Sian Heaphy

Developing a strategy for your website continuous improvement

Developing a strategy for your website continuous improvement

What does Continuous Improvement mean to you?

Identify, plan, execute, review. Continuous improvement is a well-known process in the world of supply chain and business operations, but its benefits in marketing activity and website management are often overlooked.

It’s a common misconception that once a website is launched, the hard work is done, and we move into the ‘set and forget’ phase. In reality ongoing maintenance and continual improvement of the site and its assets is crucial to performance and success.

The role of your website in achieving business goals

Technology updates and trends move so quickly that it’s easy to fill up your task list with changes and reworks. However, a website is often the greatest go to market tool a company has, and a comprehensive website strategy helps to give your work purpose, map a path to reach your overall goals and informs how you measure results. Here are five things to consider when building out your continuous improvement strategy for your website.

1.     Identify your current state

There are different considerations to make depending on the status of your website – have you just launched a new site? Are you aiming to drive new visitors or diversify and expand your offering? Understanding your priorities will help guide you towards your plan.

As soon as people begin visiting your site, behaviour data starts to build – what pages they’re visiting, whether they are on their phone or computer, what they like (and don’t!). This data helps you understand your current website and where potential gaps are.

Undertake a full evaluation of your current content. Having an aim to regularly update and refresh your content will ensure your website flexes and develops alongside your business. By analysing your content and identifying your strong and weak spots, your content plan will begin to develop.

2.     Map your goals and objectives

So now you know where you are, but how does this align with where you want to be? Your website is an important tool for your sales, business development, and customer engagement teams. Aligning your digital goals with your overall company vision and purpose will help you unlock the potential of your platform and ensure the work you are putting in will be delivering for the organisation in the long run.

As your website continuous improvement and content development has no real end-date, it’s easy to get disheartened and feel overwhelmed, but by outlining clear KPIs for the short, medium, and long term, you’ll be able to celebrate those successes along the way to keep energy levels up and stay focused on optimisation.

4.     Focus on your audience

There can sometimes be a gap between what your company thinks the audience wants and what your audience actually needs. To continue to build improvements into your platform, you need to think as the customer. Is it easy for your users to work out where they need to go to find the information they need? Optimise your navigation, page load times, and test different design elements and ways of using content.

5.     Create your content

Keep watch for opportunities to create fresh content and ensure you are getting the maximum value from it by implementing SEO best practices and technology updates. In the same way that a Google Bot will trawl your content and learn to adjust its own algorithms, you can keep your SEO practices up to date to stay ahead of any changes.

When in doubt, use targeted survey questions and feedback forms to get a direct line to your audience and make changes based on their feedback.

Bonus consideration: Experimentation

Experimentation is a great way to drive your continuous improvement. Improving understanding of your audiences, user design, conversion and doing it quickly. Using clear, time bound experiments to increase the effectiveness of your website. When experimenting with your website think about:

  • Your experimentation shouldn’t be about vanity metrics – it needs to focus on where you can drive the most business impact. So, places to start are:
    • Pages, sections or areas that have the highest impact
    • Starting at the end of the funnel
  • Don’t just focus on A/B testing – think about big radical ideas that drastically improve the user experience. This is where you’ll see the biggest improvements

Remember to be agile – when it comes to continuous improvement it should be about spending your time where you can drive the best possible results – for your audiences and for your business goals. Test, learn and build on your findings.

Your continuous improvement journey

While website development and maintenance is a never-ending cycle, the benefit it can bring your business is tangible. By being purposeful and consistent in your continuous improvement strategy, you’ll drive better engagement with your customers and ensure you are well positioned to adapt quickly to an ever-changing digital environment.

Sian HeaphyDeveloping a strategy for your website continuous improvement
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The power of an engaged social community

The power of an engaged social community

Building connections that drive success

Social media has become a cornerstone of communication, connection, and business growth. We’ve seen its growth in e-commerce, as a search engine and its use a channel to reach target audiences.

Gone are the days when your follower count would suffice. The quality of engagement matters just as much as the quantity of followers. But an engaged community isn’t just a mere collection of likes and comments either, it’s a vibrant ecosystem where authentic connections flourish – where members actively participate, share insights and initiate conversations.

What’s the magic of an engaged social community?

Build brand loyalty and trust

An engaged community can transform passive followers into brand advocates. Not only will they support your products or services but will likely promote them willingly.

Enhancing customer support

This is something you see a lot with B2C brands as well as SaaS firms and an engaged community can serve as a real-time customer support hub.

Own content amplification

An engaged community will actively amplify content you generate, increasing reach, visibility, and brand awareness.

Driving user generated content

We know content is king, but content from your users about your products and services? Gold dust. The challenge is getting it. An engaged community makes that process a lot simpler and they’ll show genuine enthusiasm for the brand.

Fostering social engagement

Here are some of the things to think about when focusing on increasing engagement from your audiences.

Creating valuable content

Engagement starts with content that resonates with your target audience. Invest time in developing personas and understanding their buyer journey to understand their interests, pain points and preference. Use these insights to craft content that educates, entertains, or inspires to encourage interaction.

