Buy-in for Agile Marketing

Agile marketing is having a moment. According to a recent AgileSherpas survey, more than half of all marketers report that they use at least some agile methodologies, with more than a third reporting that the pandemic accelerated their move to agile marketing. There are a lot of advantages to using an agile approach, including the ability to:

  • Respond quickly to changing priorities
  • Continuously increase productivity
  • Improve campaign quality on the fly
  • Align more closely with colleagues in other departments, particularly sales

Maybe you’re sold on agile marketing for all those reasons and more, but the question now might be how to build support in your organization to switch from traditional to agile marketing methods. Getting buy-in for agile marketing is part persuasion, part demonstration. But before you try to convince senior leaders to hop on the agile bandwagon, it’s a good idea to make sure your team is on board first.

One way to do that is to experiment with agile methods on a small scale. Agile marketing is built around low cost, low risk campaigns making this an ideal methodology to test within any organization – large or small.  Organize a marketing campaign around a sprint so you can demonstrate how the approach enables adjustments on the fly. Apply lessons learned in a second sprint to show your team (and other people who would be affected by a new marketing approach, such as demand gen) how agile methods drive continuous improvements. If you gain buy-in, then you’re ready to make a pitch to the CFO, CEO and CRO.

If you’re using Full Circle Insights funnel metrics and campaign attribution solutions, you already have the measurement tools in place to successfully deploy an agile strategy. Here are three ways to make the business case to the C-suite:

  1. Sell the efficiency and flexibility angles: Explain that agile marketing features short-term campaigns executed by small groups, which means agile projects typically do not require a large upfront investment of time or money. Mention the flexibility that is built into campaigns and that the teams involved have short, frequent meetings where they look for opportunities to improve performance while campaigns are ongoing. Emphasize that these qualities make the agile approach ideal when business conditions shift and budgets are tight.
  2. Describe in detail how agile marketing works: Drill down into the details of what agile marketing is, explaining the “sprint” concept in terms of focused campaign projects, reviewing the “scrum master” concept and describing the cross-functional nature of periodic scrum meetings as a tool to align participants around defined business objectives. Don’t forget to cover the “measurement sprint” concept and explain how that can help make marketing more productive while fostering collaboration.
  3. Provide a plan for how you’d roll out an agile strategy: One tactic for winning approval for an agile marketing test drive is to rank campaigns in terms of performance and target those with the lowest ROI for replacement with an agile campaign. Mention that with agile, failure IS an option — as long as you learn from the experience and apply those lessons to future iterations, so it lends itself to experimentation. But the risk it low since the campaigns were low performers anyway. Since agile methodologies enable rapid course corrections when performance lags behind expectations, you’ll have an opportunity to demonstrate how changing campaigns on the fly in an agile context can drive better results.

Even before the pandemic, there was a lot of talk in the corporate world about the importance of staying nimble (another word for “agile”) to ensure companies can react quickly to new challenges and marketplace disruptions. That’s even more true today, now that we’ve seen how a black swan event can materialize practically overnight and change everything.

In that sense, agile marketing methodologies, which are specific, align with a broader agility framework for the business as a whole. So this a great time to make a pitch for adopting an agile marketing strategy. And if you’re using martech like Full Circle funnel metrics and campaign attribution solutions, you’ll be perfectly positioned to demonstrate the success of your agile marketing campaigns.

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