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How rapid marketing tests delivered global transformation

A man and a woman sitting in a cafe. the man is facing us and smiling, the lady is sitting facing away from us.

What started out as an idea sketched on a napkin in a café in Nottingham, became not just a business success story, but became a whole way of working that got rolled out internationally. Pretty cool huh?

We were approached by the Digital Marketing Director at a global software provider, she wanted to create a digital centre of excellence and wanted to run some rapid testing and prototyping of her idea with short term marketing support.

Because our business is built on flexibility and we have no onerous exit clauses, our client was able to test her idea as a minimum viable product (MVP) quickly, cost effectively and importantly with minimal risk if it didn't work out.

What the rapid marketing test looked like

We brought in digital marketing experts to fulfil a brand new role - Digital Product Owners (DPO's). These DPO's were solely dedicated to one specific division of the business. Utilising a “Squad and Tribe” model, each DPO was paired with the Head of Marketing from that business area, a paid media lead, an SEO lead and Web Development lead to form the Tribe that were then tasked with driving that business areas objectives.

The DPO would own all digital elements of the plan plus the analytics & reporting, and then they would liaise across the wider digital team and Tribe members to ensure there was, on a basic level, no overlap on keywords to more overarching objectives of sharing best practice and sweating any common assets created elsewhere.

Flexibility and scalability by design

Crucially for the client, as the test began to grow and performance was beginning to be proven our flexible model also meant we were able to help fill any gaps in a Tribe with specific skill sets. It meant there wasn’t any delay in testing the model and when another division wanted to get involved in the test we could help spin up that second tribe quickly.

Results of this rapid marketing test

Within a few months, after initially testing in one business area, iMG. had provided the business with 7 DPO’s, a paid media specialist, a web lead and an SEO specialist.

At its height there were 9 DPO’s from iMG. placed in the business. And, as other business areas saw the affect this model was having on their leads, revenue & insight they no longer wanted to share resource, instead opting for a dedicated lead for their business areas. At it's height we had 19 people working across the business in different roles and in different divisions all delivering value for the client.

After around 9 months of successfully trialling the new way of working, the business started to build in budget and/or headcount for the DPO’s on a permanent basis. A clear signpost that the new way of working was being adopted.

Embedding the structure and international expansion

At this point, the decision was taken to start to insource these roles, mainly due to the strategic importance of the role and the belief that a full-time employee provides a greater degree of certainty within the business, and also greater reward for the DPO. At this point some of the talented folk we had placed in the business chose to stay and took permanent roles with our client!

Such was the success of the working model that the Digital Director who had sketched out her vision on a napkin in Nottingham was flown to Australia to demonstrate the model to the Asia Pac business with a view to it being adopted internationally.

From napkin to international reality in 12 months

So, all in all, we helped our client take an idea and turn it in to reality.

We helped them find talent fast, allowing the business to test an entirely new way of working almost risk free. If the plan hadn't worked they could have simply cancelled the contracts leaving almost zero legacy or enduring costs.

As well as a new working model, our approach also allowed our client to try future talent in post before they had to make any commitment to employing them full time. A great alternative approach to the “and/or” question of using a recruitment or marketing agency we think.

If you've got your own 'napkin idea' would like to a test in your marketing function or just need some flexible on demand marketing support then take the first step to finding your new marketer today.


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