Agile marketing is gaining momentum among marketers for several reasons: Faster and more productive teamwork, better work prioritization, and the ability to adhere to feedback, just to name a few.
However, not all marketing teams are so quick to hop on the agile marketing bandwagon. 18% of marketers cite the lack of the right tools as one of the challenges they face in adopting agile marketing.
You don’t need an out-of-this-world stack to facilitate agile marketing. Odds are, you’re already using the right set of tools. It’s just a matter of utilizing what’s currently in your martech stack to enable faster value delivery through effective cross-functional collaboration – the key principles of agile.
In this article, we’ll highlight the primary marketing tools that we use to deliver successful marketing campaigns at speed and at scale.
Essential Components and Tools for Agile Marketing Teams
To achieve marketing agility, you need the alignment of processes and tools across all functions of the marketing program.
Below, we’ll walk you through the key elements of our marketing strategy as well as the technologies we use to deliver successful campaigns to our clients.
Here’s a quick overview of the process:
- Facilitate cross-functional team
- Develop buyer insights
- Map the buyer’s journey
- Create a marketing plan and start execution
- Nurture customer
- Report and iterate
Let’s dive in.
Facilitate Cross-Functional Team
The three pillars of effective cross-collaboration in agile marketing include: organizational transparency, team autonomy, and information accessibility.
With access to the right information at the right time, everyone in the team is empowered to make decisions about their work. Increasing transparency also helps break down silos and facilitate borderless collaboration between teams.
Many agile teams, regardless of their function, rely on collaboration software like Atlassian’s Jira. Brighttail included. We take advantage of the native agile project management features in Jira to coordinate work. It’s where everyone comes together to plan and manage a marketing program, track the campaign’s progress, gather feedback, and take actions.
We’ll touch more on how we use Jira Software in the Marketing Plan and Execution section of this article.
A key principle of agile is self-organized teams. Your role as a leader is to foster team autonomy by giving your employees the right support and information they need to do their best work.
Unlike traditional marketing teams that often work in silos, our core team is made of specialists from different functions. They can collaborate on an end-to-end marketing campaign, from project initiation to strategy and execution.
Atlassian products are critical to aligning projects and teams, especially when it comes to information sharing. Anyone can exploit these tools, not just to build great software, but also to manage successful marketing campaigns.
Besides Jira as a collaboration platform, we also invest in a content management platform Confluence to build a knowledge base. It’s where we document the campaign brief as well as strategy planning, resources, and other crucial information relevant to the teams.
To facilitate synchronous communication, we turn to Slack. With this instant chat platform, we can create dedicated channels for specific campaign teams for easy information updates. It’s also possible to collaborate with external stakeholders (who are not in your Slack workspace) via a shared channel.
Next, we’ll discover the other tools in a martech stack that support specific components of a marketing campaign.
As a marketer, you help your organization win by helping your customers win. To enable your team to craft the right marketing message, you need to be the voice of your customers and truly understand their pain points as well as desires. This means developing buyer insights.
For a high-level overview of the customer’s market, we use a combination of Google Trends and Similar Web to conduct competitive analysis.
Google Trends provides real-time insights on popular searches as well as search interest over time for a given topic or keyword. With this data, we can effectively capture emerging trends and respond to the buyer’s needs before everyone else.
That way, we can deliver on the promise of agile: adaptability and speed of value delivery.
We also dive into SEMrush’s competitive analytics tool to uncover top search queries, which tell us what our target audience is looking for.
Another great solution for building out key personas is SimilarWeb. This market intelligence platform provides valuable data on competitors’ online strategies, as well as their traffic sources. It tells us what kind of information or websites similar audiences are interested in.
These tools aid us in conducting preliminary research to grasp market trends (especially around the common problems faced by customers and by industry players) and how the market views our clients’ solutions.
From there, we’re able to brainstorm ideas to develop a strategic marketing approach.
Buyer Journey Mapping
How do you know which information is relevant to your buyers at a particular stage in their purchasing journey? To ensure your marketing efforts hit the mark, you need buyer journey mapping. By delivering the right information at the right time, you’ll also be able to deliver early values that build trust with your potential customers.
We start by illustrating the buyer’s journey to understand the customer’s motivations at each stage of their journey. With customers’ needs changing from time to time, we also take an agile approach to buyer journey mapping so that we can respond to our customer’s needs effectively.
