All posts tagged: agile marketing

5 B2B marketing trends to watch in 2021

The disruption caused by the global pandemic has led to some profound changes in our values, attitudes and behaviours to both our personal and work lives. For B2B marketers, this has accelerated the adoption of some existing trends, such as digital transformation and the increased use of data to understand and respond to changes in buyer behaviour, and embedding new ways of working through a more agile approach to marketing. It also helped to create some interesting new trends which we expect to see gain momentum in B2B marketing in 2021.

Customer centricity at the forefront

Most businesses think they know their customer, but there has been a tendency for businesses to focus on what they want to talk about, rather than what their customers want to know or will find most useful. The disruption of 2020 has certainly shone a light on this. Suddenly people were thinking and behaving differently, both in their personal and work lives, and buying decisions were often put on hold. In a poll conducted at our recent ‘Personas and buyer journey’ online bootcamp, we found that only 10% of attendees felt that their existing personas and buyer journeys were helping them hit their sales targets. In 2021, organisations will be focused on truly understanding what their customers want, their business environments and how they can best support them. Customer centricity therefore needs to be at the very forefront of every marketing decision, campaign and communication. Data and martech have key roles to play in achieving this consistently and at pace.

Being data driven is now fundamental

The need for marketing to be driven by data saw a renewed emphasis due to the chaos of the pandemic and the change in behaviours that followed. Marketers now need to be more data-driven than ever. To do this they first need to get better at capturing data. According to a recent report by IDC and Seagate, 44% of data available to organisations goes uncaptured, and 43% goes unused. Organisations also need to get better and distilling and activating data to turn it into actionable insights for the business. While there is certainly a role here for new AI technologies and machine learning to help make business decisions, most organisations need their marketing teams to get better at harvesting, understanding and gaining insights from data which drive improvements and allow meaningful interactions with the prospect or client.

Location displacement

The pandemic turned how we live and where we traditionally do things on its head. The requirement for us all to stay at home during national lockdowns and to continue working from home if possible, even when restrictions were eased, led to an increased demand for online experiences. These included the rise of virtual events, interactive tools or gadgets that make your prospects’ lives easier (such as this campaign ROI calculator) and personalised social selling that engages at a 1:1 level. This is expected to continue in 2021 and beyond. In response to this, digital marketing not only needs to be front and centre, but ensuring a seamless omni-channel user experience is now a standard expectation in B2B.

Emotional connection

Emotional connection was a big trend in B2C marketing in 2020 as organisations sought to tap into and reflect the emotions that people were experiencing. A study by the B2B Institute at LinkedIn showed that strategies that appeal to emotions are 7x more effective at driving long-term sales, profits and revenue than those just delivering rational messaging. Research conducted by Google also shows that B2B purchasers are almost 50% more likely to buy a product or service when they see personal value (i.e. an opportunity for career advancement or confidence and pride in their choice) and 68% of buyers who see personal value will pay a higher price for a service. B2B marketers need to become increasingly savvy on how to make best use of content and messaging to build an emotional connection with influencers and buyers in 2021. Those who can create campaigns that successfully appeal to people’s emotions will differentiate themselves from the pack.

Curiosity culture

As our approach to marketing at Bright is based on agile principles, we know that experimentation and failure are the start of success. For example, how do you know for sure if an emotion-led or benefit-led message is more effective? You have to test and experiment in order to learn and build. Of course, your data processes and analytics are the key to understanding what is working and what is failing. As more marketing functions adopt agile marketing principles, we expect to see an increase in curiosity and experimentation in B2B marketing campaigns.

Agile is the key

In fact, adopting agile marketing processes is the key to embracing all of these trends effectively. Understanding how to make proper use of data and research to drive decision making is the backbone of agile marketing. Testing different approaches, channels or messages (emotional vs rational) and constantly iterating and improving is another critical element of agile marketing. Agile marketing builds resilience, helping you pivot and adapt to current trends, and ultimately drive better results from your marketing that support your business goals. To find out how you can adopt agile marketing to better manage disruption during this pandemic, get in touch with a Bright expert.

Zoe Merchant5 B2B marketing trends to watch in 2021
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5 reasons why agile marketing adoption will boom in 2021

By Natalie Cannatella, Content and Communications Strategist

One of the biggest marketing trends this year was the growth of agile marketing. According to the ‘3rd State of Agile Marketing Report’, agile marketing adoption went up from 32% in 2019 to 42% in 2020Almost all of the growth is due to a reduction in the percentage of marketers identifying with the traditional waterfall model of marketing management. At Bright, agile marketing has been at the heart of our founding principles and processes since our inception. Here are five reasons why we believe agile marketing is set to grow even further in 2021. 

Pandemic panic   

Covid impacted pretty much every aspect of both our personal and working lives last year. Businesses in particular have faced disruption, uncertainty and a constantly changing landscape. This meant that the best marketing plans quickly went out the window as many businesses went into crisis mode. In these conditions, adopting an agile approach to marketing, where marketing departments could adapt quickly to changing circumstances, suddenly became more important than ever before. Even though we have (thankfully) now started the rollout of the first approved vaccine in the UK, the future remains uncertain and impossible to predict. For those who adopted agile marketing practices in 2020, there is certainly no going back. For those who have yet to embrace agile marketing, 2021 is the year to dive in as businesses continue to navigate their way through the pandemic and beyond. 

