How large brands can sprint to marketing success
At a recent conference, Daniela Simpson, a highly experienced FMCG marketer at Ferrero USA, called on large brands to think more like start-ups and become more agile in their approach to marketing innovation. One of her key recommendations to drive innovation and sustain the modern marketing function was implementing a sprint process.
So what exactly is sprint and how can marketers benefit from this process?
How Sprint Process works
Created by Google Ventures, the sprint is a formal five-day process to innovate and meet critical business needs through design, prototyping and testing ideas with customers.
The sprint process is designed around a working week. Before you start, you’ll need to choose a challenge to tackle, select the right team of up to 7 people, pick one person to lead the process and book a venue, ideally away from all day-to-day distractions. Google Ventures have published a very useful checklist of everything you need to set the stage.
On Monday, you agree your goal, map out the challenges involved in getting there and pick one key target on which to focus.
On Tuesday, you review existing ideas, brainstorm new ideas and then sketch out different competing solutions on paper.
On Wednesday, you critique each solution and choose which has the best chance of success. Then you create a step by step plan for putting that solution into practice.
On Thursday, you build a prototype. You don’t need a full product or service in place; just the customer-facing surface.
On Friday, you test your prototype by presenting it to actual customers and seeing how they react. By the end of this day, you should have enough information to know if your solution is going to work or how it might need to be adapted.
Why the process is great for marketers
Any marketer who’s been involved in product development knows it involves a seemingly-endless amount of debate and delay, slowing down the process and risking losing out to competitors. The great benefit of sprint working is that you can shortcut this cycle and get clear data from a realistic prototype that can make launch decisions much more easy.
As Daniela Simpson says:
The sprint process is a formal process, but it’s very flexible and very fast. What’s crazy about this is in five days you could have a breakthrough concept, a breakthrough new innovation idea. At most major CPG companies this type of progress would traditionally take upwards of three to six months.
The sprint process is an ideal way for mid to large organisations to use the resources and expertise already in their company but to also bring in the flexibility, focus and speed that startup businesses are renowned for.
To make it work, it’s vital to adopt a flexible approach to testing and not strive for perfection. Sprint is all about creating a rough and ready prototype, but backing it up with hard data.
Have the right team in place
Ultimately, a process is nothing without the right people driving it. You need team members who are passionate about the project, willing to embrace an agile way of working and experts in their fields.
If you’re looking for highly experienced marketers who can help power your brand into the future, get in touch with the Tarsh Partnership today.