I’ve had the opportunity to truly explore and learn about the “supply chain” of digital acquisition and marketing through the lens of an agency and from the view of an in-house digital marketer. I’ve also had the opportunity to work within the top most important verticals such as Financial Services, Travel & Hospitality and Retail and learn about the opportunities and challenges each have faced to deliver high-fidelity digital strategy to drive business growth.
What I’ve learned is that in every experience I couldn’t help stumbling into adopting agile software development methodologies. In fact, if you think about real-time digital marketing, how else could you possibly deliver on its promise, operationally and to scale up, if not by applying the very ingredients that have made Agile a success in software development the past decade.
That got me to thinking, why not share my view and craft principles that have helped me and cross-functional teams where ever I’ve been to balance and deliver the productivity, quality and delivery of great service, particularly, if you think about service as a software. The leap then to applying great software development principles is easier to digest. Would love your comments or thoughts and of course before I do that, I thought it’d be good for me to copy/paste Wikipedia’s description of Agile Development:
“Agile software development is a group of software development methods based on iterative and incremental development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. It promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary development and delivery, a time-boxed iterative approach, and encourages rapid and flexible response to change. It is a conceptual framework that promotes foreseen interactions throughout the development cycle. The Agile Manifesto introduced the term in 2001.” Source: Wikipedia
A few prerequisites to align on within your organization:
a) Clearly define who your customers are. Invariably they will be the consumers of the work your team delivers
b) Establish what your service, product and deliverable (example deliverable could be a report) are meant to provide
c) Facilitate feedback and change
Principles for Digital Marketing In An Agile World
- Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through rapid and continuous delivery of valuable services and deliverable
- Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
- Deliver high quality working services and deliverable frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale and rhythm.
- Business people, technology, analyst and developers must work together daily throughout a project.
- Build projects around motivated team members. Provide them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the work done.
- Make face-to-face conversations mandatory as its the most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a team.
- Functional services and regular deliverable is the primary measure of progress.
- Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
- Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
- Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.
- The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
- At regular intervals, the team should reflect on how to become more effective, then tune and adjust its process and behavior accordingly.
- Communicate what’s work and what has not including how the team will adjust it’s process and behavior
Update June 23, 2013: CMO.com published an interesting piece a couple of months after my post, unrelated of course, that I thought I’d share. The gist is similar, however, it’s primarily agile in marketing versus Agile In Action: How Four Brands Are Using Agile Marketing
Filed under: Digital Marketing Innovation, Digital Strategy, Past Experience | Leave a Comment
Tags: Digital Marketing Innovation, Digital Strategy, Past Experience
I thought I’d share a point of view on a particularly interesting topic, “Innovation” or in my world, specifically, “digital marketing innovation” and how an organization can encourage it.
the cliche that change is constant is a nagging truth. With the daily barrage of information and ideas, how do we as business leaders fuel innovation and as a result growth? Digiday just ran a piece on just how Intuit does it and here are a couple of highlights:
1) Your organization should be somewhat dynamic
2) Develop processes and guidelines to facilaite regular cross-training or swapping opportunities. There is no reason to prevent a finance person to consider marketing and vice versa!
3) Make sure that you’re collecting the feedback as staff swap roles, i.e. work with them to build case studies and learning
Here’s the full Digiday article: Why Intuit Encourages Job Swaps
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Tags: Digital Marketing Innovation, General Management
We all have a few “real life” examples of when we were required to modulate our approach in certain situations between putting a general manager hat on versus your expert hat on. Hindsight is 20/20 and while we take it for granted, you can learn a ton from past mistakes. In the end, I believe that you should be yourself and focus on doing the right thing.
The scenario is this:
You work for a superb company, the company is filled with phenomenal individuals with a diverse set of cross-functional skills and experience. You’re presented with a situation that needs you to press the pause button on your domain expertise and years of experience to support a solution a key collective of individuals within the organization is advocating.
The right thing to do:
Easily said than done and always consider the short and long term implications of your behavior as well as actions. Show that you trust your key partners and empathize so that their ideas coupled with yours could be a much more powerful alternative to consider. Key here is “empathy” and you’ll see you’ll elevate to the general manager approach and ultimately your colleagues will value your inputs.
