Intro “ Six years after 13
digital agency leaders got together over dinner in Miami, SoDA has grown into a global organization with members from New York to New Zealand.
With over 65,000 readers in 2012, The SoDA Report has become one of the most read publications in the digital marketing world. But this is only one expression of the remarkable community of digital pioneers, creatives and executives that makes up SoDA. With 70 member agencies in 22 countries on 5 continents, SoDA has become the leading voice of the digital agency community, representing the top tier of digital agencies and the most sought after production companies in the world. As you will see as you explore the pages of this new edition of The SoDA Report, our members freely share their latest thinking on everything from igniting an innovation-ready mindset to the importance of usercentric design to humorous suggestions for horrible new buzzwords that we pray never see the light of day. That’s because sharing is the cornerstone of how SoDA works. We share with each other and we share with the world. Our Peer Collaboration Groups, for example, bring together over six hundred members across 16 disciplines in the search for best practices and new ideas. Regular roundtables and webinars showcase critical thoughtleaders to our membership and beyond. And this year our “SoDA Presents” panel program will bring together the cream of our industry at major conferences across Europe, North America and Latin America. Six years after 13 digital agency leaders got together over dinner in Miami, SoDA has grown into a global
organization with members from New York to New Zealand, enabling us more than ever to accomplish our mission to advance our industry through Best Practices, Education, and Advocacy. I hope that you find this latest volume of The SoDA Report insightful and valuable, and I invite you to find out more about our programs, resources and members at www.sodaspeaks.com. Best Wishes, Tony Quin Chairman of the Board, SoDA CEO, IQ Agency
Foreward “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are” – Talmud
How agencies, production companies and brands perceive their value to their respective customers varies greatly. How one generation perceives value differs from the next. Campaigns targeting one consumer segment are not necessarily perceived the same way by another segment. Facing these multiplying realities, how can we build a better awareness of people’s perceptions of our services, products and organizations? This year’s first edition of The SoDA Report reveals new perspectives, fresh ideas and real concepts of how organizations are balancing the art and science of perception to succeed in these fast-paced times. From blowing up what you learned about data from your not-so-favorite math teacher, to exploring how forward-thinking companies are laying the groundwork for a virtuous cycle of innovation, to integrating the best of technology development processes with quick marketing smarts, we suggest how you can change your company from risk averse to courageous, creative, authentic and agile. Future shifts in marketing are discussed by top executives of global brands, tech start-ups, agencies and the leadership of top trade publications. Among other things, they highlight the importance of humanizing data, creating credible content, advocating for usercentric design, transforming business models, tribe building and simplicity.
Our writers and editors ponder a broad range of provocative questions. Are we responsive to responsive design? If focusing on the creation of mobile optimized content is akin to solving a problem from 2007, what problems should we be focused on now? What is the “next” Facebook? Are we living in a “Quantified Society”? How can we become the Master of Design in our organizations. And, does irreverent marketing lead to effective consumption? We propose the use of Improv to cut through perceptions and expose the real people you are hiring, and that whole-brained folks are truly the next killer app. We suggest you pay attention to idea thieves, solve real versus perceived problems and focus on becoming exceptional – which is what innovation is about. So, how can you increase your awareness of both your own perceptions and the perceptions of others? Start by reading this report. Enjoy. Angèle Beausoleil Editor-in-Chief
The SoDA Report Team & Partners Content Development Angèle Beausoleil
Editor-in-Chief of The SoDA Report, Founder & Chief Innovation Officer of Agent Innovateur Inc.
Angèle Beausoleil has spent the last two decades working with digital agencies, technology companies and consumer brands on identifying market trends, leading research and development projects through innovation labs and crafting strategic plans. Today, she balances her graduate studies (MA/PhD in Applied Innovation) activities, with teaching Thinking Strategies at UBC’s d.studio, and a strategic marketing and invention consulting practice. Angele is also the Editorin-Chief for The SoDA Report and is an advisory board member for the Merging+Media Association, Vancouver International Film Festival, Kibooco (kids edutainment start-up) and the Digital Strategy Committee for the University of British Columbia (UBC). Angèle lives in Vancouver with her husband and son. Chris Buettner
Managing Editor of The SoDA Report, SoDA Executive Director
After a career on the digital agency and publisher side that spanned 15+ years, Chris Buettner now serves as Managing Editor of The SoDA Report. He is also the Executive Director of SoDA where he is charged with developing and executing the organization’s overall strategic vision and growth plan. And with roots in
journalism, education and the international non-profit world, the transition to lead SoDA has been a welcome opportunity to combine many of his talents and passions. After living in Brazil and Colombia for years, Chris is also fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and is an enthusiastic supporter of SoDAâ€™s initiatives to increase its footprint in Latin America and around the world. Chris lives in Atlanta with his wife and two daughters.
Editorial Team Sean MacPhedran
Industry Insider, Group Planning Director, Fuel
Sean is Group Planning Director at Fuel (based in Ottawa, Canada), where he currently works with clients including McDonaldâ€™s Europe, Nokia, Mattel and Lucasfilm. He specializes in youth marketing, entertainment & game development, and the incorporation of pirates into advertising campaigns for brands ranging from Jeep to Family Guy. Outside of Fuel, he is a co-founder of the Ottawa International Game Conference, managed the category-free Tomorrow Awards and spent a good deal of time in the Mojave Desert launching people into space at the X PRIZE Foundation. They all came back alive. Craig Menzies
Advocacy, Head of Research and User Experience, Deepend
Craig is currently the Head of Research and User Experience at Deepend, a digital and creative agency headquartered in Sydney, Australia. Craig is a former Forrester customer experience analyst, and has also held positions with iCrossing UK and Vodafone Australia.
People Power, Director of Innovation Strategy, SapientNitro
Zachary Jean Paradis is an innovation strategist, professor and author obsessed with transforming lives through customer experience. He works at SapientNitro, teaches at the Institute of Design and lives in Chicago. Zachary works with companies to become successful innovators by utilizing “experience thinking” as a strategic asset manifested in better offerings, flexible process, and open culture. He works with start-ups and Fortune 1000 companies as diverse as Chrysler Auto Group to Target, Hyatt Hotels to John Deere, M&S to McLaren, and SAP to Yahoo!, evolving service and product experiences across digital and physical channels. Zachary recently relocated to Chicago from SapientNitro’s London office. Mark Pollard
Modern Marketer, VP Brand Strategy, Big Spaceship
Mark is a brand planner who grew up digital. He built his first website in 1997 then published the first fullcolor hip hop magazine in the Southern Hemisphere, while working in dotcoms, digital agencies and advertising agencies. He is featured in the AdNews Top 40 under 40, and won a Gold Account Planning Group (APG) award for his McDonald’s ‘Name It Burger’ strategy. A NSW Government initiative listed him as one of Sydney’s Top 100 Creative Catalysts. Mark is VP of Brand Strategy at Big Spaceship in New York City. Simon Steinhardt
Tech Talk, Associate Creative Director, Editorial, JESS3
Simon Steinhardt is the Associate Creative Director of Editorial at JESS3 in Los Angeles. He is co-author of the forthcoming book Hidden in Plain Sight: How
to Create Extraordinary Products for Tomorrow’s Customers (HarperBusiness), set for release on April 16. Previously, he was managing editor of Swindle magazine, and has written and edited extensively on art and culture, including contributions to The History of American Graffiti and Supply and Demand: The Art of Shepard Fairey. Philip Rackin
Research Insights, Director of Strategy, MCD
As Director of Strategy at MCD Partners, Philip Rackin helps companies such as Samsung, E*TRADE, Discover Financial, and Genworth identify and develop opportunities to grow their businesses with emerging technologies. Over the past 15 years, he’s developed dozens of marketing programs, and digital products for consumer and B2B clients, including Comcast, Consumer Reports, The Port Authority of NY and NJ, Computer Associates, NARS Cosmetics, Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Kate Richling
SoDA Showcases, VP of Marketing, Phenomblue
As Phenomblue’s Vice President of Marketing, Kate Richling oversees the agency’s marketing and social media outreach, as well as its inbound marketing efforts. Previously, Richling worked in public relations, creating and executing strategies for a wide variety of brands and non-profit organizations.
Partners Research Partner
Tablet Edition/Prodution Universal Mind www.universalmind.com
Infographics Partner Phenomblue www.phenomblue.com
Content/Production SoDA www.sodaspeaks.com
Organizational Sponsor Adobe www.adobe.com
The SoDA Report Production Team
Natalie Smith, Head of Production Todd Harrison, Designer Courtney Hurt, Production Designer
Digital Marketing Outlook Key Survey Findings Respondent Overview Marketers Self-Assess their Digital Savvy Client Investments in Agencies Trending Upward
The SoDA Report 2013
Section 1 : Digital Marketing Outlook
Chris Buettner SoDA Executive Director and Managing Editor of The SoDA Report After a career on the digital agency and publisher side that spanned 15+ years, Chris Buettner now serves as Managing Editor of The SoDA Report. He is also the Executive Director of Operations at SoDA where he is charged with developing and executing the organization’s overall strategic vision and growth plan. And with roots in journalism, education and the international nonprofit world, the transition to lead SoDA has been a welcome opportunity to combine many of his talents and passions. After living in Brazil and Colombia for years, Chris
SoDA’s Digital Outlook Marketing (DMO) Survey results are in. The findings provide evidence that both digital agencies and full-service agencies with robust digital capabilities are taking an increasingly prominent seat at the table with client organizations. In fact, many not only have a seat, but also a desk and a few family photos. More than 1 in 5 of our agency respondents said they now have agency employees embedded as specialized resources at client offices as part of their service offering, highlighting a significant shift in clientagency engagement models. Clients, for their part, are getting savvier as well. While much of this digital acumen is home-grown within client organizations, brands are also receiving help from their agency and production company partners. Nearly one third of agency respondents are providing education and training services to those clients who have developed internal teams to handle digital production and maintenance. So, do digital agencies have a dim future given this apparent shift toward “in-sourcing” on the client side? Quite the contrary. Forward-thinking digital companies are finding that the best route to growth is to make things…to be able to create innovative, effective experiences for both consumers and brands. And this year’s DMO Survey results underscore that brands are increasingly looking to digital agencies to do just that. We believe the trend toward clients innovating “out-of-house” and maintaining their existing digital experiences in-house will only become more pronounced this year and into 2014. To support this shift, leading agencies and production companies are working to create a virtuous cycle of
is also fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and is an enthusiastic supporter of SoDA’s initiatives to increase its footprint in Latin America and around the world.
innovation and IP development at their companies through the creation of innovation labs and product incubators. A whopping 40% of agency respondents have launched product incubators, with the most salient benefits being happier, more engaged staff and new business success. These are just a few of the trends emerging from this year’s DMO study. Conducted by Econsultancy, SoDA’s 2013 Digital Outlook Marketing Survey had 814 respondents, up 25% from SoDA’s 2012 study. Marketers represented approximately one-third of all respondents with a fairly even split between companies who primarily market products (33%), services (31%) and a mix of products and services (36%). Over 84% of respondents were key decision makers and influencers (CMOs, senior executives, VPs and directors) with annual marketing budgets ranging from US$5M to over US$100M and whose key markets are North America (50%), Europe (22%) and APAC (12%). This year saw a growing multinational cross-section of respondents, with 12% indicating that no single continent accounts for a majority of their business revenue.
ABOUT ECONSULTANCY Econsultancy is a community where the world’s digital marketing and ecommerce professionals meet to sharpen their strategy, source suppliers, get quick answers, compare notes, help each other out and discover how to do everything better online. Founded in 1999, Econsultancy has grown to become the leading source of independent advice and insight on digital marketing and ecommerce. Econsultancy’s reports, events, online resources and training programs help its 200,000+ members make better decisions, build business cases, find the best suppliers, look smart in meetings and accelerate their careers. Econsultancy is proud to be SoDA’s research partner on this publication for the second consecutive year. For more information, go to http://econsultancy.com/
Section 1 : Digital Marketing Outlook
Organization Type Q. Which of the following best describes the organization you work for? Agency respondents were evenly split between digital agencies and full service agencies with digital capabilities. See the Related Research Insights within Industry Insider for additional analysis on how these two sets of agency respondents differ and agree on key industry issues.
Consumer brand (B2C) marketing
Corporate brand (B2B) marketing
Digital production studio
Vendor/service/independent consultant serving the digital marketing industry
Other digital marketing professional
Consumer Marketers by Category
CPG marketers represented approximately 50% of the 2013 sample of consumer marketers.
Q. Which of the following best describes your category of consumer brand marketing?
Consumer Packaged Goods Services Other OEM
Job Title Q. Which of the following best describes your title? Over 84% of respondents were key decision makers and influencers (CMOs, senior executives, VPs and directors.
C-level executive (e.g., CMO)
Vice president (including SVP & EVP) of marketing
Vice president (including SVP & EVP) of channel (e.g., social media, mobile, e-mail)
Vice president (including SVP & EVP) of technology
Director/manager of market research
Customer segment owner or customer program manager
Director/manager of marketing services or operations
Other (please specify)
Global Business Reach
% 2 2 3%
North American respondents represented 50% of the sample (down from approximately 60% in the 2012 study), with Europe and Asia making up an additional third. Just over 1 in 10 respondents (11%) hailed from multinationals with a diversified revenue stream across continents, up from 8% in last yearâ€™s study.
Q. From which region do the majority of your business revenues come?
North America Europe APAC Less than half of our revenues come fom any one continent South America Africa
Section 1 : Digital Marketing Outlook
Key Insight: Digital acumen on the client side is spiking.
Marketers Self-Assess their Digital Savvy 22 %
26% % 34
Very Sophisticated Somewhat Sophisticated About Average Somewhat Unsophisticated Very Unsophisticated No Opinion
Q. How would you describe the digital marketing sophistication of your organization? (posed to client-side respondents) Fifty-four percent of client respondents describe their organizations as “sophisticated” or “very sophisticated” when it comes to digital marketing, an assertion that a large cross-section of agency and production company respondents support. When agencies and production companies were asked how they’re seeing their clients evolve, the increasing digital savvy of clientside organizations – as suggested by clients’ own self-assessments noted in the pie chart above – became even more pronounced. While the pool of client-side respondents to SoDA’s
survey may be more sophisticated than the general population of brand marketers, we believe increasing digital acumen on the client side is a trend that will become more pronounced and pervasive in the years to come.
A few highlights from agency responses: “Many of our clients are bypassing traditional marketing for digital marketing. That isn’t surprising, but what is a shocker is that they’re clamoring for digital experiences that are uber personalized. Knowing a customer’s name isn’t sufficient. They’re asking for higher customer engagement through complex personalization. For example, aggregating all user interactions (implicit and explicit) and serving ‘personalized’ content based on that data. In other words, determining user preferences without directly burdening the user for that information.” “One of the savvier trends we’re seeing among clients is toward custom behavioral marketing driven by integration of data platforms to allow for real-time or near real-time optimization and iteration (i.e., agile campaign planning and performance management).” “We’re seeing a real trend toward more digitally experienced marketers being promoted to more senior roles within client-side organizations.” “In their quest to do more with less, clients are acquiring more digital expertise, either through the addition of digital agencies to their rosters and/or creating internal digital teams, often by hiring former agency professionals.” “Marketing and Technology teams are working more closely together on the client side. Such cross functional teams are driving the delivery of innovative new
marketing abilities.” “More technologies and technology skills are entering the marketing department on the client side. We call it the rise of the Marketing Technologist.” “We’re finding that marketing professionals at forward-thinking client organizations not only have a strong holistic understanding of how their company business operates, but also much more technical savvy in understanding internal systems as well as customers devices and touchpoints.” “Clients who used to work in silos are now tearing down walls between departments to integrate more closely with teams who have consumer-facing roles or are involved in product development.”
Section 1 : Digital Marketing Outlook
Key Insight: Digital marketing budgets and client investments in digital agencies will grow at a more intense pace in 2013 and 2014.
Client Investments in Agencies Trending Upward 14%
Q. Which of the following best describes your organization’s approach to managing and executing digital marketing with agency partners? 44
We’re Maintaining the Status Quo We’re Increasing our Agency Investments We’re Decreasing our Agency Investments Over Time Doesn’t Apply to Us
Nearly 30% of client respondents indicated they were increasing agency investments in digital marketing efforts this year. This is not only a testament to the fact that the global economy has shown signs of improvement (albeit far from robust growth), but also to the realization that digital provides stronger value than other channels as indicated in the next table on budgeting shifts.
Some of the reasons… • Agencies are benefitting from clients’ reluctance to expand headcount. While many clients are expanding internal teams focused on executing and maintaining existing digital initiatives, most are looking to agencies for counsel and support when it comes to more senior-level, strategic digital marketing roles. • The measurability of digital has given it more clout, although – admittedly – mining the avalanche of data generated by digital efforts is still a major challenge for both clients and agencies. • More of the clients’ audiences are paying attention to them on digital channels.
Budget Decisions Shifting in Favor of Digital Projected Budget
We’re decreasing our digital marketing budgets
We’re maintaining the status quo
We’re increasing our digital marketing budgets without increasing overall marketing spend (reallocating existing budget into digital)
We’re increasing our digital marketing budgets and increasing our overall marketing spend
Other (please specify)
Q. Which of the following best describes your organization’s projected budget for digital marketing initiatives in 2013? Almost 40% of clients indicated they are increasing digital budgets without increasing their overall marketing spend (reallocating existing budget into digital). Another 16% say they’re increasing the overall size of the marketing pie (increasing overall spend and digital budgets). Any way you slice it, this is good news when it comes to the value being placed on digital marketing efforts.
Industry Insider Section Preface The Psycho-Dynamics of Experience Design Putting Innovation to the Test Agency Ecosystems That Work Why Your Math Teacher is Killing Your Creativity The Point of Awards Recruitment Agencies: Breaking Old Perceptions 30 Seconds of Wisdom The SoDA Buzz Word Launcher Going East â€“ Why Asia Should Be on Your Growth Roadmap Related Research Insights
The SoDA Report 2013
Section 2 : Industry Insider
Sean MacPhedran Industry Insider Section Editor Group Planning Director, Fuel
One of the most challenging issues facing digital agencies and production companies over the past decade has been the lack of shared insight. As the pioneers of 10 – and even 5 – years ago blazed their way through new technologies and changes in media consumption, the lack of good discussion, best practices and news forums created an industrial cowboy culture. Everyone alone together. Every challenge unique, twice. Every day was trial by fire, and gut instinct was a better path to success than a case study to follow. SoDA has played a key role in elevating dialogue and best practices in the industry by providing a forum for industry insiders to share issues that are unique to the new generation of advertising. It’s my hope as the Editor for this section that it will remain “always in beta” and that it presents the fluid sensibility of a discussion - what makes SoDA unique. I welcome anyone to contribute by emailing me at email@example.com In this issue, Tony Quin, SoDA’s Chairman & CEO of IQ, provides insight into the most critical, but often overlooked, element of interactive – The Click. Joe Olsen, CEO of Phenomblue, discusses what innovation culture looks like in practice, and Matt Weston, Copywriter at Soap, gives his perspective on the evolution of the creative team from the trenches. Controversy abounds as we address Awards Shows and Recruitment Firms with Ignacio Oreamuno, Executive Director of the Art Directors Club, and Andrea Bertignoll, President of KANND Recruiting. With interviews, we explore how these two areas are critical to our industry.
Finally, we open the floor to members, with 30 Seconds of Wisdom on a wide range of topics, and present some amusing suggestions for horrible new buzzwords that weâ€™ll collectively pray never enter the lexicon.
Section 2 : Industry Insider
Tony Quin, Principal, IQ
The PsychoDynamics of Experience Design With a background as a writer, director and producer of network TV shows and commercials in LA, Tony Quin founded IQ in 1995 as an agency specializing in television. In 1999, IQ began the transformation to a digital agency. Today the agency counts numerous Fortune 100 companies as clients and has won numerous national and international awards. Born and educated in the UK, Tony is a founding member of SoDA and Chairman of the Board. He also serves on the Board of the School of Communications at Elon University.
For years I have been preaching the strategy of Click/Reward. The idea is simple, every time someone clicks within a digital experience something pleasant should happen. This idea, while perhaps intuitive, flows from a number of observations. First, we live in an instant gratification society, and, of course, we are all pleasure hounds. But, more importantly, it comes from mapping buyer psychology to the sales process.
Understanding the Buyer
How the unique dynamics of digital media connect with the psychology of a buyer, on the path to purchase, is the key to creating successful digital experiences. Â This path today is often presented as a wonderfully busy chart with a myriad of touch points and influences. But in the end we all go through the same simple process: first we are unaware of a specific need, then we recognize it as a potential need, then we explore its value. And then, if we continue, we evaluate our options, finally make a choice and buy. Yes, there are many factors and forces that influence this along the way, but block out all that noise for a minute and focus on the buyerâ€™s basic motivations. Through this process our motivation shifts from passive in the early stages, and unwilling to invest much effort, to active in the later stages once our intention starts to crystallize.
Creating the User Path
Our earliest attempts at IQ to codify these psychodynamics, and create experiences that enable the buying process, were expressed in the UX principles of Directed Choice and Incremental Engagement. Directed Choice essentially holds that unknown visitors to a brand site should be assumed to be in marketing exploration mode; passive and without formed motivation. At this stage, it is the brandâ€™s responsibility to make choice very easy and intuitive, to reduce or eliminate work, analysis and the number of choices. Of course someone with a task to accomplish can always self identify at any time. Next comes Incremental Engagement. This breaks complex value propositions into steps where each step requires a choice that takes the user closer to personal relevance. This UX principle recognizes that most value propositions are complex and require a time commitment from the prospect in order to receive
Engagement is also based on recognizing that the more personally relevant something is, the more compelling it will be.
the whole story. The problem is that before prospects are sufficiently motivated they won’t commit to an investment of time or effort, so we make each step a small commitment. Incremental Engagement is also based on recognizing that the more personally relevant something is, the more compelling it will be. Every salesman knows this. If you’re looking for a truck and the sales guy shows you cars…well, you get the idea, and that brings us back to click/reward.
Rewarding the Click
So far we have learned that we should make things really easy for prospects at first, we should make commitments small and get them to what’s personally relevant as quickly as possible. But this is all pretty analytical. It assumes that people are pursuing their interests analytically. Actually, evidence suggests that people explore and make decisions more emotionally than we think. As Charles Hannon, professor of Computing and Information Studies at Washington & Jefferson College, discusses in this excellent post, the dopamine reward system produces good or bad feelings based on what we do in the world. The implication of this, as Jonah Lehrer explains in his book How We Decide, is that rational decision making, thought to trump the emotions since Plato, is actually not how we do it. Recent neuroscience has reversed this age old model of how human beings make decisions by showing that indeed emotions, some stimulated by the dopamine reward system, are core to the process. It seems that we follow patterns instinctively and when patterns are supported, and just to confuse things, sometimes even when not, dopamine is triggered that reinforces our decision-making. That means every time we make a successful click or get rewarded on our path to purchase we get a shot of dopamine, which reinforces what we are doing. This
clearly tells us that we should be designing interactions to understand and follow the emotional journey a buyer makes on the way to a sale, and to study where we are on the emotional/analytical continuum at every moment of the path to purchase. This insight allows us to focus our experience design so that we re-enforce our prospectâ€™s natural process rather than block it.
Section 2 : Industry Insider
Joe Olsen, President & CEO, Phenomblue
Putting Innovation to the Test Joe Olsen is the President and CEO of Phenomblue, an industry-leading brand experience agency. He co-founded the agency in 2004, which has offices in Omaha, NE, and Los Angeles, CA. Phenomblue has been featured in USA Today, Ad Age, The New York Times, Fast Company and Inspired Magazine and has received recognition from the Webby Awards, the CLIO Awards, SXSW Interactive Awards and the Favourite Website Awards. He is a seasoned entrepreneur, the creator of the Drop Kick Platform and a co-founder of Drop Kick Ventures.
