Article | Harvard Business Review | June 2013

How to Profit from 'Lean Advertising'

by Thales S. Teixeira


This article introduces the concept of Lean Advertising, i.e., how to use non-traditional approaches to create and distribute advertising using extremely low-cost approaches online. A framework for Lean Advertising is proposed that identifies the four ways in which companies can execute marketing with low budgets by (1) creating content themselves, (2) distributing content themselves (e.g., inbound marketing), (3) outsourcing content creation (e.g., via crowdsourcing) or (4) outsourcing content distribution (e.g., viral marketing). Benefits and challenges of these four approaches are discussed and their costs are compared to that of traditional mass media using ad agency content creation.

Keywords: viral advertising; viral ads; advertising; online marketing; Lean advertising; Online Advertising; Advertising; Advertising Industry;


Teixeira, Thales S. "How to Profit from 'Lean Advertising'." Harvard Business Review 91, no. 6 (June 2013): 23–25.