Encourage two-way conversations

Engagement is a two-way street. Responding to comments, questions and messages demonstrates you value your community’s input, drives connection and belonging.

Blend the physical and the virtual

When focusing on engagement, it’s important not to look at virtual and physical in isolation. They should work together to increase your reach, drive engagement, and foster your community. Physical events like exhibitions, roundtables, and meetups alongside interactive events like contests, polls, online Q&A sessions, and live interviews inject an element of excitement into your community. These events encourage participation and provide an opportunity for followers to actively contribute.

Showcase user generated content

Peers like to hear from their peers so promoting, sharing, and celebrating user generated content is a great way to encourage contribution.

Don’t focus just on the brand

Your company pages and profiles are a great starting point to driving engagement, but building your community shouldn’t stop there. What can you do as individuals to foster the community? What subject matter experts and industry leaders are within your business that you can use to fuel your community building activity?

Measuring the success of your activity

Good engagement can be tricky to measure. It’s not just about the number of likes, comments, shares or engagement rate. That’s only part of the equation. The other parts of the equation are who is liking and engaging, are they in your ICP? And finally what’s the impact you’re seeing of that engagement? This could be increased conversion of unknowns to knowns, improved engagement and marketing audiences, brand sentiment and even increased revenue.

The future of engagement holds exciting possibilities. Virtual and augmented reality, and AI-driven interactions promise to create even more immersive and interactive experiences. As technology evolves, engagement strategies will evolve with them, redefining the way communities connect and thrive.

An engaged social media community is more than just a digital gathering—it’s a powerful catalyst for success. As the digital and social landscape continues to evolve, nurturing an engaged community will remain a cornerstone of successful social media strategies. Continue to research, use your social media data and audience data to develop strategies that not only increase your reach, but forge meaningful connections.

Sian HeaphyThe power of an engaged social community
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Activating Agile Marketing: Moving Beyond the Buzzword

Activating Agile Marketing: Moving Beyond the Buzzword

Embrace the rapidly evolving business landscape with the adoption of agile marketing. Discover the transformative potential it holds for B2B organisations by gaining valuable insights from industry-leading marketing experts who have successfully implemented agile practices within their departments.

This exclusive panel delves into the fascinating journeys, challenges and strategies of these marketing pioneers as they transitioned to an agile way of working. Learn first-hand how agile marketing has revolutionised their teams and discover the benefits it can bring your team and organisation.

Our Smarter Marketer panel event delves into;

  1. Agile Marketing Foundations: Core principles in B2B environments.
  2. Building Agile Teams: Mindset, training, and nurturing adaptability.
  3. Establishing Agile Processes: Flexible workflows and communication tools.
  4. Navigating Challenges: Real-world examples and overcoming strategies.
  5. Measuring Success: Key performance indicators for continuous improvement.
  6. Agile Marketing in Action: Case studies from various B2B industries.

Missed the session, watch it on demand!

Access the reframe cards – Activating Agile Marketing edition

Start activating agile marketing with our reframe cards – purposely created to help you and your teams improve your approach to agile marketing, with tips on how to restructure your thinking.

Meet the speakers

Catharina Rozendaal

Catharina Rozendaal is a results-driven marketing leader with a focus on driving growth. As the Marketing Growth Director for Emerging Markets at ADP, she combines her strategic expertise and deep understanding of market dynamics to execute impactful marketing campaigns.

Emily Nicols

Emily Nicols is a seasoned marketing professional with a passion for driving growth and creating impactful campaigns. As Group Marketing Director at Informa Markets, Emily has successfully implemented comprehensive marketing plans that have consistently delivered measurable results.

Sian Heaphy

Sian uses agile methods to encourage creativity, curiosity, and data-driven decisions in marketing. She works with teams to design experiments, gain insights, and achieve business goals. Sian promotes continuous improvement through experimentation and learning.

Lydia Kirby

Lydia Kirby is a marketing transformation director with over nine years of experience in the agile marketing methodology. She has worked with B2B tech, consulting, and professional services companies to help them use data and creativity to transform their marketing whilst delivering business outcomes. Lydia is passionate about showing tangible value for marketing and finding creative solutions to business problems.

Reading List

Watched the panel and interested in hearing more? Check out our extended list of agile marketing resources:


5 popular myths of agile marketing
A 5-minute read that dispels myths on agile marketing and how theory comes to life and the true practicalities of agile ways of working.

Getting started with agile marketing
A blog that shares practical tips to adopt agile ways of working in a marketing organisation and how to start on the right foot.


Hacking Marketing by Scott Brinker
A great book that explores how applying software-inspired management concepts can accelerate modern marketing. Giving insight into how greater agility can improve customer experience.

Agile Marketing by Neil Perkin
This book dives into adaptive marketing principles and practices, providing guidelines to redesigning marketing structures, processes and culture, to be fit for purpose in today’s changeable environment.

The 6 disciplines of Agile Marketing by Jim Ewel
An informative read that provides a concise, approachable, and adaptable strategy for the implementation of Agile in virtually any marketing organization.

