Agile marketing has gone from being a buzzword to something that companies do almost as a matter of course.
Agile marketing teams are being created all over the place.
And this marketing approach has become almost a fad.
But do you know how to do agile marketing right?
You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t know you need to be agile. But I will bet you are still not sure how to make it happen.
Oh, and you also may not know the limitations of agile marketing. You can’t just do agile marketing, you need to integrate it into everything your company does.
Fortunately, there are plenty of agile marketing tools that you can use to learn this approach. You can develop a marketing plan which supports agility, flexibility, and the ability to respond to metrics in real-time.
You just need to know which ones are right for your company and your team. Read on to find out what these tools are and start working out which ones will improve teamwork and support your workflow.
Waterfall versus Agile Marketing
Before we get into the tools you can use to support your agile marketing campaign, it’s worth taking a look at the key differences between agile marketing and traditional marketing methods.
Envision a waterfall. It’s a linear and sequential process, the river flowing over rocks, then falling, then creating a pool. Set phases that don’t change even as the waterfall slowly migrates upstream.
Like so many other terms we use, the phrase “waterfall marketing” comes from software development, but it applies to marketing. You can’t redirect Niagara Falls easily; you need something more, well, customer-focused.
This level of inertia can be a problem when, inevitably, things change. (Imagine that you had a project focused entirely on attending a major trade show in April 2020…an extreme example. But it shows that the world can screw up your plans very easily).
Making the transition from traditional waterfall methodology to an agile approach can really help your company succeed and grow.
So, here are some of the tools you can use to support agile marketing.
Scrum is a key approach used by many agile marketers. You come up with everything that’s needed for your campaign, which is organized into a backlog. Then you take each task and set up a sprint. This is where your team works to get it done as quickly as possible.
Most people see Scrum as central to the agile methodology, but it’s really more heuristic and organic. It started in software development but works for many other things. Including your most complex marketing campaigns.
You put together small Scrum teams, each led by a Scrum Master. These teams work on sprint planning, which goes a bit past saying what the team will work on. Regular communication is vital.
Scrum works well if your team tends to become scattered and needs to be focused on a specific task for a specific period of time.
Kanban was invented by Toyota as a way to track parts inventory. It’s a slightly more complicated development of the “reorder now” tags you might see in a store.
Kanban uses a kanban board instead of a typical task board. This board shows each project and task and projects their move across the board as they go through various phases.
As with Scrum, the process starts with a project backlog. You might use phrases such as “content development” or “leadership sign-off.” Then you set up an iterative system.
It helps with time tracking. So you’ll know what parts of the process are taking the longest, and how many projects you tend to have in each stage. Now you know where to focus on when trying to make your team more efficient!
Supporting Kanban Boards
Welcome supports the use of kanban boards which provide a visual assessment of a project’s progress. It also involves WIP limits designed to ensure that bottlenecks do not develop and that the marketing team is working on the right projects.
Kanban is good for prioritizing projects and is a useful tool if you tend to start more things than you then finish. Kanban boards can be set up digitally or you can use a whiteboard in the office, or even a corkboard and sticky notes.
Digital kanban boards, however, tend to work better. They are also vital if you have team members who are remote. They can also show you key retrospectives of your past project development and processes.
Like Scrum, it is also sometimes used for agile software development. But applies particularly well to marketing. It is a good tool for rapid iterations and for ensuring that you prioritize campaigns and items properly.
For some teams, a physical kanban board can provide a central touchstone in the office. It encourages people to leave their desks and talk to each other. Obviously, this only works when everyone is entirely or mostly in the office.
Kanban boards can, of course, be combined with the Scrum concept of sprints into a system that works well for many teams.
Daily Standup Meetings
Daily standup meetings are an aspect of Scrum. The purpose is to ensure that each team member gives their current progress every day.
For some teams, these meetings work very well. For others, they may end up interfering in productivity. If you do use these meetings, keep them very strictly time-limited so that they do not spill over and watch how your team uses and does not use them. You need to know your team and understand whether daily (or less frequent) meetings are ideal. Again, these meetings should be short. No more than fifteen minutes and should be timed such that your team finds them easy to attend.
For example, it is a poor idea to schedule standup meetings first thing in the morning. This is because of the risk of a team member being unavoidably late. You might find right before lunch is a better time…and then team members can hang out together during lunch and become friends. Or at least not enemies.
Welcome allows you to schedule standup meetings and other brainstorming sessions easily. Making sure that everyone on the team knows what is going on.
Trello is a collaboration tool that creates a project management board that teams can then use to manage and organize the project.
It is somewhat similar to kanban boards in that it provides a visual reference that helps detect bottlenecks. However, it goes down a level deeper in that each “card” has checklists, due dates, conversations, etc. attached to it.
Trello is a useful tool. However, it does not provide the level of systemic integration Welcome does. But you can always steal the concepts.
The big-bang theory of content marketing is that if you do it right, one piece of content can be used in an explosion of different ways.
It’s clear that content can be repurposed, although not to infinity. However, agile marketing teams will set up a “galaxy” of content that will then give you a variety to pull from. With a proper digital asset management system, modules of content can be inserted into marketing emails, social media posts, etc.
As long as you don’t repurpose the same content too often, your customers will not notice what you are doing. You will find that you are efficiently using content and thus having to make less of it.
As content production (especially images and videos) can be expensive, this can save you a lot of money. It does, though, require the right tools to track all of that content.
Digital Asset Management
We already mentioned this in the context of big-bang campaigns. Digital asset management or marketing asset management involves having a database of already-created content that you can then use to build email blasts, social media posts, blog posts, etc.
Digital asset management is often most useful for images and videos. But it also allows content to be created well ahead of time when team members have downtime and then deployed when it is needed.
Your editorial calendar becomes much more flexible. And imagine you need to put together a press release tomorrow. Could you do it? With digital asset management, it’s much more likely!
Welcome includes a digital asset management system that will help you get started on this approach and learn how to use it properly.
One of the biggest reasons why agile marketing fails is that only marketing starts to use agile methods.
Agile methods work best when they are applied across the company as a whole. The best way to do this is to establish cross-functional teams that include various stakeholders.
These teams have members with very different skill sets. Thus, you might have somebody from sales, somebody from marketing, somebody from production, even somebody from human resources.
Cross-functional teams can be used for specific projects or for overall brainstorming. They also serve the vital purpose of ensuring that people in different departments that tend to form silos actually talk
to each other. This results in team collaboration that spreads out into the entire business.
So, which of these tools should you use? That depends on your team!
They’re all good. However, marketing departments are made out of people who work in different ways.
Welcome supports all of these tools. Whether you want to schedule daily standup meetings, set up a kanban board, or start your digital asset management database, we are here for you.
So, how about giving it a try? You can set up a free Welcome account today and find out exactly what we can do for you.