What is Agile Marketing? And why should I care?
Yay – a new buzzword! AGILE MARKETING
You may have heard of the term ‘agile’ in relation to software development and glazed over with a vision of bespectacled neeks in jesus sandals getting excited about the last episode of Game of Thrones as their hipster beards get sodden with stale coffee in their morning stand-up meeting (Something I’ll explain later. The stand-up meeting that is, not the picture you’ve got in your head right now.)
Sarcasm aside, agile marketing is fundamentally about delivering marketing campaigns with greater speed, efficiency and adaptability.
Which is in turn, fundamentally about delivering greater value to your customers.
It’s simple really.
We work a lot with financial services companies. Most of them are large, all of them are bound by strict compliance rules. You might think that agile marketing is impossible in this context. But actually, we disagree. And we’ve even proven that wrong (as we’ll explain later on…)
We’ve pulled together our top tips for a beginner’s guide to agile marketing:
Try daily standup meetings
A standup meeting is basically where everyone gets together for a quick fire catch up about the day’s pipeline of work. You’re meant to conduct the meeting standing up. It keeps it brief, raises the energy levels, and makes it a discrete activity from sitting at your desk all day which lends a degree of focus.
By getting together, everyone knows what’s going on. They know who is doing what, what needs to be done by when, and can lend ideas and support to the rest of the team.
It’s so easy to just walk in, turn on your computer, flick through your emails, and pick something to work on. Stand-ups mean that everyone is forced to work on the most urgent, pressing tasks because they understand the priorities and dependencies in the team.
It actually makes a lot of sense. Whenever I’ve tried it in the past, it’s always been during a big, complex project and it’s really worked to increase efficiency. (Note to self to use with all ongoing activity…)
A/B testing email campaigns
Agility is about being able to quickly pivot and course-correct along the way. It’s all about making incremental improvements.
A/B testing is a fantastic tool for agility. And it doesn’t need to be that hard. Most sophisticated email clients these days give you the ability to A/B test your campaigns.
Use free collaboration tools
(Cough. Trello. cough.)
To be truly agile, everyone on the team needs visibility of what’s going on and what needs to be done. And this needs to come from a single, central, accessible source of the truth, not various emails treads where you forgot to cc someone key. It’s great for managing workflows of blogs, content, or event planning for example.
If you’re not using Trello, get on it.
I’ll leave this link here for you to explore how Trello helps marketers get shit done.
Elastic agency capacity
**Shameless plug for Moreish Marketing**
Agility is about being responsive and quick to react. Think genius examples like the Oreo’s Super Bowl tweet, or Specsavers’ witty tweets.
At Moreish, we work a little differently to the standard agency model. Aside from our core client-facing team (the likes of yours truly), we use our trusted network of freelancers. People who are at the top of their game.
This serves two great benefits to agility –
- We’re totally media and technology neutral. Whatever the campaign needs to deliver results, we can provide. And the skills at our disposal are always at the forefront of technical advances.
- Our capacity is totally elastic. We can have one person working on your account one day, and 10 people the next. You only pay for the resource you use, and more importantly, we can meet deadlines most large agencies would laugh at.
Last year, we were pretty proud that one of our LV= campaigns was shortlisted and ‘Highly Commended’ for the Marketing in the Moment award at the Marketing New Thinking Awards 2015.
Dynamic HTML5 banners
We did a cool campaign a couple of months back with LV=.
In 2014, George Osbourne’s government budget announcement sprung massive changes on the pensions industry. Nobody saw it coming. But LV= were quick off the block to react to the changes with our Take Heart campaign. The business results were phenomenal (as well as winning a load of awards).
Roll forward to the 2016 budget announcement, and LV= wanted to be prepared for whatever nasty (or nice) surprises that might arise.
We designed a series of banner ads to go on the main trade websites. And because they were built in dynamic html5, it meant that we could update the content on the fly, and react almost instantly to the budget announcement.
Sod’s law, there was nothing groundbreaking. But this agile approach to campaign planning meant that we were poised to gain a competitive edge.
Use tools to spin up quick landing pages
Agile marketing departments tend to be able to produce more content. Which is great, but the rest of the marketing machine surrounding this content needs equal velocity.
We often find that people struggle to build pages on their website fast enough, and with enough flexibility to make the most out of this. And it zaps all of the energy out of creating content in the first place.
Have a look at tools like Unbounce for spinning up high converting landing pages. They also make A/B testing easy. (We can give you a hand if you’re stuck here.)
Some aspects of agile marketing are going to be tricky for financial services marketers to make a part of their daily lives, especially in the social arena. When you work so closely with compliance, newsjacking and diving in on social conversations is tough.
But there are absolutely, definitely a whole host of things that we CAN do to make marketing more agile.
Yes, it means putting some processes in place. And trying new things, which can be scary.
But we’re confident that you’ll also find it removes frustration, increases efficiency, and makes work more fun.