3 reasons marketers are years behind with agile

By Stacey Ackerman

I recently had an epiphany about agile marketing. We’re 10 years behind our software counterparts! Here's why I think we marketers are behind with agile implementations and what we can do to catch up.

1. Language barriers

When you see the term “PM” what do you think of? Depending on your perspective, this could be a project manager, program manager, product manager or even preventative maintenance. It’s really confusing. When marketers are forced into translating terms from a language that was written with product and software development in mind, problems can arise because the language doesn’t speak to them.

2. Framework resistance

When I began agile coaching in the marketing space, I realized that I was trying to teach Scrum the same way that I did in software development. It wasn’t working. Common objections I heard: – “Scrum is a process for IT.” – “Scrum doesn’t make sense in marketing.” – “The language in Scrum is for software developers.”

The problem I concluded wasn’t in the framework. The problem was getting acceptance of the framework outside of the software world.

More than 60% of agile marketers are implementing a hybrid or scrumban approach. While inventing a hybrid approach seems like a great way to take what’s out there and customize it to marketers’ needs, the biggest challenge was that there was no consistent way that this was happening.

3. Reinventing the wheel

Going from company to company, I saw a lot of marketers trying to reinvent the wheel, which meant it took them longer to get off the ground while software teams were already flying.

How can we break the cycle and move forward? Here are 5 things to try: – Avoid technical jargon – Allow flexibility around agile practices and choice. – Provide a clear roadmap for teams. – Outline what success looks like for each team. – Don’t try to sell teams on a process, but what you’re going to do to resolve their business problems.

Getting ahead! 

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