Tomorrow I’ll be holding a 2 hour workshop at Cannes Lions, the world’s biggest advertising festival where 25 000 delegates from 90 countries spend a week on the french riviera doing high fives over the year that just went by and worrying about the next.
The topic of my talk is “Agile advertising”. 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 the risk and increase our output for campaigns where media fragmentization and hyper competition are significant factors.
It’s quite the opposite to your case study driven, inspirational, future oriented Cannes Lions talk, which is naturally both challenging and fun. One of my key points is to “optimize for now”, which is a phrase I’ve stolen from the always so brilliant 37signals.
It just seems to me that great advertising has always been the one that connected with the present, not predicted the future. The first mover advantages are rare in all of business, and even more so in the world of advertising.
From Burt’s perspective it feels great to have our ideas validated by Cannes Lions, the epitome of creative advertising. For the last year we’ve been working super hard to better understand how we can make technology and data driven decision making appeal to a wider audience, and it feels like we have arrived.
Although Burt was actually awarded at last year’s Cannes Lions, people told me I was crazy to leave the green pastures of CP+B to focus on building software. And now they’re using our products.
A lot can happen in a year.
And oh, I had lunch next to Mark Zuckerberg, who’s also speaking. Or not so much speaking as being interviewed on stage. He looked like a combo of Bill Gates and Tom Cruise in “Risky business”.
And finally, the outline of my talk:
It’s harder than ever to anticipate which ideas and executions will work well and great opportunities tend to present themselves once campaigns are already live. The reason for this is simple: consumers are less predictable and the media landscape is more complex than ever before. With so many unknown factors to consider, the current, linear process for concept development and production is an increasingly blunt tool.
In this workshop Gustav von Sydow, Founder of Burt, proposes the idea of “Agile Advertising”, a concept for harnessing continuous learning and modification, optimising the workflow for responding to change, rather than blindly following a plan.
The workshop will explain what to measure and when, and how to make sure that insights from analytics is integrated into the creative process. Delegates can learn to utilise methods such as “rapid prototyping”, “discount pre-testing” and “dynamic optimisation” to make advertising powerful and predictable, innovating more quickly based on measuring actual user response.
The best practices taught and lessons learned are based on von Sydow’s experience developing a leading analytics software for digital advertising. Burt also conducted a series of interviews on advertising efficiency with leading advertisers and top talent in digital departments all over the world. Just like these agencies and advertisers, delegates can learn to welcome change, even late in the process, and harness that change as a competitive advantage.