teamwork with puzzle pieces

Today, brands need to respond to market dynamics swiftly. And though they rarely have the luxury of lengthy planning and strategy phases, most marketing teams still aren’t built for speed — in decision-making or execution. So, how can teams infuse more agility into the marketing process?

1. Start streamlining at the C-suite level

As consumers, we engage with marketing every day. We see product displays, view digital ads, and interact with social media. Marketing is a ubiquitous part of our lives — which can make us feel emboldened and qualified to evaluate it. The members of the C-suite are no different. It’s common for other members to weigh in on the CMO’s marketing programs. And while this is often helpful, it can also create a “too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen” situation — causing decision-making to slow and plans to stall.

If your C-suite views you as the ultimate authority on all things marketing, they’ll be less likely to interfere — and you’ll be empowered to advance with purpose, keeping your projects on track and your results on target. To establish this control, give your CEO confidence that your projects are aligned with his or her goals. Be intentional about tying your projects to broader business strategy and KPIs. Your relationship with the CIO will also support your efforts to quantify your efforts. Be sure you are working collaboratively with this critical marketing partner.

2. Play to your team’s strengths

How a marketing team is organized can also affect its impact. There are two main models of working — in-house versus agency — and both have inherent advantages and limitations. For example, with an in-house team, content creators have an intimate familiarity with the brand. But without outside input, fresh thinking is limited. And with a fixed number of contributors, it’s more challenging to scale up for bigger assignments. When you work with an agency, you can access new types of talent, expand your capabilities, and flex to fit the specific needs of a project. But in these projects, the turnaround time and budget will typically increase. 

Regardless of how your team is currently arranged, consider adopting a more hybrid approach. By continually assessing your team’s strengths and bandwidth over the entire course of a project, you can decide how to tackle each phase of work — and determine what tasks are better to take on internally and which are better to outsource. By bringing together the best of both models whenever possible, you can make your team leaner and your marketing efforts more constructive.

3. Leverage technology to take you further

To be truly agile, a marketing department has to harness the power of technology. From tracking year-over-year progress of projects to providing benchmarking insights that help establish budgets, tech platforms offer integral information that keeps operations running smoothly. Because when you’re armed with smart data about your work, your customers, and your industry, you have the confidence to make quick decisions that keep your business moving forward.

Selecting the right technology platform is also key to creating efficiency within an organization. In many companies, you’ll be working with the CIO to coordinate and select the right technologies: this is great opportunity to cement this critical relationship and define roles around information management and data mining.

Choose programs that are designed for the size of your business. For example, Marketo may be an ideal automation platform for larger businesses, but HubSpot will likely be easier to implement for small- or medium-sized companies — and still deliver real value. The same is true for a CRM: Salesforce is a powerful engine that serves larger enterprises quite effectively. But if you’re just starting out, SharpSpring may be more suitable. By ensuring that your services and solutions are aligned with your business, technology can be more productive.

4. Define what success means for your team

It’s easy for marketing departments to get swamped by a sea of small asks from across the company. And while these requests are often necessary, they can distract your team from their own goals and targets. Clearly defining team success will help you prioritize which work is most important so you and your team can ensure that key projects stay on course.

In one example, the marketing team at a financial services company prioritized three main objectives for the year. To ensure these objectives stayed top of mind, team meetings were structured around them, progress was measured against them, and bonuses were influenced by them. This constant drumbeat ensured the team was working in lockstep — an essential element of agility.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for marketing impact. But by following the tips above, you can begin adopting leaner marketing processes that give you the agility you need to compete in an increasingly accelerated world.

To learn more about implementing an agile marketing approach, contact us.

abby troy headshotAbout the author
Abby Troy is a Marketing Analyst at DeSantis Breindel. She spends her time dissecting the company’s digital world, using a combination of data analysis and creative thinking to develop marketing strategy.


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