Expanding Lean, Mean and Agile: from Dev. to Comm.


Lean, mean and agile communications.

Lean, mean and agile communications.

I’ve been active for about 8 years now within the IT industry. And I always envied developers up until very recently. They could work in a lean, mean and agile way. We couldn’t. Marketing and Communication professionals not rarely fall back to “methodologies, tactics and strategies” that proved their power in the past. However, marketers and communication professionals taking this road are about to experience “armpit ponds” nobody has ever witnessed before. They’ll sweat. They’ll have to start working. Instead of talking. But why?

Digital Technology revolutionizes the communications business.

Art and copy have a new partner, technology, and it’s revolutionizing every part of the communications business. It lead to a new mindset. The idea of being ready to fail quickly, to be more agile in a consumer-dominant culture. How can you as a brand or enterprise communicate in a great way in this new, consumer-driven, multi-channel, fast-paced context? By getting as lean as developers!

Lean, mean and agile for Communication and Marketing

Developers learned us that we need to be open for an early failure. It’s better to realize early that something doesn’t work than to invest people’s time in further elaborating and researching an action that won’t deliver the results.

As marketers have more and more to do with platforms and OS, they need to understand their thinking and processes might need a big shift. They need to work, get things to market and learn fast. They are forced to do it cheaper, leaner and more collaboratively. They need to find ways to operationalize hacking and experimentation. This requires flexibility. Especially in one’s mind!

How to organize for Agile Communications?

Well, first of all. Get rid of your old school marketing thinkers. They’ll only slow down the process because mostly can’t cope with the uncertainty. An agile communications process begins with a ‘minimum viable brief’ (MVB). This dynamic document covers only as much as it needs to provide a framework of insight and inspiration. It shows the big idea but is chopped into smaller building blocks, allowing to get sprint and iterate accordingly. That’s being lean, mean and agile: mock up ideas fast, test assumptions and generate reactions in real-time.

Agile Communications: re-aligning strategy after launch. Adapt & respond.

Agile Communicators are always open for change, if there’s an opportunity to change for better results. This can be followed-up easily after launch. The next step is focus on what’s working and what is not. And consequently experiment with other bets based on what was successful. Adapt and respond. Or die.

Dude, that’s not even possible. The role of values, vision and stories…

We heard a lot of marketers stating that this is not possible for brands and that it would harm your brand in the long run. Well, let me tell you something: not transforming into a lean communicator will harm your brand even more.

You can only act as a lean communicator when you have uncovered the core of your brand / enterprise. You must establish your core values up front and remain authentic. That’s why you need to catch the very essence of your brand. What’s the core story? What are the core values?

A core story and storytelling are a precondition for lean communication

Despite the ever-increasing need for flexibility/agility, brand-building is still about consistency. We must catch our core values and remain authentic up front

In today’s fragmented, information overloaded environments, getting real with audiences is a challenge. But that’s exactly why you need to start fast and collaboratively and adjust along the journey. Getting in the office the day after and completely altering the entire project? Hooray!

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