Today we see so many companies call themselves “innovative”—whether or not evidence exists to support the claim. While you can’t become innovative just because you say you are, you can easily facilitate an innovation-ready mindset. Like learning a new language, innovation takes knowledge, risk, innate talent and the willingness to try out new things with trusted peers in private before putting yourself to the public test. Above all, it takes belief in the worthiness of the goal and a commitment to work hard enough to get good. Innovation initiatives can help build your agency’s capacity for success. Like immersive language courses,
“ Agencies can start an
innovation initiative in their office without too much trouble. Get some white boards, markers, pencils, paper, beer and Red Bull, and gather your finest minds in a room just uncomfortable enough to keep everyone relaxed but alert.
these initiatives are intense learning experiences that generate results quickly. Put some passionate, intelligent, curiously caffeinated people in a room who are willing to devote their imaginative faculties to solve a specific problem, and you position your agency to do something useful nobody ever has before. Agencies can start an innovation initiative in their office without too much trouble. Get some white boards, markers, pencils, paper, beer and Red Bull, and gather your finest minds in a room just uncomfortable enough to keep everyone relaxed but alert. Set aside a day for an innovation exercise, so everyone takes it seriously. Then let your team define a problem it wants to solve, and leave them alone until they’re done or asking for help. We call these Bonus Days at Phenomblue. Once a quarter, our agency goes dark for 24 hours—meaning no client work whatsoever—while we split into teams and compete for Bonus Day glory. Each team takes a project from start to finish in a single day. The only rules, other than “no client work,” are that we all present our projects to the company the next day and abide by maritime law. Phenomblue also implements large-scale innovation initiatives, like Signature Reserve, a semiannual experiment where we devote 200 billable hours to an internal passion project—no strings attached, other than a finished product that provides real utility. Finally, Skunkworks takes our best ideas and puts them through a rigorous vetting process conducted by agency leadership. If the idea succeeds, it gets produced during client gap time. It could then get financed, incubated and spun off into its own business through Drop Kick Ventures—a company I co-founded to help marketing, communications and creative agencies bring ideas to life (as featured recently in Wired magazine).
Phenomblue absorbs the cost of our innovation initiatives because we know the payoff is worth it. Whether it’s a new piece of technology we don’t know what to do with yet, a super-successful campaign for a client or a market-ready product, our innovation initiatives keep our team prepared for the chance of a breakthrough idea. Like language, innovation is dynamic. If you don’t push yourself to practice, you might lose it. Innovation initiatives can help.
Image Source: 1. http://pbfcomics.com/197/
Section 2 : Industry Insider
Matt Weston, Copywriter, Soap Creative
Agency Ecosystems That Work Matt Weston is senior copywriter at SOAP Creative LA. Born in the UK, he has worked at several ad agencies across the globe in Sydney, Paris and now Los Angeles. He has created several integrated ad campaigns across digital, tv, print, outdoor and radio. He loves Marmite on toast, DnB and butchering French as a second language. Preferably all three together.
The experience of advertising creatives has changed radically over the past decade. Weâ€™ve moved from creative teams of two into multidisciplinary teams, and, as often as not, no two are ever alike. Digital advertising is breaking down traditional barriers between thinkers and doers - multidisciplinary teams now rule the studio. As a copywriter reborn in a digital agency, I now routinely bump brain cells with technologists who would previously have been in another room.
“ Whether it’s an
idea tailor-made for a social network or a piece of interactive art that demonstrates the product benefits, technologists are part of the creative process now more than ever.
Your partner is your best mate in the agency. The person you go into battle with every day against other creative teams that want your brief. It’s the kind of camaraderie that prevents you from tearing a printout of horrible client feedback into little pieces and collaging ‘ASSHOLE’ on your CEO’s skydome of an office. So how did I feel about sitting opposite a guy whose inspiration came from Minecraft? Rubbing conceptual shoulders with someone who writes PHP? What is PHP? Sure, I knew what I was in for in the digital world. My inner creative welcomed the shake-up of convention. I just didn’t count on my inner adwanker sticking his ugly head into the mix. But this room didn’t have time for ad egos with a close deadline and a reputation to meet it with a hot digital solution. Of course, the next bit you already know. Our brainstorming session worked its productive little butt off. The social media guy had an awesome gaming suggestion. The developer came up with a great angle on how to execute it and I tied in the insight behind the idea that was true to the brand. Maybe there was something to this developer-designerwriter-whoever else thing after all.
Image Source: 1. http://www.atterburybakalarairmuseum. org/Capt._Stratton_Hammon__Mrs._ Allred_Nov._1942.jpg
Section 2 : Industry Insider
Tony Clement, Head of Strategic Planning, TBG Digital
Why Your Math Teacher is Killing Your Creativity Tony Clement is the Head of Strategic Planning at TBG Digital. Born in Brooklyn, raised in Sydney and now living in London, he misses all things above 5 degrees Celsius. With a background in Statistics and a love for Converse, he is a Strategist that brings together data and creativity to help ideas find their purpose. He has contributed to four AFA Effectiveness awards and has an APG award for Best Use of Data. Recently joining TBG, he has worked as Strategist and/or Data Geek for a number of places including Wunderman, BMF Sydney, Leo Burnett and JESS3.
“I’m not a data person.” What if by saying these small words you were poisoning your agency and slowly choking off your career? What if by accepting this statement you were carving out corners of measurement misperception and building data prisons in your own creative community? Let’s do a symptoms check. Do terms like ‘pivot tables,’ ‘recursive loops’ and ‘weighted moving averages’ make you feel frozen with indecision. If so, you need to take a breath, think back to your high school days and curse your Math Teacher. Pause. Do it again, and then read on with teenage angst. I blame Mr. Chin
My year 12 math teacher, Mr Chin, was a weird guy. He had a bad beard, bad breath and spoke to the chalkboard for 45 minutes at a time while his class sputtered into oblivion at their rickety wooden desks. You know the feeling. We’ve all had a Mr.Chin or two. It was by far the most dreaded class to attend, the anti-Christ to PE, the classroom where no one wanted
to be at any time of day. And unfortunately, the slow torturous doctrine of mixing boredom with formulaic memory tests didn’t come to an end at high school. The truth is over your high school and university years, you either avoided math and swayed to arts, or you punished yourself by attending 30 to 40 hours of lectures each week for years, just to emerge with battle scars and emotional trauma so deep, it actually hindered your ability to speak like a normal human. Your agency and your career need you to leave Mr. Chin at the chalkboard. And instead of coping with data, it needs you to rethink how it can become a part of the creative culture so the gap between science and creative can begin to heal. Could you help your agency see the beauty of science to build ideas, and learn how to speak data without using terms like ‘p-value’ and ‘Central Limit Theorem’ just to get people nodding in synchronized misunderstanding? Well if want those things, tell your Mr. Chin that he is the one who has failed, because numbers are more than formulas, suppositions and marks out of 100. Tell him by:
Taking the power back from Mr. Chin and giving it to your Inner Geek
Have you ever noticed that most people have a hidden Geek within? But they are pushed down, kept quiet and exist in fear. But what’s even more interesting, is every now and then, you’ll see that person’s eyes light up when they let the Inner Geek out to solve a ‘data’ problem, and the Geek rejoices. Let your Geek out for a walk and take small Geeky steps to make your Inner Geek stronger. Try this - The next time you go to the data team, sit with them and ask what they are doing, and how they
“ The collision of
data and design is demonstrating to the industry the communication potential of data.
are doing it. Or if you have a ‘how do you do that?’ question, like, ‘how do you create a pivot table and chart’, just go to them and spend 15 minutes exercising your Inner Geek. It’ll be time well spent. I pick pivot tables as a simple example, because managing the information is half the battle and if you can do this, your Inner Geek will hug you.
Rage using the machine Use the open sources on the net to learn at machine speed
Let’s face it. If you can remember more than a handful of formulas from high school or university you are doing extremely well. The human brain has an effective memory loop of two seconds when it comes to digits, which might explain why it’s so hard to memorize phone numbers. Fortunately, the internet has more memory than us all, and making the most of that collective intelligence and openness with data is going to help you become a data beast. Try this: Ever wanted to learn how your digital developers and producers build those web apps and other cool digital stuff? Then Code Academy gives you a very friendly and free start to understanding the principles of producing digital experiences.
Open eyes with art, instead of blinding them with science
The collision of data and design is demonstrating to the industry the communication potential of data. And no, I’m not talking just about infographics, that’s one output. I’m talking about getting people to imagine (yes, imagine) what data can reveal to them, why that is provocative and how to communicate it.
During a data academy session I was doing, I held this up and said, “That is all of my banking transaction data, and I have a problem, but I never expected it to be this bad.”
My savings problem is something that I wouldn’t have seen unless I put the information into this different format. And that is the power of data visualization, which I think is best said by an American mathematician, John W. Tukey in 1977: “The greatest value of a picture is when it forces us to notice what we never expected to see.” Often organic or manmade facts can propel us to places of unexpected intuition and insight. And working for those facts is just another form of applied curiosity. Start to close the gap in your agency by learning a few techniques and setting a reminder for Monday saying, ‘Let out the Inner Geek, Mr. Chin got it all wrong.’
Section 2 : Industry Insider
Interview with Ignacio Oreamuno, Executive Director of the Art Directors Club
The Point of Awards Ignacio Oreamuno is the Executive Director of the Art Directors Club & President of the Tomorrow Awards. He is also the founder of IHAVEANIDEA, one of the world’s largest online advertising communities with 12 million pages read a year. Interview conducted by Sean MacPhedran, Industry Insider Section Editor and Group Planning Director at Fuel.
We caught up with Ignacio as he was enjoying a mojito in Miami, surveying the location of his next Award Show – the ADC 92nd Annual Awards + Festival of Art and Craft in Advertising and Design. MACPHEDRAN: Why are awards important to our industry? OREAMUNO: It used to be that awards were mainly about the winners. Creativity is hard to measure. Only the best of your peers can really judge, because so much of it is qualitative, it’s a craft. We need to collectively be able to recognize quality. In an industry that is so creative, we need some kind of benchmark, a goal to work towards, otherwise how do you teach? Some shows are more focused on metrics, but the line of measurement is so fuzzy that a good analyst can make a terrible campaign look like it performed amazingly. Maybe there was 100 times more media dollars. Maybe they slashed prices at the same time as a horrible ad campaign launched.
The awards industry needs to be more about education. What is that amazing idea that everyone needs to understand? What are the 20 amazing ideas this year? They’re all going to be different. Awards are important because they are a forum where we can all share our successes, and the rest of us can learn from them. That’s why we are pushing to make awards more educational, and not just about handing out trophies. MACPHEDRAN: Do you think awards are relevant to clients? Or are they more about self-congratulation? OREAMUNO: Absolutely. People want to work with winners because they’re more likely to win again. Awards are an easy way for clients to recognize how well-respected their agency is by its peers. Not every great agency is going to be at the top of the Gunn Report, but it tells you something that an agency has been recognized. And clients are as much responsible for awards as the agencies. Creatives always complain that “Oh, I had a great idea, but the client didn’t like it.” But that is as much about risk as it is about how good the idea might have been. Maybe the idea was fun, but it was completely outside of the risk tolerance the client’s strategy allowed for. Awards help bring clients into the fold of creativity. When Old Spice wins an award, you know… Everyone knows, that it was an entire team that worked to make that kind of breakthrough campaign happen. It can’t happen without the client. Not just because they approve it, but because they’ve helped craft the strategy to bring the brand into a place where it’s ready for that kind of innovation. And for clients who are looking to the future – when the creative team has some idea that seems crazy - when you can look out into the world and see other risky ideas that worked, things that broke the mold, it starts to set
a precedent that the only way to win in the marketplace IS to innovate. To do something different and remarkable. Awards help showcase those successes in a formalized framework. MACPHEDRAN: On the topic of education, how are you working to bring that value back to the industry? OREAMUNO: Well, on Tomorrow Awards – the entire program is designed around education for innovation. Instead of judges hiding in a box and voting, everything is filmed. Why did they pick that and not this? You get to see the debate, and there is a lot of debate, that happens over each choice. But even before it gets to that stage, we make everyone a judge. If you are a technology intern in London or a senior Creative Director in Egypt, you have a vote. We wanted people to explore the cases for themselves. The point of the Tomorrow Awards is to tear down all of the walls. There are no categories. It’s all about the innovation of the idea – and no two are ever alike. We need to train ourselves to think so differently than before, and no one is really doing that for the creatives. The Art Directors Club is currently experiencing a total re-birth. We’ve gone back to our roots of art and craft. All our programs have been updated to reflect this. From taking our 92nd annual to the tablet to creating a community for our members that is fun and relevant, instead of preachy and old. The biggest thing we’re doing this year is the 92nd Annual Awards + Festival of Art and Craft in Advertising and Design which is a completely new and different type of festival. Instead of having creative directors speak, I’m inviting some of the most inspiring artists from around the world to teach us the skills of craft, creativity and art. We’re going to be doing everything from photo workshops to legos to creative brainstorming. And all this will take
place in Miami Beach, a great place for networking. Itâ€™s a win win for the industry and for all those who attend. We need to fall back in love with our craft, because the only thing that separates us from a client is the fact that weâ€™re supposed to be creative artists.
Section 2 : Industry Insider
Interview with Andrea Bertignoll, President of KANND Solutions
Recruitment Agencies: Breaking Old Perceptions Andrea Bertignoll serves as the President of KANND Solutions. Andrea has an academic background in Technology and 20 years of recruitment and business management experience. Interview conducted by Sean MacPhedran, Industry Insider Section Editor and Group Planning Director at Fuel.
One of the most hotly debated topics is the need (or lack thereof) for Recruitment Agencies. We sat down with Andrea Bertignoll, President of KANND Solutions, to get the recruiters perspective on how agencies and recruiters can work better together. MACPHEDRAN: Why is recruitment treated as the red-headed stepchild of services in our industry? BERTIGNOLL: There are many reasons, but I think most of them are linked to the bad apples of Christmas past. A poor reputation has built up, I think mainly stemming from the actions of older firms that aren’t as consultative and haven’t adapted to the changing needs of the clients and candidates. There are still too many of the stereotypical “body shops” out there who are in the game to place anyone into a spot vs. making sure that it’s a good fit for both the client and the candidate alike. There is more to it than matching a resume to a job description and then charging a fee...which is yet another bone of contention. In addition to all of that, “recruiting” is often seen as something that HR should already be capable of
doing in-house. Not always the case. As the number of specialized roles keeps expanding, it’s next to impossible to expect an HR Manager to manage regular HR abilities and still recruit the right person for the right role for multiple requirements. Seriously, in some of the cases I’ve seen, they are juggling these responsibilities and don’t have the authorization to use a recruitment agency to help...something’s got to give. All that said, it’s not that HR Managers are incapable of recruiting, that’s the furthest from the truth, but we see many of these people essentially trying to hold down two full time jobs...daily HR management responsibilities, and recruiting multiple specialized mandates simultaneously. MACPHEDRAN: It seems like a good analogy would be Account Management vs. Business Development? BERTIGNOLL: Absolutely, it’s a perfect analogy. Many HR professionals that I’ve worked with pursue this career path for the nurturing/farming aspect of it. They are responsible for managing the company’s most precious assets... its employees. An HR Manager or even the Hiring Managers who sometimes have their own recruitment mandates aren’t in the position of hunting, but managing what they have. No company would expect an Account Manager to be in the mindset of hunting for new clients all the time. That’s what Business Development does. It’s not just a different role. It’s really a different mindset and personality type. Recruiters are able to keep more active databases. We hunt to find the best talent. We develop relationships with talent and hunt to find as much real information as possible. For example, my new passive candidate “Billy” might have started a new role a few months ago, but I know that he despises his new supervisor and the commute time is already getting to him. I know this because he tells me when I probe for the right information and simultaneously create
See what respondents to our ’13 Digital Marketing Outlook Survey said were key job satisfaction factors for them. Spoiler alert… it really isn’t just about salary.
a relationship with him. I know what his key “must haves” are and they aren’t usually the salary. They can be anything from the work-life balance to the preferred corporate culture or anything within... Everyone is different. Our job is to hunt for this information, hunt for the talent, and hunt for the truth... If we don’t, we can’t make the right match. At the end of the day, many of us are in it because we LOVE matchmaking. I think we just thrive on getting people to “hook up” with the right people. We all have a friend who does that...usually the one trying to get everyone married. They just get a kick out of helping people connect. Just like your biz dev people who get the adrenaline rush from closing a deal. MACPHEDRAN: How would you suggest HR Managers go about working with Recruiters then? BERTIGNOLL: Mainly it’s got to be about fit with the company. Obviously, from our perspective, a retainer is the best thing. But a contingency-based service is going to make your recruiters work a little harder. After a while though, you’ll know what agency you like to work with and which one is a waste of your time... Whether it’s the quality of the talent, the follow up, the service, etc. I’d recommend picking a couple of recruiters that you’ve developed a comfort level with... You know, the ones that you trust won’t try and “squeeze a square peg into a round hole.” The ones that you can say... “get this mandate off of my desk” and they bust their behinds to get it done. The one who understands your needs and then gives you a full rundown of the needs of the candidate. Essentially today’s talent pool is fluid and, as such, recruitment is a full-time job. If you can use recruitment help, find a firm you trust. If your company can do it, build a dedicated team, but don’t assume that you’re going to get the best talent if you haven’t allocated the resources.
MACPHEDRAN: Is there any other advice you’d want to give? BERTIGNOLL: Most of us who go into business in small recruitment firms are really just passionate about the challenge. Making the right match for a client’s needs with the ideal talent gives you the “warm and fuzzies” for lack of a better term. To make that match we need to have much more than just a job description... We need to know details about the team, new projects, the direct supervisor, soft skills that would be ideal, etc. That said, I’d say always getting the hiring manager/ department head involved early and working with your recruiters is a good idea. They’re the ones who are going to be able to best describe all the nuances of what they’re looking for.
Section 2 : Industry Insider
30 Seconds of Wisdom We asked SoDA Members what they’d want to share if they had the conch for 30 seconds. What came back was a deluge of thoughts ranging from usability advice to insights into client relations, as well as the occasional joke. Innovation & Creativity
“ Look for three, big innovative wins and then be
relentless in delivering and making sure those happen. Read Insanely Simple by Ken Segall -- pretty good cure for the talk-it-to-death blues.
— David Rossiter, Creative Director, Enlighten
“ Creativity is being replaced by flexibility.”
— Dan Kennedy
“ Process can’t do the work for you. It’s provides
guidance, but it’s not a defined path to guaranteed success.
“ Put your people first and enable them to make changes: both internally and externally. Then sit back and watch the magic happen.
— Ranae Heuer, Managing Director, Big Spaceship
“ Don’t be afraid to pull in experts from outside your
own organization. We all want to believe we can do everything, but, sometimes, pulling in a true expert will not only end with an incredible result but will also serve as a learning opportunity for your teams.
“ Optimize your time and resources. First thing every day, we regroup with our team and decide how the day will flow. Now, we start working at 10AM and stop at 7PM. And everything works.
— “The Most Amazing Producer in the World”
“ Developers and designers need to be more willing
to iterate when it comes to development. I still see a trend where Project Managers (stakeholders), afraid of missing a timeline, place pressure on teams to get it right the first time. That just isn’t realistic.
— “Mysterious Mustafa”
“ Re-think who your clients really are.”
— Vassilios Alexiou, Founder, Less Rain
“ You’ll always get undercut by someone, so make sure quality - not money - is your value proposition.”
— Matt Walsh, Director of Business Development, Resn
“ The focus on growing our business and our clients’
businesses shouldn’t be on selling. If we focus on truly solving problems and providing opportunities, that results in revenue growth.
— Kt McBratney, General Manager, Phenomblue
“ Preparation. To be prepared is not just showing up
10 minutes early to an engagement. Rather it’s the assembly and construction of knowledge pertaining to the subject. Whether this is researching a company before a job interview or gathering vital credentials from clients, you aren’t truly prepared unless you’ve really done your homework.
— Lyndze Blosser, Interactive Designer, Terralever
“ Three-way partnerships (traditional agency, client, and digital agency) are fraught with backstabbing danger.
“ Marketers say they understand how paid, earned, and owned media work together, but most don’t really.
— Dave Bovenschulte, EVP Digital Strategy & Product Development, Zemoga
“ Think just as hard about PEOPLE as you do
PRODUCT. In this world where everything is set to formulas, segments, demographics, spreadsheets, legalities and logistics, we have to remember that PEOPLE (we call them consumers) are at the heart of making this all work. These people are human, and they don’t always do the logical things we’d like to believe that they’ll do.
— Jon Haywood, Planning Director & Cultural Attache, DARE
“ Content marketing is king. Embracing branded
content has been an important business tactic for a long time, but it’s REALLY important now that consumers have started to expect it.
— Tessa Wegert, Communications Director, Enlighten & Media Buying Columnist, ClickZ.com
“ As we head into 2013, email haters will rise again,
proclaiming the end of this old school marketing channel. My advice, don’t believe the hype people... it’s alive and well, and here to stay.
— Andy Parnell, SVP, Client Services, Terralever
“ Use technology to create utility; don’t use it to make things more convenient. If convenience is the goal, our society is fucked. (And don’t let technology replace good craft.) And... JUST BE HONEST.
— Erin Standley, Design Director, Phenomblue
“ Social media web toolbars that live at the bottom of
the webpage - these need to die a painful death and go to their specially assigned rung in hell. Just about the biggest annoyance currently in the web world.
— Andrew Hainen, Interaction Designer, Enlighten
“ Always do wireframes or sketch interfaces before
starting design. It’s easier to move around boxes and shapes as you think about the experience than it is to redesign parts as you’re working towards a great user experience.
— Joe Branton, Design Director, Grow Interactive
Image Source: 1. http://cloudfront.inthecapital.com/ files/2012/08/dalai-lama-points-his-finger. jpg
Section 2 : Industry Insider
The SoDA Buzz Word Launcher Ideation, Phygital, Viral, Interactive Video, Gamification, Momversation, Phablet, Native Advertising, Big Data, Monetization, Engage and Social Currency are all words that SoDA members suggested for permanent deletion from our professional vocabularies. But what should replace them? We received a slew of suggestions for horribly unnecessary buzzwords, and hope that you will begin to use them in everyday discussion. Nudge nudge, wink wink. Qualitangible Definition: Insights that ride the threshold between qualitative observations and wild hearsay, but need a good label to be taken seriously. “It’s useful for those occasions when you need to pass off a conversation with your mate at the pub as a research driven insight,” suggests Amer Iqbal from Deepend. In use: “Most consumers will tell you that they use their smartphone in the washroom. We had
a qualitangible insight that this pattern of behavior carries over to urinals as well, but with a lower adoption rate. It indicates that our Urinal Puck AR Experience is going to be well received by our target audience.”
Web 10.01 Definition: A level of digital integration so broad and advanced that it encompasses all innovation for the next 40 years, removing any need for further version upgrades in vocabulary. In use: “Your Xbox 720 fell in love with your Google Glasses over Vine? That’s so Web 10.0. We should leverage this for our online dating client.”
Corporate Bohemian2 Definition: An employee who follows the lifestyle of a Key West transient while working for a large corporation. In use: “Oh yeah, Chuck is great. Total Corporate Bohemian. He threw a killer brainstorm in his office over drinks and a few of us just crashed under his desk. Haven’t seen him in weeks, but the presentation went really well.”
Moupon3 Definition: A coupon that works on your mobile phone. In use: “It’s like a coupon, but for your mobile phone. We call it a moupon. I’m pitching it tomorrow as the Grey Poupon Moupon. It’s got legs.”
Non-tourage4 Definition: A party of one. A term used to describe non-social behavior within social networks, or an
individual so connected in the physical world to their digital network that their “entourage” is invisible. In use: “That guy over there at table 5 said he was a party of 8, but he meant his non-tourage. He’s been in a Google Hangout for 2 hours and I think he’s also running Chatroulette.”
Egosystem5 Definition: A self-sustaining system of egomania only tenuously connected to reality, but necessary for the life of projects and its own livelihood. In use: “It’s a great idea, but we need to incorporate more pet concepts and buzz words or it will never survive long enough in the egosystem to get to market.”
Yak-a-demia6 Definition: The eye of the buzz word tornado. A rarified group in which only theory and discussion, never execution, is the currency of value. In use: “I went to a workshop at AGENCY REDACTED but it was total yak-a-demia. We were supposed to learn about producing for transmedia, but it was just a bunch of art videos and out-ofcontext Henry Jenkins quotes.”
Digitable7 Definition: A person who interacts so much with technology they are rendered into a vegetable. In use: “Wendy is really on top of all this social media stuff, but she’s a total digitable in meetings. One time I spilled a coffee on her and she didn’t even notice.”
