MDW NY | Matt Howell_New Teams and Process for Making Digital Work


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Matt Howell, President of Modernista!, presents his vision for the new brand team, individual roles, and the process necessary to go from making messages to building platforms.

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MDW NY | Matt Howell_New Teams and Process for Making Digital Work

  2. 2. Mayhem on Madison Ave Don Draper’s Revenge or 2
  3. 3. Modernista! 3
  4. 4. We decided to make some pretty big changes, all ofwhich fell out of a simple, single idea:Let’s get a lot better at making things.
  5. 5. Process and structure.The work.The people needed to build the work.The process through which the work is realized.
  6. 6. 1: The work.
  7. 7. What we’re making is different than 18months ago.
  8. 8. We’re making more stuff.Yahoo’s Duncan Watts, in his “influencers” research, used a lightingmany fires analogy that points to the fact that digital media drivescumulative advantage. He suggests brands are better off “placing lotsof bets to give the best chance of starting a full forest fire - lots of firesin lots of promising places.”The cost efficiencies of digital media allow marketers to hedge betsand not bet the farm on one thing - make ten and see what takes.
  9. 9. New media ecosystem.
  10. 10. A new metaphor. Grow through volume / diversity.Bet it all on a couple :30’s.
  11. 11. Our work is more varied and complex.
  12. 12. Improving engagement models. Campaign in market: increased awareness, conversation, advocacyTraditionalCycle Campaign in market: increased awareness, conversation, advocacyDistributedCycle Diversity breeds sustained activity: steady levels of awareness, conversation, advocacy
  13. 13. 2: The people needed to make the work.
  14. 14. Two big influences on agency structure:We’re being asked to create more work, while atthe same time, we’re being paid less money.The work is materially different than it was,requiring new skill sets / capabilities to get it done.
  15. 15. Sustained pattern of diminishing compensation. 15% media commission 13.5% media commission 11% media commission 10% media commission <9% media commission • time and materials with negotiated rates • hard margin negotiations • stiff performance incentives
  16. 16. Aggressive procurement practices are just a fact oflife. You can complain.Or you can accept this as part of our industry’s newreality and begin to plan accordingly.
  17. 17. Agency re-org step 1: No more silos Client Marketing Group Client Interactive Marketing Group Core Agency Executive Leadership Interactive Department Account Management Account Management Account Planning Account Planning Creative Creative Production Production
  18. 18. In the post-digital world, everyone is must beinteractive.
  19. 19. Agency re-org step 2: Prioritize the creation of work.fig. 1 fig. 2 Account Lead AD Leader P Planner Engagement Lead AD Lead P Planner AS IAS IP IP IP IP BP AE AE AE IAE Producers Account Management Interactive A.M. UX D E SM IP IP T BP User Developer Editor / Motion Social Media Traffic Broadcast Producer Experience Graphics ManagerInteractive Producers
  20. 20. Will this work? Not sure.We’re taking a position based on an idea webelieve in.Doing nothing isn’t an option.
  21. 21. Rebuilding teams around a new building block. Knowledge across disciplines Core discipline expertise
  22. 22. The T-shaped team.Cognitive empathy: ability to respect, understand and support other disciplines,leading to more compact, cohesive team capable of better work. Concept / Project / Client Functionality / Design + Tone Implementation Management User Interaction Creative Technology Production UX
  23. 23. 3: The process through which the work is realized.
  24. 24. Poorly designed physical environments.Use co-location / technology to mediate gaps.WTF.
  25. 25. Poorly designed teams. Bloated teams = lack of accountability.
  26. 26. Poor substitutions for collaboration. Email volume = communications breakdown = trouble.
  27. 27. Worlds colliding: software companies + agencies.Process must work for you, not vice versa.
  28. 28. As change accelerates, process priorities shift.Replication, minimization of risk, error Bespoke process, accept variance + risk
  29. 29. Discover Concept Design Build Measure Qualitative / Stakeholder Creative Wireframes / Motion Quantitative Interviews Team Prototype Graphics Analysis Audience Research / Crowd Design Technical Personas Sourcing Boards Development Optimization Audience Team Copy QA Post Launch Research Brainstorm Deck Testing UpdatesBrief Approved Concept Approval of design / Approved Beta copy / functionality Working Project Plan Approved Release Measurement Plan
  30. 30. You can change your culture through work.
  31. 31. So, that’s about it. Some parting thoughts...We are living in the post digital age of our industry.Adapting will change your organization - the act ofcreating new work will alter structure and process.And this effects us as organizations and individuals,as digital is no longer someone else’s job.It’s yours.
  33. 33. Characteristics of a good project. Big decisions are up front – honor your plan. Keep things moving – highlight / resolve obstacles. Empower team to make decisions. Anticipate change, stay nimble and flexible. Understand what makes your idea good – don’t compromise core.
  34. 34. Discover Concept Design Build Measure 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 31 2 3 4 5 4 5 6 4 5 6 41. Account Director 1. Art Director 1. Art Director 1. Technical Lead 1. Data Analyst2. Account Planner 2. Copywriter 2. Copywriter 2. Flash Developer 2. Account Planner3. UX Designer 3. UX Designer 3. UX Designer 3. HTML / CSS 3. UX Designer 4. Producer 4. Designer 4. Motion Graphics 4. Producer 5. Technical Lead 5. Producer 5. Producer 6. Technical Lead 6. QA Engineer Management Team