Stacey Ackerman, Author at MarTech Marketing Strategy, Marketing Technology, Marketing Transformation Thu, 21 Jul 2022 16:32:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 Getting Started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Team Showcase https://martech.org/getting-started-with-the-agile-marketing-navigator-team-showcase/ Thu, 21 Jul 2022 16:12:20 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=353476 Agile marketers should bring the team together regular to showcase wins and learn quickly from losses.

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We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers in the article A new way to navigate agile marketing. The navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles.

Last week we shared how to conduct a great Daily Huddle as part of the multi-step Launch Cycle. Today we’re going to dive into the next part of the Launch Cycle journey — the Team Showcase.

Holding a Team Showcase

This is an event where the team showcases work done in the Launch Cycle and gets feedback from stakeholders. Additionally, the team shares any relevant performance metrics in order to learn through experiments and data rather than opinions and conventions. The group reviews the Blueprint to see if priorities for future work have changed. If feedback is valuable, the team re-prioritizes and adds or removes items from the Marketing Backlog (after the meeting).

Benefits to holding a Team Showcase are that it:

  • Eliminates the need for “static” status reports.
  • Shifts the focus to data and metrics rather than opinions and conventions.
  • Gives Stakeholders a “real-time” opportunity to provide feedback.
  • Empowers the team to share what they’ve been working on to all levels in the company.
  • Allows for flexible planning and the ability to pivot what happens next based on feedback.
  • Celebrates accomplishments!

The Team Showcase should be held at a consistent day and time at the end of each Cycle, either every one or two weeks. The Product Owner invites any relevant Stakeholders based on what work is being showcased. For some companies, the audience may change from Cycle to Cycle, depending on the nature of the work. 

Team members rotate sharing the work that has been done recently, giving everyone an opportunity to be proud of their accomplishments. Unlike Scrum’s Sprint Review, the work showcased may or may not have been fully completed during the Cycle. Instead, it’s live in the market, and there are learnings based on data and analytics that can be discussed.


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An opportunity for constructive feedback

Stakeholders offer constructive feedback on any work showcased. The goal isn’t to hear comments like “I want the image to be blue,” but rather, “Have we thought about other uses for this ad? Maybe we can test how it would perform on Instagram?” The Marketing Owner has the “power” to decide what to do with the feedback and how it may alter work.

The Team Showcase is real-time, so status reports that once took hours to produce — obsolete before they hit the manager’s inbox — get replaced with impactful live conversations.

Marketers have access to plenty of data, but too often they’ve moved on to the next project or campaign before anything is done with that data. The Team Showcase is a wonderful opportunity to share data regularly with the team and the Stakeholders: plans should change based on learning by doing.

Showcasing work and how it’s performing is a great way to get team members to share their work with stakeholders and leaders. However, not all results are favorable, and it can be scary to share negative results. It’s important for the team to feel psychologically safe to share the good, bad and the ugly. Agile is all about fast failures and quick pivots, but it takes some time to get to a place where most people are comfortable being vulnerable.

Leaders should underline the importance of what was learned, not what went wrong. This allows the team to be open and honest about what’s really going on. Pivoting is a natural part of an agile marketing team, as well as putting more emphasis on what’s high-performing. This “nail it and scale it” approach will help turn a team from a static one that simply delivers into an innovative one that is really agile.



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Getting Started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: the Daily Huddle https://martech.org/getting-started-with-the-agile-marketing-navigator-the-daily-huddle/ Thu, 14 Jul 2022 17:33:52 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=353370 The Daily Huddle brings the entire Team up to date on work in progress and possible blockers.

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We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers in the article A new way to navigate agile marketing. The navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles. Within these categories, there are several sub-pieces for implementation. In recent articles, we covered the pieces in the first stop of the navigator, the Collaborative Planning Workshop. 

