Work smarter not harder: The benefits of Agile marketing for B2B tech brands
There’s a lot of hype around ‘Agile marketing’ at the moment and you may well have heard of the term – if not, we’re certain you’re bound to come across it soon. Agile marketing is the latest marketing trend to hit forward thinking B2B tech brands and with it come numerous benefits which we can all take advantage of.
Agile marketing is a calculated approach to the traditional marketing process. As we know, traditional marketing plans are designed to give brands and marketing agencies predictability and control over resources, budgets and activity for a full year. They are planned and mapped in detail before they are given thumbs up.
Of course while a solid, long term marketing plan may work for traditional goods and service industries, in the fast moving world of tech, it can remove the ability to learn and adapt to an environment that is constantly changing. This is where Agile marketing comes in –modelled on the Agile Software Development method, it means more collaboration between departments, using data to monitor a campaign’s success and using those insights to determine what is or isn’t working and acting on it quickly. The goals of Agile marketing are to improve the speed, predictability, transparency and adaptability of the marketing function.
Key elements of an Agile marketing implementation process
Every marketing team is different and so it needs to find out which Agile format works best for them, but any Agile marketing implementation will have in place a four-step process known as Scrum.
Scrum is designed to increase alignment with the business aims of the organisation and the sales staff, to improve communication, both within and outside the marketing team, and to increase the speed and responsiveness of marketing. Scrum is intended to be a lightweight project management methodology, designed to facilitate the way marketers get the job done, while at the same time providing visibility to the team and to management of progress made.
The four step process is comprised of the following:
The heart of Scrum is a Sprint, a time-boxed period during which specific work is complete and made ready for review. Sprints are usually 2 to 4 weeks long but can be as short as one week. A new Sprint starts immediately after the conclusion of the previous Sprint.
The Daily Scrum is a short communication meeting (no longer than 15-minutes) in which each team member covers progress quickly and transparently, creates a plan for the next 24 hours and bring to light any impediments that may be blocking their progress. The Daily Scrum is held at the same time and place each day to reduce complexity.
A Sprint Review is held at the end of the Sprint and it is the “show-and-tell” or demonstration event for the team to present the work completed during the sprint. Here, work is checked against pre-defined agenda points. This is an informal meeting, not a status meeting, and it is intended to encorage feedback and foster collaboration between the team.
The Sprint Retrospective is the final team meeting in the Sprint to determine what went well, what didn’t go well, and how the team can improve in the next Sprint. The Sprint Retrospective occurs after the Sprint Review and prior to the next Sprint Planning. This is a three-hour time-boxed meeting for one-month Sprints. For shorter Sprints, the event is usually shorter.
A more complex explanation of the Agile marketing implementation process can be found here.
Four benefits of Agile marketing for B2B tech marketers
Here’s four benefits of implementing Agile marketing into your planning which will take your next campaign and your team from strength to strength:
1. Agile is flexible
Agile marketing is built to test, learn and optimise, which is particularly suited to digital marketing efforts. Brands are able to respond faster meaning they can adapt the campaign quickly to reflect changes in business/market conditions.
2. Agile is transparent
Agile marketing allows management, sales and development to see what marketing is working on. For example if you are running digital content and you are feeding it into the ad server, it allows everyone involved to see the results of each activity accurately and act accordingly –inspiring a culture of testing and data over opinions and conventions!
3. Agile lets you work smarter, not harder
If successful, work will be completed more efficiently, thereby saving on budget and resources – and delivering business results more quickly.
4. Agile encourages teamwork and personnel development
This is one of the biggest benefits of Agile marketing. Members of Agile teams are encouraged to take on tasks outside their usual remit, allowing them to develop new skills. All activity is led and managed by the team, which can lead to better collaboration and increased productivity and creativity. The workload should always be manageable, as it’s the team that decides exactly how work is prioritised.
Final thoughts . . .
Agile marketing is a great methodology for brands who want to experiment with different tactics and ideas to see what works for them. Testing will ensure you are always one step ahead of your customers and already planning your next big idea thus enabling an improved customer experience.
Sylvia Laws, Managing Director, Technical Associates Group