Is Agile for Marketing another bright, shiny object? Or is it the future of marketing operations?
Studies conducted by MIT suggest that agile firms grow revenue 37 percent faster and generate 30 percent higher profits than non-agile organizations.
The shift towards a more agile approach has emerged from the rapidly changing technology landscape. Thanks to the new channels, new MarTech and the increasing overload of information, customers have come to expect more customized and personalized brand experiences. These new client expectations have forced traditional marketing departments to adopt a nimbler and more iterative approach to their marketing operations in order to deliver continuous, customized, insight-driven interactions with customers on an individual level.
The reality is that nearly 70 percent of CMOs adopting an agile methodology confirmed that it increases profits and revenues and Korn Ferry, a leadership and talent consulting firm, reported that companies with highly agile executives have 25% higher profit margins compared with their peer companies.
An agile approach enables you to become more effective without working more. You may get more done – or you may not. The point is that you’re more likely to get the right things done.
— How to Stop Working So Hard: Agile Marketers Work Smarter
As stated by the Content Marketing Institute, the goal of the agile marketing isn’t to get more done but to get the right things done. In fact, a busy team isn’t necessarily a productive or efficient team. So, one of the first steps to introducing the agile approach to your marketing operations is to break down traditional departmental silos and get aligned internally. By having an aligned team and a more transparent structure, organizations can eliminate duplicate tasks and reinvest the time, money, and effort in activities that drive the most ROI.
In order to take full advantage of the benefits of the agile approach, it’s imperative to have a single customer view and shared data between all departments. Customer service should be able to access information such as transaction data, social media engagements, previous customer interactions, and purchase history. Shared data enables creative insights for a more personalized messaging and provides fantastic opportunities for brands to delight customers by delivering remarkable customer experiences. Moreover, a single customer view assists immensely in generating and proving better returns from your marketing efforts.
Choose a more sophisticated cross-channel measurement approach to ensure you are capturing the full value of your entire marketing funnel (offline, online, mobile, social, video, etc.) regardless of “clicks”. An ad can contribute to an outcome even if the consumer didn’t do anything in response to the ad.
— Matt Voda, Why Agile Marketing Should Be A Focus For CMOs
The exercise of identifying the right actions based on measurable goals that tie back to relevant business outcome trains your team to think from a results-oriented perspective. “How is this that I’m working on right now contributing to the bottom-line business growth?” A stark difference from an organization that stands out from the pack is the ability to prioritize activities based on relevant business goals.
Agile helps reinforce a culture of agility by providing structure that drives marketers to be iterative, flexible, customer-centered, and focused on priorities of high-value.
—Barre Hardy, Applying Agile Methodology to Marketing Can Pay Dividends
As your team understands and becomes regular practitioners of the agile methodology, each member will have a better grasp of how their specific activities contribute to marketing ROI and business growth. When employees learn to adapt to the rapidly changing conditions, your team is better prepared for new project requirements, budget alterations, and more flexible annual planning. Moreover, an unexpected benefit of marketing agility is a significant increase in employee satisfaction — 30 percent according to a Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report.
Strategy and tactics need to be able to change and marketers need to be more responsive than before. Part of this is due to a shift in consumer behavior, which no longer fits into a predetermined formula that enables you to plan 12 to 24 months in advance.
— Mark Verone, Agile Marketing: Moving At The Speed Of The Customer
As the technology landscape has expanded and marketing budgets have increased, CMOs are finding it more difficult than ever to measure the ROI generated from marketing efforts. Adopting an agile approach can help drive transformational change within your organization. Learn how your marketing challenges stack up to your competition and receive a free whitepaper with actionable advice on how to implement agile processes within your organization.
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Photo credit: Jeff Bullas