Tag Archives: AMA

Mentoring young talent by Michelle Leblanc @AMAhouston #ME2016 

Live note taking at the AMA Houston. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

  • All her employees are millenials and they are all digital offices in different countries
  • No generation is all the same – 18 year olds are not the same as 34 year olds even if they’re in the same segment
  • Why mentor – learn new things, understand them better, longevity, faster growth, keeps you at the top of your game [for me, it’s just the right thing to do,  you ought to help other people when you’re in the position to do so]
  • Know what they believe strongly in, embrace honesty and openness, be an active listener, expect mutual benefits
  • They grew up with people listening to them, you don’t have to agree but you have to listen
  • They want mentoring and coaching, straight feedback, and formal development programs; they’ve always had structured actives and are used to having a program to help them become a better worker
  • It’s not you. It’s not one to one.  Peer mentoring, reverse mentoring, speed monitoring.
  • They want personal advisory boards. Introduce your network. Recommend contacts to expand horizons. FInd a specific task for a specific expert.
  • Everything needs to be faster, faster feedback
  • Annual reviews are over, everyday reactions or serendipitous interactions are prefered, continuous feedback and listen to the redactions [but make sure if you do it publicly that the person is okay with that]
  • Ongoing training is extremely important, crowdsourcing answers, webinars, and even formal training and conferences, ask them to choose speakers who align with their goals ahead of time, ask them to go to all the networking events and then add to the company blog when they get home
  • Be the best example you can be
  • It’s a two way street, you both have to adapt and change because good communication takes two participants

Agile marketing from A to Z by Jeff Pedowitz @AMAhouston #ME2016 

Live note take at the AMA Houston conference. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

  • Agile marketing is adapting agile management and software degelopment methods in the context of marketing management 
  • Rapid feedback, collaborative teams, short cycles or sprints, emphasize transparency
  • Good for ongoing campaigns
  • Can see the final result more quickly, could even be real time because you’re doing week long sprints and you’re launching at the end of every week (or two weeks or four weeks)
  • Stand up meetings every day, maybe 15 meetings, say what you’re doing and move on
  • It’s a set of principles from IT and adapted for marketing, you still need a plan but it lets you adapt and change much faster
  • Many small experiments, lots of collaboration, rapid iterations
  • Occasional small errors are fine, we all make typos, don’t let that hold you back
  • Can’t chance your org structure overnight but you can change how you work together
  • You have to measure or you won’t know what’s working
  • You can change course much quicker than your competition
  • Don’t wait for things to fall into place, always be putting something into place
  • You’re turning marketing into a production facility
  • Waterfall – word for sequential based planning, Scrum is completely agile and fluid breaking things into short sprints, marketing uses a combination of the two
  • Scrum is the press, 4 to 7 people working collaboratively. More than 7 means too much is happening
  • Backlog is collection of work you’re doing
  • Stories is everything you WANT to do, you decide what has high medium low effort
  • It’s a habit forming thing, it will take time to get used to doing it and make it feel natural
  • You can be a scrum master or team leader or just a member on several different teams, you can have a variety of roles
  • Stick to the schedule which is the hardest things, launch even when it’s not all there
  • Small errors along the way are less traumatic
  • You could decide to do a sprint next week, make your team, name your team, make it small and simple – estimate the work maybe a week or two
  • Hold a sprint review meeting, learn a couple lessons to apply to the next one
  • Everyone needs to pursue innovation and creativity
  • Use data to make intelligence decisions
  • Build an experimentation engine

CMO panel discussion at AMA Houston @AMAhouston #ME2016 

Live note taking at the AMA Houston conference. Any errors or bad jokes are my own. Apologies for not indicating who said what.


