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Getting started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Building a marketing backlog

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Getting started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Building a marketing backlog

We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers in the article A new way to navigate agile marketing. The navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles. Within these categories, there are several sub-pieces for implementation. In recent articles, we covered the pieces in the first stop of the navigator, the Collaborative Planning Workshop.

Now we’re going to dive into the next stop on your agile marketing journey — the Launch Cycle. The Launch Cycle is a repeatable cadence for delivering valuable marketing experiences early and often. Within the Launch Cycle there are five key components — Marketing Backlog, Cycle Planning, Daily Huddle, Team Showcase and Team Improvement. If you’re familiar with the Scrum framework, there are a lot of similarities here — with a few different nuances to make it more applicable to marketers.

Building and managing an effective Marketing Backlog

Now, let’s dive into the Marketing Backlog and some tips and tricks for marketers to be most effective. 

The Marketing Backlog is an ordered list of prioritized work that the agile team will pull from to work on in their Launch Cycle. The backlog is emergent, not static, and changes as new information is learned. 

This part of the framework is incredibly important and can have a major impact on how marketers work. First of all, there’s one shared place where all work lives. This avoids work happening “behind the scenes” that no one knows about.

In fact, one client that I worked with took all of the work that was already assigned to stakeholders, put it in a single backlog and realized that it would take five years to deliver! It’s with this level of transparency that teams and leaders can begin to visualize everything the team is doing and start to really understand what’s important and what may just be someone’s pet project.

There are many tools for managing your marketing backlog and they all have their pros and cons. The main thing to watch out for is ensuring that everyone on the team, as well as stakeholders have access. We want to build a transparent system.

If you’ve started with the Collaborative Planning Workshop, you’ve already begun to build out the Marketing Backlog. The items in your Minimally Viable Launch will go near the top, and other items will fall below. Work is never guaranteed until the team starts working on it, and even then sound business reasons could cause them to pivot, although that shouldn’t be the norm.

Prioritizing the backlog is one of the key responsibilities of the Marketing Owner. While they don’t do this in a vacuum and conversations with stakeholders are imperative, this role has the ultimate authority to decide what order the team will work on and which items won’t be considered (there are always way more good ideas than time).

The role of the Marketing Owner

The Marketing Owner needs to really understand the business value that each idea brings. Each marketing backlog should be thought of in terms of:

  • Level of effort it will take the team to complete (let’s face it — all things aren’t created equal. Building a Tesla may take longer than a base model Honda, so think through marketing ideas as well).
  • What value does it bring to customers? Joy? Satisfaction? Solves a problem? Addresses a cause?
  • What will the business gain from this idea, and how does it tie to business goals, KPIs and revenue?

Stakeholders, customers and team members should all be thinking about new ideas all of the time and everyone is invited to submit ideas to the backlog. However, it’s at the Marketing Owner’s discretion to decide which ideas will be worked on by the team and when.


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Work should never be directly assigned to a team member in agile marketing. It should be submitted to the backlog or discussed with the marketing owner as it needs to be visible and prioritized among everything else.

In agile marketing, backlog items should be used to test and learn and are thought of as micro-experiments, rather than large campaign blasts. 

While a backlog item may be for a post on Facebook, the team should be thinking in terms of testing elements, such as content. If the content is successful, similar content pieces would be on the backlog. However, if the content doesn’t perform well, the team would want to think of new backlog items with different content.


agile marketing workflow

Catch up on the Agile Marketing Navigator series!


The backlog may contain some business as usual items to keep the lights on, but the majority of items should be small, testable experiments that can quickly get to customers for real-time feedback.

If you haven’t started a marketing backlog yet, what are you waiting for?


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Stacey knows what it’s like to be a marketer, after all, she’s one of the few agile coaches and trainers that got her start there. After graduating from journalism school, she worked as a content writer, strategist, director and adjunct marketing professor. She became passionate about agile as a better way to work in 2012 when she experimented with it for an ad agency client. Since then she has been a scrum master, agile coach and has helped with numerous agile transformations with teams across the globe. Stacey speaks at several agile conferences, has more certs to her name than she can remember and loves to practice agile at home with her family. As a lifelong Minnesotan, she recently relocated to North Carolina where she’s busy learning how to cook grits and say “y’all.”

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How to Use UX Research to Help Your Company Grow: 3 Proven Tips

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How to Use UX Research to Help Your Company Grow: 3 Proven Tips

Who knows your target audience better than your team? Your clients themselves. Users with their demands, likings, and desires are mostly the voices that go unnoticed as companies seek to have a smooth user experience.

