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Lean Fables from Adland


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Gave this talk at Ignite: Lean Startup at Pivotal Labs on June 22, 2011.

Lean Fables from Adland

  1. 1. Two Lean Fables from Adland #LeanIgnite
  2. 3. Our business: Ads. <ul><li>Commissioned by clients. </li></ul><ul><li>Designed by agencies. </li></ul><ul><li>Executed by vendors. </li></ul>
  3. 4. All agencies seem lean in a pitch.
  4. 5. But after a pitch... <ul><li>Client RFP </li></ul>Media Production Planning & Creative Creative Testing Account Service
  5. 6. How do agencies make money? <ul><ul><ul><li>Billings = Whatever it costs to produce work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Revenue = ~15% of billings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Profit = ~20% of revenue </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 7. Perverse incentives <ul><li>Agency v. Manufacturer </li></ul><ul><li>Campaigns v. Product </li></ul><ul><li>ROI? </li></ul>
  7. 8. Fable #1 “Where’d everybody go?”
  8. 9. Develop a vision.
  9. 10. Get out of the building.
  10. 11. Don’t waste resources. Make it better .
  11. 12. Fable #2 “Is it the bits?”
  12. 13. No vision. <ul><li>Research is too often used the way a drunk uses a lamp post: </li></ul><ul><li>for support, rather than illumination. </li></ul>
  13. 14. But we got out of the building anyway. <ul><li>It couldn ’t have been the bits - </li></ul><ul><li>Nobody knew they were gone. </li></ul><ul><li>In fact, nobody ’d heard from the brand in years. </li></ul><ul><li>People (and dogs) had changed - </li></ul><ul><li>Lots more choices, no more junk food. </li></ul>
  14. 15. “ You’ve got 99 problems... and the bits ain ’t one.”
  15. 16. We suggested a pivot. <ul><li>Three-ingredient dog food. </li></ul><ul><li>Real food, no fillers. </li></ul><ul><li>With a new brand ID & campaign connecting the old, loved image (something dogs love), to a new doggie parenting style (something owners love giving dogs). </li></ul>
  16. 17. “ Thanks, but we just wanted to know if it was the bits.”
  17. 18. It ’s easy to talk about lean. It’s hard to be lean. Google #Firestarters: Agile Planning Do Agencies Need to Think Like Software Companies?
  18. 19. Principles of Lean Start-ups (for Ad Agencies) <ul><li>Assume the client briefs are hypotheses to be tested. </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous customer interaction - with both client & consumer. </li></ul><ul><li>Establish clear goals for the campaign from day one. </li></ul><ul><li>Start simple, and then iterate on successes and learn from failures. </li></ul><ul><li>Create right-sized, integrated teams, provide the right resources & tools as they are needed, and keep score with vendors & partners. </li></ul>
  19. 20. Thank you, @farrahbostic