Understanding Agile Marketing & How to Start Using It

Trevor Testwuide, Expert in Business Strategy and Marketing Measurement

Published 11/24/2022

Marketing Strategy

Today’s marketers are frustrated with the status quo of complicated workflows and poor internal communication. Agile marketing strategies emphasize collaboration, visualization, and streamlining operations and are a popular and effective solution to a traditional marketing approach.

Familiarize yourself with the details of Agile marketing to understand its unique benefits, and learn simple strategies for implementing Agile marketing at your workplace.

What is Agile Marketing?

Agile marketing is a collaborative marketing strategy in which a marketing team comes together to identify high-value projects to focus their efforts on collectively.

This tactical approach alternates between short periods of intensive work, called sprints, and periods of reflection and measurement. During these measurement periods, the Agile team determines whether the project completed during the sprint was valuable and whether to repeat it.

Most sprints last between two and six weeks. Companies generally break up more significant initiatives into multiple sprints to ensure they address the initiative comprehensively.

The agile marketing team’s work style reflects the values and priorities of the agile marketing approach. Agile marketing teams value:

  • Data and testing over opinions
  • Collaboration over hierarchy
  • Multiple small experiments over a few major ones
  • Rapid iterations over big bang campaigns
  • Responding to change rather than following a plan
  • Individuals over large markets

Why is Agile Marketing Important?

Using an Agile marketing framework, a company can increase the efficiency of its marketing efforts, boost workplace morale, and prepare its marketing team to face new challenges and shifting priorities. Agile marketing also gets marketing campaigns into the field faster and allows marketers to make quick adjustments based on customer feedback.

Extensive data and research have identified and confirmed Agile marketing benefits. For example, the
State of Agile Marketing Reportsurveyed Agile marketing teams about their experience using the approach. The results of this Agile market research reveal the numerous and wide-ranging benefits of this marketing strategy:

  • 53% of Agile marketers say working in an Agile environment helps them more effectively prioritize work
  • From 2019 to 2020, twice as many Agile teams report better productivity and prioritization
  • 80% of CMOs believe switching to Agile marketing helped them deliver a better and more relevant product to users
  • 87% of Agile CMOs say their team is more productive after switching to Agile
  • 74% of Agile marketers are very satisfied or satisfied with how their teams manage workflow (only 34% of ad-hoc approach marketers say the same)
  • 36% of Agile marketers report better visibility into product status since adopting the Agile framework

Because of its many benefits, many non-Agile departments are considering making the switch.48% intend to switch to the Agile framework within six months, and another 43% plan to do so in the next year.

How Many Frameworks Are There in Agile Marketing?

The three most popular Agile marketing frameworks include Scrum, Kanban, and Scrumban. These approaches are highly sensible and effective in helping you increase efficiency in your marketing efforts.

    • Scrum

The Scrum framework focuses on creating a culture of transparency, adaptation, and inspection, using timeboxing to hone in on its high-priority work.

Scrum consists of four ceremonies: sprint planning, daily Scrum (or standup), sprint review, and sprint retrospective. Scrum ceremonies help a company create a predictable cadence of communication within the marketing team, ensuring employees know their responsibilities and who to talk to if they run into issues.

This framework also identifies specific roles for the Agile team, such as the Scrum Master, who helps oversee the implementation and management of the Scrum.

    • Kanban

Kanban, a more visual framework emphasizing continuous improvements, has appealed to marketing teams since its introduction in the 1940s. Kanban requires the Agile team to visualize every stage of the marketing process, generally using Agile marketing tools like workflows. Kanban also aims to establish feedback loops and make process policies more explicit, streamlining internal operations and inter-team communication.

This emphasis on visualization and transparency helps Agile teams control their workflow by limiting their projects to what they can realistically get done, ultimately improving efficiency. In a way, Kanban rests on a core paradox: teams become more productive when they limit the amount of work performed simultaneously.

    • Scrumban

Scrumban is the most popular hybrid Agile marketing approach. It is a flexible combination of Scrum and Kanban practices. Since Scrumban requires some knowledge of Scrum and Kanban roles and ceremonies, this approach is suitable for more experienced Agile marketing teams.

Furthermore, as a hybrid Scrumban is much more customizable than Scrum or Kanban, a Scrumban strategy will look different for every company.

Depending on your business structure and marketing goals, one approach or another may suit your company better. An organization can also hybridize these three frameworks, crafting a customized strategy that addresses its specific challenges.

What’s the Most Commonly Used Agile Marketing Framework?

While developers are more likely to use the Scrum framework, most Agile marketers mix and match practices from Scrum and Kanban to create a custom, hybrid framework. Scrumban is the most popular of these hybrid frameworks.

Generally speaking, large companies with traditional work cultures tend to prefer Scrum while smaller marketing agencies and startups naturally prefer the flexibility and visual nature of the Kanban approach.

Agile Marketing Strategy

How Do I Start Agile Marketing?

You can begin Agile marketing at your workplace by instituting the four features most Agile marketing teams have in common: springs, stand-up meetings, a board for tracking progress, and teamwork. By adapting and consistently using these features, you can reap the many benefits of Agile marketing at a low cost.
Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Sprint duration: Set up sprints to run for 2-6 weeks, with periods of reflection and analysis interspersed between.
  • Morning meeting: It is best to hold your Scrum meeting daily, in the mornings, so each employee has up-to-date information about their responsibilities.
  • Identify a Scrum Master: If you opt for the Scrum approach, you’ll want to appoint a Scrum Master to oversee the transition and operations.
  • Establish a mission: Agile marketing is all about shared values and collaboration, so you will want to sit down with your marketing team to discuss your mission, values, and priorities.
  • Learn the language: Agile marketing has a unique language filled with terminology like “epics,” “user stories,” and “burndown charts.”

These Agile marketing examples are relatively non-invasive ways to determine if an Agile marketing approach will work at your company.

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