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Agile Advantage: The Importance of Operational Flexibility for Inbound Marketing Agencies

December 15, 2016 Daniel Berry

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One of the biggest differentiators of inbound marketing is that it’s a fluid process. Inbound marketers are always analyzing, refining and optimizing content to keep doing what’s working and improve on what’s not. If the inbound marketing agency you’re working with (or considering) can’t adapt to your requests or industry changes on the fly, it’s going to cause some frustrations. This is why it’s important to choose an inbound marketing agency with operational flexibility.

Why Operational Flexibility is Important

The right agency will have operational flexibility so it can easily adapt to any potential stumbling blocks or obstacles. One fantastic example of operational flexibility is when an agency uses the scrum methodology to plan, organize and execute marketing efforts in short two-week time periods known as “sprints.”

Featuring daily standup meetings, this agile marketing approach gives you a competitive edge. Here are three ways it accomplishes this, as we’ve discussed in a previous post:

  • It lets everyone focus on moving the needle: Agile marketing allows you to plan short sprints of work focusing the team’s efforts on only the top priorities and what will really move the needle towards your goals. Not only will everyone benefit from this level of prioritization and focus, agile also lets everyone adapt to change easily and often. This allows marketers to test, collect information and make data-driven decisions to deliver results.
  • It reduces unpredictable costs and delays: Agile marketing means fast and productive marketing. With the daily 10 minute stand-ups and laser focus, you can get more done in a shorter amount of time, and when obstacles arise, teams are able to identify and resolve them more quickly.
  • It helps everyone understand what’s really going on: Communication and collaboration is important in many facets of life, and marketing is no exception. With agile, the marketing team typically communicates daily with a brief stand-up meeting so everyone knows who’s working on what, the status of projects and any roadblocks. Marketing can then communicate with the rest of the business (i.e. sales) to help align efforts for maximum potential.

In the end, while there may have to be adjustments in timelines and priorities, everything will be “in scope” for an agency with operational flexibility.

Questions to Ask About Operational Flexibility

An agency may claim to be operationally flexible, but how do you know they practice what they preach? If you’re considering an inbound marketing agency, ask the following questions to get a good idea about their operational flexibility:

  • What does your day-to-day operational execution look like?
  • How do you maintain flexibility to adapt to changes?
  • What is determined “in scope” for your client programs?
  • What do you do when something is out of scope?
  • How do you shift or prioritize projects?

Operational flexibility is crucial for effective inbound marketing, so finding an inbound marketing agency with an agile approach will help ensure you have a competitive advantage. 

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