Naar een schaalbaar cross-functioneel marketingteam

De uitdaging die iedere CMO of CEO elke dag weer heeft: hoe haal ik meer uit mijn marketingteam? Of je nu in de positie zit waarin je met groei te maken hebt of je wordt geconfronteerd met krimpende budgetten. Hoe bouw je het juiste team? Hoe zorg je voor de juiste vaardigheden en competenties? Veel CMO’s en CEO’s kiezen ervoor te investeren in automatisering van marketing, van acquisitie tot CRM. Door het verminderen van het ouderwetse handwerk en het verhogen van het aantal campagnes dalen de arbeidskosten en verhoog je de ROI op marketing: de NPS verbetert, de acquisitie-aantallen stijgen, nieuwe niveaus van cross & upsell. De vraag blijft: hoe creëer je in 2021 succesvol een schaalbaar marketingteam?

Er zijn veel gerenommeerde leveranciers van marketing-automatiseringssoftware: Salesforce, Adobe, Selligent, et cetera. Zij laten allemaal indrukwekkende groei zien. Een teken dat er sprake is van een enorme stijging in interesse voor automatisering van marketing en service. Wellicht ken je ook implementatiepartners van deze aanbieders. Deze partijen hebben één ding gemeen: de focus bij automatisering van marketing ligt op techniek: de juiste architectuur, API’s, datamodellen, de rekenkern. Cruciale onderdelen natuurlijk en een implementatie binnen 26 weken is bewonderenswaardig, maar als de software geïmplementeerd is, heb je dan een schaalbare marketingafdeling? Heb je een marketing-ecosysteem neergezet? Haal je de gewenste nieuwe niveaus van ROI?

Lees deze blogpost van NIMA Member Leon Jansen op 

Reflections on agile marketing by leading practitioners and analysts

As we learned in the 3rd Annual State of Agile Marketing Report, there are lots of different manifestations of marketing agility. Most marketers use a hybrid framework, and we employ tons of different practices within those frameworks.

To tap into this vast array of experiences with agile in marketing, we reached out to a whole slew of agile thought leaders and practitioners to get their take on the results from this year’s report.

Here’s what they had to say…

Lees dit artikel op Chiefmartec

Ritson: ‘Publicis has done nothing but prove agile structures are a load of BS’

There was a flurry of press coverage a year ago when Publicis Groupe announced Arthur Sadoun would replace long-serving chief executive Maurice Lévy. The media frenzy was understandable. Publicis is one of the big five advertising agencies and Lévy had been running the groupe for two decades.

A change at the helm was always going to be newsworthy but Sadoun wasted no time making his mark on the agency group and generating a bundle of new headlines. On 20 June last year he dropped three simultaneous bombshells.

First, he wanted to change Publicis from a “holding company to a platform”. The CEO described his vision of a new Publicis that would be freed from its existing structure and transformed into one that was “an agile, flat, modular, dynamic organisation that would create new value for clients and everyone within the organisation”.

Lees deze column van Mark Ritson op Marketingweek

(Blog Judith Verhoef SMP) 6 Growth Hacking learnings

Growth Hacking is alweer een paar jaar een bekende term in online marketingland (dus geen hype meer). Er zijn genoeg boeken over te vinden: Hacking Growth, Growth Hacker Marketing, Fail Fast/Fail Often, Traction, etc. Maar wie heeft er tijd om ál die boeken te lezen?

Ik ben voor de samenvatting gegaan met de lees-hack Blinkist. Om te ontdekken: Wat is Growth Hacking?! Wat zijn de ‘geheimen’ / ‘shortcuts’ waarmee je je bedrijf, product of dienst snel kunt laten groeien? Hoe ga je te werk als Growth Hacker? Welke tools gebruik je?

Ik besloot de crash course Growth Hacking te volgen. Just do it. Samen met een paar collega’s werd ik in twee dagen bij Growth Tribe overspoeld met Growth Hacking tools, tips en filosofieën. Inspiratie voor een jaar! Om al dat ge-GrowthHack een beetje te verwerken, heb ik de (voor mij) zes belangrijkste Growth Hacking learnings opgeschreven.

