Tag Archives: fintech

Bitcoin’s Value Steadily Decreases After Lawmakers Push For Regulations

Bitcoin's Value Steadily Decreases After Lawmakers Push For Regulations

 

The once-hot commodity is rapidly simmering.

New reports indicate that Bitcoin's value plunged nearly 13 percent on Wednesday, following a move from Capital Hill lawmakers to regulate the fledgling cryptocurrency market. Members of the House Financial Services Committee met with experts to discuss the possible risks posed to investors by digital currencies. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) has proclaimed that "cryptocurrencies are a crock, what social benefit do they provide? … You’re gambling on its value for no social benefit. They’re popular with guys who sit in their pyjamas and tell their wives they’re going to be millionaires."

Bitcoin's price has decreased following Google's decision to ban any advertisements for cryptocurrency-related products from its servers, effectively stunting the company's reach. Their value has now dipped another 13% to $7,979.58 Wednesday evening. Back in December, Bitcoin had a value of over $20,000, which was apparently just a transient milestone for the world's leading cryptocurrency. Recently, the company has drifted around the $10,000, before they began to experience some crushing defeats. 

Some lawmakers remain particularly optimistic about the potential of cryptocurrencies in the future. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), chair of the Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment Subcommittee has pondered "how do we protect consumers without strangling technology that has great potential?" However, Huizenga was speaking about blockchain, the fundamental technology which effectively allows Bitcoin to function.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Thomas Prendergast

Bitcoin Lightning Startup Goes Beta With Twitter CEO Backing

Bitcoin Lightning Startup Goes Beta With Twitter CEO Backing

A version of bitcoin's much-anticipated Lightning Network

is finally ready for real users. Announced today, California startup Lightning Labs has officially launched a beta version of its software (LND), making available what investors and project leads say is the first thoroughly tested version of the tech to date. This means that users can now leverage LND to send bitcoin and litecoin to other users, all without settling those transactions on the blockchain.

While this software is one of several seeking to form a combined network that aims to make cryptocurrency transactions faster and cheaper, today's development effectively takes bitcoin a step closer to new kinds of applications, such as Internet of Things payments and recurring billing. That's because, similar to bitcoin, the Lightning protocol isn't managed by any one person or company. It's a series of compatible technologies. Bitcoin-centric startup Blockstream released a candidate version 1.0 of the Lightning protocol specification in January, and ACINQ, another like-minded startup, already offers a live, yet unpredictable beta software that works with bitcoin.

Still, the Lightning Labs software is believed to be the most mature software to date – and investors are using the launch to signal their interest. Also revealed today, Lightning Labs has raised $2.5 million from nearly a dozen investors including Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Square Capital executive Jacqueline Reses, litecoin creator Charlie Lee and former PayPal COO David Sacks. While Dorsey and Reses declined to comment other than to confirm they invested, Sacks was vocal in his belief that the beta release marks a crucial moment in bitcoin's history. "Lightning is the most important protocol being built on bitcoin and Lightning Labs is the best developer of that protocol," Sacks told CoinDesk. Fellow investor Ben Davenport, CTO at the blockchain security company BitGo, agreed the launch is a pivotal milestone.

He told CoinDesk:

"It's something the entire community has been focused on and working towards for the better part of two years now. It's really the culmination of a lot of work by many people, not just Lightning Labs. … We see it as a very important piece of the scaling solution for bitcoin, and perhaps other digital currencies as well."

Team spirit

To Lee's point, thousands of people around the world contributed to today's Lightning release, from volunteer testers who helped find bugs in the original alpha version, to developers like Jim Posen at the exchange platform Coinbase, who contributed code through GitHub.

"The community engagement around Lightning has been amazing," Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark told CoinDesk, adding that she plans to keep the software freely accessible. "The protocol will always be open source and right now everything we are making will be open source," she said. When Stark asked the audience at a recent decentralization summit in Berlin who had already tested Lightning, hundreds of people raised their hands. "We have around 1,800 people on the Slack for LND alone," she added. "We already have dozens of apps that developers have built."

