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Agile Advertising - Burt at Cannes Lions

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My talk from the 2010 Cannes Lions. …

My talk from the 2010 Cannes Lions.

For you startup geeks out there I guess you can say I’m giving advertising the “lean startup” treatment. For those of you with real jobs, I’ll be talking about how we can reduce risk, eliminate waste and increase the impact in campaigns where media fragmentization and hyper competition are significant factors.

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  • 1. AGILE ADVERTISING. Build, measure, learn. PRESENTER FINALIST
  • 2. GUSTAV VON SYDOW @vonsydow on Twitter.
  • 3. I used to be one of you... my last gig was as a Planner at Daddy and for a short time at CP+B, after they acquired Daddy last year.
  • 4. But I decided to give up what was essentially my dream job to go work on another dream.
  • 5. I’m now the CEO and founder of Burt, a software company helping marketers to do amazing work.
  • 6. Gustav Martner Gustav von Sydow I founded to Burt with Gustav Martner (currently Exec. Creative Director at CP+B Europe) to adress challenges we faced together on a daily basis.
  • 7. Mid nineties. Fifteen years later. Big bang launch Iterative improvements Static content Rich applications Archived Real-time One size Personalized One way Social The founding idea was that we had seen the web change drastically in the last 15 years...
  • 8. Mid nineties. Fifteen years later. Big bang launch Same, same. Static content Archived One size One way But online advertising - at least on a large scale - remained pretty much the same.
  • 9. Sure there were promising technologies, but they were complex to use so the tools and processes that were used on large scale were antiquated.
  • 10. Copybox Meme Machine Rich The writing tool for Dead simple Campaign metrics digital marketers. ad personalization. that matters. www.copyboxapp.com www.mememachine.com www.richmetrics.com So we set out to create a set of tools that would make it easy for marketers to update how they made and measured their marketing activities.
  • 11. TODAY IS NOT ABOUT TECH/TOOLS.
  • 12. It’s about the process enabled by technology.
  • 13. TODAY IS NOT ABOUT ”DIGITAL”.
  • 14. 101001010010100101010010 101001101010101010101010 101010101010101010101010 101010101010101010010100 EVERYTHING WILL BE 010100101010011010100101 DIGITIZED. EVENTUALLY. 010010101010101010100101 001010010101001010100110 101010101010101010101010 But I’ll be using ”digital” as an example. 101010101010101010101010
  • 15. BANNERS & VIDEO MOBILE RICH MEDIA Or more specifically, ”online display advertising”.
  • 16. TODAY IS NOT A CASE STUDY. Case studies are often outliers. What makes them gripping often also makes them irrelevant.
  • 17. ”YES. BUT DOES IT SCALE?” Evaluating new opportunities in advertising, one should always ask - ”does it scale?”
  • 18. SCALE ACROSS AGENCIES. You should be able to apply new technology/ methods across all types of agencies.
  • 19. TECHNOLOGY IS RAW MATERIAL, NOT AN IDEA. And beware of when technology in itself is the idea... great advertising technologies that scale include ”color”, ”movement” etc.
  • 20. REACH. REACH. REACH. And don’t forget. It has to reach alot of people.
  • 21. ”MECHANIZED SALES” Unless we have reach, our trade is irrelevant, since there are better ways to deploy small scale marketing efforts.
  • 22. TODAY IS NOT ABOUT INSPIRATION.
  • 23. To be unique, focus your sources of inspiration collection on other forms of expression.
  • 24. TODAY IS NOT ABOUT THE FUTURE.
  • 25. We love talking about the future. Everyone’s a ”FRAMTIDEN” futurist/expert these days.
  • 26. It’s very much a don’t-miss-the-train kind of mentality. All the time. Everywhere.
  • 27. ”FIRST MOVER ADVANTAGE” WHO CREATED THE FIRST BANNER? The concept of first mover advantage has been largely discredited in general business, why are we still believing it in advertising.
