Yes, My Degree in Bass Performance Really Does Apply to My Job in Advertising

September 21, 2018Culture, Experience, Listening, Marketing

And a one … and a two … and a one, two, three, go! I guess by now I shouldn’t be surprised at how many musicians there are in advertising — hell, I’m one of them. Everywhere I’ve worked, there have been guitarists, drummers, singers, pianists … and, perhaps most importantly, bassists. (Can you guess what I play?) My degree is in Popular Music Performance. It’s an unusual degree, I’ll grant you, and it never fails to come up in job interviews. So, after 11 years as a writer, I’ve had a lot of time to think about how experience in music relates to what goes on at an agency. And the more I think about it, the more I realize how apt that experience is. When my team presents new concepts to the client, is it really much different than playing a gig with a band? We’ve come up …

Can Company Culture Transcend State Lines?

September 17, 2018Culture, Listening

My name’s Anastasia. I’m a project manager in our Chicago office. Yup, that’s right, HCB occupies several locations in the states and I’m part of the Windy City Crew. That’s probably got you wondering … If these guys work in different states, can their culture of listening (and being work besties) transcend state lines? YOU BET. I’ve worked at HCB for almost four years and have gotten to know many Austin colleagues as well as if we were cube neighbors, which has taught me that nothing can stop you from forging friendships when you have modern technology at your fingertips. How do long-distance friendships like this grow? Great question. Because, trust me, we know that, without face-to-face contact, making a bond can be tough. Well, I’ve noticed that it’s like having pen pals that you …

“Yes, and !” What Improv Taught Me About Business

August 24, 2018Culture, Experience, Industry, Listening, Marketing

As with most extroverts, talking has always come easy to me. I love to discuss, debate, share and present. I’m in my element when I’m standing in front of a group of people and have always enjoyed performing. So when a friend asked me to sign up for improv classes at Second City in Chicago, it seemed like a no-brainer. Surely I would follow the likes of Tina Fey and be on my way to “Saturday Night Live” in no time! After all, I was good at talking and fancied myself to have a great sense of humor. In the following weeks I learned the basics. For starters, when you join a class, that class becomes your tribe. You learn each person’s strengths and weaknesses and support each other in every way possible. Some people can make …

Trouble Connecting? Take it Offline

August 8, 2018Culture, Industry, Listening, Marketing

Have you ever received an email that you had to read a few times? The first time you read it, you detect a subtle attitude from the author. The second time you think it’s just sarcasm. Finally, you decide it’s not attitude; they are actually mad. Yup, their clipped language and lack of a friendly …

Cultivating a Culture of Listening

August 1, 2018Culture, Listening, Marketing

Hi there! Welcome to HCB’s first ever culture post! I bet you didn’t know you were coming to a healthcare marketing blog to read about culture, huh? Well you actually came to the right blog, because I happen to be heavily steeped in all things “culture.” Corporate culture? Check. Pop culture? Sure! Cheese curds? OH YEAH. But first, let me introduce myself. My name is Amber, and I’m the office manager/social media manager for our Austin office. I spend most of my time planning office parties and surfing the web. One of my favorite things to do, though, is hang out with my coworkers. Yep, you read that right. My COWORKERS. I’ve been at HCB for five years now, so I’ve had plenty of time to think about what makes my coworkers so much fun to be around, and this is what I’ve come …

What Does It Mean to Be the Listening Agency?

June 29, 2018Culture, Healthcare, Industry, Listening, Marketing

A few years ago, I began doing executive coaching as a new discipline for the agency, after a few C-level clients asked me to work with some of their senior staff members to improve their leadership and communication skills. “Me?” I thought, “Why me?” But then I thought about the common theme that almost every former client had shared about working with me and the team at HCB Health — that we were good listeners. Since then, I have worked with many different folks from a wide range of pharma and device companies who have all needed my support in different areas of development. Some were CEOs, and some were middle managers seeking to rise up the ranks. What separated the ones I knew would be successful from the ones I wondered about? Not their EQ or their P&L skills, but whether they knew …

Listen Globally, Act Locally

June 15, 2018Culture, Experience, Healthcare, Industry, Listening, Marketing

There is a paradox at play in the world of global marketing. We live in an age where the expectation is that messages can be shared instantaneously across the boundaries of time, language and location. We are more connected than we have ever been, yet we still are not a unified world. What motivates us, what inspires us and what drives a …

Listening Is the Key to Becoming More Than Just Better Marketers

June 4, 2018Culture, Industry, Listening, Marketing

We’ve all read articles addressing the question of how to be heard in the age of information. But while we’re all focused on being “heard,” many of us fail to address its essential complement: listening. At a recent pharma meeting, I spoke with some pharmaceutical marketing executives about their experiences with their agencies and uncovered a common complaint: While their agencies spend dozens of hours demonstrating their ingenuity and creativity, especially during pitches, marketers themselves are frequently frustrated at the failure of these agencies to genuinely listen to what their clients are saying. In a market as fraught with regulatory challenges as healthcare, listening is absolutely vital — and a skill too often overlooked in favor of “wowing” a client …

Healthcare Marketers Say Few Ad Agencies Are Really Good Listeners

May 18, 2018Culture, Experience, Healthcare, Industry, Listening, Marketing

New HCB Survey Finds Failure to Understand Client Needs Leads to Inferior Work, Cost Issues and Diminished Agency Value Healthcare advertising agencies need to sharpen their listening skills, according to a new survey of marketing executives commissioned by HCB Health. Respondents in four industry sectors — pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biotechnology and medtech — correlated good listening with the ability to understand and meet their business needs but said that only …