Data is king 

We live in a world where almost everything we do online is tracked, and organisations today are set up to capture volumes of data about their customers and prospects. Businesses that can fully capture, understand and utilise that data will gain a competitive edge. Data and agile marketing go handinhand. Having access to real-time data – and being able to analyse it  is one of the key pillars of agile marketing. It’s an approach that focuses on making decisions that are always driven by data, and businesses looking to thrive in a post-Covid world will want to ensure they are doing this effectively. 

Pervasiveness of agile  

The test, learn, improve model is now well established and accepted beyond the technology team. By applying this model to marketing processes and campaigns, businesses are able to make tweaks and amendments to optimise activity based on data to cultivate continuous improvement — another reason why we think businesses are likely to extend agile practices to their marketing function in 2021. 

Banish mediocrity 

One of the things all businesses have had to do this year is think creatively in order to survive. This most definitely extends to the marketing department. In 2020, mediocre marketing campaigns just didn’t cut it, and in 2021, standout creative campaigns will be another tool organisations use as they try to recover from the previous year and get back to growthAgile marketing supports teams in creating more effective standout campaigns that support your KPIs and business objectives. 

Need for speed 

Doing things faster, and better, than your competitors are the main ingredients for business success. Businesses are realising that agile marketing practices can significantly increase time-to-market. Getting those data-driven, creative marketing campaigns out to the market quickly, gives you that competitor-beating edge. 

Are you ready to embrace agile and accelerate your marketing? Drop us an email at hello@brightinnovation.co.uk  

Natalie Quinn5 reasons why agile marketing adoption will boom in 2021
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The Social Network

How to use LinkedIn effectively to support your marketing goals

By Nick Johnson, Demand Manager at Bright

You are probably only too aware of the power of LinkedIn as a social network to grow your business pipelineprofessional profile or job hunting prospects at the click of (a few) buttons. It’s the platform for creating engagement.  

But the real value of LinkedIn comes from who you are connected with. Like all good marketing and sales campaigns, the focus should be very much on quality over quantity. This is where LinkedIn is ultimately unrivalled.   

Over the last 12+ months we have been working with our clients on projects ranging from recruiting partners across Europe to building registrations for virtual events in key target markets. The constant here has been using LinkedIn as a key driver for these activities.   

At Bright we take a highly targeted, segmented and personalised approach to this which allows our clients to grow their LinkedIn presence with the right audience, at pace.  

Over the last six months in particular, the results from these projects have improved time and again, resulting in numerous new connections, meetings and attendees. All helping clients progress towards their business goals. You can see how we helped drive 2,000+ attendees to a virtual event for our client TECHNIA in this video case study. 

So, you’ve got yourself 350 new connections on LinkedIn – what do you do next? 

The optimising of a profile, targeting stakeholders from key accounts, building new connections, and starting conversations is really just the first steps of the process. The ultimate outcome is portraying the user as an industry and business thought leader amongst their peers, prospects, customers and wider network.  

Building towards this longer-term goal takes preparation, a defined strategyengaging content and a consistent approach to networking. This is also something which cannot be turned on and off. There will naturally be peaks and troughsbut at least one of the following elements should be running:

  • Personal brand – promoting you, your company, your products or services and industry thought leadership content 
  • Dream clients and contacts – monitoring and understanding what your key target contacts and accounts are doing in the market 
  • Connections and conversations  keep networking and engaging with your contacts  
  • Community leader  posting in relevant groups for peer-to-peer engagement 
  • Soft selling  interacting by liking, commenting and sharing your target audience 

Yes, it is a lot of work. But it is definitely worth the reward.  

Interested in using LinkedIn to support your marketing goals? Drop us an email at hello@brightinnovation.co.uk 

Nick is a results driven Demand Generation Manager at Bright. He has over 6 years B2B demand generation and business development experience gained working with some of the world’s largest IT and tech companies. Nick has managed projects around the globe, creating engagement across a variety of industries and contacts. He is passionate about how bespoke, highly targeted and (most importantly) agile campaigns can deliver value for his clients. 

Lydia KirbyThe Social Network
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3 ways to inject agility in FinTech marketing

How does agile marketing drive FinTech marketing success?

If you’ve taken a look at our Traditional vs. Agile marketing infographic, you’re aware of some of the key benefits of agile marketing — but what’s in it for FinTechs and why now, during such a time of disruption?

Even prior to 2020, opening doors in Financial Services was a common barrier to FinTech’s lead generation success. But now, whilst the world is (still) awash with uncertainty and we’re pivoting on the edge of a recession, hammering home the marketing message agreed on in January 2020’s strategy session just isn’t going to support the pipeline. The world has changed, priorities have adjusted, and they will continue to do so as things settle down and the markets stabilise.

With Agile marketing, you can respond and adapt to what’s happening in the industry – staying poised and ready to optimise at a moment’s notice. The message your target audience will receive from a data-driven strategy is one of relevance, support and benefit to the current climate. The groundwork and elements involved in a full agile marketing mix are invaluable to the success of a campaign and the impact on the sales pipeline.

