Great QR code campaign Portugal

The idea was simple; Launch a QR code, one of the most innovative technologies of the 21st century, made by Portuguese cobblestones, one of the most ancient Portuguese traditions. From the fusion between technology and historical traditions a new and innovative way was born to promote Portugal abroad and to provide relevant cultural content for tourists visiting Chiado.

Well done! This method of this campaign has been picked up by various media and the content behind the QR codes are relevant for people who are looking for cultural information about their destination!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uEAfTrCYpk]

Why the Agile Method is Necessary for Your Marketing Team

Agile marketing and agile methodology are terms that are receiving a lot of attention currently. Businesses are interested in agile methods, especially as they pertain to marketing practices, but few people seem to know what the agile method is. If you search “agile marketing” on Wikipedia, nothing will come up. That’s because agile marketing is an new adaptation of the agile method, which was originally developed as a strategy by software developers.

In the world of software development, the traditional waterfall method of accomplishing tasks could backlog software for years, and by the time the product is set to be released, the market will have moved on. So the software development community instituted a plan of action that allowed them to keep up with market changes: the agile method.

The world of marketing is now looking much like the software development market just years ago: incredibly fast moving. There is a definite need for speed in modern marketing. Information can be spread so quickly on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and in the blogosphere, that the old methods of market response are too slow—archaic really.

Creating an Agile Marketing Team

Adapting to the incredible speed of modern information sharing is not as difficult as it may sound. The agile method uses four key values that are easily implemented:

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  2. A working product over comprehensive documentation
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  4. Responding to change over following a plan

The agile method allows marketers to adapt quickly to change, as they are unhindered by cumbersome negotiations, long term plans, and documentation. It allows marketing teams to be agile.

When working on a marketing project, instead of focusing on long term goals, the agile method instead focuses on sprints, which is a period of time between one week and one month. By breaking up projects into sprints, teams can focus on immediate tasks and goals. If there are longer term goals that cannot be met in the current sprint, put them into a backlog list to be included in the next sprint. Before each sprint session starts, the marketing team holds a sprint planning session, in which they decide how much they can handle during the sprint.

My company does this by breaking up the monthly client budget by our hourly rates. By doing this we can see how many hours we can devote to each client in each sprint, then we divide those hours into tasks (based on the goals for the sprint), which might look like this:

  • 2 hours of research
  • 2 hours of article writing
  • 2 hours of editing

The tasks are then kept all in one place, we use a program called Trello, but this can be done manually on a (giant) task board. This process allows us to know exactly how our hours will be used during each sprint. The key is to break up tasks into small increments (30 minutes-2 hours). This allows team members to switch tasks several times a day, and work across projects.

SCRUM

The key to dividing those tasks up between team members during a sprint is SCRUM meetings. SCRUMs take place on a daily basis, and are meetings with all project team members. There is a SCRUM master who keeps the conversation on task, and asks three questions of every member:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What are you going to do today?
  3. Are you facing any roadblocks?

Typical answers look something like this: I worked 2 hours on project X, and 4 hours on project Y, and I am dealing with Z as a roadblock.

The SCRUM process avoids lengthy documentation, and keeps everyone on the same page. If every team member knows what the others are working on for the day, it eliminates the possibility of miscommunication. SCRUMs also make everyone aware of potential problems, which helps the team correct them before the project fails, and no one person is drowning alone. Since every team member is a part of the sprint planning process, everyone is up to date on goals and tasks for each project, which allows all team members to work across all projects. SCRUMs also allow the team leader to identify strengths and weaknesses in the team, based on what was and was not accomplished.

At the end of the SCRUM the SCRUM master assigns each team member a list of tasks (2 hours of research for project X and 4 hours of writing for project Y), based on what is left on the task board. This keeps everyone accountable to their projects and on track. When a team member finishes a task they can cross it off the task board, which gives everyone a good, visual indication of what has been done and what still needs to be done.

This process allows everyone to work collaboratively on every project, which creates the ability to respond quickly to change. If, for example, project work for a certain client falls behind, the entire team can devote a day or two to the project in order to catch up. And responding quickly to change is the purpose of agile marketing and the agile method. If your team is struggling in the collaboration department, there are plenty of productivity collaboration tools that can help you identify the weakness in your collaborative communication. At the end of each sprint there is a sprint review meeting, in which the team reviews the work that was and was not completed and presents the completed work to the client.

