The Power of Why

May 31, 2019Culture, Experience, Listening

By nature, I’m a pretty curious person. I’ve never really been afraid of asking questions. To the annoyance of many at one time or another, I’m sure. Now, as a mom to two toddlers, I realize (daily) what it feels like to be on the other side. Did you know that preschool children ask an average of 100 questions a day? That’s a lot of questions. Like, a lot of questions. “Why are we holding hands?” “Why is the sky blue?” “Why do you have that funny look on your face?” “Why do I have to brush my teeth?” “Why?” “Why?” “Why?” They’ve tested my knowledge. They’ve made me laugh. They’ve surprised me. And, let’s be honest, they’ve sometimes annoyed the heck out of me. But more than anything, they’ve reminded me how important it is to be brave and curious. How asking …

What Escher Taught Me About Analytics

May 22, 2019Industry, Innovation, Listening, Marketing, Technology

As an agency, HCB Health has been thinking — and writing — about analytics a lot lately. Even though it’s been a core competency at our agency for several years now, I admit I’ve struggled to fully wrap my arms and head around what it means and how to effectively use it. It has always felt Escher-like in its complexity and infinite possibilities. Where do you start? Where are you going? And how do you know when you’ve arrived? I never imagined that analytics would be the trigger for my existential crisis. Yet here I am, metaphorically frozen in place in Escher’s “House of Stairs.” Of course, I’ve since learned that the reality of analytics is much less dramatic. While you cannot overestimate the …

Build Your Bottom Line through Effective Listening, Tapping Emotion, & Strong Engagement

April 30, 2019Experience, Industry, Listening, Marketing

This article was originally published by DTC Perspectives on April 30th, 2019. http://www.dtcperspectives.com/build-bottom-line-effective-listening-tapping-emotion-strong-engagement/ Health and wellness, pharmaceutical, and medical-device providers must navigate an ever-evolving and consistently complicated healthcare landscape. Agencies (and corporate marketers) serve a key role in helping their clients problem solve, understand their challenges, and identify critical success factors. How is this best accomplished? Through the power of thorough, intuitive and intentional listening, and strong engagement – with both the client and consumer. It’s critical to tap into that certain something that bridges the gap between what agencies (and corporate marketers) think they know and what a client (or brand manager) needs to understand. The reverse …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 the images are. After talking to a bunch of different people and gathering a …

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 from someone just feels good. Its says, “I took the time to write this …