Agile works for a variety of different size companies, in this interview with Nicholas Scalice we explore how Nicholas uses the agile process for his own work as a marketing consultant, and when working with clients.
What's your background with Agile? how did you come to use agile for marketing?
I originally encountered agile marketing as a freelance social media consultant. I recall reading several blog posts about it all within a pretty short period of time, and looking into it out of curiosity. What I quickly found was a framework that made a lot of sense for what I was doing at the time. Social media marketing is so dynamic and sporadic, that you really need a strong system in place to manage the day-to-day. Agile filled that need perfectly. Now, I do a lot more than social media marketing. My work today focuses on marketing consulting, with a specialty in inbound marketing. And inbound works extremely well with agile. It's like they were made for each other.
How do you use agile in your marketing efforts? What for? Just your own marketing, or for clients?
The interesting thing about agile marketing is that it works regardless of whether you're using it just on your own or with a team. Probably one of the biggest misconceptions people have about agile is that you need to use it with a team in order for it to make sense. That's totally not the case. While it is probably much more commonly put into practice within a team setting, many marketers use it independently.
I do both. For one of my largest clients, I try to advance an agile methodology into our daily activities. While we're not fully there yet, we're certainly using many of the key principles and this is reflected in the success of our campaigns.
How do you use agile operationally? Scrum, Sprints, what's the process you use?
Since I work with several remote teams, and also do a lot of work independently, I don't spend a lot of time in face-to-face meetings. So I rely heavily on tools and technologies to make agile work. Some of my favorite tools for putting the agile methodology into practice include Slack (for virtual "standing" meetings), Trello (for tracking tasks at a high level), and Asana (for getting into the specifics of what needs to get done, by who and when.
What have been the benefits of using agile to you?
Agile has allowed me to focus on marketing objectives rather than the day-to-day processes. When first getting started with agile, this might not be the case, but once you have the system in place, it will get out of your way and allow for you to do what you really need to do, which is to achieve your marketing objectives. After all, we're not doing marketing so that we can use the agile methodology. We're using the agile methodology so that we can do marketing. This is a very important distinction.
So, the benefits of agile have been substantial, and I suspect they will only get better as I continue to learn new tips and tricks.
What advice would you give to a newbie just starting out in how to get started using agile marketing?
The first piece of advice I'd give to a newbie is to learn about agile from as many different sources as you can. Since agile marketing is still relatively new, there's really no one definitive source of information for newbies. Rather, it is spread out amongst several different sources, each with a slightly different focus. I believe this is for our benefit, because it allows us to really personalize how we come to understand and implement agile marketing for ourselves, instead of just "copying and pasting" the system that someone else is using.
Lastly, I'd recommend that someone new to agile marketing also study the agile methodology as it applies to software development. That's really where this all started, so as marketers, we should go back to the roots of agile and really understand why it was created and what problem it was originally trying to solve.