StorytellingIn a world of shorter-than-ever attention spans, truly good storytellingmakes the difference. And we don’t just mean two minute Super Bowlspots with flawless narrative. We mean brands creating truly compellingcontent that does more than merely advertise a product. Companieshaving their own stories. And creating platforms for their customers toshare their own stories. Consider how Tiffany & Co.’s True Love Storiesallows people to contribute to a storytelling platform that supports thebrand even without the purchase of a product.Challenge: How can you build a system that invites fans, friends,customers and the keepers of the brand to tell compelling stories thatinspire action?*Inspired by: Does Your Product Have a Plot?
SharingShared content accounts for 10% of internet traffic. It adds a newdimension, endorsed, to the paid-earned-owned media mix. Mostpanelists agreed on three fundamental pillars of share-ability: emotion,utility and entertainment. But how can we tell if content passes thecompelling test? One panelist suggested: W.I.S.T. As in, Would I ShareThis? A simple question to ask ourselves about our creative ideas andcontent plans.Challenge: What content have you created that compels people toshare? How can you make more of it? Which of your work should havebeen put through the W.I.S.T. test?*Inspired by: The Power of Visual Storytelling*W.I.S.T. coined by Charlie Wollborg, Curve Detroit
Passive Location-Based AppsUnlike years past, there was no single digital darling stealing the showwith this year’s SXSW crowd. But a category seemed to emerge: passivelocation-based apps. Mobile “serendipity makers” like Highlight andbanjo use data from social profiles of both existing and potentially newconnections; pinging users re: opportunities for interaction basedon location or shared interests. The jury is still out on whether theseapps will be too creepy for the general marketplace, but being alertedwhenever we were near a friend amidst a crowd of 10,000 peoplewasn’t the worst thing in the world.Challenge: How do your clients’ customers use this technologyand where might your brands, products and storefronts fit in?
The P2P MarketplacePeer-to-peer commerce is a rising trend. Sites like Zaarly, TaskRabbit andAirbnb enable people to connect directly to exchange money, goods andservices. This environment lets customers focus on finding a great deal,capturing second-hand retail value and in most cases, bypassing a brand’sown point-of-sale completely.Challenge: How should brand builders embrace or insert themselves intothis type of commerce platform? How might traditional approaches needto change to be/stay relevant in this marketplace?*Inspired by: The Airbnb of Anything: The Growth of P2P Markets
Fostering Creative SerendipityIn order for a chance moment to result in something great,organizations need to be structured in a way to allow accidents toturn into discoveries. It’s how a pharmaceutical company researchercan accidentally discover artificial sweetener and create a multi-billiondollar industry. Or an unexpected answer in a focus group can uncoverthe key to a groundbreaking marketing campaign. When creativityaccompanies a chance encounter, could it be the foundation of yournext product/campaign?Challenge: How can marketers position themselves to make thesediscoveries? What environmental/cultural factors contribute toengineering serendipity?*Inspired by: Engineering Serendipity to Instigate and Delight andGet Lucky: Putting Planned Serendipity to Work
Which is more important:how it works or how it looks?There is a great need now for agencies to successfully pull off morecomplex digital projects and campaigns. But with these types ofprojects, who takes the leadership role? Like anything else, it probablywon’t succeed with too many cooks in the kitchen, so perhaps thebrief should be boiled down to one fundamental question: whichis more important – how it works or how it looks? If looks win, dowriters and art directors take the lead? If functionality wins, do UX orinteractive directors take the lead?Challenge: How might a recent or current digital project havebenefitted from stepping back from the brief to ask “Which is moreimportant? How it works or how it looks?” How might the team needto shift priorities or leadership?*Inspired by: Rise of the Interactive Director as Creative Lead
Big Data VisualizationThe industry is mesmerized by big data. Quite simply, there is somuch information available that we need to find ways to make itunderstandable by creating better visualizations. Visualizations thathave intent and impact, that can change behavior, that can lead us todiscover things in our data we didn’t even know we were looking forand ultimately communicate and incredible amount of information.Through utility, beauty and creativity, we can put information inthe right place at the right time. And as marketers, we need to findways to make this practice useful for brands and their customers likeProgressive’s Snapshot usage-based insurance tool or the Nike+ Fuelband’s instant, behavior-altering feedback to its users.Challenge: How are you presenting data to your clients (orcustomers), and how might you benefit from exploring alternativesto do so in a more visual way?*Inspired by: Intent & Impact: How Visualization Makes a Changeand Data Visualization and the Future of Research
Photo FascinationAre pictures really worth 1,000 words? The way photo sharing haswoven itself into the typical social sharing experience suggestsat least that many. People are becoming better visual storytellersthrough the use of apps like Instagram. There are 14 million photos inthe Library of Congress and more than 500 million just on Instagram.Visual life streams create opportunities for brands to beintimately woven into a consumer’s story, a coveted piece of mediawe can’t outright buy.Challenge: How do we help our brands become worthy of visual lifestreams? Are you currently monitoring how your brandsare already being woven into visual life streams?*Inspired by: Is Our Photo-Madness Creating Mediocrity or Magic?
Curate vs. AggregateThe power and popularity of Pinterest suggests that contentcuration is here to stay. But it’s more than just hunting andgathering. Curation consists of purposeful personal choices,collections made through one’s own unique aesthetic and evenmoral lens. Aggregation, however, can be done by machines asan automated process to fill certain category requirements. Asmarketers trying to discover how to make their stuff fit naturallyand beautifully into curated environments, it’s important tounderstand this distinction.Challenge: How can brands create meaningful collections forcustomers, fans and skeptics?*Inspired by: The Curators and the Curated
Be LikeableAs an agency with a mission to “Make friends, not ads.” we always aspireto help our clients truly embody friend making. Obviously, an importantpart of that is how to interact online. These seven simple rules canbe the foundation for friend-worthy behavior online – in every senseof the word.1. Listen first and never stop listening2. Responsiveness is not a choice3. Provide value (yes, for free)4. Share stories (social currency)5. Inspire customers to share stories6. Target smarter7. Consistently deliver excitement, surprise and delightChallenge: How does your brand rate against these criteria? What morecould you do to make your brand more likeable, online and off?*Inspired by: Likeable Social Media