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Posts Tagged ‘strategy’

The Day We Dropped the Word “Digital” From Marketing

Monday, October 14th, 2013

This will happen.

5 years ago no one knew how to harness it all. Traditional companies that have been in existence forever needed chief expert guru ninjas to help them make sense of emerging opportunities and migrate beyond broadcast and mass reach…. to create a vision, pave a road to scale their strategic approach, executional capabilities, build new departments and hire the right people.

The day we all just all go back to being marketers is coming very soon. Smart marketers are finally demonstrating that the future of our industry is not about digital or social marketing. It’s about marketing in a digital world– we’re in it, we live it, we know it.

It’s not optional anymore. It’s not a speciality. It’s just marketing…6 best practices found below. (more…)

Redefining yourself: always in beta

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

A few years ago I wrote about how the role of ad agencies have changed and how my experience led me to be a more strategic marketer.

I also waxed poetic on what it is that a digital strategist does because no one could articulate it.

Fast forward 2 years this all continues to morph b/c the marketing industry remains in a perpetual state of beta —as do those whom work in the field.

We Will ALWAYS Be In A Perpetual State of Beta

What the hell does that mean?

The entire industry continues to recalibrate their mindset so product marketing and advertising co-exist with environmental shifts as they arise, whether they be cultural or technological; we need to make sure we build, learn, iterate. Lather rinse repeat.

Times have changed as to how we approach building strategies and how we go about executing against them….which also applies to the roles we play in doing so.


Responsive Design: Myth Busting

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Over the last 2 years I’ve spent a lot of time explaining to people that “mobile optimized” didn’t mean “your desktop website showed up on your iPhone”.

This year I’ve been asked more recently about responsive design. It’s not new- it’s just the hot buzz word. Everyone seems to think responsive design is the magic bullet to design, timing, and cost efficiencies. It’s not.

I’m busting through 2 myths about responsive design because I’m kinda over talking about it.

It seems like a short cut:

It’s NOT. It’s only a design/layout technique and doesn’t account for content. That approach won’t work for every brand/site presence.

It replaces tedious mobile context design:

It does not and SHOULD not. Fixed vs. fluid design needs to be thought through based on the content strategy for your site: how are you users consuming content on mobile devices? What objectives do you have for the end mobile user experience? You can’t assume they will consume the same content in the same way they do desktop. Ie: Mobile= short form—a user insight that doesn’t often change.

Sometimes responsive design can be a combination of both fixed & fluid when you use priority guides that are put in place during the wireframing/prototyping phase. If your UX designer/strategist are not doing the due diligence in this approach you’re probably doing your user a disservice.

Suggestion: make sure you do end user persona research- that should inform your approach to mobile design/content architecture and the appropriate & expected end user experience.

Great video from Brian Fling at PinchZoom talks about responsive design—Brian is a trusted authority on the topic of mobile/design/user experience.

A visual explanation of responsive design is and how it works is found here. They basically sell Joomla as the CMS platform of choice- not advocating for Joomla- just showing for the demo (and definitely not for the music editing choices.)

Workshop this. Planning-ness

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Sometimes, pulling ideas out of people takes work, myself included. Ideas exist in our minds, but sometimes they are ill-formed or fragmented partial ideas. Workshops/ideation sessions are part of the equation to generating valuable insights.

Have you ever been in a non-structured workshop or brainstorm session? I have.
It’s painful.








I believe no idea is a bad idea, but I also believe that ideas need to be focused around the task/objective at hand. For instance if you are trying to build a content strategy for a company/brand to expand an existing campaign, we don’t necessarily want ideas about a new campaign to surface—that would be off strategy.

I’m all for taking every idea into consideration, but it helps when the brainstorm is structured so the output of the session is as strategically focused and actionable as possible.

Overtime, I’ve sat through and led many workshops and learned from the best of best what works. Preparing for an ideation session is an arduous task and first starts with getting the stakeholders smart on the target needs, category analysis and brand objectives. The deep dive is one of my favorite parts of my job (I’m an insights junky). But then comes the thinking.

Moderating the workshop is another story. There are plenty of methods and constructs to exercise the mind in unconventional ways. Lately I’ve been experimenting with new ways/tools to garner valuable and relevant thinking, particularly around the utilization of emerging technology and digital/social channels— an area that not everyone at the table may have knowledge of, or experience with. Mindmaps, evaluative criteria and worksheets just scratch the surface of available tools. I frequently leverage my colleagues’ experience and approaches every time I put a workshop plan/deck together and it’s professional goal of mine this year to focus more heavily on these skills as they relate to innovation and digital engagement.

I’m looking forward to honing my planning skills by attending the Planning-ness Conference 2012 this May with one of my favorite colleagues/friends. It’s a conference for creative thinkers and explorers that is focused on “doing”, not talking. I have waxed on about the T-Shaped skills that I think all strategists should have: the ability to think and do; what I love about this conference is that each of the sessions has a learning component where you are taught a new skill or way to approach a problem, and a doing component where you put it all into action.

I’m confident that having exposure to a creatively inspired agenda and interacting with a small group of strategists will open my mind to new ways of creative problem solving and thinking about business and marketing in general; takeaways that go way beyond leading successful workshops.

Using visualization to drive creativity & strategy

Monday, January 17th, 2011

I think Mark Suster might be my soulmate. His post on TechCrunch this morning “How I Use Visualization To Drive Creativity” is one of the BEST posts I have ever read. Yes, ever. It’s good to know (and feel validated) that I’m not crazy for following almost the *exact* same processes as Mark does when it comes to the creative process for communicating information.

photo credit: Hugh Macleod

As someone who loathes lined notebooks and prefers not to take notes on my iPad in meetings, I am sometimes mocked for being “old skool”. Take it or leave it people, I like my fine tip ballpoint pens, sharpies and sketch books—that will never go away (well, except for when I use my Livecribe Echo pen which has helped matters for time/sharing efficiency purposes only— who doesn’t like a pen that translates your notes/sketches to a PDF or converts it into a word.doc in 3 seconds?)

People look at my notebook and often seem confused (or worse think I am confused) because I take notes in clusters and then almost always connect them with different color pens/highlighters as I start to create a structure for whatever it is that I am trying to relate or communicate. I do the same prior to building PPT/Keynote decks. It’s formally called mind mapping, but I call it creategic [cre-tegic]; a combo of creativity & strategy.


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