Lees hier de volledige blog van Judith Verhoef SMP, Digital Marketer SEA/ SEO & Scrum Master @Rabobank


(Blog Marc Nieman) ‘Agile marketeer for the future is flexible, customer obsessed and facilitating’


Agile marketing. The term is everywhere in the marketing world. Self guiding teams, multi disciplinary teams, disappearing management –what is the future role of the Marketing Manager?

And what does Agile exactly mean for a marketing department?

Marc Nieman, Agile coach van
Wemanity, has supported multiple organizations in their agile transition over the past 2 years. He shares his vision on the marketing discipline and the role of the marketer in future proof organizations.

Marketer: the guardian of the customer experience

 In an Agile organization the customer is at the center. The goal is to create, support and communicate relevant customer experiences, in close cooperation between all disciplines within the company. “The only two functions that add value are marketing and innovation” is not a new statement, but according to Nieman more relevant than ever before. Today it’s all about the core of the marketing discipline; putting the customer and his/ her needs first.

To achieve this an Agile culture is a crucial prerequisite. Successful marketers always think about customer value and fulfil a pivotal role in an Agile organization: bringing the voice of the customer into the company. They understand the customer and ensure they are heard throughout the company.

 All activities the company undertakes should be focused on the customer and delivering customer value; providing solutions which solve customer’s problems. But unfortunately, this is often not (yet) the case; employees are busy following internal rules and procedures. It’s the responsibility of the marketer to involve and inspire the entire organization in customer obsession; developing and maintaining world class customer experiences involving all colleagues.

Specific customer needs must be addressed by all parts of the organization.
Inspired by the marketer everybody should (want to) understand what the customer wants / needs. In order to fulfil those needs we need to match the right people and expertise in multi-disciplinary teams. These teams go across boundaries of existing departments, which no longer serve their purpose as parts of a hierarchically company. In an agile environment teams are defined based on client needs; that set clear goals and work on solutions in short iterations. The old school annual planning, with details defined for 12 months ahead is no longer relevant.

Such a team, responsible for example for a product launch, may consist of marketers, IT specialists, sales, marcom and customer service professionals. Another important role is fulfilled by the insights experts to bring the voice of the customer into the team; his / her needs, desires and feedback on the services delivered / designed. Each team is responsible for (a part of) the customer journey.

So; we shouldn’t speak of agile marketing, when the marketing department is “agilized”; if an organization wants to adopt an agile mindset we have to break down silo’s and start collaborating in teams which contain professionals from all relevant disciplines.

From marketing manager to Product Owner
Working in these self-organizing teams has a fundamental impact on the role of the traditional marketing manager. Agile means assigning responsibility as low as possible, e.g. in the teams, which means the role of (middle) management changes from command & control style management to a facilitating role.

Managers need to:

  • Give teams the tools and means they need to function at their optimum.
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing and personal / professional development.

Some (marketing) managers may become product owners; a key role that determines the priorities for the teams. They do this by continuously communicating with all relevant stakeholders and define what needs to be done first to deliver maximum customer value. The PO also protects the team from unfounded ad-hoc requests from “external’ stakeholders. But the current marketing manager can become a professional in a certain field or focus on facilitating the team(s). As guardian of the customer experience this role may fit very well with the needs of the organization.

Dispersed expertise versus sharing knowledge.
When marketers are parts of these teams working on specific touchpoints and no longer work in one functional department; how do they share knowledge and experiences in their field of expertise? Professionals from all key fields will meet regularly to do just that in sessions as part of Guild. Marketers will discuss the latest developments on for example consumer needs, SEO or channel relevance.

To truly work as a team employees need to master more than just their own field, and become “T-shaped” professionals. Next to their core competence they will need to understand and be able to do carry out tasks historically done in for example IT and analytics departments, creating the technology savvy and still creative marketer of the future.

The marketer of the future: flexible, multi skilled, customer obsessed, facilitating.
In today’s disruptive business environment (global competition, technology, customer’s expectations) the traditional organizational structure has served its purpose. An Agile culture / structure provides the right mix of flexibility and focus; activities that provide value for the customer always have the highest priority.

The long-term customer experience strategy and design provide the framework in which budgets and activities are applied in an iterative environment to create and deliver maximum customer value. Marketers are the linking pin between the customer and the organization and must take the lead in driving the necessary change in culture and structure. While marketing and innovation may be the only two functions truly adding value, they will only succeed when working closely together with their colleagues in HR, technology, finance, sales, account management, customer service and insights.

