The Agile Marketer: Turning Customer Experience Into Your Competitive Advantage
Marketing in the digital era is a whole new game: it's fundamentally about competing on the customer experience. Marketers must integrate a complex set of technologies to capture the customer's digital body languageand thereby deliver the right experiences, at the right times, via the right channels. This approach represents a formidable technological and practical challenge that few marketers have experience with.
The methods that enable marketers to meet this challenge are emerging from an unexpected place: the world of software development. The Agile methodologies that once revolutionized software development are now revolutionizing marketing.
Agile provides the foundation for alignment between the marketing and product management sides. It can unleash a whole array of new marketing opportunities for growth hacking as well as for "baking" marketing directly into your products or services. Beyond that, as a discipline it can serve as a bridge to strategic alignment, positioning the chief marketing officer alongside the chief product officer as the two primary drivers of the business.
Written by a premier practitioner of modern marketing, this book will provide you with:
- Insights on the evolution of product development and management in the organizationand why marketing must partner with them in the new era
- An understanding of Agile methods and their application to marketing
- A plan for integrating Agile with your traditional methods
- Tactics to drive alignment with product management
- A pathway to becoming the steward of customer experience
Rich with examples, case studies, illustrations, and exercises drawn from the author's wide-ranging experience (from startups to a top global technology company), The Agile Marketer will help you transform marketing in your organization, in spirit and practiceand help realize its critical roles in product management and the customer experience.
I How Development Methods Influence Marketing 1
1 Why Marketing Needs to Adapt 3
Why do marketers need a new approach to marketing? Because traditional approaches fail to address contemporary consumer expectations. Two high-profile companies provide starkly contrasting case studies that demonstrate the importance of aligning innovation and marketing teams with “adaptive” development practices.
2 The Modern Marketer’s Challenge 13
How can marketers modernize their practices in today’s complex and rapidly evolving marketing-technology landscape? By emulating and collaborating with developers. Plus, how successful point solutions fueled the vision of an integrated marketing platform.
3 Scaling Sales: Marketing and the Role of Automation 21
How can the marketing function use technology to scale sales? An increasingly self-directed buyer’s journey requires companies to influence buyers long before they reach out to the sales team. An adaptive approach to automation can help, but not before aligning sales with marketing (so sales is free to focus on the highest-value opportunities).
4 The Rise of Agile 29
To understand what makes the “adaptive” approach to automation more effective, you must be familiar with the Agile Manifesto. This simple document establishes core values and principles underlying an adaptive approach to development. Here, we look at how Agile differs from traditional approaches, when it provides a competitive advantage, and when it’s appropriate to adopt it.
II Adaptive Methods for Modernizing Marketing 41
5 A Snapshot of Leading Methods 43
Which adaptive methods are relevant to marketers? Some methods are better than others for your initiative. Success requires tailoring your method to your, project, team culture and company culture.
6 The Skinny on Scrum 45
How does Scrum work, and how can it be applied to marketing? A thorough review of Scrum fundamentals to support a deeper understand of Agile. Plus, insight into how Scrum teams are organized and their most common practices.
7 Kanban: Lean Meets Agile 53
How is Kanban different than Scrum? More important, what is it good for? An overview of Kanban’s origins and an explication of how Kanban leverages Scrum practices while operating under a different primary constraint. Why Kanban is often the best Agile practice for marketers and how methods can be combined.
8 Implementing Agile: Key Considerations 63
How do you plan for an Agile implementation? Four key considerations as you prepare for your Agile implementation. Plus, thoughts on C-Suite partnerships, the role of the Agile coach, your choice of methods, and setting expectations about timing and progress.
9 Implementing Agile: Common Objections 75
What questions should you expect to hear from detractors? (I have an inkling: “It doesn’t scale,” “it will be disputive,” “you can’t plan ahead,” and “you can’t budget.”) Here’s what you need to know to address these questions before they arise.
10 Your North Star: The Agile Marketing Manifesto 81
How do you keep your Agile practice on track? The Agile Marketing Manifesto is a key resource that translates the Agile Manifesto for marketers’ needs. Plus, a review of Agile in action, with examples for marketers; and insights on Agile design, Agile content creation, and Agile system development.
III Linking Innovation and Customer Experience 87
11 Integrating Marketing and Innovation with Agile 89
How does Agile support marketing’s collaboration with the innovation team? Teams that share practices are easier to align in everything from product strategy and UX to communications. Learn how Agile practices are increasingly becoming a platform for engagement between all facets of product management and marketing.
12 Beyond Agile: More Methods to Link Marketing and Product Management with Innovation 97
Who owns innovation? The practice of innovation is broader than Agile practice and represents an opportunity for marketing and product management to collaborate. Two exercises provide a framework for defining which groups “own” the inputs to the innovation process.
13 Beyond Agile: Marketing’s Role in the Customer Experience 109
Who owns the customer experience? Different groups may own different parts of the customer experience, but marketers are uniquely positioned to map and measure it. Learn how marketing driven research programs and psychology provide insights into opportunities that would be overlooked from a purely Agile perspective.
IV Modern Marketing and the Customer Experience 121
14 From Deeper Customer Relationship to Richer Customer Experience 123
How does the customer relationship change as companies modernize their marketing function? When customers help design the product, more opportunities arise for them to advocate for it. (Incidentally, they are ultimately advocating for your culture as much as they are for your product or service.)
15 Growth Hacking 125
What if the product was also the marketing? A case study illustrates how the freemium model is both a product and a marketing service. Also, how to leverage gamification to support the marketing of your products.
16 Lessons from the Collaborative Economy 139
Can your community also be your competitive advantage? More and more companies are using the crowd to disrupt markets, and marketplace-based business models are disrupting many industries. The so-called collaborative economy, in which both customers as well as external providers actively shape the product (or service), is now passing an inflection point. Established businesses must consider either how to become “crowd companies” or adopt crowd practices to advance their products and services.
Conclusion: The Steward of Customer Experience 151
How does modernization lead to the stewardship of customer experience? As keepers of the most foundational customer information source -the customer database- marketers are singularly positioned to be the steward of customer experience. Data helps us read the customer’s digital body language, understand how customers respond to every touchpoint, and determine how the customer experience should be managed. Here, we revisit the customer lifecycle model, exploring its connection to the customer database. A case study on Oracle’s approach to managing the customer lifecycle illustrates what a marketing modernization program looks like (admittedly in one of the most complex business environments imaginable).
Appendix 1 Content Marketing: An Agile Approach 165
How does the Agile approach apply to content marketing? We present a framework for running an Agile content marketing team, including a series of exercises to get started developing your content strategy.
Appendix 2 The Product Manager’s Perspective on Agile Marketing 183
What do product managers think about the adoption of Agile on the marketing side of the house? Interviews with product management leaders offer insights on the changing relationship between product management and marketingand how product management can foster alignment with marketing.
About the Author 207
ROLAND SMART serves as the VP of Social & Community Marketing at Oracle, where he oversees a range of programs designed to enrich the communities associated with Oracle's products and services. His previous experience includes foundational roles at a number of start-ups. He speaks at industry events such as the ad:tech, Modern Marketing Experience, The Social Media Optimization Conference, and SXSW. He has also written for such industry publications as Forbes and iMedia.