Session 1

  • The Seven Big Problems in marketing
  • Focus here is on talent and recruiting and retaining that talent
  • Focus on employees before focusing on customers
  • Where is the skills void – technology, marketing is so heavily influenced by tech, we need to be experienced with tech and have a varuety of expertise. Also research and analytics, customer lifetime value, how to use data, leverage data, attribution modeling, statistical modeling. Need to understand them no necessarily know them.
  • We need to spend a lot of time with IT professionals, go to where the expertise is [yeah go visit your research team, your data analyst, your statisticians, data scientists]
  • [i’m so tired of the millenial term. It’s not millenials. It’s new adults who have money for the first time and are ready to find a brand and become loyal to a brand]
  • How do you attract people to join your company
  • [seems the term has changed from employee to individual contributor]
  • Hiring people is a sales job, always have a list of people who you really like and when you have a job that suits them, go ask them. Have a folder of people you want to hire when the opportunity arises
  • The resume is a pet peeve. You ar selling and promoting your personal brand. 80% are just a list of things someone has done but that’s what they aren’t looking for. What results have you generated. What contributions have you made, how did that produce results for the company. What impact have you made on the organization. Tell how you helped the company advance.
  • If you don’t have much experience because you’re young [then consider all your unrelated jobs and volunteer work and what you contributed to them. NO ONE gets to their first job with no relevant experience. Hard work, perseverance, working under pressure, teamwork]
  • Looking for people who want a career not a job, need passionate people
  • You are NOT owed a new job title and salary increase every six months [or even every two years]
  • You can’t go wrong with an advanced degree. Where all things are equal, that person will win. But someone who’s done amazing things without that graduate degree will win. It’s important that the person can be effective from day one.

Session two

  • [set of nonprofit speakers]
  • Budget issues, limited resource and serious expectations, volunteers, a lot of neuron racy, real lives are on the line, hard to get people to buy into a long term cause
  • Biggest challenge is segmentation of audience, donors, members and every mix of those, young, old, active and not active, everyone needs a different message
  • Need to establish a culture of marketing when the employees are all social workers or medical workers, fighting for dollars doesn’t line up with how they feel
  • Why do one third of ballet audience not come back – what are they missing?
  • How do you create a culture of innovation with nonprofits that have limited resources
  • “Pilot”” is a common word, test something with very little money, tested a Facebook campaign for potential foster families, got a lot of inquiries as a result, a full blown campaign would not have been approved but now it is
  • You rarely know what caused anyone to make a purchase. A billboard? A Facebook post? You have to expect it’s not all measureable and just try anything out.
  • They are mostly digital at this point, important for the staff to be writers and they pay firms to do the rest, good content always gives you the presence, focus on the stories

Opening Keynote with Denise Jacobs, The Creative Dose @AMAhouston #marketing #ME2016 

Live note take at the AMA Houston conference in Houston, Texas. Any error or bad jokes are my own.