The idea of Agile is simple, but to actually truly embrace the agile values and principles in our daily work is incredibly difficult. It means a fundamental paradigm shift and chance in behavior in all layers of the organization.

So where to start?
Break down the walls in your organization; identify what your customers expects from you, assemble a team of skilled professionals and start experimenting. It won’t be easy and it will take time; but before you may expect it you’ll see improved employee satisfaction, new ideas brought to live and higher customer satisfaction.

Marc Nieman is Agile coach en trainer bij Wemanity. Hij verzorgt regelmatig trainingen voor NIMA over dit onderwerp. Bovenstaande blogpost werd door hem aangeboden voor publicatie op

Making sense of the digital terms moving into mainstream marketing

Last year was notable for a sense of realism. In 2016, Coca-Cola closed its startup incubator, Unilever moved to zero-based budgeting and McDonald’s signed a zero margin deal with Omnicom.

A year of broader tumult may have caused marketers to refocus, bringing a semi-backlash against many bright, young marketing technologies.

Commentators such as Econsultancy CEO Ashley Friedlein, advocating rationalisation in 2017, have variously rubbished, decried, or (in Friedlein’s case) gently played down the importance of virtual reality, beacons, wearables and the internet of things.

But there are a bunch of words that are namechecked more and more in digital and marketing. They include customer experience, customer-centred design and agile methodology.

These somewhat interconnected terms encompass a wide range…

Bron en volledig bericht: Marketingweek

Serious creativity 1*: Learn to Escape!

Is agility the NEW creativity?
In our complex world, we all need to be AGILE! We need to have mental agility in order to cope with all the management and marketing challenges. As marketers, we need to be both creative and agile at the same time. But how do we boost our creativity? How can we learn to consciously trigger our agility? In this series of blogs, I want to share my experience and learnings that I personally apply on a daily basis. In this first blog, I will focus on the importance of escaping from your engrained thinking patterns; in the second blog, I will explain some brainstorming techniques and, in the third one, the need for a creative environment and process will be discussed.

Lateral thinking is mental agility
When I thought about the meaning of mental agility, it reminded me of lateral thinking, which Edward de Bono explained to me in the 1990s. His serious creativity course was a life-changing experience for me, as, from that day onward, I started to consciously train myself to escape from the mainstream.

To be able to survive and make quick decisions, we structure every piece of information into a logical order; a flow, a path, a stream. The more assured we are that this flow of reasoning suits “our survival”, the more it becomes a “main stream”. Like rain falling on a forest, it will create its streams. These streams that are ingrained in our mind represent the beginning and end of who we are and how we think. They form our mental models. At some point, these streams become so deeply ingrained, that we even start to force new information packages into these existing patterns. We become rigid and narrow-minded.

Mental agility = mental escape = open mind
Forbidding the use of the platitudes “this is not new, we tried it in the past, it did not work”, I force myself to escape from my main streams. I personally use two instruments for this; associations and the provocation technique of de Bono (although I still find it difficult to use the word PO!)

Associations and idea generation
Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your mental model), I automatically connect and associate. This allows me to make all kinds of strange connections, sometimes triggered by colors, smells, shapes or words. For me, an associative mind is an eternal joy. The easiest way to explain or train yourself in associative thinking is by flipping back and forth between “idea and concept”. Let me give you an example:

From apple to smog in five steps
Assuming that an apple is our starting idea, what possible underlying concepts come to mind when thinking of an apple: an apple is a “fruit”; “round (shape)”; “green (colour)”.

The next step is to take a concept and start associating it with new ideas. From the “concept” of fruit, we ideate bananas, orange, grapefruit, kiwi, etc. Other “round shapes” may lead to a ball, a traffic sign, a coin. New “green objects” could be a crocodile, grass, etc. This allows you to associate, generate, and move from an apple to smog in only five steps. With each step you create another association and think of the underlying concept.

Apple (green)

Crocodile (green and animal)

Cheetah (animal and speed)

Tesla (speed and energy saving)

Solar panel (energy saving and Chinese)

Smog (Chinese and pollution).

