By Katie Lowell
Traditional Marketing vs Agile Marketing : Round 2: Productivity
We prefer to lead with data, so let’s start with this:
- 53% of Agile marketing teams are able to change gears quickly based on incoming feedback (AgileSherpas/CoSchedule)
- 36% of Agile marketing teams can release things faster, and 53% can change gears quickly when feedback demands it. (AgileSherpas/CoSchedule)
- 93% of CMOs who employ Agile practices say their speed to market for ideas, campaigns, and products has improved. (Forbes/CMG Partners)
Check out AgileSherpas blog post for even more stats if you’re interested: Benefits of Agile Marketing: Stats You Need to Know
We could probably stop there in this ‘Productivity’ battle of Traditional vs Agile Marketing. It’s clear to us who the winner is, but here’s some of our personal experience in overseeing a marketing team at an SMB.
When we started, our team followed the traditional ‘waterfall’ approach. Lots of planning. Upfront requirements. We did our best to follow the plan as closely as we could and executed. Except here’s how that played out:
– Nothing ever went according to plan & there were always unforeseen roadblocks
– There were always interruptions & fires to put out by others in the organization prioritizing our day for us
– Everything was essentially deemed ‘important’ and the interdependencies of projects didn’t always align with everyone’s schedule or prioritization
– Nothing was coming out of the other side as in ‘completed’ projects
And this was the worst of it all… the month would go by, and I would humbly realize our team wasn’t making a measurable impact on the business and didn’t ‘produce’ what we had anticipated. I tried to convince myself that we just needed more time. Things take time, right? I just needed to manage expectations… ugh. Not to mention the fact there was a lot of work being put into something that we had no idea if it would produce results.
Not with Agile.
Agile is no miracle worker, but shortly after adopting it our execution changed radically in the department. Not only from the output, but team culture, happiness, there was a renewed sense of pride, and we had a team of empowered people.
Agile by nature is an iterative approach. We would develop our hypothesis from the user story and design small projects that could be ‘launched’ within a 2-week sprint. We got really comfortable with the idea of an MVP, meaning it didn’t have to be pixel perfect, it was good enough to deploy and start learning. The team was able to surface roadblocks early in the sprint and mitigate the delays and downtime. There was visibility to all the projects and tasks at hand, which eliminated waiting for someone else to finish up their responsibilities. No surprises and no big launches. Rather we executed quick iterative releases and would start measuring what worked and what didn’t. And by design never again, did we have to negotiate with ourselves to say ‘things take time’.