Having a good team’s commitment, enthusiasm, and hard work will not compensate for the gap in knowledge between what your customers need and what your team believes they will require.

User experience (UX) research overpasses this imbalance throughout the UX design process, making sure that your company ends up saving resources, expanding loyalty, and providing the best UX for each and every user. Discover more about UX research, its solid business importance, and what to test first.

How can organizations employ UX research?

User experience research focuses on ensuring that your customers have a pleasurable interaction while using your service or product. It is critical to consider UX research from the start of any project, as making changes later can be costly and time-consuming.

Here are some ideas for how businesses can perform UX research:

  • Ensure that you know who your intended audience is and what they require from your service or product.
  • Spend some time learning about the user journey — what actions do they take to accomplish a task? Where do they become perplexed or disappointed?
  • Data and feedback should be used to continuously enhance the user experience. Check your product or service with actual users on a regular basis and take note of their feedback.
  • Don’t start from the beginning. To get started, there are various off-the-shelf methods and digital options for UX research.
  • Ensure that your project has adequate resources.

Three useful practices in UX research

The UX research method plays an important role in your analysis. You need to consider the pros and cons of different techniques. For example, there are methods that are cheap and easy but can take a lot of time when it comes to analysis.  Another limitation is your available resources, which will dictate when, how much and what type of UX research you can do. We selected  a couple of methods for you that combine affordability and quality at the same time. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Usability testing

The process of evaluating a product or service by checking it with actual users is referred to as usability testing. Throughout a test, respondents will typically attempt to finish basic tasks while observers witness, listen, and take down notes. The goal is to pinpoint any design flaws, gather qualitative and quantitative data, and assess the person involved in overall product satisfaction.

Usability testing allows both design and development teams to discover issues prior to them being programmed. The sooner problems are discovered and resolved, the less pricey the modifications will be in aspects of both staff time and potential schedule impact.

UX survey

Among the most widespread UX research methods for gathering both qualitative and quantitative feedback from your customers is the UX survey. It assists you in better comprehending customer habits and determining what appears to work and what does not, allowing you to prioritize adjustments to your product’s UX.

UX surveys provide a cost-effective way for a SaaS business offering long-term growth to gather customer feedback and make data-driven judgments. UX surveys can help you identify conflicting points in your product’s UX design and provide you with the information you need to improve the user experience.

Session Recording

Session recording is a descriptive research tool that records website visitor surfing sessions in real-time, allowing you to observe the recordings afterward to gain a deeper visitor behavior perspective. It allows marketers to comprehend a user’s entire route on their website, which includes clicks, scrolls, and mouse movements, among other things.

Session recording enables detailed evaluation and study of visitors’ browsing activity, the realization of experience breakage, and the identification of friction sectors, which then aids in the repair of what is damaged and the optimization of UX, resulting in higher conversion rates.

Session recording records your users’ actual life cycle on your webpage so you can find out which parts of it lure them the most, pushes them deeper into the sales funnel or causes them to fall out, diverts attention from a page’s primary CTA, resulting in low sales, and so on. Such information allows you to make confident, data-driven strategic decisions.

What are the consequences of skipping UX research?

Companies recognize the consequences of bad decisions: lost money, time, brand image, and occasionally even the entire organization.

Trying to skip user research will frequently result in poor corporate strategy based on anything other than factual customer feedback, such as:

  • Preoccupation with fashion and design trends. Designers are frequently enamored with the newest trends and believe that if they do not implement them, they really aren’t in tune with the times.
  • Emotional commitment. Creators and product owners frequently allow their own emotions to affect their capacity to recognize where enhancements could be made.
  • Personal views. Many executives generate decisions based on deeply held values and allow their egos to take precedence over acknowledging user needs.

In the end, it is clear that implementing UX design can benefit companies in a variety of ways. In addition to increasing customer satisfaction and conversions, it can also contribute to lowering support and product production costs.

Moreover, satisfied clients are more likely to participate in favorable word-for-word marketing, which can support attracting additional business. As a result, companies that invest in UX design can anticipate seeing remarkable long-term growth.

No time to underestimate UX

In this blog we have considered a simple but important part of UX research. There are many other methods of conducting this analysis, but you can start with the basics. There is no need to doubt the importance and usefulness of UX research, so we advise you to start implementing it today!

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