It’s Agile Marketing Time
One of my interesting engagements these days is with a corporate marketing group in one of the top global enterprise technology companies. They have a very serious agile initiative in product development and their CMO basically said “I think I need Corporate Marketing to become agile as well”.
When I asked her and her people “Why Agile” (This is the way I start every engagement) I learned about the challenges of being a slow, hierarchical, silo-driven organization focused on “Big Launches” and drowning in work and struggling to deal with the pace of change/responsiveness required by the market they were in.
Over the last few months I’ve been helping the CMO and her people figure out what it would mean to become agile by both looking specifically at the marketing group serving one of their Business Units and preparing to launch a “Scaled Agile Release Train” as well as the overall marketing culture/behavior/structure and leadership style. Fascinating stuff. Especially since at the same time I’m also doing a lot of marketing work myself as part of establishing AgileSparks in the US.
In parallel I spent some time working with a small product marketing team helping them leverage Kanban to get to a more sustainable way of working with faster more focused cycle times on the things that matter and better learning integrated into their flow.
And just this morning I saw a message that the VP Marketing at another one of our promising enterprise-level clients is interested to explore agile in marketing as well.
Agile Marketing is actually a thing. Marketers have been practicing it for a while now.
I like the work that’s been done so far. The emphasis on experimentation and learning/adapting is spot on. Seems like most work so far has been at the team level with small marketing teams using Scrum and Kanban.
Marketing needs to Scale Agile as well
And now looks like the time has come to scale. As bigger marketing groups start to explore agility we start to face challenges similar to those that brought about the “scaled agile” approaches. Heavier processes, Deeper Silos, More tools and more “technical debt”. Concepts like Lean, Flow, Team of Teams, Big Room Planning are now required in order to have an effective Agile Marketing approach.
So this is how I found myself preparing a marketing Bill of Materials MVP exercise (inspired by the great hairdresser.dk exercise) using Job Stories for a Leading the Scaled Agile Framework class for 40 marketers (with Big Room Q3 Planning intermixed into it just for fun…) on a Saturday morning :-)
If you’re interested to see more writing from me on this subject — let me know in the comments (or by sharing the post…)
While I prepare — Here are some resources (They are actually the recommended reading for the marketers participating in the workshop next week):
- http://cmgpartners.com/blog/traditional-marketing-vs-agile-marketing/ (Infographic)
- http://travisarnold.com/agile-marketing-manifestos/ (A round-up of different descriptions of Agile Marketing)
- Hacking Marketing
PS If Agile is all new to you — These are the resources I recommend as a starting point:
- Drive (8min)
- Greatness by Marquett (10min)
- Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell (16min)
- SAFe 4.0 in 5 Minutes (guess how many minutes…)
- Scaled Agile Framework Big Picture