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Building An Offshore Agile Marketing Team
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Building An Offshore Agile Marketing Team

By Syed Zainul Haque February 06, 2019 - 3,082 views

According to McKinsey, “Agile, in the marketing context, means using data and analytics to continuously source promising opportunities or solutions to problems in real-time, deploying tests quickly, evaluating the results, and rapidly iterating.”

An Agile marketing strategy particularly helps to manage offshore marketing teams. It allows quick and efficient coordination with teams to complete several disparate marketing processes simultaneously.

The best part of offshore agile teams is clear communication. You can assign roles and targets to your offshore teams and monitor them on an ongoing basis via Scrum meetings.

In this article, we will discuss how you can build your own offshore Agile team for marketing right from the scratch.

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Points to keep in mind before building an offshore Agile team for marketing

  1. Start with identifying agencies which specialize in multiple disciplines. An agency that only specializes in digital marketing may not be able to help you with certain technical aspects of your marketing campaigns. 
  2. According to Gartner, your team should comprise a group of multidisciplinary generalists. 
  3. The team should be able to connect with several pain points that your customers may face. Based on that, they should intuitively use their skill sets to build, execute and monitor marketing campaigns autonomously.
  4. Only those agencies that specialize in multiple skills such as digital marketing, design, development and consulting will be able to achieve such a feat.
  5. Look for an agency that can work autonomously and lead itself. Gartner specifies this to be the second most important quality while identifying a team. It also adds that you should choose a team which proves its strength in data analytics too.

Identification of roles and responsibilities

Well, you can divide your marketing teams into five groups, like:

Content team:

This team works with everything related to the content of your campaigns. This includes text, audio, video, and images. You will need a great copywriter, a blogging team, and a social media team.

Sales team:

They are responsible for everything related to lead acquisition and making sales. This team may also have marketing professionals involved or if you want to create a separate marketing team to develop campaigns, you can do that too.

Monetization team:

This team is responsible for converting leads into customers by taking on multiple roles. This could be client-servicing, customer service, or plain old sales.

Data and analytics team:

You should prioritize hiring people who are good at data and analytics. Agile marketing depends on data and you will need people with a strong IT background to work with analytical tools that can derive market insights.

Strategy team:

The strategy builders should be multi-disciplinarian in their approach and should combine insight with creativity to come up with marketing and sales campaigns. Hence, they should also be experts in Agile management and should be able to conduct daily and weekly Scrum meetings.

How many people should be in each team? 

Well, there is no specific answer to this question. Because It depends on the size of your own company and also your marketing goals. 

Agile marketing revolves around the idea of scalability. It makes sense to keep the team(s) as small as possible. 

There are cases where just a single team manages all the functions we described above. Sometimes, just 2 to 3 members can form your offshore Agile marketing team, and their roles may overlap.

In other cases, you can have multiple teams with as many as 10 to 15 members in each team. And respective ScrumMasters will lead these teams. 

Organize your offshore Agile marketing team and assign leadership roles

To build your high-performing offshore Agile marketing team, start small and identify your marketing approach. The crux of agile methodology is scalability. 

A good vendor will only assign those members who will work on your project. This can be as few as just two individual members, one of whom could be the ScrumMaster. 

As your marketing requirements grow, you can add new members to your team. Because the prospects of dividing your team into multiple ones increase with each additional member. At this juncture, you can refer to our guidelines regarding a full-fledged marketing team.

Agile leadership varies across organizations and there can be different kinds of leaders. Some of the leadership roles that companies often hire externally include

  • Editorial Director – Leads the video, blog, image, social media and community management roles
  • Director of Acquisition – Leads the data analytics, sales, and marketing teams
  • Director of Monetization – Leads other roles such as monetizing campaigns, measuring Agile success, and achieving targets.

The one who leads the team should have a decent intellectual capacity. And he or she should be able to arrive at solutions in a creative manner. These are the primary qualities you need to look for in an agile marketing team leader:

  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Multidisciplinary skills
  • Creativity
  • Individuality
  • Leadership skills

If the marketing leader has all these qualities, he or she can play the role of the Scrum Master as well. 

Managing your offshore Agile marketing team

  • Once you have a team(s) in place, it’s time to manage the offshore Agile team as your own. Agile marketing works similar to Agile development. And the basics of Agile marketing is tracking and measuring success via regular Scrum meetings. 
  • Daily standup meetings, also known as Scrum meetings, should not last for more than 15 minutes. You can hold these meetings through video conferencing tools or even on JIRA.
  • You can conduct weekly review meetings. Eventually, it will help you to ensure that your marketing strategy is aligned with your offshore Agile marketing team’s progress.
  • Assign KPIs for each role and for each team. Measure these KPIs regularly and track job responsibilities and accountabilities.
  • We would suggest assigning the role of ScrumMaster to someone from the offshore Agile team. This way, the ScrumMaster can conduct a daily 15-minute standup at the offshore location. 
  • On the other hand, your internal representatives can conduct the weekly reviews. This is an easier way to manage and monitor campaigns while keeping team dynamics flat.

Use chaos to your benefit with Agile marketing

As you can see, building an offshore Agile marketing team is not a cakewalk. So, it’s important to consult with vendors who stick to Agile philosophy strictly and build your team slowly. 

First, start with identifying your marketing goals. And fill roles that suit your strategy. Then start working with ScrumMasters and regularly receive updates about Scrum meetings and conduct reviews. 

Learn from iterations and scale up/down depending on the situation. Agile marketing provides you with the perfect methodology to put order into a chaotic marketing environment. Also, it helps you to leverage seeming chaos to your benefit. Starting small and scaling up or down as per your growth requirements is the perfect recipe for a successful offshore Agile marketing team.