Agile Marketing Playbook Part 2 - B2B marketing agency for technology sector | London | Now

Agile Marketing Playbook Part 2

Agile strategy. Big room planning and the agile marketing roadmap.

Written by

NOW|Sarah

You’ve chosen your war-room team and are ready to embrace agile marketing. What’s next?

The second step in the agile marketing process is “Big Room (Strategic) Planning.”

What is Big Room Planning?

Big Room Planning (BRP) is where all members of a team and other stakeholders get together in the same room (“big room” – face-to-face or virtually). It’s an interactive meeting where everyone is encouraged to collaborate towards a shared understanding of how they can work together towards long term (or horizon) business goals with clear outcomes.

Why do you need Big Room Planning?

It nurtures collaboration:

it builds trust, encourages inclusion and commitment. By planning together and listening to a diverse range of voices with contributions from different levels of the organisation, everyone feels invested and can make things happen more quickly, while understanding the big picture.

It pinpoints horizon goals

It’s a great way of persuading stakeholders from all parts of the business (think finance, operations, as well as marketing) that there is a strategic plan or roadmap. These horizon goals remain the business’ long term aim but with agile marketing, horizon goals allow for people pivoting and adapting to ever-changing situations and problems. With an agile approach to your marketing, it’s not about coming up with your best guess as to what you’ll be up to in a year’s time as you present your marketing plan to your board of directors, when who knows what will be going on in the world or in your organisation.

mitigation controls

It mitigates the criticism that agile is only focused on short-term goals. Agile marketing is more about the individuals, their interactions and the work itself, rather than the processes, schedules and tools. Agile values people more highly because people drive development and change, not processes. Agile marketing views change as a positive – that changes always improve a project and add more value.

Think Phileas Fogg. The intrepid explorer’s horizon goal was to travel the world in 80 days. When his hot air balloon ran aground in Italy, he didn’t abandon his long term goal, but just adapted and found a different way to achieve it despite the setback – and took the train.

How to do your own Big Room Planning

As we mentioned above, successful agile marketing requires a balance - your team needs to be strategic in the long term and agile in the short term.

Introducing the Roadmap

To do this, you’ll need to create a hierarchy, starting with a roadmap which can be split in two. The top half (in green) looks at the strategic level’s long-term vision with up to three key Themes, each supported by Initiatives.

The bottom half (in orange) of the roadmap looks at the plan’s agility and adaptability with Epics and Stories. An Epic is a series of Stories that share a wider strategic objective. An Epic will usually require work covering several sprints, and can be broken down into Stories – the smaller, short term tasks that can be completed within a single Sprint. A Sprint includes the tactical and analytical tasks that support the goals and themes established by Big Room Planning.

Big Room Planning tackles all the strategic marketing issues at the top of the plan, aiming to create a long-term vision and consistency. 

Of course, as part of your Big Room Planning, you’ll also need to collaboratively agree on what are your Horizon Goals (the Roadmap) and equally importantly decide how you’ll know that you’ve achieved these goals. You’ll want to come up with some specific KPIs and a time frame for the goals (eg the next 6 or 12 months). Of course, in the spirit of agile marketing, you’ll review these goals and can always amend or update the goals as you go.

Once you’ve established the big picture, then it’s time to start breaking your Roadmap down into Themes, Initiatives, Epics and Stories to turn your plan into actionable steps to revolutionise your marketing.

We’ll show you how in part three.

Enjoying this playbook?

Learn all about agile tactics, processes and data-driven decision making in part three

Read part three

Start building your own 12 month agile marketing plan, TODAY!

Download your free Agile Marketing Roadmap template now

Now|Comms really understand content marketing. The uplift in our brand recognition has been impressive

Steve Holland, Support Robotics