August 27, 2019 Andrew Warren-Payne
As marketers, we often spend a lot of time sweating the small stuff.
We strive for perfection in every campaign we run, stressing over every aspect from the channels we choose to use, to the time of day we send an email newsletter. We agonise over whether the white paper we are about to release contains all the ‘right’ words and if the colour scheme we chose will really appeal to our intended audience. We revise, review and revise again.
Perfectionism isn’t a bad thing, and it definitely has its place. However, while we are making sure every ‘T’ has been crossed and ‘I’ dotted, time is ticking away and we are losing out on opportunities to reach potential buyers.
I feel much of this legacy comes from marketing’s background. In the pre-digital era, things had to be right as there often wasn’t a chance to change things. Ads and brochures were printed. A single TV campaign took a whole quarter’s budget.
But the fastest moving companies are now taking a leaf from startups, which typically care less about being perfect and care more about getting things done. In fact, while being agile in the sense of this blog post means moving quickly, agile as a project management approach is concerned with shipping usable increments for each sprint. Perfection can come later.
Recently, I’ve been exploring the topic of scrappy marketing as an answer. Scrappy marketing is all about just getting something out there in front of your buyers. It’s quick and a bit unpolished, but it provides quick feedback and allows us to see what works and what doesn’t without going through the long process of nit-picking every aspect of a campaign before sending it out into the world.
So, what can scrappy marketing do for you? To have a closer look, I recently held a webinar on Getting Agile with Scrappy Marketing: Top Tips for Fast Success, which is also on-demand. Here are a few highlights.
How can scrappy marketing benefit you?
One of the key benefits of scrappy marketing, especially for those who have limited resources, is that it’s about doing more with less. There always seems to be pressure to get a lot done in a short amount of time and with far fewer resources than we’d like. With scrappy marketing, the focus on just getting your marketing out there without the constant revision and overthinking that goes along with trying to be perfect.
As a result of getting marketing out there quickly, you’re able to see what works faster and what can be improved before you send it out again. This cycle means you are learning by doing and the process is much faster than if you spent the time to polish a campaign before getting it out there.
An extra benefit of scrappy marketing is that it sets you apart from your competitors in terms of speed, volume and personality. Remember, everyone loves an underdog and if your marketing is a little rough around the edges, buyers will take notice.
What are the barriers to being scrappy?
Of course, there can be things that stand in the way of getting scrappy. This is especially true if you work in a sector that is heavily regulated, where sign off is required and can slow the process down. Other issues such as rigid or inefficient processes and poor communication can act as barriers as well.
Getting the sign off from management might also stand in the way of running a scrappy marketing campaign. In that case, you might propose to run a small campaign in this fashion, just to test it out. That way you will hopefully end up with data that will support your desire to use scrappy marketing on a larger scale.
Where should you start?
The first step to getting scrappy is getting your team on board. There may be resistance because change can be difficult but, by creating a sense of urgency and excitement and removing the fear of failure, they will soon be jumping at the chance to get scrappy.
Use data to inspire your campaign ideas. Take advantage of external data such as Google Autocomplete and social data along with the customer data you have, including engagement metrics and questions from your customers. Don’t forget to ask your sales team because they will know what your customers are saying they need.
From there, start getting creative and use some scrappy tactics like micro-campaigns and COPE (create once, publish everywhere) to get your marketing out there.
Interested in learning more?
What are your thoughts about scrappy marketing? Have you tried this approach already?
To hear more about what was discussed in the session, you can listen to it on-demand here.