The goal of this blog is to evangelize agile marketing and to help marketers become better practitioners of agile marketing.
The goals of Agile Marketing are to increase the predictability, transparency, velocity and adaptability to change of the marketing function. It leads to marketing that is done in a rapid, iterative, experimental, don’t-be-afraid-to-fail fashion that complements and provides input to agile development.
About Jim Ewel
Currently, I’m doing a number of things. My primary activity is my agile marketing consulting practice, which I call “Peel the Layers”, because that’s an apt description of how I work with clients. Inevitably, their businesses are complex, and it takes focus to peel back enough of the layers to get to the core of their problem so that I can help them. I’ve also been blogging about agile marketing, because I think it has the potential to do for marketing what agile development has done for development: increase the predictability, transparency, velocity and adaptability to change.
I also teach at the University of Washington, Bothell campus, on Marketing. I’m using David Meerman Scott’s business classic, The New Rules of Marketing and PR, as a textbook. If you haven’t read it, I recommend highly that you get a copy. David argues persuasively that the days of interrupt-driven marketing are over, and marketers must deliver real value through great content and customer engagement. I agree. He also takes a real-time approach to marketing, which aligns very nicely with agile marketing.
Before that, I joined a couple of founders who had built a cloud-based service to track online advertising campaigns. Adometry was at a very early stage when I joined, without any customers or shipping products. We shipped the SAAS product, signed up some initial customers, and grew it with a small amount of angel funding, part of which I provided and part of which we raised. In early 2011, we sold the company to Click Forensics of Austin, who liked our brand so much that they adopted it. So Adometry lives on, and I remain an investor.
Before that, I was the Chairman and CEO of GoAhead Software from 2003 to 2009. GoAhead makes high-availability software for the telecom and defense industries. You’re probably aware that the core equipment that powers our telecommunications systems must be very reliable – sometimes if a single switch were to go down, thousands of people would experience an outage. GoAhead makes software to detect problems, gracefully handle failovers, and keep the service running, even if individual hardware or software components fail. It was my first time in a startup, and I had a lot of fun. We grew the business, and became the number one player in our niche. John Hansen, one of my board members, took over GoAhead after I left, and he recently engineered a sale to Oracle.
In 1989, I joined Microsoft in the Chicago office, which was then quite small. I was the 7th employee in that office. I was hired to sell an early Microsoft product, code named Omega, which was a precursor to today’s Access database product. I held a number of positions in the Chicago office, all sales and sales-management related. It wasn’t until 1995, fourteen years into my career, that I took my first marketing job. I moved to Microsoft corporate headquarters in Redmond, and became one of the early product managers for Windows NT. Although I had never taken a marketing course, a friend had suggested that I read a book called “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey Moore. I read it and fell in love with marketing.
After Windows NT, I worked on Microsoft BackOffice (an attempt to win market share for Microsoft’s server products by using the same bundling and integration strategy that worked so well for Office ), Microsoft SQL Server (where we launched SQL Server 7 at Comdex in November of 1998 and won just about every award possible) and then back to Windows for the Windows 2000 launch. When I left, I was Marketing Vice President, Windows Servers. I had a great ride at Microsoft, met many smart and talented people and learned a ton. But by 2001, I felt out of sync with what was happening at Microsoft, and I left.
Before Microsoft, I worked for a variety of mainframe software companies, first as a developer (writing FORTRAN and COBOL code), and then as a systems engineer for Control Data and Information Builders. But I saw the writing on the wall, and in 1988 I set my sites on getting a job with either Microsoft or Apple, because I was sure that personal computers were where the action was going to be, and I was right.
When I’m not working, my wife and I love camping with our little TAB trailer, nicknamed Jelly (short for Magellan). I also love to cook. I had the opportunity to attend cooking school in France, not just once, but twice, and I had a short internship at Arpege, one of the top restaurants in Paris.
I’m married, and my wife and I have five children between us. The kids are spread out all over the country, which gives us an excuse to indulge in one of our favorite activities, travel. Not that we need an excuse.
That’s my story. How about you? What’s your story?