Tag Archives: creativity

Viz-Fest Day 1 – Visual Branding and Identity #MRX #NewMR

Live note taking from Viz-Fest Day 1. Any errors are my own.

 

The future’s bright, The future’s branded by Lucy Davison, Keen as Mustard

  • Know what you are and what you do, follow through in every aspect of your organization
  • What are the three most valuable marketing activities? Branding and strategy, website, content marketing
  • Biggest marketing problems: Awareness, don’t get on pitch lists, don’t know who we are or what we do
  • Need to get your brand right first, relevant messaging and strategy
  • MRX companies underinvest in marketing – More than half spend less than 5% of revenue on marketing. Average for a B2B company is 10%
  • Things are stormy but far in horizon there is possibility,
  • Big data is freely available, why do MR anymore? It’s faster, cheaper. Don’t need methods controlled by agencies. Now we have robots and algorithms doing our jobs.
  • Other businesses are encroaching on our space – Google, amazon. [oh, it’s not ‘our’ space!]
  • What can we learn from other B2B industries? Advertising – Saatchi & Saatchi reinvented themselves. M&CSAATCHI – Brutal, simplicity of thought. Cut back to only essential concept. BarleBogleHegary changed to BBH with a black sheep – it’s about being very different, going against the grain
  • How do clients pick agencies? Obviously, good people they trust, clients follow good people. Good technology to support what they say they can do. Want a new perspective, always be growing, better intellectual capabilities, end benefits to their stakeholders, make it easy to buy.
  • Look at logos of top 30 MR companies – all the logos look the same – blue acronyms.
  • If you aren’t buying legacy, what are you buying?
  • Most MR organizations are grey or blue, dull, boring. Even though we are dynamic and colorful.
  • It’s what they say about themselves – world, global, intelligence, insights, research, provider, strategy, growth, customer, unpredictable, precision, analytics
  • Must live and breathe the brand, it’s different, it lets you charge more
  • It’s time to change – we have so much content and intellectual property, we need to charge for business solutions not processors, we need to stand up to apple and google and be branded like they are
  • It’s how you behave with clients not just what you look like
  • MR is like a giant IKEA warehouse of flat pack companies, no idea how they’re different
  • Find your secret sauce – what is it that you have that is distinctive? Find your philosophy, make it meaningful, what culture do you have to deliver that
  • WHY do you do what you do, tell your company story
  • How branding helps agencies – pique client interest to get that first conversation, makes repeat business easier, methodology is far easier to copy than philosophy, more latitude on cost when proposals aren’t directly comparable, provides basis for staff recruitment, loyalty, and retention
  • How does this help clients? They know what final product they will get. Makes the final product predictable and reproducible. Reduces the need for pitching. More likely to partner on new techniques. More obvious which agencies are a good cultural fit. Makes my life easier.

Out with the old: Internal branding and you by Virginia Monk, Network Research

  • Move from being information providers to knowledge providers to providers of wisdom, a three or four-year journey, need to do this internally and externally
  • Rebranding isn’t easy, must be all consuming, across all media, all interactions, staff, stakeholders, partners, clients; should impact everything you do not just cosmetic changes, must be sold to the business so they feel comfortable with it
  • New visual identity need to align to new positioning, which signal change internally, and positioned the company appropriate externally
  • Needed to work out SWOT, find their philosophy
  • Competitors are technology providers, data providers, analytics providers not just other MR companies
  • Old logo looked exactly like the generic logo Mustard had built, fifteen years ago it was cool and new but now clients and new employees didn’t know what the logo was network research old
  • Now the logo is a bright blue supported with orange for slight differentiation and a strapline, something to fit their identify around, tells customers who they are and what the benefit itnetwork research new
  • Needed to change colours/branding on more than just the logo
  • Asked a long-time client and a new client what they thought of the new logo with no prompting. They understood what was being said. Liked the three dots as a ‘watch this space’ more to follow
  • Invested money so people connected emotionally with the branding and how it impacted them personally, had to work with all employees not just client facing employees
  • Had a launch party for staff, not just a few drinks after work. Used an external location that related to the branding. Chose St. Paul’s in London. Strong, beautiful design, internal and external strength, and has a great view just like the strapline.
  • Needed a sensory impact too. See, hear, taste, and smell the branding. Redecorated the office over the weekend, new paint, new decorations, new kitchen appliances and dishes, new furniture.
  • Gave every employee branded gifts – cups, paper, water bottles, orange chocolate, oyster card holders, stress balls, new business cards and collateral
  • Felt cheesy but it made a different. People love the oyster card holder, non-employees want them too
  • Changed some job titles, changed email signatures, people were excited when this happened
  • Circulated a brand book to everyone, new set of key works and terms for report and proposals, new iconography as well, lots of training on how to talk about it in this new way, training on new story-telling, operationalized the values for non-client facing staff – have an opinion on everything they do
  • Use it in their appraisal forms and scorecards
  • Branding is flexible and permits brand extension
  • Must start with the business strategy, what are you and what do you want to be; staff engagement must come at the beginning; executing the brand is more important than the branding itself; more effective to have multiple strands to an internal rebranding strategy with constant repeats
  • Recognize different learning styles, some people want a book, some want to be told, some want to play with it
  • Bedding in the brand takes time and is a cumulative process
  • Senior employees must live the brand and believe it, act it, not just lip service
  • Business must be prepared to adapt for maximum impact – redecorating the office must have seemed excessive but it wasn’t
  • Consider how it affects proposals early
  • Create a handbook of terms and meaning for all staff
  • Training never ends

