Both business and marketing worlds are rapidly evolving all thanks to the power of technology. Today, companies are able to respond, adjust, and embrace changes at a much faster rate. Something that once took months to be implemented can now be executed in hours as companies try to cope with aggressive competition and volatile markets. Equally, marketers are being compelled to move with the flow and maintain flexibility to be able to create coherent marketing strategies rather than throwing the dice and waiting to see what happens.
That is where agile marketing comes in. It helps businesses and marketers create a marketing approach, from planning to execution, using data and rapid iteration.
Simply put, agile marketing is a strategic marketing approach whereby marketing teams identify high-value projects to concentrate their efforts on. The teams use sprints to collaboratively complete projects after which they measure the project’s impact. Then they continuously and incrementally improve on their results over time.
According to a 2018 survey by Agile Sherpas, 55% of marketing teams have seen increased benefits brought about by agile marketing. Some of these benefits include shifting gears more quickly, better project visibility, and high-quality work.
Why do you need agile marketing tools for your business?
Maybe, you wonder why you need to have marketing tools at all and for what purpose? Or, perhaps, you aren’t sure which specific tools match your business model? It’s an undeniable fact that agile marketing can be and still is managed via simple and old-school methods like MS Project. However, most of these outdated methods limit collaboration between team members, especially when remote team members are involved.
The good news is that agile software development has led to the development of multiple tools that you can use to support your agile marketing. Whether you need to track and plan iterations, record user stories, prioritize backlog issues, and collaborate on marketing content, these tools will help you succeed.
Seven best agile marketing tools
Marketing tools need to be fast, easy to use and real-time. This is because they have to access data, analyze it, and make sense out of it for purposes of decision making in marketing projects with tight deadlines. Although there are multiple agile marketing tools out there, not all are equal. Many allow you to manage multiple projects in a centralized manner, and some are designed for specific tasks.
Below are seven of the most popular agile marketing tools that you and your marketing team can use today.
Jira is one of the best and probably the most widely used marketing agile tools. Initially launched as a bug and issue tracking system, Jira has matured into a fully-fledged team collaboration and project management tool.
With Jira, you can manage multiple projects, and configure it to accommodate unique processes and workflows that match your working model. This is especially important for businesses engaged in agile development and/or marketing with remote team members.
Agilean is another great agile marketing tool. This SaaS project management and workflow automation software solution is popular with small and medium IT enterprises who use it to streamline their marketing processes. Whether you are marketing Agile software development or IT services, Agilean will help in project planning, execution, monitoring, and retrospective analysis of iterations.
As a powerful open-source tool, Taiga.io is built to streamline and simplify all your marketing and project management efforts. Although it is relatively new on the market, this product is rapidly evolving to incorporate other important aspects like a documentation wiki, bug tracking, and social management, all important for agile marketing.
Blossom is a Kanban project management tool that has been specifically built as a tacking tool for distributed teams. The customizable Kanban workflow features allow you to visually display the status of ongoing work at every stage. Additionally, flexible cards help create additional files, to-dos, comments, and much more.
Another great aspect marketing teams will love about this tool is the emphasis on clarity and simplicity. This makes it super-easy for your team members to see what they are working on and spot any mistakes.
Although there is no time tracking built in, you will enjoy performance insights and analytics which will help you understand how your project is progressing for team retrospectives.
Planning and managing marketing campaigns are important for any business. With Wrike’s useful email integrations, you can organize your emails and integrate them into marketing projects. Along the the standard agile project management functionality, you have accurate and up-to-date information about your project. The real-time analytics and reports make planning easier and save time.
Probably one of the most widely known small project management tools available on the market, Trello is an excellent tool for agile marketing. Based on the Kanban methodology, Trello is the true definition of simplicity. It allows you to represent your projects on boards in a list format, and the drag-and-drop cards make it easier to plan and shuffle tasks. Attachments, checklists, colored labels, notes, due dates, and integration with other applications, ensure this tool remains popular with marketing teams.
As the name suggests, Kanbanchi is Kanban based agile tool used for agile project management and marketing. Although it's pretty similar to Trello, the true potential of this tool lies in its integration with Google’s G Suite where useful features like exporting to Google Sheets, Gantt charts, time tracking, priorities and more make the tool stand out.
If you are a Google Apps user, you will also appreciate the additional features including dashboard updates, email notifications, Google Drive file attachment storage, and Google Calendar integration.
Tips for implementing agile marketing
If you are planning on implementing agile marketing for a marketing team in one location, you don't necessarily need the latest and greatest agile project management tool. Physical boards will work well until you at least are familiar with agile processes. However, if you are in a distributed agile team, you will need digital tools to support your agile marketing efforts.
The following tips will help you when implementing agile marketing.
Embrace change as a process
Being at the forefront of change in your company is pretty intimidating. It is a good idea to be open to the idea of change right from the start. Your chances of succeeding in agile marketing rely on how comfortable you are with knowing that not everything that you do will work instantaneously.
Sell your ideas to stakeholders
When managers, department heads, and other team members are expected to implement new processes, it's only fair to involve them in the decision making process. This will raise the likelihood of a successful project.
Forcing new concepts onto disgruntled teams is counterproductive both in the long and the short term.
Choose the right agile tools
Whether you use software or physical board, your project management tool suite must be suited to support agile marketing. Ideally, the team should be able to take advantage of the full capabilities of the tools they use, rather than pushing the tools’ limitations.
Understand agile processes
Understanding agile methodology is necessary and can determine whether your marketing plan will succeed or not. Many businesses blindly implement small isolated pieces of agile methodology without fully understanding how they work and their benefits. As a result, these businessesy don’t fully use the agile marketing tools’ capabilities and can’t reap their full benefits.
Agile marketing processes can cause confusion in marketing teams, especially when they are used to conventional, waterfall processes. However, the key lies in starting small and scaling up once you have settled on and refined an agile marketing process and picked the tools that suits your marketing teams’ needs. And as the agile tool ecosystem continues to grow, you will most certainly find the right tools for your situation and projects.
About the author
Anastasia Stefanuk is a passionate writer and a marketing manager at Mobilunity. Her company provides professional staffing services to all sectors, so she is always aware of technology news. Anastasia enjoys sharing her expertise to help tech startups and companies stay up-to-date with current technology.