Centaur Media embraces lean software development with MMT Digital
Last year, MMT Digital started working with Centaur Media, a business and information group who owns many well-known brands including Econsultancy and Marketing Week. At the time, Jo Roberts, Head of Content Marketing at Marketing Week, was looking for a flexible and scalable online learning platform to deliver Marketing Week’s Mini MBA in Marketing course – fronted by the globally renowned marketing practitioner and thought leader, Professor Mark Ritson. The vision was to create an engaging online training course, that if successful, would pave the way to launching other courses across the Centaur portfolio of magazines and websites.
Working together with Roberts and her team, MMT Digital’s first challenge was to define a scope within Marketing Week’s budget, while still providing an outstanding user experience, that would be expected for a course of such value. The team conducted its Phase 0 process which involved a series of activities including user interviews, wireframing, business system integration investigations and User Story Mapping. It was then able to design and build the platform within just eight weeks to meet the course launch date.
The course was launched on time and on budget in Q4 2016 and was hugely successful, exceeding its business case target for sign-ups by 29 per cent. Not only did it smash its financial targets but the course was met with exceptional user feedback and has a Net Promoter Score of +90.
Centaur Media harnessed this success straight away and moved to adapt the platform to launch another course, this time for Econsultancy. In this case, a course was to be released that could be added to an existing subscription as a bolt-on. It followed a similar framework but was rebranded and some new features were added to enhance the platform. This is a textbook example of the Minimum Marketable Product in action. The Mini MBA course was rapidly developed, released and able to demonstrate proof of concept. Given that success, nice to have features were added on very shortly after, in a second release.
Following the release of the Econsultancy platform, MMT Digital moved to add a new set of features to the Mini MBA in Marketing, for its second run, which launched this month. Features in this release were largely motivated by learnings and observations of the product’s use in the field. The team improved business system integration to reduce administrative overhead, and improved messaging, informed directly by studying customer service queries made while the course was in operation. The agency has modified the UX so that prompts are given to students throughout the platform to create a smooth user journey. The team knows exactly what kind of information to give the users, because it can see what confuses them and what they ask for clarification on.
Next was the adaptation of the platform for Fashion and Beauty Monitor, which is offering a course in Influencer Marketing and Digital PR, a new key discipline within fashion and beauty marketing.
Working with Justin Weddle, Centaur’s Head of Online Programmes, MMT Digital built lean software, proven concepts, built an enterprise platform that can meet group-wide strategic objectives, while keeping within project-level budgets. The team is looking forward to helping Centaur deliver many more courses and creating a development roadmap that is driven by qualitative research and user feedback.