  • 28. AT&T, 1994 Besides the amazing viral effect ;) of being part of this deck, what have AT&T gotten in return for pioneering the banner format?
  • 29. TODAY IS ABOUT... WELL. TODAY. Advertising is about getting massive reach today. Not about predicting the future.
  • 30. In this talk, we’re going to focus on improving what we have and tweak how already do things in already big channels. Solve existing problems.
  • 31. NOT LIKE THE OTHERS. To sum up: this is not the average advertising festival speech. When I arrived I got to looking into the conference magazine...
  • 32. Apparently the $500B industry that is advertising is going down in flames.
  • 33. Don’t miss the train...
  • 34. In the future blablabla....
  • 35. And more doomsday advice.
  • 36. Blablabla...
  • 37. HOW TO MARKET A MARKETER: 1. WIN A BUNCH OF AWARDS. AND/OR 2. ANNOUNCE THE END OF THE WORLD.
  • 38. Cannes Lions combines both, which might explain why it’s the premier event to land new business ;)
  • 39. What I’m saying is that you can take it easy. Don’t worry too much about the future.
  • 40. OPTIMIZE FOR NOW. Great advertising connects with ”the now”. Advertising is tactics - don’t be fooled even if the word ”strategy” gets thrown around a lot ;)
  • 41. THAT’S WHAT WE GET PAID TO DO. We get paid to get results now. Or at least in the next quarter. Very few good advertising activities don’t achieve tangible result within 90 days.
  • 42. YOU CAN DO IT. What I’m talking about applies to everyone. Creatives, planners, account, devs, clients etc. And you can start using the ideas on monday.
  • 43. TODAY: 1. LEARNING FROM HISTORY. 2. LEARNING FROM OTHERS. 3. LEARNING FROM YOURSELF.
  • 44. TODAY: 1. LEARNING FROM HISTORY. 2. LEARNING FROM OTHERS. 3. LEARNING FROM YOURSELF.
  • 45. THE CREATIVE PROCESS: IDEA PRODUCE Though the name implies something super dynamic and exciting, the creative process is a very linear process.
  • 46. ME = BIG FAN BTW. ”FINAL DELIVERY” Even the best practices (I recommend checking them out btw) emphasize the ”final delivery”.
  • 47. Traditional Product Development Unit of Progress: Advance to Next Stage Waterfall Requirements Specification Design Problem: known Solution: known Implementation Verification Maintenance Though every agency use different words to descibe their unique, amazing process, they’re all based on the same classic manufacturing model.
  • 48. IT’S MANUFACTURING, NOT CREATIVITY.
  • 49. ”LEAN PRODUCTION” Doing more with less. But manufacturing has actually moved on to a model for creating more value using less work, and so should we.
  • 50. ”Lean production” originated from Toyota, emphasizing to eliminate waste by removing all activities that does not create value.
  • 51. ”Create continuous process ow to bring problems to the surface.”
  • 52. ”Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation (Genchi Genbutsu, )”
  • 53. ”Become a learning organization through relentless re ection (Hansei, ) and continuous improvement (Kaizen, ).”
  • 54. BUILT TO LEARN. A process for learning is the key to eliminate waste in any kind of workflow.
  • 55. BUILD LEARN MEASURE The process for learning is easy. Trial and error.
  • 56. LESS WASTE. REDUCED RISK. INCREASED OUTPUT.
  • 57. 1. $150B IS WASTED EVERY YEAR. 2. 19% OF ALL ADVERTISING FAILS OUTRIGHT. 3. 67% COULD GET SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT WITHOUT ADDITIONAL SPEND. And there’s a lot of waste, risk and potential for improvement in online advertising. Source: What Sticks
  • 58. ”LEAN ADVERTISING”? The ideas have been successful in everything from cars to software startups (respect to Eric Ries and Steve Blank!!!). How do they apply to advertising?
  • 59. IDEA PRODUCE MEASURE Well, the first step is to add a measurement component to the creative process.
