I’ve been working lately with Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing. If you don’t know Matt, he’s one of the most consistently insightful marketing practitioners around. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, hire him. If you’re not, subscribe to his newsletter, which is full of nuggets of goodness.
We had just finished our first Sprint together at a company I’m now running, and we were conducting our Sprint Review, working our way into planning for our second Sprint. I’ve introduced Matt to Agile Marketing, just as he’s introduced me to some of his techniques, and he made a comment that I found particularly insightful.
We have to be careful that we don’t let all this great activity that we’re getting done because of Agile Marketing lull us into thinking that we’re accomplishing our goals just because we’re moving so much from the Sprint backlog column into the done column.
I think that’s exactly right. The point of Agile Marketing isn’t just to get more done, it’s to get the right things done so that we can hit our goals and ultimately generate more business for the company.
Avoiding the Activity Trap
So how do we avoid this activity trap? The key, as in many things, is to start with the end in mind, and measure each activity in terms of how it contributes to reaching those end goals. In our case, this meant setting up a marketing scorecard (or dashboard, as Matt and his team like to call it), and rigorously measuring our Agile Marketing activities against this scorecard.
The Marketing Scorecard
A typical marketing scorecard is divided into 4-6 buckets, modeled around the customer’s buying process or the sales cycle. Each bucket then has a series of metrics to measure success. We measure in two-week increments, although I know a lot of teams that measure monthly. Here’s an example scorecard, which you can download here.
Note that we measure marketing (and sales) all the way through the close and referrals from customers. We want to make it clear that it’s a team effort, and that both marketing and sales own the final numbers. The particular metrics will vary by business, as will the tools used to gather the metrics.
Now that you have the scorecard, every activity in your Sprint should be focused on one or more of these metrics, and should be ultimately measured against the metrics. This will keep you out of the activity trap, and clearly focused on the end results of Agile Marketing, and not on the activities.
What are you using to measure the success of your Agile Marketing efforts? Does anyone else have a scorecard or dashboard to share?