Other resources:

Agile Marketing Manifesto
An online resources created by marketers to codify agile marketing and create a manifesto for the industry to utilise and reference.

Sian HeaphyActivating Agile Marketing: Moving Beyond the Buzzword
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Empowering your transformation – importance of change enablement

Empowering your transformation – importance of change enablement

Are you encountering resistance when going through business change and transformation? Perhaps you’ve started on your transformation journey and are encountering confusion or stagnation. We’ve seen it first hand, and that’s why we’re excited to present our exclusive on-demand content for the Smarter Marketer panel event.

Our panel brought together the brightest and best minds in the industry to dive into the world of change enablement and how you can bring your team on the journey to realise the power of change enablement.

We want to give you as marketers the power to do great work – check out our Smarter Marketer Event on change enablement; a 45 min panel discussion featuring the savviest marketers in B2B and can share their secrets behind seamless transitions, how to cultivate adaptability whilst boosting productivity and team morale.

Missed the session, watch it on demand!

Access the reframe cards – empowering transformation edition

Get started with change enablement with our reframe cards – purposely created to help you and your teams cultivate adaptability, and boost productivity, morale, and engagement in your change and transformation programmes.

Meet the speakers

Nick Sunderland

Nick, Director of Programmes at Boots, is an experienced leader who recognises the importance of change enablement in driving effective transformation. With an MBA focused on strategy from Edinburgh University, Nick is a skilled business development professional who brings valuable knowledge and experience to the table. We look forward to gaining insights from his expertise on change enablement.

Lucia Adams

Meet Lucia, an experienced transformation leader, consultant and coach. Lucia has over 25 years’ experience in companies such as: Bauer Media Group, The Times and Sunday Times as well as running her own consulting business supporting a wide variety of businesses and sectors.

Alex Jefferies

Alex is a change enablement expert with over a decade of experience in communications, culture, and change. Their passion lies in creating impactful and timely content and communications that drive positive change.

Zoe Merchant

Zoë is an agile marketing aficionado — a passionate believer in staying ahead of the competition with resilience, adaptability, and pace. After 20 years of delivering B2B marketing strategies, Zoë founded Bright to help tech, engineering and consulting firms get the most from their marketing investment. Using agile marketing to test, learn and build on success. Zoë leads the team in delivering results through continual and focused improvements to support clients’ business goals.

Reading List

Watched the panel and interested in hearing more? Check out our extended list of design thinking in marketing resources:


  1. Atomic Habits by James Clear
    A great book that highlights how small changes can grow into such life-altering outcomes, uncovering simple hacks that have a revolutionary effect.
  2. Make Change Happen by Ian Coyne
    This book delves into the secrets of successful, well-managed change, from ideas to implementation.
  3. Do Disrupt: Change the Status Quo or Become It by Mark Shayler
    A fantastic book that helps create or refine ideas and take them concept to market.
  4. What You Do Is Who You Are – How to Create your Business Culture by Ben Horowitz
    This book delves into the all important question, how do you create and sustain the culture you want? Sharing how to make your culture more purposeful.
  5. Switch by Chip and Dan Heath
    A great book focusing on change and why we insist on seeing the obstacles rather than the goal.
  6. Contagious Culture by Anese Cavanaugh
    A great read that focuses on improving your leadership presence, setting yourself up for success and creating a space to share your vision.
  7. Leading Change by Kotter
    This book focuses on the 8-step process that every company must go through to achieve its goal.

Articles, podcasts, and videos:

  1. Think Fast, Talk Smart by Stanford Business
    Join Matt Abrahams, lecturer in strategic communication, as he sits down with experts from across campus to discuss public speaking anxiety, speaking off the cuff, nailing a Q&A, and more.
Sian HeaphyEmpowering your transformation – importance of change enablement
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Why experimentation is crucial in marketing

Why experimentation is crucial in marketing

Are you feeling like your marketing strategies are stuck in a rut? Do you find yourself using the same tactics time and time again, only to see underwhelming results? We know the feeling, and that’s why we’re excited to present our exclusive on-demand content for the Smarter Marketer panel event.

Our panel brought together the brightest and best minds in the industry to explore what experimentation means to them, how they’ve used experimentation to enhance marketing activity and how this can help improve the ROI of marketing efforts.

We want to give you as marketers the power to do great work – check out our Smarter Marketer Event on experimentation; a 45 min panel discussion featuring the savviest marketers in B2B and can help provide inspiration, the pitfalls to avoid, and how to harness experimentation to take your marketing efforts to the next level.

Missed the session, watch it on demand!

Access the reframe cards – experimentation edition

Download our experimentation reframe cards – purposely created to help you and your teams experiment more, challenge assumptions, improve marketing effectiveness and ROI.

Meet the speakers

Lydia Kirby

Lydia is passionate about using experimentation to demonstrate the measurable impact of marketing strategies and finding innovative solutions to business challenges. She enjoys collaborating closely with clients and leveraging agile marketing methodologies to rapidly test and iterate on ideas.

