Since 2012, agile marketing has been transforming the way marketing teams manage projects. The approach originated in software development in the 1990’s and completely revolutionized the way developers -well- developed their work. A 1995 report found that only 16.2% of software projects were being completed on time and on budget. So in 2012, a group of marketers decided to come up with a marketing version of this approach. They called it the Agile Manifesto to establish a set of values and principles to serve as a guide to marketers to adopt a more Agile way of working.
According to the manifesto, Agile marketers value:
- Validated learning over opinions and conventions.
- Customer-focused collaboration over silos and hierarchy.
- Adaptive and iterative campaigns over Big Bang campaigns.
- The process of customer discovery over static prediction.
- Flexible vs. Rigid planning.
- Responding to change over following a plan.
- Many small experiments over a few large bets.
According to Insider Marketing Group, If you’re missing one or more of these, you may need to take a good hard look at your team and see if you’re truly “Agile” or just giving your busyness a different name.
- Mindset shift: Marketers on an agile team think about their work differently. They exhibit “respect, collaboration, improvement and learning cycles, pride in ownership, focus on delivering value, and the ability to adapt to change. This mindset is necessary to cultivate high-performing teams, who in turn deliver amazing value for their customers.”
- Experimentation, iteration, and small releases: Rigid, long-term plans don’t fit with an Agile environment. Instead you should see lots of small experiments being released frequently. Then the team applies the results of those experiments to their next round of work.
- Adherence to the Agile manifesto: At the end of the day, the values and principles of the Agile manifesto should be the final arbiter for most decisions on an Agile marketing team. (We’ll go into the manifesto in more detail later in this guide.)
- Servant leadership: Managers, directors, and other people in leadership roles act differently in an Agile marketing department. They’re focused on helping the team succeed, not on hitting numbers at any cost.
- Teamwork and collaboration: Individuals on an Agile team also behave in distinct ways, always looking for ways to join forces to do better work in a more efficient way. There should be an obvious lack of in-fighting, jealousy, and backstabbing on an Agile marketing team.
- Data-driven marketing: All modern marketing teams need data to guide their efforts, but Agile teams are really and truly driven by their data — otherwise how would they know if their experiments were successful? They make sure all of their work can be measured, and they rely on empirical evidence to make decisions.