Agile Marketing: the team with the results you’ve always dreamed of

Anyone who works directly with technology companies and has contact with development teams has heard, at least once, the term agile development (or Agile Development).

This term arose based on several methodologies and processes that help increase the efficiency of technology teams. Terms like Scrum and Kanban are becoming routine in this area, and now, finally, their concepts are expanding to other fields of business.

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The author of the best-selling SCRUM: The Art of Doing Double the Work in Half the Time, Jeff Sutherland, was already applying his ideas as a whole in companies, but still without giving such a clear structure to areas other than technology .

Agile Marketing: what is it?

The term Agile Marketing is, precisely, the Agile Development approach applied to the commercial process, mainly.

The same ideas can be applied to marketing and sales teams of Park view city .

Don’t confuse Agile Marketing concepts with Agile Selling. The second is based on Jill Konrath’s book. Want to know more about him?

Agile Marketing took shape through a manifesto created by several professionals in the area who sought to adapt the commercial team management model to the new scenario.

The values ​​defined by the Manifest are:

  1. Practice-validated learning about opinions and conventions
  2. Collaboration focused on delivering value to customers by creating silos and hierarchy
  3. Interactive, adaptive and non-stellar/complex campaigns
  4. Validation and direct contact with the consumer instead of predicting preferences and behaviors
  5. Flexible vs rigid planning
  6. Respond to changes when following a plan
  7. Several small experiments against few big bets

These are not complex concepts to understand, but adapting your culture and processes is what becomes a daily challenge. Mainly if we consider the general market scenario when it comes to Marketing and Advertising.

While Mad Men fans know what advertising was 40 years ago, marketing has been forced to evolve in an unnatural way over the years.

With the rise of the internet, a lot started to change, but the need to adapt increased at a frightening pace.

For this reason, it is still possible to see companies where marketers are much more concerned with public relations, basic social media outreach, and arts for paid media.

On the other hand, we have professionals who are references in Digital Marketing, such as Sean Ellis, the same who coined the term Growth Hacking, fiercely defending the application of Agile Marketing as a differential to achieve results in such a competitive market.

Looking at the 7 values ​​of Agile Marketing Manifesto, we can understand that the vast majority of them seek to adapt Marketing processes to the way of working of new generations and, mainly, new existing technologies.

It is not plausible to maintain a rigid, hierarchical management system based merely on creativity when you have more than a handful of more viable, measurable, and flexible options at your disposal.

It makes complete sense, then, to adapt to what the market asks for and change its culture and hierarchy to improve results, as startups began to do and, today, large companies seek to achieve it too.

What are the real benefits of Agile Marketing?

Scrum was developed thinking of the philosophy that was born in Toyotism, Kaizen. The root of the Japanese word means change for the better, improvement or optimization.

However, it is used to represent the concept or philosophy of continuous improvement that Agile Marketing seeks to generate for its team.

The first time I read/heard about the subject was through Sean Ellis, the same guy who coined the term Growth Hacking and took the first two companies where he was VP of Marketing to the IPO.

It’s worth hearing what he says, isn’t it?

And some of the results he mentioned and that I was able to see in the teams I worked on are:

  • Maximum performance of the team, by impact and not hours worked;
  • Constant improvements;
  • More assertive planning and dedication to new projects and ideas, which allow for leaps in results;
  • Autonomy for your team;
  • Processes and decisions are now guided by results;
  • Improved communication and internal satisfaction;
  • Decrease in delivery delays and improvement in quality.

It’s no small thing. The move to Agile Marketing is well worth the effort to make it happen.

But how to turn this vision into reality?

Making Agile Marketing Happen

First, there are some ground rules for getting Agile Marketing on your team.

For those who don’t know, I usually use Trello as a tool for managing this process. It helps me to better visualize the whole step by step and planning.

And it’s really easy, you can get started in 5 steps:

1. Create a new Board on your Trello

It’s quite simple. It will be on this board where all the magic will happen 😉

2. Create the necessary lists: To-do; Pendencies; Doing; Done + a list for each team member

It’s very simple, as the first 4 are for you to visualize the work throughout the week. The individual lists are used as a personal backlog, where each team member adds tasks and backlogs that they would like to solve in the next sprints.

It’s a great way to plan new actions, break big ideas into smaller pieces, ensure their delivery, and don’t forget about activities that come up over the course of a sprint.

3. Start your planning: everyone creates and prioritizes personal backlogs

Each team member fills in their own backlogs, creating new Cards. Each card represents a task, which can also be broken down into checklists. With the backlogs full, it is already possible to get an idea of ​​the planned workload that each person has.

4. Make your first Weekly Planning

Time to prioritize. Among all the tasks, which ones are urgent and aligned with the strategy of the entire team and the company?

The manager helps the team in this vision and the Planning occurs in a way to transfer the Cards from the priority tasks to the To-dos list.

5. Conduct Daily Meetings and Weekly Reviews + Planning at the end of the Sprint

Every day, right at the end of the journey, everyone gets up (stands up) and quickly answers the 3 questions:

  • What did I manage to deliver today?
  • What obstacles have emerged?
  • What is the best and worst case I can present? Briefly, it is worth sharing good practices and perceived errors, as this communication can generate insights and help other members.

At the beginning of the following week, when a new sprint starts, it’s time to start another Planning, but not before reviewing the previous week and understanding:

  • Was it possible to deliver everything that was planned?
  • What are the main obstacles for the team and what needs to be done to prevent them from happening again?
  • How fast is the team? Is it possible to better measure how much each one can deliver?

no silly mistakes

Finally, here are some tips for you not to make simple mistakes:

  1. Never add tasks that are not urgent in the middle of a sprint.
  2. Always prioritize your planning according to the impact of each delivery. Follow the Pareto Principle to make the best decisions.
  3. Everyone has autonomy over their own sprint, but the manager is primarily responsible for validating new ideas and tests to be carried out, even during the Weekly Planning. This is the only way to maintain the alignment between routine and the company’s macro planning.
  4. Conduct small tests and only invest a long time after validating your ideas. Understand the concept of MVP and apply it to your weekly schedule.
  5. Always try to set a pace for your entire week and, if you are falling behind, share with the team and try to find a solution to deliver what was planned before the Weekly Review. Preferably during the Daily Meetings.
  6. When a new idea comes up, immediately write it down in your Trello Backlog. Forgetting something important is always frustrating!
  7. Before the Daily Meeting, everyone should update their activities on Trello.
  8. If your team works remotely, it is possible to transfer the Daily via communication tools. My favorite is Slack, where we have an exclusive channel for that.