Santander is adopting a new marketing approach inspired by Agile software development, most commonly used in IT as a collaborative way to find solutions, as it looks to boost the efficiency of spend and marketing effectiveness.
The strategy uses ‘sprints’ to constantly evaluate the performance of the advertising with the aim of ensuring the efficiency of creative and media. It means Santander will be adapting and tweaking the campaign on a weekly basis, a much shorter timescale than usually used hence the name sprints, in reaction to how well it performs based on feedback from consumers.
Speaking to Marketing Week, Santander’s CMO Keith Moor says the new approach is an “evolution” for the brand that came about as he learnt more about Agile methodologies. Moor has also visited businesses in Silicon Valley to look at how they work and what Santander can do to make its processes more agile without increasing pressure.
“We are talking about agile with a small a not a capital A. Agile project methodology is largely aligned to IT related projects, so a way of doing faster, better IT development. But the processes you learn from it you can apply to different sectors and parts of the business,” he explains.
“We use Agile a lot for our IT and we want to take the principles of Agile, turn them into a small a and be agile in marketing.”
The industry has, unfortunately, been constructed around things like long booking deadlines or production cycles and that is what we want to change.
Keith Moor, Santander
In practice what this means is that Santander will hold “huddles” every morning to work out the priorities for the day, and not commit creative and spend “so far in advance that you can’t change them”. Moor says while machine learning and programmatic can work in some areas, such as digital buying, there are many areas where “you can’t do that yet” but Santander wants to apply the same mindset that “nothing is ever 100% fixed”.
“The principle we have taken is that we can commit to a certain amount of activity then we’ll monitor it daily and change it the follow week,” he adds.
“We have champion and challenger approaches and we are testing, testing, testing with consumers and getting feedback all the time. It’s about changing the mindset. The industry has, unfortunately, been constructed around things like long booking deadlines or production cycles and that is what we want to change. It has to change because that is not the way the world works.”