Fast, Cheap or Great?

Fast Cheap or Great

The following is a preview of a panel presentation we are hosting at the upcoming FutureM conference, October 16-18, 2013, in Boston. Come see us on Friday, October 18!

You’ve probably seen the above image in one way or another before. It’s been floating around in different iterations for awhile now (notably in this post by Colin Harman): it shows the three main constraints that we’re all familiar with when developing creative content: Duration, Cost & Quality.

When you’re developing creative, the rule is, you can only choose two, and you’re always having to sacrifice one element for the other two. Fast & Great? Sure, happy to do it! I was thinking of building a new addition on the summer home. Great & Cheap? We’ll squeeze it in whenever we have some “down time”. Fast & Cheap – I think I know a student somewhere who’s looking to do something for their portfolio. Historically, If you’ve wanted to produce great work, you need to be prepared to pay for it, or wait for it. Or both.

At the center of this model is the unattainable holy grail: Fast, Cheap and Great.

Marketers and creatives have worked within these constraints for years, always sacrificing one key component: dealing with long timelines, prohibitive budgets (on both sides), or questionable quality. Adapting to strategic shifts or customer feedback within these constraints becomes even more challenging, forcing teams to scramble to free up time or budget to keep up with market demands, or changes in scope or direction.

Now, have you ever wondered how some companies seem to excel outside of, or perhaps in spite of, these constraints? The scrappiest start-ups and leanest marketing teams are able to crank out fantastic creative that’s effective, completed in record time and, amazingly, under (or at least within) budget. Often these teams are working in remarkably fast-paced, rapidly shifting environments where strategic shifts happen day to day, and marketing plans need to be set daily, not weekly or monthly.

These digital marketers have learned to embrace these constraints, and have found ways to produce enviable marketing assets at a pace and scale that seemed impossible just years ago. This is even more important with today’s rapid feedback loop, when success is measured in days, not months. Digital has forced marketers to think fast and act quickly, and this pace will only continue to quicken.

“Tomorrow’s marketers must be willing to throw away the Annual Marketing plan, and replace it with 365 Daily marketing plans”
Joe Chernov, VP of Marketing, Kinvey

Image Conscious Studios has had the pleasure to partner with some of these crafty digital marketers who are embracing agile environments, where ideas are implemented, tested & iterated in rapid-file succession, allowing marketing & creative to work together more closely than ever. These nimble & collaborative engagements are providing even greater ROI in record time, despite the constraints of, or perhaps because of, these reduced resources. Endless budgets can make lazy marketers: whereas working within limits has forced digital marketers to adapt, and excel, within leaner environments.

They’re thinking big, but going small: starting with simple & well-defined goals, allowing campaigns & creative to be singular in focus, and measurable along all points of the funnel. Iterative cycles allow teams to rapidly create, test, and adjust content & creative

Join us, along with rock-star marketers & luminaries from Kinvey, Lattice, Guide & Corralsense at the 2013 FutureM in Boston on October 18th as we discuss simple, proven content-marketing strategies & workflows, show you under-the-hood examples of award-winning work that has followed this framework to great success, and walk you through the simple blueprint that you can follow to repeat this success on your own campaigns and content strategies.

See you on Friday – don’t forget to come by and say hi!