A few months ago our agency started to undergo a transformation in our client delivery approach. We decided to implement agile marketing for our client work. And, frankly, the majestic halls of Equinet Towers have been crackling with energy ever since.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the concept of agile, the Venture Beat post quoted below summarises it admirably.
Agile principles were developed by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber as a faster, more effective way to create software than the traditional "waterfall" approach. Those principles involved shorter, focused bursts of activity with more frequent "deliverables" and constant feedback from analytics and end users.
Combine all that with a team structure that emphasises collaboration and shared attention on outcomes rather than simply getting tasks done and the end result is more efficiency and better results for customers.
The Agile Marketing Manifesto sums up how the agile principles apply specifically to marketing:
- Responding to change over following a plan
- Rapid iterations over Big-Bang campaigns
- Testing and data over opinions and conventions
- Numerous small experiments over a few large bets
- Individuals and interactions over target markets
- Collaboration over silos and hierarchy
If you are interesting in understanding more than my simplified explanation, I can heartily recommend Jim Ewel's excellent website, Agile Marketing and the Marketing Agility podcast by Rowland Smart and Frank Days.
It's early days for us at Equinet but we are already benefitting from a higher level of transparency across projects and team functions.
...one of the key concepts of agile is the idea of short cycles of concentrated development efforts called sprints. By restricting development to brief stints, practitioners are forced to create focused projects. Sprints work similarly in agile marketing, whereby a small team sets out to meet a tightly defined goal — and then, at the end of the sprint, they set out the goal for the next sprint. ... Finally, in what almost seems like a borrowing from marketing, agile software development involves the creation of user stories to both focus development and measure success. In software development, these take the form of “As a [role], I want to [task], so that I can [goal or benefit],” with acceptance criteria for the user listed out.