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Squads In Marketing: Why And How To Use Them?

Squads in Marketing :The squad is a cross-functional team in the functional division of tasks, attributions and positions.

In practice, all those involved in a project complement each other, focusing on co-creating solutions and autonomy to define priorities. Marketing squads are self-managed, multidisciplinary teams that maintain a sense of self-organization, objectives aligned with the company’s, and more organic leadership.

Based on Spotify’s organizational design, the squad formation methodology has been adopted by several organizations. The proposal is to optimize processes, gain agility and achieve results with more speed. The formula also leads to innovation and increased productivity. The question is, is using squads in marketing a good idea?

It depends on how you intend to incorporate the technique. This is because a series of factors must be considered when proposing a structural change like this. It is worth asking yourself, for example, what is your team’s profile?

#1 Two Great Pillars Of Squads In Marketing

As we know, the area has a unique dynamic. There are many processes, activities, tasks, projects and people involved. Hence the importance of appropriating the technique intelligently, extracting its essence.

The formation of squads in marketing should be based on two pillars:

  1. Detachment from ideas: with the method, Spotify teaches that it is necessary to learn along the way. That is, understanding what is working, letting go of practices that do not bring results and, thus, discovering how to do things differently.
  2. Flexibility for changes: the team’s work is oriented towards a primary objective, such as offering the best functionality to the client. With this vision, professionals remain critical, observe competitors, analyze the product constantly and seek to add business value for all involved. Therefore, they are flexible, willing to face changes and learn about new things. 

#2 How To Create Squads In Marketing?

The formation of squads depends on more than just the two pillars. It is essential to follow four steps that guide this construction.

The first step is to promote a cultural change in the organization and people, starting with changing the manager’s attitude. In this model, the leader ceases to be superior in the hierarchy and starts working with the professionals as a facilitating servants.

For example, he plans the paths to be followed by the squad in each sprint. After doing some tests, the team and the manager define whether the sprint will last a week, ten days or fifteen days. Professionals must carry out predetermined tasks in a weekly meeting during this time interval.

It is up to the leader to define the following steps and which tasks leave the backlog, a type of repository of tasks that must be implemented and passed to the sprint.

Agile Methodologies As Project Management Facilitators

To plan and facilitate the formation of marketing squads, the primary sources of references for teams and leaders are the agile methodologies used by the development teams of digital products, software, IT and startups to gain productivity.

Among these, Kanban, Scrum and its ceremonies and Lean stand out because they were created for engineering teams. 

It is possible to build your model for the marketing sector as Spotify did, incorporating practices from different methodologies.

From Scrum, it is possible to adopt some ceremonies such as:

  • Periodic sprint meetings with clients;
  • Action follow-up meetings;
  • Sprint retrospective meetings.

Based on Kanban project management, it is possible to build a model for monitoring tasks by the leader and the team. 

Technology As A Communication Facilitator

Some factors are indispensable for the formation of squads in marketing. Changing the organization’s culture and people’s mindset is the first step. Without this willingness to face the new, the challenge becomes infeasible. The use of agile methods is the second part of the strategy. By incorporating new tools, the team’s productivity increases, the organizational climate improves, and people begin to visualize the results of the new team structure model.

We come to the third aspect: forming a squad only makes sense and brings effective results when there is integrated communication between team members.

Work focused on problems and hypotheses.

But if you think that the formation of squads can only generate a task team, know that you are very wrong. The proposal is precisely to leave the operation to provide strategic support and generate an impact on the final results.

Therefore, professionals seek to define hypotheses, carry out tests, measure results and validate or learn from actions in different communication channels. That’s how they can identify ways to grow or even map and eliminate factors hindering the brand’s positioning in the market.

#3 Important Lessons About Squads

Based on the formation of squads and Spotify’s case, we list some fundamental lessons you should remember if you want to bet on this idea.

  • Rules are acceptable initially, but it’s good to question them and break them if necessary.
  • The teams are responsible for the entire process, from end to end, and have complete autonomy to make technical decisions.
  • Leaders should focus on what problems to solve, and teams should consider how to solve them.
  • It is necessary to eliminate all types of waste, including team time. On Spotify, all teams have access to all codes, although each team is responsible for a part of the app or menu. Thus, quick access optimizes the time and productivity of the teams.
  • Professionals can fail if they recover quickly and learn to avoid repeating the same mistake. With 100% predictability, you will have 0% innovation.
  • The work environment can be fun. It is possible to do extraordinary things within the corporate reality.
  • Self-management also allows for decision-making based on data: hypotheses and numbers replace opinions and assumptions.
  • Creating a concept and an incredible delivery definition is essential. This may be the new standard in the marketing industry.
  • The manager needs to be the culture he wants. His posture makes it clear what he wants from his team.

Also Read: Artificial Intelligence And Marketing

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