Agile marketing is a term used to describe a marketing method that involves self-organizing and cross-functional teams working together. Used properly, it can create significant growth by helping to focus a group’s attention on the efforts that are going to deliver the best end result to the client. Krishen Iyer, entrepreneur and marketing pro, recognizes the value of agile marketing and offers insight into what it takes to truly get the most out of this form of marketing.
As the founder and owner of MAIS Consulting, an Encinitas-based consulting company, has worked to build numerous organizations over his career by providing a high-quality end product to customers utilizing customer-driven insights and data. Utilizing agile marketing is one way to deliver quality to the customer.
There are many definitions and approaches to using agile marketing. There are plenty of ways to utilize it to achieve specific goals. However, for those who want to create a strong end result, there are several core principles of agile marketing that must be put into place from the start. Here’s Krishen Iyer on some of the most important principles of agile marketing.
#1: Focus on different points of view. Perhaps at the heart of the process is ensuring that everyone involved has a voice. For example, it is quite common for companies to focus on the one person in the company that has the experience and is the expert on a topic, and utilizes their opinion to make decisions. Instead, tap into not just the skills of each member of the team, but the opinions of others. Krishen Iyer states, “In agile marketing, it’s critical to focus on team collaboration. It’s not just what the expert has to say, but also what other team members think so they, too, can bring creativity and innovation to the problem in an effort to solve it.”
#2: Bring teams together for meaningful interactions. At its heart, marketing is about creating relationships and using those relationships to achieve specific goals. The same applies to managing an agile marketing team. Start each campaign with proper alignment and do that with consistent communication. Krishen Iyer recommends creating an initial meeting that brings together all members of the team. The goal is to ensure each party is fully understanding of the goals and plans. Then, ensure there is consistent interaction and communication between agile marketing teams and all other stakeholders in achieving the end goal.
At the same time, those interactions need to create meaningful and beneficial adjustments to strategies as needed. Another component of this is to ensure there is connection and an understanding with both internal and external customers throughout the process. This type of interaction-based team management ensures the best outcome for all involved.
#3: It’s worth the risk if you learn from it. Another valuable strategy when it comes to agile marketing is that there will be times when taking risks or taking a chance on a strategy is worth it. Of course, it would not be a risk if you knew the outcome. When things do go wrong, such as a marketing campaign failing or a local event doesn’t produce the necessary leads, it’s always best to utilize the data from that event to gain more insight and a better future. What component of the campaign didn’t work? What can be done to improve that campaign next time? Why didn’t it work the way expected? What could have been done differently? Asking these questions allows for the team to learn something, grow in some way, and improve outcomes in the long run even when they are facing a failure that day.
#4: Build around motivated members of the team. One of the core flaws organizations often have in agile marketing, notes Krishen Iyer, is a failure to put enough trust into the team members present. It is quite common for management and leadership to get too involved, limiting decision-making and often minimizing the reach of a team member’s ideas. Instead, create teams around the most motivated individuals in the group. These are the people who are passionate and ready to take on the challenge. They are going to put in the work to achieve the best goals and they are most likely to think outside of the box to get it done.
Once those people are in place and have goals, it is time to give them the freedom they need to decide how to achieve their goals and how to work through difficulties to do so. When companies create agile marketing teams like this, they are poised to have outstanding results each time.
#5: Change is a part of the process, says Krishen Iyer. One of the key components to success in agile marketing is to respond to the data coming in. That often means that it is critical to embrace when change is happening and then use that customer data to further guide the campaign or strategy.
In other words, “It’s no longer to stick to the same plan at any cost. Today, it is more important to deliver a result that is molded from the customer data on hand because buyers are far more sophisticated,” says Krishen Iyer.
In short, when things are not going the right way, it is often due to a lack of attention on what the customer’s needs are. More so, when a team works to change what they are doing in an effort to enhance customer value, they end up with a much better result.
#6: Long-term success requires a paced plan. Striving for 100 percent on the first go is something many marketing teams aim to do. Yet, to build long-term success with agile marketing, it is also important to focus on more of a sustainable and reliable pace. Running at a marathon pace isn’t always the best for the end result, and it puts a lot of stress and frustration on the team itself. For that reason, it is typically beneficial to work at a more sustainable pace even if it means taking a bit longer to achieve the best outcome possible.
#7: Don’t overlook core marketing principles in agile marketing.
Another important component of success in agile marketing has nothing to do with the process itself. That is, it is the need to use core marketing principles and fundamentals as a component of the process. It is not about speed. It is not always about the end dollar. It is often about building strong relationships with customers based on their needs and desires. While agile teams are focused on results, it is not a good idea to cut corners when it comes to the fundamental tools that make marketing work.Krishen Iyer’s long history of working to build companies based on customer-driven insights and powerful relationships allows him to provide guidance to organizations who may be attempting agile marketing and struggling. It’s not about the complexity of the process but rather on keeping things simple and straightforward but empowering your teams and motivated people to achieve the goals you put in front of them.