City at Night

 Agile Marketing Challenges

Challenges in Agile Marketing 

What works and what is broken ?

Identify key areas of breakdowns 

Challenges 

The world has witnessed a steady growth in Agile marketing. According to a recent agile marketing report, over 50 percent of organizations around the world cited Agile as their preferred mode of working. However, Agile marketing is not without its fair share of challenges. 

 

Some common agile marketing challenges that marketers deal with include;

#Management of Unplanned Work

For any marketer out there, dealing with unplanned work is an unavoidable job hazard. Due to the centralized role of marketing as a core business function, marketers tend to receive a great deal of urgent and unscheduled work requests. As a result, there is a constant danger of not completing planned and scheduled strategic projects. This has led to 41 percent of Agile marketers reporting unplanned projects as one of their topmost challenges.

Solution

By adopting Agile Kanban methods such as limiting WIP (Work In Progress), only working on the sprint backlog or the strict implementation of the sprint timebox in Scrum, agile marketers can regain control of their project deliverables. Other Agile marketing practices such as setting up service level agreements (SLAs) with the stakeholders. Service level agreements assist in framing the relationship between agile marketing teams, product owners, executive sponsors, and other stakeholders to better define the expectations of every group on unplanned requests.

#Difficult Estimation of Team Velocity and Capacity

Accurate estimation of velocity and capacity of the respective teams is difficult for most teams. This is because there is the involvement of multiple factors. It becomes even harder for marketers as they are expected to handle multiple types of work.

The right estimation of team capacity & velocity helps marketers in understanding how much work they are capable of taking on as a team along with how fast they can deliver the same. Capacity, in some cases, can be difficult to analyze. It is especially true when your team has not worked together before.

Some of the major capacity influencers are:

  • Total number of team members

  • Whether or not the team members have a successful history of collaboration together

  • Number of members fully dedicated to the given team

  • Familiarity with work inside the team

 

Solution

You can estimate the bandwidth of your team by looking into the given factors. You can also take inputs from the team and analyze the average throughput of the group over time.  If you wish to excel at capacity planning by the availability of working hours, you can go through some relevant Scrum formulae to adopt the time-based approach.

#Constant Change of Plans

In agile marketing, it is a common myth that the methodology helps in eliminating the need to plan. On the other hand, agile teams are expected to plan more iteratively and quite often in comparison to conventional marketing teams.  Rigid strategic planning is not Agile. However, the constant change prevents marketers from focusing on a specific goal long enough than achieving it. In a survey, it was reported that around 28 percent of marketers were struggling with plans changing too often due to Agile adoption.

 

Solution

Leaders can consider making a case for short-term, iterative planning by focusing on the benefits of keeping up with the ever-changing demands of the customers. The generation of MVPs and hypotheses, along with tracking the results of the efforts, can help the most conventional marketers shift from traditional approaches of waterfall planning.

 

Throughout the iterative planning methodology, teams & leaders are required to ensure that they are accountable for implementing changes to the original plan. Taking relevant direction from the respective customer feedback will help teams in capturing opportunities as they arise. This eliminates the need for coming up with a brand-new plan or direction for the team every day.

 

#Interactions with Non-Agile Teams

The chances are that other teams in your organization –excluding marketing teams, might not move to Agile.

As per a finding, it is observed that 31 percent of marketers face problems when agile teams interact with non-agile teams. Adjacent departments or teams using competitive frameworks can cause communication breakdowns, create friction amongst team members, and form a general type of disconnect in the organization.

 

Solution

As you emphasize transparency or double on communication, you can join non-agile groups in the given work process. You can also motivate them to participate. Moreover, you can also consider inviting non-Agile stakeholders to the Agile meetings like reviews and stand-ups. You can share the visual workflows with the non-agile teams to allow them to follow the same.

Agile can be intimidating at times. This is because it requires you to reanalyze every single process. However, you can achieve consistent results with Agile through the dedication of every team.

 

Changing the narrative

  • Keep focusing on the positive aspects of what is working here and now is critical 

  • Optimize your team's time and resources on what is generating results will pay dividends in the future 

  • Find the courage to stay the course and steer towards your targets in spite of choppy waters 

  • Lead your team and projects to deliver results and outcomes that contribute to target sales revenue by delivering marketing projects that impact the sales pipeline