Sian Heaphy

Sian uses agile methods to encourage creativity, curiosity, and data-driven decisions in marketing. She works with teams to design experiments, gain insights, and achieve business goals. Sian promotes continuous improvement through experimentation and learning.

Harriet Durnford-Smith

As the CMO at Adverity, Harriet is a seasoned marketing leader who understands the importance of experimentation in building effective customer-centric strategies. With her extensive experience, she oversees all aspects of the company’s marketing operations, driving her team to test new ideas and approaches in pursuit of meaningful growth.

Rosalind Hill

Rosalind is a strategic marketer who uses experimentation to make data-driven decisions and deliver exceptional customer experiences. Passionate about customer-centric strategies, Rosalind uses experimentation to identify new opportunities, craft engaging content, and optimise campaigns to drive business growth.

Reading List

Watched the panel and interested in hearing more? Check out our extended list of experimentation in marketing resources:


  1. Think Again: The power of knowing what you don’t know by Adam Grant. A great book about why experimentation is important and why you need to challenge your thoughts, knowledge and opinions
  2. Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments by Stefan H. Thomke. A book covering best practices for business experimentation and key things to think about

Articles, podcasts, and videos:

  1. The surprising habit of original thinkers – Adam Grant A TED Talk on the characteristics and habits of original thinkers and how they drive creativity and innovation
  2. A step by step guide to business experiments: Eric T.Anderson and Duncan Simester Exactly what it says on the tin a step by step guide to executing experiments
  3. Building a culture of experimentation – Stefan Thomke A look at the cultural considerations for scaling experimentation within teams and organisations
  4. Revenue Vitals – Chris Walker A podcast from the CEO of Refine Labs  on what it takes to build a high growth company
Sian HeaphyWhy experimentation is crucial in marketing
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Building a strong marketing team

Building a strong marketing team

Your people and teams are one of your biggest assets. But when they aren’t functioning properly or in a cohesive way they can also become your biggest blocker to success. Are they communicating effectively? Do they have a clear vision of what needs to be accomplished? If you’re having trouble with your team’s performance, it may be time to look at how well they work together.

Assessing the way your team collaborates is an essential first step towards understanding where dysfunctions may exist in your team and how to overcome them. Lencioni’s five dysfunctions of a team provide a useful framework for assessing whether your team members are working well together, focusing on the behavioural patterns that can be counter-productive if left unchecked.

Recognising where your teams are showing dysfunctions

There are a few characteristics you can look out for that can help you identify where your team may be susceptible to any of the five dysfunctions:

DysfunctionTraits to look out for
Absence of trust
  • Team members reluctant to be vulnerable with one another
  • Unwilling to admit weaknesses, mistakes or need for help
Fear of conflict
  • Team members are unwilling or guarded about sharing ideas and opinions
  • Discussions are veiled or lots of backchannel comments
  • Individuals unwilling to address key issues in meetings
Lack of commitment
  • Lack of transparency across the team on activity and progress
  • Ambiguity is common within your team
  • Lack of commitment towards decisions made
Avoidance of accountability
  • Individuals hesitate to call out their teammates when demonstrating bad behaviours
  • Teammates hesitate to challenge plans and approaches
  • Team members do not care about letting down their peers
Inattention to results
  • Teammates unwilling to deprioritise or step out of their role to support overarching goal
  • Teammates are not phased when team goals aren’t met
  • Teammates don’t celebrate or recognise work / contribution of others

Building trust

Building trust among team members is essential to any workplace environment as it encourages open communication and makes collaboration easier and more efficient. If this isn’t nurtured, it can lead to a silo mentality in which innovation, cohesiveness and productivity deaden. Senior marketers must get their teams to understand the importance of looking out for one another and working together efficiently. Regular activities that promote feelings of camaraderie such as teambuilding events or peer-mentoring programs help foster the trust needed for any effective team environment.

There are also several design thinking tools that can help align teams and build trust:

  • Team alignment maps are a great way at a project level to ensure individuals are clear on the objectives, team roles and to openly discuss, document and where possible resolve risks and issues that can cause distrust or conflict down the line.
  • Adding team charters to the above is a great way to also agree how they work together, the principles, values, and behaviours that teams will live by to generate better trust. Balancing this with agile marketing values is also a great mechanism for creating better psychological safety.

Engaging in conflict

Conflict is a natural part of team dynamics, and savvy senior marketers often see it as an opportunity for progress. If there are dissatisfactions within the team that have not been adequately addressed or if debates tend to lead to strong disagreements that obscure a potential solution, then engaging in conflict can be a powerful tool. Conflict offers the possibility of looking at existing problems in new ways, as well as introducing ideas that may not have previously been considered. When harnessed correctly, engaging in conflict can assist senior marketers to find solutions that elevate their teams beyond what they could potentially achieve working alone.

What does that mean in practice?

