What Is Agile Digital Marketing and Why Should I Invest?

Sarah Fruy , Director, WebOps Partner Marketing Reading estimate: 5 minutes

The phrase "agile digital marketing" can sound misleading. When you hear it, you might picture a copywriter scrambling to create a webpage at the speed of light. The definition, however, refers to a more effective, faster process for managing workflows and prioritizing tasks. For instance, McKinsey & Co. describes the approach as "using data and analytics to continuously source promising opportunities or solutions to problems in real time, deploying tests quickly, evaluating results, and rapidly iterating."

In other words, agile digital marketing is a focused method geared toward managing projects in which people fall into one of two buckets: sense and respond marketing or a scrum-like mentality. Today, this new marketing approach is vital because to stay on top of the competition, marketers must constantly and seamlessly adapt to an ever-changing digital landscape.

At Pantheon, we use agile digital marketing workflows to prioritize and manage projects and improve both interdepartmental and intradepartmental communication. Currently, we have outlined three strategic initiatives for our business to support in our regular sprints. Then, we hold 15-minute stand-up meetings in which our team members provide status updates and identify any problem areas in the project.

With the above process, agile digital marketing isn't so much about working faster on a variety of projects. Rather, it focuses on applying proven workflows to prioritize tasks and carry out your marketing team's goals more efficiently.

A Useful Tool

At previous organizations, I was frequently in the position where I was expected to say "yes" to practically every request that came across my desk. The requestor usually felt like his or her project should be the marketing team's highest priority, regardless of my team's current agenda. As a result, a series of seemingly small requests quickly piled up and created huge roadblocks for my team members, which led to missed deadlines and a constant struggle to prioritize work.

Now, by using an agile digital marketing approach, working with a scrum-like mentality, and implementing sprints, I can easily scope out the resources I need and schedule projects based on their business value and complexity. With solid initiatives, the rest of my team is committed to adhere to the planned timeline, and low-priority tasks can be shelved in favor of more valuable demands.

Think about all of the items you've pushed to the bottom of your to-do list. They'll probably be there forever, and refusing to admit this reality adds unnecessary stress to your job. In fact, according to B2B Content Strategy and Operations Benchmark, only 17 percent of marketers consider those bottom-shelf items a low priority. Sometimes it can feel impossible to prioritize even the most trivial assignments, but investing in an agile digital marketing approach can help alleviate this burden.

4 Agile Digital Marketing Benefits to Capitalize On

Strengthening your marketing team's agility is useful across all types of industries. After reviewing the following benefits, it might seem like a no-brainer to start implementing agile digital marketing into your efforts:

1. Better Collaboration

Perhaps the greatest advantage to Pantheon's various stand-up meetings is the ability to communicate status updates within our team. Regardless of everyone's progress on the current project, the fact that each team member is on the same page can mean the difference between a successful sprint and a colossal failure.

Our agile process, however, ensures that we don't have to keep everyone in the loop. We can flag topics during stand-up that should be discussed only by specific team members as an "after talk" item. This allows us to avoid wasting valuable time of team members who aren’t essential to reach a solution while also quickly addressing a collective issue among collaborators on a project.

2. Additional Transparency

At Pantheon, we use Asana to track our sprints and to flag outside team members for support. However, we then take it a step further by appointing a project owner as a gatekeeper who filters outside team requests. This way, other marketing team members are not bombarded with outside distractions. In doing so, the project owner decides whether a request will be added to the development backlog and then works with the team to prioritize the task. This high level of transparency between departments has been the key to Pantheon's innovation and success.

This model of designating a project owner has clear benefits for the various internal and external requests a marketing team might receive. However, other company teams, such as sales, management, and customer service, can thrive from this approach of protecting team members' workflows and getting a more detailed view of what other departments are spearheading.

3. A Collaborative Balance

It's worth noting that there's a downside to increased collaboration: the potential of extra work flooding into the workspace. Fortunately, agile digital marketing is an effective barrier to less important requests from other departments. In turn, this allows you to focus on what matters most.

As a result, adopting an agile approach strikes a balance between siloed teams with no interaction with the rest of the company and other teams that are too collaborative and can't get important work done because they are constantly sitting in meetings to discuss projects rather than doing the actual work.

4. Make Real-Time Adjustments

Agile digital marketing means more than just working smarter in a shorter time frame. It's an efficient way to adjust your workflow on the fly. After all, when you're in the thick of a two-week project window, chances are you're going to run into some issues. And that's OK.

In the traditional waterfall approach, you'd probably be waiting for a monthly or quarterly review to implement necessary changes. But at Pantheon, we have the agility and the tools needed to make real-time adjustments at a moment's notice. This strength helps ensure that we properly manage expectations and ideally meet our deadlines each sprint.

Bringing the Agile Approach to Your Team

Agile digital marketing isn't just a fad that will soon lose its steam. Although this marketing approach is a relatively new concept, a variety of professionals across industries are quickly implementing it into their workflows. The marketing industry is volatile enough as it is, and continuing on a traditional route will only slow you down. Of course, changing your marketing approach can be intimidating, but it might be the major switch you need to not only stand out from the crowd, but also become a leader in the marketing arena.

If you’re interested in learning how Pantheon can make your team more agile, please reach out! We are happy to help. 


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