What Is Agile Marketing And How Do You Implement It?
Curious about Agile marketing?
It’s no surprise that marketing is easily one of the most stressful jobs there is.
Marketing teams often have to work under super-tight deadlines, with a limited budget, and in worst-case scenarios: confusing viral trends!
What social media challenge is it going to be this week?! 😩
But what if there was something that could put those worries behind?
That’s where Agile marketing comes in.
And while it may not be able to stop new viral challenges from taking the world by storm, it can definitely help you manage your marketing funnel a lot better.
Let’s get started.
What Is Agile Marketing?
Agile marketing is a new marketing approach that uses the powers of the Agile methodology to boost your sales and marketing efforts.
Agile marketing takes a break from the ‘huge marketing campaign’ model that was used in the era of ‘Mad Men.’
Instead of spending months planning and creating an expensive marketing project, an Agile team can quickly respond to market changes in just a few weeks!
So how does it work?
Just like an Agile software development team, an Agile marketing team works on a project in short bursts, called sprints. At the end of each 2-4 month sprint, the team measures how well the projects did, and then works to improve their projects every sprint.
Your marketing department is able to work quickly and efficiently without sacrificing its quality.
And hey, it’s got Don Draper’s seal of approval!
But how do we truly define what Agile marketing is?
For that, we’ll need to take a peek at the Agile marketing manifesto.
What is the Agile marketing manifesto?
By tweaking the original Agile manifesto to fit the context of the marketing process, the Agile marketing manifesto was born.
Agile marketing team values:
- Responding to change over following a plan
- Rapid iterations over Big-Bang campaigns
- Data and insights over opinions
- Many small experiments over a few large bets
- Individuals and interactions over one-size-fits-all
- Collaboration over hierarchy
But wait, what do these points even mean?
Fortunately, it’s not as complicated as Klingon!
With the help of Agile principles, these ideas are translated into plain English.
What are the 12 Agile marketing principles?
These Agile principles act as guidelines of what you should and shouldn’t do when you’re using an Agile marketing strategy:
- Return On Investment (ROI) is an important metric for progress
- Trust your Agile marketing team to solve problems their way
- Listen, learn, and adapt to your customers
- Make customers happy by quickly creating campaigns, and then optimize and improve them
- Quality is a priority
- Your team should collaborate well with business and sales teams
- Verbal or video communication (like Zoom) is always better than email
- Regularly review and improve your marketing project
- Ensure all work is tracked and available to everyone
- Ensure your marketing efforts are consistent and sustainable
- Keep it simple: the ideal marketing campaign is a simple concept, executed well
- Don’t be afraid to fail; just don’t fail the same way twice
And yes, we agree that the last principle sounds like a framed poster Micheal Scott would have on his wall!
However, these principles are vital for your team to get into the Agile mindset so that they implement Agile marketing the right way.
How Is Agile Marketing Implemented?
Agile adoption isn’t as easy as flicking on a switch. It takes some time for your team to organize their work and restructure so that they can transition into a fully-functional Agile marketing team.
Here’s a 5 step process that can help your marketing team to implement Agile practices quickly:
- Organize an Agile team
- Set measurable goals and objectives
- Create and prioritize a backlog
- Work in iterations or sprints
- Measure progress and focus on continuous improvement
Let’s take a closer look at the steps to Agile adoption:
1. Organize an Agile team
An Agile team isn’t just your average everyday team.
It’s a cross functional team that works independently towards a goal.
What’s a cross functional team?
It’s a small team (5-8 members), made up of professionals with different departments, which can include inbound marketing, digital marketing, UI/UX designers, social media planners, a creative team, etc.
This team structure can vary from project to project.
But wait, you can’t have a ship without a captain, right?
You’ll need to appoint a marketing owner (similar to a product owner in Agile). The owner generally is a marketing leader like the Chief Marketing Officer, regional brand manager; you get the picture.
They help create the Agile marketing strategy that the team needs to follow over a sprint.
But that’s not all.
You also need an experienced Agile leader or Scrum master.
They set up the Agile workflows and help the team use Agile practices efficiently. And if needed, they can motivate your team like a real football coach would!
2. Set measurable goals and objectives
While it’s true that you need to go with the flow to gain marketing agility, that doesn’t mean your Agile marketing team can work without following a marketing planning process.
Even an improv comedy show has a theme in place, so why shouldn’t your Agile marketing team?
So, what’s the plan?
An Agile marketing team should measure the results of their marketing campaign, and not how much work went into it.
The best way to track their results is by setting SMART goals and objectives.
The marketing leader and the team must decide on three things:
- The metrics they should focus on (conversion rate, sales, page views, etc.)
- Their objectives and targets (increase social media followers by 15%, etc.)
- The tools they’ll use to capture and manage data
But how do you set and track goals for your marketing efforts?
Fortunately, there are Agile marketing tools like ClickUp to help you!
And once your team hits a Target, ClickUp updates the progress percentage in real-time, and they can see how close they’re to the Goal.
It can’t get simpler than this!
3. Create and prioritize a backlog
Now that the marketing goals are set, your team should have locked in on an Agile marketing strategy.