Now we’re going to dive deeper into our second stop on your agile marketing journey — the Launch Cycle. The Launch Cycle is a repeatable cadence for delivering valuable marketing experiences early and often. Within the Launch Cycle there are five key components—Marketing Backlog, Cycle Planning, Daily Huddle, Team Showcase and Team Improvement. Last week we shared how to conduct a great Cycle Planning. Today we’re going to dive into the next part of your agile marketing journey—the Daily Huddle.

Running a Daily Huddle

The purpose of the Daily Huddle is to focus on the work in progress and how the team is doing towards completing the work that they planned during Cycle Planning. The Daily Huddle is meant to eliminate one-off conversations and to build up teamwork and shared ownership and accountability.

People often ask, “Why does this have to be daily? What about two or three times a week?” While our framework strives for being pragmatic, and you can certainly figure out what works best based on your unique situation, the teams that I’ve worked with that actually connect daily have a lot fewer one-off meetings and tend to have better communication, so that the small time investment tends to actually save time in the long run.

The Daily Huddle should be attended by the Team and any Supporting Cast members that have active work in the current cycle. Practice Leads and Stakeholders should refrain from attending unless invited by the team. Just like we want our teenagers to learn how to be adults by letting them figure out their own problems before asking mom and dad, this works similarly. We want the team to first have an opportunity to identify and resolve problems on their own.

There are two main ways I’ve seen teams run a Daily Huddle (but new, creative techniques are always welcome). The first is a person-by-person approach where every team member talks about what they’re working on. The second is a work item approach, where the team talks only about the work items in progress and how they’re doing at getting them done.


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Questions to ask

With the person-by-person approach, the traditional three questions that Scrum used to have (they’re no longer part of the official Scrum Guide) were: What did you work on yesterday? What are you working on today? What are your blockers? These questions are fine to use, but a lot of marketers find focusing on yesterday to be a bit backwards and like to just narrow it down to: What am I contributing today? What’s getting in my way? By saying “contributing” this adds a powerful statement and gets team members to answer something valuable because no one wants to be that person that’s not contributing.

A great Daily Huddle shouldn’t feel like a status report. There shouldn’t be a single person on the team that everyone is looking at as updates are given. If you notice that behavior, it’s a sign that the team is still more concerned about status updates when they should be more concerned that as a team they’re working together to get all work done, not just an individual’s piece.

A healthy Daily Huddle is when team members are offering to jump in and help each other out, even if it’s not their typical role at the company. When the focus is on accomplishing work as a team, you know you’re succeeding.



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Getting Started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Cycle Planning https://martech.org/getting-started-with-the-agile-marketing-navigator-cycle-planning/ Thu, 07 Jul 2022 13:17:56 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=353269 During Cycle Planning, the team collaborates and plans for the work they intend to launch during a 5 or 10 day cycle.

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We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers in the article A new way to navigate agile marketing. The navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles. Within these categories, there are several sub-pieces for implementation. In recent articles, we covered the pieces in the first stop of the navigator, the Collaborative Planning Workshop

Now we’re going to dive into our second stop on your agile marketing journey—the Launch Cycle. The Launch Cycle is a repeatable cadence for delivering valuable marketing experiences early and often. Within the Launch Cycle there are five key components—Marketing Backlog, Cycle Planning, Daily Huddle, Team Showcase and Team Improvement. Last week we shared how to build an effective Marketing Backlog. Today we’re going to take a deeper look at Cycle Planning.

Cycle planning

During Cycle Planning, the team collaborates and plans for the work they intend to launch during a 5 or 10 day cycle. The goal is for everyone on the team to commit to what work they plan to launch and to discuss how they’re going to work together to achieve that goal. The team synchronizes timing around their work and understands everything involved to deliver customer value in this launch. 

To prepare for Cycle Planning, the Marketing Backlog should be ready for the team. Things to look for here are:

  • Is the work in priority order?
  • Is the work sized by effort?
  • Do we understand any dependencies?
  • Do we know what success looks like for each backlog item?
  • How will we test, learn & measure our results?