Here’s how to inject agility into your FinTech’s marketing activity to get more leads and boost your performance in the financial services market.

1.    Fine-tune your value statement

No matter how awesome your tech may be, if your value isn’t clear and focused in addressing the pain points and challenges of your prospects, it’s sure to get lost — leaving your audience feeling unimpressed and disengaged.

To form a powerful value statement, start taking note of the problems you solve and the solutions you deliver for your clients, as well as the benefits your tech and team offer from start to finish. People want to hear about people helping other people — Tell your story and make sure it’s backed up with stats and real-world evidence.

 

2.    Calculate your total addressable market

Don’t let data be the bottleneck to reaching your prospects. Define your target audience, create personas, then build and enrich the data to ensure your FinTech’s marketing efforts reach the contacts you want to engage.

Although at times this step can seem like a gruelling manual task, skipping it will only serve to limit your outreach, leaving you missing out on contacting key influencers and decision makers that may need your firm’s offering. Invest in the time and tools necessary to keep your database up to date and give you room to expand on markets where you’re a little thin on the ground.

 

3.    Embrace the power of content

Yes, content is still king. People don’t buy what you’re selling straight away — they like to browse, research, read a few blogs, or watch a few videos. They want to know that 30-minute call you’re asking for is going to be worth their time, so make it clear what you’re all about. Sharing content that illustrates your employees’ talent, your company’s timely offering and positive testimonials from happy clients can show prospects what they’ve been missing. Their personal data is precious, and they won’t give their email address away for nothing!

Use your data insights and audience personas to brainstorm topics relevant to your prospects’ interests and pain points, then discuss with your subject matter experts from across the business. Each piece of content should have a clear goal in mind.

 

Explore more FinTech marketing tips

These three tips are just the tip of the iceberg to transforming your marketing. If you want to dive in deeper and learn how to fully adopt agile marketing at your FinTech, find out more and get in touch. With a decade of experience in the world of FinTech, we understand what it takes to meet your business goals through stand-out marketing campaigns and projects.

 

Natalie Burrows is a driven agile marketing manager with a flare for FinTech and large corporate projects. With 8 years’ experience working in FinTech and Financial Services, she’s focussed on breaking the mould with new ideas and driving business outcomes.

Lydia Kirby3 ways to inject agility in FinTech marketing
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Smashing the 1,000-attendee target for your next virtual event

The latest in the Bright agile marketing in action webinar series went live on 23 June 2020 and it was a hit! We brought together the best and brightest in strategic marketing to explore what it takes to create ground-breaking virtual events. Joining us for a discussions were CMO, Ghassan Sultan and Marketing Project Manager, Lisa Granton, key players at TECHNIA, one of our top clients. Together, we explored how they managed to smash their 1,000-attendee target at the recent PLMIF 2020 event. So, what’s the critical success factors for creating a virtual event that scores leads and builds your brand?

Agile marketing powers virtual events

Our webinar poll discovered that 96% of organisations have moved their events online. The global work culture has changed in response to Covid-19 and it’s not just a temporary fix. Your next event will be online, but it has to stand out from the crowd. To do this effectively, your event must capture the needs and goals of your audience and provide the tools and information they need to readily adapt and keep pace in a changing market.

So, where to start?

Embrace agile marketing

As the Bright team discussed in our webinar:

“Marketers need the ability to adapt, move at pace and be resilient to changing markets and organisation dynamics – this has been critical during Covid-19 and will continue to be relevant as we prepare for Brexit,”

In short, agile marketing is the common-sense approach to optimising what you have and experimenting with new tactics, tools, messaging and channels to reach your campaign KPIs.

When creating virtual events, an agile way of working allows you to bring together a cross-functional team to test, learn and continually improve your strategies, messaging and tactics throughout the event lifecycle – driving engagement and leads before, during and after your live event. Using valuable data insights to understand what works for your audience and what doesn’t, giving you the power to create an event that makes a lasting impact and builds your reputation in your industry.

The TECHNIA success story

TECHNIA came to Bright with a bold vision. They wanted to change the way events were delivered, capitalise on high-value content and reach a global audience. Ghassan walked us through TECHNIA’s goal to transform how they host events and attract a large audience. What started as a costly physical event turned into an ambitious vision for an innovative knowledge-sharing virtual event.

Ghassan’s vision for TECHNIA’s PMLIF 2020:

  • Target 1,000 global attendees
  • Capitalise on existing digital content and try new channels
  • Be 100% sustainable in line with TECHNIA’s #GoExplore movement
  • Cut time and budget from £100,000 in 4-8 months to £10,000 in 4-8 weeks

It was clear that such a brilliant event demanded extraordinary KPIs. Always ready for a challenge, Bright jumped at the opportunity to engage and drive leads from global tech leaders throughout the event lifecycle. We helped create a multi-channel marketing strategy, delivering key messaging for different target audiences through different media across the three-month campaign.