The marketing sector has seen much change, but there is certainly more to come. Make sure your marketing team is agile and adaptable to change, because your success likely hinges upon it.

Creativity can be found in recycled ideas

Time for a little Jeopardy.

For $1000…This Canadian province is located below Alaska.

Need a hint? Think of bad teeth and a New York University.

If you said British Columbia, you’ve hit the Double Jeopardy!

Tourism British Columbia spreading awareness

Alright, there’s no Double Jeopardy but you will learn something.

All things start with Awareness

I’m sure most of you know about British Columbia as all marketers and business owners are well educated.

Surprisingly it’s not well known to the average world citizen. I’ve lived here my whole life and am shocked to learn how little people know about my province when I travel aboard.

I mean, Vancouver – the provinces largest city – hosted the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. You’d think this would help spread awareness.

Tourism British Columbia isn’t taking the exposure from the Olympics for granted.

How could they create awareness and inspire people to learn more about what this beautiful province has to offer? How can you learn from other Guerrilla Marketing campaigns?

The answer can be found in a recycled idea and scrap booking.

Read on to learn how Tourism British Columbia reinvented an already famous Guerrilla marketing campaign from the world’s largest brand and what to do when you see a campaign you like.

The Happiness Machine

You surely have seen this. Ryan has talked about the happiness machine on more than a few occasions.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMOuF8oskRU]

Coke has done an amazing job at connecting with regular users in an emotional way through this idea.

Tourism BC has obviously been watching this.

They wanted to create some awareness around a new campaign titled 100 BC Moments. In doing so they recycled Coke’s idea.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWbQtK4N8cM?rel=0]

For people in San Francisco walking by Justin Herman Plaza on May 17th, they were met with this massive vending machine.

Instead of dispensing hugs, Tourism BC loaded the machine with golf clubs, mountain bikes, sleeping bags and other accessories relating to things that one can do in BC.

Those who received something no doubt felt the meaningful marketing and emotional connection behind the campaign. This would drive them to learn more by visiting the special website Tourism BC created.

Even those who didn’t receive anything would spread the word. And that’s where videos like this win.

Going Viral

As we all know Guerrilla Marketing campaigns have a  larger impact due to their viral nature. The video was uploaded on the evening of May 17th and already has over 13 000 views.

During the three days that the machine was setup, they might only impact a few thousand people. Those people will surely spread the word but the impact isn’t as big.

That’s what I love about the internet and digital format. It doesn’t go anywhere!

So what can we learn from this campaign that Tourism BC essentially jacked from Coke?

Scrap booking

Last weekend I read a copywriting book by Dan Kennedy. The first chapter is meant to boost your confidence.

Dan lists a few reasons why anyone can learn how to write copy. In fact it’s easier if it’s your own business. You know your customers and product better than anyone else.

But for those who lack the almighty skill of creativity, what can you do?

He says no ideas are truly unique and creative and we can all be great copy writers. I agree with him.

Dan goes on to tell you to simply keep a scrap book of all the great copy that you come across. In 2012 you can do this online with bookmarks. I’ve found Pinterest a great way to do this for advertisements that I like. I bookmark anything that can help me out later on.

From there you must study those pieces thoroughly. What makes them great? Do you notice any resemblances between each piece?

All this can apply to Guerrilla Marketing. Sites like this very one make it great to scrapbook your favorite ideas.

What do you when you come across cool Guerrilla Marking ideas?

Do you keep a scrapbook or bookmark them for later studying?

Why Animals Make Excellent Spokespersons

What would you think if someone random walked into your building and gave you a pet frog? Well that’s just what agency Red Pepper did to help change the perception for one of their clients.

Vatel, a French restaurant in Russia, was having the hardest time trying to get customers. This was because people in Russia often associated French cuisine with food that was expensive, served in small portions and lacked variety. In order to change the perception of French cuisine, Vatel ran a direct marketing campaign where they went to small businesses around the city and gave them a small frog. The frog was meant to symbolize the French stereotype of the cuisine.

Watch the video to see the amazing results of the campaign!

Advertising Agency: Red Pepper, Ekaterinburg, Russia
Creative Director: Danil Golovanov
Art Director: Irina Korotich
Copywriter: Kirill Sapozhnikov
Illustrator: Irina Korotich
Additional credits: Nikita Kharisov, Evgeny Kharchenko