Let’s get to bidness!!!8 Definition: A phrase used to spur a group into action. Usually used after 2am or while suffering from a head cold. In use: “Let’s get to bidness!!! Our pitch is in 4 hours and I think Phil might have been arrested. Did anyone pay the bill?”
Term Contributors: 1. Andy Parnell, SVP, Client Services, Terralever 2. Anonymous 3. Tessa Wegert, Communications Director, Enlighten and Media Buying Columnist, ClickZ.com 4-6. David Rossiter, Creative Director, Enlighten 7. Karl Reynolds, Creative Director, Deepend Sydney 8. Matt Walsh, Director of Business Development, Resn
Section 2 : Industry Insider
Ming Chan, CEO, The1stMovement
Going East – Why Asia Should Be on Your Growth Roadmap As Founder and CEO of The1stMovement, Ming was named as one of the “Top 10 Asian Entrepreneurs” by Inc. Magazine, and has led the agency to numerous accolades including: three-time Inc. 500’s “Fastest Growing Private Companies in America,” three-time “Best Places to work in LA,” and “Top 20 Advertising Agencies” in LA and Denver. The1stMovement has also created custom digital solutions for some of the world’s most well-known brands including: AT&T, Adobe, Cisco, DaVita, Lexus, Pentax and USOC.
Having spent more than 15 years growing up in Hong Kong (and still visiting every year), I have always paid extra attention to the Asian markets since I founded The1stMovement in Los Angeles in 2006. In early 2012 we opened our first Asian office in Hong Kong, and we learned a lot from this experience. I wanted to share some of the lessons we learned for those companies who are also considering a move into Asia.
“ China might be your
ultimate target market, but there are still serious challenges to setting up shop there. The most significant barrier is simply fundamental cultural differences between East and West.
But, first, let’s consider the following statistics: • Four out of the top ten Fortune 500 companies in the world are headquartered in Asia1 • 12 out of the 20 fastest growing countries in the world are in Asia, and have an average of 7% GDP growth in 2012 (vs. <2% growth from US)2 • Overall advertising spends in Asia are projected to grow at a rate of 7.6% in 2013 (vs. 3.8% in North America)3 • US-based, multinational giants like Apple, Nike, GM, and others have poured over US$49 billion worth of investment into China alone each year since 20094 With that context, here are the most important things we learned along the way: 1. Asia is enormous and diverse Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent with 48 separate and unique countries, home to 60% of the world’s population and over 2,000 different spoken languages. Firms in Asia increasingly and regularly do business in more than one country, as we did recently with a project launched in 15 countries and in 7 languages. All on the same day at the same time. This required real on the ground local knowledge and cultural understanding. 2. Your entry point is critical Projected to become the largest economy by the end of 20165, China might be your ultimate target market, but there are still serious challenges to setting up shop there.
“ Asia is the world’s
largest and most populous continent with 48 separate and unique countries, home to 60% of the world’s population and over 2,000 different spoken languages.
The most significant barrier is simply fundamental cultural differences between East and West. We chose to open in Hong Kong because it is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. But Singapore is also a good choice as it is a very Westernfriendly city for business. And, despite recent economic troubles, Japan is still projected to be top five in the world for digital advertising spend. Not to be overlooked – Indonesia and Malaysia – are two of the fastest growing countries on the planet. 3. Consumer behavior is different in Asia While there is some opportunity to apply what we’ve learned in the US to the East, it is important not to underestimate differences in consumer behavior – and not only between East and West, but between different countries within Asia. For example, one recent project taught us that consumers in China spent on average four times more time online than consumers in Indonesia. A fact that caused us to adjust our campaign idea and local country execution plan. 4. Your existing global clients can help you Chances are your company is already working with a client with global reach. Their knowledge, experience and network will undoubtedly help with your planning. For us, what started as a pipe dream of expanding into Asia quickly became a serious pursuit when we began working with global brands like Cisco, Pentax and Reebok. The experience we had working with their teams in Asia, and understanding how they act, how they communicate and how they think, made our transition into working with a local Asia brand that much smoother.
Sources: 1. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/ global500/2012/full_list/index.html 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ countries_by_real_GDP_growth_rate_ (latest_year) 3. http://www.jcdecaux-oneworld.com/wpcontent/uploads/2012/04/OneWorldsGlobal-Adspend-Forecasts-Apr-2012.pdf 4. http://money.cnn.com/2011/01/20/news/ international/us_business_chinese_ investment_boom/index.htm 5. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/ nov/09/china-overtake-us-four-years-oecd
Image Source: 1. http://www.makino.com.sg/img/about/ about_worldmap.png
Section 2 : Industry Insider
RELATED RESEARCH INSIGHTS
Key Insight: Top digital agencies and production companies are becoming more proactive and are taking a larger seat at the table with clients and traditional agencies, based largely on the unique value and innovative IP they’re delivering. Undoubtedly, this is a trend that we’ve witnessed in past SoDA research studies, but it has become even more pronounced this year. Agencies and production companies are offering more education and training to clients, and developing labs and incubators to spur a virtuous cycle of innovation and IP development. In fact, product incubators are growing quickly in terms of their prevalence and importance for digital agencies, production companies and full-service agencies with digital capabilities – helping them win work and stay fresh. The Innovation Lab Explosion
Innovation labs at full-service and digital agencies are proliferating Q. Do you have an innovation lab/product incubator within your agency or production company?
The call for digital agencies to have increased responsibilities with respect to product / service innovations on the client side (Note: more than 1 in 5 client respondents to the ’13 survey say their lead digital
agency will have primary responsibility for product/service innovation at their company in the long term*), coupled with the fact that the vast majority of agencies believe the best route to growth is to make things (unique, effective experiences and tools for brands and consumers) has led to the proliferation of innovation labs and product incubators within the agency and production company space. Finding and cultivating talent who can contribute to a virtuous cycle of innovation for the agency and its clients is an arduous task. However, the very fact that these labs/incubators are being created is generating a very positive benefit beyond things like VC funding. The initiatives are bolstering employee satisfaction. In fact, agency execs say the number one benefit of innovation labs is talent retention (i.e., happier, more engaged staff (47% of respondents). * Most client respondents indicated that internal teams at their companies will continue to have primary responsibility for product / service innovation (53% to be exact), but lead digital agencies ranked second at 22%.
RELATED RESEARCH INSIGHTS
Key Insight: Digital agencies and full-service agencies with digital capabilities may disagree on business models and the best path to growth, but they do agree on the need to focus on innovation and IP development in order to thrive, and on key advocacy issues. Respondent Overview
Agency Type Agency Type
Full service agency (including digital and traditional)
Traditional advertising or marketing agency (no In-house digital capabilities)
Digital or interactive agency (no in-house traditional capabilities)
PR or social agency
Other (please specify)
Q. Which of the following best describes the type of agency that you work for? In the 2013 survey, we saw a tremendous increase in the number of respondents from traditional advertising or marketing agencies that had both traditional and digital capabilities. In fact, agency-side respondents were almost evenly split between digital agencies (44%) and traditional shops with digital capabilities (45%). While the two sets of respondents agreed in many areas, their answers did diverge in a few key topics.
Different POVs on the Future of Independent Agencies
Do you agree or disagree? -“Independent Agencies Do Not Have a Bright Future” Full Service Agencies with Digital Capabilities
Agree Disagree Don’t Know/No Opinion
Agree Disagree Don’t Know/No Opinion
Q. Thinking about the advertising industry broadly, do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Independent agencies do not have a bright future – the vast majority will be absorbed by the major holdings. In comparison to digital only shops, full-service agencies were decidedly less optimistic about the future of independent agencies. Only 6% of digital agency respondents agreed with the statement about the demise of independent agencies, compared to 26% of full-service agencies.
Different POVs on the Best Route to Growth
Do you agree or disagree? - “The best route to growth is through specialization.” Full Service Agencies with Digital Capabilities
Digital Agencies 5%
% 17 51%
Agree Disagree Don’t Know/No Opinion
Agree Disagree Don’t Know/No Opinion
Q. Thinking about the advertising industry broadly, do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The best route to growth is through specialization (either by industry vertical or digital services offered) versus a general, fullservice approach. A majority of digital agency respondents (56%) agreed that specialization offers the best path to growth as opposed to 32% of respondents from full-service agencies. While not unexpected that a majority of full-service agencies would disagree with such a statement, it was somewhat surprising that so many actually agreed. In other words, almost one third of respondents from full-service agencies said they thought the best route to growth is through specialization, suggesting they are not particularly bullish on their own business model. Both types of agencies were equally likely to have a product incubator / innovation lab within their company (roughly 40% for each type of agency) and – as previously stated – they largely agree on key advocacy issues. In short, there is a broad consensus across a range of agency types when it comes to the types of issues we need to fight for in order to drive the industry forward. A few examples…
Similar Stances on Key Advocacy Issues Full Service Agencies with Digital Capabilities
The need for stronger user experience standards and advocating for user-centric design vs. technology as an end in and of itself
The need to disrupt current models for online display advertising
The need to define better and more equitable contracting standards between agencies, production companies and clients
The need to influence and direct IP/copyright standards and practices
The need to define and lead digital marketing literacy initiatives
The need to influence and direct privacy standards and practices
None of these
Q.Which of the following industry issues are most important from your perspective? Please mark up to three choices. For more information on how SoDA is tackling these issues, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RELATED RESEARCH INSIGHTS
Key Insight: Most clients are migrating toward a roster of highly specialized digital agencies, signaling that digital agency ecosystems will likely become more crowded in 2013 and beyond.
Specialization Rules! Assignment Structure We rely on one or more full-service digital agency to handle digital marketing assignments
We maintain a roster of highly specialized digital agencies (search, mobile, social, etc.)
We maintain a mix of full-service and highly specialized digital agencies
We work with a lead agency that handles all digital and traditional assignments
Q. How do you structure your digital marketing assignments between agencies? Digital is clearly seen as a unique domain. Only 11% of clients rely on a lead agency to handle all traditional and digital assignments. The remaining respondents rely on highly specialized digital agencies and production companies, full-service digital shops, or a mix of the two. 52% of clients include highly specialized digital agencies on their roster.
Crowded Digital Agency Ecosystems No. of Agencies
Ten or more
Q. How many agencies touch digital marketing efforts at your company? 31% of clients use 3 or more agencies to solve their digital challenges, a percentage that is likely to rise as more and more clients increase the number of highly specialized digital agencies on their roster.
Modern Marketers Section Preface The Age of Agile Top 7 Marks of a Great Client The Logic of the New: Getting New Thinking Made The Year of the Mobile Userâ€ŚAgain 2013: Shifts in Marketing How the Irreverent Approach to Marketing is The Approach to Marketing â€“ An Interview with Dollar Shave Club CEO, Michael Dubin Related Research Insights
The SoDA Report 2013
Section 3 : Modern Marketers
Mark Pollard Modern Marketer Section Editor VP Brand Strategy, Big Spaceship
The central irony in this issue’s Modern Marketer section is this: the startup that’s earned some of the most attention in the past year is simply doing Marketing 101. The CEO wants to solve a problem for a particular group of people, he’s able to tell the company’s story in a captivating way, he tests and iterates, and then rinse-and-repeat. Digital channels just happen to be where the Dollar Shave Club has focused. Sometimes small budgets make you work harder. With that in mind, we wanted to stay away from digital novelty and focus on the guts of marketing right now. The past decade has seen marketing departments shift in size and DNA. Companies are asking more of marketers – to work faster, to work out the confusing agency relationships their predecessors have established, and to save money while working in a more complex world. The noise, the noise. What do you do when the world gets noisy? Turn it down and get back to basics. Solve problems, explore insights, watch behavior, and then test and learn. So, in this section you’ll hear the very straight-forward approach to marketing of the Dollar Shave Club’s CEO. You’ll hear from Nando’s about the slow-to-evolve restaurant industry, much of which still use PDFs as a key content format. And you’ll hear from General Mills about the challenges that new thinking finds in very large organizations. We also picked the brains of journalists and editors from the likes of Econsultancy, Contagious Magazine, and Marketing Week as well as CMOs and CEOs from Adobe, Water for People and Fancred. And to top it off,
Econsultancy’s VP of US Research shares the agency’s point of view on what makes a great client. It’s not as self-serving as one might think. Revel in the irony – quietly.
Section 3 : Modern Marketers
Sandy Fleischer, Managing Partner, Pound & Grain
The Age of Agile Sandy Fleischer is a 15-year veteran of the digital marketing space, and currently Managing Partner at Pound & Grain, a creative agency built for our digital culture. Sandy currently sits on the Board of Overinteractive Media Inc, a social media gaming company, and DigiBC, a non-profit organization with a mission to promote, support and accelerate the growth, competitiveness and sustainability of British Columbiaâ€™s digital media and wireless industry. In another life, Sandy is known as DJ Pescatore and on a good day, he can juggle four tennis balls. For more of Sandyâ€™s thoughts on agile marketing, follow him @pescatore.
Agile Marketing is an evolving marketing management framework. This article discusses why and how you should implement it. The last thing we need is another article about how digital marketing and social media have transformed everything. We get it. The relationship between the consumer and brands has changed. While most marketing departments are committed to digital marketing, how to effectively execute on these new opportunities remains a challenge. We are now operating in a real-time environment where speed is of the essence, priorities are constantly shifting, and there are a multitude of fragmented touch points to think about. The new age of marketing demands a new kind of marketing management. Welcome to the world of agile marketing.
What is Agile Marketing
Agile marketing, based on the agile software development methodology, is about putting the customer at the center of everything. Itâ€™s an approach designed to capitalize on speed to market, and to thrive in environments of rapid change.
â€œ Go to market with
many small campaigns frequently on many channels, and then continually iterate to improve campaigns based on feedback and data.
The principles of agile marketing include: 1. Talk trumps tools People and conversations are more important than process and tools. Open and fluid collaboration on a daily basis between people and departments is a must, and silos are your enemy.What a perfect question! 2. Numbers make opinions Measurement and testing are critical, and should guide your decisions over conventions or personal opinions. Hereâ€™s your shot to define your objectives, and continually measure if you are achieving them. 3. Back what works Go to market with many small campaigns frequently on many channels, and then continually iterate to improve campaigns based on feedback and data. There is no need to bet the farm on one or two major annual campaigns. 4. Pair up with a customer Bring your customers right into the marketing process. Digital allows you to listen, learn, and then enable your customers to become the advocates of your brand.
How to live agilely
While agile marketing is a fairly simple concept, it may require significant changes to how you and your team (which may include your agency) are currently working. Here are some key elements recommended to put agile marketing into practice. 1. Sprints Large project plans are broken down in to smaller pieces or sprints, to enable frequent and immediate feedback. Build fast, build
“ People and
conversations are more important than process and tools.
often, and learn from your mistakes. A Sprint Planning Session can facilitate shared goals between marketing, management, sales and development and ensure priorities and tasks are agreed to based on resource availability. If you consider an annual marketing plan, this can be broken down into sprints where the plan is refined and updated on a monthly basis. At the end of the sprint, Review and Retrospective Meetings are held to discuss what was accomplished and how things went. These meetings are key, as they facilitate continuous improvement. 2. Scrums The sprint itself is managed by scrums – daily 15-minute stand-up meetings to discuss what people did yesterday, what they will do today and what obstacles they encountered along the way. An appointed scrum master efficiently leads these meetings, tracks progress and even bolsters team morale. 3. User Stories User stories are anything that a consumer wants to accomplish. They identify the various needs that any given customer segment may have at various stages of the buying process. They ensure that appropriate marketing materials are developed in a consumer-centric way.
Who is using agile marketing?
Many progressive companies such as Google, Electronic Arts, and HootSuite have become advocates of agile marketing. “Given the broad range of customers we have at HootSuite, we had already determined that it was
important for us to build intimate customer tribes rather than large impersonal markets. That was the business case for agile that I needed,” said Ben Watson, VP Marketing for HootSuite. “Now our marketing plans have shifted from laundry lists of tactics to being focused on outcomes, KPIs and (return on) investment, which in turn enables agility from our customer marketing, content and demand teams. Success in marketing is always going to be a work in progress. The easy win here is that being agile helps you try more things, learn from those outcomes, as well as react faster to trends. This leaves you with more awesome to choose from, and trains your teams to be constantly applying data and learning in ways that ultimately improve the outcomes.” Agile marketing will usher in a change in mindset and culture, enabling an organization to capitalize on the opportunities made possible by rapid advances in marketing and technology. It leads to better, more relevant marketing initiatives, and it’s a lot of fun!
Section 3 : Modern Marketers
Stefan Tornquist, VP Research (US), Econsultancy
Top 7 Marks of a Great Client Stefan Tornquist is the Vice President of Research (US) for Econsultancy. His team covers a wide range of topics related to digital, from tactical best practices to strategic transformation. Stefan’s research and commentary have been featured in mass media publications such as the Wall St. Journal, Business Week and Ad Age as well as virtually every trade press outlet. Stefan is a frequent speaker at industry events, including conferences by the Ad:Tech, the Direct Marketing Association, iMedia, and many others. Stefan began his digital career as a co-founder of rich media pioneer Bluestreak.
Econsultancy recently asked agencies, “What makes a great client?” The seven themes that emerged are consistent and important, especially as marketers look for answers in a chaotic time and agencies seek to be true partners in strategy, customer experience and product development. Each theme is paired with a representative (yet anonymous) quote. So, here they are: the top seven marks of a great client. 1. Open about where they are and where they want to go
“ You need a client that’s
more in love with the possibilities than they are afraid of failure.
“Clients who are willing to discuss their core goals and challenges on a business level and are open to working together with a strategic partner make the best clients. Those who take more of a ‘This is what we need’ approach are usually much more difficult to work with since they don’t value what we do as much. They tend to see our service as more of a commodity.” 2. Brave enough to take big steps (especially if that’s what they came looking for) “You need a client that’s more in love with the possibilities than they are afraid of failure. Great creative is often risky, changing business processes is risky… anything that’s going to shake things up is risky. If they want us to come in and make sure their marketing looks good, that’s fine, but don’t call it strategic.” 3. Transparent with strategy, information and data “If we’re going to be effective, clients need to be transparent. You can’t give strategic advice if you don’t know their real situation, their strategy, their numbers. If the client forces third parties to work separately and sequester information from each other, none of them can approach their potential.” 4. Self-aware about their own strengths and weaknesses “We have conducted several projects for traditional companies with no digital exposure trying to get new media products launched that flounder because they don’t get how much the game has changed. We are doing more educating now than ever
See what respondents to our ’13 Digital Marketing Outlook Survey said adopt training and education.
before. It can be a tricky environment to navigate because you can paint yourself into a scapegoat corner.” 5. Respectful of an agency’s skill and of the relationship “You have a bad relationship when the client looks to the agency for commoditized services they can get cheaper somewhere else.” 6. Responsive enough to make decisions quickly “If you have to wait at every turn for ideas to be discussed, deconstructed and approved, you’re not likely to produce good work. Usually the mid-level people completely understand that and sympathize, but so what? Some types of marketing can go through that process, but not genuinely creative work.” 7. Focused on the people that buy from them “When the customer or end-user is really at the center of the client’s strategy and operations, it’s going to work for us. That’s because we bring a deep, external understanding of people - what they want and what motivates them. That hasn’t changed with digital. So if the client wants to grow their business by being focused on what their customers want, it’s going to be a great relationship.”
Section 3 : Modern Marketers
Jim Cuene, Director, Interactive Marketing, General Mills, Inc.
The Logic of the New: Getting New Thinking Made Jim Cuene is the Director of Interactive Marketing at General Mills, where he leads the digital marketing Center of Excellence. The team provides thought leadership and support for brand digital marketing efforts and has strategic and execution responsibilities for centralized consumer digital marketing programs, social media, e-commerce and mobile marketing. When heâ€™s not at work, Jim is an avid cyclist, a work-inprogress chef, and a hack guitar player. He lives in Plymouth, MN with his wife Andrea and sons Cooper and Eli.
How can challenging new creative ideas see the light of day in the Matrix? By grounding the new in a familiar, consumer-centric mindset, bold ideas can seem like logical investments to build great brands. Great, new digital creative ideas want to live. They want to be made. But, the likelihood of a truly bold idea seeing the light of day is pretty small in large organizations, which prefer low risk, high reward over the bold. Often, new ideas are presented breathlessly, with deep passion for the execution or the technology that drives
“ Too many
‘innovative’ ideas are based on a superficial understanding of what consumers really need or want.
it. What gets sold is the excitement of doing something new for the brand with some new technology or a new partner. And, unfortunately, in many organizations that excitement is like a blinking warning light, making it clear that there’s risk with the approach. We’ve seen the best success with a more pragmatic approach, one rooted in understanding, utility, core values and a future orientation. The approach isn’t sexy, but when new ideas are presented, they’re more likely to get made because they seem like the logical conclusion from a rational and consumer-centric orientation.
Start with deep, deep consumer insights
Deeper than you typically would go. It’s obvious, but too many “innovative” ideas are based on a superficial understanding of what consumers really need or want. The best examples of creative innovation we’ve seen have come from deeper consumer insights, from a creative team that didn’t stop with the brief, that went deeper into the challenges, pain points, ambitions or hopes of the consumers we’re connecting with. Doing the hard work to uncover a unique insight – or at least a unique interpretation of the available insights – is worth it if the goal is to sell in a genuinely new idea.
Show how the “New” solves longstanding consumer needs
Translate for the marketer how the idea will enable the brand to meet consumers’ needs in meaningful, legitimately useful ways. Show that there are old problems, but offer new and better ways to solve them. Even though it’s a new approach, it still has to meet longstanding measures of value. The value can be functional (time or financial savings, practical knowledge) or emotional (inspiration, fun, trust, confidence), but ensuring the new concept delivers on serving the consumers’ ambitions will help drive strategic “buy in.”
Consumer insights are better than mere experimentation
Gain support by demonstrating how the idea can deliver more than short-term market results for the team to buy in. Communicate how the team will learn about the consumer, about innovation in marketing techniques or potentially even new business model opportunities.
Push the brand higher
Ground the idea in the core brand or company values and demonstrate how the new approach or idea can help elevate or deepen the brand. By demonstrating how the idea is a natural extension of what the brand (or brand team) believes, the idea becomes less a risky part of a time-bound marketing effort, and more of an imperative to establish and communicate the core essence of the brand. For the most part, marketers dislike risk. But, by positioning your new idea against these points, you can show how â€œthe newâ€? is just another logical step to serving the brands end consumers.
Image Source: 1. http://www.cse.org.uk/pages/what-we-do/ piloting-new-approaches/
Section 3 : Modern Marketers
Boris Jacquin, Head of Digital, Nando’s Australia
The Year of Mobile... Again. Boris has worked in both large and start-up organizations around the world. He specializes in helping companies design and implement their online strategy, and currently heads up digital marketing for Nando’s in Australia.
If 2012 was the year of mobile, it is clear that with the rapid introduction of 4G on the networks, and with less than 50% of brand sites currently mobile-ready*, 2013 will once again be the year of - drum roll, please - mobile. Saying so, however, omits one very crucial element of why the mobile experience is so important – the User. Let’s therefore declare 2013 the year of the Mobile User and consider these four simple tips to make our businesses work harder for them.
“ The mobile, tablet and
desktop experience that brands provide are a reflection of how much time a company has spent thinking about the digital customer journey.
