It was February 2014. Just Media Design Pty Ltd (the company) was registered, we had a desk in the city and we were ready to go.
But that’s not really where this story begins…
I’ve always been excited about social and digital marketing… As far back as the MySpace days, I loved watching things go viral and then deconstructing why. It was at this time that I remember sitting in a grad position of a large marketing team at a big corporate, and couldn’t understand why all the agencies we worked with pitched big, long term, overly structured and strategised campaigns.
It was typically 1 month of research and strategy, 1 month of ideation to formulate the ‘big idea’, 1 month of creative production to build the assets, 3 months in market (with scope for 3 more if it was “working”), and some degree of ambiguous reporting at the end. This made sense in a traditional marketing world where TV required serious creative and major productions, and billboards had to be live for a few weeks to justify the expense of putting them up at all.
But in the world of digital, where you could go live with an ad in the morning, send it to a hyper targeted audience, and pause the campaign in the afternoon, surely presented a new opportunity.
Fast forward to 2013. I was sitting at my desk in our San Francisco office, working for one of the worlds’ most “infamous” tech incubators. Every single website we built was based on the Lean Startup Methodology: in our case, a 6 week validation cycle. This meant ideation, mockups, and a landing page build in the first 2-3 days of a project. It was then my job to point traffic overnight, so we could come back the next day and look at what users actually did. Those learnings would directly impact what the team went on to design and code on days 4-5. After 6 weeks, we’d have made dozens of pivots, based on the way users actually interacted with our work.
When I returned to Brisbane in February of 2014, I couldn’t help but wonder why the Australian marketing community didn’t run campaigns this way. We had the platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Google, and the rest) to stop and start as we pleased. If we cranked up a bit of budget, it wasn’t unrealistic to point hundreds or thousands of users to a website over a couple of days.
In March of 2014, the Iterative Learning Cycle was born. This was our visual methodology that we used to create, test, learn, and pivot when running our clients’ campaigns. It meant sitting down with a client to understand who buys, why they buy, what they buy, and then developing ads in a few days (not weeks). We’d go live with multiple ad variations, and in the days following, pause the lowest performing creative. We quickly learned that this not only reduced the cost of running ads (by removing those that were most expensive), but it also got us to learning what does work much faster.
These learnings have helped us deliver an incredible range of results.
In the years that have followed, this process has been refined. As a result of running thousands of different campaigns, for hundreds of major brands, we’ve isolated the weaknesses of the iterative process, and developed safeguards to prevent exhausting budgets, and built processes for developing better hypotheses with our clients from day one.
Today we’ve got an incredible team of creatives, account leads, even our very own data scientist and couldn’t be more proud to work with dozens of exciting, innovative brands, from startups to global institutions. As a team, we love the impossible, the challenge, the task no one else could deliver on. If you’ve got a problem that needs solving, or a product that needs selling, get in touch and let’s chat.