It’s interesting to watch how quickly agile marketing has grown in popularity. While the results of agile marketing are impressive, the key to unlock its true potential is both through proper implementation. However agile marketing is a new concept for most marketers, and learning on the go is difficult and never fun. So today I wanted to help all the new agile marketers out there and supply several easily identifiable agile marketing mistakes to be on the lookout for.
Assuming you can always do more with less
This is tricky. One of the largest draws of agile marketing is the fact that agile teams are far more productive than traditional marketing teams. But beware, this doesn’t mean cutting back on an already small department. It’s important that managers know they can go too far. According to a recently published agile marketing report from the Prairie Sky Group, “the most common mistake is for them [upper management] to assume that this solution [agile marketing] allows understaffed or under-resourced marketing organizations to produce more.” This is a mistake can be particularly detrimental to smaller organizations. “While some efficiency is gained through the increased speed of learning, Agile Marketing will not allow you to double what you are doing now.” So, it’s important for managers to have a good understanding of this principle before jumping in and demanding greater results from already overtaxed teams.
Lacking an executive sponsor
I know I’ve said this one before, but change is tough. People are creatures of habit and pushing them out of their routine isn’t always the easiest thing to accomplish. According to the Prarie Sky Group’s report, in a typical agile marketing project “Team members usually span different disciplines, from marketing to sales to product development.” Having such a diverse team creates an additional layer of project difficulty. It’s never easy to convince these individuals to put aside their own personal agendas, and work together for the good of the project. However, having an executive sponsor can smooth the process. “An executive sponsor can help [these] different disciplines work through resourcing issues.” Additionally having some buy in at the top never hurts, when it comes to making sure change is actually enacted and not just paid lip service.
Unintentionally ignoring all other marketing activities
This is a very slippery slope. When switching to agile marketing, it’s important to not get too myopic and forget about the other important marketing activities. For example, you still have important core marketing functions that need to be performed: from web development to database maintenance. When making the switch to agile, it’s all too easy for managers to forget about the other critical marketing activities necessary for team success.
Forgetting to celebrate success
Part of agile marketing’s greatest strengths is also one of the largest pitfalls. Agile marketing stresses working in very intense, short cycles and this can be draining on a team. This hyper-project focus makes it easy to forget to set aside time to celebrate successes. Managers must make a conscious decision to avoid the temptation to quickly move from one project to the next without taking some time to reflect and celebrate previous successes. According to the Prairie Sky Group, it is “important to promote the results of your Marketing Sprint to the rest of the company and provide recognition for team members.” So be sure to factor in some time to celebrate your team’s accomplishments before moving right into the next sprint.
There you have it. Stay clear of these easy identifiable traps and not only will you see better results, but also have a much happier team.