“Transitioning from physical to virtual really takes effort and your team is vital to success,” said Ghassan. “Bright’s agile marketing approach seamlessly integrated with our team. Thanks to the regular stand-ups and strong data insights, we were able to quickly change tactics to reach 2,000 attendees – an incredible success!”

Critical success factors to creating a compelling event:

  • Setting clear, strong KPIs
  • Testing and iterating messaging
  • Providing quality on-demand content

TECHNIA’s marketing manager, Lisa Granton, also highlighted the power of data-driven decision making and communication to drive success:

“Throughout the agile marketing process, we received constant feedback on what was working and what wasn’t, and the Bright team responded with great energy to perfect our messaging. We were able to keep developing and improving throughout our campaign.”

For more details, see our TECHNIA Virtual event success case study

What is the future of TECHNIA events?

Agile marketing is a different way of working and we have seen its tremendous power to transform teams and encourage cultural change. After the success of the PLMIF 2020 virtual event, TECHNIA noticed a dramatic change in their ways of working and how they approach creating future virtual events. “We found we were less focused on large, far-reaching strategies and more focused on starting small – setting short-termed goals and daily tasks to effectively reach our long term, big KPIs.”  It’s safe to say the next PMLIF event will be crafted with agile marketing.

According to Ghassan, PLMIF2020 will also be hybrid. Taking the lessons they’ve learnt on how to deliver a successful event, they’re planning to create a roadshow of small, local physical events followed by a large global virtual event.

Learnings from the webinar Q&A

How do you engage sponsors?

Create sponsorship opportunities, tailored to your partners and get them to help promote the event. TECHNIA saw wave after wave of partners getting involved in promotion and Bright provided a toolkit of engaging messaging for easy promotion by partners.

How do you nurture leads?

Divide your team into two, focussing one on attracting leads and hitting your target with high-level messaging, and the other on nurturing leads through email, LinkedIn and other keep warm tactics.

How do you evaluate what platform works best to support a large virtual event?

Pinpoint your goals – do you want to make your virtual event look and feel like a physical conference with booths and networking opportunities? Or do you simply want to share knowledge and create dialogue with your audience? Once you’ve shortlisted your options, speak to reference clients and leverage their experience with the different platforms to make your choice.

You also have the option of building your own platform! If like TECHNIA, you know what you want and you have the skills and resources, build a platform that suits your needs.

How do you drive people to attend the live event on the day and not the on-demand?

TECHNIA advertised that they would be sharing content during the live event that hadn’t been viewed or discussed before. Combined with the multi-channel campaign we ran and Bright also provided a toolkit of eye-catching comms to help the TECHNIA sales team invite attendees to their virtual booths.

Where can I find additional resources?

Have a read through our top tips for creating a stand-out virtual event:

 

Want to learn more? Watch the full event today, on-demand for viewing at your leisure. And if you’d like to have your say in the conversation on agile marketing or virtual events, join our Agile Marketing Club Meet Up group. See you there!

Lydia KirbySmashing the 1,000-attendee target for your next virtual event
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Five tips to a successful Webinar

When your audience can no longer come to you, creating engaging virtual and digital experiences has become vital for businesses, now more than ever. From webinars to masterclasses to 3-day virtual conference events, virtual knowledge sharing has fast become the new normal. Pre-pandemic, over 50% of businesses planned to increase the number of webinars they produced in 2020 and we can assume this has increased vastly in the last few months. Businesses are having to pivot quickly, switching physical events to online events, with webinars being the popular option for many marketeers. They are a highly effective way of building an audience and launching it at speed.

In a recent post, we discussed the best time to host a virtual event for a global and local audience. Read on for some more top tips to hosting a successful webinar (like our recent one, Agile in Action).

Tip 1: Create engaging content

You have an average of 50 minutes with an audience of prospects, so webinars are a powerful marketing tool, but you need great content to keep them engaged. A visually appealing, text light presentation can increase engagement from the viewers and result in more highly qualified leads. Choose a niche topic that is relevant, touches on your target audience’s pain point(s), and is something you can provide expertise on – and a solution.
Got a lot of information to share? Kick-start a regular stream of content. Building a hub of webinars on your website establishes your company as a thought leader in the sector. As you run more sessions, you’ll learn what works well with your audience and continuously optimise your performance.

Tip 2: Promote your webinar everywhere

Content is key for an engaging webinar but so is the promotion. How many times do you register for a webinar, receive a reminder almost a month in advance and possibly the day before, but still forget about it or remember too late?

Promotion should start a minimum of two weeks before, but we would recommend earlier – four – six weeks. Naturally, a longer promotional period will boost registration rates and can increase the number of attendees on the day.

It takes time, and multi-channel campaigns for people to be aware and excited about your webinar. Promote it everywhere – on social, blog posts, your website, via your partners and through email – still one of the biggest drivers of webinar registrations at 57%. Rather than hammering home the same event reminders, add valuable supporting content to the mix. For example, relevant blogs, speaker information, a kick-start guide or infographic – all of which help set the scene and build enthusiasm, ensuring your audience doesn’t fatigue.  This is about those who have registered for the webinar too – what content will they find interesting? Keeping registrants’ warm helps increase live attendance and interaction.