But it's important to note that even this beta should be used with caution. Stark's team built in a few safety measures to limit the amount of cryptocurrency people can send for now to roughly $1,400 worth per channel, or around $400 per payment. The target demographic for the release is developers and "advanced users" who are able to run a full node and use LND's command-line interface.

Stark went on to warn that users should not experiment with more money than they are willing to lose. "We were not recommending use on the main bitcoin network before this beta because there are certain features, such as a wallet seed backup, that were not there previously. There are new features included as well, there are bug fixes and stability improvements," she explained.

Booting up

Still, it's a release that's likely to spur interest and engagement, given that developers are already sending money over the network – regardless of warnings. As such, Stark now expects people with the skills to host their own bitcoin or litecoin node to add Lightning Labs' free software to the mix for quicker, cheaper transactions. Already, there are already roughly a 1,000 nodes running Lightning software on the bitcoin mainnet. Investors in the project believe the release will boost that growing number.

Davenport said:

"What I hope to see, and am optimistic to see, is a Cambrian explosion of development of Lightning-based apps and other things that incorporate Lightning."

Several contributors spoke of Lightning as a long-term investment in blockchain infrastructure, something that Lee, whose time is dedicated toward a wholly different protocol, spoke to. A long-time advocate for Lightning, Lee expressed his hope that even more experiments will now be possible with the software, including transactions that occur across blockchains.

"It's great to see Lightning Network being used in the real world. I'm also excited to soon being able to do cross-chain atomic swaps between bitcoin and litecoin," he said. In this way, Lee's comments can be seen as summing up the impact of the day's news. If bitcoin really is the ground floor of the emerging cryptocurrency ecosystem, then Lightning is the first staircase. This release marks a vote of confidence that the staircase really is safe for builders to start, with cautious steps, climbing up.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Thomas Prendergast

Ally Financial Gearing Up to Launch New Marketing Push

Ally Financial Gearing Up to Launch New Marketing Push

 

Ally Financial Inc. (ALLY), the fintech company that owns Ally Bank

and the robo-advisory service Ally Invest, is gearing up to roll out a new marketing push that takes into account all of its offerings. After using global advertising firm Grey for the creative side for more than six years and Spark Foundry as its public relations firm for around a decade, Ally has sent out requests for proposals to other ad agencies and PR firms, reported Crain's Detroit Business. In an unusual twist, Ally Financial is paying the agencies that are pitching for the business, which includes the two incumbents. In an interview with Crain's, Andrea Brimmer, the chief marketing officer at Ally, said that the fintech knows the work that goes into pitching for new business and will pay the companies for their efforts, with a decision coming at the end of May or early June.

According to Brimmer, Ally has focused its marketing in the past on its business-to-business products. But last year, the company got into the mortgage, credit card and online investing segments of financial services, and it wants to get the word out about those products as well. "Given how much Ally has matured and evolved, we need to go out and talk a new group of partners," Brimmer told Crain's. The firm is aiming to launch a new campaign by the fourth quarter of this year. Brimmer emphasized that the creative campaign when it comes to financial services needs to be "extremely breakthrough."

Ally Financial is known to step it up and think outside the box when it comes to its marketing efforts. In an October effort to promote mobile investing, the company sent a drone to the food court of North Carolina's Carolina Place Mall, delivering mobile phone chargers to shoppers. The drone was emblazoned with an Ally-branded purple balloon and the tagline "Ally Do it Right."

