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How to Get Started with Agile Marketing and What to Expect

Mushegh GevorgyanCEO & Founder @
October 31, 2021

Agile marketing is a marketing approach that utilizes the principles of agile methodologies well known in software development.

What does this mean?

Well, mostly, it means building self-organized, cross-functional marketing teams that do the work in short iterations with ongoing feedback. In theory, this sounds light and easy to do. However, on the ground, it’s pretty hard to achieve. And a lot of marketing teams struggle to become agile. 

The good news is that once you establish the basis for becoming agile, work becomes easier to manage and more fun.

What is agile marketing and how to get started with it?

First, teams are distributed into different marketing disciplines. Based on the type of organization, there can be teams of designers, copywriters, ad managers, social media managers, content creators, product marketing folks, etc.

These people all work together on the same goal. And they meet every day to give each other status updates. Although all these people are doing different things and using different marketing channels, their efforts are directed towards answering a user story and solving a customer problem.

The user, aka the customer or the target audience, needs a tool to help them solve a problem. The marketers (each team respectively) are working towards helping the user solve the problem with the product they are marketing. 

To make this more digestible, let’s put it into a well-known formula of writing user stories used in software development.

“As [a certain type of customer], I want to [a statement about a problem that needs to be solved], in order to achieve [a certain type of goal].”

Each team then works toward accomplishing its unique goal of solving the customer’s pain points. And the daily short meetups, usually referred to as “daily standups,” help avoid working in silos and stay organized.

These types of projects usually last for 2 weeks and are called sprints. At the beginning of the sprint, the teams gather, estimate the scope and the timeline of the project to be done, the deliverables, team members responsible for each task group or task. Then they start the execution. At the end of the sprint, agile marketing teams carry out demo days and retrospective meetings in order to:

  • Showcase the work done
  • Throw a look back at what you could have done better

What to expect in the process of going agile in marketing?

Like I mentioned above, going agile won’t necessarily be easy at the beginning. However, if you have buy-in from all stakeholders, it will be easier to set up the right processes for agile marketing. Nevertheless, expect questions and be ready to answer them. Stakeholders often argue that marketing is a creative process and doesn’t need that “extra management pressure.” So, be ready to tackle those concerns too. 

Here are a few things you should expect before preaching agility.

Change management is tough

We all love our comfort zones, don’t we? It’s sometimes hard to persuade people to leave the comfort of everyday routine and start doing something new.

However, history has shown us that “comfortable” is not always the best. And things sometimes need a little twist to work better.

So, expect that some players in your team might not like the idea of that new game you call “agile marketing.” There can be resistance to change. So be ready to back your innovative sparkle with data and insights. Try to bring examples of agile marketing best practices that could be applied to your work too. 

Fear of failure can be a burden

Experimenting doesn’t always end up with groundbreaking success and applause. People make mistakes, teams fail, meticulously planned campaigns burn to the ground. This refers to new project management methodologies too.

While agile marketing is a known practice and has shown great results for numerous marketing teams, it can still cause fear of failure for your team.

Be ready to mitigate that fear and communicate the importance of flexibility and accountability to your team.

Ready to go agile?

Introducing agile marketing practices and pretty much anything new is tough work. However, hard work pays off (most of the time). You need to not only work hard but also smart. Do your research on agile marketing, prepare a good stack of agile marketing best practices before you go to all the stakeholders, and get their buy-in.

Also, check out my other article on Project Management Software to Use for a Marketing Department.

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