Agile marketing in large enterprise: a Wideband review

April 3rd, 2018

When you think of large enterprises, the word ‘agile’ doesn’t always spring to mind. In fact, big businesses often have a reputation for being slow to adopt change.

But the truth is, agile marketing isn’t just a strategy for small and medium-sized businesses – despite what the name suggests. In this review, we look into what agile marketing is, a brief overview of the companies using it already, and how other large enterprises can implement this approach.

What is agile marketing?

Agile marketing might be a buzz phrase, but it’s one that lives up to its reputation. Put simply, agile marketing is a tactical approach to marketing, in which teams identify and work together on high-value projects. While each approach will differ slightly from one enterprise to the next, the same values tend to apply.

According to Moz, these include:

  • Responding to change over following a plan
  • Rapid iterations over Big-Bang campaigns
  • Testing and data over opinions and conventions
  • Many small experiments over a few large bets
  • Individuals and interactions over one size fits all
  • Collaboration over silos and hierarchy.

Many agile marketing teams follow a method called Scrum. While there are other methods, such as Kanban and Scrumban (a mashing together of both), Scrum is generally the most popular approach.

Using this method, agile marketing teams work in short and intensive periods – otherwise known as “sprints”. They constantly measure their results and use them to continually improve their efforts incrementally. There is also a heavy focus on deliberate experimentation, and teams will embrace failure – using it to better their efforts.

Ultimately, the idea behind agile marketing is to be more adaptive, iterative and collaborative. This helps businesses – both big and small – get more things done, get the right things done, and improve the speed and responsiveness of their marketing and communications.

How agile marketing is impacted by IT infrastructure

Dion Hutcliffe, when writing for ZDNet, has previously suggested that businesses will need to make radical changes to their business core structure if they want to survive in the digital age.

“The very relevance and effectiveness of an organization now requires…adapting the very business itself to the new digital-centric world,” he said.

This requires more than just updating your website to being mobile-friendly and moving your systems to a cloud-based platform – it’s about restructuring your entire business IT infrastructure to support a business digitally. This shift should allow for agile marketing and methodology, agile workplaces in terms of remote work and flexible working, and increased scalability across business operations.

Examples of agile marketing in large enterprises

So how does agile marketing work at scale? The best way to review this question is to investigate what is already happening in the world of big business.In an article written for Forbes, Steve Denning writes about large enterprises using agile methodologies – including Ericsson, Barclays, Spotify and Microsoft.

There are also case studies from software and technology companies, universities, banks and more.Marketing Insider Group have even started tallying which enterprises have used and benefited from agile marketing, including big names such as IMB, Mozilla, Deakin University, Dell, and Santandar Bank. Amazon and Spotify are another two examples of large enterprises that have used Scrum methodology to improve their working style.

From these examples, it’s clear that agile marketing isn’t just an approach for small and medium-sized businesses. Many larger enterprises have already embraced agile methodologies and marketing strategies. In turn, this is helping them tackle complex problems, work with greater efficiency, improve their internal communications, delight their customers in new ways, and adapt to a constantly changing marketplace.

As an experienced Enterprise Internet Provider in Australia, we understand better than any other industry how important it is to be adaptable to change. That’s why our customers trust us to find the right solution for your business internet needs.

Find out more about how Wideband can assist your large enterprise here.

Ways to implement agile marketing

Introducing agile marketing to a large enterprise may not require huge amounts of operational heft. While marketing teams will need to devote time and patience to the ins and outs of their particular approach, there are some basic characteristics that apply.

1. For first timers, find the right project to work

Projects that benefit from agile marketing are inherently complex. If a project is too simple, agile marketing won’t make much of an impact. Therefore, teams shouldn’t be afraid to challenge themselves – this is a big part of the process.

To maintain a project, it’s important to constantly use feedback. This will help inform the sprints and make sure the project doesn’t fizzle out. When it comes to team members, having people that can tackle all the critical skills is a must. To avoid getting bogged down, it’s best to enforce limited workflow crossover with third parties and other departments.

2. Bring in an executive

When agile marketing teams are first trying to implement new approaches, it helps to have a high-ranking executive on board from the get go – someone who understands what agile marketing can achieve, is as excited as the rest of the team, and can be a sponsor.

Why? Because agile marketing isn’t always smooth sailing – even if teams are working with big budgets. There are successes and failures, breakthroughs and dead ends. Plus, finding that first project can be tough.

With an open-minded executive on board, a team will benefit from having more leeway. While it’s not necessary, it often helps to have someone on the team who is fluent in agile concepts and marketing techniques.

3. Don’t do a complete restructure

Agile marketing is very different to traditional marketing. And in many ways, agile thinking disrupts existing organisational structures. So how do large enterprises strike the right balance? This is where scaling comes in.

A great example of this is the whitepaper Scaling Agile at Spotify, which details how the company has implemented agile methods and scaling without restructuring the whole company.

Essentially, there’s no need for an enterprise to rush into restructuring. In the beginning, all it takes is one team and one project. If the agile marketing team grows and becomes successful, there might be some need for major changes to happen. However, this isn’t always the case.

Getting on board the agile marketing train

Agile marketing might sound like an approach limited to smaller businesses, but it’s obvious that bigger businesses are – and should be – adopting the process. While starting out can be tricky, it doesn’t take a complete restructure or mountains of money to begin.

From Microsoft to Spotify, some of the biggest names are already treading new ground and improving the way they do business. With the right team and approach, any large enterprise can jump on board.

If you’re thinking about adopting agile marketing, simply use the above information, real-world examples, and methods of implementation to inspire you.

If your large enterprise is planning to move to an agile methodology but your IT infrastructure is not set up sufficiently to navigate the change, Wideband can help. Contact our team to discuss how our large enterprise services can help you.

About the author

Aaron O'Keefe

Aaron O'Keefe

Aaron works from an office in the tropical Northern Territory, inciting intense jealousy from his Victorian workmates during winter. He’s an expert in IT solutions from the ground up. Aaron is National Sales Manager of Wideband, which specialises in bespoke telco solutions for corporate and government customers.

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