Branding your insights by Mathew Sell and Daniel Tralman at Northstar

  • Advertisers and public relations know how to sell themselves, hard for researchers to do the same
  • Research has become too commoditized, need to make it more interesting, actionable, easier to access, it has a PR problem, we forget basic branding for ourselves
  • Our research needs to stimulate creativity and inspire action, need to value individuality and creativity
  • Insight doesn’t cut through the noise, so much is jostling for attention
  • Insight Campaign Strategies – we need to practice what we preach, concepts not projects, interpretative visualization, disruption and dissonance
  • Concepts not projects – we create concepts and clubs that people want to be a part of
  • #20ExtraordinaryStories was the name of a new project, promoted storytelling not just research findings, gave it life, told clients that they were one of only 20 in the study
  • Needed people to want to be part of the club, put the logo on every piece of content
  • Font echoed a sports team, hashtag showed digital, color indicated luxury, club word was for unity and participation
  • Created an online portal and membership packs, keep respondents engaged in the project and part of the community, required the skill of a journalist to give real time information
  • Community allowed two-way communication, everyone had the same information at the same time, strengthened emotion engagement
  • Interpretive visualization
  • Design isn’t just logos and fonts, it’s symbolic representation not just design and not just direct, need to capture qualities of things
  • Client wanted to center around a single word in multiple EU markets “good”
  • Created a character around the word good, needed as few words as possible backed up with visuals
  • Same with the word sustainability – use colors and images to support the word, even use those things as the font
  • How light hearted does the style need to be to bring people along the journey, particularly when the image needs to be dark or negative
  • Don’t worry about communicating directly with life like imaging, avatars indicate characters without specific details, removing facial expressions means you concentrate on other attributes of an image
  • Disruption and dissonance
  • Insight is easy to file, it’s linear with a start and finish
  • Hand out booklets as people leave a presentation
  • Use teaser campaigns to highlight studies, hand out popcorn, make posters and mugs, use physical assets along with digital [people love free stuff!]
  • Performance is the next level of engagement

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

Will curious computers replace curious mind? #MRSlive @TweetMRS #MRX 

Live blogged at the MRS conference in London. ANy errors or bad jokes are my own.

Chair: Elina Halonen. Panel: Colin Strong, Nick Baker, Cat Wiles, Nick Bonney 

  • Half of people in the room think their jobs won’t be replaced by computers [for me, yes, large parts of my job but definitely not all of it]
  • Most professions think technology will disrupt someone else’s profession
  • Most #MRX is quite custom, fairly hierachical structure, managed by individuals, this models exists everywhere
  • More people will be figuring out how can we streamline our work, how we can streamline our systems, and our research
  • Are the innovations so far sustaining innovations or are they genuinely innovate? Balance is more towards sustaining innovations, not disrupting innovations
  • Rise of cognitive computing, Google computers win human games [but do they chit chat over coffee? Chuckle with you? Empathize? ]
  • Rise of anticipatory computing [do computers kiss booboos on the knees of toddlers?]
  • Rise of personality computing, musical tastes, sexual preferences, data trails reveal all. Do we really need to ask questions? [do computer know when an effect size of 0.69 is more meaningful than an effect size of 0.73?]
  • Software can now analyze the data and tell the story [can it start with an interesting anecdote about my dad that pulls everyone in and puts them on my side?]
  • What used to be a huge multi country study is now simply a Google search
  • Qual is at risk also, needs and attitudes based on pictures etc scraped online
  • The rise of machines will happen [because people like me demand it]
  • There will always need to be a human touch whether through curation or creating
  • Creativity is scrappy and raw and joins things that aren’t obvious
  • Computers are always programmed and told by people, they lack the cultural framework that people learned
  • What is the trade off? Researcher goes through data and pulls out their favorite bits [based on p-values or effect sizes? Yes computers do that, but humans see WHY]
  • Maybe junior researchers should be worried about automating taking their jobs
  • Will automating give us more time to think except what happens is that everything is just more sped up
  • Is our thinking now programmed into how to make a PowerPoint slide out of the info? [this is what I saw all around London this weekend. Everyone has a fancy camera now and it’s turned into “here is a thing that could have a picture taken of it” rather than “oh my god this is amazing, I want to remember it]
  • Life would be boring and predictable if it was all automated? Like a Disney movie? [yet more foreshadowing for my presentation!]
  • We tend to define ourselves by the research method and tools we use, but those tools are becoming rapidly out of date even though we’re improving them, they are sustaining innovations 
  • Now you need a black belt in analytics
  • Need more diverse teams, journalists, facilitators, designers, analytics all in the research department
  • Cadbury’s gorilla would never come out of a computer [nor the old spice dude or the geico commercials!]
  • [Brands are all about empathy, can a computer be sufficiently empathetic S when it truly matters?]
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