A very popular saying of the last decade was “it is not digital marketing, it is marketing in the digital era” yet there is a well comprehensive definition of digital marketing: “Organizing and structuring marketing activities for owned, earned and paid digital platforms and channels to reach a measurable target; whilst enabling tools and technologies to increase marketing activities’ performance.”
Nowadays, everything changes rapidly just “like” your customers’ expectations, market conditions, pricing strategy as well as “regulations”. As a digital marketer, in order to tackle with all of the changes you have to act fast and you have to identify the right move without losing too much energy and resources. So, there comes the Agile Marketing as a new “way of working” to keep up the pace.
Before detailing topic, it would be helpful to walk through on basic agile terms:
Sprint: A regular, repeatable work cycle which work is completed and made ready for review
Squad: An individual team who has its own defined goal, which they work towards autonomously
Sprint Goal: A short description what the team plans to achieve during the sprint. The squad writes it collaboratively.
Backlog: A list of features or technical tasks, which the team maintains and which, at a given moment, are known to be necessary and sufficient to complete a project or a release.
There are four main principles for succeeding in digital marketing with agile way of working:
1.Time management & task planning: During sprints, squad should define a “sprint goal” and the backlog items to accomplish that goal. Entire squad precisely works on backlog items. Squad takes responsibility with an autonomy, which guaranteed by C Suite, assuring their self-motivation.
2. Keeping right talents in the team: Squad should be independent and self-sufficient in designing new ideas, executing campaigns, to monitoring results and optimizing parameters. In large organizations, common WoW (way of working) is collaborating with agencies but in reality “proximity, sharing same goals and even the same paydays” unite the squad. Therefore, a digital marketing squad should have the following roles in the team:
● Analytics Lead
● Tagging Developer
● Social Lead
● SEM Lead
● Display Lead
● Creative Designer
● Marketing Strategists
● Technology Leads
● BI Developer / Designer
● UX Designer
● Campaign Tester
● Product Owners & Scrum Master
Also, there are various compositions of the squad structure. In a McKinsey article, we can see a “warroom” setup model:
3. Testing new ideas & chasing opportunities: Test and learn notion is the key element in a digital marketing squad. There are numerous parameters effecting conversion rates such as target audience, offer, creative, ad type and customer journey. Campaign design process starts with marketing strategist’s new ideas / hypothesis and continue with test scenarios regarding these new ideas. Agile WoW motivate squad to test fast, fail fast and learn fast. Thus, team has the chance to find the winner campaign and scale the campaign to bring more sales as well as more revenue. For instance, in Skyscanner’s iterative test process they are starting with limited insight, trying many new scenarios up to the highest growth.
4. Monitoring results closely for optimizing: Does the squad have a clear vision on business? Unless the answer is “yes” team should work on business metrics, KPI definitions, analytical needs, integrating tools and tracking tags for reaching maximum clarity over numbers. Each squad member ought to read numbers and act like a pilot when they sit in cockpit. Monitoring results daily basis with automated reports and having real time usage/lead screens will power the squad with data. Measurement will require new technologies and tools but it certainly needs a mind shift and cultural change.
Agile, data-driven digital marketing is not a box to check, but a journey. Digital marketing can create incremental value by agile optimization methodologies. Most important thing is start agile transformation within whole organization. Big impacts will come by having talents insourced, building capabilities, testing rapidly, gaining insights and acting on insights to scale.