How IBM and Aviva Bought Began with Agile Advertising

4 minutes read

NewsCred held a ThinkContent Lab in London on the finish of November, bringing collectively advertising leaders from Aviva and IBM to debate the subject of agile advertising: what it’s, what they’ve realized, and the way expertise performs a significant position in its profitable implementation.

This text was written following the occasion by speaker Scott Stockwell, Editor in Chief at IBM Europe, and was initially printed on LinkedIn and has since been calmly edited.

I lately joined Aviva’s World Head of Digital Advertising, Mike Oakey, at their tremendous spec’ed out Digital Storage in Hoxton for a day exploring agile advertising.

The occasion was a part of NewsCred’s ThinkContent Labs, the place my LinkedIn article, “7 learnings from agile advertising,” led to them asking me to share my expertise at IBM. Mike and I each had the chance to current on our journeys and takeaways from reworking our groups into agile advertising organizations.

The most important benefits of agile advertising

There have been many similarities between my expertise at IBM and the journeys that Mike shared. The most important overlaps and factors of emphasis had been breaking down silos to deliver cross-functional groups collectively, giving groups the autonomy to direct their very own paths that drive outcomes, and realizing worth for purchasers and purchasers extra shortly.

Mike identified the cultural shift that going agile has allowed to occur. Their groups have change into so shut they’re bonding. One other remark he spoke about was that agile transformation has resulted in individuals who have cross-skills — in different phrases, jacks of all trades. “It’s vital to know your specialization, however you additionally must know sufficient about all of it,” he mentioned.

Does expertise or individuals drive the change?

One elementary distinction in our experiences was our beginning off factors. For Aviva, the expertise had been the start line. The truth is, considered one of their KPIs was getting extra individuals to make use of expertise. At IBM, we began with the individuals and the best way we work collectively, scaled the processes, after which applied expertise for help. Finally our paths converged, but it surely was very clear that the beginning factors had been totally different.

IBM’s CMO, Michelle Peluso, has spoken typically about advertising being “agile to the core,” buyer first, and data-driven. Mike and I each began out by bringing cross-functional groups collectively — every of us pondering we had began one thing distinctive — each to search out out shortly afterwards that the software program world’s “agile strategy” had already impressed new methods for entrepreneurs to work collectively. Since then, every of us has seen agile scale in our organizations, in the end changing into the defining method that we collaborate to serve our prospects.

What “It’s a Knockout” can train you about agile advertising

I began my presentation with a clip from “It’s a Knockout.” Should you’re unfamiliar with the TV present (as about 60% of the viewers weren’t after I checked in with them) — image a faculty sports activities day with greater impediment programs, everybody in over-sized costumes, and presenters who giggle greater than they commentate — and also you’re about there. For me, it encapsulates working collaboratively to attain a shared purpose with clear buyer worth. And if/when the group fails or strays from their meant path, there’s a system of help to get them began on their method once more.

The remainder of my presentation described our journey to changing into agile — from one group in a single room, very a lot testing and studying, to all entrepreneurs receiving face-to-face training supported by a league of agile champions, using an “agile well being radar,” a licensed coaching program, and a digital playbook. 

The takeaway right here is that it’s not a quick-fix, straightforward change to make. It includes taking time and assets to coach your group, bringing in all stakeholders, and in the end altering the best way that they work. There could be some pushback within the course of. Mike talked about that at Aviva, although their PR group was supportive, the branding and communications groups weren’t totally on board with agile at first. However, and as Mike concurred, the transformation to agile will make it easier to ship on issues faster and extra effectively, so it’s effectively value it ultimately.


Scott Stockwell is the Editor in Chief of IBM Europe.

Initially printed on Dec 10, 2019 10:00 PM

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