Agile Marketing Manifesto teamOn Monday, we held the first ever gathering of Agile Marketers at an event called SprintZero. There have been a number of wonderful summaries and recaps of the event (here for example). For whatever reason, I needed a couple of days to allow my own thoughts to crystalize.

Marketing at a Crossroads

Nearly all the marketers in the room felt that marketing is at a crossroads – we could continue down the well-marked road of big campaigns, clamoring for attention, shouting at our buyer’s like carnival barkers, or we could turn off on to the less-traveled path pointed to by scarecrows on a post like Seth Godin (Permission Marketing) and David Meerman Scott (The New Rules of Marketing and PR).

Old marketing is dead, but it simply won’t die. As Marty Smith said, when shouting doesn’t work, some just turn up the volume. We, Agile Marketers, will add our voice to the growing call for marketing to change – to become more attuned to customers, to become more permission-based, to become more transparent, and yes, to become more agile.

Agile Marketing is a Movement

Agile Marketing is NOT just another tool in the toolbox. It’s NOT about the application of Scrum or Kanban to manage the marketing process. Agile Marketing is a movement, a quest, a revolution, with all that implies: emotion, radicalism, religious fervor.  Grab your torches and your pitchforks; let’s storm the barricades!

This has implications for how Agile Marketing gets adopted within organizations. It’s as much or more about culture and values than process. The process is secondary. As Jascha Kaykas-Woolf said at the meeting, it’s the attitudes that matter, not only in marketing, but in the rest of the organization.

More Work to be Done

While I think the day was a tremendous success, there is much work to be done.  When the developers met in Snowbird, Utah, they spent an entire weekend crafting and honing the values and the principles of Agile Development.  We spent only about 2 hours on the values, and no time at all on the principles (other than to list some candidates).

I’m proud of what we accomplished in that two hours, and I think we’re 80% of the way there. But we probably have too many values (we eventually settled on 7, some of which I think overlap) and we may have missed some.

For example, Jascha Kaykas-Woolf talked at both SprintZero and at the Inbound Marketing Summit panel about the importance of transparency and accountability, and that seemed to resonate with people, but nowhere did we capture that in the values. Rohn Jay Miller also alluded to this with his slide, early on, about how we need to stop campaigning and start committing.

Next Steps

The day ended with a brainstorming session on the future of Agile Marketing, and we took a list of action items. We’ll soon be creating a web site to post the work-in-progress Agile Marketing Manifesto, and gather feedback. I am personally committed to helping generate some evangelical “tracts” for the movement. We also talked about the next meeting, #Sprint1, which might happen this Fall.

Stay tuned.

Jim Ewel

I love marketing. I think it’s one of the most difficult and one of most exciting jobs in any company. My goal with this blog is to evangelize agile marketing and help marketers increase the speed, predictability, transparency, and adaptability to change of the marketing function.

This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Wayne Kernochan

    I just wanted to say that when a seasoned guy like you starts talking enthusiasm, I am enormously heartened about the long-term prospects for Agile Marketing. Best, w

    1. Jim Ewel

      Thanks Wayne for the kind words and your presentation at SprintZero

      Jim

  2. Wayne Kernochan

    I just wanted to say that when a seasoned guy like you starts talking enthusiasm, I am enormously heartened about the long-term prospects for Agile Marketing. Best, w

    1. Jim Ewel

      Thanks Wayne for the kind words and your presentation at SprintZero

      Jim

  3. Donna Sudderth

    Jim,

    I am truly excited to watch as this revolution takes place. The presentation at the Inbound Marketing Summit this week was spectacular. The enthusiasm in the room was stellar, and the conversations that stemmed from your presentation were even better.

    Keep up the awesome work!

    Donna

    1. Jim Ewel

      Donna, thanks for the kind words. I’m super-excited as well. We’ll be creating a web site soon for the movement at agilemarketingmanifesto.org. Watch for it.

      Jim

  4. Donna Sudderth

    Jim,

    I am truly excited to watch as this revolution takes place. The presentation at the Inbound Marketing Summit this week was spectacular. The enthusiasm in the room was stellar, and the conversations that stemmed from your presentation were even better.

    Keep up the awesome work!

    Donna

    1. Jim Ewel

      Donna, thanks for the kind words. I’m super-excited as well. We’ll be creating a web site soon for the movement at agilemarketingmanifesto.org. Watch for it.

      Jim

  5. Marty Smith

    Jim,
    It was great to meet you in San Francisco and take part in the creation of a manifesto and the beginning of a movement – the Agile Marketing revolution. I look forward to working with you, John and a talented group of open source revolutionaries who care immensely about creating a better marketing, a marketing aligned with what is happening now and ready to handle whatever comes next. When everyone has everything marketing is not only essential it determines sustainable growth, cuts through an increasingly noisy world and saves the world.

    I will gladly go wherever and whenever you need me to be part of such a hero’s quest. Thanks for your hard work and intelligent leadership. You rock Jim!

    Marty

    P.S. Thanks for linking to ScentTrail’s live blog of our meeting. It was fun :).

    Martin Smith
    @ScentTrail
    Director Marketing
    Atlantic BT
    Raleigh, NC

    1. Jim Ewel

      Marty,
      It was wonderful to meet you as well. I feel like I met a soul mate, someone who cares immensely about marketing, but who is also smart, pragmatic and no bullshit. I look forward to manning the ramparts with you.

      Jim

  6. Marty Smith

    Jim,
    It was great to meet you in San Francisco and take part in the creation of a manifesto and the beginning of a movement – the Agile Marketing revolution. I look forward to working with you, John and a talented group of open source revolutionaries who care immensely about creating a better marketing, a marketing aligned with what is happening now and ready to handle whatever comes next. When everyone has everything marketing is not only essential it determines sustainable growth, cuts through an increasingly noisy world and saves the world.

    I will gladly go wherever and whenever you need me to be part of such a hero’s quest. Thanks for your hard work and intelligent leadership. You rock Jim!

    Marty

    P.S. Thanks for linking to ScentTrail’s live blog of our meeting. It was fun :).

    Martin Smith
    @ScentTrail
    Director Marketing
    Atlantic BT
    Raleigh, NC

    1. Jim Ewel

      Marty,
      It was wonderful to meet you as well. I feel like I met a soul mate, someone who cares immensely about marketing, but who is also smart, pragmatic and no bullshit. I look forward to manning the ramparts with you.

      Jim

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