Andrea Fryrear is an author and content marketer. But her passion is helping teams go from chaos to high performance. How does she do this? She uses a technique called Agile Marketing.
Agile Marketing hasn’t been around for a very long time, but Andrea was one of the first people to jump on board and start telling others about the success they can with this workplace technique.
Since getting her start with Agile Marketing, she’s become a certified Agile coach and leader. She’s also become a ScrumMaster (which is a facilitator for a marketing team that’s using the Agile technique).
Her love of marketing and this form of it, in particular, has moved Andrea to assist businesses in person, online, and in writing. Her latest book, Death of a Marketer, discusses why marketing has had a troubled past and how it’s changing course.
Andrea chatted with me for a bit and told me why this type of marketing technique is vital to companies today.
What Is Agile Marketing and How Can It Help Your Business?
Agile Marketing is gaining popularity because it’s a great technique for getting things done fast. However, this isn’t the way Andrea wants people to see it.
While she acknowledges that one of the perks is achieving great things in a faster amount of time, she describes Agile Marketing as a system for continuously improving marketing processes.
Agile principles encourage audience focus and collaboration. The team will focus on those principles for a period of time, and then eventually examine the results and make any necessary adjustments. Agile practices are really about continuous relief, quick iteration, and experimentation.
And most importantly – it’s a mindset.
Under the Agile umbrella are a variety of subset practices, like Scrum, Lean, Kanban, and more. Each of these subsets are simply different ways to put Agile into practice.
What makes Agile and Scrum unique is the use of fast iterations – like sprints – where you look at what you’ve accomplished so far, adjust, and then move on.
This fast examination technique allows marketing teams to do in a few weeks what used to take them months out of the year to accomplish. Therefore, these principles save companies a lot of time, money, and frustration over things that aren’t working.
Common Mistakes to Make and How to Avoid Them
Like everything in life, Agile isn’t infallible, particularly if it’s not utilized correctly. Here are a few of the common mistakes people make when trying to implement Agile changes into their business.
1. Not Taking the Incremental Approach
Trying to make too many changes at once is going to be very frustrating for you and your entire team. Slowly implement Agile strategies. Once you have one down, move onto the next.
2. Not Being Flexible
This one is somewhat ironic. When utilizing a system called Agile, it only makes sense to be flexible. But a lot of people get too caught up in “this is how we need to get this done.” Or, “these are the instructions – therefore, that’s how it’s done.”
But the important thing to remember is that no two businesses are completely alike. You have to learn how to make this system work for your unique needs. Some of the strategies won’t work because of the size of your team, the type of work that you do, or your goals.
Don’t be too strict with it. Learn what works and what doesn’t, and then adjust.
3. Too Many Hand-Offs
When a company outsources some of their work – like using the services of a graphic designer or other creative – this can slow the flow to a halt.
This is why Andrea recommends cross-functional teams. What does this mean? A cross-functional team is made up of team members are cross-trained. They know how to do their job, as well as the job of their coworkers.
For instance, let’s say you have a writer on your team. This person shouldn’t just be a good writer. They should know about SEO practices, content marketing, social media and email marketing, and other ways to communicate with the audience.
If you’re an employee and you cringe at the idea of learning all of these skills, try to think about it this way: The better your skill set, the more valuable you are.
How a AgileSherpa Can Help You Implement Strategic Changes
Andrea runs a company called AgileSherpa. Basically, this is a person who acts as a shepherd, a helper to your team.
Whether it’s Andrea or some other AgileSherpa, they can train you and your team regarding how to implement Agile practices into your daily schedule.
While it is an investment of time and money for the support, it’s definitely worth it. Those common mistakes listed above can be totally avoided when you get the training and support you need.
This training program can be a good idea for big teams and smaller teams. It can even be implemented on a trial basis. For example, Andrea recommends slowly changing the marketing structure within your business.
Instead of telling your entire team of 20 people that the old way of doing things is out and you’re all starting a new way right now, start with a handful of employees first. Test the waters. See what they gain from the training. And if it works for them, then progressively transition the rest of your team.
Get Onboard with the Marketing Technique of the Future
More and more companies are seeing the value of Agile Marketing. So much so, in fact, that some employees are even putting knowledge of this technique on their job requirements section when looking to hire new employees.
This technique is the future of marketing, of company organization, and of just getting things done in business. It allows teams to achieve their goals so much faster than marketing teams of the past. And this saves employers money and frustration.
If you want to help your team achieve more in less time, take advantage of Andrea’s AgileSherpa training options. Your team will be more efficient and your marketing campaign more cost effective.