Don’t forget to start planning and creating your post-webinar follow-up communications (see tip 5). Whether they attended live or not, this is the beginning, and arguably most important step, when converting webinar leads from MQL to SQL.

Tip 3: Engage and interact with your audience

92% of webinar attendees are looking for a Q&A / opportunity to ask questions. So ask registrants to send in their questions pre-webinar. Not only does this keep your registrants thinking about your event but it gives you time to prepare answers to those questions and time to manage extra ones that come in during the Q&A.

Selecting a reputable webinar platform that you can trust and that provides the right user experience. Zoom, On24, Microsoft Teams, Go To Webinar, Google Hangouts – there are a wide range of platforms but choose one that is secure, can integrate seamlessly with your martech, and is easy for your team to use (they will be in control on the day). Take advantage of polls and quizzes (included in some of these platforms) during the webinar to get live feedback from the audience during the event.

Tip 4: Practice makes perfect

Bring together your script, slides (even if they’re still in draft) and any guests or hosts for the webinar and do a dry run at least once before the big day. This will help everyone understand timings, allow you to refine the presentation further and give your speakers time to gel-together. It’s also a good opportunity to iron out any technical hitches before the go live! Ensure you have the best equipment – microphone, cameras etc. to eliminate any technical issues and help build your confidence!

Tip 5: After curtains close, game time

So, the webinar has finished and it was a success – well done! The 24-48 hours after the webinar is key. Ensure you follow-up with attendees, thank them for joining and provide them with the recording and slides. Don’t forget about the contacts who registered but didn’t log-on live (up to 35% of webinar sign-ups are people who will want to watch it on-demand) so get the recording and slides over to them too, and thank them for registering.

Go the extra mile – these are you prospects after all – offer free templates to help them get started, a relevant report or thought leadership piece. Anything the attendees didn’t anticipate receiving is an added bonus!

Finally, timely delivery of your well-planned follow-up nurture emails (see tip 2), start now. Over the next few weeks you need to do everything you can to convert some of those prospect leads into customers. Don’t expect them to come to you, they have shown their level of interest across the last few weeks as they have engaged (or not) with your content and virtual event. Now it’s time to nurture them, connect on LinkedIn and find out if there is an opportunity to be won!

Our upcoming webinar will go over How to succeed at virtual events, including how you can make the most of your events. The webinar will take place on Wednesday 24th June, 11am BST. Register now to save your seat.

Check out our previous blog posts on virtual events, including When to hold a virtual event and a summary of our last webinar, Agile in Action.

Zoe MerchantFive tips to a successful Webinar
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The 3 Building Blocks of Agile Marketing

Although many forward-thinking and innovative marketers are already reaping the benefits of the more efficient, agile way of working, with 71% of our survey respondents adopting agile techniques to help them get to market faster this is a common first reaction when discussing agile marketing transformation. You might understand the concept in the general sense, but few can identify what agile marketing actually is, and perhaps even more importantly, what it isn’t.  

Incorporating agility is not about making quick, unfounded decisions as fast as possible to meet a deadline, but about strong, data-driven decision making at pace reacting to market change and continuously learning for optimised results that provide key takeaways for the next sprint of the project. 

There are three core aspects of the agile approach, all of which work together in a successful agile marketing delivery. Check out each component in terms of why it’s important to marketing as a wider function as well as why it is a focus of marketing with agility and pace. If you’d like a more in-depth explanation of what agile is, before deep diving into its components, see our introductory guide. 

Creating the culture 

As the first building block, People is one of the most overlooked and underrated assets of any business. Your team are the driving force that pushes your business forwardan unlimited creative resource and original idea generator that knows no bounds and a big part of the products or services you provide.   

When incorporating agility into your marketing strategy, it is people that will deliver to deadlines, meet campaign KPIs and ultimately ensure the success of this project and beyond.  

The core principles that drive success in an agile team are ownership and transparency. Individuals take responsibility for what they produce, avoiding siloed work by providing transparency to the rest of the team, or Agile Hub.   

Before any project begins, a culture of change and learning with team members is established, creating togetherness, alignment and a positive attitude towards achieving a shared objective. Stakeholder mapping is conducted so as to understand existing processes, dividing roles and responsibilities in a strategic, efficient way. With the internal marketing team’s skills and capabilities reviewed to identify gaps and to help identify how agile marketing experts, such as Bright, can best support throughout the project.  

The natural pace of agile marketing makes it an exciting environment for employees who are willing to embrace a move away from a more traditional approach and they are likely to come away with invaluable learnings for future projects. Without realising, you’ve created a more attractive place to work.  

 Pragmatic process and ways of working 

The second element of an agile marketing strategy is process. As we work towards the set KPIs, embedding new ways of working and improving performance is key.  

Within the sphere of B2B, marketing professionals can be all-too quick to deny the flaws of current processes, instead looking to blame external factors for underperformance. In fact, it’s often only when a project is exposed to a fresh pair of eyes, exploring the unexplored, that holes, flaws and areas for improvement within existing processes come to light. 

When adopting an agile approach, you actively seek and identify issues and risks, as well as the dependencies and barriers that can affect the outcome. By being proactive, you not only minimise the likelihood of risks becoming issues, but you also have a better idea about dependencies and can establish effective workarounds as and when required.   

