Case Study — 8 Min Read

How any nimble agency should take advantage of Scrum for Agile Marketing?

Case Study — 8 Min Read

How any nimble agency should take advantage of Scrum for Agile Marketing?

According to Wikipedia Agile (in software development context) practices involve discovering requirements and developing solutions through the collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams and their customer(s)/end-user(s). It advocates adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continual improvement, and it encourages flexible responses to change.

Where did Agile come from?

Since it’s such a popular buzzword, widely used in today’s IT companies and start-ups, it must mean that it’s something completely new! However, Agile’s roots can be traced back to Japanese concepts of production process management introduced just after the end of World War II.

Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of the Toyota car factory and the father of Kaizen, became a pioneer in this respect – an approach based on continuous process improvement. It has become one of the foundations of the Toyota Production System (TPS), which has now been extended to the concept of lean management.

The actual development of Agile, however, is linked with the IT industry. The development of the global network was an impulse to create new programming languages ​​(PHP, Ruby, JavaScript) and create active virtual communities. The gaining momentum of the open-source movement contributed to the ongoing changes.

In 2001, seventeen of the most influential programmers and project managers established a four-point declaration supplemented by twelve principles that would change the face of the IT world. Their work was proudly called the Agile Manifesto and was enthusiastically received. Among the signatories of the agreement, there were, among others Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwarber (creators of Scrum, the most popular of agile methods) or Ward Cunningham (one of the first Wikipedia creators).

Principles and Values ​​- Agile Manifesto

The Agile Manifesto is based on four main principles.

  • People and interactions beyond processes and tools.
  • Working software over extensive documentation.
  • Cooperation with the client beyond formal arrangements.
  • Responding to change over following a plan.

Agile in marketing

Keeping the effectiveness on a high level in the environment with frequent changes required a completely new approach. Yet, marketing practitioners did not want to reinvent the wheel so they came up with the idea of adjusting the Agile principles to the marketing reality.

Adapting Agile to the work of marketers required minor changes. Agile marketing is based on the following principles:

  • First, the customer.
  • Interdisciplinary (multitasking) teams.
  • Action is always better than no action.
  • Create, measure, and learn.

Agile Marketing allows us to simultaneously focus on the user and react to the upcoming changes. The action based on the interaction of team members in conjunction with iterations is making the project progress overnight. By using frequent summaries, we avoid the risk of “going back to earth” when the whole project enters its final phase.

Scrum – how to implement an agile marketing

One of the Agile-based methodologies is Scrum, which can improve work on a project exposed to numerous changes. In marketing, these can be hundreds of small, not necessarily incremental (which on average several times a year is shown by the constantly changing Google algorithm, sometimes turning the search results on its head), changes.

Teamwork. The methodology is based on working in an interdisciplinary team that – working in the same place and at the same time – has the full range of competencies needed to achieve the goal. The principle of “one for all, all for one” works. The team is also composed of the Product Owner representing the business and overseeing the organization of work in accordance with the Scrum Master methodology. As a standard, the team consists of 3 to 9 people.

Work in sprints. An important feature of Scrum is its iteration. This is called “Sprints” – stages lasting from 2 to 4 weeks, followed by meetings to summarize the effects, collect feedback and plan further activities.

Daily standup meetings. It takes place once a day and is used to check the implementation of a given sprint. Each member takes 10-15 minutes to answer three questions:

    • How did I contribute yesterday to the achievement of the goal?
    • What do I plan to do today to contribute to the goal?
    • What obstacles may make it difficult for me or my team to achieve my goal?

Free Agile Marketing support tools

Effective support for agile marketing organizations may be Slack – for communication on standup meetings. Trello is used to manage tasks and set priorities (backlogs). Toggl or TopTracker can also make it easier to manage tasks over time.


Superior quality product

Since Agile assumes testing as an integral phase, it translates into overall superior quality. Besides, a client remains involved in the development process and can ask for changes depending on the market realities.

Cuts costs

Perhaps one of the most important benefits of Agile for a business is that Agile processes can significantly reduce costs. This is done by focusing only on meeting the customer’s needs.

Reduces the risk

Each team member involved in the project receives feedback on product development. This helps to solve problems before too much time and energy is invested and to correct actions if necessary.

Enables flexibility and innovation

Agile methodology allows us to adapt to changes in the market and enables new technologies to be incorporated. Agile is also a creative methodology that encourages employees to think freely. Releasing employees from predetermined rules, allows them to think innovatively and act creatively.

Reduces time of idling

Frequent feedback, regular meetings, and Sprints help you quickly identify and eliminate problems, thus reducing losses. Documentation also exists in Agile, but it is much smaller than in traditional methods.

Increases productivity

Short sprints and self-organizing development teams have a shared responsibility to meet their commitments. It is team autonomy that helps to accelerate decisions and increase productivity.

Improves staff morale

The autonomous nature of agile work has a huge impact on team morale and motivation, allowing them to make decisions, plan and organize workload, which automatically increases commitment.

People are happier because of agility

Every person involved in the project, including the client, has a chance to express their opinion on the progress at every stage of the project. As a result, satisfaction is usually very high as everyone has a constant influence on product development.