  • Creativity is the new black, it’s the talent that CEOs need the most, it is valued the most by coworkers
  • We all have creativity within us, we all WANT to create and it doesn’t mean pictures or dance or music. It’s companies and campaigns, even riffing is creative
  • Creativity is a business imperative, it’s imperative for business growth
  • It doesn’t mean a lone creative genius in their garage
  • We need to unblock our creativity, we all fear our ideas will be criticized or that they aren’t perfect, fear of not being good enough, fear of ideas being TOO crazy
  • FEAR – false evidence appearing real, you don’t know if you will be criticized or judged but you hold yourself back, other people could have benefited from your crazy idea
  • Ted talk.- your body language shapes who you are, our bodies change our minds, our minds change our behaviors, our behavior changes our outcomes – CHECK your body language, put on your best superhero pose with hands on hips or hands in the air [this is where we all stand up and do superhero poses 🙂 ]
  • Gaming can be helpful for creativity and stress relief 
  • Go into things with an experimentation mindset – explore different ways, acceptance of failure is built in, you won’t get it all the first time, you won’t get it right NOW but you will get it right, you will learn things along the way, ideas will start to flow
  • More people means more creativity, creativity is linear
  • None of us is as smart as all of us
  • Keeping ideas to yourself is detrimental, be generous with your ideas, you also need to listen, over talking = muting other people [get our your plastic stabbing fork!  🙂 ]
  • Be present, don’t be figuring out what you’re going to say, pay attention to what they’re saying; relax your own agenda; 
  • CONNECT: Now we’re instructed to tell a partner something very exciting, both at the same time. [I didn’t hear a thing he said 🙂 ]
  • Listening builds trust and a sense of safety
  • The most attractive people make you feel interesting
  • COMBINE – diversity of people = diversity of ideas, you need left and right brains, big picture and little picture people, these are complementary like puzzle pieces
  • Must adapt and respond to the variety of people
  • [now we’re asked to tell a story and insert weird words into it, oh my, what a silly story]
  • There was no judgement because everything was ok, no time to think and didn’t know where the story was going, you never what people will say but it might be so unexpected that it pushes you to another place
  • Play is how we invent and experiment, we need to amplify ideas, avoid the phrase “yes but” and focus on “yes and”, an idea attributed to Walt Disney
  • When someone offers an idea, accept the offer, and fully commit to it, add to it, make your colleagues look good and then everyone looks better
  • A six person sentence – six people each choose one word – unicorn, batman, dream, ludicrous, lives, live – words all over the place
  • Now people are asked to pick a word that someone can connect to – marketers are superheroes and also awesome 🙂
  • Even the boring words were helpful, everyone owned the outcome 
  • Design an environment for co-creation, have a public space for ideas, need to externalizer ideas, sharing the raw concept gives your team material to work with and respond to, encourage ‘stupid’ ideas, they may be the best ones http://www.stupidideas.com
  • Have both sitting and standing spaces, create a locus where people and ideas can mix and mingle where people from different departments will cross paths
  • We’ve already tried to be creative by ourselves and be clever, sometimes plain is amazing
  • We don’t need more, more stuff more money more recognition, what we really need instead is better, expand, better quality
  • The total of human effort is not just more but better
  • Develop an openness to difference, form strong bonds among the group

Brand relationships: Augmenting the classic purchase funnel with Deven Nongbri, @Edelman @AMAhouston #marketing #ME2016 

Live note taking at the AMA Houston conference. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

  • Peers are more and more a source for purchase information and validation
  • Do you deliver a great product experience, are you doing good as a brand, help society?, it is expected as part of your brand DNA
  • Is someone trying to break you p? New business models like uber are having a serious effect, your relationship has never been more under siege
  • We could give up on building relationships or we could see that these disruptions are threats, turns them into opportunities that work in your favour
  • Create ambassadors and early adopters who will act on our behalf, let them be your team
  • How to navigate this new reality, how does consumer committment lead to better business results 
  • Research conducted across 13 countries [don’t want to bore us with methodologies 😦  There’s nothing boring about methods!]
  • Scored brand relationships on seven dimensions, average score was 40/100 in the USA [makes sense to put the average here, you need to leave room for improvement and you need to have a place for starts to shine]
  • Men have better relationships, millenials have better relationships 
  • THere are five relationship stages. Indifferent, interested, involved, invested, committed
  • Indifference – just walking through a store, grab the first thing off the shelf
  • Interested – may check out the label
  • Involved – actively choose your brand, ask if they can’t find the brand
  • Invested – people believe you share common values, stop other shoppers from buying the competitive brand
  • Committed – it’s about shared benefits, they ask stores to carry your brand, they switch stores to get your products, moves from I language to we language
  • Committment is wit hint the reach of all brand categories, even low involvement categories
  • Strong relationship protect your bottom line – consumers up first and stay loyal, they will pay more, they will recommend, they will advocate for and defend you
  • You can’t buy committment, must connect with consumers all along the purchase funnel
  • Earned media matters, 78% of people use traditional media for information about brands – tv, magazines, radio
  • Advertising buys interest
  • Involved consumers engage across all Chanel’s
  • Conversations are the foundations of a committed relationship 
  • Use of peer and owned grows fine times as fast going from involved to committed 
  • Brands fall short on purpose and engagement, telling stories consumers care about
  • Need to strengthen the relationship through purpose, be an interesting part of social media, have a charismatic leader, facilitate ongoing conversation, be there at the tough times
  • Need to better tell the store of their heritage, raise my self esteem and make me feel better about myself, help me feel admired and repeated when I use your brand