  • Part of this is thinking about how you make space for individuals to feedback and for debates and disagreements to take place. Retrospectives can be a great tool here to highlight what didn’t work or what teams need to do differently moving forward in order to deliver business outcomes
  • Sometimes conflict happens due to a lack of clarity, generalisations, assumptions, or judgements. Team alignment maps can be useful here, but also working and coaching your teams to respond rather than react is also important. Ask questions, clarify what is being said in order to be more accurate and factual
  • Facilitators and coaches can be useful in this instance to help individuals express disagreements constructively and help ensure conversations use non-violent language

Driving commitment

Working together effectively to drive success requires each team member to be invested in the desired outcomes. Without the commitment from everyone, momentum is quickly lost, and progress slows. Senior marketers need to ensure that their teams are both inspired and motivated by the vision they’re striving toward while having a clear understanding of what’s expected of them. By promoting an environment of enthusiasm, understanding and collaboration, seniors can help drive commitment within their group and direct teams towards producing their best work.

Elements of what have been discussed previously can be useful here, particularly the team alignment map. Other things to consider here are your sprint planning, reviews and retrospectives as ways to align teams to vision and outcomes, clarity of ownership and celebrate the successes and learnings along the way.

Holding each other accountable

Senior marketers need to be able to hold the members of their teams accountable for the tasks they are assigned. This is especially important if there are inefficiencies in the workflow that need to be addressed. From ensuring projects get completed on time, to properly executing strategies and plans, every member of the team must take ownership for overall success. The key is creating a culture where problems can be flagged up openly and discussed without fear so that tasks don’t slip through the cracks. By holding each other accountable and having honest conversations, senior marketers can make sure everyone on their team is doing their part and working together successfully.

There are a few things marketing leaders can think about here:

  • Sprint planning and stand-ups are useful ways to help individuals plan, own, update and ultimately be accountable for their activity.
  • Implement the team charter as a way for teams and individuals to own their behaviour and how they interact and engage with employees and consider including how you will resolve issues as they arise

Attention to results

We’re human, which means it’s very easy for us to put our own needs (career development, recognition etc.) ahead of collective goals and results. Identifying when ego is behind the wheel of discussions or decision-making and finding ways to move past it can help ensure projects stay on track. To achieve collective results while also encouraging team input, try suggesting alternatives or inviting external experts for impartial advice if needed. The goal should always be getting all members aligned to guarantee an effective workflow that produces the desired results.

Agile ways of working inherently create opportunities for teams to check in, review progress against results and identify areas for improvement – in activity as well as how they work together as a team.

Moving your teams in the right direction

Across all these dysfunctions, leading by example, creating an environment where individuals feel safe and recognising and rewarding the right behaviours are critical to moving your teams in the right direction. When your teams can build trust and be vulnerable with each other, engage in productive conflict, drive commitment, and hold each other accountable to achieve collective results you’ll start to see the benefits not only in terms of improved productivity and results, but also happier teams.

Want to understand more about improving team cohesion? Get in touch today.

Sian HeaphyBuilding a strong marketing team
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Marketing agility enablement wheel

Marketing agility enablement wheel

How do you enable marketing agility in your organisation?

In this piece we dive into what makes up marketing agility and whilst it’s important to understand the key characteristics that make up marketing agility, making it happen in your organisation is a different matter.

Changing how your teams work is hard, and at times thankless. It’s no surprise that businesses often underestimate the amount of support and investment needed to drive change effectively. And if you’re nodding along to this then the following model may help you understand what you’re missing or need to focus more on to enable marketing agility to happen within your team or marketing organisation.

The framework for enabling marketing agility

The framework for enabling marketing agility has been created to help support marketing teams thrive and survive in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, and complex environment.

Shaped by classic models such as McKinsey 7s and modern marketing models by XYZ and our experiences enabling marketing agility with medium to large enterprise across tech, engineering, and professional services.

The framework

Shared vision & business goals

Organisational purpose is clear, compelling and guides decision making with the North Star embodied across the organisation and people sense and seize opportunities.

To put it simply, you need to make sure the shared vision is truly embedded, understood and lived across the organisation and that your vision guides all decision making.

Those means ensuring each business is clear on what these goals mean to them in their market, function or team and that performance management is aligned with these goals.

Agile Leadership

Agile leaders believe we all have the potential to deliver on a shared purpose. They develop individuals as leaders at all levels, showing direction and enabling action, acting in a selfless and supportive way to deliver against business objectives and customer and client satisfaction.

They advocate for being agile rather than just doing agile and do this by harnessing:

  • Learning and continuous improvement
  • Team engagement and accountability
  • Agile culture and growth mindset
  • Collaboration and empowerment

Culture and mindset

An agile culture provides an organisation with a set of core values, behaviours and practices that drives the businesses’ ability to succeed.

To truly drive an agile culture means promoting, encouraging, and rewarding the values, behaviours and practices that enable your teams to act with autonomy, apply a growth mindset and demonstrate a strong commitment to experimentation, learning, reflecting, and adapting.

Collaboration and empowerment

As leaders, you need to ensure that people have an appropriate level of autonomy to carry out their work, and that there are opportunities for teams to work together, collaborate, share learnings, and align themselves towards the common goal / strategic vision.

