3 min reading
What if you launch a great marketing campaign, very well planned, upon several media, engaging resources in and outside the company, producing lots of contents, dealing with the brand image then it fails? Unusual? Less than you can expect.
Marketing became increasingly complex by dealing with rising unpredictability in markets. And if project management in unpredictable environments shifted to Agile, why then marketing shouldn’t benefit by Agile methodologies dealing with unpredictability?
Actually in marketing the Agile trend is already up and running, the Agile Marketing Manifesto has been written in 2012, since then many marketers have joined the movement. Many, but not too many, marketing industry remain cold against Agile culture. Well, you can argue that management is not in love yet with Agile either. Point taken.
Yes, Agile is great, but is not yet a mainstream out of IT driven businesses and some other big brands. There it still a lot to do for agilists all over the world to empower organisations effectiveness via modern methods of management that are collected under the Agile umbrella.
Agile is based on few, strong principles and values with the purpose to shift the culture in organisational behaviour. Marketers who serve clients within an Agile framework report better outcomes by an effective improvement of collaboration. Why that can happen?
Several techniques that are kernel in the Agile framework are designed to nurture an open collaboration, lower the blame upon failures, focus on learning by continuous improvement and value outcomes that include enhanced positions of teams and companies, rather than just expect outputs.
Some marketers report how an Agile framework requires a shift in clients qualification, companies have to learn how to overcome fear of an open collaboration, especially with suppliers. The need to remain safe into your own shell, avoiding responsibility for failures, leads people to stay away from accountability.
When an organisation has already embraced Agile, then become easier to lead marketing projects implementing Agile techniques like build teams of multiple functions or run test upon options instead using HyPPO decision making.
Benefit of just few techniques implemented are evident even if not immediate.
The risk most reported are related to abandonment of agile methods, that turns into rotate people into each team or give up to follow team activities and just wait for updating, or lack in sponsorship. Factors that most probably cause these problems are reported as time pressure, resource scarcity and resistance to change. The first two can be more perceived than real, but the last one is more unlikely to be acknowledged.
What makes working into an Agile framework really different, no matter if you are developing an airplane or a marketing campaign, is the acceptance of failures. It doesn’t mean that Boeing can be forgiven as much as Bloomingdale can be forgotten. None of them are. But whilst Boeing is used to Agile framework and many of their project went successful, we have no idea what leaded Bloomingdale in launching a marketing campaign offending men and horrifying women.
In both cases something didn’t work as expected. Those were both mistakes, failures. But please do not think that Agile approach forgive that kind of mistakes, it is exactly the opposite: Agile, when executed properly, puts in place an environment where experimentation, with small failures then reviews, support the learning process, ends protecting teams from big failures that can be fatal to organisation.
In marketing we probably have been used to experimentations by testing audiences and interviewing customer clusters in order to decide, much before Agile was born, but that doesn’t authorise marketer to look down to agilists. In marketing we often accepted to deal with unverified assumptions, lacking in challenging people upon ideas and opinions, and just accomplish what the payer wants.
Agile in marketing is not only a good match, but a continuity, a boost of a culture that already deals with unpredictability. We can learn a lot by Agile project management, no wonder why those marketers who are not afraid to change, engaged already with Agile.