From Fragile to Agile: The Contribution of Agile Marketing to the Efficiency of Marketing Operations
Marketing requires constant effort and dedication. Your dropshipping business likely has many omnichannel marketing campaigns at work alongside daily deliverable deadlines at any given time. Not to mention efforts to ensure win-backs and customer engagement, too. Your customers also probably have ever-developing tastes, interests, and demands to further complicate your marketing operations.
So, you simply can’t afford to spend weeks getting a marketing campaign tested, approved, and deployed. Everyone will have moved on to the latest trend or hyped-up product release already, rendering your hard work all but irrelevant.
It might seem challenging to manage omnichannel marketing campaigns in the face of such a rapidly changing market. However, there are plenty of ways for marketing teams to align their deadlines with the constantly changing needs of their customers. Agile marketing could provide a suitable solution.
Understanding Agile Marketing
Agile marketing requires a marketing team to use data to improve and enhance their campaigns continuously. It allows professionals to deploy tests rapidly, assess their viability, and quickly and efficiently launch updated, data-based advertisements.
This form of marketing was first inspired by Agile, a method of project management that originally pertained to software development. Businesses quickly adopted it, repurposing it to streamline their marketing processes and allow them to deliver better work faster.
Essentially, agile marketing simply involves using the ‘Agile ethos’ to design your marketing strategies. This approach allows you to add value for your users at every level, regardless of how quickly or drastically their needs and interests develop.
How Agile Marketing Began
Agile, the project management method, first began at the dawn of the software development era. Million-dollar programs would often launch so late that clients’ customers’ needs had already changed by the time the software had officially gone live.
A team of developers sought to change this. In 2001, they joined forces and created the Agile Manifesto. This document stipulated 12 principles that guided developers to create software so efficiently that it could meet budget requirements, ship on time, and provide relevant value to customers when most needed.
The Core Tenets of Agile Marketing
The Agile Manifesto laid out 4 key principles that still help workers to prioritize tasks to this day. They are:
- Customer focus. Tasks that serve end users need to be a priority, while those that don’t lose priority status.
- Continuous improvement. Marketing campaign performance should improve with each rapid work cycle.
- Constant change. Teams need to be able to adapt and pivot rapidly to meet customer needs as they arise.
- Collaboration. Marketing teams need to communicate constantly with customers and stakeholders to better understand their needs and demands.
How Agile Marketing Benefits Businesses
Agile marketing can provide enormous benefits to marketing teams, dropshipping businesses, and customers alike. In particular, it can assist companies to deliver products that are more relevant and helpful to their end users, while assisting their marketing teams to boost their own productivity.
This approach enhances marketing teams’ flexibility and efficiency, allowing them to change direction quickly when feedback prompts it. Surveys also suggest that 63% of marketers who practice Agile tactics were satisfied with their completed work, compared to 26% of those who use traditional marketing methods.
There are several Agile methods to take into consideration, too. Some popular and widely used methodologies include Kanban, Lean, and Scrum, while project management experts also recommend investigating Six Sigma, Crystal, Feature Driven Development, Extreme Programming (XP), and others.
How to Implement Agile Marketing
Your implementation of agile marketing will depend on your dropshipping business and the methodology you choose to adopt. This is where having a business plan is incredibly useful, as this document should outline your marketing strategy too. In your marketing strategy, you’ll include elements like key brand messaging, target customer demographics, and your value proposition, all of which can help to determine what agile marketing method best suits you.
We will focus on the Scrum method, which is one of the most popular processes today. Here is how you would go about implementing this method.
1. Optimizing Your Team
Your marketing team needs to be large enough to implement a full marketing campaign from the ground up, yet small enough so that each member is accountable to the other. This ultimately means that your agile marketing team should consist of 3 to 10 people. If you have more members on board, your meetings and processes may become convoluted.
An agile team should appoint a Scrum Master to facilitate standup meetings and tackle obstacles, and a Product Owner to take responsibility for the scope of work in a sprint. The other team members will design graphics, write content, optimize web processes, analyze data, and handle communication.
2. Creating Sprint Cycles
Agile marketing needs to occur in rapid cycles called sprints, which are 1 to 2 weeks long. These time periods give marketers enough time to get their work done without projects dragging on unnecessarily.
You should agree upon deliverables before each sprint starts, and they should be due at the end of that sprint. You will then address all new work requests in the next cycle.
3. Fostering Transparency
Holding daily standup meetings will build transparency among marketing team members. Each meeting should last 10 to 15 minutes, and the Scrum Master plays a supervisory role.
These standing meetings are short, sweet, and to the point, discussing yesterday’s successes and today’s plans and challenges. The Scrum Master will then address any obstacles so that the team can continue working.
4. Creating a Visual Task Board
Agile teams need to use visual task boards like Kanban boards to track their backlog, processes, and completed tasks. Each task moves across the columns of the board as each work phase reaches completion.
5. Hosting Opening and Final Meetings
Every sprint should open and close with meetings that usher the agile process along. The Kickoff meeting opens with the Product Owner describing tasks, objectives, and timelines.
The Retrospective meeting involves the Scrum Master going over sprint data to see which tasks are effectively complete, which tests yielded which results, and how the team could improve.
Make Your Dropshipping Business Agile
The agile marketing process improves the efficiency of marketing operations at a team and individual level.
It enables marketing teams to better answer their customers’ needs and align their work with broader dropshipping business objectives, while continuously improving their own processes as well.