This principle will also work in the business environment. Let’s assume that we are brainstorming around the challenge of “how to grow our business”. One of the ideas could be “get more customers”. One of the underlying “concepts” of customers is “parties that pay for our products & services”. If we think of other parties that would be willing to pay for our activities, we may think of research institutions that also need quality control (one of the services we sell to customers). A similar way of thinking with another underlying concept of “more customers” may lead to “multiplication” (more). What other activities could we multiply? Maybe the number of sales people?

Provocations to escape
De Bono encourages us to use a provocation– a statement that we know is wrong or impossible – to start the ideation of new thoughts. To ensure that people are not doubting your sanity, you should start the provocation sentence with “PO”. SCAMPER (by Bob Eberle, based on the checklist by Alex Osborn) is a way to remember the types of provocations (see the movie: Combine it with de Bono’s movement technique, and serious creativity is born.

S =          substitute a component in your existing business by something else. PO; we will let our customers pay for the service and get the product free.

C =         combine or assemble with other attributes or components. PO; we will sell yogurts that can be prepared in the microwave.

A =         adapt it for other purposes. PO; our solar panels can be used to predict the weather.

M=         modify the shape, look or feel of your product, minimize/maximize. PO; our free-flowing powders will be sold as solid rocks.

P =         put to another use, somewhere else, perhaps in another industry. PO; we will develop solar panels that can be used as surfboards.

E=           eliminate certain parts. PO; we will sell our vitamins without a package.

Movement Techniques
Once you have a PO statement and start the brainstorming, associations can be used to come up with further creative ideas. Another way is to use “movement” to stimulate creativity and idea generation. Examples of “movement” are:

  • Focus on the difference; what is different from the current situation
  • Look at the moment-to-moment effect of putting the idea into practice
  • Focus on the positive aspects
  • Figure out under what circumstances there would be immediate value

We can all be creative. It is a matter of escaping from your ingrained patterns of thinking, and using associations and provocations to help you generate new ideas. De Bono is a great inspiration to learn from, and I still use and would recommend the following books; Lateral Thinking and Six Thinking Hats. Get serious!

In the next blog, I will explain two techniques that will help you think outside the box.

 * this is the first blog in a series of three on serious creativity.


Hoe agile is jouw strategie – Sjors van Leeuwen

Agile lijkt een modewoord, het ene boek na het andere verschijnt er over. Naar mijn mening is dat eigenlijk niet vreemd. Het is zelfs raar dat het zo lang heeft moeten duren. Agile staat voor wendbaarheid van de organisatie. Niet nieuw maar het is nu wel benoemd onder een titel.
Continue reading “Hoe agile is jouw strategie – Sjors van Leeuwen”

Experimenteer met Agile

Het is weer die tijd van het jaar. Marketing managers beginnen zenuwachtig te worden, want er moeten jaarplannen opgeleverd worden. Ook ik heb mijn team regelmatig om marketing jaarplannen gevraagd. En iedere keer werd mijn weerstand groter. Waarom besteden we weken aan het maken van plannen, die niet werken en niet de impact hebben die van ons verwacht mag worden?

Auteur: Jim van Spronsen SMP, product owner beleggen Aegon

Vorig jaar ben ik begonnen met agile marketing en ik wil niet meer anders. Agile marketing vergroot de snelheid, impact en happiness van het team. Maar hoe implementeer je Agile marketing? De NIMA workshop Agile & Scrum van Gidion Peters van Scrum Company, gaf hier antwoord op.

Agile marketing is continu synchroniseren met klant en markt door je extreem flexibel te organiseren. Agile is ontstaan in de softwareontwikkeling, waar het belang werd gezien om continu te toetsen of de software aansluit bij de behoefte van de gebruiker. Bij de ontwikkeling van software is vooraf vaak niet helemaal duidelijk hoe de software eruit moet komen te zien. En dit is niet anders bij de ontwikkeling van proposities, campagnes of verbeteringen in de customer journey.

Wees duidelijk in wat je wil bereiken
Als marketeers willen we content en campagnes ontwikkelen? Of willen we gedragsverandering realiseren? Wat mij betreft zeker het laatste! Toch merk ik regelmatig dat campagnes voeren of het produceren van content als een doel op zich worden gezien. Onduidelijkheid over wat je wil realiseren zorgt voor onnodige afstemming met stakeholders en verlies aan focus.

