The Benefits of Agile Marketing

Agile marketing allows marketers to experiment rapidly and put their audiences at center stage.
An illustration showing an agile feedback cycle concept and a team of colleagues working

Reviewed by Madhur Kathuria

The way marketers reach customers has changed dramatically over the past few years, with more social media channels and technology platforms than ever before. To keep pace with evolving customer needs and to reach audiences where they are, agile marketers utilize a flexible, iterative approach to marketing campaigns and related work.

Most marketers today have competing stakeholder requests and may feel understaffed and overwhelmed with too many deliverables. This leaves them with little time to test and learn which campaigns or projects are actually resonating with customers and which ones aren’t.

With agile marketing, you can use a test-and-learn approach to quickly gauge customer responses, giving you actual data to make informed decisions. This way of working allows marketing teams to work at a more sustainable pace while focusing on delivering outcomes that meet the needs of customers.

What Is Agile Marketing?

Agile marketing involves applying agile principles to marketing activities. Agile marketers adopt a flexible, iterative approach over prolonged, inflexible planning. 

By working in short iterations instead of long-running projects, agile marketers produce outcomes rapidly. Once deployed, these initiatives are measured and tested, providing the marketing team with data to inform future decisions, ultimately improving their ability to reach the right audiences with effective content and campaigns.

Benefits of Agile Marketing

Agile principles help you become a more effective marketer by focusing on real results and allow you to stop working on underperforming campaigns or projects. 

Here are several of the benefits of such an approach:

Rapid experimentation

A key concept in agile marketing is testing and learning, or rapid experimentation. This means that instead of waiting for perfection, you’re getting work to customers quickly, using data to measure effectiveness, and quickly pivoting underperforming tactics. When a tactic performs really well, marketers may have the data to show leadership that more budget and time should be devoted to similar work.

Audience focus

The leading principle of any agile endeavor is customer centricity. Agile marketers are always striving to understand their audiences and meet their needs. They do so by continuously gathering feedback so they can fine-tune each marketing initiative to deliver maximum value.

Because an agile approach involves deploying work in short iterations, the marketing team can gather such feedback more frequently than if they were to wait until the end of a months-long project.

Nimble teams

Because marketing departments have a very difficult job of representing multiple internal stakeholders, often with competing priorities, agile marketing allows you to work in small pods with more focused business outcomes, which streamlines the number of stakeholders you need to manage and allows for a small team of cross-functional marketing capabilities to deliver end-to-end results. 

This team-based approach helps marketers go from functional capabilities and delivering outputs, to business-based work that’s focused on an outcome, allowing the team to then determine the best marketing strategy and tactics.

Breaking Down Siloes and Hierarchies

Another key benefit for agile marketers is having a voice at the start of strategy, rather than strategy happening by another team and then passing it down for execution. This is extremely empowering for people. An agile marketing team all works together, from understanding the customers’ challenges to executing work, reviewing data and analytics and making any necessary adjustments.

How Do You Implement Agile Marketing?

When thinking about implementing agile marketing, whether it's part of a business agility effort or a more isolated endeavor, it’s a good idea to understand what problems you’re trying to solve. 

A common problem among marketers is a lack of prioritization, so establishing a backlog of work is something that can really go a long way. A product backlog (often referred to as a marketing backlog among marketers) is simply a single ordered list of all work requests that gets adjusted regularly as new information is learned. You can utilize a product backlog as part of your practice of the scrum framework on a marketing team.

Another concept that you can try right away is applying quick tests. Many marketers already use A/B testing, which is creating two variations of something to see which one customers engage with more. This is a great start to an agile approach. You can also experiment with just about every variable —from color choices to taglines, images, and channels. Just think about work as "experiments" rather than large projects. 

When an experiment works well, you and your team can have a retrospective meeting in which you discuss why and how the work was successful. Discuss what didn't go as well so you can learn from those challenges and adapt. End the retrospective with action items for your work going forward.

Customer-Focused Marketing Outcomes

Agile marketing is a great way for marketers to focus on business outcomes, rather than outputs. By experimenting and dropping work that doesn’t resonate with customers, you can focus on tactics that really move the needle.

To learn more about agile working styles, including the scrum framework, please subscribe to Scrum Alliance emails.

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