The content arms race: Why brands are screwed by Andrew Grinaker @AMAhouston #ME2016 

Live note taking at the AMA Houston conference. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

  • Our consumption capabilities are going to flatline, content shock, creating more content than is being consumed
  • The audience doesn’t care about your branded content, people don’t wake up wanting to see what their favourite brand said today
  • Only 30% of people have liked a brand on Facebook, when did you last like a brand? It’s not a relationship
  • There is so much content that is vastly more interesting than branded content 
  • Individual people are taking content away from brands – eg, unboxing videos, fanatics showing off their new shoes, someone who does toys review videos
  • How do brands compete
  • Planning: know your audience and your target, know the demos of each social channel, know where your audience lives, know what motivates them; agree on KPIs and goals for brand awareness, engagement, sales, lead generation, retention and loyalty; have a documented strategy, know what you want to achieve
  • Lead with purpose and values
  • [damn that pandora ad where the kids find their mom by touch alone is a tear jerker]
  • Emotional connection doens’t always mean crying
  • Give/get strategy – give 80% to get 20%, don’t focus on a heavy CTA
  • Content should entertain and drive interest, not tied to “thanks for viewing now buy this” GE does a great job of this
  • Budget first, idea second
  • Focus on what you do weekly, monthly or quarterly, e.g., social media is weekly, papers are monthly, information is quarterly
  • Save 20% of budget for promotion if you don’t have a media budget
  • Consider waht is foundation a exploratory, or in review
  • Be agile in publishing, different formats
  • Test all variables – headlines, CTAs, length, type, distributions, images
  • Some brands give us hope – ADOBE, Nordstrom, airBNB, IKEA, TSA, Jaguar

A Cynic Ponders at the AMA Research Summit #AMAresearch #MRX

Over the last day and a half, I’ve listened to a number of speakers at the AMA Research and Strategy Summit in Las Vegas. Some of them made me ponder and rethink what I thought I already knew. Here are just a few my take-aways.

  • A number of presentations showed videos of in-depth interview with target consumers. On the one hand, this is a really great way for back office people to internalize the consumer experience. When you don’t conduct the research yourself, it’s easy to lose focus of how real people feel about and use your product. On the other hand, those videos are an overt reminder of how participating in research changes how you view products. When we make people think deeply about their product opinions, we cause them to create opinions that they didn’t have to begin with. People don’t often think about products in deep ways. We make those thoughts happen. And that’s just not an honest and valid opinion.
  • If you do not know what success looks like, don’t waste your time and money conducting research. If you aren’t going to action the research results, don’t waste your time and money conducting research. Don’t waste mine either.
  • OstrichI found it shocking that 37% of marketers made no mention of financial outcomes when they defined ROI. People are in business to make money. If you can’t measure your outputs in terms of money, how are you in business? You’re not REALLY running a facebook page to grow engagement. You’re running a facebook page because it leads to money. Don’t fool yourself.
  • I do not believe for one second that consumers who use loyalty cards knowingly trade privacy for rewards. Consumers use loyalty cards to get rewards. End of story. At some point, some of them realize something else must be going on. Do they really know what is going on? Absolutely not. Don’t fool yourself.
  • Partnerships, schmartnerships. Vendors want a partnership. Clients want you to bug off. That’s a little harsh but how many vendors and clients TRULY have a partnership? One where each party shares 100% of all information freely,  immediately, and without being asked. Unless the vendor has an in-house seat at the client’s office, it’s likely not a partnership. It’s a business arrangement. I think most “relationships” are really just habits. Don’t fool yourself.
  • Researchers really need to stop trashing DIY. Do it yourself research is not inherently bad. If I used a DIY survey tool, it would be a DIY survey. But it wouldn’t be a crap survey generating crap results. However, if my brother used a DIY survey tool, it would generate crap results. The differentiator is skill and expertise, not the DIY part. If you want to hate, start hating people who write 60 minute surveys with 100 grid items and highly technical language. Wait a minute. Did that describe you?

