How to get started with agile marketingFeatured

Agile originally came from the Agile Manifesto, created about 18 years ago and primarily focused on software development. It’s based on four values: · Individuals and interactions over processes and tools· Working software over comprehensive documentation· Customer collaboration over contract negotiation· Responding to change over following a plan Outside the software industry, from my experience, Agile embodies a mindset with three main areas of focus: The Customer—an obsession with delivering value to customers Small Teams— small self-organizing teams working in short cycles and focusing on delivering value to customers Network—an interacting network of teams, reducing bureaucracy and top-down hierarchyThe key is to keep team members all focused on working together to, again, deliver value to customers. How it fits into marketingI often see marketing leaders overwhelmed by the immense complexity and fast pace of change. As we know, industries are blending. We have to make decisions quicker than ever, and customers’ tolerance for the same old things homogeneity is shrinking. Customers are evolving faster than we are, and Agile allows for constant experimentation and customer insights, resulting in faster cycles of innovation. Overall, Agile frameworks like Scrum, Kanban, and hybrid models like Scrumban work really well for marketing teams. They allow team members to feel empowered to bring their perspective and contributions, creating a higher level of both customer and employee engagement. How it worksI have to say that it is not an easy process going from traditional Waterfall (or command in control) to a more team-based structure.There are brilliant marketers out there that are used to execute on what they are being told.In a scrum framework, team members go from being told what to do to being expected to contribute to team discussion. The role of the leader is to bring every team member up to speed on strategy and portfolio level direction. Team members then self-organize and contribute as experts on their skill set. They are not told what to do. Instead, they are expected to contribute to solutions. It definitely requires a change in culture and training so people can feel comfortable having a voice and accepting feedback and insights from other team mates. Many marketing organizations start with a Kanban board, focusing on making the work very visible and limiting the work in progress. It’s a great way to start.The key is to tailor the framework to your organization’s lifecycle and culture How to startBefore expecting people to self-organize, they need to be trained and understand its value. Once they get it, and team members get used to each other, then they become very engaged, they feel that they belong. The sense of ownership comes up very strongly because their voices are a big piece of the end result. However, people have different personalities and adapt to changes at different paces. Finding the balance is hard.· Don’t be rigid/black& white on adopting any one framework. Start with a small team, test it, engage them, iterate, before deploying to more teams. Adopting agile in incremental ways can be very effective and exciting. · Make sure that the marketing team is fully abreast of the strategic goals. That’s how they can engage, become creative and innovative.· Make projects, tasks and priorities very visible to everyone· Insist on limiting the Work-In-Progress. The role of the leaderYour role as a leader is to develop strategic vision and bring the best of team members. Focus on education, strategic direction, and removing impediments. Make it a collaborative, safe place to experiment, make mistakes and learn. However, make sure that collaboration is counterbalanced with individual accountability, otherwise, the agile marketing team will struggle. Make it culturally non-hierarchical. Ultimately, you want to get to a stage where agile is scaled across the organization. That makes a big difference for the marketing team’s effectiveness and happiness overall. Running cross-functional teams based on customer journey rather than product line is a great structure because generally it focuses on seamless customer experience through the entire journey. In that case, Teams become inclusive of marketing, IT, product development, customer service, (and even customers) as members. Overall it is a constant work in progress. I had a coach in the beginning of my agile journey who used to say that getting to a stage of organized chaos is a great achievement. Renata is a hands-on leader with international experience in Fortune 500, not-for-profit associations and start-ups. She has managed global marketing and market development teams for over 20 years, delivering successful programs in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. She has created transformational customer and member engagement initiatives using methodologies such as Agile and Design Thinking. Renata is a published author and speaker, specialized in global market development and Agile marketing. Renata is the founder of Integrated Niche, a global Agile Marketing think tank., Email: [email protected] linkedin:
insilicobiology's profile thumbnail
which parts of marketing and the agile mindset would the scientific community benefit more regarding doing proper and effective science communication ?(with all the problems during such a weird year, i am curious to know the perspective from the side that is specialized in communicating things to the public 😅)
TriciaK's profile thumbnail
If I may ... practice, practice, practice (or a safe place to experiment and fail) is critical, too ... training alone does not change behavior 😀
lsheehy's profile thumbnail
I'm such a huge fan of agile marketing - it's definitely the future. AND it's been super relevant during a time with protests, huge shifts in consumer behavior and full industries yielding to a halt, internationally.