Continuous learning and improvement

Critical to marketing agility is that teams are constantly evolving and learning to deliver the best possible outcomes; through data driven build test learn loops to validate new ideas, optimise activity if appropriate or discontinue activities or initiatives if they are not aligned or helping the business reach its strategic goal.

Team engagement & accountability

Engagement and accountability are important. Your teams have to be bought into your vision if they are going to give you their best. Your employees need to have a deep sense of fulfilment, feel safe to push back and hold themselves and their colleagues accountable.

In addition, they need to be clear on their goals, with rewards aligned to this as well as clear lines of career development and progression to keep them engaged and retained.

Agile governance

Governance supports how businesses set and achieves its goals, how risk is managed and how it improves performance and is supported by structures and processes, skills and capability, tools, and data.

It can be defined as the structures and processes for decision-making and accountability.

Critical to agile governance is transparency of process and performance and doing so consistently across the marketing organisation. Supported by:

  • Structures and processes
  • Skills and capabilities
  • Tools and data

Skills and capabilities

Driving agility means ensuring your teams have the right skills and capabilities to utilise new ways of working, channels or disciplines. That means matching the needs of the market and making sure you’re making skills and resource available in the right place at the right level. Providing opportunities for your teams to upskill, test and experiment to understand what works well and what doesn’t for your market context.

… become a data-driven marketer?

Structures and processes

As highlighted in agile governance this is focused on the structures and process for decision making and clear accountability. In the context of agile marketing things to think about here are regular planning, reviews, and retrospectives, KPI tracking that is visible to all and clear repeatable processes within your teams, and across your teams (depending on the structure of your marketing organisation).

Tools and data

Last but not least, agility can’t happen without the right data to support data-driven decision making. Centralised dashboards and insight that supports deep understanding of customers and audiences in real time, enabling transparency in reporting and performance and quick changes and flexing of resources as appropriate to increase the effectiveness of activity. But we aren’t just talking about data on what you’re doing, but also how you’re doing it. Using tools which allow you to have ‘work in progress limits’ and prioritise work will lead more things getting across the line – focus on the things which are delivering business results.

How agile is your marketing team?

Discover how agile your marketing organisation is with our agility calculator tool and determine whether you are surviving or thriving.

Sian HeaphyMarketing agility enablement wheel
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What is marketing agility?

What is marketing agility?

Over the course of countless blogs, we’ve talked about agile marketing, why it’s important and how its helping teams improve engagement, marketing performance and driving efficiencies in their ways of working.

As we head into 2023 marketing agility and agile marketing are again key trends and capabilities needed in your marketing to respond to internal and external pressures.

When I talk to marketers about agility, I typically get the response ‘our teams are constantly adapting to market forces’ and that is certainly an element of marketing agility. But I would argue that it is so much more than that. So, in this blog post we’re going to go back to basics and discuss what we mean by marketing agility.

Defining marketing agility

When googling marketing agility, a few definitions appear. The one I like is from the American Marketing Association:

the extent to which an entity rapidly iterates between making sense of the market and executing marketing decisions to adapt to the market.

A couple of reasons why I like this definition:

  • It incorporates the internal and external – something that marketers are constantly balancing
  • It uses the term iterate – which is key, because marketing agility is a continual process, something we must look at again and again

Some of you are probably thinking that definition also lines up nicely with the typical response I get from marketers, and it does, to a certain extent. The final reason I like this definition is It includes making sense of the market and executing decisions – two very simple phrases that mask what can be very complex processes. Processes that make or break a team’s ability to be agile.

So, let’s drill down into the key elements of marketing agility.

What is marketing agility made up of?

There are 5 key things to think about when looking at marketing agility as outlined in the diagram.

The top half is what we describe when running our training courses as doing agile, and the bottom half is focused more on being agile.

You can’t have agility without elements of all 5 – but some are more important than others.

Doing agile

This is the remit of tools, processes, and practices. The martech, data analytics and project management tools you use to capture, analyse, manage, and execute marketing activity with as well as your ways of working.

With the technology landscape growing and only increasing in its complexity (Scott Brinker’s martech map puts it at 9,932 solutions) tools deserves its own post and we’ll write one soon.

Processes and practices are interesting because you will see benefits from doing agile in terms of efficiencies and ability to respond more effectively to internal and external forces. Whether adopting pure Kanban, Scrum, SAFE or a combination of methodologies based on your business context there are key elements of the processes and practices that support marketing agility:

SprintsAllow teams to tackle smaller amounts of work within a specific timeframe and deliver activity iteratively and adjust plans accordingly based on performance and customer feedback.
PlanningEnsure teams are aligned on what trying to achieve and what the team need to do to deliver these outcomes.
RetrospectivesA chance to reflect on successes, learnings and how they need to inform activity moving forward.
Workflows (e.g., Kanban boards)Giving teams visibility on all activity and help leads reprioritise and manage tasks accordingly.

However, the real value of marketing agility is in the ‘what’ and being agile.

