The ability to innovate in marketing and customer experience is inherently intertwined with moving fast enough to keep up with the ever-changing expectations of always-on tech-empowered consumers.
But moving fast can be hard for large enterprises—until now. Some organizations today employ agile marketing, a set of methodologies based on agile software development. The idea is to collocate a group of people across business units to work on solving a common problem via focused collaboration, testing, iteration, and data insights.
The promise? To break down organizational silos and get things done quickly and efficiently, in sync with the rapid pace of technological change happening all around us today.
“Agile marketing is the prioritization of creating value for the customer above all else,” said Russ Lange, partner at consultancy CMG Partners. “It’s 90% mindset and 10% methodology or process. As marketers, our approach to problems, opportunities, and prioritization must be done wearing the shoes of our customers. Methodologies like Kanban or Scrum provide focused, efficient, and visible paths to get work done. Together, agile mindset and methodology reduce the work and heroics required of teams, while increasing the value created for our customers and companies.”
Brands that have operationalized agile marketing at scale throughout their organizations share a core operating model in which they move and innovate much faster and closer to real time, according to Jason Heller, partner, global lead, digital marketing operations and technology, at McKinsey.
“Agile marketing organizations leverage a form of agile that is similar in spirit to agile software development but tailored to the unique rapid goals of a commercial function. They deploy autonomous cross-functional teams, each with a specific goal to execute against, leveraging data-driven insights and advanced analytics, and supported by an evolving technology stack,” Heller told CMO.com.
Put another way, agile helps to solve the age-old problem of slow-moving, siloed organizations by putting representatives from various business units together to work on a core set of KPIs, CMG’s Lange added.
“These individuals also need the autonomy to execute without having to run it up the chain of command for a whole bunch of approvals,” he told CMO.com.
Read on to learn how three brands have put agile in action—and how doing so has put their ability to innovate on the fast track.