Using Agile Principles for Improving Marketing Productivity

2021-03-18 00:00:00

Chaos and missed deadlines are not unheard of in marketing campaigns. Time-strapped teams strive to accomplish more while staying within the budget. Yet, general workload visibility, time management, and project management remain recurring issues. Marketers are constantly pulled between large strategic campaigns, daily tactics, and endless meetings.

Agile principles can, on the other hand, prevent deadlines from turning into emergencies or blown opportunities. Adopted from software tech teams, this framework not only allows marketers to respond to change but also heightens their productivity. This blog post thus explains how agile methodology can be used for enhancing marketing productivity.

1. Incorporate the Flexibility

Change is the only constant in marketing. And agile gives businesses the flexibility to embrace change. The rules that regulate search engines and social media shift frequently, and so do the marketing tactics. Modern teams need agile sprint planning to make suitable adjustments to their strategies.

This is performed by breaking down large-scale marketing projects into smaller pieces. The teams can then focus on these smaller chunks and close them one at a time. It undeniably leads to an increase in efficiency or productivity.

2. Assess the Project

For Agile sprint planning, the project picked should also be a good fit. Generally, businesses use agile for big projects such as marketing campaigns and website redesigns that are expected to have many moving parts. Companies can use the 10x v/s 10% framework to finalize the project for sprint planning.

Projects that can lead to 10x business growth are grouped under one category, while projects that would only result in 10% growth for business are grouped in another category. Naturally, projects that could produce 10x growth should be elected for agile marketing. When broken down into smaller sprints, such projects can be closed within the designated time and budget.

3. Schedule a Sprint Meeting

Once a project is finalized, the next step is to plan a sprint meeting. Irrespective of the role, capacity, and contribution, every employee involved in the project must attend this meeting. The project's deliverables should be explained to each team member and the respective tasks allocated. Those smaller, easier-to-accomplish tasks would bode well for the marketing productivity.

For instance, email copywriting and email marketing can be handled as two separate tasks for which a clear timeframe is allotted. Marketers can use the point system where 3 is the most complex and 1 is the least complex. Preference can be given to tasks with greater complexity, or they can just be granted more time.

4. Confirm the Timeline

To estimate the sprint length, one can add up total days or points. For instance, the agile team wants to complete a project in 4 weeks. How can one determine whether this is a realistic deadline? For that, the team needs to add up the time allotted for individual tasks and then assess the timeline.

If needed, they can set a reasonable timeframe to close the project. For optimal productivity in marketing, the same method can be applied for finalizing the budget. If feasible, agile teams can also decrease the project's scope by removing the tasks that add more time or budget but don't necessarily affect the outcome.

5. Organize Daily Scrums

Once the project scope is outlined, the marketing team can start working on it. From here, organizing daily scrums or stand-up meetings would be adequate to move the project forward. Such meetings should not take more than 10-15 minutes. The point of the discussion revolves around:

  • Work completed day before
  • Work to be completed today
  • Any issues or roadblocks

If the team encounters any problems, it could mean adding more time or budget. It could also mean removing other tasks to stay within the budget. Agile principles and values encourage review during each iteration so that such problems can be fixed early on in the campaign. Any changes made should be documented to make the tracking easier.

6. Create a Unified Team

When it comes to responding to a changing marketing landscape, fragmented teams can only achieve so much. It takes a unified team to create a responsive campaign. Hence, it's vital to form a cross-functional team by selecting the fittest for a project. Moreover, open communication should be encouraged within the team.

It minimizes wasted expenditures that have no contribution or value for the bottom line. All members should be clearly informed about the standard approach for executing workflows. Any changes in the workflow should also be conveyed to team members.

7. Stress on Data Over Opinions

Agile principles lay great emphasis on data rather than opinions or intuitions. Through rigorous testing, modern marketing teams can gather actionable data and use it for making decisions instead. Teamwork is the core of the agile framework. Ensuring maximum productivity of each member can lead to significant ROI in the future.

Mandar Thosar
Mandar Thosar
Marketing Consultant and Data Scientist
Mandar is a Growth consultant for SMBs. He helps SMBs achieve their business goals using growth hacking, inbound strategy, and digital marketing best practices. He works closely with the marketing teams to develop strategies, initiatives, programs, and tools to drive brand awareness, business development, and revenue opportunities.

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