Agile Marketing Used in a Variety of Marketing Functions

April 26, 2021

AgileSherpas Where Agile Marketing is Used Apr2021About half of marketers say they use an Agile marketing approach to at least some extent. This is per a survey conducted by AgileSherpas, which looks at how Agile marketing is being used – as well as its benefits.

The report indicates that there has been an increase in the adoption of Agile marketing practices, rising from 41% last year to 51% this year. For those marketers who aren’t currently Agile, 6 in 10 (59%) plan to adopt the practices within the next 6 months.

As for those respondents who are employing Agile marketing practices, they claim to be using them across several marketing functions, such as creative services, content creation and operations (77%), demand and ABM (76%), website (72%), social media (66%), and portfolio and product marketing (62%). Although more than half also say they are using Agile for channel marketing (56%), advertising (54%), customer engagement (54%) and events (52%), it appears to be used less for brand management (44%) activities.

Furthermore, it’s not just the marketing department that benefits from Agile. Only 8% of respondents say that Agile is not a priority for their company as a whole, while the majority say it’s either a priority within one or more functional areas (42%), a major initiative across the company, but not the most important (26%) or the most important initiative across the company (21%). Some of the other business areas using Agile include product development/management (53%), IT (44%) and sales (18%).

What Does Agile Look Like?

A similar survey from last year found that there are several incentives to adopting Agile, the most prevalent being improved productivity. And, while marketers may not adopt all the practices of Agile, there are several that do stand out, including sprint/iteration planning (58%), daily standups (57%), sprint/iteration review (45%) and a digital kanban board (44%).

Measuring the success of a strategy is always a priority for marketers, and Agile marketers appear to be happy with the results they are seeing. Many are benefiting from Agile’s effectiveness (e.g. increased engagement, greater pipeline/revenue contribution, etc., 53%), efficiency (50%) and management value (44%).

Impact of COVID-19 on Agile Adoption

While 45% of the marketers surveyed say that the pandemic has not impacted their plans to go Agile, close to 1 in 5 say that it either greatly (3%) or slightly (14%) delayed their plans. On the other hand, 2 in 5 report that the pandemic had a positive impact on them going Agile, saying that it either greatly (17%) or slightly (21%) accelerated their plans.

When the pandemic began, marketers were forced to act quickly and re-examine the strategies they had planned for the year. During this time, more than 8 in 10 Agile marketers say that Agile was extremely (44%) or somewhat (40%) important to dealing with the volatility of the pandemic.

Becoming Agile

It’s that volatility experienced in 2020 that has likely inspired a majority of marketers to adopt Agile practices, with almost two-thirds (65%) saying they want to enhance their ability to manage changing priorities.

However, of those marketers who haven’t gone Agile, 2 in 5 (43%) say that lack of training and knowledge about Agile approaches is one of their biggest barriers in doing so, while 3 in 10 (29%) say they lack the right talent to transform the team to agile.

Per the report, these barriers can be overcome by implementing an Agile project management tool (55%), adopting consistent practices and processes across teams (43%), getting executive sponsorship (32%) and acquiring online and/or in-person training (30%).

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 580 marketers, 51% of whom professed to use at least some parts of an Agile marketing approach.

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