Marketing Kanban Style for Tech Startups

Oh no, there is no mistake. It’s not Gangdam Style!

I am always trying to mix software development methodologies into community and marketing management.

Last year I gave a talk at Fosdem about using Agile methods, and especially Trello, to engage your community. Currently I implementing a similar approach into a project I am involved in.

Warning: The following paragraphs may contain a mixture of different software methodologies, usually not compatible with each other.

What is a modern marketing world?

Marketing now, especially online marketing, is a mixture of Community Management, Brave Content Management, Strong Business Analysis, Good and Awesome Metrics, knowing the hacker attitude, fast problem solving and many, many tasks every second.

I am talking about using new technologies, methodologies and fun in the marketing world. I know there are marketing departments with 100 or more employees, busy with a little tiny boring segment, but with an exciting title. But also, there are startups and small, but very successful companies, having teams with up to 4 members that can do better marketing than those 100 using Marketing Kanban Style.

 

That’s why we need Marketing Kanban Style.

I am an internet enthusiast – maybe one of the few left in the world. I really want to test and hack amazing web tools. Sometimes I find a great tool like Trello and I start using it and talk about it without having been paid a single cent, sometimes it turns out to be a negative experience, like my Facebook story. But I love being an enthusiast.

Yeah, so let’s focus on the step by step go-through:

trello.com 2013-1-31 13:14:42

0. Plan Your Sprint

  •   Sit on a table with your team and define the 3 main tasks you want to see implemented this week. Yes, I am not talking about months or years here. Of course this should be in line with the marketing plan, budget and other documents, tables and graphics …
  •  Define what resources you will need – guys from IT dept, Customer care service, Sales dept, etc.

1. Visualize

  • Tasks may look good in your brain or in a paper or event in your notebook, but they must be placed on a board and here comes Trello.
  •  Start: All tasks start from “To Do” or you can call it “Repository” or “The Dungeon” or even “Death Start” but this is your starting point
  • Define your flow process. It can be simple “Doing” – “Done” or you can add additional steps like “To be approved” or “Testing needed”. Please do not work with more than 5 steps. It’s a waste of time a energy.

2. Make Policies Explicit

  • Define who will do what. If you want you can let people choose what they want to do. This works perfectly for community based marketing and it depends on how cool is your team.
  • Resolve conflicts before they appear. Define the collaboration flow – for example – for this HTML newsletter you must talk with Mike and Petra from Dev department. Add this as a note to the task.
  •  Do not add other department members to the board.

3. Marketing Stand-ups

  • I know the developer stand-ups are real – the people actually are standing up, but the marketing people are allowed to sit down :)
  •  Do a stand-up every day for 15 minutes and be sure you have feedback loops. Every member of the team should report what he/she is working on now and what troubles he/she is having.
  • – This is not a problem-solving meeting. Afterwards you can sit down and try to find a way to resolve the problems.

4. Be а Brave Marketeer

  • Your team must not be afraid to test new techniques in order to achieve the weekly goal.
  • Try to find the boundaries of your team and push a bit outside of them. The marketing world travels with light-speed and you must be very fast as well.
  • Explore the Trello functions and use them for your work. It’s a really useful piece of code.

This is just the beginning of a journey for you if you are taking this path. This is the easiest part but believe me you will be more flexible and successful than the good ol’ huge marketing slow moving company.

This will allow you:

  1.  to achieve results every week.
  2.  to plan your work better
  3.  to easily define metrics and goals
  4.   to do more work for less money
  5.  to build your team and let them evolve together with the company
  6.  to have fun.

Let’s do some Marketing Kanban Style. Shall we?

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Why the heck we need marketing guys at our perfect IT company?

I am sure you know this modern company structure scheme:

modern company structure

пидорась == faggot
IT отдел == IT crowd/department/section

The past
I remember when I was younger and I was writing some bytes for living. I still know that there are just 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

WTF?
I was wondering all my life why the heck we need a marketing and community management droids at our team. We create a kick-ass products that we can sell them via our web-page using 33 lines of HTML code an an Paypal account.

I am on the dark side of the force now and I know why.

The truth in 5 points*

If there is no marketing droids:

  1. Less people know about us – our clients are our friends and peers and visitors from Google are welcomed too.
  2. 1 = Less money – well, I don’t have to explain this, do I?
  3. 2 = No salary++
  4. 3 = No beer money NOR I just got an invitation to work for another company that has a great marketing department.
  5. R.I.P  GPWGFTCCW (Great Product with great functionalities that can change the world.)

If there is no community management guys:

  1. No community around us = We have to test our product by ourselves in any possible OS, CPU, RAM, ….
  2. No community around us = How to know what to improve and what the clients really need from our products?
  3. No community around us = How to get ideas for new products?
  4. No community around us = How to find someone that will tell you honestly “You’re wrong”
  5. No community around us = How to find someone who will help you with documentation, bug hunting, beer drinking, and to cheer you up – “You’re good. I love your product.”

 

* I am so sorry, but someone should change the ordered list to start from 0/zero/. Starting from 1 is so lame.