By applying the test, learn, iterate model to developing processes, businesses are able to make tweaks and amendments to optimise activity based on data combined with previous experience to establish a closed feedback loop and cultivate continuous improvement. In addition, workplaces encourage a culture of learning within teams, empowering internal teams and providing the know-how to continually achieve fantastic results.  

Optimised technology and data driven decisioning  

Technology is seamlessly integrated throughout the marketing function, enabling pace, data visibility and informed decision making. This may sound too ideological; tech is often seen as a barrier and too regularly large investments are made only to be side-lined by excel docs, but it’s the third and final building block.  

Technology has revolutionised the marketing function to allow for capabilities marketing managers could only dream of a few years ago. According to a report from 2018, there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each and every day, a number that is likely to have accelerated along with the growth of the Internet of Things.  2018, there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each and every day, a number that is likely to have accelerated along with the growth of the Internet of Things.  

In order to inform your strategies and create data-driven decisions, it’s essential to put the right tech in place to gain actionable insight. Avoid vanity stats and focus on what can effect change in your results, having a large number of visits to a landing page has little value if they don’t engage with any content on the page or convert.  

Adopting agile ways of working removes the perceived barriers outlined above, recognising the role played by technology, championing the use of automation, CRM and project management software. Map your existing martech, identify the gaps and create an adoption plan to ensure your technology is being used effectively to support the wider marketing team. Learn more about how you can optimise your technology with our recent blog post, Making the most of your martech stack   

Could your team benefit from an agile marketing approach? Contact us today to talk further about your current marketing strategy and how the fantastic team here at Bright will be able to help.

Lydia KirbyThe 3 Building Blocks of Agile Marketing
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Agile Marketing in Action: Adapting to Survive and Thrive

The Bright webinar, Agile marketing in action: Adapting to survive and thrivewent live on Wednesday, 29 April, 11am and safe to say we loved the experience! The virtual event attracted marketing professionals across a diverse range of industries, and it was a brilliant opportunity for us to drive the conversation on all things agile.  

So, What is Agile Marketing?

The session kicked off, after brief introductions to speakers, by defining the term agile, exploring the success of agility in a broader sense in relation to efficiency, pace, innovation, and reduction of issues and risks. Three core values and principles from the original manifesto were then drawn upon in more detail: 

  • Customer focus – spotlight on the buyer journey and how to engage and interact along the way 
  • Experimentation – using a test, learn, iterate approach to generate data-driven insights and results 
  • Minimal viable approach – using short, adaptive strategies to demonstrate success 

Given the current circumstances affecting businesses across the globe, it was important to mention the COVID-19 outbreak to set context and avoid the overused term ‘unprecedented circumstances’, from dominating the conversation. To do so, we explored why agile marketing is no longer a nicety but now business critical and how this ability to adapt to market disruption is crucial for companies of all shapes and sizes.  

We also discussed the challenges our clients and most other marketers are having to deal with at the momentincluding frozen budgets, organisational paralysis and poor change managementThat said, we are starting to see the most forward-thinking firms focus their attention on lead generation and client retention activities to ensure pipelines don’t fall off a cliff. This means they can build momentum and new business to safeguard their businesses and meet revised sales targets for later this year.  

Sian Heaphy, Agile Lead at Bright shared the results of our recent Future of B2B Marketing Report diving into the detail of the survey we undertook and its key findings as well as exploring what these insights actually mean for marketers now. Summing up with the benefits of agile marketing supported by the survey findings and the long-term, tangible benefits we uncovered for teams that adopt an agile way of working  

“It’s given teams greater flexibility, transparency and control over their project tasks. They’re more empowered to collaborate, experiment and react quickly to change when their ideas are validated through the test, learn and iterate approachcritical success factors for resilience.” – Sian Heaphy   

Next, Adrian Brooks, Change Lead at British Medical Association (BMA) talked about his experience of introducing agile marketing to take a new proposition to marketThis lively discussion detailed the BMA’s journey to inject agility and pace into their marketing practices, barriers to adoption (and how they overcame them) and the results and long-term benefits achieved through the adoption of agile marketing 

The session ended with an interactive Q&A, with Adrian and Sian fielding questions from the audience. There were lots of thought-provoking questions we didn’t have time to cover so we’ve created a complete Q&A below for reference.

Q&A

How would you implement agile as a way of working in a traditional environment? 

The key is to start small. You aren’t going to become an agile marketing team overnight. Find a pilot project (proposition development and / or go to market campaigns work really well for a pilot) where you can test a hypothesis using new ways of working.  

Work with an experienced partner (like Bright) and select a handful of your team to work on the pilot and establish an agile marketing hub (3-5 members is a good number) and get them bought into the vision and what you’re trying to achieve. Give them the support and resource they need to run the pilot independently from other activity, taking into account any BAU work they are responsible for.  

I see in the research and the Future of Marketing Report the biggest barrier to getting started with agile marketing is lack of buy-in from leadership – do you have any tips on overcoming this? 