1. Put the user at the forefront How and what your website displays on a device says a lot about your brand and your organization. The mobile, tablet and desktop experiences that brands provide must be considered an integral part of the overall brand experience. It is a reflection of how much time a company has spent thinking about the digital customer journey. Take, for example, the restaurant industry. Too often visitors are faced with a website that is not optimized for mobile at all, or a slimmed down version of a website where the most important information is difficult to access. 2. Make analytics the building block Before designing a mobile version of a website, the first thing a marketer needs to do is look at the analytics, where many answers to the information architecture lay. The most visited sections of your website and the keywords that led to those sections always give some serious pointers. In the case of the QSR industry, three areas come to mind: Where can I eat? (the restaurant finder), What can I eat? (the menu), How much is it going to cost? (menu, offers, vouchers). 3. Get to the point and make it easy Mobile users browse on their mobile for very good reasons. And one of these reasons is not because they find it pleasant to crane their neck in a train or at a traffic light and browse with one finger. It’s easy to imagine that users access your website on a mobile because it’s the only device available to
them at that very point in time, or the most convenient. Whatever their reasons, mobile users need to access accurate information quickly and in a way that works perfectly on their mobile device, regardless of its size. As a result, a mobile website should never be the poor cousin of the “main website,”and any decent marketing manager should declare war on the PDF. Just think for a minute what asking a mobile user to download a menu as a PDF says about your brand: do you really care about your customers? 4. Avoid device prejudice Think about the increasing variety in device size across mobile phones, tablets, tablet/ laptop hybrids and laptops. iPad screen sizes now range from 7.9 inches to 9.5 inches, mobile smart phones start from 3 inches and tablet/laptop hybrids start at 11 inches. The only way to answer the screen size dilemma is to deliver the same content to all sizes and make sure that your website will respond to the screen size of the device from which users access it. Device discrimination is no longer acceptable. Just like today’s marketing mantra where it is the customer that dictates the demand, it is the user that dictates the device – not the brand. The Australian up-and-coming fast casual chain Guzman y Gomez shows a good example of such discrimination, asking the user to switch to the full site to access more information. In 2013, forcing your customers to use a certain device to access the information is just as obsolete as an ad in the Yellow Pages.
Sources: 1. http://wallblog.co.uk/2013/01/07/the-fivetrends-every-marketer-should-be-aware-ofin-2013/
Image Source: 1. http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/ kolobsek/kolobsek1210/ kolobsek121000215/15562323-3dillustration-mobile-technology-happy-newyear-on-a-mobile-phone.jpg
Section 3 : Modern Marketers
Mark Pollard, Vice President Brand Strategy, Big Spaceship
2013: Shifts in Marketing
A broad range of respondents were asked the following three questions about the future of the industry (the trade press, tech start-ups and other marketing executives). Tap on the questions to jump to the following answers.
Whatâ€™s the one thing that excites you most about the world of marketing right now? Based on your recent discussions with marketers what are the three main things that will preoccupy them in 2013? Do you feel there is an elephant in the room in 2013 an issue, idea or opportunity to which marketers simply arenâ€™t giving adequate attention?
Interviewees Heather Taylor Editorial Director, North America Econsultancy @heatherAtaylor www.econsultancy.com
ruth mortimer Editor Marketing Week @marketingweeked www.marketingweek.co.uk
Emily Hare Managing Editor Contagious @em2345 www.contagiousmagazine.com
Charlotte mceleny Associate Editor 12Ahead @charlottemc www.12ahead.com
Gordon young Editor The Drum @CaltonKid www.thedrum.com
david moth Senior Reporter Econsultancy @davidmoth www.econsultancy.com/uk/blog
ryan caplan CEO ColdLight @ryantcaplan www.coldlight.com
Jeremy Merle Chief Experience Officer Fancred @jeremymerle www.fancred.com
Courtney larned Vice President, Marketing and Communications Lifedash, Inc. @lifedashcourt, @lifedash www.lifedash.com
steve riggins CMO Water For People @waterforpeople www.waterforpeople.org
Ann lewnes CMO Adobe @alewnes www.adobe.com
What’s the one thing that excites you most about the world of marketing right now? taylor: For me specifically, it’s the creation of
content, specifically video content, that is not merely a SEO-driven exercise. We’re starting to tell the brand story more and use content to engage consumers, create community and drive loyalty. Yes, this drives traffic but content can’t get away with being merely keyword-stuffed and useless anymore. And how can we make it better and more relevant? Through data analysis. YouTube’s video analytics showing minutes watched and audience retention can allow me to make better and better content and I didn’t have that kind of information until the last year or so.
Mortimer: There are so many options for marketers. You can run a TV campaign and then amplify it with social media and live events in a way that simply wouldn’t have been possible even five years ago. Or you can start a groundswell on Facebook, gain traction for the idea and build up a community of buyers for your brand pre-launch with very little investment. There have never been so many marketing channels alongside the potential to gain insight into customers.
Hare: The potential that technology has given
adapt how they operate and to
serve their customers better. This creates a wealth of opportunities – for example, we’ve seen brilliant projects recently of brands acting as educators, ecologists, technology incubators and even conducting space missions.
mceleny: It’s probably a trend we’re excited about
that we’ve called singularity. The idea that
products are becoming more connected, providing a feedback loop to manufacturers and becoming more intelligent. In short, products are becoming an extension of the web and people themselves. The data and creative opportunities are exciting.
young: In a word - ‘convergence.’
We are not only seeing convergence between traditional marketing disciplines such as advertising, design and digital – but now convergence between industries too. There is increasing overlap in areas such as media, retail and music. With increasing connectivity between gadgets – such as smartphones, cars and domestic appliances – and the emergence of 3D printing, this trend will accelerate.
moth: One of the most exciting things about the digital marketing industry is the fact that things are
always changing, so what was an accepted practice one week can seem out-dated the next.
Certain brands and agencies are constantly trying to innovate and find new ways of communicating with their customers, which is obviously extremely useful for reporters as it means there are constantly new and exciting things to write about.
caplan: The convergence of big data,
analytics and personalization are finally
ready for prime time. I think we will finally start to see truly more effective and engaging marketing programs can reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right time, in a way that has never been possible before on such a large scale.
merle: Three words: second
With the explosive growth and ubiquitous use of mobile devices, what excites me most is the opportunity to create an app experience that truly empowers active participation in televised media. Itâ€™s about creating a deeper relationship with your audience by providing connections to their multiple realities.
larned: It’s hard to choose one. I am probably most excited about the access to cutting-edge
that allow us to automate processes, and control content development and delivery. I just attended the TAP! Conference and am so excited about what I can get done with Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite (DPS).
riggins: The world of marketing has moved to a
place where authenticity and doing good work matters. Audiences have become savvy and they are careful with what brands they align themselves with. This is forcing marketers to go deeper into their brands and break things for the better, moving away from old tactics. This audience can tell when they’re being scammed.
lewnes: Without question, it’s the shift to digital and how marketing has become more datadriven and even more creative. With the measurement and analytics tools at our disposal, marketers can
infuse science with marketing’s traditional creativity. As such, we’ve never been in a better position to measure the impact of our work and have an impact on our business. From a creative standpoint, there’s so much more room for great, creative ideas. A campaign that used to be limited to commercials or a print ad can include so many other facets: social media, online videos, personalized content and more. It’s a very exciting time to be in marketing. Scroll to Top
Based on your recent discussions with marketers what are the three main things that will preoccupy them in 2013? taylor: Everyone is obsessed with mobile and tablets and how these devices will change consumer behavior. Itâ€™s already happening and will continue to
change through more global adoption. Smart data is another one: how to take big data and make it useful. I think marketers will really be keeping an eye on the big players. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. keep trying to edge each other out of the game (despite what they say) and with every change they make, marketers will also have to shift their strategy. No one wants to back a dead horse.
mortimer: There are three big challenges for 2013 around data. First, marketers tell me they are trying to understand how â€˜big dataâ€™ - all the information available from so many different channels and sources - will impact their business. Can and should they integrate
social data with transactional data,
for example? Second, in a world where there is so much more data available, what are consumer expectations of
privacy? Do people really want to link their supermarket loyalty cards with their bank accounts Facebook pages? What is ‘being useful’ and what is intrusive? And third, what impact will new legislations such as the draft EU data law have on how brands operate?
hare: Discussions around dealing with data, ensuring that it is used effectively to generate insights and aid understanding were common in 2012 and will continue to be relevant this year. Advertising agencies will attempt to find new ways to generate alternative revenue
opportunities, teaming up with start-ups, launching products and creating content, for example. Nielsen’s Global, Socially Conscious Consumer Report stated that 66% of people around the world prefer to buy from companies that have implemented programs to give back to society. With this in mind, brands and marketers will need to continue to consider and articulate the value that their product or service contributes to the wider world.
mceleny: data (humanizing and realizing the valuable and creative opportunities it presents), mobile and although integration has been an issue for ages, it’s now a case of not creating a digital strategy but having a strategy for what is now a digital world because nearly everything is connected.
young: Mobile will continue to grow and develop – Google reckons mobile search will outstrip desktop for the first time. The retail sector will continue its struggle to redefine itself in the face of more business going online. The strong players and strong retail centers will continue to get stronger, while the weaker ones will
continue to get weaker! The economy – lack of growth will continue to shape marketing strategies.
moth: In no particular order: 1. Mobile. I attend a lot of conferences and the number of marketers I meet who are still trying to come up with a mobile strategy always surprises me. 2. Attribution. Trying to work out which digital channels are most important for your business and the exact ROI is a huge challenge for marketers. 3. Resources. Most marketers know what they need to do to improve their company’s brand exposure and attract more customers, but struggle to convince the powers that be to provide them the necessary budget and manpower.
caplan: First, exploring how to better align our messaging so that our offering is ‘consumable’ by aligning the right audience with the right message.
Second, increasing the outreach channels to our customers using social media as a more effective thought leadership platform.
Third, micro-segmentation of our target audience.
merle: As an early stage startup, the overarching marketing focus is driving
meaningful, measurable ways. Top priorities include: 1. Building relationships with evangelists to create an authentic user base with high quality content. 2. Creating a delightful and addictive user experience. 3. Gaining a deep understanding of customer behavior, needs and desires.
larned: We are laser-focused on enhancing experiences for our audiences through responsive design, and by building quality, relevant
content for our sites, applications, and other user experiences. And of course, building our user base on all of our apps.
riggins: Brand awareness: Water For People does incredible work in the world, but has not done the best job telling its story. This will be our year to change that.
Tribe building: We want to start a movement that changes the world, and we can’t do it alone. We’re cultivating a tribe of champions who believes in us and wants to share their voice.
Simplify: Our world can become incredibly techie. We’re simplifying our message to unify our brand and appeal to a broader audience.
lewnes: Our first priority remains promoting our brand and fostering a better understanding of Adobe’s position as the creative and digital marketing company. Second is to raise the bar in what we call “marketing by-the-numbers” – mastering how we use data to market more efficiently and effectively. Where we used to measure only basic things like impressions, we’ve become so much more sophisticated. In fact, for a recent campaign at Adobe we took a look at everything from engagement to conversion – and taking it a step further – were able attribute these metrics to a given marketing channel. It’s given us an incredibly detailed view into how our campaigns are performing and how they can be improved. Hand in hand with this is the idea of “data transparency.” For this same campaign we published the key marketing results for all to see – thereby showing first-hand how powerful and transparent data-driven
has become. Our third big priority will be to invest even more effort in social media as a way to engage with our community. Scroll to Top
Do you feel there is an elephant in the room in 2013 – an issue, idea, or opportunity to which marketers simply aren’t giving adequate attention? taylor: Integration. I still think we’re talking in our own circles and no department should be an afterthought. Consumers judge you on whatever their first touch point is. If your store is great and your mobile app is crap, you lose. There could be great campaigns that span all spaces, creating an interactive and multiplatform experience that could really engage people, but it rarely happens especially with the incorporation of video - not cheesy advertisements but real stories. Once someone gets it right, we’ll see a huge shift.
mortimer: I think marketers talk a lot about how important it is to be taken seriously by the board, but they often are not. Changing
perception of marketing is still a massive
issue for the whole profession. Marketing is often seen
as a cost or overhead by chief executives and chief finance officers and marketers don’t have the financial skills and clout to convince senior executives that it is actually a revenue generating function. Do people really want to link their supermarket loyalty cards with their bank accounts Facebook pages?
hare: Plenty – connected products, instantaneous communications services such as Snapchat and health services and applications are all becoming increasingly important. We’ll be covering these kinds of opportunities, trends and ideas in upcoming issues of Contagious over the next year.
Mceleny: I think there is an opportunity to find a sweet spot between all the intelligence and data we now have at our fingertips and applying more emotional, human ideas and themes to make some truly creative work. There’s currently a disconnect and the
convergence of physical and digital will only help bring it together in 2013 (I recently wrote a bit of a longer piece on this earlier this month – cheeky plug. young: I believe many industries continue to look at the digital landscape through the wrong end of the telescope. They tend to define the future based on their current business models and past experiences.
They underestimate just how much and how quickly the economy
is being revolutionized.
Digital has the power to redefine civilization as whole!
moth: In my opinion, the trends that were important last year (e.g. social, mobile and
customer experience) are the same ones that brands need to make sure they are focusing on and getting right in 2013. There are so many people trying to sell new tools and ideas that the challenge for marketers is trying to work out which ones they should ignore so they can focus on what already works for their business.
caplan: I believe Big
Data is a buzz word that is misunderstood by marketers that are drinking the KoolAid, thinking that Big Data is the answer to a marketing question instead of an asset that, if mined appropriately, might be useful to marketers. I think that Big Data is getting too much attention, but the wrong kind.
merle: With the power of an all-access pass to 24/7 media and vast user generated content, comes an enormous responsibility – providing
credible information. At Fancred, we’re building our business on the foundation that credible information far outweighs excessive noise and
unreliable sources. Consumers choose where they get their information and I think we can expect to see a shift towards a desire for more accountability.
larned: Maybe not an elephant in the room, but the lightning speed of the mobile market’s evolution has created the need
to swiftly adapt
strategy to effectively reach our current audience, as well as those who become our audience because of mobile. It’s just an enormous challenge to be nimble and agile enough to keep up.
riggins: Everyone is talking about social media but few have really figured it out how to use it correctly. I’m not afraid to admit we have done a poor job of it in the past. There is no magic bullet, all the social media in the world can’t fix a poor
lewnes: Despite all the attention and investment we’ve started to see in digital marketing, I believe marketers have yet to truly break through. We’ve really just begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible. Offering customers relevant content, delivering experiences that are engaging instead of intrusive and improving how we measure our work – once we master these things I think we’ll begin to capitalize on the opportunities ahead of us in digital. We’re making progress, but I don’t think we’re
there yet. We’re not moving quickly enough. This idea was the basis of a new campaign Adobe just launched, targeted at marketers. The premise is that marketing is still plagued by long-standing myths – you can’t prove advertising works, big data is a big pain, marketing is a cost center, not a revenue driver – and turning these myths on their head. The truth is, marketers have the tools at their disposal today to
really break through and elevate the importance and
strategic value of marketing to business. It’s not going to be easy, but it can be done.
Image Source: 1. http://www.dataversity.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Integration.jpg
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Section 3 : Modern Marketers
Interview with Michael Dubin, CEO of Dollar Shave Club
How the Irreverent Approach to Marketing is The Approach to Marketing Michael Dubin is the CEO of Dollar Shave Club. He is a former MSNBC news writer, improv comedian and custom content producer for big brand advertisers such as Gatorade, Nike, Nintendo and Xbox. Interview conducted by Mark Pollard, Modern Marketer Section Editor and VP of Brand Strategy at Big Spaceship.
Michael Dubin, CEO of Dollar Shave Club He’s that guy in that YouTube video about getting “f&*king great” razors sent to your door every month. When a start-up has what looks like bold and unorthodox marketing, it’s easy for marketers in more established and conservative companies to dismiss the startups as being a different breed. However, what this interview with Michael Dubin reveals is that his approach to marketing is very much the traditional approach – done with confidence. POLLARD: What can a marketer who can’t change their business model and who doesn’t own the transaction the way the Dollar Shave Club (DSC) does, learn from what you did in 2012? DUBIN: One of the reasons I think we were successful isn’t necessarily because we own the transaction and not necessarily because we are disrupting an industry that has become very complacent, but because the core business offering makes sense and the product is in demand. And the way we speak about the problem resonates very loudly with our target audience.
If you look at that and want to extend it to brands that have been around for fifty years or so, there’s almost been a de-evolution away from the question: What problem are you solving? POLLARD: Having watched and read a few interviews with you, the way you use the word “problem” is obviously like a tech startup, whereas I’ve found many marketers don’t often like the word. It has certain emotional baggage, which is very different to the startup scene where you latch onto a problem and try to solve it. DUBIN: You don’t have to call it a problem, but when you do it’s a more active indictment of a situation compared to calling it a need that you’re meeting. If you’re selling rental cars, you’re solving a problem, which is that someone who may not own a car needs to get from point A to B. If you’re offering that car, there’s a world of opportunity there to define that experience for your target and make solving that problem really stand for something larger – like discovery and adventure. And some rental car companies have taken that tack. POLLARD: In another interview, you mentioned that Dollar Shave Club might not have been possible just a few years ago. Is that due to technological change or has there been a cultural change as well that’s helped you? DUBIN: I think it’s three things. Number one, I think social media wasn’t what it is and people were much less comfortable with social media five years ago. I think the second thing is, while we Americans are very accustomed to getting a monthly bill for services that we use – cable, internet, cell phone, magazines, etc. – I don’t think that five years ago America was ready to think about their whole life being serviceable by a membership or subscription model. The third thing is
technology. Right now we’re trying to work out the right billing platform to use. You’d be surprised at how far the technology is yet to go – even today – to be able to offer these types of businesses in a very seamless, easy way. Five years ago, a startup integrating a warehouse in one place with your servers elsewhere was almost unthinkable. POLLARD: Your products are split into three choices. Does that have anything to do with the science of choice and decision-making? DUBIN: It absolutely does. Guys need things very easy and simple. You see a lot of ecommerce shops throwing tons and tons of options out there. You can’t be Bed, Bath and Beyond and not have a ton of items. But I think there’s beauty in simplicity and fewer options. For us, to have a thousand razors would have been a bad thing. We do see people gravitating toward the middle option, which is our most popular. POLLARD: Can you talk about your approach to planning campaigns? DUBIN: The video I shot back in October 2011 didn’t launch until March 2012. So, I would say that for all the talk about being spur-of-the-moment, fast actors, this was a strategically-planned, meticulously-architected moment. The re-launch of our newly designed site and the release of our most well-known campaign video were timed to coincide with the announcement of the million-dollar seed round. All of our future campaigns – and you’ll see a bunch of them this year – are going to have that same kind of strategic planning and thought behind them. POLLARD: Can you talk about the thinking behind the Old Glory 2012 campaign?
“ Americans right now
are hyper-sensitive to over-sharing – and that’s by brands and people.
DUBIN: Old Glory was our way of making a commentary on the election. When we create content at DSC, we think about a couple of things. One is, is it relevant? Does it have a strong reason for being? People have always asked us, ‘Where’s the next video?’ But nothing states the case for Dollar Shave Club as clearly as that first video, so launching anything else video-wise would be a big distraction. We’re not going to do it until we have something really important to say. That’s the first requirement: does it have a strong reason for being? The second is: is it timely? Our goal at DSC is that we want our members to feel they are part of a membership that is current and that has its finger on the pulse of American life. That was our way of celebrating the election and giving our members great content without asking for anything in return. We got these illustrators to create very unique, original works of art and we shared them with our membership first to give them a laugh. We gave them another way to think about the election that wasn’t a debate or campaigning. POLLARD: What are your thoughts on the role of user-generated content for the brand? Currently, it’s mostly on the blog as opposed to front and center in a campaign. DUBIN: I think UGC has a role. Frankly, we’re still figuring out what role it plays for us. I don’t necessarily think our members want endless photos of our membership. I think there’s a time and place for user-generated content. We want to celebrate our membership, absolutely, but Americans right now are hyper-sensitive to over-sharing – and that’s by brands and people. We’ve already seen user engagement in Facebook decline in favor of other media. Brands need to be careful about how much they talk to their audience. Once a day could be the right number – it’s
“ People want different
brands at different frequencies.
different for every brand. People want different brands at different frequencies. It’s unique to each situation. POLLARD: You’re pretty active on Google+ with a good following (over 350k at the time of the interview). How are you finding Google+ for the business? DUBIN: Google+ has been great. We love those guys over at Google. You know, sometimes the engagement isn’t as high as you’d like. People are still discovering the tool. There’s also a lot of foreign users on our Google+ channels. It’s definitely on the up-tick and Google is doing a great job at building that tool, making it more relevant for brands and making it easier for people to connect to. We hope that it’s going to deliver for us. POLLARD: Do you do multivariate testing? DUBIN: We just started. We use Optimize.ly. So far it’s been great. We’re learning a lot every day about which pages work. It’s a process that every e-commerce company needs to go through. We like to look at the backside of the funnel first. In other words, if we can convert more people who are already at the checkout page, that’s a big win. Then moving back through the funnel - getting people to the last step of the funnel is the way to go for us. It’s hugely valuable. You’re surprised every day by what you thought might work and what actually does work. POLLARD: And how do the results of those tests get communicated through the organization? I’d imagine you’re pretty flat and sit next to each other. DUBIN: Well, exactly. But if you’re a big brand and you’re trying to share that information, you gotta have experiments where you come up with a theory, then create steps to test the theory, and then look at the results. Multi-variate testing is not just a web thing. It’s what companies have been doing since companies have been around.
POLLARD: From a communications point of view, is there anything you would have done differently looking back at 2012? DUBIN: We made a ton of mistakes, so it’s not about finding one…it’s about finding which one. The three that come to mind are: create a separate Twitter handle for customer service, radio works and hire a Marketing Chief that understands brand.
Section 3 : Modern Marketers
RELATED RESEARCH INSIGHTS
Key Insight: Marketers continue to evolve their organizations in response to mobile, social and data challenges.
The transformation continues apace
Q. Are you seeing a trend over the past year toward clients evolving/ transforming their marketing organization’s structure?
Clients are not done making changes to the way they manage their digital marketing efforts. While slightly lower than last year’s number, 61% of agencies report that their clients have made organizational changes over the past year. When asked to describe how digital continues to change the way they manage their brands, key themes emerged: • Increased need for speedy decisionmaking and action • More use of hard data and ROI metrics to drive allocations and creative decisions • Clients concentrating on maintaining consistency of voice, across channels and agency partners.
Clients describe the challenges that drive their evolution: “Brand managers must know the core essence of their brands and simplify its expression so that clear strategy instruction can be given - to allow agencies to activate it consistently in a very broad array of channels.” “The fundamentals of brand management are still the same. What has changed is the speed and consideration one must give to these areas in the midst of an always-on, anxious to participate, and super intelligent consumer marketplace.” “[D]igital has brought the brand management thinking of the big gorillas accessible to mid-size organizations.” “Brands have now become more customer and data centric rather than left on the basis of intuition and gut feeling of marketing/brand managers.”
RELATED RESEARCH INSIGHTS
Key Insight: Mobile continues to be a pain point for many marketers.
Where are ClientSide Marketers on the learning curve of major technological shifts? State of the art
Ahead of the curve
Behind the times
Don’t know/not applicable 36%
Understanding the role and impact of social media
Connecting digital and real-world experiences with your brand
38% 26% 29% 11%
Multi-channel marketing attribution (including digital)
35% 17% 5%
Use of data to drive digital marketing effectiveness
Q. Where is your organization on the learning curve for the following marketing tactics? (Question posed to client-side respondents) Mobile remains a major pain point for client marketing organizations in this year’s research study. Almost one third of client respondents (31%) indicated they were either “Behind the Times” or “Hopeless” when it comes to mobile usability and mobile UX capabilities. Taking home the number two spot was responsive design, with 27% of client respondents indicated they were behind or hopeless. Despite this self-assessment, many agencies and production companies are seeing clients progress on these fronts, particularly with respect
to mobile. We asked agency and prodco respondents how client organizations were evolving. Here are a few highlights. “Clients are adding more content, digital product, mobile roles internally.” “As clients realize the value and opportunities of consumers leveraging mobile & tablet devices, marketing teams are refocusing on these modern outlets and augmenting internal teams with related expertise.” “Our clientele has overwhelmingly been asking and pushing for mobile solutions.” But this situation isn’t just relegated to mobile. When asked about their brand’s level of sophistication in terms of cross channel attribution, incorporating social, online/offline alignment and applying data, only 10-16% see themselves as significantly ahead of the curve, revealing opportunities for improvement.
Key Insight: Agencies see significant skill gaps on the client side around UX, analytics and technology.
Agencies/Prodcos identify client-side skill gaps Q. Where are the most significant gaps in talent on the client side with respect to digital marketing? (Question posed to agencies and production companies)
Major Gap (very weak in this area)
No Gap (strong in this area)
Minor Gap (weak in this area)
Research/measurement & analytics
39% 22% 2% Technology
The Analytics Challenge Challenge
Creating value/insights from data Other (please specify)
Q. What challenges does your company face with data management? Please check the top 3 that apply. (Question posed to clients) Clients also agree that data and analytics pose a major challenge for their organizations. 54% of client-side respondents indicated that data analysis was a major issue, while 49% affirmed that creating value from data presented a challenge. Client-side digital marketers are still trying to solve the perennial problem of garnering actionable insights from the avalanche of data that is collected from their digital marketing efforts.