  • 60. IDEA PRODUCE MEASURE CAMPAIGN 1 LEARN IDEA PRODUCE ME CAMPAIGN 2 And then use this to learn for use in your next campaign.
  • 61. BASIC MATHS: 10%, 10%, 10%, 10% = +45% Consistent campaign drives compounded increases in quality.
  • 62. Which is not a new idea of course. In advertising, it was pioneered by David Ogilvy in the 50s.
  • 63. ”I never skate to where the puck is, I always skate to where to puck is going to be.”
  • 64. The problem is that the Ogilvy way of doing things assumes a rather static media landscape, but it’s now changing faster and faster. BLABLABLABLA... COMPETITION, CHANGE ETC.
  • 65. 30 sec. 0 sec? 2 sec? 13 sec? From start to nish, full screen. And no idea when it starts... The level of predictability makes it exponentially more complex to predict what will work.
  • 66. Most ads aren’t visible long enough to make an impact +10 ads share the same page 30% of all ads are placed where users can’t see There’s just no such thing as average anymore.
  • 67. WHO’S RESPONSIBLE? MEDIA? CREATIVE? DIGITAL? PRODUCTION? RESEARCH? PUBLISHER? AD NETWORK? THE AD NETWORK’S AD NETWORK’S AD NETWORK? AND WHICH PERSON?
  • 68. BLABLABLABLA... ROI.... MEGA DEEP INSIGHTS OF INTRINSIC HABITS... SPECULATION... GUESSWORK... BLABLABLA.... ”EXPERT” The way we usually solve challenges in advertising is to appoint experts. But experts doesn’t scale.
  • 69. EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBLE. Everyone has to be committed to improving. That is one of the key principles of the Toyota Way.
  • 70. WANTED: A WORKFLOW OPTIMIZED FOR ADAPTING TO CHANGE, NOT FOLLOWING PLAN.
  • 71. ”AGILE ADVERTISING” The process of being quick learn, adapt and improve. So ”Lean advertising” doesn’t quite describe the high velocity dimension of what I’m getting at. So ”agile advertising” seems like a better phrase.
  • 72. BUILD LEARN MEASURE It’s the same loop.
  • 73. IDEA PRODUCE MEASURE IDEA 2 LEARN IDEA 3 IDEA 4 IDEA 5 But instead of waiting to measure and apply the IDEA 6 learnings on the next campaigns, we change and IDEA 7 campaigns. optimize the existing IDEA 8
  • 74. ALL ON BOARD?
  • 75. TODAY: 1. LEARNING FROM HISTORY. 2. LEARNING FROM OTHERS. 3. LEARNING FROM YOURSELF.
  • 76. WHAT? IDEA PRODUCE MEASURE IDEA 2 LEARN IDEA 3 IDEA 4 IDEA 5 The first question is naturally: IDEA 6 What do we7 IDEA measure? IDEA 8
  • 77. Metrics is the number one pain for display advertisers. Lack of proper metrics Ad quality is too low Other Source: Forrester
  • 78. IS ”ROI” THE PROBLEM? There is usually a big focus on ”ROI” when metrics comes up. But is that really what hands-on marketers should focus on?
  • 79. INVESTMENT PROFIT $ $$$ { ”KPIs” Our job is to understand the underlying metrics driving profit, rather than auditing the ROI.
  • 80. INVESTMENT RETURN FOCUS ON KPIs, $$$ $ NOT ROI. { ”KPIs”
  • 81. EXAMPLES OF GOOD KPIs: AUDIENCE REACH AND RELEVANCE - PEOPLE ”SOFT METRICS” - BRANDING DIRECT USER BEHAVIOR - CLICK STREAM SALES - NOT THE SAME AS PROFIT
  • 82. THE THREE A’S OF METRICS: 1. ACCESSIBLE - THINK ”YOU TUBE VIEWS” 2. ACTIONABLE - OTHERWISE SKIP IT 3. AUDITABLE - METRICS ARE PEOPLE TOO
  • 83. BENCHMARK. The first step is to benchmark what you’re up to, to get a decent idea of where you stand.
