[This article first appeared on the CTAM CMO Central site which is a members-only site. Reposted here for you.]
These days, there’s no more time to waste, and with easy access to data, CMOs have a choice: Be agile—use data to inform quick test-and-learn activities and rapidly adjust to the market—OR follow the status quo and “wait for perfect.” Marketers who wait to deliver a big splash are not taking advantage of real-time ways to infuse market feedback into the development process.
Instead of the traditional waterfall method, where the end-game is defined up front and teams don’t course-correct along the way, Agile for Marketing (A4M) focuses on reality-based prioritization to create marketing initiatives that meet customer requirements. A4M breaks big, long-term deliverables into mini-projects, delivers small wins every few weeks and iterates toward an optimal solution.
“Every month, every quarter, every year, there’s something that fundamentally impacts your underlying business model,” explains Jonathan Becher, CMO of enterprise application software developer SAP. “The reason I want the ability to adapt is not so much to be faster, because I think we’re pretty fast, but because the needs of the consumers are changing much more quickly.”
A4M also dramatically cuts down on misdirection because it’s based on weeks between concept and delivery vs. months. Frequent status meetings focus on what’s working, what’s done and what’s keeping your team from doing more, making it harder for problems to hide. If things change or people go off course, it’s a quick correction, not a complete overhaul.
Agile for Marketing evolves organizations into keenly focused units dedicated to delivering more value to customers and moving the needle on organizational KPIs. In CMO’s Agenda research, 67 percent of the CMOs using agility practices said it increases profits and revenues. It does this primarily by:
- Keeping the organization customer-focused
- Improving speed-to-market
- Making teams more productive
- Enhancing prioritization
- Delivering better, more relevant end-products
- Increasing throughput/velocity of work delivered