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Should You Consider a Digital Marketing Agency That Follows Agile Marketing Principles?

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A feature of mapping apps that I wish existed: agility.

We’ve all been there. At the moment you mapped your route to your next destination, there was no traffic. As you’re cruising down the road you notice of trail of brake lights distantly in front of you.

You pull up your map application only to find that your clear roadways have transformed into dots of red lines for the next five miles – and your arrival time has been set back 30 minutes. If the map application had the agile ability to automatically re-route based on the new traffic information, you’d be cruising along side streets to get to your destination at a reasonable time.

The same concept of agile mapping applies to digital marketing; however, many marketing agencies still operate with a firm timeline of goals and deliverables that are established at the very beginning of a program, and lack the practice of adapt and reposition based on changing client needs and competitive environments.

In this post, I’ll cover an introduction to agile marketing, as well as some benefits that our team and our client’s have experienced along the way.

What is Agile Marketing?

In short, agile marketing is an approach to marketing that emphasizes shorter-term “sprints” over long-term campaigns; numerous small experiments over a few large bets. According to AgileMarketing.net, an agile approach to marketing values:

  • Responding to change over following a plan
  • Rapid iterations over Big-Bang campaigns
  • Testing and data over opinions and conventions
  • Numerous small experiments over a few large bets
  • Individuals and interactions over target markets
  • Collaboration over silos and hierarchy

By implementing an agile approach, marketing teams and agencies are able to improve speed to deliver on high-impact results and gain adaptability based on results of these shorter sprints.

Transitioning from a Timeline-Driven Approach to Agile Marketing

Armed with research from sources like Jeff Sutherland’s Scrum and Jeff Julian’s Agile Marketing, the TopRank Marketing team began to apply these founding principles to our digital marketing processes. What we found were three undeniable benefits for our clients:

#1 – Better Results

When we’re constantly testing short-term sprints, the ability to understand the way in which our audience responds is achieved at a much faster rate. As a result, TopRank Marketing is now able to hone in on what works and what doesn’t much earlier in the game, resulting in better results for future short and long-term goals.

#2 – Smaller Wins Along the Road to a Greater Objective

We work directly with marketing professionals at many levels: VPs of Marketing, CMOs, Marketing Managers, Content Managers; all of which have a responsibility to keep stakeholders updated on progress and their marketing budgets return on investment.

This can be particularly challenging for larger, more long-term objectives where an end deliverable or result is months away from fruition. Take for example the objective of achieving thought leadership for a particular topic. Months of content creation, asset development, influencer engagement, search engine optimization and paid amplification are baked into an objective of this stature. Instead of working heads down for three months on each facet, agile marketing gives agencies the ability to break this goal into smaller, yet high-impact sprints. The results of each sprint can then be reported back to key stakeholders, with wins celebrated along the way.

#3 – Ability to Change Course Quickly

When client’s first sign an agreement with an agency, there is some discovery completed to determine what the best mix of services and approaches will be to help the client reach their goals. However, with the quickly evolving landscape of digital marketing, it is impossible to determine if those same services will be the best fit down the road. An agile approach to marketing breaks down barriers and enables account teams to help clients determine the best mix for their marketing success now, and plan for future ways that this mix can evolve.

Agile Marketing Works for TopRank Marketing & for Our Clients

While the benefits of transitioning to an agile approach are proven and abundant, making the transition is no small feat. A recent study published in CMG’s Sixth Annual CMO’s Agenda shows that while 63% of CMOs say agility is a high priority, only 40% call themselves Agile. Becoming agile requires both leadership and team commitment for success, and requires a disruption of historical processes that may at times feel uncomfortable.

Through TopRank Marketing’s transition, we have found that this approach has created more velocity, increased collaboration and has helped us meet a major objective which is to help our clients to be the best answer for their customers, wherever they are searching.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2016. |
Should You Consider a Digital Marketing Agency That Follows Agile Marketing Principles? | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Should You Consider a Digital Marketing Agency That Follows Agile Marketing Principles? appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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Interactive Content Marketing: Why B2B Marketers Should Take Their Content from Boring to Bold

Why B2B Marketers Should Consider Interactive Content

Why B2B Marketers Should Consider Interactive Content

Show of hands, B2B marketers: How many of you know which Hogwarts house you belong in? Or which Disney princess best represents your personality and relationship ambitions?

via GIPHY

Don’t be shy. I’m a Gryffindor wizard through and through—and apparently, I’m more of a Jasmine than an Ariel. And I know all this thanks to the rise of interactive content.

From quirky quizzes to ROI calculators to guided eBooks, interactive content is a rising content marketing star. BuzzFeed is perhaps the most prolific example, creating dozens of quizzes each week that are making their way into social feeds and search results. (And almost all users reportedly finish them).

But why should B2B marketers consider adding interactive content to their mix?

Because B2B is often pegged as bland and boring. And in a crowded content market, not to mention the fact that buyers' content preferences are turning increasingly visual, interactive content is the next evolution.

