Agile principles have recently gained significant traction outside of its origins in software development and have woven its way into marketing. With this movement, “Agile” has become a bit of a buzzword. Agencies are more frequently hearing a desire from clients to partner with agencies who are “Agile.”
Admittedly, this bodes well for agencies as it has increasingly become a preferred methodology. Agile allows agencies to really flex their muscles and provide high-value work that reflects data and impacts the client’s bottom line. However, with the Agile marketing process in its infancy, there is a need for a better understanding of what it takes to be successful. To set clients up for a positive introduction to Agile marketing and collaboration with their key agency partner, we recommend the following:
- Trust your agency. In my experience, project/program team members are highly motivated by the Agile process as it allows them to provide high-value work with a focus on continued improvement on the end product. Therefore, the single best thing a client can do is trust its Agile agency partner to advise on priorities for the work based on the performance of existing initiatives and their marketing experience. Be sure to partner closely with them to communicate goals and objectives – so all work can always be aligned with achieving the best results possible.
- Invest in the process. While Agile is largely known for its flexible nature, often initial reactions to the process are concerns of rigidity. It is exceptionally important that these processes are not only well understood, but highly respected. Without them, all the benefits of flexibility are lost in chaos and confusion. Simply put, know your backlog. Spend time prioritizing it. Attend the meetings. Provide critical feedback when necessary. You’ll appreciate the outcome!
- Focus on change. A primary principle of Agile methodology is that of the “minimum viable product” or “MVP”. Essentially, this is the smallest product that will allow for sufficient feedback to make it better. Marketing has traditionally been plagued with robust annual strategies — so adjusting to this principle can be slightly uncomfortable. Just know it is this Agile component that is the foundation to your biggest ROI. In Agile, failures are identified quickly and therefore swapped for an improved product. Essentially, change should be the only constant you experience through the Agile process – embrace it.
According to a prediction by Jascha Kaykas-Wolff of Mozilla, “…ALL marketing will be agile before the year 2020. Agile practices will be so ubiquitous that agile marketing will just be called ‘marketing’ again; ‘agile’ will be obvious and redundant.”
It’s safe to say that this is more than a trend, as its application has given way to significant marketing results. Therefore, it would behoove us to strongly encourage our clients to explore this process for their marketing initiatives. Let us know when you’re ready to talk Agile!
Author: Jessica Fontana, Director of Project Management