Being agile

Being agile is about the principles, values, and mindsets your team embody to respond to changing customer preferences and market conditions.

To understand more about the principles and values of agile I recommend reading the agile marketing manifesto. These form the foundation of marketing agility and the standards to work by.

The ones that stand out when thinking about marketing agility are:

  • Focus on customer value and outcomes rather than outputs
  • Delivering value early and often
  • Learning through experiments and data (read our blog post on experimentation to understand more)
  • Respond to change over following a static plan

In short – the most effective way to inject agility is to focus on what your customers need, and experiment with propositions, messaging, channels etc to understand how prospects and customer engage, using this data to optimise on-going activity.

Incorporating these elements into your marketing can help you stay ahead of the game and ensure your efforts are always relevant, effective, and on target. With a bit of effort, you’ll be able to capitalize on emerging trends, create compelling campaigns and respond quickly to customer feedback – all key components of marketing agility.

Sian HeaphyWhat is marketing agility?
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The complexity of marketing transformation


The complexity of marketing transformation

“Change is constant”

We’ve all heard this or a variation of this expression. And whilst that may be the case, what’s also true is our innate resistance to it.

We tend to underestimate the level of change required in marketing transformation programmes and often aren’t prepared or willing to accept the likely drops in productivity, performance and potentially revenue. Leaders try to maintain current levels of performance whilst also asking their marketing teams to adopt the new/target state. Or worse, don’t actively manage the change and hope it will happen organically over time.

As time goes on, the transformation loses traction and momentum, marketing teams don’t see the results and eventually the programme stalls, leaving you back where you started or worse – with a confused and disenchanted team.

When it comes to marketing transformation there are two things to consider:

  • What you are looking to transform and why
  • How you will actively manage the transformation (the execution)

Poor execution is typically highlighted as the culprit when transformation goes wrong, but an interesting study by the Harvard Business Review suggested that not getting the ‘what to change’ part right is equally to blame.

Let’s take a look at both.

What are you looking to change

With any marketing transformation you’re ultimately looking to generate more value – whether that’s through improving marketing effectiveness, creating operational efficiencies or driving growth through better customer experiences

To start to understand what needs to change, you first need to listen – to your team(s), customers, and any other key stakeholders to identify the good (the things you want to keep or build on), the bad, and more importantly the underlying root causes across both.

This will give you insights and clarity on what underlying issues need to be addressed in your marketing – whether that’s process, capabilities, or technology and how you might start to address them.

Actively managing the transformation (the execution)

When it comes to managing and implementing change within your marketing teams there are a few key things to think about:

Shared Vision

Simon Sinek does a great job highlighting the importance of why everything should start with a purpose, including your transformation. Why are we changing, what are we looking to achieve?

If your teams don’t understand the outcomes you’re now looking for, this will lead to confusion, lack of buy-in for the transformation and discord within the team.


The next factor is skills. What skills or capabilities are needed to drive the transformation? For example agile marketing, data literacy, understanding of new technologies etc. Does your team have these, or do they have the training to enable them to execute on what they are being asked to do?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, and there are no plans to upskill or bring in the right skill sets, then you risk your team feeling anxious about how they are going to drive the change.

This is a great opportunity in the marketing transformation journey to review the skills you need now and in the future for a successful marketing team. Map your team skills and identify the gaps – note this isn’t about job titles, this is about the skills to plan and execute on your marketing activity.


I see a lot of businesses try to maintain current levels of performance whilst asking their marketing teams to adopt the new/target state or to do more with less, particularly during times of uncertainty and a poorer economic climate like the one we’re in now. This can lead to frustration.

What resources are available? Are they sufficient to drive the transformation? What additional resource is needed? And if it’s not possible to bring in additional resources, what can be deprioritised to ensure existing teams have the capacity to take on the new requirements?

These are all things that you need to consider and guide your teams on – so they can maintain focus on key business priorities and delivering value for the marketing function.


When it comes to change, we must remember that we are dealing with people and that means thinking about how we make the change relevant to them, so they see the value and benefits.

Get this right and it can get you the consensus and buy-in needed to make the change work, get it wrong and it can lead to resistance.

When we talk about incentives this doesn’t have to be monetary. Developing new skills, whether that is in different areas of marketing, or new experiences across different markets or products can also be meaningful incentives. Whatever you choose, it’s important to be consistent, follow through with any promise and ensure it ties back into the shared vision.


You wouldn’t go to market without a clear strategy so why should your transformation be any different? A clear strategy, milestones to work towards and plan of action for how you progress is key. This helps to monitor the transformation and give your teams a clear direction.

Without this, programmes risk false starts or a sense of moving around in circles and not gaining any traction with the programme.


Ensuring your programmes have a clear governance and framework in place is critical to success. Without governance it can cause inconsistency and slow progress due to confusion re who is in charge / where to go for support, back-tracking on decisions etc.

