Why an agile approach to digital experience is a must
Waterfall is dead. Experts say nimble approach to creating web, content experience is the only way.
From creating geo-targeted advertising campaigns to electronic media kits, interactive landing pages and everything in between, experts say maintaining an agile approach to projects is key in creating impactful digital experiences.
“Keeping a website fresh with its functionality, visual design and substance is expensive, time-consuming and a complex and often painful process, so people tend to avoid it,” said Pantheon Director of Brand and Digital Experience Sarah Fruy during her presentation ‘Kill the Website Relaunch’ at Discover MarTech.
“Websites that drive results for businesses do not come from relaunch projects,” she said.
At the heart of agile is the ability to implement a series of small releases for site updates on a monthly or quarterly basis instead of large annual projects.
“Smaller, low-risk releases can validate direction while quickly delivering quick wins,” said Fruy.
The alternative is a waterfall approach, which groups all of the feature updates into a “big bang” launch, she said. Fury calls that #waterfail for a few reasons.
- All the budget is spent on a “big bang” relaunch project
- The long list of things that need to be fixed keeps getting longer
- The marketing plan stops making sense
- Stakeholders complain, team morale tanks
- People get fired
Of course, that may be a bit dramatic, and as a platform built to enable agile web development, Pantheon isn’t expected to side with waterfall advocates. But the calls for transforming our marketing organizations into agile shops are getting louder and louder.
“Everywhere you look, you see calls for marketers to be agile right now, but that can translate into just being fast or changing your mind every day — and that’s not really what we need,” founder of AgileSherpas and agile coach Andrea Fryrear recently said. “Marketers need to stop starting and start finishing to actually get value out the door and into the hands of our audiences. That’s what agile systems are supposed to do.”
Content is still king
On the other hand, while it’s easy for marketing technologists to focus on the development side of creating great digital experiences, WordPress VIP Content Marketing Manager Tess Needham says it’s really all about the content.
“More and more, marketers are turning to content to achieve increases in traffic, customer engagement and conversion rates,” said Needham during her Discover Martech presentation, ‘Empowering Creative Content Marketing.”
That’s indeed true. According to a February 2020 study by FocusVision, the average B2B customer engages with 13 different pieces of content before making a purchasing decision.
Like Fruy, Needham said agility is key when it comes creating successful content experiences.
According to Needham, staying agile in content creation is especially important when the context is difficult to predict. Content needs to be able to change with circumstances.
“Marketing teams that are empowered to respond quickly and creatively to ever-changing demands are more likely to see better business results, she said. “They create more authentic, more relevant and more creative content that can respond to the context of the times … like the times that we’re in now.”