It’s been a long time since we proclaimed that agile marketing was “the new black”, and I’m happy to see that more and more marketing teams have started to at least experiment with agile methodologies. Given the fast-paced nature of today’s marketing arena, it only makes sense to empower your team members to make decisions quickly, try new things, and constantly adjust your approach. As a follow-up to our post on how to get started with agile marketing, I’d like to take a few moments and lay out the concepts that you have to embrace in order to fully leverage the power of agile marketing.
Most agile evangelists will take it a step further and tell you that it’s important to “embrace chaos”, but I’d like to focus on the willingness to change. Your ultimate goal is to identify trends and opportunities quickly and be nimble enough to take immediate action in order to seize those opportunities. Don’t get me wrong – it’s tremendously important to have a roadmap and a strategy. Agility does not mean that you fly by the seat of your pants. But the key is that you are flexible and actually welcome every chance for improvement.
Silos are the enemy of agility, which is why the most successful implementations of agile processes can be found in companies who have abandoned cubicle farms and office fortresses in favor of open floor plans. Yes, this is a major paradigm shift for a lot of people, but if you’re serious about being agile, explore this option. We did, and we never looked back.
In agile marketing, there’s no such thing as communicating too much. Share with your co-workers what you’re working on (we use yammer), and hold quick stand-up meetings in which each team member summarizes what they worked on the day before, what they’re going to work on today, and any roadblocks that might impede their progress.
Here’s where it gets tricky. I just pointed out how important it is to constantly communicate with your team members. So how does this gel with the idea that you allow each person to find their own rhythm and develop flow? One idea is to implement a way to flag when you don’t want to be disturbed. In some cases, changing your gmail chat status to “DND” will do the trick, while for other companies, it might be better to purchase traffic signs or light to indicate each person’s availability.
Data is at the very heart of agile methodologies. It makes perfect sense. How else are you going to be able to determine what works and what doesn’t, so you can adjust your approach? Without measurements, you’re flying blind, so be prepared to track as much as you can, constantly analyze your data, and discuss your findings.
Speaking of determining what works and what doesn’t, your ultimate goal is to be the best marketer you can be and to generate maximum results for your company. In order to get a comprehensive picture of your efforts, it’s critical to keep an open mind and encourage feedback – from your team members, from other departments, and from your target audience.
Trust in your team members.
Part of what makes agile processes successful is the fact that team members can self-assign tasks, thus ensuring that they can work on things that they’re passionate about. As a manager, empower your marketers and content contributors by letting go and giving them the freedom and trust they need to be creative and self-starting.
Anything else? If you’ve successfully implemented agile processes in your marketing department, please share your experiences with us.