by-day or week-by-week meeting approach gets everyone on board about what each person already completed so there isn't any mistaken overlap as would happen when separating departments.
By pinpointing exactly what you'll all be doing today and tomorrow, you bring more productivity for the day so there isn't any guesswork or lack of aim on what needs doing. If you have to use a whiteboard to get all points straight, don't hesitate. Pre-determined agendas also help keep everyone on track so the meeting doesn’t run over with unnecessary chatter.
The Balance of Collaborating and Assisting
Using the meeting concept above, you can bring a new level of collaboration to getting a project done. This isn't to say you shouldn't prepare for easier communication among all the people working on the project. Make sure you all have proper communication methods for quick collaborations and assists when it's necessary. At NPG, we’re big fans of Slack as a messaging tool.
File-sharing is equally imperative so ideas get implemented in real-time without having to wait until the next day to bring up an idea in the daily meeting. Dropbox is particularly effective for this process, just make sure that your files and folders are meticulously organized to avoid confusion.
Using Agile Marketing for Marketing Ideas
So what kind of bigger marketing ideas can you create using agile marketing? Implementing high-priority projects ultimately saves you time and gains you benefits from customers sooner rather than having to look to long-term results.
Some of the projects you create can also have better targeting thanks to having a strong team of experts working together:
Web Design Improvements
You can optimize your website for marketing efforts in a shorter amount of time using agile marketing techniques. Focus on single, significant changes to the design that you can implement at a time and take time to analyze the results. With every department doing research on what your customers want, you'll put together a more powerful site with an emphasis on solving customer problems and maximizing conversions.
More Frequent Marketing Content
If you've been dealing with the problem of trying to keep up the level of original marketing content, an agile marketing campaign can speed things up. Your team can keep the content coming on a daily basis thanks to all the unified creative minds. In turn, this helps your SEO standings having more blogs, videos, and other creative content constantly being posted.
Keeping Your Branding Balanced
When you have numerous social media sites, it's sometimes impossible to keep your branding message consistent. With a larger, dedicated team, they'll know what's going on daily and keep it updated to reflect any branding changes you enact along the way.
Examples of How Agile Marketing Helps Companies
Mashable did a piece a couple of years ago about how agile marketing helps major companies create better content and better connectivity with customers. They noted companies like Carsurfing that used a feedback process during an agile marketing campaign to help create content based on customer preference.
Overall, you can connect better with customers by giving them something significant, then changing it based on their opinions. Agile marketing also places your entire team in tune with customers for a more profound level of personalizing and targeted marketing. In conjunction with a solid inbound marketing strategy, you can start seeing more tangible results sooner.