“We want to create an organization where marketers are proud to work, where they know they can get things done” – Yuval Yeret
Who is Agile Marketing for? How does it look like and what are the business benefits of an Agile marketing team? Today we discuss these questions with one of the thought leaders driving this change – Yuval Yeret, the CTO of Agile Sparks.
Welcome to LAMP – Lean Agile Management Podcast, a show by Kanbanize where some of the brightest minds in Lean Agile management talk about how leaders can boost work efficiency, create a culture of high performance, and build teams that thrive.
LAMP is available on YouTube and Apple Podcasts.
The Interview Summary
In this episode of Lean Agile Management Podcast, Yuval Yeret explains what Agile Marketing is and what it is not. He reveals the problems of the traditional approach to marketing and shows how you can set your team on the path to Agile avoiding the most common mistakes.
We got the answers to these questions:
- What are the first steps in getting started with Agile Marketing?
- What would an Agile Marketing look like? What would the team operate like?
- What are the short and long-term benefits of a genuine Agile transformation?
Debunking the Agile Marketing Myths:
To better understand this marketing philosophy, we started with debunking the myths and replacing them with the truths about what really makes a marketing team Agile.
Agile marketing is NOT just:
- Fast marketing – it’s more than just doing things quickly, there shouldn’t be trade-offs
- Issuing a tweet the minute something happens
Agile marketing IS about:
- Recognising the uncertainty of marketing environment, methods, and tools
- Thinking about your marketing in terms of hypotheses that need to be validated
- Data-driven marketing worldview
- Iteration, adaptation, fast learning, collaboration across organization
- Thinking in terms of customer journey, not just in narrow stages
Do we really need Agile Marketing? What’s wrong with the traditional marketing?
If the burnt out marketers who try to juggle too many things without any significant outcome is what we want, then we are good as we are. The catastrophic lack of collaboration between silos, long chains of approvals and heavyweight plans that never really get executes are not all that uncommon too.
The “Big-bang” mentality means marketers spend weeks, months working on things that shouldn’t have been started in the first place. Way too often projects are dead on arrival – outdated, clanky and irrelevant to the market by the time they reach it.
The Agile marketing experiment
Yuval described a real-life 6-week experiment that he helped run where Agile marketers had to compete against the traditional marketing team in launching a product campaign. In 6 weeks, one team got a campaign in the air that they could start tweaking, while another team was still trying to decide what to do. Can you guess which one was first?
What are Agile marketers like?
“I want everyone in my organization to be a mini-CMO”
Agile marketers think through the buyer’s journey as the whole not just about their smaller part of it alone. They take the direction and then act autonomously to get there.
How does planning work in Agile Marketing?
Is Agile Marketing about ditching the plan for the sake of agility?
The opposite is true. You plan much more in Agile. In fact, Agile Marketing is about continuous planning. Depending on the approach you take, you would have daily planning for short-term initiatives, plan every 2 weeks, have an ongoing planning effort or a cadence-based planning.
If you do agile marketing well, it’s a very disciplined and a very mature Marketing OS, it’s not chaos.
What are the most common sins of fake Agile in marketing?
A successful Agile transformation means a quality change, not just acceptance of a set of practices, mixing up a few principles and changing a few names. Yuval takes us through the most common mistakes people make in adopting a leaner mentality.
“Agile is hard” – he says. If you’re very big, heavy organization, it will probably much harder for you to adopt agile marketing. If the leaders still feel like they need to be in total control of every small detail, every decision, they are not ready.
Smaller organizations are starting too many things and can’t cope with it because they forget the flow management aspect.
“People don’t resist the change. They resist being changed”
If you want long-term effect and sustainability, invite people to lead and influence the change, instead of making them quietly obey and comply.
What is one most important piece of advice to a team that wants to get started?
Don’t just focus on the practices. It seems easy to just start a Kanban board in Kanbanize and while it’s a good start, you should not forget the concepts behind the practices. Why is limiting WIP important? Why are we looking at the Flow? Why are we creating cards that represent valuable things that flow through the system? Why do we have cadences and takt rates? What’s the reason behind it?
Don’t forget the Agile manifesto, the Agile Marketing manifesto. Remember why you do the things that you do. Make healthy adjustments.