What marketers need to know about agile development

Mon, 23/03/2020 - 15:56

Today, digital marketing goes beyond creating visually appealing websites –  it’s about analysing your data and developing marketing collateral that has a measurable goal attached to it. 

Sure, it needs to be presentable – and the list goes on – but it also needs to have a purpose. 

Many factors need to be considered when making a decision, and “time” has to be one of the most heavily weighted variables that predict the outcome of your project. Not to mention, the methodology used to build your platform. Be it waterfall, rapid or agile development, neither methodology is wrong. But it’s up to marketers to analyse a brand’s objective before rolling it out. 

Let’s talk about the waterfall model 

When you think about the most commonly – or let’s say traditionally – used development technique, you’re looking at quite the process. And by the process, I’m referring to the turnaround time. The waterfall method typically involves an old(er), more structured approach to web development –  an approach where developers are continually performing trial and error on their implementations. 

It also requires a decision-maker to sign off each step, with feedback, before continuing with the next phase. While this is an incredibly time-consuming process, there is no doubt that it will result in an excellent outcome that marketers can be proud of. But realistically for marketers; however, it’s not necessarily a feasible solution for agencies jumping between development projects. 

Either way, you will need to compromise on certain deliverables to push priority objectives. 

And what about agile?

Agile is, well, agile. It’s the exact approach you need to tackle in an ever-changing digital landscape. Developers who are capable of performing agile methodologies are future-fit. They have a mindset that supports digital transformation, and honestly, they’ve come a long way to achieve it. 

If they’re not innovating with the latest dev methodologies, they’re expected to build a website with contextual elements such as copy, search engine optimisation (SEO) and user experience (UX) in mind, supporting a brand’s marketing needs. Fortunately, these elements are all possible with agile. Agile works with low-code to accelerate turnaround time on production. It’s a flexible approach that encourages team collaboration. Let’s take a look at the three main benefits of using agile development: 

  • It’s fast

When working with agile methodologies, it’s a given that your teams will be able to develop and launch a website faster than any waterfall project. This streamlined approach requires less planning and more on-the-go tweaking and adjustments to speed up the process. If you have a strong, agile team, you will be able to begin production straight off the bat; all you’ll need is a well-thought-out list of features for potential clients to choose from. During the planning phase, a word of advice would be to not commit to a waterfall-like costing structure as priorities will change throughout the project. 

  • It’s flexible

Depending on a client’s objectives, you will need to make a decision on the type of methodology to use. For instance, if you’re dealing with a corporate client with clearly defined website requirements, you will likely use a waterfall approach as it will become a project that requires attention to detail. However, in an agency environment where you are switching between brands that require flexibility in terms of features, applications and more, it would make sense to use an agile method to get ahead. 

By the time you gather insights on what you ‘should’ change, with reasoning, your competitors are one step ahead of the curb, impressing your customers with their speedy implementations. Essentially, marketers need to understand how agile can benefit them in an ever-changing market, as long as they’re equipped with the knowledge and resources needed to roll out these changes in real-time. 

Over time, the bigger your development team becomes, the easier it will be to tailor your agile approach and group your employees according to skills. This will enable you to tackle more, varied projects at the same time. 

  • It’s testable

If you’re dealing with a lemon of a client – or simply a client who is very invested in the rollout of their first website project – agile development puts testing at the top of its priority list. Marketers can confidently sell this approach with the option to test functionality as developers progress. While a client might anticipate a certain feature to work seamlessly, developers can try and test multiple features to see if they have the potential to work before implementing. In reality, this is a safe route to go, as changes can be made as issues occur. With waterfall, of course, it’s a risk you take. Once the project has been completed and pushed live, you will only be able to review issues at a later stage. This could lead to pushback and deadlines missed on other projects. 

Are you ready to go agile?

Each development methodology has its benefits; it comes down to your team’s flexibility and your clients’ needs. There is always going to be pushback due to the size of your organisation, internal process, and methods. But if you want to succeed, it’s best that you incorporate an agile mindset into your approach. Our developers specialise in building highly engineered websites that perform complex functions, on time and on budget. Speak to us about our web development services, and how we can help you reach your marketing goals. As a leading Cape Town marketing agency, Rogerwilco can help you develop a website that delivers a return on your investment and real business value. 

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