How Seek is using continuous delivery to bring agility to marketing

Australian recruitment and training organisation explains how Agile methodologies used in software development are making their heart into the heart of how his teams approach marketing

For software developers, the process of creating new products and services based on iterative and incremental development methodologies has rapidly emerged as a preferred way of managing projects.

Known as Agile development, this methodology abandons traditional notions of lengthy planning and development cycles with testing at the end in favour of rapid prototyping, development and ongoing testing.

That same thinking is starting to find its way into other business processes, and marketing is no exception.

Often referred to as continuous delivery, the application of Agile thinking to marketing sees organisations constantly trialling, testing and refining their approach. It is an approach winning favour with many younger organisations, particularly those heavily reliant on ecommerce, or focused on Web-based customer acquisition.

One Australian organisation that has embraced continuous delivery wholeheartedly is recruitment and training organisation, Seek.

“We’re in the process of becoming a completely continuous delivery organisation,” says Jonathan Elliott, manager for digital analytics at Seek.

For Seek, continuous delivery means being able to constantly push out new marketing activity into production through online channels.

“From a marketing or product point of view, it’s about being able to look at the results you are getting out of your campaign through your analytics tools and being able to make a call very quickly as to whether we have made the right assumptions and whether there is action that can be taken,” Elliott says. “It is more about micro tweaks rather than macro tweaks in campaigns.”

He says the organisation constantly sets targets based on previous experience, and then monitors response in real time across all components of that marketing push. If expectations aren’t met, changes can be delivered quickly to get campaigns back on track. Hence if a single aspect of a program is underperforming, such as a new keyword which is not delivering the desired response, it can be quickly changed.

Related: Embracing the seven principles of agile marketing

“You are honing in on the individual levers you are pulling and knowing which ones are the contributors,” Elliott says. “Sometimes you will make a very sharp call very quickly, other times it is more monitoring to make sure you haven’t completely screwed something up.”

Seek is also a strong user of Agile software development methodologies, as well as analytics tools from Adobe, while its use of cloud computing means new projects can be spun up in a matter of minutes. But Elliott says making continuous delivery work is governed more by organisational culture than technology.

“It requires a lot of coordination,” he says. “The technology is an enabler, but it isn’t going to make much difference unless you have the right people who know how to do it.”

To do this, Seek’s teams are structured to suit the continuous delivery cycle.

“My analysts who are making recommendations and managing results of campaigns and optimising are sitting right beside the marketing manager and product manager and UX designer, are going to every meeting from the inception through the build and the deployment, and are tied to those campaigns and product families for a year,” Elliott says.

“That allows them to bring in experience and learnings and inject them back into the process and iterate faster, because they are not having to rehash and rebuild. It is a continuous story, and it is a culture of owning that story and the success.”

And while continuous delivery celebrates the importance of analytics, Elliott says it does not do so at the expense of good creative execution.

Related: Why Seek is living on the data analytics edge
Expanding data analytics capabilities help Seek personalise job searching

“In some ways, it enables the creative process a lot more, because you don’t need to be as committed to one concept or one idea,” Elliott says. “You are able to test multiples, and once you’ve got your learnings you can go all in.

“That takes a bit of weight off the creative process or the designer having to convince the product manager or the marketer to go with only one solution.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Signup to CMO’s email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Setting advertising objectives for financial performance

I’ll often be talking to clients and at some point say, ‘the most important thing is justifying price’. Then moments later, ‘the most important thing is increasing the size of your customer base’.

Kyle Ross

Strategist, TRP

5 common mistakes to avoid in scalable customer experience

CX is about future-proofing your business by ensuring that your commercial model is always looped into your customers' needs, perceptions, values, beliefs, motivators, and detractors.

Tom Uhlhorn

Founder and strategy director, Tiny CX

5 cornerstones of a strong digital culture

Creating a strong company culture may sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. In fact, company culture is created in exactly the same fashion as a religion or democracy. Behaviours created from the organisation’s inception are reinforced over time by leadership, attracting like-minded people and eventually reaching critical mass to become an accepted ‘truth’.

Anthony Stevens

Founder and CEO, Digital Asset Ventures

Thanks for writing about chatbots. Definitely bots have the exciting future when it comes to customer engagement, transactional and conve...

Giridhar Prathap Reddy

Australian Open chalks up strong ticket sales with chatbot

Read more

Hello, where are the explanations of all the levels explained? I'd like to review this with a couple of colleagues. Thanks.

Melinda Gonzalez

CMO launches CMO CX, debuts customer experience maturity assessment

Read more

A great and accurate commentary - today we rarely get true personalisation. On web journeys cookies or logins remember who we are, what w...

Ian Moyse

Salesforce: Personalisation is a long way off what consumers now expect

Read more

Very nice information !! We provide almost every indian satta matka games with fast results. Online Matka play becomes easy with genuine ...

rsgame

Image intelligence:10 must-see infographics for marketers

Read more

One of the best example for email marketing!!This post has completely explained the power of email marketing and how it is beneficial to...

Abhinav Mohan

How email marketing automation is helping this Aussie electrical wholesaler enter the digital age

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in