Marketing Like Silicon Valley
Using Agile Methods to Streamline Your B2B Marketing Programs & Improve Outcomes
In the last few months, I have been researching marketing trends that will help B2B professional service firms pivot in advance of the next new normal, post-pandemic, business environment.
I have become convinced we can learn a lot from the entrepreneurial successes of Silicon Valley, applying agile methodologies — pioneered in the technology sector — to the outbound and inbound marketing processes.
This agile approach to product and services marketing is a powerful and proven strategic and tactical approach that improves the go-to-market effort. It empowers marketing teams, encouraging constant, consistent, and swift growth.
Agile marketing programs — supported by software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms — have developed rapidly over the last ten years. They have become an essential option for increasing visibility across marketing teams, speeding the launch process for new services and products, effectively organizing a typically chaotic work environment, supporting sales growth, and building more robust, more resilient teams.
Our highest priority in both service and product marketing should be to satisfy the customer (internal or external) through early and continuous delivery marketing results in six areas. These include valuable market research, strategic marketing planning, client and business development, marketing communication collateral, outbound promotional programs, and transparent and KPI-driven management systems.
The pandemic and resultant shift in many sectors’ economies has raised the awareness across the B2B ecosystem that change is constant. The agile approach welcomes change to harness opportunities to improve their customer’s competitive advantage. Agile teams deliver their work at a higher frequency and a preference to the shorter timescales. The agile team works together with the client’s business units daily to improve communication, collaboration, and transparency in the process.
The agile approach leverages motivated individuals’ passions, giving them an environment and support system, building trust in the results. Even as we have moved to more virtual connections during the pandemic, agile teams realize the most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a team is face-to-face conversation. Agile teams know that the quality of marketing’s outbound efforts is the primary measure of progress.
In an era where resilience and sustainability have become core components of business-to-business strategies, agile processes promote organic development at a constant pace. The iterative process built into agile methodology provides feedback that enables continuous attention to technical excellence and sound design.
As part of the original Agile Manifesto, simplicity — the art of maximizing the amount of work not done — remains an essential element of the core philosophy behind adopting this approach. As someone who has spent his career in the AEC industry, I know that the best architecture, understanding of client requirements, and resultant good design only emerge from self-organizing and self-empowered teams given the agency deliver.
The concept of agency — empowering individual action to direct purpose-driven results — improves effectiveness and skills. During team communication at regular (daily or weekly) intervals — known as standups or scrums — the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts behavior accordingly.
Using an agile marketing process, the team discovers and then focuses their collective efforts on the projects that matter most, completing them cooperatively. This approach has helped B2B marketing teams get faster and more efficient.
Agile marketing aims to improve over time continuously and incrementally and consistently measure the impact completed projects provide. By focusing on projects incrementally, the results are available much quicker, allowing them to test and analyze the outcomes before investing more resources in that area.
Implementing an agile process requires a change management approach to organizing the marketing team and empowering them with agile tools. The key to agile marketing management is process transparency using SaaS tools to visualize context, progress reviews, and to support goals measured by KPIs and ROI.
Look for more on Agile and agile tools, posted here in the coming weeks.
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