Broaden your marketing skills to succeed as an agile marketer

As marketers, we value our special skills, or as I often refer to it, our superpowers. I always explain that my superpower is writing because sometimes it’s easier for me to express my thoughts this way rather than talking (although I have my moments with the gift of gab).

So while guarding our superpowers and being really sharp with one particular skill is great, to get hired on an agile marketing team, you need to show that you’re willing to dabble outside of your comfort zone and be a team player.

According to the 2019 State of Agile Marketing survey, 50 percent of traditional marketing companies are planning to adopt agile marketing in the coming year. To stay ahead of the curve and market yourself to these companies, you’ll need to broaden your skills to be hired on an agile marketing team.

The most successful agile marketers offer the following:

Dabble beyond your specialty

People have a lot more skills, abilities and desires to try new things than we give them credit for. The problem in most companies is that you’re only known for your job title, not always what you can do or want to be doing.

Too often I hear, “Only John can do video editing – it’s a technical specialty and anyone else would screw it up.”

Well, what happens when John goes on vacation? Or gets sick? Or worse yet – quits the company.

While video editing may be John’s superpower, there are a lot of smart people on your team. If you ask them, there may be another who does this type of work as a hobby and wants to learn more.

Sure, John may be better at it – and we’re not trying to de-value his knowledge – but a good agile team is able to share knowledge and help each other.

I encourage you to think about two other skills that your company needs and try to learn more about them. Maybe you won’t be the expert, but you can help round out the team’s skillset in a pinch.

Put the needs of the team above your own

If you want to be hired on an agile marketing team, you have to approach everything as “What’s best for the team?” rather than “What’s best for me?”

On an agile marketing team, work is prioritized in a single marketing backlog and the goal is to get the most important work done. Most of the time, that work item takes many people from the team collaborating together.

There are two kinds of people that don’t work well in agile marketing—the hoarders and the single laners.

The hoarder is the so-called ‘expert’ and likes being in a position where everyone needs him. He won’t share knowledge and works at protecting his domain.

The single laners only do the job they were hired to do and nothing more.

The problem with both the hoarders and single laners is that the focus is on themselves, not the good of the team. But in agile, the collective need to do what’s best for the customer far outweighs the individual contributor.

So, if you want to work on an agile marketing team, you’re going to have to keep the focus on the team, even if it’s not what’s best for you at all times.

A willingness to venture into the unknown

Agile marketing requires the ability to quickly switch gears, work in a way that’s totally new and different and may require you doing work you’ve never done before in your life!

For those that thrive on learning and change, agile marketing is going to be your best friend.

It’s a lot like being a small business owner. You’re going to wear many hats, do things that you’ve never done before, venture into uncharted waters, fail sometimes and learn along the way.

So to be a good agile marketer, get yourself comfortable with the uncomfortable.

If you’re someone who enjoys broadening your skills, works well in a team setting and is okay venturing into the unknown, you’re going to make a rock star agile marketer!

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Stacey knows what it’s like to be a marketer, after all, she’s one of the few agile coaches and trainers that got her start there. After graduating from journalism school, she worked as a content writer, strategist, director and adjunct marketing professor. She became passionate about agile as a better way to work in 2012 when she experimented with it for an ad agency client. Since then she has been a scrum master, agile coach and has helped with numerous agile transformations with teams across the globe. Stacey speaks at several agile conferences, has more certs to her name than she can remember and loves to practice agile at home with her family. As a lifelong Minnesotan, she recently relocated to North Carolina where she’s busy learning how to cook grits and say “y’all.”

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