In reflecting on the “greatest hits” of chiefmartec.com over the past decade, it’s been exciting to see how many ideas that were once on the fringe of marketing have shifted into mainstream practice.
For example: agile marketing, the adoption of agile management approaches from the software development profession in modern marketing.
What do marketing and software development have in common? It used to sound like a set up for a bad joke. But in a world of malleable digital canvases and fast feedback loops, the answer is: actually, quite a lot. Both can benefit from shifting to a more iterative and adaptive way of working, empowering teams to harness the infinite flexibility of a digital world to transparently experiment, learn, and drive results.
A new 2018 State of Agile Marketing Report produced by AgileSherpas and Kapost provides an authoritative update on the adoption of agile marketing practices, and it’s impressive to see the momentum of this transformation.
Their big finding: now 36.7% of marketers report that they’ve adopted some flavor of agile marketing. And out of the marketers who haven’t yet adopted agile, around half of them expect to within the next 12 months.
So what does it mean to adopt agile marketing? Scrum? Kanban? Lean? Something else?
The report found that marketers associate agile with all of these methodologies. But the largest percentage of them — 44% — take a hybrid approach, blending techniques from several of these methodologies into their own flavor of agile marketing.
While purists of specific agile methodologies might be horrified by that, I actually think it’s a good thing. The spirit of agile is adaptability. If marketers are being thoughtful about which agile techniques they embrace or jettison — and why — then a continually evolving hybrid approach can be perfectly tailored to the needs and dynamics of their particular organization. (Admittedly, that might be a big if for new practitioners.)
As seen in the chart above (click for a larger image), you can see there’s a wide distribution of which specific agile practices any one particular team adopts.
Out of all of those, I’m surprised that adoption of Kanban boards (34.1%) isn’t higher. They’re such a great way to provide transparency and flexible process control. But maybe there are other variations that are achieving the same net benefit.
In the end, it’s the benefits of adopting agile marketing that matter:
- 54.8% — ability to change gears quickly and effectively
- 51.6% — better visibility into project status
- 46.8% — higher quality of work
- 42.9% — faster time to get things released
- 40.5% — roadblocks and problems are identified sooner
- 38.9% — better alignment on business objectives
- 37.3% — more productive teams
- 34.9% — improved team morale
- 31.7% — more effective prioritization of work
It’s definitely worth picking up a full copy of the 2018 State of Agile Marketing Report.
However, if you’d like to really take a deep dive into agile marketing…
Special 4-Hour Agile Marketing Workshop at MarTech
Andrea Fryrear, the president and lead trainer for AgileSherpas — one of the world’s foremost authorities on agile marketing and the driving force behind the above report — will be teaching a 4-hour workshop on How to Achieve an Agile Marketing Advantage at MarTech in San Jose, April 23-25.
Andrea is a Certified Professional in Agile Coaching (ICP-ACC) and a Certified Agile Leader (CAL-1), and a trained Scrum Master and Product Owner. She is a renown international speaker on all things agile marketing.
Her most recent book, Death of a Marketer, chronicles marketing’s troubled past and charts a course to a more agile future for the profession.
In this hands-on workshop, she’ll teach you:
- Agile myths and origins. You’ll understand where agile and lean principles came, so you’ll apply them more effectively.
- Agile vs. traditional marketing. You’ll learn how modern marketing demands an agile process from case studies that juxtapose teams that failed using traditional methods with teams that succeeded using an agile approach. This segment also includes hands-on exercises to illustrate how agile differs from typical work management.
- Agile methodologies. There are several ways to put agile into practice, and Andrea will reveal the common ones used by marketers, and let you try them out.
- Roles, leadership, and team structure. Getting the most benefit from agile starts with transforming your org chart. We’ll look at cross-functional teams, silos, and agile leadership and offer some paths forward regardless of where you’re starting from today.
- Piloting agile marketing in your organization. Crawling and walking are prerequisites to running. And you’ll leave with the steps needed to roll out agile methods incrementally. Using this approach, implementing a successful pilot program will get you started in a few hours, not months or weeks.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from Andrea in person, as well as all the other amazing speakers we’ll have at the conference. Rates go up March 17 — reserve your seat today.