The Marketing Owner should come to Cycle Planning with a Cycle Goal in mind that ladders up to the Guidepoint. This is meant to give the team guidance on what a good outcome of the cycle will look like, but not specific tasks that they will complete.

A Cycle goal may read something like this:

The above shares what the Marketing Owner hopes the team accomplishes, but the team decides what work they can do in the cycle to get there and may also have other work as well.

The team doing the work attends Cycle Planning. This may include part-time team members, or Supporting Cast people that have work in the upcoming Cycle. Stakeholders and Practice Leads shouldn’t attend unless they are contributing to the work.

The team is self-organizing in Cycle Planning. The team decides which marketing backlog items they can tackle during the cycle, and how they will accomplish the work by breaking out tasks.

At the end of Cycle Planning, all team members should know what work the team has committed to and how they all plan to approach getting it done. The Cycle Planning eliminates siloed planning and people only focusing on their tasks and brings to light collective team ownership.

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Getting started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Building a Marketing Backlog https://martech.org/getting-started-with-the-agile-marketing-navigator-building-a-marketing-backlog/ Thu, 30 Jun 2022 15:37:05 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=353175 Here's the next step on your Agile Marketing Navigator journey: How to create a transparent, shared backlog of relevant and impactful work.

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We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers in the article A new way to navigate agile marketing. The navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles. Within these categories, there are several sub-pieces for implementation. In recent articles, we covered the pieces in the first stop of the navigator, the Collaborative Planning Workshop.

Now we’re going to dive into the next stop on your agile marketing journey — the Launch Cycle. The Launch Cycle is a repeatable cadence for delivering valuable marketing experiences early and often. Within the Launch Cycle there are five key components — Marketing Backlog, Cycle Planning, Daily Huddle, Team Showcase and Team Improvement. If you’re familiar with the Scrum framework, there are a lot of similarities here — with a few different nuances to make it more applicable to marketers.

Building and managing an effective Marketing Backlog

Now, let’s dive into the Marketing Backlog and some tips and tricks for marketers to be most effective. 

The Marketing Backlog is an ordered list of prioritized work that the agile team will pull from to work on in their Launch Cycle. The backlog is emergent, not static, and changes as new information is learned. 

This part of the framework is incredibly important and can have a major impact on how marketers work. First of all, there’s one shared place where all work lives. This avoids work happening “behind the scenes” that no one knows about.

In fact, one client that I worked with took all of the work that was already assigned to stakeholders, put it in a single backlog and realized that it would take five years to deliver! It’s with this level of transparency that teams and leaders can begin to visualize everything the team is doing and start to really understand what’s important and what may just be someone’s pet project.

There are many tools for managing your marketing backlog and they all have their pros and cons. The main thing to watch out for is ensuring that everyone on the team, as well as stakeholders have access. We want to build a transparent system.

If you’ve started with the Collaborative Planning Workshop, you’ve already begun to build out the Marketing Backlog. The items in your Minimally Viable Launch will go near the top, and other items will fall below. Work is never guaranteed until the team starts working on it, and even then sound business reasons could cause them to pivot, although that shouldn’t be the norm.

Prioritizing the backlog is one of the key responsibilities of the Marketing Owner. While they don’t do this in a vacuum and conversations with stakeholders are imperative, this role has the ultimate authority to decide what order the team will work on and which items won’t be considered (there are always way more good ideas than time).

The role of the Marketing Owner

The Marketing Owner needs to really understand the business value that each idea brings. Each marketing backlog should be thought of in terms of:

  • Level of effort it will take the team to complete (let’s face it — all things aren’t created equal. Building a Tesla may take longer than a base model Honda, so think through marketing ideas as well).
  • What value does it bring to customers? Joy? Satisfaction? Solves a problem? Addresses a cause?
  • What will the business gain from this idea, and how does it tie to business goals, KPIs and revenue?

Stakeholders, customers and team members should all be thinking about new ideas all of the time and everyone is invited to submit ideas to the backlog. However, it’s at the Marketing Owner’s discretion to decide which ideas will be worked on by the team and when.


