In this episode we talk with Mathew Sweezy an author and speaker who serves as a marketing insights leader at Salesforce. Matthew joined Salesforce via their acquisition of Pardot, a marketing automation service, where he was introduced to Agile through a close working relationship with the development team there.
In this session, he talks about how Agile is becoming the default operating system for marketing—though he acknowledges that many marketers are still not yet aware of an Agile Marketing movement. In fact, he shares that his own experience with Agile started before his team called it Agile.
Mathew is a content marketing expert to follow—he educates internal teams, clients and prospects about Agile marketing and marketing modernization. Enjoy! Also, in this sessions, Matthew mentions a film called Art&Copy that’s worth watching.
For this episode we reached out to Claire Drumond who is a content strategist and product marketer at Atlassian. In this episode we touch on:
How Claire settled into a blended method between Kanban and Scrum (Scrumban)
The degree to which she iterates on content
How she uses Hip Chat (messaging) in concern with task management (Jira)
and how she views her content as a product
Fair disclosure, we’ve been Atlassian users over the years so bring that as context to our conversation. We look forward to bringing Claire back in 6 months or so after Atlassian has done more to integrate Trello into their portfolio. At present on the most common things that we hear from marketers is that Jira is built for technical users rather than business users. Presumably Trello will help address this but that discussion was a bit premature for this episode.
In this episode we talk with Bryan Semple who serves as the GM and CMO at SmartBear (just acquired by Francisco Partners)—Bryan has a lot to say about scaling Agile at a mid-market company that’s completed many acquisitions. Actually, the fact that they’ve done some many acquisitions led to his insights around why he sees cross-functional teams as imperative. In this episode you’ll hear about:
How Bryan transitioned from functional silo (shared services) to distributed resourcing (x-functional teams)
Some key differences between engineering and marketing teams that impact Agile method
How SmartBear connects Agile planning to strategic planning
In this episode we’re expanding our horizons a bit by interviewing Marina Simonova about her work bringing the Agile approach to marketing and sales teams. Marina is a Moscow-based Agile Coach with Agile Space and has worked with more Agile sales teams than anyone else we’ve met. She’s a certified coach and Scrum Master who has found techniques for bridging the marketing / divide with Agile practices.
Marina’s recent article 10 Steps of Agile transformation of sales is a great primer on why Agile is a good fit for sales, how to get started, and what some of the most common challenges area. It fascinating to hear from a practitioner who is coming to Agile from the sales side first. In this conversation we discuss:
Why sales may be a more natural fit for Agile than marketing because of it’s focus on time-boxed iterations.
How Agile practice can help align marketing and sales
How combined sales and marketing teams are able to outperform traditional teams
Note, while Marina speaks English she chose to work with her colleague Julia Tegel who served as a translator for this episode.
In this conversation we really delve into operational aspects of Agile—Mark has a proper enterprise context that means integrating many systems that support his practice. Thus the conversation covers both marketing practices but also some of the platforms that support the practices. Mark’s team relies heavily on Jira which is interesting because many marketing teams initially struggle with more robust solutions like Jira and prefer lighter-weight applications like Asana or LeanKit. There’s some fascinating bits in here about how he’s customized workflows to support his team practice.
We also touch on why Mark’s team gravitated to Scrumban and how they’ve organized themselves with respect to aspects of the supply chain he manages. Give it a listen—as always we want your feedback! Let us know how we’re doing, what questions we should be asking, and where to take the show next.
This episode features Jonathan Rasmusson whose website Agile in a Nutshell and book The Agile Samurai inspired me to start writing The Agile Marketer. He’s been working with Spotify for a couple of years but has also worked at a range of larger enterprises mostly in the product management and engineering functions. What’s unique about Jonathan is his commitment to sharing what he’s learned with the broader community … including those outside of product management.
In this conversation we hear from Jonathan about:
how Spotify leverages Agile and how their practice continues to evolve
where the current state of Agile adoption is in context of the larger adoption/maturity cycle
why Agile transformation is so hard—especially for established companies
how Agile is truly an empowerment model
During our conversation I brought up the Cynefin framework—here’s a great overview of this decision making framework.