Agile marketing is a great fit for companies in an uncertain economic climate where budgets are tight and customer profiles are changing. Agile marketing centers around “sprints” – campaigns that are typically of short duration and where participants measure results frequently, iterate to optimize results in the current campaign and apply lessons learned to future efforts.
Agile marketing is usually a budget-friendly approach when compared to a traditional marketing campaign, which might roll out over many weeks or months. The upfront investment in time and money is typically smaller in an agile campaign, and by its nature, agile marketing enables quick course correction. These qualities are almost certainly contributing to agile marketing’s rising popularity.
But one roadblock many marketing teams encounter when they embrace an agile approach is how to integrate the data generated by all their martech tools. A large B2B marketing operation might use a dozen or more point solutions to manage digital campaigns, all of which generate data in different formats. To fully optimize their agile approach, they need a way to integrate that data and measure marketing campaign performance on the fly.
Measurement Deserves Its Own Sprint
Agile methodology is centered around the concept of a sprint: a defined time period in which a specific project (a campaign, in the case of agile marketing) gets completed. The length varies, but it’s typically short — two or three weeks, for example. Sprints include frequent meetings of the small, often cross-functional team to keep projects on track, review results and discuss iterations.
If you’re using agile marketing methods, it’s a good idea to consider a concurrent measurement sprint.
It’s a fairly new concept, but given the importance of measurement in the agile marketing framework, it’s critical that everyone is on the same page regarding campaign performance, including the progress of leads through the marketing and sales funnel and revenue attribution.
A measurement sprint involves periodic meetings with representatives from the groups participating in the campaign sprint — sales operations, marketing operations, demand gen and telemarketing, for example. During the meetings, the group can evaluate funnel metrics and attribution data associated with the campaign and determine how the campaign is performing.
Sales representatives can also provide feedback on lead quality during the measurement sprint. The group can discuss any unexpected results and possible explanations. Meetings would end with assignments to address unresolved questions. At the end of the sprint, both the campaign and measurement sprint teams can note lessons learned to apply to the next agile project.
Focus on Metrics Requires a Single Source of Data Truth
Due to the intensive focus on metrics, it’s critical to find a way to integrate all of the point solution data in a single source of truth. At most B2B companies, the best option is the CRM, which many B2B marketers already use because it is connected to sales and provides an infrastructure that can handle datasets. By integrating all of the data in the CRM and using marketing performance measurement tools built for the CRM platform, marketers can accurately measure funnel impact and attribute revenue seamlessly using numbers that are credible with sales and other departments.
The description of the measurement sprint above makes it clear that a single source of truth is necessary for the success of an agile approach. Since marketing point solutions produce a lot of data in a variety of formats, there’s a level of complexity that is nearly impossible for a small team to overcome using manual processes to measure progress, such as data entry on spreadsheets.
When marketers capture data from various point solutions automatically inside the CRM and measure campaign performance, they can get accurate information on lead volume, velocity and conversion rates in real time. They can also accurately attribute revenue to campaigns, which allows them to invest in campaigns that produce results. That’s how to make sure the martech stack supports agile marketing.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bonnie Crater is a co-founder and the president and CEO of Full Circle Insights, which delivers sales and marketing performance management solutions to optimize a company’s marketing mix and drive more revenue.