"The activation was aimed at the idea that if we're a mobile bank and your phone dies, you can't do mobile banking, so providing a tool that makes sure that peoples' phones never die and can always be charged was a fun way to show our customers that we will seriously do anything to help them stay connected," Brimmer told Event Marketer at the time. "We're really trying to experiment with a lot of the new technology that is out and understand ways that we can utilize it, whether it is drones, AI, virtual reality." She said the stunt resonated with consumers. Judging from that guerilla marketing campaign, consumers should expect more unique branding if Ally chooses a new ad agency.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Marketing.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

 

Thomas Prendergast

Industries That Blockchain Will Radically Transform Human Resources/Recruitment

Industries That Blockchain Will
Radically Transform Human Resources/Recruitment


The term “cryptocurrency” is a misnomer.
A common misconception, held by many newcomers to the blockchain world, is that the technology’s potential lies solely in the banking and financial industry. In fact, the recent suggestion of the Indian government to rename cryptocurrency as “crypto assets”, and Warren’s Buffett’s belief that Bitcoin is not in any way a currency, are perhaps closer to the true nature of cryptocurrency than the commonly held belief that it is simply digital money.

Cryptocurrencies should not be seen as just money, but as tools. Blockchain technology, which underpins cryptocurrency, has potential in many more forms than just as a medium of exchange and store of value. The application of this technology to industries as varied as supply chain management, fashion and publishing is a result of the innate flexibility of blockchain. The nature of a platform can be programmed to suit a variety of needs. The sooner an investor realizes this, the sooner they will see how exactly it might be applied to different industries, giving them a degree of clarity with can help them measure the potential of a project to disrupt a particular industry.

Given the immense potential of blockchain, we take a look at industries, one at a time, that will be upended by its imminent commercial arrival. The shown here is as follows:

Human Resources/Recruitment

Tamper-proof ledgers that safely store personal data

while simultaneously allowing them to be easily accessed makes blockchain ideal for use in a field  like Human Resources, where the verification of employee data can be time consuming and laborious. It would make hiring more efficient and streamline all of the tangential processes associated with HR, such as setting up an employee bank account and medical benefits.

ChronoBank is bringing blockchain to the recruitment industry. Recruiters can simply list their required services and any individual who can provide the skills and services can apply for the job and get paid in tokens. This will be based on how much real-time labor is put in. While it might appear similar to the projects we mentioned under “job marketplaces”, ChronoBank focuses more on the general recruitment industry, letting HR professionals hire employees as they require.

Conclusion

Blockchain technology is in its early stages and industry insiders are still mulling over the ways in which it can be merged. The possibilities of blockchain are somewhat similar to that of smartphone applications. Initially, apps didn’t catch on but developers soon realized that it could be designed to suit all sorts of needs – it was just programming. Thereafter, applications became all but a necessity for a business if it was wished to influence the market on a larger scale. Apps also gave developing power and outreach to the individual developer, allowing to them achieve what was often only accessible to larger development teams and resources.

Blockchain will further establish a sense of democracy and equality through its disruptive power. It can create a more level playing field, where individuals and small businesses will be able to compete with corporate powers that have established their dominance through the advantage of money. Perhaps this is the greatest disruption that blockchain will bring, that of the characteristic of an impartial democracy applicable to any undertaking.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Thomas Prendergast

Industries That Blockchain Will Radically Transform Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Industries That Blockchain Will Radically Transform Cryptocurrency Exchanges


The term “cryptocurrency” is a misnomer.

A common misconception, held by many newcomers to the blockchain world, is that the technology’s potential lies solely in the banking and financial industry. In fact, the recent suggestion of the Indian government to rename cryptocurrency as “crypto assets”, and Warren’s Buffett’s belief that Bitcoin is not in any way a currency, are perhaps closer to the true nature of cryptocurrency than the commonly held belief that it is simply digital money.

Cryptocurrencies should not be seen as just money, but as tools. Blockchain technology, which underpins cryptocurrency, has potential in many more forms than just as a medium of exchange and store of value.

The application of this technology to industries as varied as supply chain management, fashion and publishing is a result of the innate flexibility of blockchain. The nature of a platform can be programmed to suit a variety of needs. The sooner an investor realizes this, the sooner they will see how exactly it might be applied to different industries, giving them a degree of clarity with can help them measure the potential of a project to disrupt a particular industry.