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Work should never be directly assigned to a team member in agile marketing. It should be submitted to the backlog or discussed with the marketing owner as it needs to be visible and prioritized among everything else.

In agile marketing, backlog items should be used to test and learn and are thought of as micro-experiments, rather than large campaign blasts. 

While a backlog item may be for a post on Facebook, the team should be thinking in terms of testing elements, such as content. If the content is successful, similar content pieces would be on the backlog. However, if the content doesn’t perform well, the team would want to think of new backlog items with different content.



The backlog may contain some business as usual items to keep the lights on, but the majority of items should be small, testable experiments that can quickly get to customers for real-time feedback.

If you haven’t started a marketing backlog yet, what are you waiting for?

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Getting started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Creating a Blueprint https://martech.org/getting-started-with-the-agile-marketing-navigator-creating-a-blueprint/ Thu, 16 Jun 2022 14:22:51 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=352957 A Blueprint easily and effectively communicates the work the agile team has planned with its stakeholders.

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We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers in the article, A new way to navigate agile marketing. The navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles. Within these categories, there are several sub-pieces for implementation. Over the next several weeks, we’ll dive into each piece and give you practical, actionable ways to use them at your company.

The Collaborative Planning Workshop is the first step in your agile marketing journey. Within that, there are four distinct pieces: Guidepoint, Brainstorm, Minimally Viable Launch and Blueprint. Last week we took you through how to determine the Minimally Viable Launch. Now, let’s learn how to create a Blueprint that easily and effectively communicates the work the agile team has planned with its stakeholders.

The Blueprint gets created as a follow-up to the Collaborative Planning Workshop. The Marketing Owner is responsible for its creation and uses it as a frequent conversation tool with leaders and stakeholders to adhere to alignment on the teams’ priorities. Like most things agile, the Blueprint isn’t written in stone but can be modified and adjusted as new business priorities bubble up, as long as everyone is on board and other priorities get dropped.

A big reason that we created the Blueprint in the Agile Marketing Navigator is to empower the Marketing Owner with an easy output that everyone agreed to that’s lightweight enough to change. It also prevents managers from getting too heavily involved in the teams’ backlog and wanting to control every deliverable. As long as they know what the big categories are and when they’re happening, that typically satisfies curious stakeholders while giving the team space to adjust tactics as they see fit.

The Blueprint itself should be created by each team. If there’s a Marketing Owner that oversees several teams, a consolidated version can be created, but each team should have an easy view of the work that’s expected of them.


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It’s also important to put in the Guidepoint that everyone agreed they’re working towards. This way, everyone can easily see that the work is (or isn’t) related to where the team is directionally headed.

We suggest that the Guidepoint be no more than a three-month timespan, as priorities change too quickly in today’s fast-paced world, and we want to plan at the last responsible moment with agile marketing. 

Within every agile marketing cycle, the team and stakeholders meet to share and get feedback on work, which we call the Team Showcase (more on that to come in a future article). The Marketing Owner should bring the team’s Blueprint at that time to see if the work coming up is still the highest priority for the team, and if not, align on any changes.

Agile marketing is all about flexible planning and frequent communication and collaboration. The Blueprint is just another tool in your toolbox to be able to do both of those things effectively.



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Getting started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: How to determine the minimally viable launch https://martech.org/getting-started-with-the-agile-marketing-navigator-how-to-determine-the-minimally-viable-launch/ Thu, 09 Jun 2022 12:30:00 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=352762 Work as an entire delivery team with your business stakeholders to quickly gain alignment.

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We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers in the article, A new way to navigate agile marketing. The navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles. Within these categories, there are several sub-pieces for implementation. Over the next several weeks, we’ll dive into each piece and give you practical, actionable ways to use them at your company.

The Collaborative Planning Workshop is the first step in your agile marketing journey. There are four distinct pieces within that: Guidepoint, Brainstorm, Minimally Viable Launch, and Blueprint. Last week we took you through how to conduct a Brainstorm. Now, let’s take all of those generated ideas and determine how to determine what the Minimally Viable Launch should be.

