One of my favourite areas to apply agile has to be within marketing. Agile approaches fit well into Marketing because marketing is highly responsive and adaptive, and agile at its origin is a way to manage uncertain and un-predictable projects successfully.
Over the years I have knowingly, and un-knowingly applied agile methods, tools, concepts and practices to marketing activities, alongside an agile mindset.
First of all the mindset
In marketing we tend to expect the right hand, even if we have planned things out! There will often be options and choices along the way dependant on early analytics and feedback.
Marketing teams have an advantage with the brilliant array of data and analytics tools we have available to us to monitor and measure our campaigns and conversions, giving us real-time feedback that enables us to adjust and improve our messaging dependant on feedback. The number of likes or engagements on a social media post, google search ranking results, website visits, email opens, tracking journeys, the data and opportunities to measure especially online are endless!
With digitisation of sales and marketing we can know exactly who is in our shops, when and what they buy to inform our decisions, from ordering more stock to following trends.
I have used agile project management approaches both myself and with clients for various marketing activities and team projects.
I have used it for strategic marketing planning, and to work out said strategic marketing plan!
A big part of making the Agile on the Beach conference self-sustaining was creating a strong brand, and a repeatable marketing campaign each year to attract speakers, sponsors and attendees.
Agile on the Beach was funded from its second to sixth year with my time and budget through the Agile Innovation EU growth programme I ran, alongside co-sponsors, a committee team and various collaborators. Initially run as a stand alone event, the mission was to turn it into a self sustaining conference, independent of EU funded support, which was ending in 4 years time.
We hadn’t run a conference before, so we had a lot of unknown, unknowns, and we built solutions from trial and practice, improving each year. We did succeed and Agile on the Beach is now in its 11th year!
At first it was about establishing where our audience were and how we could reach them. As a conference based in Cornwall with a small local tech community, local market sales and sponsorship was limited, and despite its high growth was not sufficient to self-sustain the conference, we needed the conference to attract many attendees from wider areas.
We took an agile approach testing out various channels, messages, information, until we understood better where we could reach our potential attendees, and how best to attract them to coming to the conference.
Day to day management of the marketing, comms and sales activities was done using agile methods again, with a roadmap and sprint plan for campaigns, sales targets, activities and for tracking speakers, sponsors and attendees on their journey.
We valued relationships over contracts, working solutions over comprehensive documentation for evolving our sponsor packages and relationships, driven by the value and benefits they were looking for – visibility, seo, customer leads and built our packages around them.
We tried to pareto everything due to budget and time constraints, how can we gain 80% of attendees/sponsors with 20% effort?!
We kept things simple, lots of small iterative announcements rather than big bang announcements. Regular communications, requests for feedback and improvement.
to be continued..
let me know if you would like to know more!