Given the immense potential of blockchain, we take a look at industries, one at a time, that will be upended by its imminent commercial arrival. The shown here is as follows:

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Oddly enough, for an industry bent on selling the idea of decentralization,

much of its blood comes from trading on centralized exchanges. Millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency have been stolen from centralized exchanges and a secure solution is needed to prevent this from reoccurring. Today, more decentralized exchanges are being launched, with well-known names like ICON, Stellar and Waves creating these “DEXs”.  A DEX has no third party involved and keeps the coins safely in the hand of the holder. It suffers from the same shortcomings as the underlying blockchain technology, but we know that this is being improved.

Enigma, a project backed by MIT graduates and researchers, is an off-chain network that is trying to solve the problem of scalability and privacy. Catalyst, their DEX, is an investment platform for cryptofunds that is data-driven. Other DEXs include NEX, an off-chain solution by NEO which integrates payment services, and OmiseGO.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Thomas Prendergast

Industries That Blockchain Will Radically Transform Ride Sharing

Industries That Blockchain Will Radically Transform Ride Sharing


The term “cryptocurrency” is a misnomer.

A common misconception, held by many newcomers to the blockchain world, is that the technology’s potential lies solely in the banking and financial industry. In fact, the recent suggestion of the Indian government to rename cryptocurrency as “crypto assets”, and Warren’s Buffett’s belief that Bitcoin is not in any way a currency, are perhaps closer to the true nature of cryptocurrency than the commonly held belief that it is simply digital money.

Cryptocurrencies should not be seen as just money, but as tools. Blockchain technology, which underpins cryptocurrency, has potential in many more forms than just as a medium of exchange and store of value.

The application of this technology to industries as varied as supply chain management, fashion and publishing is a result of the innate flexibility of blockchain. The nature of a platform can be programmed to suit a variety of needs. The sooner an investor realizes this, the sooner they will see how exactly it might be applied to different industries, giving them a degree of clarity with can help them measure the potential of a project to disrupt a particular industry.

Given the immense potential of blockchain, we take a look at industries, one at a time, that will be upended by its imminent commercial arrival. The shown here is as follows:

Ride Sharing

A lot has been said about the monopoly of Uber.

Chances are you’ve come across an Uber driver who clearly struggles to make a living from the job. Earnings are disproportionately in favor of the company and drivers have to complete a large number of trips to earn a healthy wage. A decentralized system could change all of that.

Imagine a system where each driver could establish their own rate, offer additional services like deliveries and receive payment in a variety of methods. That’s what Arcade City is trying to do with their platform. Unlike Uber, none of the driver’s earnings goes to the company. They receive their fare entirely, interacting with no middleman.

Drivers can also team up to form guilds and operate on larger scale, allowing for better coverage and building trust. Perhaps most importantly, they can also build a recurring list of customers whom they can count on for regular income. The customers themselves will have a driver that they can trust. The whole platform is constructing itself strongly around the idea of community. The California-based startup Chasyr is attempting the same with its platform. However, Arcade City does seem to have a headstart, and possesses a more fleshed-out platform and roadmap.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Thomas Prendergast

Ways To Refine Your Marketing Strategy

Ways To Refine Your Marketing Strategy

As the CEO of an ad agency and campaign manager for digital campaigns

in various industries, I've seen firsthand how marketing a business in the digital era isn’t an easy task. With multiple online platforms for advertising campaigns, it may seem like the biggest decision is which one to choose. However, there are even more strategic choices that will have a direct impact on your ROI. Over time, I've collected a variety of ways to help soothe the decision-making process. Here are my top five strategies to help market your business well — and right — from the start:

Understand the way your target users shop.

It's better to reach out to users who are already interested or could be persuaded into what you have to offer them. Most importantly, it's best to understand how your users shop for what you can offer them. This way, you can adjust your approach to fit their needs. If you offer a product or service consumers are already aware of and show a need for, utilize search engine data to find more information about your target audience, like who they are, and where, when and how they search and shop. Search engines are a great way to advertise because they provide users with search results of exactly what they want.

