Those who know me can testify that I’m an Agile Marketing enthusiast. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than working with a self-managed,accountable marketing team. So how are “Reflections” relevant at this point in mid-April, with the pandemic in full swing and the end nowhere in sight?
Well, by now, we’ve all gotten used to it. This is the “new normal”. The real challenge during the past six weeks occurred when reality with which we were familiar burst into virus-ignited flames. Things couldn’t get more disruptive than this. And now it becomes clearer who was fast to pivot and deliver and who is still struggling.
The Coronavirus as a Test
Let’s be real, the Coronavirus is unlikely to be the last disruptive event we will encounter. However, it is meaningful enough to make us (re)consider modifying our current processes so we will cope better next time. Regardless of your position in your organization, or your organization’s size, this is an opportunity to pause and ask yourself the following questions:
- How much time did you invest in fully planning for 2020?
- How much of your plan is still relevant?
- How fast were you to put a new plan into action?
- How difficult was it to harness the team and gain full cooperation?
- How well were you able to reallocate the budget?
- Did you measure your campaigns? How successful were they?
- And one last question – Are you satisfied with your answers?
If you are – great! I guess that you are practicing Agile Marketing, even if you give it a different name.
If you are not satisfied with your answers, you should definitely consider Agile Marketing.
Don’t get me wrong. Agile Marketing is not only for end-of-the-world scenarios. Coronavirus or not, the world is constantly changing and so should our response time. Changes, as well as good ideas, now spread instantly. Therefore, innovation should be our highest priority.
Don’t be afraid of the change.
While the adoption of Agile Marketing is accelerating, the industry’s implementation of this methodology is still in its early stages. “And why?” you may ask. Because people are afraid of changes.
In a survey conducted among over 400 marketing professionals in 2019 by AgileSherpas, only 32% of participants labeled their marketing team’s processes as agile.
Those who did take the leap into Agile Marketing did so primarily to improve productivity and facilitate rapid and flexible responses. However, they also reported enjoying the secondary effects of gaining visibility, attaining higher quality, and executing decisions more quickly.
33% of respondents practicing Agile Marketing report improved team morale.
That’s no surprise to me since the methodology empowers team members to act, generate original ideas and take ownership of their execution. Agile Marketing embraces mistakes and imperfections, as long as improvements are constantly made.
However, it is clear that to be successful, Agile Marketing requires both speed and flexibility. Those qualities may not come as naturally to some companies (and people) as others.
Begin by adopting the mindset.
Agile Marketing is not an all-or-nothing approach, and there is no single template that fits all. Each company can adopt and implement Agile Marketing in its own way that fits its DNA and way of working. Even a partial implementation can lead to a significant improvement. The key is being flexible and embracing change.
Want to give it a try?
Even before diving into Agile Marketing principles and becoming familiar with the ceremonies, try following the 70:20:10 rule:
- Invest 70% of your marketing budget and spend 50% of your time on things with which you are familiar and know work well for you;
- Invest 20% of your budget and spend 25% of your time modifying those familiar marketing actions and try to improve them (modified messages, alternative content, different distribution channels, etc.);
- Invest 10% of your budget and spend 25% of your time on wild ideas! Do this knowing that while only a few of them will prove to be successful, these will be your future 70% and 20%…
Considering the scale of change that the Coronavirus has generated, and will continue to generate in the weeks and months ahead, I felt compelled to reflect on the Agile Marketing methodology and its benefits in an ever-changing world. How exactly this crisis will evolve remains to be seen. But the benefits offer something to consider while navigating to the next “normal”.
Over the course of the following weeks, I’ll write more about the Agile Methodology, and in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out and share your thoughts.