Tech Talk Section Preface There is No “Next” Facebook Visualizing the Unseen: A Prototype’s Dream Winning at Life Beyond Optimization: Designing for a Multi-Screen Lifestyle Can’t Touch This! New Interface Challenges Related Research Insights
The SoDA Report 2013
Section 4 : Tech Talk
Simon Steinhardt Tech Talk Section Editor ACD of Editorial at JESS3
Perhaps it’s the word “digital” in our common bond, but as SoDA member companies we often think of ourselves as technologists, perhaps even more than we think of ourselves as media-ists. But whether we hold ourselves aloft as the vanguard of the agency mob or more humbly consider ourselves mere specialists, we easily forget that all media, not just the digital variety, revolve around technology. Ours may be newer, and as such more pliable, more open to experimentation and innovation, but it still serves the same purpose. We may speak in terms like “immersive interactive experience,” but, fundamentally, how different is that from the words of Johannes Gutenberg—“a spring of truth shall flow” from the printing press—or those of media scholar John Culkin: “We shape our tools, and thereafter they shape us?” What we see transforming our industry today is not about mobile or HTML5 or 4th/5th/6th-screen experiences, it’s about turning those mobile devices into springs of truth. It’s about shaping user experiences that shape users. In this edition of Tech Talk, Amer Iqbal from Deepend explores the evolution of gamification from winning-atcheck-ins to winning-at-wellness. Brandel Zachernuk from Resn offers a primer on testing uncharted waters in interactive design through prototyping. Forest Taylor of Digitaria tells us to stop looking for the “next big thing” and start thinking about a future of many small, specialized things. Matt Paddock of Grow discusses the mesh between mobile experience and human experience, and explores the possibilities of design across the spectrum of the multi-screen lifestyle. And Tim Buesing from Reactive explains why the latest
technological developments in interface design are only as good as designersâ€™ understanding of usersâ€™ motivations and behavioral preferences.
Section 4 : Tech Talk
Forest Taylor, Digital Strategist, Digitaria
There is No “Next” Facebook Forest Taylor is a digital strategist at Digitaria in Minneapolis. Prior to that, he was a social strategist at Martin Williams, where he worked on everything from soybeans to Halloween masks. In his spare time he comes up with great ideas and forgets to write them down.
The next Facebook is already here, but there are a lot of them. The success of new contenders entering the market will rest on their ability to do little things well. The result will be a multitude of social city-states, providing a wide range of more unique, more pinpointed experiences that add up to one much larger idea. When I began my career at Fleishman-Hillard, there was a group in the New York office known as the “Next Great Thing.” Their role within the company was to stay ahead of trends and begin developing the knowledge and tools Fleishman would need when said trends finally connected with the masses. When smartphones starting taking off, the group decided that mobile was going to be the ongoing big thing. They changed their
“ The web doesn’t like
empires. City-states are easier to work with.
name to Mobile Behavior, and focused on getting really good at that. Facebook was born out of a time when big things, or rather “next big things,” were still possible. But as any military historian will tell you, large objects make the breach, and it’s the men running through the wall that conquer the city. In that sense, the next Facebook is already here, but there are a lot of them. They clambered into our feeds and handheld devices through the hole Facebook blasted in the web, and they’re getting better at doing what they set out to.
The web doesn’t like empires. City-states are easier to work with.
So when someone asks whether a cultural phenomenon like Facebook will ever be repeated, my answer is no. Perspective: When Facebook launched in early 2004, the iPhone was still three years away. So was the very first Amazon Kindle, which looks so rudimentary by today’s standards that one could be forgiven for assuming it came with a floppy disk drive. The first iPad was a full six years away. Even iPods, which were in their fourth iteration by then, had yet to dominate the market, still came only in white and did not support images. Facebook is a web-based community, built for and rooted in a time when people still logged in on their computer, sitting down. Despite its flashy start as a social platform for horny college kids, a much older crowd has spurred Facebook’s largest growth in the past few years. Today, 65% of its users are seven or more years older than the man who created it. This isn’t to say that Facebook is in its twilight. It remains a force to be reckoned with. No, Facebook will
lumber on for at least a few more web centuries like the sun-soaked British Empire, and after that … if they’re smart (and they are), Facebook will continue to explore microcosms of expression like Instagram and Drop.io, services that succeeded by doing specific things really well.
This is the age of application
It’s a noun. It is the quality of being usable for a particular purpose or in a special way. For our purposes, it’s the quality of being easily understood, easily accessed, easily interacted with, and easily consumed. Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, Foursquare, Rdio, Nike+ … things focused in aim and temperate in Manifest Destiny. These are the heirs to Facebook’s throne, and networks like these will be the ones that come to prominence from now on. Facebook is part of an evolution, an important part, but it shouldn’t be viewed as the litmus for future developments. The success of new contenders entering the market will rest on their ability to do little things well. The result will be a multitude of social city-states, providing a wide range of more unique, more pinpointed experiences that add up to one much larger idea. When that happens, that will be a big thing.
Image Source: 1. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1320261/
Section 4 : Tech Talk
Brandel Zachernuk, Interactive Experience Developer, Resn
Visualizing the Unseen: A Prototype’s Dream Brandel is a creative developer whose web career has spanned 10 years. He likes to blog about the future and what to visit when you get there. He’s part of the working group at Resn on digital fabrication, NUI and laser robots. He’s obsessed with parametric design and his love for sliders is so powerful he once went to White Castle.
How do you craft original, interactive online experiences? And perhaps more importantly, how do you get early sign-off on them? At Resn, we like to bring new creative and technology to every project we touch. But while novelty pays dividends when the project is done, it also means there aren’t any obvious examples to point to and say, “It’ll be like this.” Fortunately, we can put together quick exploratory prototypes to learn as much as we need to up front. What’s a Prototype?
A prototype is any assembly of materials pulled together to understand some specific aspect of a project. That
“ A prototype should
be built to answer a question, so if you have many questions it can be useful to make many prototypes.
aspect could be a visual style, a new form of interaction or just a realistic performance test of how much awesome we can expect to fit into an experience.
One Prototype or Many?
It depends. A prototype should be built to answer a question, so if you have many questions it can be useful to make many prototypes. In the “Public Service Announcement in Racer’s Clothing” Resn made for the New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA), we needed to climax in a spectacular crash scene where the user’s life flashes before his or her eyes. To do this, we needed to generate a slideshow of the user’s Facebook pictures that had a sense of meaning. We created a parameter-driven prototype that integrated the selection of images with various display techniques that allowed us to respond quickly to real user testing, and craft a more impactful emotional experience as a result.
Prototypes need to be able to react quickly to feedback – ideally in real time. To manage this, we build prototypes driven by parameters that can be set visually, with sliders, buttons, and color pickers. This ensures that non-technical people can get a sense of the possibilities. In NZTA, our creatives could change the layout and texture of the road, the acceleration of the car, and the placement of the scenery – all in real time within the game itself. This let us discover design problems early, and learn how to leverage the system better by producing multiple versions within minutes rather than days.
How to Keep It a Prototype
Getting functionality up and running early is great for team morale, but it can also be dangerous. It can seem like everything is nearly done and the prototype can be pushed straight through to final development. The
“ Prototypes need to be
able to react quickly to feedback – ideally in real time.
problem is that every program is put together with a certain scope in mind: where it’s used, how many components it needs to interact with, and so on. When a program begins to exceed that scope, things start to get messy. To make sure this doesn’t happen, we make sure we agree on the question(s) a prototype is answering and how long it’s going to last. If parts of a prototype do make it through to a final version, we take the time required to re-engineer them to fit into a larger architecture. Prototypes are a good way to explore many ideas without investing too much in any one concept. Prototypes let your team explore more creative concepts and identify issues early. A word of caution, though: make sure that all the stakeholders - both internal and external - know that they’re still looking at a prototype that is dealing with specific aspects and not the finished product. When done well, prototyping helps to produce more novel concepts that are ultimately more satisfying for your agency, your clients and, most importantly, your audience.
Image Source: 1. http://abduzeedo.com/best-week-37-50-bignews
Section 4 : Tech Talk
Amer Iqbal, Head of Strategy, Deepend
Winning at Life With over 10 years experience in marketing communications, Amer is a key member of Deepend’s senior management team. He holds a degree in Computer Science and an MBA in Marketing and has been engaged by numerous organizations to deliver guest lectures and facilitate workshops on business and marketing strategy. Combining an ongoing passion for digital innovation with strategic consumer insights, Amer has led teams that have attracted several highly regarded industry awards and accolades. Get in touch with Amer on LinkedIn.
If you’re like me, you’re probably sick of hearing about how “gamification” is the next big thing. But if we think about it, the core concept is quite interesting: What if the reward of a check-in was not a “mayor” badge from the local coffee shop, but rather months or years added to your life? What if personal data collection was so easy and fun that it wasn’t a chore? And what if we could utilize that data to actually improve our lives? Beyond badges: The future of healthcare As an example, let’s think about how the healthcare
“ The missing ingredient
is the understanding (or imagination) required to filter through an avalanche of data and make it useful enough to create a real difference in our lives.
industry might be disrupted by personal data. Currently, you might visit a doctor once a year for a check-up, or more likely when you’re already feeling sick. The doc asks you a few vague questions and checks your blood pressure, then gives you her best diagnosis based on the information at hand. This is how it’s been done for decades. It’s not hard to imagine how this could all change if our digital devices constantly measured and stored our bio-indicators: An analyst could review your data each month and draw insights on your health, making recommendations for small improvements and even catching warning signs months or years before they develop into real problems. The data would of course be available to your doctor, providing additional reference for diagnosis and treatment. In fact, much of the technology required to achieve this already exists: wristwatches that measure indicators like heart rate and blood pressure; and your trusty smartphone that can collect data on where you are, how fast you’re moving, how many steps you take, and how you shift in your sleep.
Imagine an app that allows you to improve your lifestyle
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. What if an app could give you real-time feedback to help you become healthier, smarter, funnier, and more cultured? The same app could create a shopping list when you’re in the grocery store, and recipes to cook when you’re in the kitchen. It could tell you when, where and how to exercise. It could look at your calendar and email to tell you which clients and colleagues are stressing you out the most. It could tell you when there’s a comedy show or a great play in town that you should catch. Heck, it could even pull in your Facebook check-ins and
newsfeed, analyze who you’ve been hanging out with, and tell you when you need to catch up with particular friends (or avoid certain others!) Of course, it should measure whether you’re following the recommendations and give you a score on how well you’re living your life.
“Amer scored 3,426 points this week and has jumped to no. 1 on the leaderboard – #Winning@Life!” Several apps and devices already exist that can perform many of these actions in isolation. Devices like Basis and Bodymedia are able to track your heart rate, perspiration and skin temperature, giving you recommendations on ways to improve your health. The Nike+ suite of products allow you to set fitness goals and compete with your peers. In the world of apps, Sleep Cycle is now old news as we are seeing sophisticated developments like SAGA, an ambient companion that persistently tracks your activity and can make recommendations based on your habits no matter where you are and what you’re doing. The missing ingredient is the understanding (or imagination) required to tie this information together and make it useful enough to create a real difference in our lives. Forget about gamification. Let’s get down to the seriously fun business of putting our data to work. It’s only a matter of time before we stop vying to be the mayor of the local coffee shop and start competing to win at life. Game on.
Image Source: 1. http://jdhancock.com
Section 4 : Tech Talk
Matt Paddock, Director of Engagement, Grow Interactive
Beyond Optimization: Designing for a MultiScreen Lifestyle Matt Paddock is the Director of Engagement at Grow, a digital agency serving the world’s premier brands and advertising agencies and winner of the inaugural Mobile Grand Prix at the 2012 Cannes Lions. Matt’s background includes experience in marketing and operations for advertising and technology firms. When he’s not indulging his passion for networking and social media, he enjoys practicing Charlie Parker solos and listening to jazz.
Delivering a great mobile experience today is about more than developing exciting content for small screens. As Avinash Kaushik quipped at a recent Google event, “Creating mobile optimized content is solving a problem from 2007.” Instead of worrying about devices and format limitations, let’s start celebrating the possibilities created by a multiplicity of screens. Products and services that recognize the value of many connected screens, taking intent and context into account, are well positioned to add value for advertisers, marketers and consumers.
“ The sweet spot
for multi-screen development merges good interactive design with an understanding of where and when each viewer wants to consume particular content.
We’ve spent the last five years coming to grips with the demands of screen size and device capabilities, only to face a new reality: Consumers want content that does more than just fit on a screen. To borrow the Las Vegas tourist maxim, what happens on one screen can’t just stay on that screen. Marketers are looking for ways to build a compelling experience that flows seamlessly across multiple screens. Consider Spotify, a product built with multiple screens in mind, which allows users to stream songs matched to their listening preferences through a free mobile app. Spotify listeners “train” the app by giving songs a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” Free users can’t control exactly which songs are streamed, but each song given a thumbs up is made available for on-demand playback through the Spotify desktop application. This is the secret sauce in Spotify for consumers expecting a seamless listening experience. The impact of small design decisions like this can be profound. Instead of thinking of the free Spotify mobile app as a jukebox, listeners start approaching it like a remote control. Spotify could have settled for consistency across multiple platforms, but went further to create a way for listeners to transform their desktop experience via the mobile app. Spotify, well aware of the value their “song bookmarking” offers, runs ads for free users promoting this feature. The sweet spot for multi-screen development merges good interactive design with an understanding of where and when each viewer wants to consume particular content. Building personalized content is key, especially if we take into account the capabilities of each screen and the dispositions of our viewers. The Google Search app is a good example of how to design with these factors in mind. Using Google Search on mobile shows a primary focus on location, with the
assumption that we’re not near a computer. Results are basic and showcase priority items for a mobile audience, like hours of operation and map directions. Search results on mobile convert phone numbers to buttons that can be quickly clicked to place a call. Google Search for tablet includes basic location features, but it doesn’t assume you’ll be carrying your tablet around on the street to look for a lunch spot. The tablet experience is likely to happen in the home, so results are more detailed to allow for browsing, with navigation from Search to other Google web applications like News or Google+. The final context is desktop, which assumes a “lean forward” approach that provides highly detailed results and throws out features like voice search that fall outside the context of sitting at a computer. As visionaries like Amber Case have been touting for years, screens are becoming extensions of our bodies, tools that provide a “superhuman” experience. Digital makers and creatives are in position to realize that future sooner than most, if we can move beyond designing for devices and focus on powerful multiscreen experiences.
Image Source: 1. http://connectedthefilm.com/host-yourown-screening/topics-covered-in-connected/ connected_screens-2/
Section 4 : Tech Talk
Tim Buesing, Creative Director, Reactive
Can’t Touch This! New Interface Challenges Tim Buesing (@tbuesing) started his career in digital design and advertising at a time when Iomega’s ZIP drives (100MB!) were all the rage. He has worked in four countries outside of his native Germany and is currently Creative Director of Reactive in Sydney. Tim enjoys leading Creative Social as well as writing for renowned industry site Adverblog.
Either work hard or you might as well quit That’s word because you know… You can’t touch this. – MC Hammer Argh...it’s Hammertime! Once again I’m stuck on an e-commerce website that apparently hasn’t considered I might want to purchase from a tablet. My fingertips seem well within what web experts define as average (approximately 44 pixels). Yet here I am, grappling with a nasty popup window that I just cannot touch. It would work well if only I used a mouse. On my iPad it feels like the shop owner is pressing the door shut as I’m trying to enter his store. Grmpfh...
“ Responsive design,
creating websites that respond to a variety of screen sizes and thus avoid the need for separate sites, is only part of the solution.
After switching to the mobile site, my big fat fingers work much better, but now my previously loaded shopping cart is empty. Shall I give up, return to my laptop, search, and select the items again? And would it recognize me if I returned, neatly perched on my couch, using Xbox or a smart TV where my spoken commands mix with gestures and a wand-like remote control? These situations pose very real questions for brands, publishers, and start-ups. We users have grown to expect optimized experiences from them on every one of our devices. Touch, voice and gesture have matured and added variety to how we access services, purchase goods, entertain ourselves and share stories. And e-commerce is especially ripe with users hopping between devices. Etsy, for example, sees a desktop/ mobile split of 75/25 in terms of traffic but 80/20 for purchases, meaning one out of every five mobile window-shoppers switches over to a PC to complete the transaction. Microsoft’s new Surface computer has made this duality apparent. On a single device, users can type and click as well as touch and swipe. While many professional reviewers have called the Surface experience confusing, tests indicate users prefer its touch interface. They even neglect cursor and keyboard for tasks where they are generally considered superior, such as filling out longer forms. Instead, they grab the Surface’s screen as if it was a tablet only. Additionally, most websites or applications can’t tell which “interaction mode” the user is in at any given moment. That’s why user interface experts like Josh Clark advise, “If a device can be used for touch, its interface should be finger-friendly.” From a creative standpoint, this sounds like a lot of BFBs (Big Fucking Buttons), a somewhat chunky layout of the future web. Responsive design, creating websites that respond to a variety of screen sizes and thus avoid the need for separate sites, is only part of the solution. What
“ What responsive sites
can’t quite address are users’ motivations, behavioral patterns and ergonomics specific to using mice, fingers, arms and voices.
responsive sites can’t quite address are users’ motivations, behavioral patterns and ergonomics specific to using mice, fingers, arms and voices. Touch interfaces, for instance, work better with navigations placed at the bottom. But can we expect people to learn different interfaces with every device? And can we expect budgets to cover every optimization? That’s why it’s best to stay on track with your audience and analyze which devices are significant in terms of current and future share. Project and estimate what your audience will move towards, budget accordingly, and be open with users on less common devices. After all, you’re working hard so they can touch this. And that’s very word.
Image Source: 1. http://www.istockphoto.com
Section 4: Tech Talk
RELATED RESEARCH INSIGHTS
Key Insight: Technology is maturing to the point that the focus is now squarely on user experience and behavior rather than on technology as an end in and of itself.
Industry Trends â€” Agency Leaders Opine Agree
43% 26% 19%
Experimentation aside, users will invest more time on fewer social networking sites (Facebook vs. Pinterest vs. Google+)
35% 33% 32% 18%
Mobile apps will begin to lose share to mobile sites
Touchscreen will begin to displace click and keyboard for non-business applications
2% 10% Consumers will insist on the ability to port content across multiple screens and to have differentiated content experiences base on their mobility context
Augmented reality will make the leap from innovation lab to the every day
Tablets will become the primary computing device for college-age students and younger, supplanting laptops and desktops
Q. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements about technology adoption in the near future? The agree/disagree statement that generated the highest consensus among survey respondents within Tech Talk was squarely focused on user experience. A whopping 88% of agency respondents (and an even higher percentage of respondents with technology titles) indicated that consumers will demand continued progress on porting content across multiple screens. Weâ€™re not just talking about making the same content available on every screen. Rather, cross-functional teams (including strategy, UX, technology and creative teams) will need to work in concert to make differentiated content experiences based on mobility context the norm rather than the exception.
People Power Section Preface Sure They Have a Great Resume, But Can They Improvise? The “Quantified Society” Psst... The Next Killer App is Actually Human Interview with Patrick Whitney, Dean of IIT Institute of Design Related Research Insights
The SoDA Report 2013
Section 5 : Introduction
Zachary Paradis People Power Section Editor Director Innovation Strategy, SapientNitro
This section began focused primarily on education. The question it sought to explore is a pertinent one: How should the marketers of the future be taught to effectively play their role in business and society? How could we enable the people in marketing? As each piece was submitted, it also became clear that the section gained a larger meaning, uniquely related to its name: People Power. The authors all recognized a critical shift in the dynamic between marketers and consumers. It is a shift that is forcing the industry to reconsider its approach, its methods, and indeed, its philosophy. The complexity of the new world results from an explosion of new interactive channels, driven primary by information technology. This is connecting just about everything with the net result of people having greater awareness and access to each other, information, products and services than ever before. This “connected consumer” is driving organizations to create “connected experiences.” We’re witnessing a shift of power from brands to people, and a related need for marketing to act as the tip of the spear in “connected thinking.” Angèle Beausoleil, The SoDA Report’s Editor-inChief, opens the section with a piece on the type of strategically minded people organizations need to be successful in this connected context. Amy Veltman, Brad Robertson, and Gary Hirsch from On Your Feet, outline how they (and you can) use improv to help identify individuals with exactly this type of flexible synthetic thinking. Strategists Omaid Hiwaizi and Andrew Gregoris, with SapientNitro, question how all the data our connected world is producing will actually be used. Will a quantified society and marketers emphasize empirical over human values? Finally, Patrick Whitney, Dean and Professor at the IIT Institute of Design, offers
his thoughts on the very purpose of marketing and companies in modern day society. As we move further into the 21st century, it becomes clearer every day that our world is indeed changing. The late 20th century’s model of unidirectional mass communication, while still in existence, is fading every moment. So exactly how will marketing respond to Philip Kotler’s exclamation that, “Traditional marketing is dead”? I would volunteer that we will see a return to a definition of marketing more like what Peter Drucker once espoused. Drucker famously said, the aim of marketing was, “To make selling superfluous… To know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.” Marketers will need to learn how to build connected experiences– communications, products or services–that act as both individual touch points and part of a system for sensing motivation, need and intent. In regards to educating future marketers, this is a radically different orientation from the mass communication focus of the last fifty or more years. The Mad Men are dead. Long live Connected People.
Section 5 : People Power
AMY VELTMAN / BRAD ROBERTSON / GARY HIRSCH
Sure They Have a Great Resume, But Can They Improvise?
“You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation.” -Plato Brad Robertson
You know what you need: employees who are adaptable, flexible and collaborative, while still bringing their own talents and viewpoints to the work. But the standard ways of finding good people —interviewing, recruiting or even networking—don’t always reveal these traits the way they’ll show up in a real collaboration or crunch situation. And sometimes, we all know, people who are brilliant on paper and sparkling one-on-one have serious challenges when it comes to playing well with others.
On Your Feet is a collision between business and the arts. We are a consultancy that uses highly experiential methods – including tools from improvisation – to help organizations like Nike, Intel, GE, Disney, Sony, Phillips and others with communication, creativity and change. For more information: www.oyf.com
We have experience with a quick, simple way to screen prospective hires for adaptability, flexibility and an ability to collaborate (letting go of their own agendas and adding value to others’ ideas). Improv. In our work, we use improv as inspiration for our training, facilitation and ideation work. We believe it’s the perfect laboratory to see how people will behave together in high-stakes situations. After all, improvisers get on a stage (yikes!) with an expectation to create something compelling (a story) with others under extreme time pressure (instantly). Isn’t that a big part of what work is? Working with others to create something compelling under great time pressure! Interviews are strange in that they often measure how impressively we can talk about ourselves, but they don’t reveal as much as we’d like them to about behavior. Forty minutes of improv, however, is nothing but behavior and action. Here are the tales of two clients who have worked with On Your Feet and improv to screen candidates for the behaviors they wanted from employees: 1. A few years ago, we were asked by a client in the advertising industry here in Portland, OR to help them evaluate incoming talent they had short-listed. We played and improvised with these candidates for half a day. And then we were asked by the agency “Who would you like to be on stage with?” 2. What a perfect question! 3. Recently, one of our more visionary clients was staffing up a new restaurant, which they want to be an incredibly interactive pillar of its community, so they held a hiring event, marketing it on Facebook and elsewhere with the hope of hiring all.
strange in that they often measure how impressively we can talk about ourselves, but they don’t reveal as much as we’d like them to about behavior. Forty minutes of improv, however, is nothing but behavior and action.
After multiple traditional interviews with each applicant to make sure that they met the baseline criteria to be good employees, the company threw the candidates in a room with us to spend 40 minutes improvising. Almost instantly, we, along with our client, learned volumes about these applicants: who’s easy to interact with versus who seems uncomfortable in their own skin, even after a long warm-up period. We also saw who was charmingly inappropriate—and who stepped a toe over that line. Perhaps most importantly, we saw who sparkled while still “giving the story what it needs,” rather than trying to suck up all of the limelight, pulling away from the team. Sure, a lot of people have a good resume, but maybe more organizations should be asking: Can my new hires improvise?
