For Marketers Adopting Agile, What’s the Draw?

April 6, 2020

This article is included in these additional categories:

Business of Marketing | Innovation | Internal Collaboration | Staffing

AprimoAgileSherpas Benefits of Agile Marketing Apr2020Two-fifths (42%) of marketers say that they are now using at least some aspects of an Agile marketing approach, up from 32% last year. At the same time, the number of marketers using traditional marketing has dropped from 50% to 41%. So, why are marketers adopting a more Agile approach to marketing and abandoning more traditional methods? Here’s what a recent report [download page] from AgileSherpas and Aprimo has to say.

Improve Productivity, Manage Priorities, and Innovate

A full two-thirds (66%) of Agile marketers surveyed have been using the approach for at least 3 years, yet only one-fifth (20%) say they currently have a high level of competency with Agile practices. For those that have, various benefits await.

Six in 10 (58%) of those using Agile marketing report that one of the most important reasons for adopting Agile into their department was to improve productivity.

More than half (54%) cited the enhanced ability to manage changing priorities as a reason for adopting the strategy. And, with superior product innovation being considered one of the top ways to set a brand apart from others, 49% of Agile marketers say that they use Agile to increase innovation.

Other reasons for adoption include: being able to accelerate delivery of campaigns (44%); improving project visibility (42%); and improving alignment with other teams and business units (36%), which has been found to be a challenge even at the highest levels of businesses.

That said, marketers aren’t the only ones within an organization who are using an Agile approach. Respondents reveal that their Sales (52%), IT/Software Development (49%), Finance (31%) and HR (28%) functions are also using an Agile methodology to various degrees.

The Benefits Are Varied

Many marketers are experiencing the benefits of adopting an Agile marketing approach. Among those using Agile, the majority disclose that they are getting things released faster (53%), have more productive teams (53%), are more effective at prioritizing work (53%), are able to change gears quickly and effectively based on feedback (51%), and are producing higher quality work (51%).

Others are benefiting from better visibility into project status (46%), better alignment on business objectives (46%), and improved team morale (40%), while more than one-third (36%) cite being able to identify roadblocks and problems sooner.

A Key Deterrent: Inertia?

What about the 57% of respondents who are either sticking with a traditional (41%) or ad hoc (16%) approach to marketing: what’s standing in their way in adopting an Agile approach?

More than two-fifths (43%) of these marketers say they plan to implement Agile marketing at some point, with the majority saying they will do so within the next 6 months (46%) or the next year (49%). Nonetheless, 44% of those marketers not using Agile say they are prevented from completely implementing the approach because they lack the training or knowledge about Agile approaches, while 43% say their current approaches are working well enough.

Fewer cite the lack of talent to transform their team (22%) – a common complaint in other areas of marketing. Likewise, few say that not having the right tools to support the approach (21%) and an absence of support from management (16%) are barriers for implementing the approach.

With these barriers in mind, those marketers who have adopted Agile marketing report that they find consistent practices and processes across teams (51%), in-person training (44%) and online training and webinars (44%) most valuable.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey fielded between December 2019 and February 2020 of 637 marketers and business owners. The majority (96%) of respondents were based in North America.

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