8 Effective Meetings for Agile Marketing Teams

Posted 7/10/2015 12:14 PM by Jeff Julian

I love meetings.  Yeah, I said it, I love meetings.  Why you might ask?  Because I truly value the input and insights of the roles I am not in.  I love knowing the big picture, where we currently are, and where we are going.  I love to hear new ideas and a fresh prospective on the work we are accomplishing.  And I love to get feedback from the audience we are delivering content to.

I also hate meetings.  This is a far more agreeable statement for most of you who are reading this post.  Most meetings are a huge waste of time.  People have to travel to them, the agendas are not defined well, and they last far beyond the amount of time required. 

In this post I outline the Agile Marketing timeline in the prospective of the meetings we hold.  After the first round of these meetings occur, they are repeated on different intervals based on the rate of change and the required agenda.  Each one of these meetings has a well-defined agenda and leg work needed to go into the preparation of the materials each time before we meet. 

Over the next few weeks, I will release a post detailing each meeting and the agenda that goes along with them.  In the meantime, reach out on LinkedIn if you would like clarification on any of the details.

Overview of the Agile Marketing Timeline

Before we get into the details of this meeting, let’s look at where it lives in the Agile Marketing timeline.  Remember that agile is more of an approach to doing work and there are many different ways to go about implementing your process.  I find in marketing the Scrum process is a good fit for a Content Marketing effort.

Here is a simple view of the exercises and meetings in the Agile Marketing timeline:

  • Prospective Meeting – Discuss the issues we face before we implement our process and the plan of execution.  This meeting will be replaced by the Retrospective Meeting after the first Sprint.
  • Persona Development – We need to develop the first set of personas for our Content Marketing efforts.  Our focus will be on unique characteristics and how we can provide value to the personas.  Interview people who match your personas on a regular basis and modify your definition when needed.
  • Content Mission Statement Definition – The outcome of this meeting is to identify the outline we will use to ensure our content fits with our goals and the goals of the audience.  Consider a quarter meeting with stakeholders and marketing leaders to be sure we are on the right trajectory.
  • Content Backlog Grooming Meeting – One of my favorite meetings, but the one everyone tends to forget.  The Backlog Grooming Meeting’s agenda is to go through the backlog and adjust the priority of the current items, formulate ideas for new items, and make adjustments to the existing items when we determine better ways of delivering value.  You can have larger sessions with everyone on the Agile Marketing team available for brainstorming, brain writing, or mind mapping to find the gaps in your content.  You can also have smaller sessions with just the Content Owner and ScrumMaster to make sure items are meeting the delivery expectations of the business.
  • Sprint Planning Meeting – We will look at the resources available, the time we have allocated to the time box, and the prioritized Content Backlog to determine what we will accomplish as a team.  The Content Developers will break the Content Items into tasks and estimate.  Any current concerns with the content being developed will be discussed during the meeting and any actionable items that arise will be placed on the Sprint as high priority tasks.
  • Daily Standup Meeting – Each day, physically or virtually, your team will meet to report status.  Every Content Developer will let the ScrumMaster and team know what they worked on the day before, what they are planning on working on today, and what issues they would like to have resolved by the ScrumMaster.  This meeting should be held in the location of the task board or have access to the digital Scrum system.
  • Sprint Demo – With the Content Owner present, the team with present the work accomplished in the Sprint.  A review of the Content Item associated with the final content is conducted to be certain we are delivering the defined value, the content meets our quality standards, and it is complete.
  • Retrospective – The Sprint is over, the demo has been done.  From here you might want to just straight into planning the next Sprint and getting started on producing more content, but there is probably something in the air that needs to be addressed.  Collaborative teams can become infested with bad blood and put people on edge when the issues that occur are not dealt with during the points where our team comes up for air.  The issues may be specific to a member, the team, a part of the process, or the organization in general.  Whatever stems the issue, this meeting is a safe place for the team to open up and discuss the issues they saw during the Sprint.  And although it is good just to be heard sometimes, the team should determine a corrective action to resolve the issue if it is ongoing.  Where there are issues discussed, you should also be very generous with praise.  What went well is just as important as what went wrong.  If you feel the team is on a down note, maybe you failed a Sprint, it should be a part of the ritual to share those things that were great.

Now On to Your Next Meeting

That’s it!  You can now conduct your meetings with purpose.

Agile Marketing Workshop by AJi

I know when people say Agile Marketing is supposed to be simple and I say there are 8 types of meeting you need to conduct, those two phrases don’t seem to align but they do.  If you look at the traditional process of developing content, we will probably find we have more meetings, meetings without agendas, or miss out on the benefits of gathering together around the goal. 

Agile Marketing is about optimizing your time and the time of the team while still gathering the relevant information you need to measure and protect the team for burnout and churn. 

In my view, the team is the biggest asset to the Content Marketing effort.  If we don’t have the appropriate feedback mechanisms to ensure they are well informed about the content they are producing our efforts will not hit the mark.  If we are not measuring the pulse of the Content Developers, we will soon burn through the tanks and find ourselves exhausted and unable to finish. 

If you need to have someone review your process or just want to chat about some of these events in Agile Marketing, please connect up with me on LinkedIn (check Friend to bypass the relationship gate) and mention Agile Marketing in your message.