How IBM is Reinventing Marketing with an Agile Approach

. February 2, 2019

“We are going to be the number one company on the planet to bring Agile as a discipline to marketing.” Strong words from Michelle Peluso, CMO of IBM. Listen in as Michelle tells DAC Executive Editor Daniel Kehrer how IBM is going about doing just that.

Also see these DAC videos from our interview with Michelle:

Using AI to Augment Marketing Measurement at IBM

Adding Agile to Your Marketing


Video Transcript

Michelle Peluso: When you think about the past 20, 30 arguably even 50 years, organizations have been constructed in very deep vertical expertise. We’ve had a lot of these sorts of deep silos, when the entire creative team sitting together, the entire analytical team sitting together, content marketers, social marketers.

At IBM we have a very different approach. We are going to be the number one company on the planet to bring Agile as a discipline to marketing for all of our more than 5000 marketers. We really dismantle the vertical organizations and the vertical silos and said everybody belongs to an agile team.

In any given agile team much like you would see in software engineering, you may have a content marketer and event marketer or product marketer, digital expert, a creative expert. Every team has their own ingredients. And those teams sit and work in Agile spaces. If you think about it, it’s a bunch of really good things. First, of course it fundamentally changes rate and pace because you’ve got the small team on a mission against some very clear outcomes.

Agile always works to help make sure that you’re prioritizing the most important work. When you’re interacting with sales teams and engineering teams and people outside the marketing discipline, you have a really strong sense of for this week what are you as a team prioritizing what is the work that is most important and what’s the work that’s in the backlog. You’re sitting next to people with a different discipline than you are. So you’re sitting next to a digital expert, an analytics expert, a content expert.

You see how your work comes together to produce either good results or poor results. It provides an incredible cross sort of collaboration and a learning environment for you no matter what your profession is.

Last thing is it really forces this notion of continual improvement, continual optimization. I always have a mantra ”is it always better tomorrow”. This notion that you start your day every day thinking about what did you learn, you do your retrospective, what did you learn from the week prior, your stand up, what are you going to focus on as a team today, what can you get done. To me those are some of the great benefits of Agile and shifting towards a culture which is much more collaborative, fast paced, agile, client centric really tools based, data based.

It’s just been a real change in the environment and I think it’s driven certainly better outcomes at a much faster rate pace. I also think it’s a much better and rewarding experience for the marketer herself.

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Category: Adoption, Basics, Case Studies, Culture, Innovation, Methodologies, Organizational, People, Strategy, Videos

About the Author ()

Daniel Kehrer is Executive Editor of the ANA Data Analytics Center (DAC), a leading voice of thought leadership and education in marketing measurement, data and analytics. He is also the Founder of BizBest Media Corp. and previously headed marketing at MarketShare LLC, an advanced marketing analytics technology company.

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