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What is marketing agility

In today's rapidly evolving marketing landscape, traditional, long-term marketing plans often struggle to keep pace. Customers' needs and preferences shift quickly, requiring a marketing approach built for flexibility and responsiveness. 

Enter marketing agility: a way of working that empowers your team to focus on the customer's emerging needs and improve how they plan and prioritise work to achieve sustained success.

What is marketing agility?

Inspired by agile software development methodologies, a set of core principles designed to keep your marketing nimble and responsive:

Plan and respond regularly: Marketing agility helps teams break long-term strategic plans into prioritised smaller pieces called "sprints" (usually 1-4 weeks). Breaking down marketing initiatives into short, manageable sprints allows for frequent adjustments and course corrections as needed.

Work together: Silos are dismantled and teams work as a cohesive unit sparking a collaboration culture between all marketing capabilities, sales, and other departments to ensure everyone is aligned on a unified customer experience and people are working towards the same goals.

Learn through experiments: Fear of failure is the thief of innovation and improvement. Agile teams run small experiments, regularly reflecting on and analysing results to continuously iterate and improve performance. This regular reflection may focus on campaign performance or how the team works together. This test-and-learn culture encourages creativity, helps you discover hidden opportunities, and fuels continuous improvement.

Focus on outcomes: Marketers prioritise delivering value to customers and achieving business outcomes, rather than just focusing on the number of marketing activities completed. This approach ensures that marketing efforts are targeted, relevant, and impactful for both the customer and the business.

Deliver value quickly: Embrace delivering value to customers early and often, instead of waiting until the campaign is "perfect". This iterative approach allows teams to quickly gather customer feedback, increasing learning and improvement and ultimately leading to more valuable marketing outcomes.

You might read these five examples and think, ‘So what?’ We already do some of this. In our experience, Marketing professionals are naturally agile in their thinking about delivering campaigns. Sometimes, a couple of team members already use one or two of these in their work. We find teams develop an innovative and competitive edge when all five are in play and the whole team is on board. 

The agility advantage for marketing teams

By adopting agile principles, your marketing team can unlock a multitude of benefits that translate into real world wins:

Adapt to change with ease

Respond swiftly to market shifts and unexpected opportunities. No more being caught off guard by competitor actions or unforeseen trends. Instead of being locked into a plan that may be obsolete before it even launches, agile marketers can adjust course mid-campaign, ensuring they are always on the right track.

Speed to market

Get campaigns and initiatives out the door more efficiently. The agile approach prioritises minimum viable products (MVPs), allowing for rapid launches and subsequent refinements based on real-world data. By working in short cycles and emphasising speed, agile marketing teams deliver campaigns and initiatives faster.

Improved collaboration

Agile teams value a sense of shared ownership. It breaks down traditional departmental or skill silos by encouraging cross-functional teams working together towards common goals. This integrated approach leads to better communication, reduces bottlenecks, and aligns everyone to streamline campaign execution.

Improved prioritisation and efficiency

Agile teams focus on the most impactful activities. By regularly reassessing priorities and focusing on delivering value incrementally, teams avoid wasting time on projects that might be irrelevant by the time they launch. This continuous reprioritisation ensures that only the highest-impact initiatives move forward, maximising efficiency and effectiveness.

Continuous learning and improvement

Marketing agility is about constant learning and evolution. Teams experiment, track results meticulously, embrace a test-and-learn culture, and use insights to drive continuous improvement. This ensures that marketing efforts constantly improve, delivering more value to both the business and customers.

The business case for Marketing agility

Increasing marketing agility unlocks significant benefits for businesses:

Increased ROI

By focusing on value creation, marketing teams are typically better at maximising returns on marketing investments.

Greater customer satisfaction

The emphasis on responding to customer feedback drives customer-centric strategies, leading to enhanced satisfaction.

Improved team morale

Agile teams are often more empowered and self-directed, boosting individual morale and cultivating a happier work environment.

Competitive advantage

Agility enables quicker reactions to market shifts and opportunities, putting you ahead of slower competitors.

Getting started

From our experience working with marketing teams to introduce new ways of working here are our top 5 steps to get started.:

1. Start small

Don't feel the need to transform your entire marketing team overnight. We find that piloting this approach with a single project or one team makes the change more achievable and less overwhelming.

2. Learn the basics

Equip your team with just enough knowledge and tools to get started. Some getting started training on agile concepts and practices creates confidence, calms people’s concern for what’s expected of them and creates a sound foundation.

4. See all the work

Project management and collaboration tools like Slack and Monday are designed for faster and iterative work. They help streamline processes, create transparency, increase effective team communication, and support the teams' new ways of working. Make a clear decision on which tools are good enough to start with and help people understand how to use these tools in order to reduce friction.

4. Clarify roles

Be clear on who has the authority to make prioritisation decisions. Be clear on who will ensure the team follows through on their actions, this is often someone other than the decision maker. Be sure all team members understand how their capabilities contribute to creating customer value and business outcomes desired.

5. Embrace the mindset

Agile is as much about culture and mindset towards work as it is about the process. Encourage experimentation, radical transparency, and a constant focus on delivering value to the customer is how you’ll get there. 

Thank you for all your support and guidance throughout our Sprint journey. We have learned so much from you, especially how to be a more efficient and effective team. Thank you from the Marketing team at Maurice Blackburn.

By embracing agile principles, you empower your marketing team to thrive in today's dynamic marketing landscape. With increased agility, adaptability, and a data-driven approach, your team can consistently deliver high-impact marketing initiatives, driving growth and achieving business goals. Let's modernise your marketing team to take on any marketing challenge that comes your way.

If your team would like some support to get started with agile ways of working, contact for an obligation-free 30min chat to discuss how increased agility could benefit your team.

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