Traditionally, marketers have worked using the “Big Bang” campaign approach, where planning was done up front, and marketing was released without any built-in time to inspect, adapt and make smart pivots. With today’s easy and instantaneous access to campaign performance data, agile marketing allows marketers to become real business leaders — taking what works and scaling up, looking for under-performing assets and stopping.


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This way of thinking starts with the team and its business stakeholders having a shared understanding of what’s minimally viable — meaning what is just enough of the marketing campaign or plan to test and learn from, committing to just those items, and deciding later if the remaining ideas will come into play or not.

To get to this shared understanding, it should happen in real-time during the Collaborative Planning Workshop. After everyone has come up with a ton of ideas, now it’s time to figure out which ones are believed to have the biggest impact on the Guidepoint, which is what the team is striving to achieve.

One way to force these decisions is by giving a false timeline. The facilitator can say, “If the team only has two weeks, which items are the most important to tackle first?”

With a visualization tool such as Mural or Miro, a virtual team can draw a line and move around the ideas, with the agreed-upon most important ones falling above the line and the ones that can wait to go below the line.

Example: Minimally viable launch from a healthcare company

Time box this activity so people don’t overthink it. The team can go back later and validate the effort and viability of the ideas, but they shouldn’t strive to get it perfect in a collaborative session. Here are some steps that you can follow:

Step 1) Organization

  • Spend 5 minutes organizing the ideas. 
  • Add headers to the ideas such as “Social Media” or “Advertising.”
  • Move the sticky notes to the appropriate headers.
  • Delete any duplicates.

Step 2) Prioritization

  • Spend 10-15 minutes prioritizing the ideas in each category by discussing them as a group and how well they align with the Guidepoint. 
  • The most impactful idea should go to the top of the column right below the header, then follow down the line in order of priority.

Step 3) Minimally viable launch

  • In this step, the team will determine the minimally viable launch. This is the time to discuss a shorter timeline or a more refined goal or target market to narrow down the ideas.
  • Time box this step to no more than 15 minutes.

By working as an entire delivery team with your business stakeholders, you’ll quickly gain alignment and be well on your way with agile marketing by thinking about minimally viable rather than a Big Bang approach.



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Getting started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: How to hold a successful Brainstorm session https://martech.org/getting-started-with-the-agile-marketing-navigator-how-to-hold-a-successful-brainstorm-session/ Thu, 02 Jun 2022 14:10:11 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=352675 An agile framework designed specifically for marketers includes a Brainstorm session for stakeholders and the team.

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We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers in the article “A new way to navigate agile marketing.” The navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles. Within these categories, there are several sub-pieces for implementation. Over the next several weeks, we’ll dive into each piece and give you practical, actionable ways to use them at your company.

The Collaborative Planning Workshop is the first stop in your agile marketing journey. Within that, there are four distinct pieces: Guidepoint, Brainstorm, Minimally Viable Launch and Blueprint. Last week we took you through how to align on the Guidepoint. Now, let’s dive into the Brainstorm and I’ll give you some tips from how I’ve facilitated this with several clients that maximizes creativity and contributions from everyone.



A place where ideation can happen

The business stakeholders and all team members should participate in the Brainstorm. Even though the stakeholders aren’t the ones doing the work and may not be as in tuned with how it all comes together, leveling the playing field and working as equals often leads to better empathy between everyone, and quite frankly — better ideas from different perspectives.

To get started, make sure that you have a place where ideation can happen. For virtual teams, a sticky note tool like Mural is great for everyone to be able to easily submit ideas. If you’re in a co-located office, find a conference room with plenty of sticky notes and wall space.

Next, make sure there’s a facilitator who can provide clear expectations, watch the time and ensure that everyone is participating. Typically, this is done by the Agile Champion on the team. This role may also participate in the brainstorm.

