Top 4 Brainstorming Pitfalls and How to Tackle Them

February 6, 2019Experience, Industry, Listening, Marketing

I used to react to an invitation to a brainstorm like an invitation to a party. Yes, of course I’ll take a break from my real projects and go play with my creative teammates for an hour. Over time, though, I learned that not all brainstorms are created equal. Some are unfocused and confusing, some are stifled and boring. Some are downright aggravating. Here is my list of the most common brainstorming pitfalls and ways to overcome them.   PITFALL 1: Disorganized conversations that don’t generate usable ideas. Solution: Plan ahead with two bad-ass …

Caught in a Mentor Sandwich

February 4, 2019Culture, Experience, Listening

So, just a couple of days ago and I’m standing in a classroom inside the McCombs Business School at The University of Texas sharing an example of how much our lives have changed since the early, heady days of the interwebs, when Gopher was a viable contender to HTTP and the geeks were still yet to inherit the earth. In front of me are 35 UT undergrads leaning in and looking pretty engaged. On my left is one the most important mentors in my life and professor of the class, Bob Pearson. I take pause to drink in what was happening. Here I am guest lecturing at one of the top business schools in the US, dropping knowledge and experience on eager students, flanked by my mentor Bob who, in turn, has dropped much knowledge and …

From Behind the Glass

February 1, 2019Experience, Industry, Listening, Marketing

With some of our clients gearing up to launch new campaigns, I’ve had the opportunity recently to spend time listening in on a few market research interviews. It’s probably one of my favorite parts of the process. I may be alone in that feeling. For those of you who have never been to or participated in a market research session, it’s pretty straightforward: a consumer comes in to give their opinion about the pieces we’re working on — in our case, it’s usually a doctor or a surgeon. An interviewer walks them through a series of questions and discussion prompts to try and get a sense of what they think about how strong the messages are or how eye-catching …

Can Old Sharks Teach Us New Tricks?

January 11, 2019Culture, Experience, Listening

Ever since I was a young boy I have always been fascinated with sharks. Maybe fascinated isn’t the word. Passionate. Is that the right word? Obsessed is probably more accurate. No, it wasn’t because of Jaws but rather all those Jacques Cousteau PBS specials I watched with my dad during my formative years. As I grew older, more mature and braver (maybe not so much wiser), I became a scuba diver and have continued to hone this hobby to align with my shark obsession. During my diving career I have progressively risen up the ranks of underwater …

How We Made Proton Therapy Definable Through Listening

December 17, 2018Experience, Healthcare, Listening

When it comes to a patient’s understanding of proton therapy, it is crucial to listen to concerns to truly gauge knowledge or gaps in comprehension. In other words, what do patients need to know to make an informed decision when they’ve just received the diagnosis “You have cancer”? And how do they go forward with prescribed protocols like proton therapy with confidence? We recently collaborated with Texas Center for Proton Therapy and conducted an online social listening exercise to gather an understanding of what caregivers and patients know about proton therapy. What we learned was astonishing: Less than 85% know about this alternative to traditional radiation therapy. A recent study found that patients, on average, are given only 11 seconds to …

Five Listening Tips I Learned from My Hair Stylist

December 5, 2018Experience, Healthcare, Listening, Marketing

Highlights, lowlights, babylights, splashlights. Painting. Gloss. Ombre, sombre, balayage. As my stylist likes to say, when it comes to hair color, “There are a lot of ways to get to France.” Ok, I get it: I come to my stylist with a look — or an outcome — in mind. My stylist, equipped with a myriad of techniques and skillsets, has to figure out the best way to achieve the look. Or even harder, to diplomatically redirect my hair hopes and dreams when my platinum aspirations are in direct contrast to well, having hair. Much like in the healthcare advertising world, stylists must have a deep knowledge of biology, chemistry, …

Six Tips for Improving Your Localization Strategy in a Global Market

November 15, 2018Experience, Industry, Innovation, Marketing, Technology

The digital revolution has expanded our customer markets from local programs to global proportions. We now have access to a much broader target that’s easily reached via social or mobile around the world. However, today’s marketers should not make the mistake of assuming that a “smaller world” means a smaller message. While targets can be reached more efficiently, we must still apply the same discipline of crafting the right story for the right audience. Take the time to …

Treating Patients and Judging Award Shows – Not so Different

October 26, 2018Experience, Healthcare, Industry

When I was at the Cannes Lions Health & Wellness International Festival of Creativity two summers ago, I attended a session aptly called “How to Win a Lion.” It was there that I realized that award show judges are a lot like doctors. According to a survey by Statista, doctors on average see about 20 patients a day. That’s thousands of patients a year, each with multiple symptoms, a unique medical history and their own set of concerns. Though they may have a common condition that they share with millions of others, each patient wants to be seen and treated as the individual that they are. Similarly, a judge who’s a regular on the award show circuit can be exposed to thousands of entries. In fact, judges at the Cannes Lions Health & …