The original business concept of 'agility' stems from the 2001 Manifesto for Agile Software Development, which was put together by 17 software developers at a meeting at Utah in the USA.
Fast forward nearly two decades and being 'agile' in the advertising industry is more of a buzzword rather than a common occurrence. We continue to see concepts fall flat as they come to life after the zeitgeist has passed.
In the case of Pick n Pay's recent iNkukhu ad for chicken
, Pick n Pay missed the mark altogether by not having the right team on the job, as well as not being quick enough to respond appropriately.
Using the word 'agile' as a proper noun is still a hotly contested debate, as director of products at Mobikon outlines in RIP Agile, Long live Agility
. But for the purposes of this article, the overall work process philosophy, which the Agile Manifesto put into motion, is taken into account.
Simply put, outside of software development, how can we propel campaigns from concept to screen more quickly, making them more relevant to customers and a better sales tool for our clients?
Following agile's modular approach, here are four tips to optimising your agile marketing:
1. Keep the creativity flowing
A valid point was made in the book Simple Habits for Complex Times
. What's possible outside of the plan? How do we keep creativity flowing in order to lead an agile team?
Andrew Ng, the founder of Coursera, believes you can be more creative in a systematic way, rather than wait for flashes of genius
. "I found that whenever I wasn't sure what to do next, I would go and learn a lot, read a lot, talk to experts. I don't know how the human brain works but it's almost magical; when you read enough or talk to enough experts, when you have enough inputs, new ideas start appearing," says Ng.
2. Provide different input for different outcomes
When we think about what's at the edge of possibility, we begin to expand our thinking and eliminate time-wasters — such as long meetings. Challenging the methodology of idea adoption, agile teams use 'sprints'.
These are meetings held for about 10 minutes, where people literally 'stand up' and check-in to keep the team in sync. In fact, 'too many meetings' is cited as the top time-waster by in the United States by 47% of employees.
Strategy and Business also report
that approximately 55 million meetings are held in the United States every day, costing an annual $1.4-trillion dollars, excluding indirect costs such as employee frustration.
3. Have a curious team to make agile adoption easier
Agile works best with an accomplished, driven and curious team. There's a high level of autonomy involved as one needs to roll with the production quickly. Aside from the benefit of working fast, 87% of agile CMOs
found their teams to be more productive following the transition to agile marketing.
Another thing to consider when putting a team together is: Who do you really
need? Practice taking a team member out of the equation and asking how the job would work without them.
4. Be agile: do not over-plan
Be ambitious but don't plan too far in advance. The aim is to have a largely autonomous team who can run with the ball and be self-governing. For this to happen, the team needs to work closely with internal and external people involved.
If you always have time-saving as a goal, different ways to do things will crop up as you go — without needing to plan the minutiae of the project. One Lady & A Tribe recently did a commercial for the Nelson Mandela Foundation in five days
— from shoot to screen. One of the ways the agency managed this was by having the editor working during filming.
Adopting agility into your business could result in in better productivity, a happier team, as well as a quicker and better product to market than traditional approaches, can achieve. It also frees up leadership to focus on long-term company vision.
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. *Image courtesy of One Lady & A Tribe.