Centaur Media embraces lean software development with MMT Digital

Written by Ian Stanton
23rd May 2017

5 minute read

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 Jo and her team, our 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. We conducted our Phase 0 process which involved a series of activities including user interviews, wireframing, business system integration investigations and User Story Mapping. We were 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%. 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, we 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. We 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. We have modified the UX so that prompts are given to students throughout the platform to create a smooth user journey. We know exactly what kind of information to give them, because we can see what confuses them and what they ask for clarification on.

Next was the adaptation of the platform for Fashion and Beauty Monitor, who are 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, we have built lean software, proven concepts, built an enterprise platform that can meet group-wide strategic objectives, while keeping within project-level budgets. We’re looking forward to helping Centaur deliver many more courses and creating a development roadmap that is driven by qualitative research and user feedback.

Econsultany’s Online Classroom can be accessed as a bolt-on to an Econsultancy subscription. It features a selection of video modules, readings and live interactive sessions geared to digital professionals.

Marketing Week’s next Mini MBA in Marketing course starts in September, so head on over to their website and have a look at what’s on offer.

Fashion and Beauty Monitor’s Online Classroom in Influencer Marketing and Digital PR can be accessed as a bolt-on to a subscription, but you can access a free taster, consisting of the first lesson here.