To be Agile, or Not to be Agile…in Marketing. That is the Question.

To be Agile, or Not to be Agile…in Marketing. That is the Question.

Ever find yourself in a situation where the end deliverable doesn’t align to intended expectations? Whether you happen to be the client/primary stakeholder of the project OR the creative/production lead responsible for the deliverable, it’s apparent that there has been a big disconnect.

The Problem – Client vs. Creatives – It’s still not what the client expected but creatives still don’t understand what the client really wants.  

As the client you’re frustrated because so much time (and money) has been wasted. You’ve been going back and forth on the creative, yet the agency/designer (or even internal marketing team) still hasn't nailed it.  Plus, it has taken so long between iterations that you feel they haven’t been moving fast enough.

But as the creative/production lead you feel your client isn’t providing a clear vision of what their desired end state is. You find yourself constantly making changes but it isn’t getting you any closer to what your client wants. You are burning through hours and the engagement is costing you more money than you ever expected.

The Cause – He said/she said. In the end, it all comes down to a lack of information, communication, and limitations with the speed of development.

Forward progression is stalling and negatively impacting the working relationship.

On the client side, you’re concerned that your agency isn’t really getting your business. Where they should be able to anticipate what you want or need, they can’t. You’re expecting them to understand and take into account how the changes you may want to do (or changes that result from other industry factors) would impact the end execution. You’re environment is dynamic and want your agency to be the same. Delivering feedback and then waiting for another week or more to see all the changes isn’t flexing and moving at the speed you require.

Yet from the agency/production perspective, you feel there hasn’t been enough information provided to truly understand the client’s rationale or point of view. As the creative working on the project, you’re not getting the ongoing context of the business and aren’t always aware of the ever-changing dynamics that impact a client’s decisions. You’re expected to just get it done (and it seems at lighting speed) but you don’t know what the real end goal should look like.

The unfortunate result – a strained relationship with both sides settling on a final product that isn’t optimal because time’s run out.

There’s growing tension, and growing frustration on both ends.  Time has run out and something has to be put in market. But that something doesn’t feel like a home run.

It’s clear the current approach isn’t working. The reality is that the more traditional workflow, which is still sequential in nature, isn’t facilitating an ability to adjust and pivot rapidly.

The Solution – Take an agile approach to marketing.

This shift towards an agile marketing approach enables…

  • Alignment around the business context from start to finish -  From the beginning, the agency becomes embedded in the client’s business. The frequent touch points to collect feedback help provide the WHY behind the WHAT. This continuous feedback loop  of information also ultimately makes it easier for everyone to adapt and shift to the changing needs and deliver an end product that everyone had a part in developing.

  • Efficiency and velocity in the creative process - No longer is it about being perfect right out of the gate. The focus is on sharing ideas as quickly possible knowing that it will be revised and improved collectively. And in the process, you are developing an initial framework that ultimately lets you move more quickly.

  • An ability to dynamically pivot lowering risk  - You may start out by having an idea of what you want to do. But soon, you realize that you may have to shift gears because the concept isn’t coming to fruition the way you hoped or expected. By pivoting early and often, you increase your likelihood of reaching a final product that hits  the mark -  ultimately saving time and money and reaching your business goals.

In short, what you end up with is a better end product that is delivered quickly and meets the intended business goals. PLUS you end up with a more integrated working relationship in the process.