Agile approaches value individuals and interactions over processes and tools, greater customer collaboration, and responding to change over following a plan.
First intended for software development, these values may be applied to other business fields. In many ways, the new business realities are in line with these principles that promote initiative, self-organization, and reactivity.
In fact, changes in consumer behaviour and the proliferation of information channels make some traditional marketing approaches obsolete.
Thus, it is beneficial to promote campaigns of a smaller scale, which are easier to adapt to the targeted market throughout frequent inspections and feedback.
In order to be well-equipped to orient decision-making, it is important to target relevant data enabling to properly assess the true impact of marketing initiatives. Fortunately, modern communication media allow the collection of much more information than the old distribution channels.
It is now possible to know more about the targeted clients’ consumption habits and to adapt the message much more accurately. Thus, multiple devices and media types allow us to have a more accurate picture thanks to reactive platforms that assess the behaviours of application users, social media users, etc.
The digital age also allows us to directly interact with our audience and to get feedback much faster. In addition, our ability to adjust our content based on the information obtained from the public is greatly increased by the fluidity of modern platforms. Many processes can even be automated. For example, in the case of email marketing, segments can be created to send content that is specifically targeting groups with a particular behaviour. This is also the case of web ads that are pushed based on the users’ recent searches.
While old-fashioned campaigns, often planned months in advance, are still part of the landscape for many types of media because of constraints and key imperatives that cannot be ignored (e.g., budget or launching issues), the new distribution channels, such as social media, newsletters, and webinars, allow for a much greater responsiveness at a lower cost.
Now, let’s talk about collaboration and autonomy. The operations that were put forward in the past, such as working in isolation and respecting strictly established communication plans, are no longer suitable. Plus, it is necessary to allow for greater mobility of individuals regarding their roles and responsibilities.
By helping teams become accountable and self-sufficient entities, their interactions allow for more initiatives and creativity. The requirements imposed by silo management are often problematic in terms of innovation and originality. The various contributors tend to lack involvement and to limit their actions to their field of expertise without seeking to push their limits. In the context of a marketing agency, for instance, an editor, an art director, and a media planner can learn to work more collaboratively and to develop better adapted strategies and campaigns that take into account their different realities, enabling them to even go beyond their usual playground.
Exploring areas of discomfort and confronting ideas with those of others are generally more fruitful than compliance to habits. Besides, brainstorming is already one of the ceremonies familiar to marketing agency staff. Therefore, you just need to implement a framework within which contributors can unleash their spontaneity and stop fearing to step on somebody else’s toes.
In a similar vein, greater collaboration with clients can obviously help to better meet their needs. Moreover, they must be aware that this new relationship requires them to modify their behaviour. They must accept that their requirements and expectations can no longer be established based on the same criteria. Likewise, they must be willing to be actively involved in the creative process.
One of the major strengths of Agile approaches is to focus on processes that allow to establish tasks, actions, or specifications that generate the most value at the lowest cost.
In a world where budgets are increasingly tight, but expectations always increasing, the ROI sought is particularly demanding and critical for marketing teams. The ability to use resources effectively through maximized information acquisition and responsiveness is paramount.
Managing complexity necessarily means a large dose of uncertainty. We must learn to accept it, especially since the results should reach the heights of our ability to let go. Getting to know your audience is a legitimate process that should be done with transparency.
Regarding a segment of the population that we wish to target, but for which we ignore the intrinsic specifications, assuming our mistakes and correcting them if any is not necessarily a problem per se. We just need to do it honestly without hiding behind excuses.
Many other considerations can be addressed, such as those relating to the welfare of people who work on these campaigns. Agile approaches allow multidisciplinary teams to unleash their full potential and accept accountability while giving free rein to their creativity. Thus, Agility contributes to the creation of work environments that enable workers to thrive and to give their best.
As indicated at the beginning of this post, the strengths of Agility in the IT world are essentially equally beneficial to the world of marketing. The precise conditions and concrete applications of Agile principles in the marketing sphere are worth exploring thoroughly. We will have the opportunity to explore these questions further in future posts…