How marketers can test ideas to build business cases

Emma Sinden

Director, EMEA Tableau Content Strategy, Salesforce

Why is agility important to your marketing?

Salesforce is a very fluid company, and change happens in days rather than weeks or months. Without agility, you just would not be able to respond quickly enough. In the old world, it would take months to get a plan approved and months again to get the plan into market. Nowadays, with the speed of change, you need to constantly have a review and iteration cycle going on so that you can course-correct in line with the pace of the market.

How has agile marketing helped you reach your goals?

What I like about the agile model is the ability to test ideas in the MVP (Minimal Viable Product) approach. While every company claims to embrace innovation, it often takes a back seat because of the costs and risks involved, if you can do something on a low-cost, low-risk basis and test a proof of concept, you reduce the obstacles and increase the chances of buy-in – creating business cases for investment and build from there.

When Tableau got acquired by Salesforce in 2019, progress was slow as we battled with Covid, but now as the two companies come together more rapidly, the pace of change is increasing. In order to be able to deliver, you must be able to adapt to new processes, new priorities, and new markets. You need agility and flexibility in your programmes to be able to adapt to that level of change.

What’s the single most important thing you’ve learnt during your marketing career?

It’s important to remember that anything is possible, but you don’t have to do everything. Marketers can become obsessed with things playing out in a certain way and can become hugely overwhelmed, stressed, and absorbed. But if you take a step back, there are solutions to problems that you can’t see when you’re buried in the detail. Allowing yourself to become untied to a plan can result in rapid transformation, meaning anything is possible if you think the right way around it.

Allowing yourself to become untied to a plan can result in rapid transformation, meaning anything is possible if you think the right way around it.

What is the most important skill that makes a great marketer?

Collaboration, especially within larger businesses. You need to think beyond your silo and open conversations elsewhere in the business. Many people underestimate the power of conversation, but, if you don’t spend time building relationships and learn how to support each other, understanding how you can deliver value and how you can extract value from different parts of the business, then you will make your life a lot harder in the long run.

Where do you turn to for marketing insights and news?

The Marketoonist is very insightful and grounding for marketers! I recommend all marketers do a Strength profile to understand where their strengths lie and how to play to your strengths in the most effective way and identify which ones you don’t use enough.

Alexandra JefferiesAgile Aficionados – Emma Sinden