This week, our team went to The Club at The Ivy for coffee, croissants and a talk on Agile Marketing with experts in the field, thanks to BIMA.

Talkers included Jim Bowes, CEO & Co-Founder of digital agency Manifesto; Guillaume Buat-Menard, CTO at Aqueduct; Joanne Ralfe, Director at Espoleta Productions and Leanne Page, Senior Digital Project Manager at MSLGROUP. 

An Introduction to Agile Marketing

Agile methodology is typically associated with software and project management. However, brands and agencies alike now apply its principles to their marketing efforts for a faster, flexible and customer-centric approach.

Jim explained how Agile has its roots in post-WWII Japan with Toyota using continuous improvement and faster feedback loops to gain an upper hand against larger car manufacturers like Ford.  

This became the foundation for Agile as we know it today. As savvy marketers began to employ these techniques, so was born the Agile Marketing Manifesto.

The principles of which are as follows:

Agile Marketing Manifesto

These contrast greatly to older companies’ typical approach to marketing and gives an advantage to the smaller and more ‘nimble’ businesses.

 

Key Takeaway: In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, brands & agencies will need to adopt Agile Marketing to stay relevant. A 12 month plan can be ineffective and irrelevant within a matter of months.

 

What You Need To Consider Before Going Agile

Second talker Guillame shed some light on what’s needed to bring Agile to an agency. He explained that organisations aren’t necessarily set up to use Agile marketing and it can be two steps back if they try and work against their grain.

He tells us that Agile Marketing is not an ad-hoc tactic to be applied as and when it’s needed in a project. Ultimately, Guillame explains, companies must consider his Agile Marketing Checklist before adopting it:

  • Do you have a clear marketing goal? I.e. An outcome not an output.
  • Do you have a clear owner of the project & budget who can make decisions on the spot.
  • Can you and your agency enter a relationship of trust?
  • Are you comfortable with defining high-level specs and varying depth of implementation as the project evolves?
  • Are you ready to fail a little if the rewards are great?
  • You will need some training even if you know about agile.

Key Takeaway: You can’t force Agile Marketing where it’s not needed. It should be carefully integrated within an Agency and clients must collaborate for it to work smoothly.

 

How To Implement Agile Marketing Into Your Agency

Following on from Guillame, Joanne reiterated the importance of Agile as a journey that ‘everyone in your company needs to go on’. In particular, Start Ups are much better equipped to undertake this than traditional agencies and companies:

Joanne explained that Agile Marketing is a cultural investment as well as a process. As such, it’s linked closely to company structure. Traditional agencies have mechanisms and communication blocks which make them much more cumbersome in comparison to Start Ups.

Key Takeaway: Employing ‘adults’ and empowering them rather than spoon feeding them with rules will create a much better environment for implementing Agile Marketing.

 

How To Bring Clients With You

Finally, Leanne Page explained to us just how we evolve and bring our clients with us. Citing her agency as an example, Leanne placed a heavy emphasis on flexibility and experimentation.  

Of course, there needs to be a structure of sort. Collaborating internally with the team and externally with the client was key to her success.

Leanne explained how she was thus able to user her collaboration framework to set a rhythm and implement an iterative process of testing, learning and adapting. Planning to meet regularly and make quick decisions allowed her to get ahead of the pack.

Key Takeaway: Flexibility and willingness to experiment are integral to Agile Marketing. Brands and agencies must set themselves up to allow this.

 

Conclusion

From BIMA’s insightful talk we decided that, for us, Agile Marketing was about working in a fluid and flexible way. Being able to rapidly respond to clients and frequently review performance would allow us to test numerous strategies and quickly make decisions.

Ultimately, focusing outcomes rather than outputs creates a mindset that disrupts old marketing processes and allows for a more client-centric service. One that we strive to provide at Passion Digital.

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