Working Smarter not Harder – Marketing Edition

Being Agile with your marketing is just as important as being Agile with your products and services.

I’ve worked in Agile now for over 10 years – on both product and software solutions, as well as actually having an Agile marketing team. In the beginning, you couldn’t have paid me enough to try to run a marketing team in an Agile process. But now, I wouldn’t go back.

In my opinion, being Agile is really all about planning ahead. You have to plan far enough ahead to understand what your due dates are, what the scope of the project is, any of the resources that may be needed, and resources can be team members, budget dollars, any kind of content that you need to get started. Then you need to identify your constraints early – turn around times if you are ordering materials, content from a specific resource that may have bandwidth constraints, or any of the other materials or resources that you might need to be able to hit the scope of what you’re going after. On top of this, you must have enough of a Backlog to pull from in case you do hit one of those constraints.

On my team, we work in two weeks sprints, but we plan out and have a minimum of six weeks worth of work in our Backlog at all times. That way, there’s no idle time and we can pull in work as we are waiting on other things to happen. In an early-stage company, you can’t afford to be idle: there’s not enough people, there’s not enough bandwidth. The more that you can keep your work steady, the more productive you’re going to be.

Finally, using software tools that support Agile processes provide a huge support to an Agile marketing team. These tools help with team collaboration, holding people accountable, keeping the team within their scope, hitting their estimates and budgets, and also having a way to work asynchronously. For example, sometimes you’re writing a piece of content that needs review and the reviewer cannot get to it until later that night. If you were having to do everything manually, and you’re not using a piece of software to help manage that process, you can really lose valuable time.

So many creative teams believe that Agile is not for them. They assume Agile is strictly for software development. Honestly, if you aren’t running your marketing team in an Agile environment, you are missing out on making an impact on your company.

Want to hear more about Agile and marketing? Check out Episode 13 of CAVU’s 16th Minute podcast featuring Mandi Coker!

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