Why Marketing Should Become Agile
We are living in the era of technology. Everything new in marketing is created in a digital environment, whilst traditional marketing adds digital elements in order to become more efficient. In general, everything that is digital has a higher complexity level – just compare your messaging apps (e.g. WhatsApp, Viber) with traditional SMS. This universality of technology and its resulting complexity has permeated Marketing teams due to the array of digital tools for monitoring and optimizing both online and offline initiatives: Asana, Photoshop, AdWords, FB Editor, Social Media, Trello, e-mail and the list can continue forever. Ok, there are campaigns that can be implemented with 3 clicks (check universal app installs in AdWords) but a good campaign, for example, requires concept definition, efficient budget allocation, regular monitoring, testing variations & optimization process which make it quite complex task. Without proper planning, complex projects won’t be completed on time with sufficient quality.
Besides complexity, nowadays marketing industry can be described as a field full of uncertainty. Channels that work yesterday won’t work tomorrow while ad fatigue & wide AdBlock adoption levels make the marketing success equation difficult to be solved. New trends & channels are emerging (from IoT to VR and chatbots) and -due to affordable digital channels pricing (compared to offline & TV)- competition is fierce in many business sectors. Companies that want to stay ahead of curve need to do innovative & bold projects -with the minimum fail percentage- avoiding big launches which may lead to big failures. The ability of a marketing team to make quick re-iterations and setup A/B tests on the fly will define its success in this unstable environment.
Last but not least, the continuously changing marketing landscape lead marketing teams to face a difficult dilemma: Stay on edge, or stay safe. As Seth Godin insists, “Safe is Risky” so our only option is to stay on edge, but this requires a speedy pace, a testing mentality and a team full of “go-getters” and “doers”. The bigger the company, the more processes it has. Most of them are approval & alignment processes which help us stay safe but don’t move fast enough. In reverse, smaller companies don’t have structured work processes -due to limited resources- which leads to heavy multitasking and no time for project planning & prioritization.
That’s why Marketing should become Agile. Agile methodology was created years ago in order to help IT to handle complex problems and deliver epic projects on time because IT teams increased their complexity levels many years before marketing did. One of my favorite quotes as marketer is that we do not need to re-invent the wheel to be successful- so it would be better to adopt an existing methodology (that has great legacy and multiple optimization iterations along those years). Agile is excellent for handling complex and fast-changing work environments and allows Marketing to be effective without having to create something new from scratch, having neither the domain knowledge nor the time to do that. There are a lot of interesting Agile frameworks (such as Scrum) that can help you plan your projects better, streamline your workflow & achieve stellar performance.