Lean Planning for Nimble Agences - Mirren New Business Conference 2012

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This was the talk I presented at the Mirren New Business Conference on May 2, 2012 in New York. The audience was mainly small and mid-sized agencies - and we had an excellent, engaged audience. Thanks to all who made it (or watched over the streaming service)!

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Lean Planning for Nimble Agences - Mirren New Business Conference 2012

  1. 1. lean planning for nimble agencies Mirren New Business Conference 2 May 2012 @farrahbostic
  2. 2. Stuff I’ve done. ads campaigns websites games strategies businesses products media hosting hackathons mentoring start-ups writing a little codepresenting an absurd number of decks
  3. 3. “Lean” is hot right now http://theleanstartup.com/
  4. 4. It’s a reaction to waste, superstition, and bias.
  5. 5. Th etRequirements ra wa diti ter on fa al s ll of mo tw Design de ar l e Implementation Testing Maintenance
  6. 6. The results for start-ups:Full management teamsAssuming the customer is knownAssuming the features are knownAssuming growth happens by executionHigh burn rateSwinging for the fences
  7. 7. Principles of Lean Start-upsAssume customer and features are unknownsContinuous customer interactionRevenue goals from day oneNo scaling until revenueLow burn by design, not crisis
  8. 8. Let the stealing begin...Do Agencies Need to Think Like Google #Firestarters: Software Companies? Agile Planning
  9. 9. Fact:It’s easy to talk about “lean”. It’s hard to be Lean.
  10. 10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3J9KhpgYVB0
  11. 11. Lean Pirates &Agile Ninjas talk about ‘pivoting’ a lot
  12. 12. Pivoting isn’t a goal. It’s a necessity.
  13. 13. It happens when you’ve done all you can with the 1st idea.
  14. 14. And you make the intuitiveleap to a better one.
  15. 15. Where does this intuition come from?
  16. 16. Empathy • Discovery • learning
  17. 17. Empathy • Discovery • learning Learn
  18. 18. Empathy • Discovery • learning Learn Build
  19. 19. Empathy • Discovery • learning Learn Measure Build
  20. 20. why nimble agencies aren’t agile
  21. 21. the ‘insight & creativity’ waterfall Client Creative PROFIT Planning Creative The Sell Briefing Briefing ? Research Media Production TestingAccounts Planning Creative
  22. 22. this looks like a time-consuming & expensive process, right?
  23. 23. in the race to win & keep clients, we make 5 key mistakes
  24. 24. we take orders 1Agencies facilitate andmanage the productionand placement ofadvertising on behalf oftheir clients.The client asks,and she shall receive.
  25. 25. “we don’t get paid to think” 2The traditional model:Billings = The total cost to produce & place advertisingRevenue = ~10% of billingsProfit = ~15% of revenue
  26. 26. it’s hard enough to keep up with our own industry...Clients Consumers Publishers Ad Agencies Production Media Houses Agencies
  27. 27. let alone our client’sBusinesses Growth Shareholders Consumers Partners Competitors Regulators
  28. 28. our process is wasteful 3 Client Creative PROFIT Planning Creative The Sell Briefing Briefing ? AccountsAgency Planning Creative Research MediaParties Production 3rd Testing
  29. 29. our hand-offs can bemore like show-downs “I don’t need any more ideas. We’ve got plenty of ideas. I need to know what to make.” - Anonymous Creative Director
  30. 30. we tend to thinkideas ‘just happen’ 4
  31. 31. WE EXPECT THIS GUY TO BE A GENIUS. EVERY TIME.
  32. 32. we’re struggling with product-market fit “What do you want from me? 5 Fine writing? Or do you want to see the goddamned sales curve stop moving down and start moving up?” - Rosser Reeves
  33. 33. WE BET ON A HOLE-IN-ONE. EVERY TIME.{BUT WE’RE NEVER SURE WE MADE ONE.}
  34. 34. so.that’s not working.
  35. 35. hired for lots of ‘reasons’... http://www.rswus.com/survey/2011-survey-clients-look-ahead-at-agencies
  36. 36. ...fired for only a fewBad strategy, bad creative, bad service. http://www.rswus.com/survey/2011-survey-clients-look-ahead-at-agencies
  37. 37. how do we fix it...
  38. 38. three reality checksClient briefs are not to be trustedthey are often disconnected from the real businessobjective, and assume facts not always in evidenceOur business model is double-sidedwe have to design for both our economic buyer (theclient) and our end-user (the consumer)Strategy isn’t (solely) about research and testingit’s about efficiently seeking a campaign model that scales- and this doesn’t have to be expensive or delay ideas
  39. 39. Principles of Lean ad agenciesAssume the client briefs are hypotheses to be tested.Continuous customer interaction - with both client & consumer.Establish clear goals for the campaign from day one.Start simple, iterate on successes and learn from failures.Create right-sized, integrated teams,and use the right resources & tools as they are needed.Keep score with clients, vendors & partners.
  40. 40. a note:I  open source ideas & models.So all of the models & frameworks you’re about to seein this deck are in the Creative Commons.Using them is not stealing my IP. Please use them.Mahalo.
  41. 41. how to do lean planning 5in really hard steps
  42. 42. 1 start with the business problem What is the problem your client is trying to use advertising to solve?
  43. 43. 1 start with the business problem What is the problem your client is trying to use advertising to solve?“Who do you “Who owns the report to?” budget?” “How is their “Who approves bonus calculated?” the work?”
  44. 44. 1 start with the business problem What is the problem your client is trying to use advertising to solve? “Who do you “Who owns the report to?” budget?” “How is their “Who approves bonus calculated?” the work?” “Who owns the “What is the parts of the valuebusiness problem?” “What can we “What’s the root chain?” influence/change?” cause of the problem?”
