How Uhuru Uses Scrum for Agile Marketing

Today we're going share with you one of the secrets to our clients' and our successes, Agile Marketing.

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How Uhuru Uses Scrum for Agile Marketing

We’ll show you how Uhuru moves twice as fast, has more predictable outcomes, and gives our Agile agency—and our clients—a competitive advantage.

Agile Marketing: Rapidly, Frequently, Consistently

The marketing world no longer evolves in terms of months, quarters, or years, as it once had. Now changes take place in a matter of hours, days, or weeks. This accelerated rate of production has brought with it the need for a shift in the way we operate and organize.

Before we get into exactly what Agile marketing is, let’s take a look at what it’s not. If this example seems too familiar, don’t get discouraged. The majority of businesses are currently in the same big, old, “non-Agile” boat.

What a non-Agile team looks like:

These are the defining features of a non-Agile team:

  • Likely overwhelmed with a huge variety of initiatives that keep their attention drawn in different directions.
  • Don’t know which of those initiatives are working and which are failing or holding them back.
  • Way too much of their time is spent “doing” unnecessary tasks. There is a lack of priority for the tasks that matter the most to their success.
  • Much of their time is spent on activities and waiting for results with little to show for it. The return that should be driving them forward isn’t there.

What is Agile Marketing?

Time to introduce you to the most effective way to structure your team. You understand what makes a team “non-Agile,” so let’s take a look at what Agile is and how it can dramatically enhance your marketing results.

“Agile marketing is an approach in which teams identify and focus their collective efforts on high-value activities and projects, complete those tasks collaboratively, measure their impact, and then continuously and incrementally improve the results over time.”

As the name suggests, Agile gives businesses the ability to think on their feet and make quick changes in the direction in which their marketing is heading.

It evolves continually rather than being strictly defined by lengthy, time-intensive campaigns.

The philosophy behind Agile is currently being applied to a number of different industries. We help businesses transition to Agile marketing because we’ve experienced such impressive results for Uhuru.

Uhuru is 50-75% faster than we were before Agile and it’s had an incredible improvement on culture.

We use Agile marketing to increase transparency, efficiency, and adaptability in the following ways:

  • We define our highest value tasks and ensure that they receive the majority share of our focus.
  • We develop a process to handle said tasks and define the parties responsible for their completion.
  • We measure our success on the fly, testing and refining our approach to achieve our goals.
  • We learn from our mistakes. Rather than assuming that we’ve achieved perfection from the offset, we continually modify and improve to achieve the greatest result.

Agile marketing gives you the ability to scale, adapt, and deliver. Scrum gives you a straightforward framework to realize your Agile marketing potential and is the backbone to our Digital Marketing Programs.

What is Scrum?

Originally formalized for complex software development projects, Scrum is also a useful methodology for delivering innovative digital marketing strategies. Scrum is a framework that boosts transparency and adaptability. It makes it easier for each member of your team to consistently return high-quality results.

In the real world, Scrum is a collection of tactics that work together to create a focused efficiency for your marketing.

To implement the Scrum framework, a team must include certain events in their work structure. At a minimum, it starts with a Daily Huddle, Sprints, and Sprint Review and Planning.

To help understand these events more clearly, take a look at how we utilize Scrum to streamline our Agency.

How we do Agile marketing with Scrum

Now that you know what Agile marketing and Scrum are, let’s examine how Uhuru puts them to work in the real world.

BA Points –

We introduced BA Points and, like its Agile sister “Story Points,” it is used as a means of calculating the complexity of marketing tasks. These help our company visualize the contribution of each team member and give a quick overview of our distribution of task complexity.

We also use BA Points to price and deliver our ongoing digital marketing services. Each task required to execute your digital marketing strategy, like writing a blog post, creating a landing page, or building Facebook Ad campaigns, will be estimated in the form of Points.

Rather than pricing our services based on unpredictable billable hours or rigid monthly plans, this model allows us to work side by side with our clients to plan which tasks will be completed each month to achieve the desired goals and outcomes with benefit from utmost budget certainty.

Sprints –

A sprint is how long our team has to complete their current tasks and projects. Typically these range from 1-2 weeks. Some larger initiatives won’t fit into a single sprint, so we break those up into bite-sized pieces to tackle and move along sprint by sprint.

Daily Team Huddles –

Every day our team gets together for a very brief check-in, with ours ranging from 15-20 minutes at the most. Each team member goes over what they did the day before, what they’re planning to do today, and any challenges they’ve encountered. Challenges are addressed right away.

Project Management with Redbooth –

Our entire team has access to a software platform that allows us to centralize the way we track our sprint. Also, each client has access to our Marketing Sprint for their company that extends our transparency beyond our team, to the clients under our care.

Teamwork –

While each person “owns” a particular project or task, the success or failure of the sprint rests on ALL of the team members. Everyone must be willing to collaborate and assist for the Agile framework to be successful.

Sprint Review and Scrum Planning –

Each week we review the tasks during our weekly Sprint Review. Here’s where we focus on quality assurance and discuss ways the week could have been improved.

Agile marketing allows Uhuru to:

  • Respond quickly to changes in the market
  • Rapidly produce and test campaigns, and optimize them over time
  • Experiment with lots of things and repeat successes
  • Use input from other departments and skill sets to enhance marketing efforts
  • Prove choices in campaigns and projects with hard data
  • Have open communication and collaboration with team members to prevent silos or a tunnel-vision approach to marketing

Agile marketing also allows us to boost our content marketing by speeding up the process with which we generate and share high-quality content.

Social media and conversion optimization move forward in a similar manner, allowing us to roll out new campaigns rapidly.

By now you’re probably imagining the vast array of exceptional improvements you’ll be able to make to your business when you implement Agile marketing. We’ve experienced some serious benefits for our agency and the clients our Agile marketing supports.

Benefits to Uhuru and our clients

There are 5 dramatic benefits that our clients experience:

Visibility and Transparency – The entire company understands what’s going on at any given moment and can easily determine the priorities.

Productivity – The same team will be able to accomplish more in the same timeframe (also know as throughput).

Flexibility – As new information is gathered or new variables come into play, changes can be made immediately, and a simple course correction can keep your marketing on track.

Clarity – Priorities are given the spotlight they deserve, and less important tasks see a decrease in time and attention.

Results – The goal of any and all marketing: results are improved and return is increased.

A bit of advice

If you’re ready to institute Agile marketing with your team, I’d like you to consider a few things before you get started.

Several variables affect the outcome of any type of marketing. One of the most important is the team implementing your marketing strategies. Each team member will need to be totally on board for the overhaul this new framework requires. Agile marketing in itself won’t change the way your team behaves or translate to overnight improvement. Rally your team and get them to stand behind the change.

Here are 5 tips to get Agile marketing buy-in:

  1. Tell your team why they should be interested in Agile marketing.
  2. Tell them why they should believe that it could truly improve and empower the team.
  3. Prove that it’s true.
  4. List all the benefits of Agile marketing and Scrum.
  5. Teach your team how to run Scrum.

Agile marketing is an “all for one and one for all” approach. Each member should always be improving the way they work with their team. Your success with Agile depends on the strength of the entire unit.

Furthermore, you’ll depend on a strong team discipline that can take time to cultivate. Give your people the freedom to work in a new way and ensure that the entire team understands and appreciates what each person is contributing. Embrace the successes, and iron out any kinks as they come.

Agile marketing has allowed us to find our highest level of efficiency and adaptability to date. We’ve replicated our success with our clients and can get your marketing team to perform at its maximum.

Here’s to your success,

Peter

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