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New Product Campaign

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Tactical Metrics in Your Agile Marketing Backlog

In my last post about your Marketing Backlog, I talked about how to approach events as an Agile Marketer and useful metrics that will allow you to adapt and improve the effectiveness of your events.  Likewise, in this post I’ll use a new product campaign as an example for additional tactical metrics.  And just like the metrics I mentioned for events, there’s no rocket science or black magic here – it’s a matter of defining metrics that are meaningful, straightforward to collect, easy to understand and then having the discipline to track them over time to make improvements.

Let’s say we’re the marketing team at Insane-o Corporation, a company I’m totally making up for this blog post.  And we’re going to launch a new product, the Maxi-Mini, that will expand our existing Maxi product line.  What does it do?  What are its benefits?  Ehh – this is just an example, so I’ll leave all the details up to your imagination.

At Insane-o Corporation, we’ve categorized our campaign activities into four marketing backlog buckets – awareness, consideration, decision, and loyalty.  If you’re familiar with the buyer’s journey concept then these buckets will be familiar too.  If you’re a funnel gal or guy, you might’ve called them TOFU, MOFU, conversion and retention.  And because we’re Agile Marketers, we’re focused on getting the minimum viable campaign out the door as soon as possible with real metrics so we can start learning, adapting, and improving.  Don’t know what a minimum viable campaign is?  Did I mention I teach a class on Agile Marketing (hint, hint)?

Let’s start with awareness.  Because Insane-o is a household name, we don’t have to worry about branding at that level.  The Maxi product line is well known in its existing markets, but Maxi-Mini is going after a segment that we haven’t served before.  And the Maxi-Mini product is certainly new, so we should do some activities to build product awareness.  Furthermore, our buyer persona research showed us that most of our potential buyers will search for keywords related to their paint-points.

  • We’ve done a lot of effective PPC campaigns in the past, and we know specific keywords from our buyer persona research.  So we’ll do a PPC campaign that takes people to content that raises awareness of Maxi-Mini.
  • We’ll use multiple versions of the content to test what works best.
  • What will we measure?  We’ll measure standard PPC-related metrics like impressions, rank, CPC and CTR.
  • We’ll also measure the overall impact on Maxi-Mini awareness.  Simplest and easiest way is with a single survey question: “List the products you think of for… “ and here’s where you insert whatever pain-points you imagined for Maxi-Mini.  Note which rank Maxi-Mini appears in the answer if it appears at all.  Repeat this survey periodically.

Moving on to consideration.  Even if people are aware of Maxi-Mini, there are other competing products that address the same need.  When people are considering solutions, we need to provide content that will lead them to Maxi-Mini and position it effectively.  And our buyer persona research indicates that product trials are the overwhelmingly preferred way of narrowing down options.

  • We create a special trial-version of Maxi-Mini that lets people use the product long enough to see the benefits but not much longer than that.
  • We include the trial version as the call-to-action from our awareness content.
  • What will we measure?  We’ll measure how many people request the trial-version of Maxi-Mini and the conversion rate from the awareness content.
  • We’ll also make sure the trial version reports back what features were used and how often – of course we’ve gotten user-consent to do this first!

Next we look at the decision.  When people choose Maxi-Mini, we want them to feel good about their decision.  From our buyer persona research, we know that a lot of buyers research products like Maxi-Mini using input from friends and colleagues via social media.

  • We create a social media “group” for new customers to share their recent purchase experiences.
  • We monitor the group to ensure we follow-up on any concerns quickly.
  • What will we measure?  We’ll look at how many tweets/likes/etc. are generated by new customers.

Finally, we look at loyalty.  The Maxi-Mini is designed to last for 6-12 months of typical use.  Of course, we want Maxi-Mini customers to keep buying Maxi-Mini until the sun explodes or their problems are solved, whichever comes first.

  • When people buy a Maxi-Mini, we give them the option to receive automated reminder emails to check if their Maxi-Mini needs replacement every 6 months.  The reminder emails link to a re-order form.
  • What will we measure?  Our CRM system should be able to tell us our customer churn rate, e.g. the % turn-over in a given period of time.  In our case, we’ll likely look 12-month periods.
  • We will also look at the opt-in rate for the emails, the open rate for emails, and the conversion rate on the re-order form.

So there you have it – a new product campaign that can take a potential buyer completely through their journey.  So what’s Agile about it?

  • I kept referring to our buyer persona research – Agile Marketers take the time to understand their customers!
  • We put together the minimal campaign to get results and start learning.  We did this by choosing a tactic for each stage of the journey and ensuring we have metrics to measure its effectiveness.
  • You can imagine getting this set of activities done in a matter of weeks (or even days).  And then you can let your metrics guide you to where you need to try alternative tactics or tweak the ones you already have.

Before anyone gets worked-up about this “new product campaign” being too simplistic, or this or that other critique, keep in mind that it’s a fictional example in a blog post to connect the dots on some concepts – your actual mileage may certainly vary.  That said, I consider this admittedly small set of tactics to be a practical example.  Some of you certainly know how to execute much more complex campaigns, while I know that for others, doing anything that intentionally covers the entire buyer’s journey would be an improvement.

Bringing this back to marketing backlogs.  Imagine putting these metrics up on your physical backlog board next to their associated buckets.  Or in your electronic scrum tool.  Or at least linking to a dashboard with these metrics.  So when you are doing your sprint planning, you can point to the board and explain to the team why you’re focusing their work on this or that – you’ll have the metrics there where everyone, including stakeholders, can see them and easily tell whether or not things are up to snuff.

So what tactical metrics do you use today and which ones you wish you were using?  And have you tried to get “minimum viable campaigns” out the door – if so, what were the results?  I’d love to hear about your experiences!

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