  • 84. Source: DoubleClick DART for Advertisers, U.S. advertisers, a cross section of major ad sizes only, January – December 2008 Figure 4 Click-through Rate by Industry Vertical Auto 0.12% B2B 0.08% CPG 0.09% Financial Services 0.06% Media/Entertainment 0.11% Retail 0.10% Tech 0.10% Telecom 0.08% Travel 0.09% Wellness 0.09% 0.05% 0.10% 0.15% 0.20% 0.25% 0.30% Source: DoubleClick DART for Advertisers, U.S. advertisers, a cross section of major industry verticals only, January – December 2008 But benchmarks are a bit tricky. They vary greatly by advertiser category. 3
  • 85. Overall Click-through Rate (CTR) Figure 3 Click-through Rate by Creative Sizes Half Page Ad (300x600) 0.22% Wide Skyscraper (160x600) 0.10% Vertical Rectangle (240x400) 0.33% Large Rectangle (336x280) 0.12% Medium Rectangle (300x250) 0.12% Skyscraper (120x600) 0.06% Leaderboard (728x90) 0.08% Square Pop-Up (250x250) 0.18% 3:1 Rectangle (300x100) 0.07% Vertical Banner (120x240) 0.05% Full Banner (468x60) 0.05% Rectangle (180x150) 0.10% 0.00% 0.05% 0.10% 0.15% 0.20% 0.25% 0.30% 0.35% 0.40% Source: DoubleClick DART for Advertisers, U.S. advertisers, a cross section of major ad sizes only, January – December 2008 Or creative sizes for that matter.
  • 86. INDUSTRY, FORMAT, CONTENT, TIMING, COUNTRY, DEVICE ETC. And a bunch of other stuff.
  • 87. INDUSTRY, FORMAT, AVERAGES ARE (ALMOST) CONTENT, TIMING, MEANINGLESS. COUNTRY, DEVICE ETC. Besides using them as a sanity check, averages are pretty hopeless.
  • 88. TODAY: 1. LEARNING FROM HISTORY. 2. LEARNING FROM OTHERS. 3. LEARNING FROM YOURSELF.
  • 89. SELF DIAGNOSE. Instead of just comparing yourself with others, you should become good at helping yourself out.
  • 90. A VS. B Small tweaks can have an enormous impact. Source: What Sticks
  • 91. Intends to buy Colgate 25 % 20 % 15 % 10 % +10x 5 % 0 % Creative A Creative B Creative execution is by far the biggest lever for creating effective online advertising.
  • 92. BANNER BEST PRACTICES: 1. MEDIA/CREATIVE INTEGRATION BIGGEST DRIVER. 2. SHOW THE LOGO. ALL THE TIME. 3. SHOW THE PRODUCT. IF APPLICABLE. 4. STATIC OUTPERFORMS RICH. THINK PRINT, NOT TV. 5. DIRECT. SIMPLE. OBVIOUS.
  • 93. ”SPLIT TESTING.” Once you have the fundamentals right, it’s time to start learning from a live campaign. And the best way is to compare, not with others, but yourself.
  • 94. ZYNGA AND THE USE OF DISCOUNT PRE-TESTING. Social gaming and other viral products have pioneered rapid testing and optimization.
  • 95. Intends to buy Colgate 25 % 20 % 15 % 10 % +10x 5 % 0 % Creative A Creative B Split testing allows you to spot differences early.
  • 96. Creative A, performance by site Creative B, performance by site 25 % 25 % 20 % 20 % 15 % 15 % 10 % 10 % But the problem is that - as we touched on earlier 5 % 5 % +10x - different executions work different under different 0 % 0 % Site A circumstances. Site A Site B Site B
  • 97. A + Site A, performance by Geography Creative A + Site B, performance by Geography 75 % 60 % 45 % 30 % +10x And goes deeper... 15 % 0 % Site A Site B Site A Site B
  • 98. You end up with a tree structure with all these different variations and outcomes.
