We can probably all agree that 2020 has so far been a monumental year. The B2B marketing world is no stranger to change, but the recent COVID-19 crisis has forced companies to adapt their business models quickly and effectively to survive in a turbulent environment.
As the dust settles and we look back, where do these changes leave B2B marketing teams? There has been plenty of hype about agile marketing in recent years – could this approach help teams as we navigate the ‘new normal’? Here, we examine the benefits of implementing agile marketing and whether this is a viable option for your team moving forward.
What is agile marketing?
Inspired by the working techniques of software development teams who were eager to speed new products into market, the agile methodology is all about collaboration and rapid iteration. Put simply, agile marketing means using data and analytics to continually source new opportunities in real time, to meet customer needs more effectively. This often involves running several campaigns at once, quickly analysing the results and making rapid adjustments – before doing it all over again.
Agile marketing teams use sprints – or short, finite periods of intensive work – to complete these projects collectively. After each sprint, they can measure the impact of the projects and then continuously and incrementally improve the results over time.
There are several benefits to a more agile approach:
- It allows you to adapt to changing market conditions quickly
- Enhanced analytics means you are more likely to deliver the results – helping to save budget and resources
- ‘Fail fast’: pivoting allows you to cut losses when testing reveals something isn’t working, by quickly trying something else. In this way, it is easy to see where campaigns aren’t working, so you can invest in other areas
- With more shared responsibility, teams feel empowered to make decisions, ensuring they develop new skills
Agile marketing can deliver real impact to your marketing efforts, but it heavily relies on having the right team in place. After all, agile marketing requires agile minds.
Feel the fear
In today’s culture of planning, there is little room for failure. Under increasing pressure to get results, B2B marketers want to be innovative but are often too afraid to fail. But failures can teach us to succeed, as any self-help book will tell you. This is especially true in today’s fast-paced marketing world, where a lot can change in a year – or even a month.
As we get to grips with the changing market dynamics, now is the ideal time for B2B marketers to revaluate their structure to get the best out of their teams. Implementing an agile marketing methodology can work here, by using a more flexible framework to encourage more strategic thinking. In fact, it can help to foster a valuable fear-safe culture, where open communication and collaboration create a more supportive environment for everyone.
So, how can I get started?
If agile marketing is for you, first start small – continually evaluating your successes before making any big decisions. It’s also important to create a team that has varied skills, as you will likely have to bring together many different disciplines at the same time to develop hard-hitting campaigns at short notice. Ultimately, fortune favours the brave, so be prepared to fail.
Continue the talent conversation with the B2B !MPACT podcast. In this episode, featuring recruitment professional Leon Milns, we discuss how to attract and retain great talent in today’s fluctuating marketplace. Watch the video version here.