While there’s no ‘right’ way to hold a brainstorm, I’ve found that providing everyone with what’s expected of them makes it go smoother. Here are some things I’ve tried:

  • Everyone should submit at least five ideas.
  • Your ideas should be something executable to the marketplace (avoid things like “research” or “plan” as those are internal tasks).
  • Try to be as specific as possible. Rather than say, “Social post” say something like “Patient stories on social media” (in a healthcare context — see below).
  • The timebox is…. (15 minutes is typically enough time).
  • Ask the group if they’d like silence for brainstorming, or music in the background. I’ve had some teams where someone offers to be the DJ!

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Brainstorming a healthcare Guidepoint

Here’s an example from a team of marketers from a healthcare system. Their Guidepoint was: 

“Market the opening of a new state-of-the-art birthing center by reaching 2,500 expecting parents living within a 10 mile radius. Once the birthing center opens, 25 percent of them come to our hospital.” 

Here are some of the ideas that they generated through the brainstorm activity:

The brainstorm is a really important part of agile marketing. It helps ensure creative thinking can happen that’s truly aligned with the business outcomes that the team is trying to achieve. This activity replaces work requests that come through to the team without any conversation. The brainstorm is an empowering event for marketers — plus it’s a lot of fun!

Read next: Freeing agile marketing from its software development roots

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Getting started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Aligning on a Guidepoint https://martech.org/getting-started-with-the-agile-marketing-navigator-aligning-on-a-guidepoint/ Thu, 26 May 2022 12:30:00 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=352563 The Guidepoint is the connective tissue that rolls upward and downward in the organization.

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We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers in the article A new way to navigate agile marketing. The Navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles. Within these categories, there are several sub-pieces for implementation.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll dive into each piece and give you practical, actionable ways to use them at your company.

The collaborative planning workshop

To begin with, we’ll start at the top with the Collaborative Planning Workshop. The Collaborative Planning Workshop brings alignment to what the team is trying to achieve and empowers marketers to focus on customer value and business outcomes over activity and outputs. This session should happen quarterly or at the start of any large campaign or initiative.

Where most agile frameworks begin with the backlog of work for the team, we found it very important to start at a higher level and ensure alignment is happening between the agile marketing team and the key stakeholders asking for work from the team. 

One of the biggest challenges we’re addressing with the Collaborative Planning Workshop is the disconnect between the stakeholders who ask for work and the team on the hook for delivery. Way too often, the people setting the marketing strategy and the designers, copywriters, social media specialists and others don’t have a seat at the adult table. Work comes to them in the form of the creative brief via an electronic system, but there’s no conversation. They aren’t being treated like marketers but rather as producers of output. 

The Collaborative Planning Workshop is just what it says—a collaborative conversation where everyone is on an equal playing field and striving towards successful outcomes.


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The Guidepoint

This framework begins with everyone understanding the actual business reasons for success and alignment on a Guidepoint. Here’s how we define the Guidepoint in the Agile Marketing Navigator:

“The Guidepoint helps the team and stakeholders navigate what success looks like for an upcoming campaign or project. Stakeholders come to the workshop with a business goal for the organization. During the workshop, the group comes up with a short written description, called a Guidepoint, of what success looks like for this marketing initiative and how it aligns to the organization’s goals.”

The Guidepoint is the connective tissue that rolls upward and downward in the organization. It’s often the forgotten middle layer between what the stakeholder is on the hook for and the tactics executed by the marketing team to achieve success.

The Guidepoint aligns the agile marketing team and stakeholders on a shared purpose and creates a focus on the team’s outcomes. It also helps with prioritization, so work that’s not aligned gets a lower priority or isn’t done at all.

Read next: Freeing agile marketing from its software development roots

Here are a few example scenarios to get you started:

Industry: Healthcare

Business Goal: Acquire an additional 5,000 new patients during the first year after the grand opening of our new hospital.

Guidepoint: Create a campaign targeting elective surgery candidates that generates 1,500 leads that ultimately generate a higher than average conversion rate than the industry average.

Industry: Retail

Business Goal: Increase cart checkout dollar amounts by 10 percent over last year.