  • 99. 1% 0,75% 0,5% +10x 0,25% 0% “Worst” Average “Best” “Bestest” By using the best combination for each exposure you can create enormous ”lifts”.
  • 100. Which has been well known, and talked about forever. But for different reasons, ”one-to-one” marketing is not deployed on a very large scale.
  • 101. CLOSING UP: PUTTING TWO AND TWO TOGETHER
  • 102. HOW? IDEA PRODUCE MEASURE IDEA 2 LEARN IDEA 3 IDEA 4 IDEA 5 And then there’s that little detail of applying the IDEA 6 ideas and lessons learned in practice... IDEA 7 IDEA 8
  • 103. SIMPLICITY. The first thing to keep in mind is to start out with a minimal execution to test your idea.
  • 104. SIMPLICITY = FASTER TIME TO MARKET EASIER TO TEST BONUS FEATURE: LESS TO UNDERSTAND FOR CONSUMERS
  • 105. Start off with one simple execution of an idea. In a banner for instance. One format is enough.
  • 106. WHERE’S THE LOGO? PACK SHOT EARLIER? ANIMATION TOO MUCH NECESSARY? MESSAGING? Self diagnose and make that if you’re breaking any rules and best practices, you should be aware of what rules you’re breaking, and why.
  • 107. A B Create variations for split testing. At this stage I recommend doing widely different variations. In some cases completely different ideas.
  • 108. A B C D Buy (or convince the publisher to give you) some media and run a quick and dirty split test, to see how consumers respond to your variations.
  • 109. Click-thrus 1,5 % 1,2 % 0,9 % 0,6 % 0,3 % 0 % Creative A Creative B Creative C Creative D Choose a proper metric (which is a separate workshop, I’m afraid) and eliminate the waste. Focus your efforts in the stuff that seems to work.
  • 110. START SPENDING ON MORE MEDIA, FORMATS ETC. Once you’ve condensed your basic idea, you can start expanding on the with more variations, formats and progressivly increase media spend.
  • 111. OPTIMIZE. Monitor and switch on automatic optimization where it makes sense to personalize the messages. With the right tool you can optimize against any kind of effect.
  • 112. BENCHMARK. Once you’re over and done with, do a quick followup and benchmark your efforts. Call in the audit people if that’s your thing. Wait until the next campaign to make deep analysis.
  • 113. IDEA PRODUCE IDEA n MEASURE LEARN x4 For those of you paying attention, ”agile advertising” puts four feedback loops into play.
  • 114. THE FOUR FEEDBACK LOOPS: LOOP 1: SELF-DIAGNOSE LOOP 4: LOOP 2: CROSS- SPLIT TEST CAMPAIGN LOOP 3: OPTIMIZATION
  • 115. WRAPPING THINGS UP: 1. THE TRADITIONAL CREATIVE PROCESS IS RISKY. 2. ”AGILE ADVERTISING” LOWERS RISK AND INCREASES OUTPUT BY TESTING IDEAS EARLY. 3. THE KEY TO SUCCESS IS IMPLEMENTING THE FOUR FEEDBACK LOOPS.
  • 116. SPEED. The faster you learn the sooner people will pay attention to you, and not your competitors.
  • 117. Usability testing PM software Funnel analysis Scrum Cohort analysis JIT scalability Real-time alerting MVP Predicitive monitoring IDEA PRODUCE MEASURE Flow optimization Working conditions IDEA n LEARN Time management 5 whys Creative leadership Customer archetypes Smoke tests Ways to increase your velocity thru the loop. Thanks: Eric Ries and Steve Blank
  • 118. LEARN. It’s really a simple idea. Spend time testing and learning, not speculating.
  • 119. YOU CAN DO IT. And as I said, anyone can do this. It works better the more people are involved, but ”agile advertising” allows even just one person to get a big influence on the end result.
  • 120. THANK YOU! www.burtcorp.com twitter.com/vonsydow vonsydow@burtcorp.com