In that respect, SEMrush, Answer the Public, social media platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc) and even forums like Reddit and Quora are all our go-to tools to research content that’s relevant to the target audience.
These platforms allow us to effectively strategize marketing campaigns and prioritize tasks that bring the highest value to the prospects.
Marketing Plan and Execution
This is where everything comes together!
Information from your buyer insights and persona mapping gives you a better idea of the target audience. For instance, who is most likely to convert, or who has the biggest influence on the decision makers. With a specific audience in mind, you can now plan a campaign that’s able to address their specific pain points and desires.
As mentioned above, we use Jira to manage marketing projects. At this stage, our focus is defining all the marketing initiatives required to run the campaign and adding them into the work backlog. From there, the team will discuss which tasks are most critical to tackle first, and plan the execution processes in a 2-week schedule, aka a sprint.
With the assistance of the WBS Gantt-Chart for Jira app, we are able to align teams on a big-picture campaign timeline. The app also helps us to visualize dependencies between each task, thereby enabling us to better coordinate our work.
Planning is just the starting point. What comes next is where the real magic happens.
Based on the project brief, we gather the cross-functional team to brainstorm ideas. For us, it all boils down to delivering a stellar digital experience (DX) that bolsters our campaign to standout from the crowded marketplace. To deliver exceptional DX, our teams put a lot of efforts in creating an integrated marketing strategy spanning across content development, creative direction, as well as digital advertising.
While each team has specific platforms to execute their tasks, we avoid silos by ironing out the processes. Most importantly, we look to reduce friction and minimize information scattering in places. For example, the content team uses Google Docs and Grammarly to collaborate on write-ups, where our clients can also jump in to provide early feedback. The creative and web teams share feedback and hand off visual assets via the Adobe Creative Cloud. Our digital marketing team provides the strategy to align our activities with the overall marketing goals, and help us continuously improve our work through frequent reporting.
So, the completion of our campaign development marks the beginning of an iterative marketing plan: amplify the campaign while delivering on-going value to our prospects.
That leads us to the customer nurturing strategy.
An important factor to consider when you’re developing a strategy is its scalability, which can be addressed through marketing automation. The first impression you may get from marketing automation is its convenience. It makes repetitive tasks like sending nurturing emails more scalable. But that’s not the only reason why we’re big fans of marketing automation.
Our go-to marketing automation tool is ActiveCampaign. We’re big fans of ActiveCampaign because it offers nearly the same capabilities as premium marketing automation software, like HubSpot, at a fraction of the price. It’s only marginally more expensive than MailChimp, which makes it a great solution for budget-conscious businesses that are ready to make the leap from email to marketing automation.
ActiveCampaign aids us in creating and automating workflows around a particular goal. Suppose our goal is to convert a lead into a customer. We would then nurture our leads through a series of automated emails based on how they engage with our content.
The marketing automation process helps us capture customer behavior and foresee potential problems in a workflow. But the real value is in its flexibility, which gives us the room to make iterative improvements to our on-going marketing strategy.
Any feedback (both internal and external) then factors into iterative improvements toward the final campaign deliverables.
More on that below.
Reporting and Iterative Improvements
Beyond the number of leads generated, success is also determined by your customers’ satisfaction. Hence, it’s important to identify the right metrics for measuring success once your campaign is ready to launch.
At Brighttail, we monitor multiple success metrics, including content discoverability (measured using Google Search Console) and customer engagement (measured through a combination of Google Analytics, Hotjar, and SEMrush), in addition to marketing ROI, of course.
We build our reporting capabilities with DashThis and Google Data Studio, based on which we consolidate data into a single report. This comes in handy in uncovering crucial insights that capture the marketing ROI.
Through reports, we’re able to make data-backed decisions, effectively optimize our current campaign’s performance, and gain insights for future campaign development.
The report is shared across the team. This way, everyone has visibility into the impact of their work and can celebrate success together. Remember Confluence? We compile our campaign reports there so anyone in the team can access and reflect upon.
The tools mentioned in this article make up a small portion of our martech stack. Here’s the full picture of our marketing technologies:
Over to you!
What tools are in your martech stack? Let us know by engaging with us on social media!