But if that doesn't convince you, read on for a few more reasons why its time for B2B to embrace interactive content.

#1 – Interactive content is more engaging than static content—for the long-term.

Interactive content may seem a little gimmicky for some marketers—especially those in the B2B space. But the vast majority of marketers who use interactive content agree that it not only grabs attention, but can also hold that attention beyond that initial view.

In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Ion Interactive 2017 Interactive Content Study:

  • 87% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs the attention of the reader more effectively than static content
  • 77% of marketers agree that interactive content has reusable value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposures
  • 73% of marketers agree that interactive content, when combined with other more traditional content marketing tactics, enhances message retention among their audiences.

So, if you’re aiming for awareness, engagement, and attention, interactive content holds incredible potential. But I’d also add that this is only true if you deliver quality, relevant content in an interactive format.

As my colleague Josh Nite points out: “[Interactive content is] absolutely designed to grab attention. But if your content provides value—if it’s worth paying attention to—interactive elements can help you bring in an audience.”

[bctt tweet="#InteractiveContent is absolutely designed to grab attention. But if your content provides value—if it’s worth paying attention to—interactive elements can help you bring in an audience. - @NiteWrites" username="toprank"]

#2 – Interactive content can differentiate you from your competitors.

Content has always been a foundational element of B2B marketing. Buyers don’t make hard and fast decisions. Instead, they do their research, weigh their options, and have multiple engagements with sales reps before they sign on the dotted line. Interactive content can help you make an impression and stand out in a crowed, competitive content landscape.

In addition, according to the aforementioned report, just 46% of marketers report using interactive content right now—which was flat year-over-year. And if history is any indicator, I’d wager that interactive content adoption among B2B marketers is far lower since the industry is typically slower to adopt new tactics.

But that won’t always be the case. Harnessing the opportunity right now has the potential to differentiate your B2B brand from the competition early on, showcasing your commitment to innovation.

For example, Prophix, a leading provider of corporate performance management (CPM) software solutions in the FP&A industry, wanted to drive awareness in a unique way around its report on the evolution of financial planning and analysis, as well as its solutions.

By repurposing its original research and adding influencer perspectives, we created an interactive quiz to help empower their audience to "crush" their jobs to succeed now and into the future.

Prophix Crush It Interactive Quiz

This anchor asset, which was promoted using a supporting mix of blog content, social amplification, email, and more, saw a view rate 6-times higher than the benchmark for a similar resource. In addition, the page where it lived garnered 3-times the average share rate. This unique approach to interactive influencer content made Prophix stand out from the competition and deliver a great resource that performed.

#3 – Interactive tools can provide you with exclusive data and analytics.

Savvy marketers are driven by data insights. And many of the interactive content tools you’d leverage for an asset come with their own analytics dashboards, allowing you to get near real-time data on how your audience is interacting and absorbing your content.

For example, Ceros, an interactive content software that simplifies the creation process, provides all the basic KPIs such as visitors, opens, and pageviews, as well as engagement metrics like time spent and interaction clicks. But they also track inbound referrals, social shares, video plays, and outbound link clicks.

Oh, and that data is viewable in its Analytics Dashboard within second of it happening.

Ceros Interactive Content Tool

While traditional analytics platforms and the data within them is invaluable, from my perspective, this more niche data can help uncover some insights that can help you refine your asset on the fly or consider how to improve other content types moving forward.

#4 – Interactive content can drive results at every stage of the funnel.

From educating buyers to creating customer loyalty, interactive content can serve a purpose (and drive results) at every stage of the funnel. Interactive content users report using the tactic for lead generation, lead nurturing, customer retention, and the list goes on.

And interactive is especially powerful, when combined with other tried-and-true content marketing tactics.

To help promote the Influencer Marketing 2.0 report based on research conducted by Traackr, Altimeter Group and TopRank Marketing, we partnered with interactive content platform Ceros to produce an Influence 2.0 interactive infographic.

Influence 2.0

The infographic was promoted via blog posts, social channels, email, and through the influencers that contributed. With calls to action embedded within the interactive infographic, this content succeeded at attracting over 1,700 prospective customers to download the full report with a 43% conversion rate.

What Opportunity Does Interactive Content Hold for Your B2B Brand?

Interactive content is here to stay. But the real opportunity doesn’t lay in the interactivity itself. The real value creation is in the excitement or connection that you can make with your audience, as well as the potential to hold their attention for long enough to engrain your message or inspire action.

[bctt tweet="The real opportunity with #interactivecontent doesn’t lay in the interactivity itself. The real value creation is in the excitement or connection that you can make with your audience. - @CaitlinMBurgess" username="toprank"]

So, B2B marketers. If you’re ready to break away from boring and drive better engagement, interactive content deserves your consideration.

How can you leverage interactive content? Check out our post featuring five ways of making marketing magic with interactive content.

The post Interactive Content Marketing: Why B2B Marketers Should Take Their Content from Boring to Bold appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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