What do marketers have to learn from software developers? A lot, actually. Agile Marketing is a methodology that has roots in Agile software development, a process used to break up large technical projects into smaller, more manageable chunks. This process can be modified and applied to marketing projects in order to deliver more with less.
The decision to go Agile isn’t an easy one for most marketing teams. It will require completely changing everything about the way work gets done. It’s a systemic change that has ripple effects and touches everyone. It’s also a process that visibly holds each team member accountable to specific deliverables. This level of transparency could create bureaucratic tidal waves. Yet, marketing teams are stepping up to the plate and making the switch because it allows them to balance their workloads, enjoy life and deliver more all at the same time. Here’s why marketing leaders are making the decision to go Agile.
Work Is Getting Lost in the Process
Deadlines are slipping, quality is declining, and things are getting lost. These are all signs that a team needs better orchestration and communication. The Agile Marketing method provides a framework for tracking work through the entire team that is transparent to all stakeholders. This transparency will highlight everything that’s broken. Your approval processes. Your communication processes. Your delivery processes. Everything will be visible, and when things get stuck, you’ll see it clearly. That’s the upside and the downside. But the truth is, you can’t fix what you can’t see. These things have always been broken. Now, you have enough information and data to know how to fix them. If it feels like there’s a black hole in your marketing department, you should consider Agile Marketing.
We Need to Get More Done With Less
Whether you’re feeling the crunch from the talent gap or you simply aren’t getting enough done, Agile Marketing can help. Productivity comes down to the productivity level of each team member. If anyone is out of sync it can cause the entire team to get out of whack. One of the key benefits of Agile Marketing is that it helps people get more done in less time. First, they start every other Monday with a pre-defined list of tasks that they have two weeks to complete. This structure alone helps people prioritize all the competing tasks in their heads. Instead of everything they have to do. They only need to focus on what they need to do for the next two weeks. And it’s a defined list of tasks that can all be checked off within those two weeks. This balances people’s workload into something that is not only manageable but is also helpful for mental health. The days of carrying a to-do list a mile long are over. The sense of accomplishment that is felt when tasks are completed at the end of the two weeks is a profound motivator. When we went Agile it wasn’t long before people were checking off all their tasks and asking for more work.
We Want to Stop Firefighting
When you want to be a high-performance marketing team you have to stop the firefight. Constantly being in a reactionary state is a productivity killer. Instead, Agile Marketing shifts the script and allows marketers to be proactive. Tasks are all pre-planned and nothing is added unless it’s a true emergency. True being the operative word. The constant firefight is a drain on our nervous system and leads to lower productivity and less focus. This is a recipe for work stress. For teams that want to get out of the firefight, Agile Marketing provides the framework.
There is a transition period worth noting. To go Agile you’ll have to learn how to say no to people who request things in the middle of a sprint, a predefined work period for tasks to be completed. This will take confidence on your part and training on their part. If people are used to you always saying yes, right now they’ll have to get used to you saying, yes in two weeks or in four weeks, rather than tomorrow. But in the end, I find that the juice is worth the squeeze, and ultimately, even those who struggle during the transition are thankful in the end. Agile allows you to communicate clear start dates and deliverable dates and actually deliver on them. If we can deliver when we say we will, most questions go away.
Agile Marketing provides a solution to all of these problems. You can finally end the madness and uncover the black hole that has been sucking away your team’s productivity. You’ll have a proven framework for getting work done that is used by the largest organizations in the world. And you’ll have transparency so you can find what’s broken. This system of getting work done helps marketers thrive and results soar. And more importantly, they can have more fun while they do it. One of the best parts of the Agile Marketing method is the sense of accomplishment everyone on the team feels. Every two weeks they get the opportunity to show off their work to all the stakeholders and celebrate their successes and learn from their failures. That’s a win-win.