A Weekend with Lean Startup Machine

Lean Startup Machine Seattle

Photo courtesy of Hakon Verespej

I love Eric Ries’s book, The Lean Startup. I love the concepts of the build-measure-learn feedback loop, the minimum viable product, the pivot and innovation accounting. But how do you apply Lean Startup in the real world? How do you make mistakes, learning as you go, without endangering your own carefully nurtured idea for a startup?

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Tools for Managing Agile Marketing

I recently came across two tools that despite being designed for Agile Development, can be used to manage Agile Marketing projects. Both tools have a steeper learning curve than a Kanban tool like Trello, but with that learning comes greater power and flexibility.

OnTime ScrumOnTime Scrum

OnTime Scrum is a project management and bug tracking tool for Scrum teams from AxoSoft. [Read more…]

How to Structure an Agile Marketing Backlog

Agile Marketing Backlog

Photo courtesy of Paul Herwarth von Bittenfeld

Agile Developers structure their product backlogs into stories, epics and themes. Agile Marketers could apply the same approach, but often they do something slightly different. Let’s take a look at three different approaches from HubSpot, MindJet and my own consulting practice to structuring an Agile Marketing Backlog.

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How to Run an Agile Marketing Sprint Planning Session

Sprint Planning Meeting

Based on a diagram created by Mountain Goat Software

Agile Marketing teams that are using Scrum begin the Sprint process with an Agile Marketing Sprint Planning session. Sprint Planning, one of the four key “ceremonies” of Scrum (the others are the Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective and the daily Scrum), establishes the baseline assumptions of the company’s approach to the market, the goals of the Sprint, and the list of activities which the marketing team will do to reach those goals. To say that it is important to the success of the Sprint, and to the success of the marketing team, would be an understatement.

So how does one run a successful Agile Marketing Sprint Planning session? What are the key agenda items? What are the inputs? What are the outputs? I’ll try to answer these questions and more in this post. [Read more…]

What AFLAC’s Duck Teaches Us About Agile Marketing


Aflac (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The story of AFLAC’s duck is a great story. AFLAC’s CEO takes a chance on a crazy advertising idea: a duck that quacks the name of his company. Company name recognition goes from about 2% to higher than 90%, revenues go through the roof, he adapts the idea to a different culture, and achieves the same business success in Japan. In many ways, it’s a story that illustrates the basic principles of traditional marketing: customers have to be aware of your product before you have a chance to sell to them, and brand matters. A lot.

But the story also illustrates some of the basic tenants of Agile Marketing. [Read more…]