Stacey Ackerman: Spotlight on the expert
A discussion with our expert contributor about how she got into agile marketing and what the future holds for the space.
In the first of a new series, we dig deeper into the stories of our expert contributors. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Stacey Ackerman is an agile marketing coach who has written some 60 articles for MarTech on the topic. She recently launched the Agile Marketing Navigator, an in-depth guide to implementing agile within marketing foundations. Stacey was brought up in Minnesota but recently relocated to North Carolina where “the winters are much milder.”
We asked her about her route into agile.
Q: You’re the owner of Agilify Coaching & Training and recently became managing partner of NavigateAgile. How did you get into marketing — or indeed into agile?
A: I went to college for journalism and communications because I wanted to be a newspaper reporter, but I ended up working in public relations and somewhat in marketing as well — dabbling in event marketing — and I kind of worked my way up to marketing manager. My husband worked in IT at the time. He suggested I look at IT project management; so I got hired doing that. My clients were ad agencies, so it was a nice hybrid of working with the agency side of things but also working with IT.
I had a colleague introduce me to agile [development] and I was really fascinated by it. Without having any formal training, I decided to use my client — unbeknownst to them — as an experiment. I saw such a night-and-day difference that I was sold on this: I’ve got to get out of traditional project management stuff and get into agile.
I started taking certification courses, became a scrum manager in IT spaces, and started working my way into being an agile coach — mostly in software in the beginning, but then in marketing and communications and medical devices, and kind of everything. In 2017 or 2018 I decided I had to take this back into marketing. That led to where I am today.
Q: There’s now an extensive community of agile marketers. How and when did that start to come together?
A: I think there were some early adopters who wrote the original Agile Marketing Manifesto. That was ten years ago, the original pioneers. I think it was really in the last five years that there have been more of us stepping into this and seeing it work in marketing.
Q: Tell us more about your new venture, NavigateAgile.
A: Just in October of this year, Michael Seaton and I joined forces to create NavigateAgile. He has a much more extensive marketing background. Last April we launched the Agile Marketing Navigator framework and found a lot of people really excited about it as a kind of missing piece in the marketplace. There’s been a few really exciting developments since then. One is that I’ve had people coming from multiple countries wanting to translate it. We also have a certification course which just launched and a whole implementation program.
We’re also going to be launching a partner program. That’s on the horizon for later in 2023. We have a lot of content out there and want to start making those things accessible to people so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Q: In addition to creating all this content, you’re still planning to work directly with clients?
A: Yes, exactly. It’s been a really exciting year. In March, I’ll be speaking in Miami at an agile marketing conference and I think there will be more of those to come as we come back to in-person again.
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