The power of Scrum for agile marketing

Agility is the cornerstone of successful digital marketing.

The ability to react quickly, fail fast, adjust accordingly, infuse deliverables with company vision and understand the customer better is critical. Tools like A/B testing are extremely beneficial to marketing agility in terms of quick reaction and course correction; however, these tools are a drop in the bucket if your organisational structure itself isn’t agile.

There are a number of work management frameworks that enable organisations to become more agile. One of these approaches is Scrum, an adaptable framework for agility that started as a way to deliver better software, faster, but is useful across all functions and departments.

For Scrum to work best, it’s critical to define the customer with precision. In marketing, this might seem obvious - the marketing department ought to directly serve the organisation’s end consumer - but the actual customer of the marketing group includes a myriad of internal teams long before we reach the external customers themselves.

For instance, as a certifying body and membership organisation, our target audience is primarily our community of members of customers, however, our marketing group most often serves product teams first, so we work together to define market needs and requirements and are directly in charge of ensuring products and services are clearly and widely communicated.

Outreach is focused on the company customer, but it’s all in service to the work of product development teams. Making this distinction is key when it comes to agile marketing, because it delineates just how critical it is to rethink internal operations to, ultimately, better serve the hallowed company customer. You can run email campaigns and targeted ads across social platforms, but if siloed it runs the risk of failing to serve the greater organisational goal.

Clear communication with product teams is a vital part of successful marketing, and yet, in traditional, waterfall organisational structures, product development and marketing might not happen in parallel. Instead, one (marketing) takes place after the other (product design), without much collaborative iteration.

Using Scrum, we have the freedom to include product team members on our teams for marketing projects, which opens up clear lines of communications between departments and forces us to hammer out mutual goals on the front end of a project.

Tactical tools like creating a backlog of goals with defined tasks and outcomes and conducting a daily stand-up meeting have also helped us break down communication barriers between departments. Knowing the product teams’ backlog of items helps us better prepare for what’s to come and the short daily meetings ensure the clear lines of communication are actually getting used. 

Digital marketing opportunities host many exciting prospects for marketing, make sure your organisational structure is agile enough to take advantage of them and allow your marketing team to make fast, wise, customer-driven decisions.

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person?

Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.  

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marykirkland87
29 Jul 2018, 7:54 p.m.

Great article. I'm a big believer in Agile marketing. Here is a complimentary article on tooling for agencies: https://blog.ravetree.com/2018/05/10/3-tools-every-agency-needs/

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