How an Agile Marketing Process Makes Good Marketing Teams Great

*This article originally appeared on

The table stakes of modern marketing just keep getting higher. We need cutting-edge technology, smart team members, decent budget, strong messaging and unrelenting customer-centricity.

But to break through the noise and make an impact on our customers’ buying behavior, even all of this isn’t enough. When just about every marketing team is creative and well-equipped, we have to do something to take things to the next level.

Whenever everybody’s doing good stuff, we have to become great.

And one of the least-used ways to reach this next level is by improving your processes. By paying attention to the ways you work, you have a shot at getting to market faster and iterating sooner, which means you’re more likely to create messaging, collateral and campaigns that elicit the reaction you’re after.

Happily, we don’t have to invent these processes from scratch. We can use agile marketing processes to turn our really good marketing teams into great ones. Here’s how.

Build Adaptability Into Your Marketing Processes

Traditional marketing plans often have long timelines, making it tough to adapt when market dynamics change. In contrast, agile marketing often breaks projects into short, manageable increments known as "sprints." These sprints are typically two weeks long, allowing your team to reassess priorities regularly and respond quickly to emerging opportunities or challenges.

As a marketing leader, imagine how different your outcomes would be if you had the ability to seize unexpected market shifts two or three times faster than your competitors. 

Agile marketing teams can adjust strategies, campaigns and messaging in near real-time, so they stay relevant to customers and effective at hitting their targets.

With an agile marketing process, leaders can navigate uncertainty with confidence, moving at the speed of buying behavior and adapting whenever conditions dictate.

Foster Collaboration and Communication

Many marketing teams are built around functional silos, which can impede progress and limit creativity. Agile marketing processes, on the other hand, emphasize cross-functional collaboration and transparent communication, nurturing a culture of teamwork.

Silos in Marketing

Through their stand-up meetings (held at least three times per week, but ideally every weekday), team members share progress, insights and potential roadblocks. This increased visibility allows everyone to understand the bigger picture, align their efforts and support each other if work starts to fall behind schedule.

As a marketing leader, picture a team where designers, copywriters, data analysts and strategists work seamlessly together, fostering a creative environment that breeds innovation.

Agile marketing teams break down barriers, encouraging open discussions and creating a collective sense of ownership.

With improved collaboration, your team becomes a well-oiled machine, capable of producing remarkable marketing campaigns.

Put the Customer at the Center of All Your Marketing Processes

The best marketing comes from understanding and fulfilling customer needs, and agile marketing is no different. Agile processes are inherently customer-centric, using tools like user stories to ensure all the work being done provides value to a customer and solves their biggest pain points.

When we combine this with the habit of regularly seeking feedback and iterating on what they learn, it’s clear how agile teams outperform their traditional counterparts.

A good team that’s built a deep, empathetic understanding of their customers' preferences and pain points will catapult quickly to great.

Agile marketing ensures your team crafts personalized, resonant messages that connect with your audience on a profound level. This customer-focused approach enhances brand loyalty and cultivates long-term customer relationships, further cementing the advantages enjoyed by those teams with truly agile marketing processes.

Why Marketing Effectiveness Begins with Being Customer-Centric

Embrace Experimentation

With customer expectations changing constantly, experimentation is vital to uncovering great marketing approaches. Even the most seasoned leaders can’t be right all the time.

Agile marketing facilitates a test-and-learn approach, allowing teams to run small-scale experiments within each sprint. They collect data in as close to real-time as possible, and then make adjustments in upcoming sprints based on what they learn. 

This data-driven decision-making process ensures that your marketing efforts are based on evidence rather than assumptions, reducing the risk of expensive mistakes.

When teams embrace experimentation fearlessly, they uncover great ideas that outperform average ones every time.

Agile empowers your team to explore innovative ideas, gather valuable data and optimize marketing campaigns continually. This culture of learning and improvement drives your team to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to changing consumer preferences with ease.

Trade Micromanagement for Accountability and Ownership

Agile marketing builds a sense of accountability and ownership among team members, (especially when their leaders deliberately let go of any tendencies to micromanage).

Each sprint begins with a collaborative planning session where tasks are allocated based on skill sets and expertise — not based on the leader’s assignments. Team members commit to specific deliverables, fostering a sense of responsibility for the success of all the work.

Having an engaged and responsible team can be enormously freeing for leaders. Agile marketing processes create space for senior leaders to focus on strategic direction, which helps make sure the team’s work is tightly aligned to business objectives and market demands.

All of this together translates into increased productivity and quality of output, elevating your team's overall performance.

Test, Learn and Repeat With an Agile Marketing Process

The pursuit of greatness never ends; agile marketing embodies a philosophy of continual learning and improvement. At the end of each sprint, the team conducts a retrospective where they identify successes, challenges and lessons learned. This introspection empowers your team to refine their marketing processes, optimize workflows and enhance performance over time.

Agile Retrospective

This means that even as your team gets great, it’s set up to get ever greater thanks to its commitment to continual improvement and learning. This kind of culture drives sustainable success, equipping your team with the tools to thrive in an ever-changing market.

Use Process to Reduce Time to Market

While agility isn’t just about speed, there’s no denying that with the current rate of change in the market, speed matters. Agile marketing's iterative approach enables marketing teams to deliver projects faster, and then iterate on performance just as quickly.

Agile marketing leaders can benefit from the competitive advantage of being first to market, staying ahead of competitors and maximizing emerging opportunities. Over time this speed leads to better ROI on all the individual campaigns that are swiftly executed, as well as growing brand awareness and reach.

Keep the Best Marketers on Your Team

A happy, motivated team is a great, high-performing team. Agile marketing fosters a positive work environment by empowering team members to contribute and collaborate. When leaders involve team members in decision-making and provide opportunities for skill development, they cultivate job satisfaction and boost team morale.

When you have a team that’s passionate, engaged and committed to achieving greatness, their process becomes yet another arrow in their marketing quiver.

Agile marketing processes hold the key to transforming good marketing teams into great ones.

Through its diverse set of benefits, Agile marketing process empowers your team to achieve exceptional results. Marketing leaders who successfully implement agile ways of working can unlock their teams’ full potential and enjoy sustained success in today's dynamic and uncertain landscape.

Before you move on, why don't you take a minute to check if bad processes are wasting your marketing budget?


Click to get the 7th Annual State of Agile Marketing Report delivered to your inbox