We live in a world of never stopping changes. Companies are facing disruption threats from new incumbents and tech-driven business models every day. Three in four CEOs say that their company is striving to be the disruptor in its sector.
“The order is rapidly fading And the first one now will later be last”. Times They Are A-Changin’, Bob Dylan, 1964.
It’s not different in the advertising world. But threats are coming from another way: the consulting firms.
Consulting firms are used to speak directly to the CEOs and other members of the C-suit, not only the CMO, and already have the biggest digital advertising revenues.
In this fast changing world, companies need to have their business problems solved, but communications itself can’t do it alone. Agencies help solving part of the problems, but consultancies brought an end-to-end approach, raiding our once well-protected marketing space and biting a piece of the advertising revenue pie. We, the agencies, need new capabilities and more strategic solutions added to our main product: creativity (something that consultants still have trouble to find).
Our agency transformation
How is Monday is trying to adapt? By becoming more strategic.
We’ve been surfing the good wave of digital services because of our “tech DNA”. Monday has been helping companies like Red Bull, Mars and Philips to bring to life their communication strategies through a myriad of solutions, from sophisticated apps development to websites and other platforms design. We became pretty good at it, specially after 12 years of existence.
But we know it is not enough. Not anymore.
Not only because of consulting firms’ threat and new business models’ approach, but also because we truly believe that if keep learning and changing, we will shall stay relevant for our clients. In these uncertain times, we don’t want them to fear uncertainty, but to embrace it and become future-proof companies.
So that’s what we did: we brought inside new service and business design skills and mixed it with our tech-savvy services. The result was a new kind of agency (or consultancy?). And from that, a new kind of integrated service was created.
We call it Business Transformation.
Our client’s challenge
New world, new focus: consumer needs.
Águas de Cascais is a public concession that supplies water and does the sewer collection in Cascais, subregion of the Greater Lisbon, Portugal.
People are used, as citizens in general, to receive a poor service from public concessions just because they are (of course) public concessions. This kind of company, even if it doesn’t deliver a five-star service, will probably keep its contract for years to come. So it’s quite normal to see a less-than-one-star service in our lives.
That’s just the opposite thinking inside Águas de Cascais.
Putting customers’ needs first, they called Monday to help the company better understand it’s consumers and employees’ points of pain and hidden opportunities, in order to design and deliver a leaner, better and faster service. This was a hell of a good problem to be solved!
And that’s how we did it, together:
Business Transformation in practice
With that challenge in mind, we’ve designed a series of workshops in which we could diagnose problems and propose solutions with the client’s team. It’s important to say that the management team was deep committed to the project. Not only employees with direct contact with consumers but also several heads of department participated in the workshops. That mix is perfect (and mandatory) for the success of this kind of work.
Info: Sometimes we need some clients’ information to design the processes we are going to get through. Usually on the week before, we ask the client for this kind of information. Example: what are the 6 critical processes we should work on and try to find solutions to?
Design: First things first: in the beginning, we tried to identify our client’s main challenges. Then, we looked at our business design toolbox and chose what best suited the work. We like to make a presentation before every workshop, explaining what kind of tool we are going to use and why, and everything we are going to need for the sessions. Makes sense to describe every step of the workshops, with the time of the exercises, pauses, etc.
Stuff: Multi-colored post-its (lots of it) so we can sketch the problems and ideas; marker pens; a big monitor or a projector to show the presentations.
Place: A big room for all the participants to stay comfortable; table and chairs. (Of course you can make it more fancy with puffs and stuff like that.) In this case, the workshops happened at our clients’ office.
People: As I said before, it’s important to have different kinds of people from the company as participants. In this one, usually 8 to 10 people from the client and 2 mediators from Monday.
Finally, the great days. Monday prepared a 4-days-in-a-week series of workshops to identify problems and create solutions to Águas de Cascais (the number of days/hours will always depend on what you need) .
Each day had a special purpose. On the first (6 hours), we wanted to see how the organization worked and how each department related to each other. On the second and third days (12 hours), we wanted to map the processes (mainly critical ones) and identify problems. On the fourth and last day, it took us 3 hours to generate as many ideas as possible regarding the problems we’ve mapped through the week.
But… how have we done it?
Company business model (Day 1 — morning)
We decided to use the Business Model Canvas, a tool developed to sketch out how a company works to make money (or design new ways to do it). After explaining the concept and the tool to the client’s team, we’ve designed together Águas de Cascais’ current business model. It helped us understand how they add value to their consumers and what they need to deliver it (resources, activities, partners, etc).
Personal business models (Day 2 — afternoon)
In the afternoon, we went into a more introspective exercise: individually, the members of the client were asked to use the Personal Business Model Canvas to design their own canvas as an employee of Águas de Cascais. It helped us understand how each one of them add value for the company and the relations between different departments.
Service blueprints (Days 3 and 4)
That one took us a lot of work: 12 hours using the Blueprint Canvas to map the six processes the client had chosen as the critical ones. In these sessions, we tried to understand not only how the processes currently happened, but the main problems related to them (these problems were going to be used on the last day).
Designing new value propositions (Day 4 — afternoon)
First, we transferred all the problems mapped on the blueprint sessions from the canvases to a wall were everybody could see. Then, we used all the minds at the room to generate ideas that could possibly solve each problem, no matter the complexity or feasibility levels. At this time, just forget we have regulations, budget, technology or people problems. Every ideia should count. We used a Value Proposition Canvas to guide our thinking.
These workshops were a great source of learning to all of us. On the client side, they mapped problems they didn’t even know they had (great ideas, even simple ones, came from that) and a plus: a kind of integration between departments that is pretty rare in the “normal days”. Many problems identified (internal and external ones) and even more ideas generated!
On Monday part, besides the problems mapping/ideas generation, it was a deep immersion at Águas de Cascais world. The kind of learning we wouldn’t have even in months of conversations and e-mail exchanges. It’s incredible to see how many fantastic people and processes goes behind what the final customer have contact. As they said, we are never gonna see a water invoice the same way again!
Results: seven of the most critical processes mapped out, dozens of evolution points identified and more than the triple of ideas generated, from the simplest to the more complex ones. Besides that, Monday developed even more ideas, including advertising campaigns, that could help Águas de Cascais to achieve its main objective: becoming a more empathy-centric institution.
Thank you for reading
We really do want to hear from you! Get in touch
Monday is a digital agency based in sunny Lisbon. We believe in the power of brands and we work side by side with our clients transforming their customer experience. This core philosophy stands at the center of everything we create. Clients include: Snickers, Red Bull, Twix, Philips, M&M’s, Guloso…