Section 5 : People Power
Omaid Hiwaizi, Planning Director Andrew Gregoris, Senior Strategist at SapientNitro
“Quantified Society” and How it Challenges What it Means to be Human
Helping business understand and capitalize on the rapidly changing space where technology, people and businesses collide at Sapient Nitro.
Man has always looked to extend his capabilities through the use of technology, from the use of flint rock tools to the invention of the wheel. Today through technology we can do more than at any point in human history, but as we extend our human capabilities beyond their intended limits, we seem increasingly unaware of the impacts and changes being made to us. Throughout history, repeated technological advancements have undoubtedly enhanced what humans are capable of, but it is the age of the “Quantified Society” where every action is recorded, measured and judged that will have the greatest potential to alter us. Technologies such as the Nike+ FuelBand, not only measure our behaviors, but they also make this information highly visible and actionable through the creation of feedback loops which shape us physically and mentally. These information feedback loops give us new ways of perceiving each other and ourselves, altering our views of reality and potentially influencing our morality.
“Technologies such as
the Nike+ FuelBand, not only measure our behaviors, but they also make this information highly visible and actionable through the creation of feedback loops which shape us physically and mentally.
In the Quantified Society different types of information will change us in different ways. For example, take the insurance industry, and the ability to create individual, rather than generic “Risk Scores.” These quantified versions of ourselves threaten to create a psychological disconnect between our (quantified) real self and our perceived notions of our ideal self. Knowing that you are inherently risky has the potential to create psychological discomfort and higher premiums, but also if you know you are inherently risky, do you have a moral obligation to refrain from certain activities? What happens when this information becomes visible to others? In the world of dating, does a visibly low “Risk Score” become a key attribute in attracting a partner? More and more information is being created in our “blind spots,” that is to say information that other people are aware of that we ourselves are not. How should companies like insurers use this information? For example, are they morally responsible to make us aware of future health issues before they arise? Or indeed, commercially, should they be allowed to act on this to alter our health premiums? These “blind spots” will dramatically increase our potential to help or harm each other, creating more opportunities for our morality to be tested. Given that such technologies and their resulting insights are unlikely to be distributed equally across society, there is real potential for them to exaggerate the gap between the haves and have-nots. We will also want more of the data being created to remain hidden from others. Not only does this threaten to create a society of paranoid people, seeking to hide their information trails, but it also asks fundamental questions about the ideas of self-responsibility and Libertarianism. For example, if patients systematically fail to take their medication and decide to hide this from their doctor, should the doctor then be allowed to access
this information, and could this information justifiably be used to withhold the patients’ treatment? Overall, these information feedback loops are likely to lead to a society that places a greater importance on empirical, rather than human, values. And our notions of personal identity will be challenged when our personal behavior, thoughts and feelings are directly shaped by other people’s data. What is certain is that “Quantified Society” will result in a permanent digital record of the human condition, and only then will we see how well our notions of what it means to be human really measure up.
Section 5 : People Power
Angèle Beausoleil, The SoDA Report Editor-in Chief
Psst.The next killer app is actually human. Angèle Beausoleil has spent the last two decades working with digital agencies, technology companies and consumer brands on identifying market trends, leading innovative research and development projects, and crafting strategies and action plans. Today, she balances her graduate studies (MA/PhD in Applied Innovation) with a strategic invention consulting practice while also teaching Design Strategies at the Sauder School of Business’ d.studio at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Angèle is the editor-inchief for The SoDA Report and a board member for the Merging+Media
Yes, the next killer app is: You. You with the ability to think strategically, solve problems, collaborate and communicate effectively. You are a 21st century strategic thinker – you perfectly balance critical and logical thinking with intuitive and creative thinking – and focus on people over technology. You are the most desirable creature on the planet. Brands need you to restructure their org chart, convert observations into game-changing products and find new ways to engage customers. Agencies need you to
Association, Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), Canadian Women in Communicationsâ€™ Digital Media Council, and the Digital Strategy Committee at UBC.
identify insights for market domination creative, use old technology in new ways and lead innovation efforts. You are sometimes called an integrative thinker, design thinker, forward thinker or whole-brain thinker. You combine logic and emotion, leading to both conclusion and action. You offer a multiplicity of perspectives and account for only one head count. A growing number of industry experts suggest most companies today are hindered by a low level of innovation, due to the overwhelming use of analytical or critical thinking. Roger Martin, author of The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking, states that most business people rely on deductive reasoning rather than creative, intuitive or design thinking, and believes as the pace of technological change continues to accelerate, integrative thinking will play an increasingly vital role in the survival of companies. Strategic or integrative thinkers look at relationships (rather than unrelated objects), connectedness, process (rather than structure), the whole (rather than just its parts), the patterns (rather than the contents) of a system, and context. Thinking strategically also requires several shifts in perception, which, in turn, leads to different ways to teach and different ways to organize society. This powerful skill energizes processes between people and between people and their organizations, and is the trait of a change-agent. So who are they and where can you find one? They are likely in your organization already. Consider Jane who keeps raising important questions and proposing solutions around an urgent issue; or Jim who consistently offers ideas for alternative processes or systems without seeking recognition; or Jill who drives her boss crazy with intriguing questions that challenge his assumptions; or Jack who effectively manages up,
“The strategic thinker’s
keen observation skills position them well for a definitive view of the future through the understanding of the past and present. And, because their ego allows them to share their process and methods with their teams, great discoveries, works of art and new technologies result.
as well as down. They are self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored and self-corrective thinkers. As effective communicators and problem solvers they tend to overcome their ego within subjective contexts. Do these attributes make you think of someone in your office? If not, brace yourself for a dramatic talent search. The strategic thinker’s keen observation skills position them well for a definitive view of the future through the understanding of the past and present. And, because their ego allows them to share their process and methods with their teams, great discoveries, works of art and new technologies result. Companies need employees who can observe, analyze situations, solve problems, communicate logically and make good decisions based equally on data and intuition. They are the next killer app. So, when observing your own organization, look around and identify the strategic thinking types – they will be the ones your competitors are eyeing right now.
Image Source: 1. http://www.highiqpro.com/iq-creativity/ creativity-and-iq
Section 5 : Interview
Interview with Patrick Whitney, Dean of IIT Institute of Design
Bringing Design and Business Strategy Together Patrick Whitney is the director of the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, and is the Steelcase/Robert C. Pew Professor of Design. Whitney has published and lectured throughout the world about how to make technological innovations more humane, the link between design and business strategy, and methods of designing interactive communications and products. Interview conducted by Zachary Jean Paradis, People Power Section Editor and Director of Innovation Strategy at SapientNitro.
Business Week featured Whitney as a ‘design visionary’ for bringing together design and business, Forbes named him as one of six members of the ‘E-Gang’ for his work in human centered design, and Fast Company identified him as a ‘master of design’ for his leadership in linking the creation of value for users and economic value for companies. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation are among the foundations and corporations supporting his work. We sat down with Whitney to discuss his perspective on how marketing has changed over the past decade and the skills modern day marketers need to succeed. As an educator of leading design students and advisor to top global brands, Whitney is uniquely positioned to provide valuable insights on this critical topic. He advises leaders of companies and government agencies on aligning consumer experience with their organization’s strategy, including Aetna, BP, Lenovo, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson, Steelcase,
Texas Instruments, and the governments of Denmark, Hong Kong, India, Japan and the UK. PARADIS: Philip Kotler, the father of marketing and the guy who wrote “the book” on the topic has been quoted saying, “Traditional marketing is dead”? What do you think he means and could you comment on how marketing has changed in the last decade or so? WHITNEY: I see changes in marketing being driven by our transformation from a “push” to a “pull” society. Modern marketing, public relations and design were created to help large manufacturers maintain some sort of connection with markets that were shifting from local to mass. These disciplines helped create and sell products. Because the middle class was growing, it wasn’t difficult to do so. But modern companies have become really good at creating products. There are simply too many SKU’s. Consumers don’t necessarily want that choice. It’s too complex for companies to manage and too complex for consumers to make decisions. Because of the increase in consumer choice, people increasingly pull products and services toward them rather than companies producing them and pushing them through traditional advertising. Instead of target markets, we have to think about how companies become magnets. Segmentation will be challenged because people don’t think of themselves as “premium car buyers” or “value shoppers.” It no longer makes sense to describe people by what they buy. One shift is to use customer terrains that allow companies to identify and respond to patterns in behavior. But these patterns won’t fit into neat groupings like those described by traditional segmentation models. For example, the terrains Starbucks responded to were people wanting to be more
productive outside of the traditional workplace, and people needing a place to have relaxed conversations outside of home. While Starbucks responded to these user terrains by creating a territory around coffee, other coffee companies were trying to fit into segments of budget or premium buyers. They failed to see that it wasn’t really about coffee. The problem with companies today is that they are still creating models that align too much with product consumption. The consumer and the production categories merge to become a market segment. We need user terrains and company territories, where terrains are the patterns that allow them to understand user aspirations and then create territories that define their business. PARADIS: So things have changed and are continuing to change. What are the skills modern day marketers need to really succeed? WHITNEY: One core change is thinking of people differently, not as a passive consumer or segment to be targeted, but as real people with lives and aspirations that continually evolve. The 20th century was largely concerned with creating management methods so that companies could decide what investments to make based on demographic studies and other models of prediction. Now that change is so pervasive, prediction is more difficult. We need to move from trying to predict everything to include methods of responsiveness. What if companies didn’t think of themselves as makers and communicators of things to be sold, but instead as sensors that could help users define what they want? Then, a company could quickly respond. This relates to the new “maker” society where people are making things independently.
Can marketing, product managers and designers build sensing and responding platforms, rather than the final product? We see precursors of this, where people are putting together their own TV channels. 3D printers are now where Wang and dot matrix printers were 30 years ago. The 3D printing world will catch up to the equivalent of today’s desktop publishing giving us desktop factories. It is difficult to imagine the current product development, marketing and factory model surviving. PARADIS: Marketing is obviously taught at both undergraduate and graduate levels in a range of programs from communications to MBAs. How do you believe education will need to evolve to meet these needs? Related, why do some marketers attend schools like the school you head, IIT Institute of Design, rather than follow a specifically “marketing” track? WHITNEY: At the detail level, they will have to study responsive media rather than mass media and related advertising methods. At a philosophical level, they will have to learn to be comfortable in a place where the driver of our society is not conspicuous consumption, but individual production. I’m unaware of any marketing program today with such an orientation. Some students are turning to schools of design, like IIT Institute of Design, in order to look at people first as opposed to products or channels. That allows for the creation of all together new models, rather than merely using new technology to increase the flexibility of the old model. The typical titles, words and metaphors start to not work. It’s not an “offering,” but a “request.” It is not a “user target,” but a “corporate magnet.” It’s not conspicuous consumption; it’s responsive individual production.
Section 5 : People Power
RELATED RESEARCH INSIGHTS
Key Insight: Agencies are having to work harder to keep great talent, and money is not always the deciding factor. Job Satisfaction Factors
You mean it isn’t just about money? Somewhat important
75% 60% 50%
Good work-life balance
Stong leadership/ dynamic vision
Opportunities for advancement
Opportunities to give back/social responsibility
Diversity of projects
29% 2% 1%
Q. Please indicate the degree of importance of the following factors with respect to your job satisfaction. Yes, salary and flexibility are important factors for employees, with 50% of respondents indicating they are “very important.” However, the most important factors cited by respondents were interesting work (76% very important), culture (75%) and a good work-life balance (62%).
RELATED RESEARCH INSIGHTS
Key Insight: Many clients are adopting an “innovate out of house” and “maintain in house” approach to their digital marketing efforts, a fact that will wield a major impact on talent needs on both the agency and client sides in 2013 and beyond.
Where Digital Marketing Skills Reside Now (and in the Future) – Clients Respond Internal
Your lead agency partner
Your lead digital agency*
A niche agency, production company or vendor
Paid channel expertise/ strategy (PPC, display, TV etc.)
Paid channel execution
33% 23% 13% 20%
Earned media expertise/strategy (social, WOM, etc.)
Earned media execution (community management, blogger outreach, etc.)
Owned media expertise/strategy (sites, mobile sites, mobile apps, social brand channels)
Owned media execution (and maintenance)
Brand monitoring and management
*If not the same as your “lead agency partner”
Q. This table combines the following two survey questions posed to client-side respondents. In your organization, where do the following skill areas primarily reside? (NOW) In your organization’s long term perspective, where will the following skill areas primarily reside? (FUTURE)
As highlighted in the table above, there are some significant trends that are emerging when we ask clients where skills primarily reside now (and where they will reside in the future) with respect to digital marketing. A few highlights... • Primary responsibility for paid channel expertise and strategy is expected to shift toward niche agencies and third-party companies, away from internal resources. Meanwhile, primary responsibility for paid channel execution will likely increase on the client side. The theme of “innovating out of house” and “maintaining in house” is one that has permeated many of the thought leadership pieces and research findings in this volume of The SoDA Report. • Lead digital agencies are expected to have increased responsibility for earned media expertise and strategy in the future. • Owned media expertise and strategy responsibilities for things like websites, mobile sites, mobile apps and social brand channels are shifting toward niche digital agencies, production companies or other third-party companies. • Clients also underscored that they believe their digital agencies will take an increasingly prominent role when it comes to product and service innovation (from 14% of lead digital agencies having primary responsibility in this area at present to 22% in the future). • Primary responsibility for User Experience (both now and in the future) is expected to remain with client-side digital organizations (49% now vs. 51% in the future). This is an interesting finding give that responsive design and mobile user experience were identified as two keep pain points for clients, a large percentage of whom felt they were “behind the times” or “hopeless” in this area. We believe this underscores the fact that UX will become a major investment area for clients. In addition, UX will represent a strong business opportunity for agencies and production companies that can help those clients flatten their learning curve in this area. In fact, as shown in the table on the next page, agencies and production companies are already beefing up their education and training services (as well as embedding specialized resources at clients) to support the growing sophistication of client-side digital marketing organizations.
RELATED RESEARCH INSIGHTS
Key Insight: Agencies are ramping up their client education initiatives and training offerings, as well as embedding specialized resources at client offices, highlighting a significant shift in client-agency engagement models.
Education and training on the rise Engagement Models
Our engagements with clients have not changed
We’re doing more project-based work with clients
We’re doing more retainer-based work for clients
We’re providing more education and training services to clients who have developed internal teams to handle digital production and maintenance
We’re embedding specialized resources at clients as part of our service offering
Our engagements with clients have not changed
Q. How have your engagement models with clients changed over the last year? (select all that apply) To bridge skill gaps across a wide range of areas, agency leaders are increasingly getting into the education / training space, both as a service offering to clients and as a way to provide professional development to their own internal teams.
Education and training on the rise Staff Training
We do not currently provide any training to our staff
We do not offer technology education to our clients
Yes-formal tech company training
Yes-invite them to conferences
Yes-other (please specify)
Othertotal responses *296
Q. Do you offer current and/or emerging technology training to your staff? Q. Do you offer current and/or emerging technology training to your clients?
RELATED RESEARCH INSIGHTS
Key Insight: As agencies, production companies, technology start-ups and client-side digital marketing organizations all begin to compete for the same talent, the number of roles that become difficult to fill has risen (and will continue to rise) dramatically.
Most difficult roles to fill Technology Developers
Community Management Copywriters
New Business Management Marketers Analytics Managing Director
Creative Strategy Creative Director Creative Thinkers
3D Animators UX Business Development All
Analyst Back-End Developer Art Director Public Relations
Senior Creative Designers Account Management UX Senior Developers New Business UX Designer Content IA Analytics Account Directors
iOS Developer Project
HTML5 Developer General Management Hybrid Account Service Producers
Human Resources Director Technology
UX Development Everything
Senior Account Strategy Talented Developers UX Designers Marketing Technologists
Senior Management New Business HTML5 Developer 2D Animators
Designers Service Designer Strategists Developers Executives Project Managers Technical Architects Technical Project Management
Developers Project Delivery
Front-End Back-End Developers
Digital Creative Digital Creative Director Mobile Developer Digital Marketing Specialist
Most senior roles: tech, UX, analytics, strategy New Business Management Data Analysts
Senior Creatives Senior Producers Digital
Directors Team Leads
Creative Thinkers Programmers Service Designer Strategic Creative
Compositors Thought Leaders IT Experienced Programmers UX IA Technology Developers Strategic Planning Design
Q. What are the positions that are most difficult to fill for your organization? (Question posed to both Agency and Client Respondents) In the ’13 DMO Survey, there was an even broader range of roles identified as difficult to fill by both respondents of all types. Seniorlevel talent across a broad range of disciplines seems to be particularly challenging to find for agencies, prodcos and clients. At the individual discipline level, user experience, technology, analytics and project management were among the most frequently cited, with design and account management not far behind. A few verbatims… “Marketers (specialized in analytics!)” “Creative Technologists (as this role continues to evolve between Developer and Creative Director)” “Management that truly understands both Digital and Traditional” “Honestly, most senior roles: Tech, UX, Analytics, Strategy” “Pretty much everything – demand for talent is increasing rapidly!” “Project Managers with the ability to create strong client relationships as well as having the ability to suggest viable technology solutions” “Strategy/Consulting Positions with deep knowledge of Analytics” “Technology (developers), Marketers (specialized in analytics)”
Advocacy Section Preface Only Exceptional Digital Experiences Allowed Climbing the Copyright Ladder of Abstraction Long Live Consumer Advocacy Digital Innovation and Delivery: Surviving Market Changes Related Research Insights
The SoDA Report 2013
Section 6 : Advocacy
Craig Menzies Advocacy Section Editor Head of Research & User Experience at Deepend
The theme of ‘Advocacy’ is a tricky one. Advocacy is the act of standing up for something or someone, but also of actively influencing and driving change. So for whom are we standing up? And what change is it that we want? The prevailing theme in this section of The SoDA Report is that digital agencies should be in the business of advocating for the end customers who will use (and hopefully enjoy) the things we design and build. This theme is embodied in Anthony Franco’s article “Only Exceptional Digital Experiences Allowed” and in Mallory Woodrow’s piece about listening to customer viewpoints in social media. We also want to stand up not only for customers, but also for other creators: artists, designers, writers, musicians, filmmakers, and yes, even other advertisers. Brad Gross shares an entertaining legal viewpoint in his article “Climbing the Copyright Ladder of Abstraction.” And, lastly, we need to also blow our own horns a bit and advocate for our own industry. Vassilios Alexiou discusses the importance of digital production companies in the ever more complex digital services landscape. So what is that we want to change? I think it’s the following: • We need to listen more, and obsess about the act of listening (especially to customers). • We need to feel a part of something bigger than ourselves, of our agency, and of the four walls we work within.
• Our world is getting smaller. Our horizon now includes places that a generation ago people would rarely visit, let alone ‘telecommute’ to. Enjoy the articles, and maybe think as you read: ‘What do I stand up for? What do I want to change?’
Section 6 : Advocacy
Anthony Franco, President and Co-Founder, Effective UI
Only Exceptional Digital Experiences Allowed A self-described “usability fanatic,” Anthony Franco, president of Denver-based Effective UI, co-founded his company in 2005 under the core belief that people deserve better software. In his role as president, Anthony is responsible for building and strengthening business relationships, identifying new business opportunities and market solutions for clients and communicating the value and importance of user experience-driven business strategies.“Incremental Engagement is also based on recognizing that the more personally relevant something is, the more compelling it will be.”
The more devices and channels customers have to interact with brands, the higher their expectations. Companies can’t afford to offer digital experiences that are anything short of exceptional – the costs are too high. So how can we, as consultants and creators of these experiences, become the champions for customers and overcome roadblocks to ensure customer delight?
“Sam or Steve?” This is the question I find myself asking our clients quite often to uncover their philosophical position on their digital initiatives. Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, has a simple approach: offer a discounted experience for a discounted price. Steve Jobs’ approach is to create a premium experience for a premium price. You could argue that both business philosophies are valid, but they don’t both work when it comes to delivering a digital experience. I argue that a poor digital experience costs more money than it saves – it’s far too easy for a customer to just click away from a bad digital interface. I rarely encounter clients who ask for a discounted digital experience, but at the end of the day, they often introduce obstacles that prevent us from giving their customers a premium experience. One of the obstacles is always going to be budget. Clients are going to have the budgets they are going to have, but budget aside, there are ways we, the people behind the interfaces and experiences for our clients, can commit to creating exceptional digital experiences, no matter what the budget: 1. Every winning solution needs a maven. Be the maven. There’s got to be someone who is the advocate for the customer – who thinks like the customer and places the utmost importance on creating the best possible experience. If this isn’t happening on the client side, make it your responsibility. 2. Build empathy through insight. If there is nothing else you take away from this article, let this be it: you cannot create exceptional digital experiences for customers without actually talking to them and understanding their needs, goals, expectations and current experiences. Period. Surveys won’t do it. You have
We have the capacity, the skills and the expertise to create great digital interfaces. Our legacy will be written by the human experiences we create.
to sit with them, talk to them, watch them. This doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Find 5-7 customers and sit with them while they interact with your application. I promise you’ll learn invaluable information that guides the direction of your project, or even shifts the direction completely – in the right way. 3. Don’t just design – excel at design. Keep this checklist and every time you create an interface make sure it is: • Adaptive: The system should learn the individual, not the other way around. • Beautiful: I could go on about the number of ugly interfaces out in the world today. Make it elegant and pleasing to the eye. • Opaque: People should not notice the technology. • Intuitive: Make the interface understandable with little-to-no training. • Approachable: Don’t let your interface scare people away with complexity.
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When we focus on the customer and create with empathy – when our clients’ digital experiences are exemplary, they will see huge cost benefits, including increased conversions, reduced maintenance, higher customer loyalty and reduced customer service calls. Not to mention the softer costs associated with a positive brand perception. So, I’m making a plea: Build Exceptional Digital Experiences. We have the capacity, the skills and the expertise to create great digital interfaces. Our legacy will be written by the human experiences we create.
Section 6 : Advocacy
Brad Gross, SoDA General Counsel and Global Legal Advisor
Climbing the Copyright Ladder of Abstraction A technology law attorney with thirty years of experience in the computer and technology fields, Brad is SoDAâ€™s General Counsel and Global Legal Advisor. He educates SoDAâ€™s members about the laws, cases and legal trends that impact the business of digital marketing, focusing in particular on intellectual property and contract issues that are crucial to the viability and stability of digital marketing agencies and their clients.
How much can one “‘borrow’ from an existing work before the creative process moves from imitation to copyright infringement?
“Steal someone else’s game. Change its name.” So begins Electronic Arts’ recently filed lawsuit against Zynga, in which EA accuses Zynga of stealing EA’s copyrights in its online game on Facebook, The Sims Social. The lawsuit is but one example of how content producers are using the court system to prevent the expressive elements of their ideas from being “borrowed” too heavily by others. Let’s face it: borrowing happens, and at some level, that’s okay. But at what point does “borrowing” becoming stealing? How much can one “borrow” from an existing work before the creative process moves from imitation to copyright infringement? In other words, how close is too close? The answer is neither simple nor obvious. We begin with the foundational premise that copyright law doesn’t protect ideas, only the expression of ideas. The difference between an “idea” and its “expression” is crucial: ideas are conceptual, while expression involves physical or tangible results. For example, copyright law protects this article from being copied, since it is the expression of my thoughts. Copyright law, however, does not prevent others from writing about the same topic (or concept) of this article. Confused? You’re not alone. Legal pundits have debated this topic for decades, and yet no one can say with certainty where the “borrowing” of an idea ends and the theft of expression begins. I don’t have a panacea for this incredibly vexing issue, however, I’ve come up with a tool you can use to help you answer the question, how close is too close? (Well, it’s not a tool exactly. It’s a ladder. Let’s call it, the “Ladder of Copyright Abstraction.”) At the top of the Ladder exists an ethereal world where
ideas and themes are born. No details are allowed at the top of the Ladder—just stories and concepts. By contrast, the very bottom of the Ladder is reserved for facts and details. It’s where the creative and expressive elements burn hottest, and it’s where your creative folks spend most of their time. Armed with your Ladder, consider the following fact pattern: I want to develop a fictional character who fights crime. He will wear a uniform uniquely identifying him to his friends and foes alike, and have powers beyond those of mortal men. To add to his mystique, my character will be from another place: maybe from a “lost” city, or a different dimension, or perhaps from another solar system. Either way, he won’t be from around here. (Right now, we’re at the top of the Ladder. Let’s descend.) My character will have a cape, and he’ll have an emblem across his chest. Generally, he won’t need weapons; his brains and brawn will do just fine. He will keep his identity secret, often at great risk to his emotional and romantic life. (Descending further…)
Image Source: http://legacy.gluu. org/wp-content/ uploads/2012/02/BegSteal-or-Borrow.png
My character will be able to fly, and will have exceptional strength and speed. He will be almost invulnerable, except he will become desperately and uncontrollably weak when exposed to certain substances. (Descending further…) My character will work as a reporter. And his name will be Clark. And people will come to know his alter ego as a really great, even super, man. As we descend the Ladder, abstraction is displaced by details. The point on the Ladder where you can’t help but say, “Hey, that’s exactly like…” is the point where infringement likely begins. If you find yourself at that point, climb another rung or two up the Ladder and reevaluate your position.
