In this article you will...
- Discover what marketers can learn from the latest software development techniques
- See how techniques such as peer programming, user stories, "stand up" meetings, and sprints work in a marketing context
What on Earth can marketers learn from programmers? At first glance, the answer might seem to be "nothing," but my experience tells me otherwise.
My background is in software development. I spent more than a decade developing computer games, and now I run a content marketing agency and an online business application. So I have a foot in both camps: marketing and software.
Agile programming is a relatively new approach to software development. It turns something confrontational, risky, and unpredictable—software development—into a manageable, predictable, and collaborative process.
That is what we are trying to do with content marketing: Using agile programming as a model, we're developing our own version of agile marketing.
1. Peer programming
Agile programming is done in pairs. Two programmers work on the same piece of code at the same time. It's the opposite of the usual image of the heroic programmer burning the midnight oil, but it works. It improves code quality and productivity. At Articulate Marketing, we assign two people to each writing task. They do interviews together, and then one writes while the other edits. Often, we flip roles on the same assignment for different pieces of copy.
2. Test-driven programming
In agile programming, every change you make to the code is matched by an update to the automated testing software to make sure that changes don't break what already works. In marketing, especially online marketing, almost everything is (and should be) testable. Does this page get more conversions than that one? Is this CTA better? And so on. But the idea of regression testing also means that what works today needs to be continuously tested to make sure it still works tomorrow. Marketing is not a matter of one and done.
3. No crunches, no burnout