In the past, marketing and product development were considered distinct functions, but today, they are deeply intertwined. The success of a business is determined by the balance of many factors, but marketing is at the forefront. You may be familiar with the Scrum methodology, a framework that is used throughout the software development world. Scrum is a framework for agile project management. It promotes clarity in prioritization, teamwork, and regular deliveries of value.
While many businesses have adopted Scrum for software development, how is it being used for marketing? How can marketing be built into a Scrum framework to promote agile marketing and product development? A few industry experts provide guidance on how to do this.
Using Scrum For Marketing
You may be familiar with the Scrum method. Scrum is a framework for agile project management that is gaining popularity in the software community. It promotes clear communication, sets the right expectations, and helps individuals and groups work together to meet clear goals. Scrum can be used for software development, but it is also applicable to marketing. This is because marketing is a subset of sales, which is a subset of the whole business.
Scrum promotes transparency through frequent and open communications between members. Marketing functions can be broken down into three roles: market segmentation, brand development, and marketing plan. Each role has its own Scrum project, which should be developed in parallel.
Role 1: Market Segmentation
Market segmentation is the process of identifying customer personas and creating customer-facing products and services that are tailored to their unique needs. For instance, if you notice, many Amazon products are marketed to specific customer personas. This is because the retailer understands that people have different needs depending on their situations. For example, an e-commerce store may specialize in one-click shopping but also offers delivery services for those who want to grab a quick bite to eat. Market segmentation drives product and service development.
Market segmentation should be considered a priority to create a unique value proposition that will appeal to your target audience. The process of market segmentation can be a challenging task, especially in the age of digital marketing where it’s often hard to know where to start. If you need help with this critical step, seek the advice of experts who can craft a comprehensive marketing strategy that will make your business memorable and accessible to your target audience. Consider the segments you’ve defined: your target audience, the problem you’re solving, and the competition.
Role 2: Brand Development
Branding is the process of associating a name, image, and/or logo with a product or service. It’s the identity of your business. Your brand will dictate the values you promote, the language you use, and the ambiance you create. For example, the Apple brand is synonymous with quality, design, and sophistication. It also promotes a healthy lifestyle and privacy. When you develop your brand, you are designing a language and an environment that your customers will understand and value. Think of what makes your company special – your corporate mission, your distinct brand colors, the type of people you want to attract, the services you offer – everything that makes your business memorable. Your brand will become your business’s calling card, representing your expertise and values. When done right, branding can be a powerful tool for marketing. It can also be a very expensive mistake. Make sure you hire a reputable, experienced brand manager to help you develop your brand.
Role 3: Marketing Plan
Marketing plan defines your marketing strategy – the plan of action you’ll take to grow your business. It’s a living document that is regularly reviewed and updated to stay current with the ever-changing world of marketing. Your marketing plan should include the following:
- A description of the target audience – consider the demographics, psychographics, and digital platforms these people use
- A description of your product / service – what is it, who uses it, how does it work, and how does it solve a problem (this should include at least the high-level functionality)
- A description of the marketing campaign – what are you doing to promote your product / service, when will you do it, and what results do you expect to see (this should include at least the high-level strategy and the objectives you’ll use to judge its success)
- An analysis of your competitors – which ones are you competing with, why are you better, and what makes you different (this should include at least the high-level strategy and the tactics you’ll use to be the best)
- A financial analysis – what will this cost you, and what funding do you have lined up (this should include at least the high-level plan for financial resources, and whether you’ll need to seek outside investment)
- A review of existing relationships – consider the existing partners and businesses you work with, either in person or online, and what they can offer to help promote your product / service
As you work through your plan, be sure to consider what will be your key benchmarks for measurement – numbers you’ll track to determine success. Your marketing team can help you set these benchmarks, and they should be relevant to your target audience.
To wrap things up, marketing isn’t an easy process and it takes time to see results. That being said, developing a comprehensive plan and following it with action will get you a long way to connecting with your audience and creating sustainable, profitable growth.