Do Agile Marketers Wear the Quality Content Crown?

Do Agile Marketers Wear the Quality Content Crown?

In an interesting (and somewhat counterintuitive) twist, it turns out Agile marketing teams may have a good answer because they are more likely to prioritize quality than their traditional or ad-hoc process counterparts, according to results from AgileSherpas’ recent survey of marketing teams. Empower the teams to do that, and make sure they can work together to get it done. Agile marketers’ commitment to quality While AgileSherpas’ recent survey shows that 53% of marketers overall are prioritizing higher quality work in 2018, that stat changes when we look at how each marketer describes how their team handles the work, selecting from these three categories: Traditional: We plan our work in advance using a lot of detail and try to stick as closely as possible to that plan. Only 44% of ad hoc marketing teams say producing higher quality work is a priority. Agile marketing teams, however, are more likely to report a focus on quality. Regardless of what methodology a team uses, Agile focuses on two things that make quality the standard, no matter what the team is producing: short periods of focused work and protection from external interruption. This means a content marketer on that Agile team can really focus on completing a phase before moving to something else. To keep your content creators focused and get things out the door faster, consider embracing the idea of minimum viable content (MVC). Either way, you’ve learned something fast and gotten closer to delivering the kind of content your audience really wants. But if the team is empowered to focus on its sprint and has leadership committed to the process to deliver quality content every two weeks, Agile teams can produce audience-delighting content at a remarkable pace.

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Now that we’ve officially declared quality victorious over its long-time nemesis quantity, I’d like to propose that we also retire the well-worn phrase, “Content is king.” Instead, I’d like to propose a new alliterative truth: “Quality is queen.”

But how do we make it happen? In an interesting (and somewhat counterintuitive) twist, it turns out Agile marketing teams may have a good answer because they are more likely to prioritize quality than their traditional or ad-hoc process counterparts, according to results from AgileSherpas’ recent survey of marketing teams.

Agile marketing (briefly) defined

When it comes to Agile, language matters. A team that’s agile (lowercase “a”) may be fast, adaptive, and responsive to changing market conditions. But that doesn’t make the team Agile (capital “A”). To qualify for that label, marketing teams need to do several things:

  • Choose, apply, and consistently improve one or more Agile methodology. Kanban (a pull-based system that uses work-in-progress limits) or Scrum (the classic Agile process based around sprints) are the most common, but there’s no need to feel locked into one or the other. Most marketers end up using a hybrid approach, which is great, but they need to understand what’s available before building their custom methodology.
  • Change their mindset. Rather than making a huge plan and sticking to it no matter what, Agile teams create short-term plans, execute them, and then adapt based on what happened. No more big-bang campaigns that use a quarter’s budget; Agile teams experiment and iterate continuously.
  • Empower teams and enhance collaboration. Leadership can still determine what needs to be done, but an Agile team gets to decide most of how it happens. Empower the teams to do that, and make sure they can work together to get it done.

No single practice transforms a team from agile to Agile, but these three big changes manifest themselves in different ways of working. Things like daily stand-up meetings, visualized workflow, and limits on how much can be in progress are the hallmarks of good Agile marketing teams.

Agile marketers’ commitment to quality

While AgileSherpas’ recent survey shows that 53% of marketers overall are prioritizing higher quality work in 2018, that stat changes when we look at how each marketer describes how their team handles the work, selecting from these three categories:

  • Traditional: We plan our work in advance using a lot of detail and try to stick as closely as possible to that plan.
  • Agile: We use at least some parts of an Agile marketing approach to manage our work, such as daily stand-ups, a backlog, sprints, Kanban board, etc. We have plans, but they’re flexible and change often.
  • Ad hoc: We don’t make long-term plans. We work on what seems right from day to day and don’t have a well-defined process for managing incoming work.
agile-teams

Only 44% of ad hoc marketing teams say producing higher quality work is a priority. Traditional marketing teams are about the same, with 46% prioritizing quality.

Agile marketing teams, however, are more likely to report a focus on quality. Sixty-eight percent of them said quality…

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