Guidepoint: Launch a campaign targeting suggestive add-on purchases, moving the average cart checkout price to $50.

Industry: Financial Services

Business Goal: Generate a 25% increase in our personal finance app downloads in 2022.

Guidepoint: Generate an average of 50 new downloads apps with an activation rate of 25%.

Ideally, you have an agile marketing team formed with a straight line to a stakeholder and business goals that need to be achieved, which makes it pretty easy to focus on a single Guidepoint at a time. 

However, many marketing teams haven’t streamlined this way and must support multiple lines of business at once. In those cases, we suggest no more than three Guidepoints at once for the team, or they’ll quickly lose focus. If this becomes problematic, the marketing owner on the team will need to work with key leaders to determine the most important business goals for the organization and prioritize them accordingly. Some teams have had great success determining percentages of time each stakeholder gets based on the business value of their line of business.

We can only succeed for a clear, focused outlook on what success looks like for the marketing team and the organization as a whole.


Many marketers struggle to apply agile marketing in a way that adds value to team members. Learn how to break that pattern in this free e-book, “MarTech’s Guide to agile marketing for teams”.

Click here to download!


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A new way to navigate agile marketing https://martech.org/a-new-way-to-navigate-agile-marketing/ Wed, 04 May 2022 14:50:51 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=352128 Not all companies can afford a coach, but even small companies can benefit from agile marketing.

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There’s no easy, consistent way to implement agile marketing. At least there hasn’t been until now. We tapped several members of the agile marketing community, from marketing VPs to on-the-ground agile coaches, to help us answer the question, “How can we help our community better implement agile marketing?”

As an agile coach and trainer, I want to make going from agile theory to agile in practice easier than it is today. So often, my agile marketing students were always asking me, “Do you have a roadmap or guide for what I do next?” And, of course, I’d answer with, “Agile implementation is unique and different at every company, so experiment and see what works for your organization.” While that’s not an untrue statement, I don’t think it’s the most helpful answer. 

For some companies, bringing in an agile coach for several months is a great way to help get agile marketing off the ground. However, not all companies can afford a coach, but even small companies can benefit from agile marketing.


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There are some great agile frameworks today, such as Scrum and Kanban. And they’ve done a fantastic job working as intended with software teams around the world. It’s only because of the consistent, widespread adoption that agile is now the norm in software development.

However, what we’re seeing in marketing is a different story. The frameworks are being modified, cobbled together, or altogether implemented in new and unintended ways, hurting the adoption of agile marketing. 

We knew that marketers deserved a solution suitable for them that appeals to the fast-paced and highly creative work that happens in marketing. Marketers shouldn’t have to learn multiple frameworks and adapt them to their world. 



In September 2021, the agile marketing community held #sprinttwo. They updated the Agile Marketing Manifesto, the guiding set of values and principles that all marketers should align to if they want to be agile.

It was refreshing to see the community coming together to shape agility in marketing. We knew a framework couldn’t just be written in a book or by a single company. The only way to fix this problem was to use agile ways of working to creatively get the answer—by iterating on the problem with a cross-functional team of people who could bring in different perspectives.

So for the past six months, we have collaborated as a community. It took longer than I’d expected, and everyone did have their own viewpoint. We had a lot to talk about. But what we got, in the end, is a comprehensive, flexible framework for agile marketing that’s tried and true. It’s what we know already works because we put in what we already know, so marketers new to agile marketing don’t have to guess.

We made it easy. We made it flexible so that marketers can pick and choose which pieces are relevant to their company. It’s not a framework that says, “You’re doing it wrong.” There’s too much of that already in the industry, and we wanted to keep it positive.

Introducing Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing.

Agile Marketing Navigator has four parts:

  1. Collaborative planning workshop
  2. Launch cycle
  3. Six key practices
  4. Six roles

I can’t wait to share more with you about Agile Marketing Navigator. Watch for more articles where we go into depth on the four parts and how you can start using them at your company.