If you offer a product or service that is new to consumers, you can find out how your target users shop by using social media to find their interests and approved approach. Couple such trends with statistic software like Google Analytics, and you can monitor consumer behavior on your site. Starting with social media, display promotions and website adjustments, consumers can be made aware of the existence of your product.

Split-test your landing pages. 

Needless to say, if you have landing pages that aren’t performing as well as they could be, you are wasting money and missing out on opportunities. You can split-test landing pages by either setting up experiments in Google Analytics or by using a third-party tool that simplifies the whole testing process. When performing a split-test, consider how a landing page looks to your visitors. Above the site fold is the first thing they see — therefore, it's a more important part of the page. Your information and intention should be clear and immediate at the top of the page. Always use high-quality images and compelling copy to keep visitors intrigued. When determining the results, consider the best conversion rate overall.

Understand what types of messaging could help your business sell more. 

The type of messaging that a business uses has a substantial impact on the projected conversion rate. According to a 2012 study by the Harvard Business Review, businesses that offer simple messaging about a product or service — in a way that consumers can understand — are offering the top quality that causes a consumer to follow through with a purchase. Avoiding technical jargon and offering consumers direct paths to purchase without bogging them down with too many decisions is key.

When describing how a product is used or what benefits come with a service, recommendation videos are best. It's also a good idea to have concise pages on your website, as opposed to long ones. And product or service pages should provide users with enough tools to make a decision. Promotional and non-promotional content should be easily accessible but shouldn't crowd the consumer. The final goals of your messaging strategy should be to streamline purchasing, provide comprehensive, trustful information, and give consumers an understanding of your product and business culture.

Define how you are going to interact with your customers. 

What channels are you going to use to interact with your customers? What type of communication strategy are you going to use? How long of an average response time do you plan on guaranteeing? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself in terms of customer service that will impact company operations. Using social media for customer service will lighten up emails and calls and increase customer satisfaction due to speedy replies.

Define how to attribute your ROI for better budget decisions. 

Sales and ROI are for sure the two metrics everyone focuses on, but the way you attribute your results to specific campaigns is critical in defining how you are going to allocate your budget. For instance, are you going to focus on the last traffic source that was clicked on before a sale, or are you going to look at the whole funnel to define what originated the first interaction of a user with your site?

Making the right decision is going to have a significant impact on your budget attribution and future performance. I strongly recommend focusing on the first interaction with your website because you might divest in a channel that doesn’t generate a lot of direct sales but still indirectly contributes to many of them. These five points not only advance your company’s digital marketing — they also benefit your performance in customer service, brand awareness and efficient spending. While the platforms and mediums of digital marketing are always growing, these five points can help simplify any approach you decide to take.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Marketing.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Thomas Prendergast

Industries That Blockchain Will Radically Transform Hedge Funds

Industries That Blockchain Will Radically Transform Hedge Funds


The term “cryptocurrency” is a misnomer.
A common misconception, held by many newcomers to the blockchain world, is that the technology’s potential lies solely in the banking and financial industry. In fact, the recent suggestion of the Indian government to rename cryptocurrency as “crypto assets”, and Warren’s Buffett’s belief that Bitcoin is not in any way a currency, are perhaps closer to the true nature of cryptocurrency than the commonly held belief that it is simply digital money.

Cryptocurrencies should not be seen as just money, but as tools. Blockchain technology, which underpins cryptocurrency, has potential in many more forms than just as a medium of exchange and store of value.

The application of this technology to industries as varied as supply chain management, fashion and publishing is a result of the innate flexibility of blockchain. The nature of a platform can be programmed to suit a variety of needs. The sooner an investor realizes this, the sooner they will see how exactly it might be applied to different industries, giving them a degree of clarity with can help them measure the potential of a project to disrupt a particular industry.

Given the immense potential of blockchain, we take a look at industries, one at a time, that will be upended by its imminent commercial arrival. The shown here is as folows:

Hedge Funds

Today’s hedge funds assets total at about $3 trillion.

