Digital is Hear. Are you Listening?

April 12, 2019Healthcare, Industry, Listening, Technology

An abridged version of this article appeared in the April issue of Healthcare Marketer’s Exchange http://hmexchange.com/archive/Foster_0419.pdf The healthcare industry and healthcare marketing have changed significantly in the last few years — greatly driven by digitally empowered patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals  engaging each other online in ever-increasing frequency and numbers. The industry is essentially trying to catch up with the consumer. With the U.S. healthcare and pharma industries expecting to spend close to $3B on just digital advertising by 2020*, manufacturers, hospitals and payors are clearly shifting significant resources and budgets to digital and social media …

SXSW 2019: Step Back, Think Bigger

March 13, 2019Culture, Healthcare, Industry, Innovation, Listening

On the final day of the Health & MedTech track at SXSW, I was able to attend the first of a 3-session series centered around “Design for Health.”  At first glance, I thought the topic might be better suited for a true creative to attend. But once I dug into the description, the need to “think bigger” was clear. Working at an advertising agency, I’m conditioned to react to the word “design” with thoughts of colors, fonts, layouts, wireframes—creative-y terms. But as I quickly realized, those are only part of what design is. Beyond graphic elements, design encompasses structures, environments, ideas, and strategy. In the same sense, “health” is more than a doctor, diagnosis, or treatment. Health is the whole person: their family dynamic, work-life balance, hobbies and activities, etc. “Design …

SXSW 2019: A Tale of Two Sessions

March 8, 2019Culture, Experience, Innovation, Listening

While I’m a native Austinite, I’ve never officially been to SXSW. Sure, I live and work downtown, and therefore typically get caught in the hustle of increased traffic, daily parties, and free food. But I’ve never actually had a badge. So today, as I walked over to the Austin Convention Center for a series of sessions, I basically had …

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 …

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 …

The Importance of Mentoring: To the Women That Showed Me the Way

January 25, 2019Culture, Listening

“If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.” – J Loren Norris One of our most talented up-and-comers, Taylor Watson, had a brilliant idea. To bring this month’s agency fundamental “Be a Mentor” to life, she suggested we have a “thank a mentor” party at the agency. We get together as a group in both offices to write a thank-you note to the people who have helped us get to where we are today. First of all, a written note in today’s world is akin to a Bigfoot sighting. The time it takes to write with an actual pen requires thought to what you want to say. And let’s face it, receiving a handwritten note …

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 shark encounters/experiences: nurse sharks, black tip reef sharks, Caribbean reef sharks, …

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 …

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 …