How we Built a Healthcare Agency Headquartered in Austin, Texas, With 0% Funding and 100% Passion

June 20, 2019Culture, Experience, Healthcare, Industry, Listening

It was the day before 9/11 We all remember the frightening days of 9/11. It was an event in our country’s history that will forever be remembered. That time was also one of hard economic struggle as commerce seemed to come to a screeching halt. Here in Austin, the city was already in a recession after the bursting of the dot com bubble. Tech companies were shedding employees and subleasing office space as fast as they could. Planes crashing into buildings only made that scenario worse. So, what did I do when I found out that the ad agency I worked for was …

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 …

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. …

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 is equally true. What does the client (or brand manager) and consumer know and what do we as agencies need to understand? It can only be arrived at through intentional, deep listening. And from that, …

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 programing. They’re investing in diverse types of programing too, including: channel and content development, paid media, influencer …

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 …

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 no idea what I was doing. That became extremely clear very quickly.   I had big plans to attend Maria Shriver’s featured session—a panel about women and Alzheimer’s. I made sure to get online the day before the session to grab an SXXPress pass, reserving my spot at the front of …

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 documents: a brief and an agenda. Your brief should lay out the background, context and goals of the brainstorm. Ideally, you’ll have your brief reviewed and refined by whomever this brainstorm is for, ensuring your brainstorm is solving the right problems. Distribute your brief …

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 …