The marketing landscape changes quickly, making traditional approaches to content generation ineffective. Content takes a long time to develop and typically doesn’t get revised frequently. By the time your content or website goes live, your audience’s needs and interests may have changed.
Agile marketing allows marketing teams to publish content quickly and then rework it based on performance. With Agile marketing, companies can respond to changes in the market and adjust their approach accordingly. Campaigns and websites can be initiated in a launchpad form to be revisited later for revision.
The Agile approach to marketing is inspired by the software development process. Software developers use Agile methods to speed products to market. Marketers can use Agile techniques to get content to potential customers quickly and learn more about what approach works best.
Awareness needs to be raised about this relatively new approach to marketing. VersionOne’s 12th Annual State of Agile Report found that only 25% of companies use Agile methodologies in all their teams.1 To make the transition to the Agile methodology, companies need to change their mindsets to embrace collaboration, experimentation, and flexibility.
This eBook points out the differences between traditional digital marketing and the Agile approach, explores Agile marketing approaches, and discusses the benefits of Agile marketing.
Traditional marketing processes follow a rigid and linear timeline. Marketing teams set goals and accomplish tasks one at a time, without testing or going back to adjust. Each step depends on the one before. Large projects such as websites may not be revisited for a couple of years.
In contrast, Agile marketing uses rapid cycles that enable the team to go back and change things. Here are four ways Agile marketing is different from traditional marketing:
Instead of going through lengthy development periods, Agile marketing accomplishes tasks in short sprints of two to four weeks. The marketing team meets frequently to set goals and check on progress.
Teams produce launchpad content that gets tested and tweaked. New versions of content are created that boost performance and respond to changes in customer needs.
Agile marketing process eliminates traditional silos and hierarchies. Members of a small team share accountability and rely less on management to make decisions.
Agile marketers use automation platforms to gather real-time data on how their content is performing. Frequent tests produce data that can be analyzed to determine what revisions need to be made.
Agile marketing has many advantages over traditional processes. Marketing teams work smarter and more effectively using Agile methodology. These teams also see better and clearer results than those that use traditional methods.2
With Agile methodology, your marketing team can respond to change. The team sets priorities and develops wish lists of tasks that can be accomplished in future sprints. After testing iterations, the team can adjust its approach to improve performance.
The team meets frequently during sprints for short check-in meetings. Meeting frequently improves the communication between team members and helps them accomplish tasks so tactics can be launched quickly.
Agile marketing has proven to be remarkably efficient. According to SEO experts Moz, teams that use Agile marketing accomplish 30% to 40% more tasks than teams that use traditional methods. Teams set priorities to make sure they get the right things accomplished.
Companies that use Agile methodology see their profits increase. Researchers at McKinsey & Company found that companies that have converted to an Agile marketing methodology see their revenue increase 20% to 40%.3 Instead of sticking with a tactic that doesn’t work, marketers can quickly adjust their strategy to appeal to customers and boost conversions.
Agile marketing teams can build key performance indicators (KPIs) into their strategy so they can measure progress. With fast sprints and frequent interactions, the Agile methodology presents ample opportunity for gauging progress and gathering test data to see how tactics are performing. Your marketing team can see results more quickly than with a traditional marketing campaign, which may run for a year before you gather results and make adjustments.
The Agile methodology is built on a framework that turns marketing development and design into an ongoing process.
Here’s a breakdown of the Agile framework:
Iterative development and continuous improvement require that you repeat a cycle of planning, building, learning, and transferring.
Determine what you want to accomplish during your sprints. This process could include choosing items from your wish list.
Develop the launchpad by accomplishing your tasks. Be sure to incorporate ways of collecting your performance metrics.
Review the data from your tests to see what is working and what isn’t.
Share the information gathered after you launch so your team can decide what adjustments to make in the next iteration.
To achieve continuous improvement, your marketing team needs to follow the Agile marketing process by continually setting up goals and accomplishing targeted tasks.
Goals: As with any marketing strategy, Agile process depends on the setting of SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Goals need to be prioritized and revisited in future iterations.
KPIs: Key performance indicators must be established so you have metrics to work with as you test your launchpad. KPIs will let you know what you need to adjust in your next iteration.
Personas: Developing descriptions of your ideal audience members will guide the development of content and features in your launchpad.
Jobs To Be Done (JTBD): During frequent meetings, your team compiles and tracks a list of tasks you need to accomplish. JTBD will also include wish list tasks that you need to save for a future time.
Journey Mapping: During your short bursts of activity, you want to keep your perspective on long-term goals. Mapping out a long-term marketing strategy with future goals and tasks ensures your team stays on track.
Sprint: Agile process is like a sprint, not a marathon. Sprints are quick and short bursts of activity that enable your team to take a website live in a matter of weeks.
Scrum sounds like something unpleasant, but it’s really a great way to implement the Agile methodology. Scrum involves using a small group to set and accomplish goals for sprints during the Agile process.
Agile methodology can be used to accelerate the development process in many aspects of marketing. Using Agile methodology to create and improve websites is an ideal application, but the methodology can also be used for campaign workflows.
The Agile website development process begins by auditing the current site to pinpoint user experience and SEO problems. Then a strategy can be set up based on target personas and the stages in the buyer’s journey.
When setting up a sprint, create an 80/20 wish list. Start with goals that will achieve 80% of the impact with 20% of the effort. The rest of the tasks can be reserved for a future sprint. Focusing on a few key tasks enables you to go live with a launchpad site that outperforms your current site.
Conducting tests allows you to make continuous improvements through rapid iterations. You can adjust your approach to your audience and improve performance based on data gathered during tests.
Agile methodology also works great for campaign workflows. There’s no need to set and forget your workflow for the duration of an entire campaign. Instead, once you’ve set up your emails and landing pages, you can test to see if they meet your performance goals.
If not, you can test different aspects of your workflow to see which variants get more opens, clicks, and conversions. Simple adjustments such as CTA button copy, form fields, or subject lines can make your workflow more effective.
With too few organizations taking advantage of Agile marketing strategies and processes, Agile marketing can give your business a competitive edge. You can get a jump on these companies by switching to an Agile methodology today.
TSL Marketing can help you make the transition to Agile. Unlike many other marketing companies, TSL focuses on the Agile approach. We specialize in technology marketing and have an experienced team of copywriters, designers, developers, and strategists that is ready to work with your company on an Agile website redesign or campaign strategy.
1 VersionOne | https://explore.versionone.com/state-of-agile/versionone-12th-annual-state-of-agile-report
2 Moz | https://moz.com/blog/6-values-agile-marketing-whiteboard-friday
3 McKinsey & Company | https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/agile-marketing-a-step-by-step-guide