The main principle behind agile marketing is nothing new. It all comes down to focusing your team’s collective efforts on a given project, measuring its impact, and continuously improving it over time. You work toward creating a process that allows you to rapidly test, iterate, and learn from data in order to remove any questions about a campaign’s direction.
From an organizational perspective, being agile allows you to clearly define priorities. It also encourages greater collaboration among team members and ensures all players are on the same page — or, in other words, it increases transparency.
When it comes to a marketing campaign, you can increase productivity, go to market faster, and run more iterative experiments to improve performance. In fact, 27 percent of marketing leaders report that campaigns hit the market faster when managed under an agile process, according to a Forbes Insights research report on the future of marketing.
Indications of Success
As with any new initiative, it’s critical to measure the impact that shifting to an agile approach is having on marketing. It allows you to fine-tune your strategies, and though there are plenty of KPIs and metrics to monitor, the following are often good places to start.
1. Production calendars
It can take months to get a good idea off the ground. But with agile marketing practices, campaigns often launch at a much higher rate — one- to two-week cycles, to be exact. Before adopting agile practices, the growth platform company AdRoll couldn’t just build a new campaign page for clients. The process had to start with engineering, slowing the turnaround time for its marketing team. After the migration, less time is now spent on execution. The company can change content quickly, allowing staff to spend more time executing marketing strategies and developing great features for its customer base.
2. Job satisfaction scores
According to a Wrike survey, 14 percent of marketers say both teamwork and morale have improved under the agile approach. The reason is at least partly due to efficiency. For example, once the news site, Patch, moved to agile practices, its team could focus on building great technology without worrying about infrastructure or downtime. Its site runs with 8,000 pageviews at any given moment and doesn’t break a sweat when spikes reach 3 million views per day. No downtime means the team doesn't have to worry about losing readership or advertising revenue, and utilizing Varnish for page caching allows the team to efficiently innovate and test.
3. Experimentation velocity
With an agile approach, teams are constantly testing new ideas, which inevitably increases the volume and impact of testing. Tableau knew its marketing team needed more control over the company website. Moving the site to Pantheon provided this, cutting the time it took to integrate new tools or change content. By increasing the time of delivery, however, the company experienced another benefit: more time for experimentation. Its marketing team can continually test new content, lowering the risk of new deployments hurting marketing efforts.
4. Reduction of roadblocks
Agile marketing strategies have a way of streamlining communication and helping teams set clearer priorities. As such, this can remove or reduce the impact of roadblocks on projects. SPS Commerce came to Pantheon needing help to improve workflow on WordPress. The marketing team needed to be able to smoothly manage, update, and change its site, which contained more than 1,600 pages of content. When the team needed to make a change, you can imagine how long and arduous it was to update all of the necessary pages. With a streamlined system that focuses on agility, the SPS team could make nimble, synced changes. Plus, with the integrated testing environments, SPS streamlined the updating process to eliminate hold-ups.
5. Campaign performance
An agile approach allows for greater optimization of a campaign, impacting its performance in regard to conversion rates. Over the past five years, the ACLU has experienced unprecedented growth, largely due to the current political climate in the U.S. In fact, the nonprofit organization saw record-breaking donations as the 2016 inauguration drew near. They relied on Pantheon’s hosting infrastructure and development tools to keep the site running smoothly, and coupled it with an agile marketing approach to create and launch timely campaigns, which is really why the ACLU saw the uptick.
Gone are the days of waiting in a development backlog. Marketers have the power to produce content faster by employing an agile approach to their online marketing. Remember to pay close attention to these KPIs to ensure that strategies are working for the good of your company. Otherwise, you might as well just stick with the waterfall approach and get used to roadblocks. Pantheon's Website Operations Platform makes marketing teams more agile by enabling them to design, launch, and optimize campaigns that boost performance and accelerate growth.
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