  45. 45. The client brief is just one input.
  46. 46. 2 charge for strategyCall it discovery, campaign planning, client roadmaps, etc.Do the work to understand your client’s business(note: this is different from their ‘brand’).Involve your client in this process -do stakeholder interviews, workshops, etc.Don’t call it an add-on or suggest it as optional.Charge enough that it looks like it matters as much as it does.Connect it to measurement & KPIs.
  47. 47. they pay for strategy. just not from you.Reason #1:They don’t think agencies do strategy -and if you don’t have a highly visible planning team,with a history of solving business problems, why should they?Reason #2:They don’t trust agencies to be honest -they think you’re learning what you want to learnto make the work you want to make.Reason #3:They believe in ‘best in class’ when buying agency services -but are constantly frustrated by the inefficiencies.
  48. 48. Day Month Year No.Who are our Key Partners? What Key Activities do our Value Propositions require? What value do we deliver to the customer? What type of relationship does each of our Customer For whom are we creating value?Who are our key suppliers? Our Distribution Channels? Which one of our customer’s problems are we helping to solve? Segments expect us to establish and maintain with them? Who are our most important customers?Which Key Resources are we acquiring from partners? Customer Relationships? What bundles of products and services are we offering to each Customer Segment? Which ones have we established?Which Key Activities do partners perform? Revenue streams? Which customer needs are we satisfying? How are they integrated with the rest of our business model? How costly are they? What Key Resources do our Value Propositions require? Through which Channels do our Customer Segments Our Distribution Channels? Customer Relationships? want to be reached? Revenue Streams? How are we reaching them now? How are our Channels integrated? Which ones work best? Which ones are most cost-efficient? How are we integrating them with customer routines?What are the most important costs inherent in our business model? For what value are our customers really willing to pay?Which Key Resources are most expensive? For what do they currently pay?Which Key Activities are most expensive? How are they currently paying? How would they prefer to pay? How much does each Revenue Stream contribute to overall revenues? This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.
  49. 49. if nothing else, it shows you care
  50. 50. 3 collaborate to learn “We always have a vision that is clearly articulated, big enough to matter & shared by the whole team. “Our goal is always to discover which aspects of this vision are grounded in reality & adapt those aspects that are not.” This vision is the ‘brief’... http://www.startuplessonslearned.com/
  51. 51. PLACE BETS:generate hypotheses before‘finding insights’
  52. 52. PLACE BETS:generate hypotheses before‘finding insights’About the customer.
  53. 53. PLACE BETS:generate hypotheses before‘finding insights’About the customer.About what matters to them.
  54. 54. PLACE BETS:generate hypotheses before‘finding insights’About the customer.About what matters to them.About how they live their lives.
  55. 55. PLACE BETS:generate hypotheses before‘finding insights’About the customer.About what matters to them.About how they live their lives.About what they desire or howwe can solve a painful problem.
  56. 56. PLACE BETS:generate hypotheses before‘finding insights’About the customer.About what matters to them.About how they live their lives.About what they desire or howwe can solve a painful problem.
  57. 57. 4 Get out of the building.
  58. 58. do what, now?Talk to people - not respondents.Not a lot: 5-10.Get the people you meet to introduce you to otherpeople they know who do things a little differently.Don’t use a “facility” - try to go to where they are whenthey use the product or interact with the category/brand.
  59. 59. Be nice and listen.http://giffconstable.com/2010/07/12-tips-for-early-customer-development-interviews/
  60. 60. 5 measure to succeedYou know the old adage...“Half my advertising is working...I just don’t know which half.”KPIs aren’t making this better, most of the time.
  61. 61. “You need to add value to peoples lives, not just expect them to participate because you goddamn well asked them to.”Mel Exon, BBH Labs http://anjalir.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/sxsw-in-retrospect-the-last-of-the-launch-and-leave-ems/
  62. 62. Learning.Understanding. Empathy.
  63. 63. measure like a pirate “[Vanity Metrics are] numbers that make us look good but don’t really help make decisions.” - Eric Ries, The Lean Start-up Actionable (a.k.a. ‘Pirate’) Metrics: Acquisition: users from misc channels come to site, landing page, widget, etc Activation: users enjoy 1st site visit, "happy" user experience* Retention: users re-visit site multiple times Referral: users like product enough to refer* others referral happens via email, links, blogs, widgets, word-of-mouth, etc Revenue: users conduct monetization behavior (e.g., buy, download, affiliate sale trackback)
  64. 64. Bonus round: “It isn’t iterative if you only do it once.” do it again. - probably one of the made by many guys
  65. 65. Bonus round: “It isn’t iterative if you only do it once.” do it again. - probably one of the made by many guys Learn
  66. 66. Bonus round: “It isn’t iterative if you only do it once.” do it again. - probably one of the made by many guys Learn Build
  67. 67. Bonus round: “It isn’t iterative if you only do it once.” do it again. - probably one of the made by many guys LearnMeasure Build
  68. 68. thanks.

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