Below are the live blog posts I wrote during the conference. If you see something you like, do get in touch with the speaker. I’m sure they’d be happy to share their slides. Enjoy!

Consumer Foresight: The one handed world by Kelley Styring @InsightFarm #AMAresearch #MRX

Welcome to this series of live blogs from the American Marketing Association’s Research & Strategy Summit in Las Vegas. Any errors, omissions, or silly side comments are my own.

AMA market research event

Kelley Styring, Principal, InsightFarm, Inc.

  • Products and packages have not been designed to be operated with one hand. Not can openers, not shoe laces, not opening boxes, not open CD wrappers.
  • People who only have one hand are the research subjects here. Study extreme populations to give you foresight – not every weirdo is a market.
  • Watch a one handed person tie their shoes. It’s a cool trick, a proof of competency.
  • One of your hands is full of a coffee or a steering wheel or something else, so really we should design for a one handed word
  •  Look for compensatory behaviours.
  • 40% of the time, 1 hand is occupied with something. 13% of the time its a cell phone. After that, carrying things, smoking etc.
  • A one handed world means a better world for everyone. Differs from universal design which is “access for all”
  • Phase 1 was qual, 6 people. Interviews with show and tell and deep probes.
  • Phase 2 was quant. What’s most difficult? Tools, health and medical, cooking and eating, snacks, beverages
  • Key themes:  Holding an apple is manipulating. Using a cell phone is stabilize and manipulate. Flossing is manipulate with two hands. Two handed manipulation is the worst when it comes to one handedness.
  • “Cling wrap is my mortal enemy”  🙂
  • Hero products – slip on shoes, sweatpants, handsfree dispensers
  • Liquids in flexible packages like a juicebox – this is terrible. Spills all over.
  • Pull tabs on packages don’t open consistently, rips without actually opening the package, or it spills all over. Food in a plastic bag in a box, like cereal. This is an innovation opportunity.
  • What about pull tabs on glued surfaces – eg tube chips or mouthwash bottles or bandages.
  • Anything difficult with two hands is twice as hard as one – think of those produce bags at the grocery store. And what about the heavy products like laundry detergent or cases of water.
  • Surface friction can determine success to incorporate friction into design. E.g., dishes are slippery in the sink so people put a towel in the bottom of the sink.
  • Total Fail products – dental floss, food requiring expensive can openers, juice boxes, shoes that tie
  • Innovation opportunities [you’ll have to ask Kelley for the details on each of the following]
    1. intuitive design
    2. self stabilizing products
    3. one handed stabilization and manipulation, e.g., putting on chapstick one handed
    4. toothiness – products intended to be opened with the teeth
    5. friendly friction
    6. bottom dispensing – use gravity – upside down ketchup
    7. packages that want to be opened, a simple squish pops it open
    8. air as a propellant – squishing a chip bag
    9. Lever effects – push to open something
    10. Finger pry
    11. finger twist – opening a ziplock bag by twisting the bag
    12. finger scissors
    13. Hovering thumb like using a phone
    14. shopper consideration – weight, handles, gripability
    15. hands free alternatives – no tie shoes
    16. soft packages with rigidity
    17. packages that ALWAYS open properly
    18. full grip pull tabs. the tab is never big enough
  • Had people hold a baby doll while they tried to open a baby bottle
  • Be broad in your consumption of knowledge

Research Transformation: Ian Lewis @Cambiar #AMAresearch #MRX

Welcome to this series of live blogs from the American Marketing Association’s Research & Strategy Summit in Las Vegas. Any errors, omissions, or silly side comments are my own.

