1. Productivity – although there are no formal studies comparing the productivity of agile versus non-agile marketing teams, marketers who adopt agile report increased productivity. Productivity, by the way, can be measured in a number of ways: user stories completed, points, results. Because not all user stories (or marketing tasks) require equal amounts of effort, many teams assign points to each story, indicating the relative amount of effort involved in completing that story. Some teams measure productivity primarily in terms of results: visitors to a site, return visitor, bounce rate, trials, sales. Whatever your measure, the goal should be to increase the velocity (productivity) of the marketing team over time.
2. Transparency – Agile marketing allows management, sales and development to clearly see what marketing is working on. Sprint review meetings can also be used to summarize the tangible contributions of marketing and to evangelize their efforts on a regular basis. Sprint planning meetings also allow management, sales and development provide input into marketing, requesting tasks and results. Transparency also refers to the marketing team’s interaction with customers. Agile marketing encourages marketing teams to engage closely with customers, providing a degree of honesty and candor atypical of traditional marketing.
3. Prioritization – the Sprint Planning meeting requires that the stakeholders prioritize their requests, and all of them can see the resources available and discuss how those resources should best be deployed.
4. Measurability – one of the key values of agile marketing is measurement and accountability. Agile marketing teams run small tests, measuring the results, and investing more over time in what works. This emphasis on measurability improves marketing’s ability to communicate its contribution.
5. Ability to adapt to change – the agile in Agile Marketing refers to the ability to quickly adapt to change. This is made possible both by setting aside a portion of the marketing resources anticipating the inevitable changes, and by the short nature of sprints. Every 4-6 weeks, a new sprint planning meeting results in an opportunity to adjust the focus of marketing to respond to changing marketing conditions.
6. Customer satisfaction – because customer needs are met quickly and customers get honest and clear information that they need to make a buying decision, customer satisfaction tends to increase.
7. Competitiveness – an increased velocity of marketing, prioritized to what the company needs, continuing marketing efforts that are measured successes and discontinuing marketing that doesn’t have an impact and increases in customer satisfaction all lead to improvements in competitiveness.
8. Improved internal communication – this is one of the biggest benefits of agile marketing. I’ve already alluded to improved communications with management, sales and development through transparency. Communication also tends to improve within the marketing team itself, through the daily scrum meetings. Everyone knows what other people are working on and what obstacles they might be encountering.
9. It’s good for your career – agile marketing is beginning to get some traction. Google lists over 29,000 results for the phrase. Just as developers who deeply understand agile development are in high demand, marketers who deeply understand agile marketing and who have experience implementing agile marketing in organizations will be in demand.
10. It’s fun! – agile marketing can be a lot of fun. Gathering every day to talk about what you’re working on and sharing challenges with your team can quickly build team cohesiveness. The respect for the individual and self-managing nature of teams that are part of the agile values can also lead to greater satisfaction with work.
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