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The Benefits of the Agile Process in Web Marketing

Steve Bevilacqua of IQ Marketing

Steve Bevilacqua of IQ Marketing

 

 

Steve Bevilacqua, of IQ Marketing, talks about the value of Agile project management in advertising and marketing projects. Today Steve compares creating a website using the old school waterfall method versus complete redesign of the web site using Agile project management. The results are revealing…

 

The Benefits of the Agile Process in Web Marketing

Benefits of Agile Project Management

Benefits of Agile Project Management

In my last post I discussed what Agile and Scrum are, how they can work at an agency, and the 4 top reasons our clients tell us they value working in an Agile way.  Today I want to dive a little deeper into an example of how Agile is flexible, and saves clients time and money.

Many agencies that have moved to Agile claim productivity increases. I’ve seen everything from 25% to 600%!  Of course, a lot depends on how dysfunctional the delivery method was in the first place.

What we do know (and have good data for) is the consistent failure of the traditional waterfall or spiral methods to achieve success, especially with complex engagements.  Since this describes practically all projects that a modern agency is called on to deliver, you can see the problem. We believe the answer is Agile.

At IQ, we had the opportunity to compare the performance of traditional and Agile methods in creating a website for a client. The first version we built using traditional methods and then sometime later we redesigned it using Agile. The results were astonishing.

Agile saved the client over 25% in cost and launched the project 2 months quicker than the previous site. Compared side by side, there was an amazing 75% improvement in both the cost and time to implement.  Equally important the client enjoyed the process and felt they were actually a true partner instead of an adversary. Let’s take a look at a few specific elements of what happened:

Read the entire post at: http://blog.iqagency.com/benefits-of-agile-process/#sthash.W6rCih1y.dpuf

Online Retailers Reduce Product Returns with Customer Training Videos

“When the home-shopping network started seeing returns spike for an at-home facial toning device last year, it began emailing purchasers a video with additional instructions on how to use the gadget. The return rate dropped by 30% …”

The free shipping policies and lenient return policies that encourage online shopping also encourage customers to return merchandise. Return items are a rising cost of business for traditional retailers like Nordstrom as well as online retailers Amazon, Zappos and Rue La La.

Retailers are using a number of ways to cut returned products, according to writer Shelly Banjo’s article in the Wall Street Journal. Tactics include suggesting better sizes at the time of order, discounts if the customer keeps the order and customer training videos have worked to cut the volume of costly product returns.

The most interesting method to detour returns is helping customers use the product better with online training videos. The December 24 article, Rampant Returns Plague E-Retailers,  explains how home shopping channel QVC countered a rise in product returns, by “sending customers post-purchase emails with instructional videos on, say, how to put a vacuum cleaner together or the best ways to style a scarf”. The online training videos worked and “when the home-shopping network started seeing returns spike for an at-home facial toning device last year, it began emailing purchasers a video with additional instructions on how to use the gadget. The return rate dropped by 30% …”.

The 30% decline in product returns proves the value of helping customers learn more about their problem before the sale and the value of learning more about the product after the sale. This online retail return data proves the value of content marketing in improving customer satisfaction.

 

 

Include Search Marketers, Social Media Marketers and Other Teams Early in the Marketing Campaign

 “Having everyone on the same page early on helps prevent over-promising expectations to a client or worse – backtracking late into a project. ”

For those of you who have worked at digital marketing agencies here in Atlanta, this question will resonate, “Have you ever been pulled into marketing campaign planning at the last minute”?
Drew Hawkins
You’re working on a marketing campaign proposal or a report, when you’re hustled into a quick meeting with an account manager. They’ve been planning a marketing campaign and now that the creative is finished, they want you to throw in some social media marketing or perhaps some SEO magic, at the last minute. Worse yet, the new and inexperienced account representative promised the client that, “the social media and search marketing campaigns should bring a flood of new traffic within a couple of weeks”.
I posed this same question to Drew Hawkins, Director of Digital and Social Media at DeMoss in Atlanta to get his thoughts. Drew first suggested the advantages of getting all people in the room early, ”We all look at marketing strategy from a completely different vantage point. Where one discipline may get hung up or stuck on an idea, a team member from another discipline could provide another way of thinking through a challenge. Additionally, having all disciplines there helps make the most of whatever strategy you are putting together for a client” said Drew.

Social Yields Just 2% of Online Holiday Retail Sales

Custora Holiday Shopping Study Shows Low Social Media Sales

” Custora Holiday Shopping Study Shows Low Social Media Sales

 ”Retailers who index highest get about 10% of their sales from social posts during the holiday season.”

A new holiday shopping study measured online shopping click-throughs based on data covering 70 million online shoppers shows that social media accounts for a lower proportion of the $10 billion in online holiday sales. The study reveals that, ” 2% of unique purchases made from Nov. 1 and onward this year began as social posts that people clicked on, according to aggregated customer data from more than 100 U.S.-based retailers,” according to the  December 11 article in Ad Age Digital.

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How to Balance Frequent Blogging and Quality Writing: Advice from a Professional Journalist

Companies that blog 15 or more times per month get 5x more traffic than companies that don’t blog (Source: HubSpot )

Michael Ray Taylor has written online articles for Wired.com, PBS Nova, The Discovery Channel Online, as well as Audubon, Sports Illustrated, Reader's Digest, Writer's Digest, and many other magazines. Taylor has also reported on cave exploring expeditions to Jamaica, Mexico and China.

Michael Ray Taylor has written online articles for Wired.com, PBS Nova, The Discovery Channel Online, as well as Audubon, Sports Illustrated, Reader’s Digest, Writer’s Digest, and many other magazines. Taylor has also reported on cave exploring expeditions to Jamaica, Mexico and China.

Companies that blog frequently, benefit from increased traffic and increased sales leads. Plus they build more trust with customers. The problem is that it can be hard to develop enough topics or even have enough writers to maintain this rapid pace of blog posting.

To learn how to cope with this problem, I went to author and online journalist, Michael Ray Taylor. Taylor has written for many online journals, including Wired.com, PBS Nova, The Houston Chronicle and The Discovery Channel Online.

Mike has some helpful suggestions on how you, as a business marketer, can strike a balance between writing enough content to build traffic and still turn out quality writing that is relevant to your customers.

 

“…if you could create a daily blog in the form of a funny business comic strip, you would have thousands of followers and a book deal in short order”, Michael Ray Taylor.

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