How Silverline Communications Put Agile Marketing in Action
Marketing and communications teams thrive on disruption and innovation, but constantly navigating unpredictability and rapidly changing priorities can challenge even the highest performing teams. Seeking a change, Silverline Communications partnered with Excella to improve their focus and agility through Kanban, a highly visual management method suited to the continuous, fluid workflows of non-IT teams. Silverline’s Agile marketing transformation began with a surprising mindset shift and outcome: when value drives decision-making, both clients, and team, are happier.
Client-Driven Marketing and Communications
For Silverline Communications, clients are not just customers, they’re partners. President and founder Laura Taylor started Silverline in 2009 to collaborate with likeminded B2B companies developing protective, non-invasive technologies in the healthcare, energy and cyber tech spaces. For many years, a client-driven mindset fueled Silverline’s success, but as the company grew, competing requests and unclear priorities created challenges. Laura found it difficult to anticipate staffing needs and predict delivery, while the team struggled with a fast-paced services model that was adaptive at best and reactive at worst. Something had to change if the small agency was to grow and maintain the exceptional service their clients loved.
The Art of Marketing Meets the Science of Kanban
After contacting Excella, the team began to work with an Agile coach with experience coaching non-IT teams. The team discussed work styles, processes and overall needs to determine the right Agile approach. The team initially considered Scrum, a popular Agile framework, but needed greater flexibility to handle disruptions and fluctuating deadlines.
Enter Kanban, a management method that uses visualization and work-in-progress limits to help teams balance customer demands with capacity to deliver. Kanban naturally resonated with the team – they saw their transformation as an evolution, they were enthusiastic about continuous improvement. Kanban’s emphasis on managing workflow (not workers) to maximize the flow of value made sense to them. They were ready to jump in.
The Last Word
The jump from client-driven to value-driven marketing has unlocked the potential of the small but mighty Silverline team. With Kanban, the team has found more ways to deliver and share their value with clients and clients have had more opportunities to gain insights into their communications and marketing activities. For Silverline, putting Agile marketing into action began with a transformative mindset shift, but maintaining and improving their agility never ends.