They operate in a wide variety of markets and hold considerable risk and reward. In the current system of hedge funds, a limited number of investors come together to pool in their money. Transaction fees are high, an individual investor may have a different opinion than that of the group, transparency is far from ideal and liquidity is low. It is a lucrative investment avenue that is restricted by issues out of the investors’ control.  The cryptocurrency market is also extremely volatile, which is exactly what hedge funds flourish.

These are all issues blockchain can solve. The decentralized nature of blockchain means many more investors can work together and operate on a voting system to place their investments and align their interests. Strategists can provide their analysis, tools and strategies to the market who can then invest in it and earn higher returns. This is what hedge fund focused projects like Alpha Protocol is doing.

Numerai is also utilizing decentralization to incentivize the construction of an AI-backed hedge fund with its token Numeraire. The project’s standout aspect is its emphasis on machine learning and data science (they even host weekly data science tournaments). Stock market data is also accessible on the platform, providing data scientists with crucial data they can use to create high return strategies.

Like the two projects mentioned above,  Quantopian is also incentivizing users to write investment algorithms which can operates on a licensing model. Authors of these algorithms will get paid based on performance. They also host competitions and offer capital to the authors of the best algorithms.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Thomas Prendergast

Industries That Blockchain Will Radically Transform Fishing

Industries That Blockchain Will Radically Transform Fishing


The term “cryptocurrency” is a misnomer.

A common misconception, held by many newcomers to the blockchain world, is that the technology’s potential lies solely in the banking and financial industry. In fact, the recent suggestion of the Indian government to rename cryptocurrency as “crypto assets”, and Warren’s Buffett’s belief that Bitcoin is not in any way a currency, are perhaps closer to the true nature of cryptocurrency than the commonly held belief that it is simply digital money.

Cryptocurrencies should not be seen as just money, but as tools. Blockchain technology, which underpins cryptocurrency, has potential in many more forms than just as a medium of exchange and store of value.

The application of this technology to industries as varied as supply chain management, fashion and publishing is a result of the innate flexibility of blockchain. The nature of a platform can be programmed to suit a variety of needs. The sooner an investor realizes this, the sooner they will see how exactly it might be applied to different industries, giving them a degree of clarity with can help them measure the potential of a project to disrupt a particular industry.

Given the immense potential of blockchain, we take a look at industries, one at a time, that will be upended by its imminent commercial arrival. The shown here is as folows:

Fishing

The fishing industry is a major source of livelihood

in the developing world, with over 500 million people depending on it. It remains a vital part of the economy, but is faced with growing calls of restriction from environmentalists and regulators who are concerned about environmental sustainability. It is this kind of situation, where both parties have justifiable arguments to support their cause, that blockchain can help achieve a compromise.

Overfishing is a serious threat to the environment and over 30% of the world’s fisheries have exceeded safe fishing levels, the result of which is permanent damage to the ecosystems and the extinction of species, like the Atlantic bluefin tuna. Of course, it also affects the communities that depend on a sufficient aquatic population to make their living. In international waters, there are few regulations to curtail fishing. Not only does this blatantly flout whatever few regulations exist to prevent harm to marine life, it also hurts the economy. $23 billion has been lost due to illegal fishing. What’s worse is that the illegal fishing industry is supported by slave labor.

Overall, the application of blockchain in this industry addresses two problems: those faced by people who make their living from it, and the sustainable and moral guidelines by which aquatic life can be harvested for consumption without irreversible endangerment.

WWF has partnered with ConsenSys and SeaQuest Fiji to implement a blockchain system where consumers can verify that the fish they purchase is not a result of illegal fishing. The latter has used the technology to track fish from the moment it is caught to its arrival at the distributor. A UK-based company called Provenance has also used smart tagging on fishes to verify social sustainability claims. They even conducted a 6-month pilot program to measure blockchain’s effectiveness for this purpose. Their extensive study indicated that the technology would make great headway in Indonesia, where 30% of the world’s illegal fishing occurs. Their approach is to incentivize fishermen with the help of a system that allows them to continue their livelihood.