  • Maak voor je productgroep, klantgroep, of start-up duidelijk welke gedragsverandering je wil realiseren en hoe dit bijdraagt aan het verdienmodel
  • Wat zijn de subdoelen? Bijvoorbeeld: Meer nieuwe klanten, behoud van klanten, meer bezoek op je website.


Dit kan door middel van een growth map waarin je doelen en producten aan elkaar koppelt en de verbanden helder en visueel aangeeft. Het mooie is dat je zo’n map zowel topdown als bottom-up kan beginnen. Een geschikte online tool hiervoor is, ontwikkeld door Romek Jansen en Frans Riemersma.

Creëer zelfsturende teams rondom de waarde die je wil realiseren
Wanneer bedrijven agile werken introduceren, gaan ze vaak aan de slag met bestaande teams. Op zich niks mis mee, maar er ontbreekt vaak expertise om de gewenste doelen te realiseren. Vaak zijn meerdere capabilities nodig om gedragsverandering te realiseren zoals een product manager, marketeer en customer intelligence expert. Maar hoe zit het met customer journey experts, developers en tekstschrijvers? Welke rollen je nodig hebt ligt helemaal aan de waarde die je wil creëren. Agile bedrijven zoals Apple, Google en Facebook hebben de volgende uitgangspunten:

  • Tussen de 5 en 9 teamleden
  • Eén product owner: deze prioriteert en stemt af met stakeholders
  • Eén scrum master: deze zorgt voor een optimaal presterend team
  • Full time betrokkenheid van ieder teamlid
  • Geen onderaannemers: de mensen die het werk doen zitten in het team

Omarm scrum
Scrum is methode om op een flexibele en transparante manier in korte sprints, klantimpact te realiseren. Een paar handvaten:

  • Een sprint duurt 1 tot 3 weken. Korter is niet efficiënt, langer is niet effectief
  • Je hebt een beperkt aantal staande bijeenkomsten met een paar hulpmiddelen, zoals de product backlog, sprint backlog en het scrum bord
  • Tools zijn ondergeschikt. Het team is vrij om te kiezen wat voor hen werkt
  • Werk waar mogelijk visueel. Een tekening die opgehangen wordt is vaak effectiever dan een powerpoint slide in de mail
  • Iedere sprint wordt zoveel mogelijk impact voor de klant gerealiseerd. Bijvoorbeeld een blog, Facebook campagne of een a/b test van een website

Kleine iteraties, experimenteer en continu toetsen bij de klant
Wat willen (potentiële) klanten echt? Markt, klant of neuro onderzoek is vaak niet genoeg om de drijfveren van mensen volledig te doorgronden. Uiteindelijk krijgen we pas echt zicht op de psyche van de klant, wanneer we een propositie gaan verkopen. Kortom: zo snel mogelijk een propositie aanbieden waarbij men “ja, dit koop ik” kan roepen levert veel waarde op.

Zelf pas ik dit continu toe. Door te beginnen met een propositie die de belangrijkste veronderstellingen toetst, zonder de hele propositie te ontwikkelen. Bijvoorbeeld door te beginnen met een landingspagina waarbij de propositie wordt beschreven en waar mensen hun emailadres kunnen achterlaten. Hierdoor krijg ik inzicht in de conversie, cost per sale en vervolgstappen in enkele dagen.


Agile marketing is een must voor iedere marketeer. De workshop Agile & Scrum gaf concrete handvaten hoe agile te implementeren. Door de transparantie en energie die agile marketing brengt, heb ik me regelmatig oncomfortabel en buiten mijn comfortzone gevoeld. Heb ik om moeten gaan met de irritatie bij senior managers wanneer ik, als voormalige strategie consultant, geen jaarplan wilde opleveren. Wel maakte ik een overzicht van de doelen die ik wilde realiseren en een budget aanvraag natuurlijk.

Uit eigen ervaring weet ik dat je met een paar handvatten, een multidisciplinair team en post-its prima kan experimenteren met agile werken. Nou ja, er is nog wel iets wat je nodig hebt. Een klein beetje lef!