In times of economic uncertainty, companies are watching their budgets closely and only investing in those initiatives that bring real value to the team, without a lot of wiggle room for drawn out experiments that do not produce results. This reality is especially true for startups and other young companies. The marketing team is often one of the first teams under the microscope, constantly proving their initiatives ROI. But how can the team ensure the content that is being produced is timely, brings value, and that new team members can quickly join the team and start producing content?
Agile marketing has been written about extensively as striking the balance between structure and flexibility. The two main goals of this sort of structure is to create expectations for how fast high quality content can be delivered and to give the team enough freedom to assess whether or not a current approach to content is bringing value. An agile approach pushes the customers, users to the forefront as content marketers are either creating content that is specifically requested by prospects or are coming up with new ideas that create traction (and abandoning them if this isn’t the case).
Although most companies create a tailored framework to their needs, it is usually based off of two frameworks, Scrum or Kanban. Scrum is generally more efficient for slightly larger teams. Kanban tends to work better for smaller teams, less than ten people. If the team is too large when using a Kanban method, it is easy to lose visibility and prioritization. The most important thing about whatever system you choose or create is that it does not get in the way of the goal of the content. The marketing team should try to strike a balance between reactive content which is requested by users or prospects and proactive content which can establish authority and credibility within the industry. One of the most important time management techniques is to think of content and projects in iterations that make it easier to get a V1 off the ground. If the first version gains traction, then it is a good indicator that more time can be invested in it. If not, maybe the team members are better utilized in other places.
Given the constant changes to content needs, priorities, and goals, at GraphCMS, our marketing team has adapted a system that works not only for our current team members but is flexible enough for new team members to get up to speed with. The priority was to ensure that we had both an internal marketing team tracking system and a company-wide content overview, where the rest of the commercial team could see what content is in production and make suggestions based on customer and community feedback. Our method combines the prioritization and sprint structure of Scrum and the Kanban board style overview for our company-wide information. Just as we view content as iterative, we also view this process as iterative. If after a couple of months we notice areas where we can improve, the team and the structure is flexible enough to make those adjustments. In an upcoming post, I will take a deeper dive into our current content process.