At BMA we were lucky that at a project level, the leadership team was very supportive. We were working on a new proposition targeting a new market so from the get-go the project ethos was to be different and try new things. There was some resistance within the senior leadership due to the new ways of working suggested so we had to build the business case and confidence for this. Demonstrating why being agile and adaptable would help us get better results and help the in-house team get experience. 

BMA had a multi-pronged stakeholder management approach – engaging with the members, steering committee and senior management at a formal level and at a 1:1 level with key people. Regular reporting and transparency on project progress was really critical to generating their buy-inAgile focus on data and the ability to provide them with insight at every stage to demonstrate the learnings and value we were generating on a week by week basis was invaluable to getting engagement and buy-in. 

What tools do you manage each sprint?  

Tooling is a question we see a lot, and it was one of the biggest barriers to adopting agile marketing identified in our survey. 

From a project management perspective, there are a number of ways to get started. Trello is a great tool to get started with to build a simple Kanban board that you can use to create your sprint backlog and monitor progress throughout the sprint. 

For a lot of our projects we use Monday.com which offers the same benefits as Trello but is a much more robust project management tool where everyone can easily understand status and prioritiesIt’s also accessible anywhere by the team which has been important as project team hubs are working remotely.  

From a physical perspective at its simplest, creating a workspace in your office where you can create a Kanban board using a white board or post-it notes can be just as effective. In the current climate this isn’t possible, but it can be a great way of bringing the team together in one area to collaborate.  

The key to successful sprint management is to make sure that whatever tool or mechanism you’re using to track sprints is being utilised by the team, so you get the visibility you need to understand progress. 

Collaboration tools are also key for successful agile hub and management whether you’re using Microsoft Teams, Slack, Skype or any other communication tools, creating a virtual area where team members can interact, collaborate and communicate is critical. 

We also use Mural for many virtual creative ideation sessions and to capture retrospectives at the close of each sprint.  

Did your sprint targets vary or were they quite consistent over time? How many targets were identified for each sprint? 

The short answer is yes. It’s important to create an overarching goal or KPIs for the project or campaign as a whole and then break it down into specific goals or KPIs for each sprint that will move you towards achieving the project goal. 

The great thing about agile ways of working is that it’s data-driven, so you can regularly review your metrics and update and change as you progress. It’s about finding what works and optimising to help you achieve your goal(s). 

Culture – I find that is the major challenge, genuinely the hardest piece. Any suggestions? How do you get people to buy into the process? 

At BMA, they had a very traditional ways of working with siloed teams, so breaking down that culture was really difficult. It was the biggest challenge/barrier to success. We had really fixed ways of working. One of the ways that we started to break this down was to bring managers into the agile hub so we could talk about the process and resources required in real terms. What was needed at each stage and who would be responsible for it. And giving managers that clarity on how the different elements worked together really helped to break down these ingrained ways of working.  

Communication is really important and giving members of the team clear roles and autonomy over their tasks is really powerful, empowering the teams to make their own decisions. With any change you’ll find members of the team who are open to it (and can become great ambassadors for these new ways of working) and others who see it as a threat. Communicate the vision, what you’re trying to achieve and what role they can play in delivering that (and provide the training and support needed to help them) is a great way to start bringing them on that journey.  

If you missed our webinar but like the sound of what you’re reading, fear not, as the recording is now available! View the Agile in Action: Adapting to Survive and Thrive webinar today, join our Agile Marketing Club Meet Up group and keep an eye on our social channels for announcements of the next webinar, coming soon to a home-office near you!  

Sian HeaphyAgile Marketing in Action: Adapting to Survive and Thrive
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When’s the best time to hold a virtual event?

Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic on the 11th March. Since then, life has slowly been grinding to a haltAs social distancing continues to sweep across the world, businesses are having to quickly shift their focus from physical to online events to outlast the outbreak and meet the demands of remote working. 

As detailed in our recent blog post, Agile in Action: Transforming Events at Paceimplementing an agile approach for day-to-day services and creating immersive virtual events is a very real and viable way to quickly adapt and join the digital revolution forced upon usBut to get started, we need to answer an important question, when is the best time to hold a virtual event for global audience?  

Day of the week

At this point in our self-isolation, every day feels like a Sunday and all sense of normality feels like a long-lost concept. Whilst the days may seem to blur into one another, it’s still important to consider which day or days of the week would get the most views for your virtual event 

Win with #WebinarWednesdays

It’s long been suggested that Wednesdays are the best day for a webinar, and the hashtag is proof. However, it’s worth remembering how the data is comprised and that it’s also the most popular day to hold a webinar. Audiences may expect you to host it on a Wednesday, so attendance is likely to see a spike. But, if you don’t promote it well enough, there’s a chance your webinar may get lost in the noise 

Go rogue to stand out

Given the current working conditions, and with the hope of differentiating your virtual event from being put into the category of ‘another boring webinar’, choose an unexpected day of the week for your virtual event. We’re not advocating for a Saturday night presentation here. Opting for a ‘kick-start your week’ Monday session or a slightly more playful ‘fizz at four on Friday’, end-of-the-week kind of occasion may work in your favour. It’s a plus because you won’t be competing for virtual attendees.  

Time of day

When it comes to timings of a virtual event, put the most important people first your attendees.  

