Creating Better Customers

Happy CustomerImagine your best customer. They understand your products or services nearly as well, sometimes better, than you do.  They tell other people about how good you are, and they’re always ready to serve as a reference. When you launch a new product, or a new version of your existing product, they’re often the first to adopt, and they provide you with great feedback.

Are these better customers an accident, a happy coincidence of their needs and your products or services, or is it possible to create better customers? I think the latter is true, and here are a few thoughts about how to increase your chances of developing better customers.

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The State of Agile Marketing in 2016

Wrike SurveyWrike, the maker of work management tools for marketing and product development teams, has just released a survey of over 800 marketers across all disciplines called The State of Agile Marketing in 2016. It’s a fascinating study which confirms many of my own informal observations over the past six months.

The Good News on Agile Marketing

According to Wrike’s survey data, over 70% of marketing teams are embracing some aspects of Agile Methods. That’s really high awareness and the beginnings of acceptance of Agile Marketing.  Scott Brinker wrote recently that Agile Marketing has “crossed the chasm”. I’m not quite ready to call that crossing, but it does feel like Agile Marketing is starting to go mainstream.

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Shaping the Buyer’s Journey

Last week I attended Martech USA in San Francisco.  Organized by my friend Scott Brinker, Martech showcases marketing technology from over 100 vendors.  I learned a lot, both from wandering the show floor and talking to vendors, as well as from the high quality presentations. Perhaps my favorite presentation of the entire conference occurred early on the second day: David Edelman, global co-leader of McKinsey’s Digital and Marketing & Sales Practices, discussed the Buyer’s journey. Unfortunately, his slides are not available online, but he has written on this topic over at the Harvard Business Review in an article titled “Competing on Customer Journeys“.

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Interview with Caroline McClelland

Caroline McClellandI recently had the chance to interview Caroline McClelland, who has practiced Agile Marketing since 2009, both with her previous company HoundDog Technology Ltd and now in her current position as Digital Account Manager at Waracle, a mobile application developer based out of the U.K.  Here are my questions and her answers.

When did you get started with Agile Marketing, and what were your motivations at the time?

Making that initial move to agile marketing was an easy decision back in 2009. As a Marketing Manager for a start-up technology company (HoundDog Technology Ltd) I could already see the success of the Development team. When one of our Software Developer friends taught our Marketing team the ins and outs of an agile process – we were onto a winner. Never before, had I been part of such a focused team. Marketing adopted the scrum method of agile marketing. Team work was confined to two-week sprints allowing us to experiment with new marketing techniques. All creative ideas were added to a future backlog, completed projects were reviewed and we continually improved performance. It was like night and day. Suddenly, instead of just acting out our own roles, we were a team in every sense – we were all committed to the same goals, we had a sense of purpose, great communication – those daily stand-ups added more value than you could imagine, we became more creative and our Marketing Director was overwhelmed at the speed at which we regularly completed tasks.

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