The general term “agile marketing” has been a hot topic in marketing discussions around the world this year. Every company wants their marketing team to be agile, react quickly, and be more efficient. What isn’t as common is what the actualization is from formal Agile Marketing (capital because I’m talking about the actual methodology referred to by the Agile Marketing Manifesto) implementation.
In July, the marketing group from Northern Arizona University, Extended Campuses brought the Agile Marketing Boot Camp course to them. Instructors Jim Ewel and Keith Finger led them through two days of methodology and hands-on practice about Agile Marketing and how they could adapt it for their specific situations. I had a chance to ask the Extended Campuses Director of Marketing Ann-Marie deWees a few questions about what she and her team thought about the training. Below are a few answers to those questions.
Why did you want to take the course?
I was intrigued by agile and wanted to go deeper, with the guidance of an instructor.
How did you find working with our customer service and training advisors? Easy, difficult, would anything make it better?
Good/easy. I originally signed up for this course in an online format, which was canceled due to low enrollment. I was very disappointed in the cancellation, and the staff immediately began corresponding with me about bringing an instructor to my workplace. In the end, the in-person/custom approach was probably the best fit for me.
Could you briefly describe the course, specifically what you liked/disliked about the course structure, what was most valuable, what you implemented immediately, what you thought about the instructor, did the training meet your expectations?
I liked the in-person format, and I liked that the instructor customized the content to fit our specific needs. The instructor bent over backwards to help us adapt the sprint planning process to our situation. The workshop parts were very helpful to learn to apply the concepts to our real world situation. When we held our first sprint planning meeting a few days after training, everyone felt confident that we were doing it “right” and that helped us be productive. If the workshop time had not been provided, we would have been struggling to understand whether we were applying the concepts correctly – so the time spent on trying two different ways to approach the sprint planning sessions was golden. And the excel workbook template for the sprint planning meetings was invaluable as well. I’ve never attended a training that had such an immediate impact on my and my team’s productivity. The training exceeded my expectations.
What do you think are the top 3 benefits of this class?
1) Prepares you for immediate application of concepts to work planning and marketing strategy.
2) Customized to be relevant to your specific workplace needs.
3) Getting actual tools to use, like the sprint planning spreadsheet template.
Do you have any examples of results that you have realized from this course?
Immediate application, high productivity, everyone knows what their priorities are, everyone feels engaged and connected to the overall goals (versus just their piece of a given project). We’ve been able to ditch our subscription to MarketingPilot, given our more nimble and agile planning process, so that saved us some money. And I’m better able to concretely report to leadership on what we’ve accomplished and what we’re anticipating working on next (versus a big long annual/static marketing plan).
How do you see the knowledge and activities you completed during this class as an impact on you and your organization’s future?
Better/more strategic planning and more efficient implementation will raise our visibility and reputation, enable us to be more effective, and increases understanding across the leadership team of the value that marketing can provide.
You too can learn to apply Agile Methods to Marketing in order to get more done, adapt to change and see immediate measurable results. Check out our 2-day, hands-on Agile Marketing Boot Camp.