That means ensuring:

  • Clear marketing transformation leadership roles
  • Clear structure that organises and coordinates the transformation programme
  • Clear processes and decision-making structure

Manage the change curve to realise impact of change at pace

In any marketing transformation there is going to be a dip in performance in the short term. As business leaders we must accept this with the view that the longer-term gains (improved customer experiences, ROI, and higher performing teams) will outweigh any short-term impact.

The aim of any change management process is to manage and address all the elements above to create a shorter dip and increased pace of sustainable change. If change is constant and inevitable, managing that change for a successful transformation is essential. If you’re not managing the marketing transformation, you are missing a key opportunity to harness change, which is happening in your team, but could be to the detriment of your marketing rather than improvement – direct the change, set a vision, and implement change sustainably.

Sian HeaphyThe complexity of marketing transformation
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The power of curiosity in marketing

A Marketer’s untapped SUPERPOWER

The power of curiosity in marketing

“I am neither clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious”

Albert Einstein

I love this quote, because whilst there are a lot of smart people in the world, the greatest innovations in history all started with curiosity, and probably one of the following questions: ”why, what if, and how could we…”

As children, we are innately curious, but the older we get, the less our curiosity is nurtured, particularly in the workplace. A survey in 2018 by the Harvard Business School showed that only about 24% reported feeling curious in their jobs on a regular basis, and about 70% said they face barriers to asking more questions at work.

Since then, more research has been released demonstrating the power of curiosity for business, but speaking with fellow marketers, bringing curiosity into their jobs remains challenging.

So why is curiosity so powerful and what can we do to bring it back?

The power of curiosity

“You must ask why? Why? Because if you know why you are carrying out your mission, when things **** up…you will know how to achieve what you set out to achieve in a different way”.

Jack O’Connell

Spoken by Jack O’Connell in BBC’s new drama SAS Rogue Heroes and it gets to the crux of why being curious can be so powerful. For businesses defining a shared vision/purpose, business outcome or goal, ensuring a common understanding can be difficult and only gets harder as the size and complexity of a business increases. Understanding the why can be a powerful way to achieve that common understanding, strategic alignment, and buy-in and give your teams the empowerment to deliver it.

It also:

  • Increases innovation and creativity – curiosity removes confirmation bias and the trap many businesses can make by making decisions in a vacuum. Challenging assumptions, not settling for the first solution can result in great and better alternatives to meet market challenges or opportunities head on
  • Improves team performance – curiosity helps us better understand our colleagues and our customers, increases empathy so teams can collaborate and work together with less conflict and better serve their audiences
  • Increase adaptability and resilience – studies have shown that curiosity helps us view and better respond to tough situations

Why do teams find it difficult to be more curious?

As alluded to above, there’s a cultural component at play and the same research from Harvard Business School showed that despite the perceived benefits of curiosity, the associated risks and costs outweigh these.

For many marketers, making time to be curious is challenging, as teams do more with less and balance competing priorities across the business, curiosity drops. Even with time, the next challenge is knowing where to start, what data to collect, assess and analyse to generate meaningful insights that informs activity.

So, what can we do to bring curiosity back?

There are several ways businesses can encourage curiosity but the one thing that will have the most profound effect and can be the most challenging to implement is creating a culture of curiosity.

What does that mean in practice?

For business leaders it means thinking about how you can:

  • Ensure psychological safety – there are more qualified experts to share insights on this (shameless plug coming) like our client LIW but giving people the autonomy to try and potentially fail is critical. Leaders need to empower their teams to push the boundaries, learn from them and keep trying.
  • Encourage teams to challenge and probe – leaders must be open and welcome individuals to question and challenge current norms and conventions. Leading with a growth mindset that focuses on continual improvement is important and something we look at in our agile marketing leadership training.
  • Model curiosity – ask questions, actively listen. Acknowledge that regardless of experience and expertise there is always more that we can learn and when the answer isn’t clear accept it and work with the right individuals to fill that gap.

For marketers and their teams you need to think about:

  • How you can ask more why. Why did our activity work well, didn’t work well, or perhaps more importantly what didn’t work as we expected and why?
  • Incorporate experimentation into your activity – this is quite common across digital channels with A/B testing etc but how could you expand this? How can you incorporate experimentation at a strategic as well as tactical level? Targeting, channel activation, products and propositions provide great opportunities to experiment, innovate and fail forward faster.
  • Make time for you and your team to be more curious. This could be in the form of curiosity sessions, brainstorms and even in your planning or wrap-up activity. In agile marketing, sprint planning sessions and reviews and retrospectives provide great opportunities to ideate and evaluate how your activity is performing and how you’re working together as a team and what you can be doing differently to achieve business outcomes

What next?

Wherever you start, the key is to get going. Whilst you shouldn’t underestimate the level of change or support your team or organisation will need, it’s very easy to overthink the process. Identify a pilot, find your team, work together to establish your rules of engagement together and with the wider business and use the learnings from this pilot to refine and build. Think about the skills you need to develop (particularly around data analysis) and start small. Momentum here is more important than speed and the benefits are potentially endless.

Get in touch if you want to find out more about how you can nurture curiosity in your teams for better marketing performance.

Sian HeaphyThe power of curiosity in marketing
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