Section 6 : Advocacy
Mallory Woodrow, Social Marketing Manager, Enlighten
Long Live Consumer Advocacy Mallory Woodrow is a social marketing manager at Enlighten, where she works on social content and strategy. In her spare time, she is a contributing writer for The Daily Muse and her articles have appeared on Forbes, Mashable, and other business-related publications. Follow her on twitter: @malloryloren.
Smart, successful digital marketing lies in the ability to educate clients and show them the benefits of actively listening and responding to their customers. When applying this core concept to different disciplines within an agency, social media marketing â€“ often consumer-facing â€“ serves as a prime example of a ship that floats or sinks based on this idea.
Listening is important to better understand who your consumers are and what they want. It is the key to gaining insights that help to develop compelling content and to execute successful digital programs.
At its core, Social Media is a conversation: a means by which to share and engage with the people and things in your life. When applying this idea to social marketing for a brand, clients and their agencies should strive to remember that a conversation is a two-way exchange— it requires all the facets that any conversation would: listening, responding and understanding. Without one or all of these components, the conversation falls flat. These simple ideas, that dictate the rules of conversation in daily life, can be applied to both social strategy and content development. To make sure that these concepts are used to the fullest, it is the agency’s responsibility to both educate and illustrate the value of this concept by simplifying the thought process and providing tangible evidence such as metrics and social analytics data. The statistics to support the validity of this are clearly documented, but the abstract ideas behind why it is a recipe for success can be more ambiguous. Below is a short list of questions to go over within your agencies and with your client to help better illustrate the importance of remembering the customer: Listening: What do our consumers indicate that they want? If your customers are talking, you should listen. Listening is important to better understand who your consumers are and what they want. It is the key to gaining insights that help to develop compelling content and to execute successful digital programs. Responding: Do my consumers feel acknowledged? Responding to consumers is a simple, yet effective way to show that you hear your customers and that their opinions matter. Furthermore, acknowledging your customers’ concerns or comments is important in fostering a community of loyal customers.
Understanding: What can I learn about my consumers from this conversation? The final component is more complex. You listened and you acknowledged窶馬ow what insights can you gain from this exchange? The answer to this question should help you understand what makes your customer tick and how you can better tailor your content and programs to fit their wants and needs. The dawn of the social media age has opened doors for brands to interact with their consumers in new ways. At the same time, it has empowered consumers, equipping them with an open forum in which to be heard. In order to best leverage this new channel for marketing to the fullest, agencies should make every effort to help their clients better understand the importance of remembering the customer.
Image Source: http://www. empowermm.com/ blog1/files/2011/07/ consumer_online_ habits.jpg
Section 6 : Advocacy
Vassilios Alexiou, Creative Director and Founder, Less Rain
Digital Innovation and Delivery: Surviving Market Changes Vassilios Alexiou is the creative director and founder of Less Rain, a digital innovation and delivery business. Vassilios is interested in the convergence between design, technology & communication, as it manifests itself across various media and applies to our everyday life. He has been responsible for guiding Less Rain’s output during the last 10 years, working with agencies, brands, startups and publishers to deliver innovative digital communication, products and platforms.
As the digital marketing food chain is growing into a complex web of connections, the lines between marketing and product development are being blurred. In this climate, today’s innovative interactive production companies are being offered a chance to play an instrumental role in the overall partner landscape, applying their skills towards product development rather than just marketing. The digital marketing food chain is no longer linear
The marketing food chain that has been largely unchanged since the 60’s - production companies -> agencies -> clients – is rapidly changing.
Today’s innovative production companies understand creativity, marketing, human behavior and software development in equal measures and can be an invaluable partner to brands, agencies, publishers, institutions and start-ups.
Whilst it used to look like a line, today it is more like a web of links, with organic connections and partnerships between production houses, digital agencies, ad and media agencies, brands, institutions, publishers and start-ups. This food chain transcends geographical borders and overcomes cultural differences in many more ways than before. Some of the biggest brands in the UK are currently reaching out, creating their own preferred supplier lists for a variety of deliverables – digital communications, interactive content and social media. The reason is quality control – something some Agencies of Record are failing to deliver. Forward thinking brands like Red Bull have been doing this for more than 10 years now. They own their digital marketing strategy and choose how and with whom to apply it.
Innovative digital is not about marketing
For anyone old enough to have studied Interactive Media more than ten years ago, digital was rarely about marketing. While at Uni, we dreamt of being artists, storytellers, entertainers and information architects. We devised future products that would make our lives easier and happier. We solved real problems. Somewhere along the line, advertising and marketing budgets started funding our working lives. There was so much demand for one-way digital communication, we all got sucked into it and it took a social media revolution for brands to realise they should better use digital to offer real value back to their consumers. Enter ‘branded utilities’, Nike+ and most recently, Nike+ FuelBand, this year’s Cannes Grand Prix winner. Was FuelBand funded by Nike’s marketing budget? I
am guessing not – this is clearly innovative product development. For a select few digital production companies out there – and a good amount of SoDA members – the websites, interactive content, tools, games and apps delivered during the last ten years were digital products at heart. The fact they got funded by marketing budgets and often got shelved 6 months after launch is a sign of the growing pains of our industry. Today, as the lines between marketing and product development are being blurred, we see these companies gravitate much closer towards product development. Most products we use daily have a digital side – or should have one – and the people best placed to understand how this side works are the visionary creatives and technologists working in digital production. Today’s innovative production companies understand creativity, marketing, human behavior and software development in equal measures and can be an invaluable partner to brands, agencies, publishers, institutions and start-ups when it comes to conception and delivery of digital products. Moreover, they increasingly understand business. They are starting to develop effective R&D programs, channeling ideas towards creating their own IP and looking at briefs as business ideas.
Image Source: http://www. futurethink.com/ system/files/71483584. jpg
Ideas are everywhere, but the devil is in the details, and there’s never been a better time to know how to analyze and execute really well.
Section 6: Advocacy
RELATED RESEARCH INSIGHTS
Key Insight: Agencies of all stripes and production companies largely agree on the need for stronger user experience standards and advocating for user-centric design.
Consensus on Need for Stronger UX Standards % The need for stronger user experience standards and advocating for user-centric design vs. technology as an end in and of itself
The need to disrupt current models for online display advertising
The need to define better and more equitable contracting standards between agencies, production companies and clients
The need to influence and direct IP/copyright standards and practices
The need to define and lead digital marketing literacy initiatives
The need to influence and direct privacy standards and practices
62.6% 184 19%
None of these
9% 62.6% 184
Q. Which of the following industry issues are most important from your perspective? (Please mark up to three of the choices) (Question posed to agencies and production companies)
Digital agencies as well as full-service agencies with robust digital capabilities largely agreed on many of the key industry advocacy issues noted above, particularly the need for stronger UX standards and advocating for user-centric design. SoDA member companies are at the forefront of this fight, as well as a number of other key industry issues such as the need to revamp the process for softwarerelated patents in the US. For more information on how SoDA is tackling these and other advocacy issues, please contact us at email@example.com.
SoDA Showcases Web Lab: Chrome in Five Parts Acoustic Genius Discover L.A. Ecommerce Golazo “Your Space” “Storming” Pinterest Fashion Forward “Hilltop” Re-imagined Luxurious Commerce
Elevating the In-Store Experience From Saving to Creating Bear 71 Skyfall Run Rio Run The Future of News Spotlight on Device Convergence Wearable Tech Automotive Re-Imagined Emotion Cube Boost Your Prana Run the World Sydney’s Digital Culture Hub Hitchhiking to Havana 1440 Project World’s First Invisible Ad Intelligent Life Forms New Digs for Jack 118 Floors of Working Together The Transmedia Trip Enhancing Experiences with the iPad Table
The SoDA Report 2013
Section 7 : SoDA Showcases
Web Lab: Chrome in Five Parts Client Google Member Company b-reel.com
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B-Reel teamed up with Google and Tellart to create Web Lab, a project that aims to inspire the world and bring the magic of the web to life in a live, year-long exhibition at Londonâ€™s Science Museum. The first experiment, Universal Orchestra, features real instruments that visitors to the Science Museum can play via a unique web interface. Through a similar interface on the website, online visitors can collaborate in real time, each playing an instrument in the same orchestra.
Web Lab has been experienced by more than 4 million online visitors and 200,000 museum visitors, resulting in over 2.5 million user-generated creations.
Acoustic Genius Client Samsung Member Company cubo.cc
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CUBOCC, an IPG agency headquartered in São Paulo, orchestrated a masterpiece for the launch of the Samsung GALAXY X that rises above the noise in the world’s sixth largest mobile market.
After the event, the scenes captured by the Cubocc team became the video for the song Helix by French electronic group Justice.
For the much-anticipated launch of Samsung’s GALAXY X in Brazil, the team at CUBOCC, in partnership with Google, was determined to break through the crowded and competitive wireless telephony space in Latin America’s largest economy through an innovative campaign. The agency’s creative technologists hacked Samsung phones and integrated them into helmets, sent the units to Sonar São Paulo (a major Music and New Media Art Festival in Brazil’s largest metropolis)
and recorded the interaction between the crowd and the helmets + phones. The team at Cubocc created a brand experience that, rather than being invasive, was relished and lauded by technology aficionados at the event.
Discover LA Client LA Tourism & Convention Bureau Member Company digitaria.com Video Watch here Project Visit here
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Digitaria designed DiscoverLosAngeles.com to be the most social media-centric tourism site to date, capitalizing on the cityâ€™s unique blend of sprawling neighborhoods and celebrity tastemakers. DiscoverLosAngeles.com is the definitive hub for comprehensive, interactive and current information about all that Los Angeles has to offer in a variety of lifestyle categories, including culture, sports, attractions, nightlife and dining. The site is a one-stop online resource for tourists and residents alike, using a map-based neighborhood approach to introduce the vibe of each area, from downtown to the beaches to the Valley.
Direct traffic to DiscoverLosAngeles.com has increased by 65% since the site launched.
The website features blogs from LA celebs, such as Magic Johnson, Tony Hawk and Top Chef Curtis Stone, writing about their personal choices and preferences for where to go and what to do. The site’s “Experience Builder” invites users to add any activity, including celebrity recommendations, to an “LA Bucket List,” which integrates with Google Maps. The site incorporates Facebook and Twitter for real-time sharing and feedback, and the events calendar incorporates a comprehensive feed of what’s happening through user-submitted events, as well as Ticketmaster and ExperienceLA. An integrated marketing campaign to drive people to the site will launch in first quarter 2013.
Ecommerce Golazo Client Umbro Member Company domanistudios.com Project Visit here
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Relaunching a global clothing brand across 30 markets to ignite sales and drive higher brand awareness is no small feat. The team at DOMANI rose to the challenge and crafted a beautiful interactive experience that does just that. DOMANI was asked to lead the re-launch of Umbro. com, the global soccer and lifestyle clothing brand. Established in 1924, Umbro is the original Manchesterbased football brand that invented sports tailoring. Today, Umbro is committed to expanding through online sales and increased global recognition.
The new Umbro.com allows content to be shared across 30 different markets in nine languages, streamlining the content management process and allowing administrators to accomplish more in less time, and get product up for sale quicker.
The first and most obvious goal was to retire a dated Flash-based website and embrace a more contemporary and mobile-friendly HTML-based version. DOMANI led Umbro and eight vendor partners through a discovery process in which site content, brand standards and marketing initiatives were broken down and built back up for the relaunch. The effort resulted in a new Umbro.com that incorporates a revamped brand design guide and a refined, efficient content management system (CMS). The CMS enables ease of use for both central and regional administrators.
“Your Space” Client Avis Member Company encident.com Project Visit here
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Innovative and engaging display creative on tablets is in extremely short supply. This Avis campaign by the Montevideo-based Encident proves relevant and inspiring ad experiences can make a major impact. Avis is arguably the leader among rental car companies when it comes to providing its customers with complete control over their “space” on the road. The core concept of this execution is based on that premise – allowing every customer’s rental car experience to be uniquely tailored to their preferences and needs. As a one-of-a-kind display ad experience for tablets, Encident created an impactful campaign by catching the user’s attention and engaging them with the Shake feature of iOS devices. The team at Encident understood
Digital Magazine Awards named this campaign the Magazine Advertisement of the Year, saying “this is where the future of digital advertising is heading.”
that if they were to interrupt users during their tablet time, the reward would have to carry strong value and visual appeal. This became the team’s mantra from the onset of the concepting, through to design, CGI and 3D animation and final development. Encident was able to amp up the value proposition and relevance to individual users by creating an engaging intercept experience that could be customized and shared via Facebook and Twitter’s APIs.
“Storming” Pinterest Client UNIQLO member company firstborn.com video Watch here
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Firstborn creates first-ever branded mosaics on Pinterest to help launch UNIQLO’s new UIP line of clothing. To promote “the ultimate functional wear” that keeps you cool and dry while exercising, Firstborn and UNIQLO created mosaics on Pinterest. As users scrolled through Pinterest public feeds, giant blocks of images appeared. Working together, the image blocks created an impossible-to-miss, branded mosaic. As users continued to scroll down the page, the branded images seemed to animate. To reach active, on-thego consumers, the guerilla campaign targeted five categories: Men’s Apparel, Women’s Apparel, Geek, Fitness and Sports.
The campaign was extremely well received, earning over 55 million media impressions across more than 60 different media outlets, including Creativity Pick of The Day, Mashable, Business Insider, Simply Zesty, Complex and HypeBeast, among others.
Extensive R&D ensured the images would appear in one group. To evade Pinterestâ€™s detection algorithms, Firstborn set up over 100 shell accounts ahead of the launch, which were later switched to UNIQLO branded accounts. A group of Firstborn employees simultaneously pinned pre-selected images to successfully free users from the monotony of Pinterest scrolling. With a strong team effort, the UNIQLO Dry Mesh Project on Pinterest brought attention to the new product with an experience as innovative as the product itself.
Fashion Forward Client Charlotte Russe member company fluid.com Project Visit here
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Fluid redesigns CharlotteRusse.com for web and mobile, building momentum where today’s millennial shoppers thrive. Charlotte Russe, the “fast fashion” retailer of trendy, value-priced clothing, shoes and accessories, tapped Fluid’s proven history as a retail-focused creative and interactive agency leader. In response, Fluid designed a digital retail hub for the brand that engages its millennial shoppers, attracts new customers and drives them to conversion. From user experience design to client strategy and visual design, the mobile and online sites were built with Charlotte Russe’s youthful, on-the-go consumers
One month after the relaunch, revenue and AOV (Average Order Volume) increased significantly vs. the previous month and on a YOY basis.
in mind. The Fluid team designed an experience that features rich, visual merchandising across both channels, and included an integrated Facebook network that strengthens the Charlotte Russe community of shoppers, enabling conversations to unfold over the entire shopping experience. The functionality mimics the Charlotte Russe offline, in-store experience by showing a Facebook feed of other shoppers who are viewing, commenting on and buying products. Rather than simply integrating “Like” buttons on product pages, Fluid created an exceptionally transparent community. Customers are easily able to purchase trendy clothes and see what other items shoppers are viewing and buying on the site. For example, CharlotteRusse.com features the section, Who’s Shopping What?, which enables shoppers to get a pulse on shopping trends on the site. Shoppers can see who has purchased and commented on items. Additionally, each subcategory page includes a Most Liked section, highlighting popular items ranked from one to ten. Consumers are engaged by the ability to “comment,” “love,” and “buy” items, or send a product detail page to a mobile device.
“Hilltop” Re-imagined Client Google and Coca-Cola member company thisisgrow.com video Watch here
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Today’s technology allows us to make good on a promise Coca-Cola made over 40 years ago, letting users “Buy the World a Coke”—from the palm of their hand. With Project Re: Brief, the team at Grow Interactive was tasked with an amazing – albeit daunting – challenge. They were asked to re-imagine Coca-Cola’s classic “Hilltop” commercial for a modern audience in the digital age. Fulfilling the promise of the original ad, Project Re: Brief allows users to connect with strangers by sending a Coke around the globe to an unsuspecting recipient, making the world feel just a little bit smaller. The ad can be experienced on mobile phone apps in Google’s AdMob network, across iOS and Android
The ad generated public discourse about digital advertising, with over 4,000 Cokes and messages of thanks shared in multiple languages, across 57 countries. Interaction rates were almost 5x the industry norm, proving that great stories and wonderful experiences translate directly to results in digital advertising.
devices. Made possible through AdMob rich media ads, coupled with custom-designed vending machines, viewers can buy the world a Coke with a few taps on their mobile phones. Viewers can decide where to send a Coke by selecting one of many machines located around the world, from New York City to Cape Town to Buenos Aires. They can then add a custom text message to personalize their Coke delivery. Google Translate converts these messages on the fly, breaking down the language barrier across countries. A dynamic video with Google Maps, Street View and composite motion graphics shows the Coke’s journey from the viewer’s current location to the vending machine across the globe. Once the Coke is delivered, recipients are not only treated to the generosity of a stranger thousands of miles away, but they can also say “thanks” by sending a message of their own back to the user. A gallery showcases some of our favorite exchanges between people around the world connecting over a can of Coke.
Luxurious Commerce Client Barneys member company hugeinc.com Project Visit here
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In a 1973 interview with Business Week, Fred Pressman – son of the company’s namesake founder Barney Pressman – affirmed, “The best value you can offer a customer is personal attention to every detail, and they will return again and again.” The luxurious retailer’s new website, created by Huge, is accomplishing just that. When Barneys partnered with Huge to redesign its website in 2012, the legendary retailer sought to simplify the navigation process while amplifying engagement for visitors. By implementing tools like
Traffic to Barneys.com increased by 34% after the new site launched in May 2012, and it will soon overtake the Beverly Hills store as the brand’s second-largest revenue producer, after advertising.
“Complete the Look,” “Favorites” and “Exclusively Ours,” the redesigned Barneys.com actively immerses customers in the shopping experience while digitally conveying the legacy of the brand. New tools help visitors take a look into the latest Barneys’ fashion, as well as the culture surrounding it. For example, the new “Favorites” tool offers a social way to shop and keeps the fashion that customers crave right at their fingertips. Shoppers can create a look that suits them, mark favorite items or entire categories, and keep track of particular styles and designers, so they will be the first to know if something new arrives. Once enough people favorite an item, it is deemed “Most Loved,” earning a spot on the list of things Barneys shoppers and fashion insiders truly covet. Additionally, the “Exclusively Ours” tool highlights the unique relationships Barneys has with the industry’s most talented designers. Customers can filter through a designer’s entire line to view items that cannot be found anywhere else. Pieces can be explored as a collection or as a curated “look book.” With new, in-depth features created specifically with the customer in mind, the redesigned Barneys.com offers shopping with a story.
Elevating the In-Store Experience Client Nike Member Company ie.com.au Video Watch here
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The Nike Action Sports interactive in-store experience brings to life what many brands are talking about, but few have successfully implemented. The Melbourne-based digital agency IE brought Nikeâ€™s omni-channel aspirations to life by developing an interactive in-store experience for Nike Action Sports using RFID technology, tablets and banks of TV screens. IE and Nike Australia recently launched the worldâ€™s first Nike Action Sports interactive in-store experience.
Since the first store launch, sales and product engagement have increased significantly. It will be rolled out across Australia in the first quarter of 2013.
The installation consists of a back wall with integrated display technology (TV screens and iPads) and an RFID sensor that reacts when a product is placed on it, displaying relevant content. Ambient video content and brand messaging are displayed on TV screens when there is no customer engagement, which creates a dynamic environment to attract consumers. The system has been designed to scale up or down so that it fits within a wide variety of retail store configurations, ensuring that consumers across Australia are able to enjoy the experience. Interactive content related to user interaction is primarily displayed on the iPad, showing product features and marketing content, and is supported by passive product information on the TV screens. This allows product content to be viewed by others and extends the reach of the interaction from the current active user to other customers in the store. The iPad allows customers to purchase their desired product online, if the size or style they want is not available in-store, or save the product for later purchase via QR code, email or MMS with links to Nikeâ€™s online store. The interactive in-store experience brings to life what many brands are talking about, but few have successfully implemented. Lifting the in-store experience and supplementing it with digital content allows customers to research in-store, rather than having to pull out their smartphone to find more information.
From Saving to Creating Client VALIC member company iqagency.com Project Visit here
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Water your garden, grow your retirement. As part of a full website redesign and content showcase, IQ created a series of five videos for the financial services company VALIC. Using light-hearted analogies, VALIC set out to help their customers understand some of the most important financial concepts that can affect their lives. The videos, all produced in-house at IQâ€™s studio and production facility, tell the story of retirement goals, challenges and solutions. Each was shot in about 850 separate frames and produced using a mix of stopmotion and animation. Our animators cut out about 1,000 tiny paper shapes and props to build a
The videos helped establish brand tonality, connect consumers to VALIC and cultivate relationships with current and prospective customers.
total of 200 objects used in the videos. Even more impressive, each video was produced in 7-10 days. They encourage viewers to share information about their investments in order to help them roll their portfolios over to VALIC accounts. They also explain the essentials goals of retirement and how a financial advisor can help on the journey. These simple and fun videos bring the brand difference to life and separate VALIC from other companies, showcasing its warmth and empathy. In the end, VALIC understands that the most engaging brands will be the ones to win the hearts and minds of consumers.
Bear 71 Client National Film Board of Canada Member Company jam3.com video Watch here
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The Interactive Documentary You Canâ€™t Turn Away From. This first-person-narrated interactive documentary debuted alongside its sister installation piece at the Sundance Film Festival. Bear 71 is an exploration into wildlife surveillance and how habitat management challenges the notion of â€œthe wildâ€? in Banff, the mostdeveloped place in Canada where grizzly bears still exist. Using a proprietary Jam3 3D engine, this interactive documentary embodies the subject of the story while fusing organic nature with invasive technology technology being used both to monitor animals in Banff and alter wildlife surroundings so that humans and animals can live in such close proximity.
The project went on to win Gold at both Cannes and The One Show and was named FWA Site of the Year. The initiative quickly received praise and attention in Wired, Creativity, Contagious, Huffington Post and many other publications.
The NFB approached Jam3 with the concept of a creating an interactive doc that was going to be very non-traditional. They had a script, an archive of 1,000,000 photos and an idea of using a map as an interface. The team at Jam3 worked with them to flesh out what the interface would look like, the technical feasibility of the project, and how users could interact. It was a very collaborative process with much iteration of all stages to ensure that the final product was something extremely special. What resulted was a multi-user experience site where users were plotted on a super stylized map of Banff National Park. The experience is narrated by Mia Kirschner from a first “person” perspective of the bear. The user can follow Bear 71 on the map while listening to the narration that coincides but they can also freely roam around and click on tertiary content. At certain key moments in the story, text or photos will automatically come up for the viewer to watch. There is also a “surveillance wall” where users who allowed access to their webcam would – for the most part unknowingly – broadcast their feed to others on the site. This furthered the theme of surveillance and how much like the animals in Banff, we are also being constantly monitored. The project exemplifies how combining a compelling narrative with immersive storytelling, design, music and interactivity can take users through the same range of emotions as a traditional film documentary.