Read next: More on agile marketing from Stacey Ackerman


Many marketers struggle to apply agile marketing in a way that adds value to team members. Learn how to break that pattern in this free e-book, “MarTech’s Guide to agile marketing for teams”.

Click here to download!


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What agile marketing teams need from their leaders https://martech.org/what-agile-marketing-teams-need-from-their-leaders/ Thu, 21 Apr 2022 15:49:03 +0000 https://martech.org/?p=351234 By making incremental changes to the way you lead and empower people, you’ll be on the right path towards true agility.

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The following is a selection from the e-book “MarTech’s agile marketing for leaders.” Please click the button below to download the full e-book.

Agile marketing only succeeds when leaders like you are on board with the cultural and behavioral changes needed by everyone in the organization. And as a leader, your modeling of these behaviors is going to set the stage for what people feel they can do – especially if it’s vastly different from how they’ve worked in the past. Let’s explore some key things that your agile marketing teams need from you as a leader.

Provide clear, outcome-based goals

Without clear, outcome-based goals, you have teams that are working hard, but not necessarily
working smart. They may be extremely busy and productive, but that doesn’t mean they’re working
on the right things.

Read next: How marketers embrace agile ways of working

By providing clear, outcome-based goals, or helping the organization develop them if providing
them is not your role, you will vastly impact how well your teams will deliver valuable work. This is a
critical first step so teams aren’t running in circles.

Empower people

Be completely honest with yourself and think about whether you’re mostly a directive or empowering leader. Directive leaders tell teams what to do. Empowering leaders ask the teams for their opinions and offer guidance and support.

By being an empowering leader, you’re allowing your teams to grow and problem-solve so that you can work on more important issues.

It also speeds up the teams because they’re able to make their own decisions without waiting for an answer from you.



Trust your team

Do you trust my team to solve their own problems? If not, what do you need to build trust? Before you can empower your team, you need to trust them.

Think about a time that the team let you down. What happened? What would you ask from them next time? Maybe some content went out that had a ton of typos. Were you able to talk to the team about why this may have led to mistrust? If it was relatively recently, take the time to have those transparent conversations right away. Ask the team what ideas they have for ensuring it doesn’t happen again.

Value learning and experimentation

Do your employees see you as someone who really values learning and experimentation? You need to show people that this is not only okay, but valued.

You don’t value learning and experimentation unless it’s built into the way your teams work. Some companies hold regular innovation days where teams don’t work on any regular projects, but spend the day learning a new skill, testing new ideas or brainstorming creative new ways to do marketing.

Other companies make this part of their day-to-day work by not planning new work to the brim, but by leaving time and space for innovation. I’ve also seen innovation happen when one person may be a bit lighter on work, but instead of going to the next story in the backlog, they learn something new.

However, at 99% of marketing organizations out there (okay, that’s a guess), learning and experimentation is actually not valued. People may hear it’s valued, but without time and space for it, it’s never going to happen. The majority of employees are conditioned to think that executing new work is the only way to prove themselves. As a leader, this is a big culture change that you need to continually reinforce.

Be comfortable planning at the last responsible moment

Planning at the last responsible moment is essential to marketing agility, but first you must be comfortable with not knowing everything upfront. You need to embrace the idea that plans are emergent and get better refined as the work gets closer and closer.

To show that you are embracing this new way of planning, you probably need to change the way planning happens today. Think about the minimum amount of detail that’s needed to get work funded. Then, what is the minimum amount of detail needed for people to start working? This gets you out of the really costly cycle of too much upfront planning that changes later anyway.

Embrace change

As a leader in agile marketing, embracing change needs to be at the core. Now, keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that you can ask the team for new work every single day because you’re embracing change — there’s a big cost to that in context switching and overloading the team.

However, making changes because higher business priorities arise before the team begins working
in their sprint is good.

Not following the plan at all costs is agile. Just make sure that changes happen for valid business reasons and don’t lead to ping-ponging the team around. That’s not agile; that’s just plain chaos.

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