The revolutionary impact of Agile is now spreading out from the IT department and is transforming the way entire organisations operate. Marketing teams have a huge opportunity to embrace this change and deliver better outcomes and increased value to their customers.
Prior to launching Entropy Alex led the UK & Ireland Media & Marketing Services team at Unilever where he managed the Marketing Services team and was responsible for communications planning across their portfolio. Our team of specialists have diverse and market leading experience across sectors and markets.
The Manifesto for Agile Software Development was created in 2001 by a group of visionary software developers who believed that “uncovering better ways of developing software” would require a replacement of some fundamental principles of 20th-century management.
The Agile movement they sparked values people, customers, collaboration and measurable results. It accepts the inevitability of rapid change in the modern world and provides a proven approach to deal with it.
Agile practices enable software development teams to achieve both disciplined execution and continuous innovation. Agile approaches have since been field-tested and proven in tens of thousands of organisations around the world. They are now used by industry leaders including Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. It is now the default approach for developing software.
The revolutionary impact of Agile has spread out from its origins in the IT department and is transforming the way entire organisations operate. Progressive brands have been adopting similar principles over the last few years and baking in agility to their approach to communications and media planning.
Why Be Agile?
“The best-kept secret in business today: Agile.”
Whilst building software, it is commonplace to deal with complex problems and constant change. This is now increasingly true for many parts of modern organisations. Customer demands and real time media are hard to predict and subject to constant change.
Agile enables organisations to master this continuous change. It enables people to flourish in a world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.
“The [marketing] industry has, unfortunately, been constructed around things like long booking deadlines or production cycles and that is what we want to change. It has to change because that is not the way the world works.”
Keith Moor, CMO, Santander
Agile, in a marketing context, means using data to source promising opportunities continuously, create solutions to customer problems, evaluate the results, and rapidly iterate and improve. The objective is to deliver maximum value in the minimum of time and continuously improve our ability to do so.
An Agile team is a growing, learning, adapting organism that is in constant flux in order to exploit new opportunities and add new value for customers.
There are a number of prerequisites for agile marketing to work:
- Clear Goals – A marketing team must have a clear sense of what it needs to accomplish.
- People – A small cross-functional team of motivated and talented people who can focus on delivering against goals.
- Sponsorship – Senior marketing leaders need to understand and support the move to Agile working.
- Infrastructure – Three needs to be sufficient data, analytics, and the right kind of marketing-technology infrastructure in place.
Culture and Characteristics
An Agile Marketing team exhibits the following behaviours:
- Continuous Collaboration – The team works together daily with clear and measurable goals and a shared accountability.
- Speed – Big initiatives are broken down into smaller ones and worked on iteratively and incrementally, delivering value early and often.
- Embracing the Unexpected – The market will change and the needs of the customer will change. We accept this and take advantage of it.
- Data and Simplicity – We make decisions based on data and seek to simplify work in all its forms wherever possible.
- Customer First – The customer is at the centre of all we do. We work closely with them in order to understand clearly what they need, and work to deliver value in each iteration.