AMA market research event

Ian Lewis, Director, Research Impact Consulting, Cambiar LLC

  • Fewer than 4 in 10 client researchers said they are thought partners
  • Why isn’t everyone buying into short presentations? This is what CEOs want
  • Why don’t clients want closer partnerships with agencies” Agenciees want it, clients less so
  • Agencies
    • Agencies – I never know the whole picture. How can I deliver insights that have business impact?
    • Corporate researcher – I get 80 page PPTs when I want insights that solve problems. Why should I invite you in?
  • Management
    • Corporate researchers – You bring me in too late. I need a seat at the table to be more effective.
    • Top management – I get data dumps when I want insights that solve problems. Why should I invite you in?
  • Clients are much more into integrating innovative research tools than agencies, e.g., MROCs, emotion measurement, new qual.
  • Client adoption is slower for neuroscience and biometrics, but it’s still more than among agencies
  • Data synthesis focuses on traditional sources like surveys, quant, qual.
  • Big data is a potential tsunami that will wash over everything.
  • Who do you believe more? 1000 people who answered a boring 20  minute survey, or millions of records of live actual web behaviour?
  • Talent types
    • management consultants – more toward strategic, future leaders of consumer insights functions
    • polymaths – client researchers and full service research partners. good at many different things.
    • specialists – insurgent research and technology companies
  • 2012 training to focus on power skills – innovative research methods, insights, storytelling, leadership, consulting, synthesis, influencing, integrating, advanced analytics
  • What should corporate researcher leaders do? Become thought partners. Leverage the expanding toolkit.
  • What should agencies do? Reassess participation strategy, where to compete. And operating strategy, how to compete. And talent. Are you a deep insight partnership? Are you a specialist company? Are you a data provider?
  • What does the MR profession need? Must define, attract, educate, and hire the right talent.

Digital Music Consumers: Stephanie Fried @Vevo #AMAresearch #MRX

Welcome to this series of live blogs from the American Marketing Association’s Research & Strategy Summit in Las Vegas. Any errors, omissions, or silly side comments are my own.

AMA market research event

Stephanie Fried, Vice President, Research Insights and Analytics,VEVO

  • Vevo is a music platform with original content, interviews, sports, travel, music. You often don’t realize you’re watching videos through Vevo.
  • n=2900, age 13 to 43, P3M viewed a music video online, or streamed, or followed an artist online. 53% of US fell into this definition. Of these, 80% view videos online.  Online study, rep of online US population.
  • Top 4 segments of music consumers [I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen a segmentation presentation where we actually got to see what the segments are.]
  1. Savvy socializers. 22% of music consumers. very engaged, spend money on brands and devices. Vevo enthusiasts, use multiple sites, access everywhere all the time. Heavy TV viewers, play instruments, lots of time online, frequently on social networks. Very tech savvy.
  2. Ecelectic downloaders: 20%. younger. like to download and own. like all different kinds of music. Watch videos with friends. More likely to be students, single. Like to create art, exercise, rate products online. Collection has to be digital.
  3. On the go influencers: 18%. Young, ethnically diverse. Music is an escape. Like to understand music, understand the stories behind the music. Lower income but will spend money on tech devices.
  4. Classic collectors: 12%. This segment will grow. Longer term opportunity. Older, caucasion, higher income. Digitizing their albums but keeping the physical album. Like classic rock, watch older videos.
  5. Casual loners:  [oops! got distracted here!]
  6. Unconnected country:16%. older, female, family focused, suburban. Like country music. Music isn’t part of their every day like.
  • Product team uses this to help make product decisions. e.g., a new lyrics offering. Start with savvy socializers who are interested in the lyrics. Tailored to the right audience.
  • Classic collectors are into concerts.
  • Cross promote artists based on segment preferences. Artist overlap, genre overlap.
  • Informs marketing – where how are they consuming. what type of messaging.
  • 13 to 18 is  a big mobile segment. Younger is more eclectic and on the go. There were no real “teen” segments.
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