“Agile” marketing is all the rage, with most marketers somehow jumping on the agility-buzzword bullhank bandwagon. So how do we separate posers and pontiffs? The answer lies in this question: Has YOUR marketing partner actualized functionally agile products and services? Or are they scurrying about like rats chasing cheese long gone, riding the 2014 wave another year until obsolescence finally puts bad agencies out of their misery?
Agile Marketing Meter: Hot or NOT
We’ve studied plenty of agile marketing principles through manifestos, blogs, podcasts, videos and even Sherpas. Here are agility questions marketers should be asking:
- How does agility save agency clients’ money now? (Quick, check your invoices.)
- What service/products have agencies fielded that substantially change marketing outcomes?
- When will new, more agile processes filter down to change the workflow of established marketing agencies?
- Where do clients turn to reduce costs and dramatically increase efficiencies?
- Who can clients work with to declutter their marketing?
To address — and solve for— these questions, we’ve assembled a process we refer to as a marketing hackathon. Taking inspiration from legendary coding teams, we assemble a handful of uber-smart marketers in one room and task them with undertaking all immediately executable tasks, while also solving any surmountable issues that arise.
Hackathon WHAT!? How They Work
Productive organized chaos requires… organization. First, we ask clients to answer a series of questions, discuss responses and decide on the first course(s) of action.
Kicking off a marketing hackathon requires a number of components — from dev, tech and design to AdWords RLSA, landing page tweaks, Facebook Ads, retargeting and creative mapping. We define the skills necessary and assign Aimclear teammates to cover. Four to six people is typically necessary, including a senior strategist, creative, etc.
Hackathons, which typically last a full day, run best when the client or single representative (with creative approval authority) is in attendance. The goal is to launch in-channel hackathon day. If the goal can’t be reached in an aggregate 36 hours with all-at-the-same-time-same-room efficiencies, then the marketing hackathon’s goals are too broad. The goal can be applied to nearly any product or services Aimclear offers. After the hackathon, we monitor the launch and report for one week, letting the client know how things are going.
Here’s an example hackathon deal, drawn up. The goal is to flesh out and launch campaigns in multiple channels and to set up retargeting.
AIMCLEAR® Marketing Hackathon Scope of Services
4 People, 6 Hours
Aimclear will execute a sprint-like event in which specialized marketers collaborate intensively, including with client as needed, to launch paid campaigns real-time.
- Person 1: Paid Social / Retargeting / Creative / Data (This Aimclear person can do all of these things, a valuable team member indeed)
- Person 2: AdWords / Creative / Data
- Person 3: Creative Director / Client Services
- Person 4: Data / Create
Aimclear will deploy first campaigns (In-channel during Hackaton):
- Google Search
- Facebook Ads
- Gathering Data for Facebook Retargeting
- To provide Aimclear all approved creative in advance; and/or
- Be available during the entire six-hour hackathon to give feedback and approve creative;
- Designate an approved media spend amount for initial test one month;
- Provide Aimclear in advance with their credit card information for media spend and Aimclear fees.
During the up to three week testing period, Aimclear will:
- Monitor the accounts on a daily basis; and/or
- Make adjustments; and/or
- Discontinue campaign nodes as Aimclear deems prudent;
- Launch new campaigns at Aimclear’s discretion;
- While campaigns are active, send Client updates each business day, 1-2 tweets in length
- A representative from Aimclear’s team will brief Client via screen share for 40 minutes
- Materials will be presented in the form Aimclear deems most effective for least overhead
- Aimclear will support client in determining next steps, including Aimclear’s potential future involvement.
Fee for Services
Agency Fee: $_______j
Media Spend: not to exceed $_______, or as we agree
The REAL Agile Deal
Agile is as agile does. The measure is to change methods to save our clients money now. You can tell if YOUR agency or in-house teams are gaining agility if workflow is evolving and costs are coming down. Take into consideration the questions we posed at the start of this post. Preaching agility is one thing, but answering the agile marketing questions the world should be asking is another. Hackathons have been the answer(s) for our team and clients, allowing us to move fast, solve for the long-term and LAUNCH profitable campaigns in record-breaking-time.
Anything less is #BULLHANK.