For example, if you live and work in America, but you’re targeting UK audiences, you may need to get up at an ungodly hour to ensure you’re making the most of the effective ‘power hours’ in the UK, and vice versa.  

Targeting specific audiences or regions

For most territories, hosting a webinar just before and after lunch works well around 11am or 2pm. There is no indication that this will change as a result of the widespread remote working. Keep an eye on your website analytics to see if there have been any shifts in user behaviour to adapt accordingly.    

Targeting a global audience

Things start to get a little more complicated here. The very nature of time zones means that you can’t please everyone. We recommend firstly prioritising your core target audience, and secondly, taking the necessary steps to limit the disadvantage of not being able to attend in real-time, thus making your event more appealing to all.  

If you’re offering live chats as a networking channel for attendees during your virtual event, keep them live or move them into some kind of forum. Those unable to attend can catch up on the conversation and contribute as appropriate in an ongoing discussion. And for all-day virtual experiences, plan the schedule so that keynotes and the most appealing activities are at the most popular times, ensuring you can capitalise on these incentives. 

Follow the data

Ultimately, don’t rely on your assumptions about what works best with your audience. Want help choosing the best time to hold a virtual event? Check out your Google Analytics to find out when users most frequently visit your site and interact with your content. That’s probably when you can expect them to tune in to your webinar.  

Are you looking to a build pipeline or simply boost engagement with your customers during this challenging time? The day and time you choose can make or break a successful webinar when choosing the best time to hold a virtual event. No matter what you choose, it’s important to adapt your timings to the behaviour of your audience. It’s important to always check your analytics as a first step. Our agile marketing methodology has shown the only way to improve your results is to test, learn and build, ensuring a brighter future once this crisis has passed. Interested in more content on Covid-19? Check out our recent blog posts including the ultimate working-from-home survival guide and Staying healthy in the wake of Covid-19 

Zoe MerchantWhen’s the best time to hold a virtual event?
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Getting started with agile marketing

Agile Hubs are your key to unlocking integrated, sustainable marketing transformation

Digital transformation has been in the spotlight for nearly a decade and it remains well entrenched in the average business agenda today. But what about your marketing? How can it adapt to keep up with a changing business whilst meeting market demands?

There’s no doubt that organisation-wide transformation takes time, but marketing often seems to be preoccupied with business as usual or last on the list. Perhaps that’s because there are multiple forces at work in marketing that you’d have to bring into the transformation process. These typically include driving efficiencies, controlling costs, developing insight to drive continual improvement, and making effective use of emerging technology whilst improving your customer experience. And, whilst you make changes to your ways of working, you still need your marketing to demonstrate ROI, realise value in the short term and meet your business goals – smooth marketing transformation is therefore vital to the business as a whole.

It’s a lot to manage, think about and plan for all at once. So, where do you start? It is possible to transform your marketing to drive results that support your business goals, all whilst maintaining activity, but it’s a complex process. Having worked with many companies who are embarking on change, we know how important it is to approach this in a systematic, yet adaptable way – through testing, learning and building on success.

Driving results whilst changing at pace

Introducing Agile Marketing Hubs – your personal resource of marketing expertise and innovation. It’s where your in-house team, suppliers and specialists come together to work as one, strong, fully blended team of experts to effectively embed agile ways of working into your culture and operations.

Through hands-on experience in agile delivery of your marketing content, you’ll see greater productivity, energy and collaboration in your marketing team. Agile hubs are the answer to complex marketing transformation and a proven alternative to restrictive traditional techniques or reactive, ad-hoc and unstructured ways of working.

Demonstrating the value of your marketing

As you continue to work in an agile way, continually learning, building and improving, your team will begin to naturally work together more efficiently and effectively. You’ll also enable more cross-collaboration between different stakeholders and teams in the business – encouraging valuable knowledge-sharing and proving the power of your marketing to drive business goals.

Our tech and consulting clients in high growth and large enterprises have all reported seeing the following benefits from adopting an Agile Marketing Hub:

    Faster time to market   Data-driven decision making
 Proving marketing ROI at pace    Productivity and up-skilling
   Clear KP and objective setting Scalable agility and innovation

 

In our recent survey, 75% of those who have been practicing agile marketing for more than a year had a better understanding of the power and impact of their marketing. It’s clear that these benefits increase exponentially with prolonged practice of an agile approach.

Fired up to ignite agility in your marketing?

As your company undergoes digital transformation or needs to rapidly adapt in uncertain times, your marketing needs to keep pace with the market and maintain daily operations. This is a complex challenge that requires time and resources as well as constant support from business leaders and marketing experts.  Many struggle to get started and simply lack the tools, support or know-how to embed agile ways of working into their marketing.

With Bright’s Agile Marketing Hubs, you can ignite agility and ensure seamless, integrated and sustainable marketing transformation – with the tools, tactics and concepts you need to drive better results and meet business goals.

Ready to get started? Get in touch to set up an Agile Hub for your marketing today.

Download our report on the Future of B2B marketing to find out the latest insights in B2B marketing and how agile plays a role in transforming the future of marketing.

Sian HeaphyGetting started with agile marketing
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