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Creating an Agile Marketing Framework - Centerline Digital - Version 1 - March 2016

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Marketers must become more agile to keep up with the speed of communication. Creating an Agile Marketing Framework is a methodology for brands to operate more like media companies – to pursue stories of value to their audiences like journalists.

While foundational elements of marketing solutions—like brand goals, audience understanding and measurement—will remain, the mediums, channels, contributors and pace must be constantly adjusted and optimized to reach audiences with valuable content.

Learn more: http://www.centerline.net

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Creating an Agile Marketing Framework - Centerline Digital - Version 1 - March 2016

  1. 1. Creating Valuable Content With the Agile Marketing Framework Version 1: March 2016
  2. 2. | 2 The Agile Marketing Framework was developed by Centerline to help the world’s most progressive enterprises better connect with their target audiences.
  3. 3. | 3 244 Brand Goals Open-EndedPersonas StorylinesChannels Contributors Feedback Loops The Ability To Rapidly Act With Valuable Content Agile Marketing Framework The marketplace for marketing services (as meta as that sounds) changes faster than any other. Communication trends and channels come and go in a weeks time, yet thought leaders and “known” marketing innovators must constantly be in front of how those trends will affect awareness, engagement, lead generation and sales. Journalistic Process
  4. 4. | 4 244 Brand Goals Open-EndedPersonas StorylinesChannels Contributors Feedback Loops The Ability To Rapidly Act With Valuable Content Agile Marketing Framework So while foundational elements of marketing solutions—like brand goals, audience understanding and measurement—will remain, the mediums, channels, contributors and pace must be constantly adjusted and optimized to reach audiences with valuable content. Journalistic Process
  5. 5. | 5 Brand Goals The starting point of nearly any business endeavor is clearly articulating the goals for the company, the brand, the product and the communication. That statement becomes the guiding principle for the business and all who communicate the mission of the business. The starting point for an Agile Marketing Framework should be no different. The brand goal becomes the ultimate touch stone for content creators. Through research and workshops, we’ll become as steeped in those goals as you are, so that we are partners with you in publicly articulating and achieving those goals. 244 The Ability To Rapidly Act With Valuable Content
  6. 6. | 6 Open-Ended Personas Personas (profiles, etc.) are a necessary starting point in understanding your audience. The problem, though, is that once personas look nice on a PowerPoint slide, organizations tend to think they’re done. Not to be disturbed. We believe those personas must constantly be revisited, questioned, added to, subtracted from or outright changed based on information gained through action and measurement. Every engagement around a piece of content created or placed should be seen as both marketing and market research. If you’re going to be agile (and more successful) with your content, you must be agile in your audience understanding. 244 The Ability To Rapidly Act With Valuable Content
  7. 7. | 7 Storylines Most marketing plans detail things to be made (like a whitepaper or infographic) and activities to do (like what to show and say at an event). But only thinking about things to make and do is shortsighted when you consider the amount and rate of change in people’s needs and mindsets, and in the context around their conversations. Focusing on storylines that are of interest to our audience—rather than specific campaigns, taglines or content types—allows us to be more agile with marketing, to go where the story takes us. Storylines allow us to create content and contribute to conversations over time, rather than in singular instances of “big reveals.” It puts us in the mindset of answering questions your audience is asking right now, rather than trying to own keywords that may (or may not) lead to selling your product. 244 The Ability To Rapidly Act With Valuable Content
  8. 8. | 8 Channels The channels through which you connect with your audience and tell stories of relevance are defined by the audience’s preferences. You have to meet them where they are, not where we wish they were. And the channels define the mediums. That may sound obvious, but time and again, it proves to be overlooked. Companies create whitepapers, when their audience is getting their deep information from specific LinkedIn groups. Businesses invest in three-minute customer testimonial videos, when their audience is primarily connecting on Instagram. By thinking about audience propensities (and storylines) before channels, you'll be more successful in connecting with your audience. And the responses within those channels will continue to feed your need for new angles of the story to chase. 244 The Ability To Rapidly Act With Valuable Content
  9. 9. | 9 Contributors Brand communication is important. But people want to talk to other people, not to faceless brands. And the people your audience is most interested in accessing are the experts within your organization, or, more so, the experts in your industry that are outside your organization. The job of marketing is to empower and support those expert representatives – in content creation and ad hoc conversation. Identifying those internal and external experts (influencers!) that you’re going to ask to regularly contribute, and detailing how you’ll give them continually updated information to do so, is imperative. 244 The Ability To Rapidly Act With Valuable Content
  10. 10. | 10 Feedback Loops Measurement (and monitoring) has been alluded to many times within the other tenets of this framework, but it’s important enough to stand on its own. As a feedback loop—a defined process and means to collect data around content and engagements—it’s critical for agile marketing. A capability to immediately put that data to use in improving content and engagements is just as critical. The data should be both quantitative (how many people engaged with this story versus that one) and qualitative (what additional questions were people asking after engaging). The first is essential in testing channels, mediums and storylines; the second is instrumental in sparking new facets to storylines. It’s becoming possible to track and connect nearly everything. Having a plan for what you’re tracking, why, and what you’ll do with it, will make your content marketing more agile. 244 The Ability To Rapidly Act With Valuable Content
  11. 11. | 11 Journalistic Process Content marketing is a long-term investment. So it’s imperative to define the process by which you’ll consistently produce great stories of value and constantly be filling the queue with new story ideas and revised storylines. Traditional “marketing plan” driven editorial calendars tend to be overly programed and rigid. They don’t provide for understanding the context of “right now” and adding in new actions and content on the fly. A journalistic mindset to content creation allows for such contextual relevance. An editorial calendar that supports an agile, journalistic process is one that defines premier content at specific intervals that take longer to create, and constantly add ideas for related ad-hoc content that can be rapidly made and placed. 244 The Ability To Rapidly Act With Valuable Content Journalistic Process
  12. 12. | 12 Want to learn more? Centerline Digital 509 W. North St. Raleigh, NC 27603 919.821.2921 digitalmarketing@centerline.net Twitter: @Centerline LinkedIn: company/center-line-productions John Lane Chief Strategy Officer john@centerline.net Twitter: @johnvlane LinkedIn: in/JohnVLane
  13. 13. | 13 About Centerline
  14. 14. | 14 We approach marketing challenges from a holistic perspective… …With the knowledge that strategy, process, people, content and technology needs are all intertwined. …With the perspective that unique challenges require unique approaches and that one-size-fits-all solutions don't work. …With the understanding that valuable information—not catchy taglines—is what people crave.
  15. 15. | 15 We help our clients connect with their audiences through value- driven marketing. That includes: Digital Strategy, at the intersection of business goals and audience understanding, content planning and measurement frameworks. Creative Storytelling, through video, animation, interactive experiences, event content and long-form written content. Content Activation, through owned channels, social media integration and community management, PR and paid media. Centerline is built to continually evolve, to always have the talent, understanding, and capabilities to solve the most complex marketing challenges of “today.” Our clients include:

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