Are you an Agile marketer? Below I highlight some similarities between how software development and marketing teams work. You might find these insights to be true for your own teams as well. This post helps you identify if your team is (or should be) working Agile. My statements are in reflection upon reading Jim Ewels' blog post, who describes how Agile marketers work.
What is the essence of Agility in marketing?
- Short marketing experiments
- Frequent feedback collection
- Ability to change based on market conditions
I started to learn about Scrum about two months ago. And to put simply, my conclusion is that Scrum does fit nicely into to the work of a marketing team. The reason is that marketing is a chain of actions and interactions where success is often hard to predict. In addition, marketing usually accumulates high costs. A department where results are unpredictable and that costs a lot of money? It could be software development or marketing just the same.
Recently I have been looking to address this issue and came across this article by Nadim Hossain about how to turn marketing into a revenue driver, rather than a cost center for the company. I think following the Agile practices in marketing could be one way.
Scrum helps shorten the average marketing experiment time by defining Sprints. Scrum-based collaboration greatly supports teams by enabling them to collect feedback and analyze marketing projects quickly. This facilitates changes in action, leading to continuous improvement.
In marketing we can rarely be sure if our campaign will succeed or fail. We try to use our experience from the past and rely on measurements from the industry, but there are always various new practices and tools with which we don’t have prior experience. Therefore we need to test, measure, and gather feedback, then try to make improvements. If that doesn’t work, we change again.
So how does Applcation Lifecycle Management come into the picture? Intland's product is codeBeamer ALM, an Agile ALM tool. Our development team uses codeBeamer to develop the product, and we were given the tool for a test run. Turns out its functionality is exactly what we need in marketing, and more.
The use of Scrum among software developers has matured, but this is not the case with marketing departments. I managed to get ours on board. We closed two sprints thus far, achieved 80 story points in the first sprint, and a similar number in the second. Is this good? I don’t know. If we make 100 story points in the next sprint, I think we can say we improved.
One thing is for sure: by shortening the time of the experiment, we reduce uncertainty and expenditure without success. Scrum helps identify what works and what doesn't, and ALM provides traceability. Both are great tools for Agile marketers.
Check out our “ALM for Agile Marketers” video to see how to use Agile ALM solution in Marketing.