Scrappy Marketing: Is There Something to the Hype?

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If you’ve scrolled through LinkedIn lately, you’ve likely seen the word scrappy” thrown around. In most cases, it’s used in the context of marketing. Some see “scrappy marketing” as the latest cringe-worthy hype term. (Snackable content, anyone?) For others, there’s a decidedly negative connotation. I can’t say I blame them: Its primary definition is “consisting of disorganized, untidy, or incomplete parts.” Ouch, who wants to be that?  
 
But the terms increasing presence speaks to the reality that we, as marketers and constant creators, grapple with every day. We’re tasked to do more: Create more content, more innovative content and more value-driving content. When we ask about budget and timeline? 
 
“Well, your three-person team only has $1,000 to create this campaign. Can you make some magic happen in say … a week?”  

We’ve all been there. (And if you say you haven’t, you’re either lying or you haven’t been in marketing long enough to witness this firsthand.)  

Despite our frustration and cries of desperation, the situation rarely changes. We just need to find a better way to do things. That’s where being scrappy comes in. When I say scrappy, I’m obviously not referring to being disorganized or argumentative. I’m talking about taking a more creative and agile approach to content strategy and planning. For Content4Demand, which currently has a whole two people on its dedicated marketing team (including me), our approach to scrappy marketing means:  

  • Taking a hard look at our brand mission and the value we’re bringing to the market and seeing how we can expand upon this core story.  
     
  • Revisiting our existing content library and prioritizing assets that are evergreen in nature and align to specific personas and stages of the buyer’s journey.  
     
  • Identifying quick-hit and high-impact ways to reuse and refresh content to meet our current needs or uncover new campaign opportunities.  

 

This three-pronged approach to reusing content has saved our lives several times most recently in our quest to create a new asset to support our webinars focused on, you guessed it, repurposing and reusing content. So meta, right? 

We started by thinking through what we wanted to say to our audience. What pain points did we want to spotlight? How did we want to show we empathized with and truly understood them? What value did we want to provide?

We knew for sure that we wanted to build the foundational story around heightened pressures in the marketing realm: the need to do more with less, the need to be highly creative under pressure and the focus on being innovative in order to stand out. We would then explain how different methods of reusing content can help marketers tackle these challenges.  

Rather than rebuilding the story from scratch, we reviewed our content library to see if there were any assets we could use even to help piece together the story. The stars aligned, and we found two assets that focused on all of the principles and best practices we wanted to spotlight. We simply needed to tweak the content and add fresh examples that better spoke to the creative and innovative storylines.

Typically, the content writing and editing process can take up to two weeks. Then, we go to proofing and finally, design, which also has a proofing phase included. Ultimately, it can take up to a month or more to get a piece campaign-ready.

For this asset, we were able to accelerate all stages of the process and finalize copy within a week, with the design and development phases taking about two weeks. We essentially cut our content production timeline in half, simply by practicing the methods we preach to our clients every day. This alone was reason to cheer, but a few other things stood out to me about this exercise:  

  • We were able to uncover latent value in existing content that performed really well when it was released back in 2016. Our hope is that we’ll get this piece to new buyers and we will see similar, or better, results.  
     
  • We were able to integrate new success stories to showcase how B2B marketers are implementing content reuse best practices. Our audience increasingly wants to see real-life examples and get insights from our peers, and this was our chance to spotlight some of our favorite pieces.  
     
  • Because we spent less time on copy, we were able to spend more time on the content experience. We made the piece interactive, adding fun animations and elements that will help draw the reader into the stories.  
     

Scrappy marketing helped us meet a very specific campaign need and allowed us to develop a really fun and creative piece to boot. We’re always hesitant to hop on any marketing bandwagon, but it’s clear that scrappy marketing isn’t a fad. In fact, I’d consider scrappy marketing to be an integral approach for any marketer looking to maximize the value and impact of their content.  

Have you embraced scrappy marketing for a specific content or campaign? Or is it core to your day-to-day work? I’d love to hear your experiences and lessons in the comments section below.  

Ready to roll up your sleeves and get scrappy? Be sure to join me and Tonya Vinas, Director of Content Strategy at Content4Demand, in our November 6th webinar in Demand Gen Report’s annual Strategy & Planning Series: A Blueprint for Content ROI: 3 Ways to Maximize the Value & Impact of Your Content Investments.

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