The Agile Marketer is Released!

book1-253x300It’s official, my book The Agile Marketer: Turning Customer Experience Into Your Competitive Advantage has been released! It’s a pretty wonderful feeling to have a copy in hand and I’m excited to share the book with all of you. The goal of this book is to help marketers modernize the way we work.

The central theme of the book is that the Agile development approach—which revolutionized the software development world—has become the primary driver of modernization in the marketer’s’ world. That might seem surprising at first blush, but when you consider the amount of innovation that’s taken place in the marketing technology space in just the last 5 years it begins to make a lot of sense. Just think about the tools we use to get our work done—it’s all software from websites, to analytics, mobile, marketing automation, etc, etc.

Marketers are managing more software than ever before but unlike our counterparts in development—and product management—we have not fundamentally changed our approach. It’s time to take a page from their playbook and apply it to marketing. Here’s why Agile is so important for marketers to understand:

Marketing in the digital era has evolved into a whole new game—and the name of the game is the customer experience.  Marketers today must integrate a complex set of technologies to capture the customers’ digital body language—and thereby deliver the right experiences, at the right times, via the right channels. Beyond that, marketers must align with product developers and product managers to create a more powerful connection with customers.

Agile development involves continuous assessment and iteration at every phase of a project—and throughout the lifecycle of a product. In an era of rapid change and rapid product obsolescence, Agile has an equally important place in marketing. It has the potential to unleash a whole array of new marketing opportunities from growth to “baking” marketing directly into products and services.

What’s in the book?

  • A practical and concise guide to key Agile methodologies, how they apply to marketing, and how to choose which ones might best suit their needs
  • How to respond to naysayers’ concerns (Is Agile scalable? Won’t it be disruptive? How can we plan or budget with it?)
  • How Agile complements established marketing practices such as strategy and market research
  • The ways in which Agile can support marketing’s collabo­ration with the innovation and product management teams
  • Exercises to help their team get Agile-savvy—for design, content creation, and system development

I want to share the book with you: 

So now that the book is released, I’d be thrilled to share the book with you, your teams, and at your events. If that’s of interest, here’s a breakdown of how we can work together:

Order 30 or More Books

I’ll host a 30-minute video conference with you and your team during which we can focus on any topic of your choice related to Agile Marketing in an question and answer format. 

Order 60 or More Books

Same deal only 60 minutes and I’ll also field as many follow up inquiries as you’d like via email.

Order 250 or More Books

I’ll present a 60-minute presentation that will serve as a primer to get your team prepared for an Agile implementation. You can give me themes in advance so that I can tailor the presentation to your team or group. And, you can use the presentation as a marketing tool to reach your customers if you;d like. 

Order 500 or More Books

Same deal as above, only I’ll come to you wherever you are in the U.S. 

For more information contact me about the above at

Finally, thank you for reading all this and for considering buying the book. If you want to learn even more and hear where people are saying about the book, check out my book page.


Join me at MarTech SF for an Agile Panel

For those of you in the Bay Area, I hope you’ll consider joining me at MarTech SF on March 21st-22nd. If you’re not familiar with the conference, it’s the brainchild of Scott Brinker who has been working on the front lines of marketing technology innovation. Besides being known for his MarTech Landscape his forthcoming book called Hacking Marketing is a worthy read. Fair disclosure we share the same publisher (Wiley) and there there’s a lot of shared DNA with The Agile Marketer.

On the fence? Check out our latest Marketing Agility Podcast with Scott:

Ian Bruce of Intralinks Shares Agile Insights

In this episode of the Marketing Agility Podcast Frank Days and I interview Ian Bruce, about his experience with Agile Marketing at Intralinks and previously at Avid Technologies. Ian brings a broad range of experience with Agile to the conversation having worked on a product for highly creative users (Avid) and now for one empowering business users. What connects these companies is their particular focus on facilitating collaboration for end users. Ian shares insights about how helping customers collaborate informed his approach to Agile—as a collaboration framework— within his team.

If you’ve been listening to some of these podcasts and think you could contribute to the dialogue we’d love to hear from you. Please reach out!

Let’s Get Physical With A/B Testing

A/B testing is not a new topic, but this week I heard a great podcast from Planet Money on the topic that speaks to how broadly the practice is being used. In this show they discuss the A/B testing of everything from headlines to audio based podcasts but—more interesting than that— there is an example that speaks to how A/B testing is being implemented in the context of physical retail environments.

The podcast features Laura Shoe of Bucketfeet, who talks about how 6 video cameras in her store capture browsing and behavior. Though the technology being used is not mentioned, it’s probably something like Prism Skylabs. Solutions like this can help retailers test volume of traffic, how long users engage with elements of the store, and what paths they take through a retail environment.

If this is something that you have experience with or that you’ve done we’d be thrilled to have you share your story on the Marketing Agility Podcast! In the meantime, here’s the Planet Money episode:



Ok, and just cause:

Scrumban: Mike McKinnon’s preferred Agile method

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAJeAAAAJDhhZTg3ODZmLTA5MGEtNGU2Mi1hMmQzLWZjMDBiYWU1NDRiNQFrank Days and I recorded another Marketing Agility Podcast this week, this time with Mike McKinnon. I met Mike while he was running marketing operations at ReadyTalk (fair disclosure: they are an Oracle Marketing Cloud partner) and we connected over what it takes to implement Agile in the marketing context. As it turns out, his story was so compelling and representative that I had to include it in The Agile Marketer as a case study.  I’ll share an excerpt of that case study below.

The podcast follows Mike to Avaya where he continues to use the Oracle Marketing Cloud and is once again working on establishing an Agile practice. In our conversation we touch on a recent article from entitled: Mohanbir Sawhney: Why marketers are still struggling to adopt Agile. In this piece Sawhney, the McCormick Tribune Professor of Technology at the Kellogg School of Management, talks about the unique challenges of making Agile work within the enterprise. It’s a good backdrop for this conversation because of Mike’s move from a startup to a 12,000+ person company.

Here’s our most recent podcast with Mike:

And, an excerpt from the case study in my book:

ReadyTalk started implementing Agile to address common challenges, such as poor coordination (owing to organizational silos), a lack of strategic focus (due to insufficient transparency), and a reactive posture (the result of constantly shifting priorities). Like most marketers who adopt Agile, they discover that it cannot only be interpreted for the marketing context; it must also be tailored to the organization.

As ReadyTalk has grown from 20 employees to more than 200, the company has used Agile not only to manage its marketing programs, but also to iterate on the process itself. This continuous improvement has brought ReadyTalk through more than 10 iterations of Agile methods including both Scrum and Kanban.

Like many pioneers of Agile marketing, ReadyTalk started with Scrum. Five years ago, few marketers were using Kanban, and most of the guidance from development organizations was based on Scrum. ReadyTalk discovered, however, that Scrum was too process-intensive and complex; two-week sprints were not always a good fit for their programs. So Mike led his team towards the less prescriptive end of the spectrum and tried Kanban before eventually iterating to a hybrid method known as Scrumban. This hybrid incorporates elements of Kanban, such as limits to the number of items being worked on (work-in-process), alongside elements of Scrum, such as cross-functional teams. Interestingly, after gaining experience with Kanban, Mike’s team was more able to embrace some of the more prescriptive elements of Scrum.

A big part of Mike’s success with Agile has to do with keeping the marketing Scrum aligned with the product group’s Scrum. They’ve achieved this through the physical proximity of their Scrum meetings and their Kanban boards. They’ve also embedded Scrum participants throughout the organization.