Stratis, which we mentioned earlier, has teamed up Earth Twine to implement blockchain in the seafood industry. Earth Twine, like Provenance, is also combating illegal fishing, but with extra focus on complying with NOAA standards. The role of Stratis is to integrate a blockchain ledger, apps and tokens with Earth Twine’s seafood tracking solutions.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Thomas Prendergast

Welcome To The New World Of Agile Marketing

Welcome To The New World Of Agile Marketing

When my CEO approached me about changing the mindset

and practice of our marketing organization, I was excited, nervous and intrigued. He handed me a book titled, Lean Six Sigma for Service: How to Use Lean Speed and Six Sigma Quality to Improve Services and Transactions and said, “This is going to revolutionize the work you produce and expand the capacity of your team.”

Challenge Accepted

Before introducing this idea to my team, I familiarized myself with the concept of agile. This term is used to describe an approach to software development that emphasizes incremental delivery, self-organizing cross-functional teams, adaptive planning and continuous improvement. In laymen’s terms, agile enables organizations to master continuous change and innovation.

In the past, agile was predominately used in software development organizations. Agile is now spreading to every kind of organization and every part of work, as recognized in the Harvard Business Review article “Embracing Agile” by Darrell K. Rigby, Jeff Sutherland and Hirotaka Takeuchi. Agile is a framework for management. It provides the methodology to implement cultural change within an organization. Simply put: Agile will not work if management is not on board.

Agile, scrum, kanban and lean may sound complex and intimidating, but once you embody the agile mindset, you will find yourself living the change and focusing on realistic goals that drive innovation.

The Assembly Line

Marketing campaigns can be viewed as an assembly line with different business owners handing off tasks at different phases of a project life cycle. For example, a product marketer will write the copy for a new solution, it gets reviewed, potentially rewritten and then sent to another owner in the assembly process. This process mimics the steps of an automotive assembly line worker. We can use many of the same concepts to build modern marketing organizations. This approach provides incremental and evolutionary change for organizations.

Scrum Vs. Kanban

One of the first steps in rolling out agile practices to your marketing organization is to understand the difference between scrum and kanban. Scrum is a framework that allows you to address complex problems while delivering products of the highest possible value. This framework involves a sprint, a span of time during which a product increment is created. Each scrum team determines how long its sprints will be within a fixed timeframe. Kanban is an approach used to manage work by balancing demands with available capacity and improving how you handle bottlenecks. Work items can be visualized via a Kanban board to give you an idea of the process and progress.

Eliminate Bottlenecks

Your Kanban board should be set up in a pull system, which is a manufacturing strategy that reduces waste during the production process. In this type of system, a marketing team will only work on projects and campaigns that they can handle at any given time. This is meant to be flexible — it will control and balance the flow of resources on your team.

Our team uses epics (large bodies of work or campaigns) and tasks (incremental pieces of a project that are tied to epics) to track our workflow. The epics and tasks are a way to organize the hierarchy of our projects and are linked to the workflow steps listed above. The cards on the kanban board provide visibility to the management team to track efficiency, reduce work in progress (WIP) and uncover any bottlenecks in the process.

The Daily Standup

It is essential to have daily standup meetings. These meetings last approximately 15 minutes and offer many benefits (e.g., improved communication and decision making, eliminating the need for other meetings and helping to identify obstacles). They also improve transparency and knowledge amongst the team.

Our marketing team is based around the globe, so we schedule daily standup calls and run through our digital kanban board on JIRA — the modern way of running standups, instead of standing at someone’s desk running through post-it notes. By developing a routine, it makes it easy to track progress from the last meeting and focus on improvement so everyone knows what they need to accomplish.

All Hands On Deck

In today’s day and age, there are many tools and technologies that teams can use to enhance collaboration. Not only does agile marketing enable better alignment between project needs and available resources, but it can also dramatically improve the communication and productivity of your teams.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Marketing.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Thomas Prendergast