It’s time to decide which tasks they need to work on during the sprint. Just like an Agile team, your marketing team must host a sprint planning meeting to compile a ‘To-Do’ list for the sprint.
Also known as the sprint backlog, this list contains tons of work items ranging from small initiatives, big campaign ideas, and even a few cool experimental marketing projects.
(Okay, maybe not as experimental as this one.)
Instead of writing the list on a dusty old whiteboard, ClickUp Sprint Lists let you store all your backlog items into one neat list. You can then break down complex ideas into small manageable tasks.
Additionally, you can assign a story point to each item.
This way, you can estimate when an Agile marketer will be able to complete a task.
Ready to begin working on the Scrum sprint?
Hold your horses!
You’ll need to prioritize what tasks your marketing team should approach first. Ideally, your team should aim for the highest value marketing project on this list.
How do you indicate important projects?
You flag it.
In ClickUp, you can add four color Priority Flags to show whether a task is urgent, high, normal, or low in the priority list.
4. Work in iterations or sprints
After you’ve curated the backlog, it’s time to begin work on the sprint. For the next 2-4 weeks, your team needs to work on all tasks decided in the sprint planning session.
Instead of just following a to-do list, an Agile team does things differently.
A Kanban board is a whiteboard that is divided into 3-4 columns. Each column represents a status like ‘To-Do,’ ’In Progress,’ Done. And each task is represented on a sticky note or card like so:
Whenever an Agile marketer either starts or finishes a task, they pick and move the card to the relevant column.
With ClickUp’s Board View, you can do the same, except virtually!
Just drag and drop the tasks to any column you like.
This way, your Agile team doesn’t bite off more tasks than they can chew, and isn’t buried in a pile of work!
5. Measure progress and focus on continuous improvement
Finally, it’s time to take a look at the results.
By going through consumer data (clicks, shares, conversions, etc.), you can identify what marketing tactics and strategies worked and which tanked.
This way, you can replicate every high-performing marketing strategy in a future sprint.
What if you want to see how your Agile team performed in a sprint?
Here are a few Agile Widgets you get with Dashboards:
- Velocity Charts: see how fast your team was completing tasks
- Burndown Charts: identify whether your team will be able to meet their deadlines
- Burnup Charts: track the amount of Agile marketing work already completed
- Cumulative Flow Charts: determine any tasks slowing down the marketing process
What Are The Benefits Of Agile Marketing?
Agile marketing can help increase your marketing ROI, transparency, and productivity.
1. Lowers costs and increases ROI
With the Agile marketing approach, you no longer have to break the bank to create one successful marketing project.
The Agile marketing process helps you break down your marketing projects to better determine how profitable and successful they are. This way, in case a marketing project isn’t working out, you can stop working on it and save on costs.
2. Increases transparency
Your marketing team’s operations will no longer be shrouded in mystery.
Scrum boards reveal what your team is working on, and regular review meetings show how each team member performed in the sprint.
No more team members slacking off at work!
3. Increases employee productivity and satisfaction
Here’s a fun fact: happy team members are 12% more productive.
And this good news for marketing teams, as going Agile can boost their team morale.
An Agile team has more control over how they do their work and are able to prioritize tasks in any way they want. Additionally, daily Scrum meetings ensure that the team is engaged with their work.
Agile Marketing FAQs
Here are a few things every Agile marketer must know:
1. How is Agile marketing different from traditional marketing?
Traditional marketers follow a rigid plan. A traditional marketing team set goals and work on a single strategy until they’ve created a marketing campaign. Once the project is launched, they move on to the next.
Meanwhile, an Agile marketing team believes in continuous improvement. Unlike traditional marketing teams, they tweak campaigns and projects months after they’ve launched.
2. What is an Agile marketing software?
An Agile marketing software is a centralized platform for all your marketing activities. This software often has a wide range of tools that helps your team with Agile planning, execution, and review.
An Agile marketing software like ClickUp makes it super easy for your marketing team to apply Agile practices to their work.
But unlike other Agile software, ClickUp has tons of features that can be used by every marketing team, including:
- Flexible Views: view all your tasks in a List, Calendar, or Kanban board (if you’re following an Agile framework)
- Comments: add comments on tasks and convert comments into actionable tasks and assign it to your team
- Gantt View: create and schedule Gantt charts, and manage Task Dependencies
- Mind Maps: brainstorm ideas and plan tasks for the next big project
- Guests: share your documents, files, and timelines with your customers by adding them as a Guest in your Workspace
- Automations: automate your repetitive tasks and Agile workflow; great for marketing automation
Bonus: Read how ClickUp’s marketing team uses ClickUp!
So, what is Agile marketing really?
It’s a great new way to supercharge your marketing efforts.
By using the Agile marketing methodology, you’ll be able to get marketing campaigns out of the door faster than you can say ‘Sterling Cooper.’
However, unlike the Mad Men, you can’t do this without the right technology.
You’ll need a sophisticated Agile marketing tool like ClickUp to help you plan and execute Agile projects with ease.
From Kanban boards to Agile Dashboards to Sprint lists, it’s got everything your team needs to go Agile. So get ClickUp for free today, and start working the Agile magic with your marketing team!