Seven agile tips to boost your B2B marketing

Seven agile tips to boost your B2B marketing

The agile approach has transformed the world of software development – and B2B marketers can follow suit.

A decade ago, software was developed for clients through the “waterfall” process: a labyrinth of planning, scoping and documenting. Products would be released many months down the line that were by then outdated, resulting in a heap of wasted money, time, effort and morale.

Then along came the Agile Manifesto. Its 12 principles favour collaboration, iteration and nimbleness, as opposed to stubborn adherence to a linear plan. Agile represents a mind-set shift that can be applied in almost any sector, anywhere, by anyone. So how can marketers put agile principles to work in the world of B2B?

1. Touch base with prospects and clients more often than you think

Collaboration is the beating heart of agile. It keeps people on the same page, it nurtures innovation, and it feeds high spirits. The tech world thrives on quick stand-up meetings and regular catch-ups to look back, look forward, identify blockers, evaluate, and recalibrate. 

Depending on the nature of your B2B, it may not be practical to check in with your prospects and clients daily – but the optimum frequency may be more often than you think, as long as you’re adding value at every touchpoint. You might get bonus points if you do it in person or over a video link, rather than by phone or email.

2. Seeking feedback sooner helps brings the outcome closer to specification

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the 80/20 rule still reigns supreme. It makes sense to share something you believe is almost finished in order to iron out the kinks with your client. This is opposed to spending a long time polishing something to perfection – only to discover there was a misunderstanding from the outset.

3. Marketers should master the ‘art of one’

The greatest businesses and marketers have mastered the ‘art of one’. Do one thing, do it for one person, have one reason for doing it – and do it in one way. A lack of focus leads to “scope creep” and erodes the likelihood that you will do any of the things well.

4. Being fast, furious and agile isn’t the same as being sloppy

Moving fast doesn’t mean cutting corners. The Agile Manifesto cites technical excellence and attention to detail as the groundwork for speed.

If your B2B marketing centres around cold sales emails, for example, then you’ll want to make sure your email templates are spotless – purged of typos, free from pasted format blunders, copy crafted by an expert, and targeted to the right people at the right time.

5. Empower your marketing team by giving them more autonomy

Humans are wired to be control freaks – a fact which can come back to haunt managers. The fact is that experienced professionals tend to do their best work when they feel trusted to get the job done.

Provided a fully-stocked B2B marketing team has the right motivation, environment and support network, it will self-organise and outperform itself over and over.

6. Embrace change and never be afraid to start again

Until such time as the robot overlords of the future develop a time machine, we will never be able to see the end before we see the beginning. That means it’s ok to scrap things and start again if the situation calls for it.

Say you’re just about to launch a B2B PPC campaign when Google announces a new PPC ad format. Which is the lesser of two evils? Plough ahead as planned and miss the boat, or regroup, rejig the campaign and be one of the first to ride the wave?

7. ‘Vanity’ metrics aren’t helping you so get rid of them!

In the words of agile, “working software is the primary measure of progress”. What this means for B2B is that marketers must have the willingness to step away from vanity metrics and open their eyes to what’s really going on.

A high bounce rate on your landing page isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Clicks and shares are meaningless if they don’t generate leads. A large but unqualified email list won’t pay its way in the end. Agile marketers must watch out for vanity metrics – and shed them.

Corissa Nunn Freelance Journalist
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