Now this is a story all about how our inbound marketing agency got flipped-turned upside down. I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, I'll tell you how we became process-driven sprint extraordinaires.
It all started seven months ago. Rich and Alice were running late to a meeting and had to literally sprint across town. Having been in back-to-back meetings, they were a little distracted and needed to bounce ideas off one another for the next pitch.
Luckily, all that sprinting had a compound effect on their creative process. There wasn't enough time to worry whether they were terrible or not, and all the extra oxygen seemed to add extra oomph to their inbound marketing brainpower.
Henceforth, at the start of every month, the whole team runs wildly around the balconies of Barton Arcade shouting content ideas at one another. But you can only talk if you are in possession of the sacred aubergine (or eggplant for our US-based readers.)
I am, of course, joking.
We never run late for meetings. And tomatoes are far more sacred than aubergines.
How sprints work in an inbound marketing agency
I think I should probably offer an alternative to what a sprint could be, and how we potentially implement this process in the running of an inbound marketing agency. I will let you make up your own mind about which extremely plausible concept is real. (This also keeps the caretaker here at Barton Arcade on the back foot, he keeps blaming us for all the vegetable stains on the walls.)
The alternative explanation of sprints and the benefits in a nutshell are as follows.
A sprint is a flowing, fluid strategy of developing ideas for the coming month of client work. It's a totally transparent way of ensuring that the bigger picture is looked at, the right questions get answered, everyone knows what everyone else is doing, and we are all in agreement on the best way to finish the race. It allows for workloads to be managed (or shared where necessary) and issues from the previous month to be addressed and analysed so they don’t reappear.
When sprint meetings need to be had, they are streamlined in order to minimise wasted time, and standing up is outright enforced to keep energy high and maintain a sense of urgency (plus it's pretty good for our posture.)
Personally, my only agenda for the sprints is success. It’s my job to make sure the inbound marketing team is on track, not in a crack-the-whip kind of way, but in a “what can the rest of us do to help” kind of way. If something is falling behind or being blocked, we can redirect the flow of work to keep the sprint as a whole moving forward.
My role also involves organising the sprints throughout the month for the various clients we are completing work for. We start with a kickoff session to generate ideas and structure for the month’s work, then throughout the month we have regular five minute sessions three times a week. These quick check-ins keep us on track for the month and enable us to remove potential blockers from each others' paths. The idea is to consistently get faster and better at how and what we deliver.
So what does this mean for clients?
Firstly, it ensures that projects are being managed efficiently, both in regards to time and workload. Time isn’t being wasted by meetings. Sprints are slick and urgent by nature, but the frequency of which we hold them ensures that projects stay on track.
Secondly, clients are able to track, in real time, where we are in the sprint and what has been actioned. Great for the client, and great for us as an inbound marketing agency. Transparency makes for an easier life.
The simple reason we use sprints is because this is a working model that really works. It is well-oiled and functional with very little hassle involved. It provides a structured system that we can adapt as and when. If an area needs support, the team can adapt to make sure we stay on track. It also ensures all heads are involved – more brainpower, if you will.
So, that’s it. That’s how we work. We sprint towards growth, and we wholeheartedly believe it’s better for our clients and for us as an inbound marketing agency.
Working with a HubSpot partner agency can complement the technical side of the HubSpot software and introduce a hugely-effective inbound marketing campaign that can take your business to the next level of growth. If you would like more information, read our blog "How working with a HubSpot partner agency helps brands grow"