If your organization is challenged when it comes to competing with speed and agility, take a look at how we’ve helped many clients start their journey to agile marketing.
Consider the entire marketing mix
Many modern marketing executives are being asked by the CEO to deliver more than promotion and communications by taking on broader strategic responsibilities that include input into product development. Others go even further by leading pricing, distribution and customer experience. In these scenarios, the stakes might have changed, but the processes remain the same, putting goals and means at odds. If you choose to limit your functions to promotional activities, you risk not getting a seat at the table. Developing agile marketing skills can help you broaden your scope, which will ultimately increase your organization’s strategic value.
Become adept at forming cross-functional teams
Business has become more dependent on the cross talents of people drawn from different internal silos. For example, a marketing program manager might lead a new product launch with support from product development, public relations, social/mobile marketing and IT. During the project, team members are accountable to the team manager (versus their functional manager) for results. This technique frees the team from traditional processes, which can be limiting when trying a new approach.
Enjoy the rewards of delivering in smaller chunks
This technique is one of the most rewarding payoffs of agile marketing, yet it challenges large marketing organizations accustomed to long, detailed plans with defined milestones and acceptance plans along the way. Start by breaking your six-month plans into sprints that last four-or even two-weeks.
Make sure your sprints produce discrete outcomes you can measure. Sprints are also characterized by the “stand-up“ meeting, where checkpoints are designed to be quick (often 20 minutes) and focus exclusively on “What’s been completed since yesterday? What will be completed today? Are there any issues we need to crush?” These meetings can be followed up with efficient, solution-oriented sidebars focused on aligning team members on how to address the problems of the day.
Establish clear feedback channels
You can't manage what you can't measure
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure” has been a battle cry of business for decades, and it’s particularly relevant in agile scenarios. Whether it’s data, metrics or user feedback, cycling your learnings back into the process is a key benefit to an agile approach. For example, a sprint should begin with a crafting of clear goals that extend into observable metrics.
Structure your data collection process
The sprint should also define how data will be collected and analyzed, and at what intervals. In the world of digital marketing, everything is becoming measureable: cycle times for campaigns, leads, sales, active followers, sharing, conversion metrics. Learnings not only impact what your team produces, but also how your team produces it. Consider soliciting feedback from within your agile team along with “sprint retrospectives” to help identify how the team can be more effective and efficient.