Feel free to share your stories so that we can learn and be informed about how to improve our collective general management skills.
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Tags: General Management
Indeed it has been awhile since I’ve spoke at a conference. So thanks to the folks at x+1, an innovative and agile enterprise business platform, I was invited to sit with Verizon and JP Morgan Chase’s key advertisers moderated by Sarah Fay!
I think the key takeaway for me was the general management aspects of marketing, focusing on leadership, innovation, team building and cross-functional shared vision that could make or break an organizations efforts to build enduring marketing departments.
John Ebbert of Ad Exchanger covered the panel and the conference, NexTargeting. Hope there will be more as I had the unique pleasure to participate and meet some really terrific people: http://www.adexchanger.com/online-advertising/marketer-enterprise/
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Tags: General Management
It’s been several months since my last posting, so I’m overdue. This next topic though is an interesting one and of course we can all agree that anytime is a good time to review our respective professional development plans. We all work extremely hard for many different bosses, our teams, goals and objectives. I’ve found myself asking various different questions related to this and it’s been useful in my quest to ensure I’m heading down the path that will ensure optimal success. I suppose the biggest question in my mind is, “Have I left an impression so far?” I’d say, “no” at the moment but I’m working on it!
How about you? I don’t quite have visitors yet but hopefully someone will stumble across this blog and join in this conversation. I’m optimistic. So I’ll leave us with a few questions and a couple of interesting measurement techniques. Would love to hear from you.
- What is your life objective? (could be personal, financial and/or professional)
- Are there specific and intentional strategies laid out for you to achieve your objective?
- What investments have you made in achieving success? (Time, money, labor, coaching, and/or anything goes in terms of investment?)
- How often or are you even asking yourself, “Am I doing all the rights things to ensure success?
- How are you measuring success to achieve that objective? (It’s OK if you’re not sure about where you are, if you are, then it’d be a very good thing to revisit/reinforce it.)
The velocity of change in our personal and work arenas can be overwhelming. Of course if you have a framework that works either from business school or life experience, I’d love your comments as well.
Here’s what I’d leave you all with, my principles:
- Identify the right goals and outcomes: I use a basic approach to ensure there’s a balance between me, my family and others.
- Develop a timeline achieve to them: I will make sure that the timeline is realistic yet “aspirational” focused on both the now and the future.
- Create a measurement plan: I will make sure the goals are easily measurable, taking into account feedback from key stakeholders mentioned in bullet #1.
I’m actively using this framework, it’s easy not too complex and doesn’t “hinder” me from achieving my objectives. The problem is, I’m a late bloomer, I only started this a year ago. Life, work and stuff will throw you curve balls, yes, one thing you can count on is that change is indeed a constant. Live with it, cherish it and most of all learn and apply and you will persevere in life and work.
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Tags: Professional Development
1. Your personal brand should a natural extension of yourself
2. A brand is more perception than reality
3. Decisions and choices will affect your personal brand
I could say that a personal brand is the antithesis of an archetype though it cannot be so niche that it’s no longer relevant. A few tips to consider:
A. Define A Brand Headline – What’s the key headline that encapsulates you and ultimately your brand?
B. Establish A Brand Cheat Sheet – What are some key talking points that succinctly describe your brand profile?
C. Communicate Your Brand Consistently – Take A and B to the social and professional spheres!
I’ve oversimplified this but I think it’s enough for you to at least get started on your personal brand. By the way, I could practice what I preach but I’m sure you’ve read or heard of the infamous cobbler and his shoes fable?
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Tags: Personal Brand
So, of course, I Google myself. Who doesn’t? Well the other day, I went really deep into the results and found the NY Daily News article from 2000! I was clearly on some other planet, wow! It was fun reminiscing and so I thought I’d share this very embarrassing article.
You could say this was my 15 minutes, Phase 0. I had this idea that somehow this article would help me take a step back and disconnect. It worked for a few years.
Too much surfing leaves some New Yorkers trapped in the Net
By Eamon Lynch | Daily News Staff Writers | January 2000
The one big takeaway for me was, traditional media definitely had a place in the consumer journey whether us digitalites like it or not and we’re now finally seeing this through greater online and offline integration in marketing, sales and operations.
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Tags: Newspapers, Past Experience, Surfing