Skyfall DVD Interface Client Fox member company lessrain.com
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For the latest James Bond film, marking 50 years of Bond, London-based Less Rain was tapped to create strikingly beautiful interface design and moving image work for the Blue-Ray and DVD releases. In late 2012, Less Rain was asked by Fox to develop a concept for the Skyfall Blue-Ray and DVD titles. The company worked closely with Rattling Stick, who created the original filmâ€™s titles, as well as Deluxe to identify opportunities the BD-J authoring system offered for innovation. Less Rain delivered a series of approaches that used sound and animation to create a memorable and seamless user experience.
The final solution used sound and animation to create a memorable and seamless experience for Bond aficionados.
The ambitious project was completed in a single month. All stakeholders proved to be extremely happy with the end result, with final sign-off being received from Sam Mendes, the director, as well as Barbara Broccoli, the filmâ€™s producer.
Run Rio Run Client Nike Member Company livead.com.br video Watch here Project Visit here
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An initiative from the Brazil-based agency, LiveAD, infuses one of the world’s most scenic races, the Nike Rio Corre 10K, with cuttingedge technology and social intelligence. On December 9th, Rio de Janeiro—aka “The Wonderful City”— became even more spectacular. The city hosted the Nike Rio Corre 10K, a race where runners and friends could share their feelings about the experience through their social networks. The digital experience was inspired by the Nike São Paulo-to-Rio 600k, winner of the Facebook Studio Awards as well as a Gold Lion in Branded Content and Entertainment at Cannes, both in 2012. The experience included moving video cabins connected to 2,000 runners’ Facebook accounts via RFID (RadioFrequency IDentification). While running close to the
The experience included moving video cabins connected to 2,000 runners’ Facebook accounts via RFID (Radio-Frequency IDentification).
cabin, runners could record a video message that was uploaded directly to their profiles. Stationary video cabins were also available in the end of the race, so every athlete could express their feelings after crossing the finish line. Along the way, there were super frames where athletes had their pictures taken and posted to their Facebook profiles. In addition, a “fuelstream” was created, displaying pictures, tweets, Instagram-tagged photos and friends’ messages of encouragement on a big screen in Copacabana at the finish line—accompanied by live music! A short film of the event was produced, capturing the participants running passionately, and finding their greatness among the beautiful sights and sounds of Rio de Janiero.
Future of News Client ITV Member Company madebymany.co.uk Project Visit here
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ITV asked Made by Many to transform its news offerings for web and mobile. This project had few limits and an ambitious goal to redefine the future of news. ITV had an acute need for a product that could improve its status as a public service news broadcaster in order to compete with competitors’ established digital operations. The competition, while having more robust digital offerings than ITV at the project’s onset, was still stuck in a print paradigm of editions, articles and pages with a daily publishing cycle served by sluggish content management systems. Everything looked the same, and little – if anything – changed within articles even as new developments emerged over the course of a news cycle.
Since launch, traffic has risen from 200,000 visitors per month to 2.5M (40% of which is mobile traffic), enabling ITV to become a major player in online UK news.
The ITV initiative gave rise to new notions about how news production and consumption could function. What if all the news could be delivered as a stream that was perpetually updated and able to be filtered by story? ITV had a fantastic news-gathering resource with 300 journalists covering news and delivering broadcast news three times a day. Whatever the team at Made by Many created needed to use the raw by-product of the news gathering process without getting in the way of broadcast news. The proposed solution involved a big cultural change, and as much focus on transforming news production as on news consumption. Made by Many prototyped multiple delivery interfaces for consumers and journalists designed to serve consumersâ€™ need to know what the world is talking about today. With a rigorous focus on customer development, the team at Made by Many integrated a variety of features necessary for the streamâ€™s success. They also created an innovative bespoke admin system, working with journalists in the newsroom at ITN to perfect a super-fast publishing system that enables ITV News to scoop Sky and the BBC. Made by Many ultimately built a complete bespoke news platform in a period of four months.
Spotlight On Device Convergence Client Samsung Member Company mcdpartners.com Project Visit here
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This innovative experience created by MCD underscores how creating an interconnected ecosystem of devices delivers value to consumers. MCD created this online experience to showcase convergence for Samsung. The company tasked MCD with finding the most effective and simple way to communicate how Samsung products connect together in all kinds of different ways to enhance customersâ€™ daily lives. The single webpage combines rich storytelling with an interactive, parallax design.
The experience has received a number of industry accolades, including CSS Awards ‘Site of the Day,’ FWA Public Shortlist and an AWWARDS nomination.
The experience brings life to the benefits of an integrated family of products while reinforcing innovation as a part of Samsung’s brand story. The MCD team felt there was a real opportunity to use the popular features of parallax scrolling to tell a complex story about how the products interact together - using the scrolling format in a functional way rather than for simple design effects. The online experience now serves as the centerpiece of Samsung’s efforts to find smart ways to communicate with customers about how the company is at the forefront of innovation in the world of convergence and connected devices.
Wearable Tech CLIENT Ballantines MEMBER COMPANY mediamonks.com VIDEO Watch Here
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Introducing the world’s first wearable, sharable, programmable t-shirt. tshirtOS is part of Ballantines’ “Leave an Impression” campaign and is the world’s first wearable, sharable, programmable t-shirt. The goal of the project was to bring that overarching concept to life and to empower personal expression in a way that would capture people’s attention, allowing the message to spread via earned media channels. This wearable technology is 100% cotton and stitches together digital and analogue by updating the original canvas for self-expression with a full color 1042 pixel screen, speakers, accelerometer and a megapixel camera. With the swipe of a finger, the iOS app lets you
tshirtOS is a leading example of wearable tech and has secured a string of innovation awards since its debut.
share Facebook posts, tweets or music straight to the shirt, or use it to take pictures and push them to your Instagram feed. A short film about the initiative and product demo videos garnered well over 2.5 million combined views â€“ mostly driven by blogs, social media channels and high-profile online publications. The online attention has translated to traditional media coverage, with tshirtOS appearing on a variety of TV programs and in magazines around the world. Most importantly, it has created a new and powerful form or personal expression, tied in a very compelling way to the Ballantines brand story.
Automotive Re-Imagined Client Tesla Motors member company odopod.com
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Tesla Motors is the world’s most innovative car company, launching radically new products in a familiar category. Tesla’s challenge was an ambitious one – educating potential buyers on the power of electric vehicles and launching a new brand — all while rethinking the entire automobile industry. Prior to the release of the Model S, its first mass-market car, Tesla needed to establish itself with potential buyers as a fixture in the automotive landscape. The strategy was to build familiarity with the brand and generate sales by creating small-footprint stores in high-income
The Tesla retail stores have spurred increased brand awareness, strong lead generation and a lift in sales. More stores are opening worldwide each month.
shopping areas. The company also wanted to maximize use of the limited real estate in the stores with a set of interactive kiosks designed to educate the public and convert prospects. Odopodâ€™s solution was for the new Tesla Stores to feature three interactive kiosks, a sales station and video wall designed and developed by the San Francisco-based agency â€” all part of an orchestrated experience designed to educate the public on Teslaâ€™s offerings and drive sales.
Emotion Cube Client Helsingin Sanomat Member Company perfectfools.com
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Scandinavia’s largest newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, heralds its format change from broadsheet to tabloid with the ‘Emotion Cube,’ an interactive experience that pulsates with readers’ emotional reactions to its news stories. Created by hasan & partners and produced by Perfect Fools, the ‘Emotion Cube’ responds to reactions generated by selected news stories. The Cube is part of a campaign designed to remind readers about the power of journalism to generate an emotional response. The emotions caused by these stories will light up Kamppi Square, Helsinki, where up to two million people experienced the installation during its threeweek tenure. The 4m x 3m Cube is constructed from milky plexiglass and powered by 200,000 lumens of
The initiative, viewed by two million people over its three-week lifespan, has received widespread accolades from the global trade press, including Ad Age, Creativity, 12Ahead and others.
light – the type of power usually found lighting up car parks and shopping centers. Each of the eight emotions: Hope, Sorrow, Joy, Worry, Interest, Anger, Compassion and Surprise are illuminated by a series of colored LED bulbs, ranging from green for Hope to red for Rage. By sharing their feelings via a smartphone, tablet or PC, the combined mood of readers will pulsate in a specific color, while the emotion’s written word glows eerily from within the Cube. The ‘Emotion Cube’ is social media for journalism and takes the idea of Facebook’s “Like” button to an entirely new level. It is a visual representation of reader sentiment on news stories. Caroline Lilius, VP marketing of Helsingin Sanomat, says: “Helsingin Sanomat is not only a multichannel news media organization, but also a trusted companion in everyday life. The cube is a brand experience, part of a larger set of activities demonstrating to non-readers the unique relationship our readers have with the publication.”
Boost Your Prana Client YYoga member company poundandgrain.com
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Pound & Grain’s work for Canada’s largest Yoga company is inspiring yoga aficionados across the nation. Prana is the Sanskrit word for “life.” It is the vital energy that lives inside everything and everyone. If you’re lacking motivation, feeling grumpy, or you’re just going through the motions of your day, it’s time to work on heating up some prana in your system. In 2012, the Vancouver-based agency, Pound & Grain, built YYoga’s first iPhone app to do just that. The app focuses on increasing social connections among passionate yoga practitioners and motivating them to achieve their fitness goals. The idea was to create a
YYoga’s new app was quickly added to Apple’s Top Five Free Health and Fitness Apps in Canada. And for the YYoga community, the 2 key features — gamification and automated booking — were well received, with massive user adoption rates.
variety of social hooks within the app so that users could find out what their friends were doing–all with the insight that if you see your friends attending a class or achieving a yoga-related goal, you’d be inspired in your own fitness journey. The app allows users to reserve classes, learn yoga poses, and invite friends and share progress and accomplishments. You can find a nearby yoga class, learn about promotions and events first, and create goals to motivate you–all from your phone. The gamification elements were designed to align with yoga’s primary motivations – minimizing stress, trying new styles, challenging oneself to practice more and developing more energy. Throughout the challenges, users receive beads towards a full Mala necklace, which is awarded and shared on social media upon completion.
Run the World CLIENT ICON Fitness MEMBER COMPANY mediarain.com
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The iFit Android app, developed by digital agency Rain and touted by Google to be one of the most robust Android apps to date, is now available for the iPad. iFit Live, powered by Google Maps, is a revolutionary personal conditioning app that connects usersâ€™ iPads with iFit-powered treadmills. iFit allows users to train in locations around the globe with map-based workouts, but all from the comfort of their own homes. When integrated with the userâ€™s treadmill, iFit automatically simulates the incline and decline of the natural terrain while displaying the Google Street View images right on the console. iFit automatically tracks and records every workout so that users can monitor progress and results.
A few tallies for iFit Live usage as of early 2013: Distance Run: 29.3 million miles Calories Burned: 2.8 billion Pounds Lost: 800,000 No. Workouts: 7.2 million
The customized, map-based workouts allow users to run the streets of Paris, the beaches of Australia or the challenging up and down terrain of the Grand Canyon. Users control the speed, incline and resistance of the machine right from their iPads and track their workout schedule and history across all iFit machines. Users can also participate in one of many iFit-provided workouts or lose weight with Jillian Michaels or Elisabeth Hasselbeck through a variety of targeted programs. ICON Fitness is the current leader in home fitness with a goal of becoming the leader in social fitness through applications created by Rain. Integrating with iFit-powered treadmills, cycles and elliptical trainers, the interactive apps augment personal training, peer-to-peer recognition and overall personal wellness.
Sydneyâ€™s Digital Culture Hub Client ANZ Buzz member company reactive.com
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Sydney Festival is bursting at the seams with world-class programming in dance, theater and the visual arts. ANZ Buzz, created by Reactive, now allows festival-goers to better navigate this cultural behemoth and to create a curated experience. Sydney Festival is one of Australiaâ€™s largest annual cultural celebrations with an international reputation for modern, popular and intelligent programming. Reactive created ANZ Buzz, a site that collates posts about the Sydney Festival from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, enabling users to see a
As the 2013 event came to a close, ANZ Buzz also generated an insightful dashboard summary of social activity across the entire festival so that organizers could begin optimizing the festival experience for 2014.
personalized summary of their own as well as their friendsâ€™ event activity on their desktop, tablet or mobile device. For three weeks each January, the Sydney Festival offers a rich program of around 80 events involving more than 500 artists from Australia and around the world. Performance mediums include dance, theatre, music, visual arts, and interactive forums. The site features both list and map views, so festival goers can view tweets, photos and check-ins either as a social feed or as festival map â€˜hotspots.â€™ Social media is already used extensively by visitors to the Sydney Festival. ANZ Buzz now provides an innovative platform to aggregate all of this interesting and useful content in one place, ensuring visitors save time and get the most out of their festival experience.
Hitchhiking to Havana Client Havana Club member company redkeds.com
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Moscow-based Red Keds created an innovative campaign to launch the film “7 Days in Havana” via social and to amass a following for the Caribbean island’s most famous liquor brand. The idea was to create an interactive reality show on Facebook for Havana Club, the celebrated Cuban rum. A country of pure emotions, Cuba embodies the notion of finding your own way in the world. The team at Red Keds decided the island nation’s spirit of distinctiveness and resolve should be used as inspiration for the campaign. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Havana!” was born, an interactive reality show about six people who leave everything to go to Cuba.
The initiative generated more than a 100,000 â€œlikesâ€? and over 4MM impressions on Facebook alone. The project was also covered extensively by Russian and other European media outlets.
Three teams were selected to compete. They traveled from Moscow to Cuba, hitchhiking and filming each day with a video camera. Each of the three teams had their own individual route. Arriving at checkpoints, teams carried out assignments related to Havana Club rum, the film, and additional assignments from users. The victory went to the team that could tell the most interesting story and generate the strongest following on Facebook.
1440 Project Client REI Member Company resn.co.nz video Watch here
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Resn and BBDO’s 1440 Project connects REI’s brand enthusiasts in a unique and highly visual way. BBDO Atlanta teamed up with creative digital partner Resn to design an innovative interactive project for outdoor retailer REI that would invite the participation of the brand’s loyal enthusiasts. The result of the collaboration was REI 1440 Project - a minute-byminute photography timeline. The shared collection represents the REI community’s collective love of the outdoors, with over 3,400 images uploaded in the first 15 days alone. Cabot Norton, SVP, Executive Creative Director at BBDO Atlanta said:
The shared collection represents the REI community’s collective love of the outdoors, with over 3,400 images uploaded in the first 15 days alone.
“REI has a highly-engaged customer base. Customers form an active community that share quality outdoor photography amongst themselves. The brand wanted to offer something in return and build a platform that would allow their community to share their images in an easy way, and in real time.” Rik Campbell, Managing Director and co-founder at Resn, said: “We translated the original creative brief, which was to illustrate an entire day of 1,440 minutes with images, into an immersive HTML5 experience. It was paramount to us that design should not be compromised by usability, and vice versa. We created a fun and simple method for users to add the time, activity, location and descriptions to images, making it a joy for people to get involved and share.” The site is a highly visual HTML5 responsive design for desktop, tablet and mobile platforms. The site employs Facebook Connect for easy authentication and sharing. Users can contribute photos from their mobile, tablet, Facebook and Instagram accounts, allowing people to view and filter images on a 1,440 minute timeline. Users can filter and search the site by time, name, location, hash tag or activity. The minimalistic and intuitive design makes it easy to upload photos and ensures an enjoyable browsing experience.
World’s First Invisible Ad Client Unilever member company soapcreative.com video Watch here
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If ads are invisible to teens, then make the world’s first invisible ad. With LYNX now targeting both sexes with LYNX Anarchy for Her (the brand’s first ever female fragrance), chaos was inevitable. So, Soap Creative hit Sydney’s streets and used a digital ambient stunt to prove it. With the insight that ads were ‘invisible’ to the LYNX audience, Soap needed to do something unique. The agency created the world’s first invisible ad by replacing the windows of a terrace house in a popular
10,000+ people witnessed the chaos live. Additionally, 420,000+ YouTube views of the event video were generated and 43,000+ new Facebook likes produced. The stunt also generated a groundswell of press coverage by mainstream news and culture/trend sites.
nightclub district with hacked LCD screens. To the naked eye, each window glowed white. But, when you put on a free pair of special LYNX Anarchy sunglasses, the ‘LYNX Effect’ was unleashed, giving passers-by a voyeuristic view of the chaos unfolding inside. [Note: For our readers outside the UK and Australasia, Unilever’s LYNX line of grooming products is known as AXE in most other parts of the world].
Intelligent Life Forms Client Intel member company stimulant.io video Watch here
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The San Francisco-based agency, Stimulant, designed and developed a signature interactive experience for the Intel pavilion, captivating audiences at CES 2012. The Intel Connect to Life Experience is a 168-foot-wide interactive 3D virtual life simulation that spanned the entirety of Intelâ€™s booth at CES 2012. Conference attendees could use any of six stations around the perimeter of the booth to create a shape using their hands, phone, keysâ€”or pretty much anything. The silhouette of that object was used to generate a unique bioluminescent life form on the
Over 30,000 unique virtual life forms were created by conference attendees during the four-day event, approximately one life form every 3.5 seconds.
massive projection surface overhead. The animated life forms interacted with one another in playful ways, dancing with one another or chasing other life forms around the ecosystem. The Stimulant team managed to create an immersive experience that was engaging and eye-catching amidst the crowded conference halls, yet delightful and easily understood within seconds. The Connect to Life Experience helped make Intel one of the most visited and talked about booths at CES 2012.
New Digs for Jack Client Jack in the Box member company struck.com Project Visit here
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Crafting a digital home for Jack, his food and his off-beat sense of humor. Driven by the mobile-first behavior of a devoted fan base and inspired by the quirky Jack in the Box brand, Struck structured, designed and developed a new digital presence for the iconic fast-food company. The effort includes automatic geo-location to recommend nearby restaurants, photo filters for menu items, a â€œzipperâ€? packed with unusual branded content and a number of unique Easter eggs. Visitors will also find a rich mobile experience that goes far beyond the typical bare-bones, data-only solutions employed by most quick-serve restaurants.
Our strategic approach was always to match the behavior of our core audience. A significant amount of the traffic to this site is from mobile devices so we started with a mobile-first approach.
“We wanted to give our customers a new and thrilling online presence, while maintaining a tone consistent with the brand our fans know and love,” said Nick Fletcher, DVP of Marketing at Jack in the Box. “Having spent the last year with Struck as our Digital Agency of Record, we all felt like this was a great time to take a gigantic leap forward. The new site pushes our brand into new territory and engages fans of Jack like never before.” The result is a new presence for Jack — one focused on consumer behavior and an insatiable hunger for content that can be shared across social networks. Did we mention the animated .gifs? Yeah, there are lots of them.
118 Floors of Working Together Client Cisco Member Company the1stmovement.com
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Responsive design on a global scale. As a well-respected global leader in the technology space, Cisco continues to push the boundaries and lead the industry. The goal for this project was to create a single online global destination that showcases how Ciscoâ€™s technologies can help global business teams collaborate and work together more efficiently and effectively, anytime and anywhere. As a lead digital partner for Cisco, The1stMovement helped launch their new global campaign,
Being launched in 8 languages across 15 countries worldwide, the Cisco “Work Together” site has set a new standard for a global consumer engagement campaign by a Fortune 100 company.
“Work Together,” by creating a responsive site designed for all devices, in 8 languages, across 15 countries. Working closely in collaboration with their brand agency, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, The1stMovement developed an immersive and engaging experience that worked hand-in-hand with the traditional media, allowing you to take an elevator ride simply by scrolling the page. Titled “118 Floors of Working Together,” the site allows you to travel floorby-floor up a building to see Cisco’s products working together for seamless collaboration. This responsive web experience capitalizes on brand assets from multiple mediums and provides meaningful engagement opportunities across mobile, tablet and desktop. The campaign was deployed on a responsive design platform to increase the impact of the messaging to multiple worldwide regions through multiple languages and various digital devices. It stoked a fire for an international conversation about adapting to global on-demand business problems in real-time.
The Transmedia Trip member company unit9.com video Watch here
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The Trip is a ground-breaking story about technology and media manipulation. The Trip is the brainchild of the Kissinger Twins and unit9. It is a transmedia project consisting of an interactive film, a short cinema film, a photography series and a concept album by Polish musician Smolik. The Trip tells the story of Jack Torrance, the man behind the biggest hoax of the 20th century and is a story about humans, technology and media manipulation. Jack said: â€œBack in the 1960s all I had was a couple of cameras and a few archaic computers. And that was enough to fool the whole world. And nowâ€Ś what are
The project achieved transmedia success through digital and analog audience immersion – including an Interactive Film for the iPad, desktop, and mobile devices along with a traditional cinema version, the almost forgotten VHS tape and a concept album of the soundtrack on Vinyl.
we?… two thousand and fucking twelve. How ‘bout that, Stanley?? It won’t be long until the brainless masses believe we’ve landed on Mars.” A teaser can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=jdok3R7x3wM&feature=youtu.be The interactive version of The Trip is a road movie consisting of 11 chapters. It is an immersive music experience with strong visuals taken from public domain footage. Choose your own pace to unveil Jack’s story via tapping or moving the cursor of your mouse. Then, ala “Choose your own adventure,” the audience can take another trip, where the story stays the same, but the scenery changes. Built in HTML5, the site has been designed to perform smoothly across iPad and desktop, with an interactive teaser on Mobile. The transmedia approach of the project tells Jack Torrance’s story in different ways with each of the individual executions designed especially for the media in use. Please turn on your speakers and open up your eyes to immerse yourself in Jack’s story. The team at unit9 is proud that it created a project that asks all of us an important question about technology and media manipulation, in a tongue-incheek sort of way. unit9’s intention was to utilize the latest HTML5 technology to ensure the project would run smoothly across multiple devices and not just on the devices Jack mentions: “The iPhone, myPhone, mePhone, whatever the Goddamned Hell…”
Enhancing Experiences with the iPad Table Member Company universalmind.com video Watch here
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The iPad Table experiment demonstrates how innovative companies like Universal Mind can connect devices and people in bold new ways. Universal Mind is constantly trying to push the limits of technology. Our goal in creating the iPad table was to showcase device-to-device communication with devices that people actually use on a daily basis. The table is made up of 15 iPads, which communicate wirelessly with each other. The devices are not hardwired together. Universal Mind created a binary
While the initial demo focuses solely on 15 iPads, the possibilities of inter-device communication using this communication language can revolutionize interactivity in retail, corporate and even educational environments. We welcome your ideas on how interconnecting iPads can be used in business or education or…
communication language that allows the devices to communicate based on where they are positioned in relation to other devices. Bringing this idea to life is really exciting, specifically because there are so many scenarios in which this technology can be used in all kinds of realword cases ranging from business to the classroom. For example, using the technology of the integrated iPad table, teachers could better serve their students by providing a more interactive and engaging experience. The “technology” is the way the devices communicate - it’s not necessarily the table itself. Teachers could use this device-to-device communication to create exercises and have students “send over” their responses via the communication between devices. This would allow the teacher to actively and immediately engage with the students on the exercises. It would also allow for students to submit answers and questions, ask for help, and collaborate with other students, etc., all via gesture-based content sharing.
SoDA serves as a voice for digital marketing professionals worldwide with a mission to advance the industry through Best Practices, Education, and Advocacy. A Society is Founded
Miami, March 2007:13 leading digital agency CEOs decided to meet up and have a talk about where our industry was headed. New friends were made, business problems and solutions were shared, and a society was formed. We were on a mission to advance this industry we all felt so passionate about. We made it official at SXSW in March 2008 and welcomed our founding partner, Adobe.
What SoDA is
SoDA is an international association of respected digital marketing leaders and entrepreneurs with a history and a vision for the future of marketing. SoDA remains an extremely selective association of the worldâ€™s most preeminent companies with digital DNA. Membership includes 70 leading digital agencies and elite production companies with offices in 22 countries on five continents. SoDA provides leadership, platforms, infrastructure, processes, and products to enable collaboration between members around education, best practices and advocacy. SoDAâ€™s Peer Collaboration Group Program, launched in 2011, now includes over 600 thought
leaders from member companies sharing knowledge and best practices across 15 different disciplines. Click here to see the SoDA reel.
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SoDA Staff Chris Buettner, Executive Director Kendyll Picard, Operations Manager Natalie Smith, Operations Associate Manager Ufuoma Ogaga, Finance
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