Marketing in a sprint — what can be achieved within a week

When I talk about the concept of lean marketing sprints during conferences, meetings with potential customers or when planning marketing tactics in sprints for our customers at Project: People, I often come across full disbelief: “A week? But what can be achieved in 5 days?” I often ask: “What if this was your last week for your company? Let’s say you have enough funds for your business operating only for 5 days. Would you shut it down? Or would you try to attract customers during that one last week?” Usually, it turns out that one week is plenty of time for undertaking very specific marketing activities.

Too much time

Marketing departments often function in excessive time periods — their work and work results are usually settled on an annual, 6-month or quarterly basis. In industries that develop quickly and dynamically, such a period for executing marketing activities would make them fall behind the business. Often in a short perspective, you cannot see whether a given action converts into a particular result or whether there are no measurable effects. Myself, I am a fan of the strategic approach. I am also aware that certain branding, content marketing or PR activities will not always convert directly into results. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that strategies or tactics should be divided into those that build a given brand on a long-term basis and into those that can generate quick and significant growth of popularity, sales or traffic, if prepared correctly (quick win).

What can be achieved in a sprint?

It turns out that a sprint that for us at Project: People, usually covers 1 week (5 business days) or 2 weeks (10 business days), may generate spectacular results. The main idea of such an activity is Formula 1 operation: focusing on one goal, one key activity, conducting them through one channel or selecting the most effective form. Today, I would like to show you examples of how marketing work can be organised in sprints, and the goal that can be achieved this way, thanks to the above formula. The case studies were simplified for the purpose of this article.

Image-related goal

Who: Customer operating in the industry of cryptocurrency

November 2017. Boom on the market of cryptocurrency. Customer at the ICO stage (Initial Coin Offerings) collected large financing for building a cryptocurrency exchange. During the ICO stage, the customer used various promotion methods, including landing pages. Unfortunately, it turned out that many SCAM projects also used landing pages at that time, which resulted in negative reception of the customer by the community. Especially, since after collecting the funds in ICO, there was no communication on how the project would continue to develop. The customer deleted or closed several communication channels, e.g. Facebook and a group on Telegram, so that the negative opinion did not impact further process of the project.

May 2018: The customer asks us to create a communication strategy to improve the brand image. In every brand channel, all posts, messages and activities, face negative comments and hateful remarks. The community says directly: “You’re scammers!”.

Strategy: we suggest sprint approach to the customer. One sprint covers one announcement (as it is known in the cryptocurrency industry), which aims at building a positive image of a brand, restoring trust in the project creators and developing an image of a brand that is worth investing into. At the initial stage, we focus on posts on a Medium but we quickly switch the activities to a blog (SEO-related matters). Each announcement covers comprehensive activities:

- announcement is preceded by a pre-announcement on groups on Discord, Telegram, Facebook, reddit and BitCoinTalk, as well as own marketing channels,

- making the announcement and supporting it again with a promotion as in the case of the pre-announcement, and additionally with paid advertisement and PR support.

What announcements do we publish? We announce partnership with an IT company, updated whitepaper, new products/brands in the customer’s portfolio, changes in the blockchain, bounty, etc. Despite concerns of the customer that we would not have enough content to be published weekly, it turned out that there were enough subjects to cover for several months, based only on what was necessary to present by a company when building an exchange. There were even weeks that we published 2–3 announcements.

Result: Just in several weeks, there are significantly less negative comments. After 2 months, each post of the brand in its channels receives very positive feedback among the community. When we created a channel for the community on Discord after 4 months, several hundred fans joined it and support and promote each activity, while happily being the brand ambassadors.

A new challenge: expanding the community and reaching new recipients with communication. And this is how we continue working in sprints, but the goal and formula changes :)

B2B sales goal

Who: Customer operating in the software manufacturing industry

August 2017: The customer wants to enter a new software sector. They have no experience in this sector but they see large opportunities there. They do not know how to be positioned on the market as a company that develops this type of software. They have a prototype that can be used for promotional activities.

Strategy: We suggest a viral advertising campaign in the Lean Marketing Sprint model. The objective is to reach decision makers at large organisations / corporations, responsible for choosing partners in relation to software manufacture. Within the campaign, we focus on using the prototype in promotional activities. We create a viral campaign around it, targeted not only at the decision makers but also their entire business environment, and secondly at them. In a week, we plan and carry out a campaign with over 21 thousand people using the prototype.

Outcome: 10 leads and several contracts signed with companies desired by the customer. Furthermore, the brand’s popularity and its strong association with this new business sector is developed.

One sprint is not equal to another one

As you can see with the above examples, the marketing goals of sprints may vary significantly. Our experience shows that advertisement and sales activities may be focused even in a single one- or two-week intense sprint and they will translate directly into the result. In the case of image, PR or content activities, there are at least several sprints that will be needed to achieve the goal.

There is a number of elements that are key in order for the sprint goal to be achieved?

  • the above-mentioned formula 1: focusing on one goal, channel, activity and concentrating the strength of the entire team on one direction;
  • basing the sprint on a clear goal; it would be best if it resulted from the brand / product / company strategy,
  • using what we already have — work based on the natural potential, values and possibilities of a brand; finding its potential;
  • understanding the sprint formula by the entire team — not only people working directly in the spring, e.g. the marketing team but also the product team or management;
  • associating marketing sprints with a valuable product that will be boosted by marketing activities, and not built by them.

What can your brand achieve within one week?

Let us return to the question from the top of the article: What would you do if you only had one week left for your company’s operation? In such situations, we think about verified methods and channels — they should be the basis for our work in sprints. Additionally, we focus on the biggest need for your business at a given moment — it is worth defining the details of our further activities on this basis. Then, a strict time frame is required for the sprint. It has to be short enough to develop the maximum level of concentration in a team with regard to achieving a particular goal, as well as to focus the team’s attention and energy only on one activity.

Do you already have an idea for a Lean Marketing Sprint for your business?

Would you like to consult it with us? Send us a message to beata (at)!