How big data and statistical teams support brands that operate as media publishers and producers

David Armano of Edelman Digital, in this post, makes a compelling argument that brands will have to create and nurture internal team structures that resemble big media companies so as to deliver compelling and meaningful marketing in the future.

In his post, Armano describes what he calls “the social-creative newsroom” and discusses how Oreo has incorporated this concept:

Oreo has done with its Daily Twist initiative, where in honor of the cookie’s 100th anniversary, agency teams get together daily to decide how to riff off of relevant, often newsworthy, subjects that, by day’s end, produce a new piece of clever, highly shareable visual content that’s sent out into the digital ecosystem.

This social-creative newsroom process that Armano describes has synergies with SCRUM software development. Indeed, the social-creative newsroom process–as embodied in the Oreo use case–is essentially a “SCRUM creative development” process.

Armano identifies three core roles of the creative newsroom: community managers, editors, and creative producers. I would suggest adding a big data and statistical (“BDS”) team to support the creative output. The BDS team is responsible for delivering the necessary daily or hourly input that the creative team needs so as to make logical, informed, and timely decisions in their daily creative SCRUM.

For example, the BDS team could provide input such as semantic analysis, characterization, and categorization of Twitter hashtags, which could aid the creative SCRUM team in responding to positive, negative, or neutral brand sentiment as it relates to a branding campaign. Similarly, the BDS team could perform spatial-temporal data analysis of social media, which could support immersive mobile experiences delivered via a native app. For example, refer to section 7.6.4 in the latter cited paper and imagine a series of rich media delivered to users via NFC on their smartphones when the user is at a particular locus (e.g., Big Ben or the Palace of Westminster). Now imagine if the rich media content was personalized based on a user’s identified interest categories (e.g., a military history buff would receive rich media content tailored to his or her interest).

The possibilities and applications of a BDS team are virtually limitless, which is why the creative-social newsroom (or nerve center) needs to drive the creative SCRUM process. The newsroom provides guidance, context, meaning, and consumer relevance to the input provided by the BDS team.

Related posts: Creating agile entrepreneurial teams promotes creativity and innovation , Creating a culture of creativity and innovation

Photo credit: aussiegall


Consumer experiences with retail set consumer expectations in real estate

Before a consumer decides to purchase a home (whether first time buyer, move up buyer, etc) how many times has he or she purchased products via Amazon, Zappos, iTunes, or visited Target or an Apple Store? Hundreds of times. Thousands of times. And in some cases likely tens of thousands of times. Think of the experience these entities deliver, the baseline expectations their consumers bring to the door when they begin their real estate experience.

What are these core baseline expectations? First, consumers expect integration between mobile, web, and social channels. Second, consumers expect stellar and insightful customer service. Third, consumers expect seamless integration between one and two above.

The ability to manage one’s own experience with the brands mentioned above–whether searching for products, skimming product reviews, downloading products, using an immersive mobile shopping experience within a store environment–is a key driver of their ability to consistently delight their customers. Additionally, if a customer service issue arises, these brands’ customers expect insight and knowledge about their interactions with these brands. For example, if I as a consumer reach out to the customer service department of one of these brands I understand I will have to provide some baseline validation as to my identity and explain my customer service issue, but I also do not want to explain my entire history with these brands. The customer service representative has my history at his or her fingertips which gives that representative an opportunity to engage me at a higher level, more efficient level, and more satisfying level. The brands mentioned above consistently deliver on these expectations, which is seen in their stock prices, their loyal customer bases, and general goodwill.

Real estate brands should study how these brands deliver on customer expectations. Additionally, real estate brands should strive to create support structures, systems, and training programs that give their sales associates the best opportunities to delight their clients, the best opportunities to deliver an exceedingly excellent experience. In essence, deliver an Amazon-like, Zappos-like, Target-like, and Apple-like experience. It’s this service delivery differential that drives personal referrals, client loyalty, and goodwill.

Photo credit: Patricia Turo

Factors underpinning creative leadership and innovative leadership

What constitutes creative leadership? What constitutes innovative leadership? How do these factors–creativity and innovation–influence a firm’s competitive advantage? These two articles, IBM’s Capitalizing on Complexity and Organizational Creativity: Building a Business Ba-Haus?, provide interesting insights.

In a previous post I discussed how firms can foster a culture of creativity and innovation. Innovative firms nurture the following:

  • High levels of interaction, discussion, and debate
  • Interpersonal and intergroup relations defined by trust, cooperation, and a sense of safety
  • Senior management that’s open to new ideas and improved ways of working, and proves its openness by encouraging such actions and funding them when meritorious

Indeed, IBM found that mid-market CEO’s consider creativity as one the most important leadership qualities. Creative leaders encourage experimentation, calculated risk taking, and are more willing to take on complex issues to drive deeper strategic and systemic changes. Further, these CEOs consider creativity as an essential element for successful leadership in an increasingly complex business environment. The IBM study found that creative leaders:

  • Invite disruptive innovation
  • Encourage others to drop outdated approaches and take balanced risks
  • Are open-minded and inventive in expanding their management and communications styles so as to engage with a new generation of employees, partners and customers

In the Bauhaus article cited above, the authors point to the following factors as influencing a culture–a “climate”–of creativity:

  • Involvement: To what degree are people challenged, involved and committed to making contributions to the success of the organization?
  • Freedom: To what degree are people able to decide how to do their jobs, take independent initiatives and make decisions?
  • Trust: To what degree do people trust each other, as well as feeling safe in being genuinely open and honest with each other?
  • Time: To what degree do people have the time to think, explore and test new ideas and ways of doing things?
  • Playfulness: To what degree do people feel it is OK to have fun when working, be playful and humorous?
  • Conflict: To what degree do people engage in interper- sonal conflict, prestige and territory struggles?
  • Support: To what degree do people encourage, warmly receive and professionally support ideas?
  • Debate: To what degree do people frequently share, con- sider and discuss a variety of viewpoints?
  • Risk Taking: To what degree do people regard failure as an opportunity to learn and feel able to take risks in trying new things?
The factors above foster a culture of success by creating a firm environ where employees AND management feel comfortable making mistakes and are rewarded for calculated risk taking. Further, these factors promote an overall sense of trust and compassion, which in turn promotes a culture of excellence, discipline, and execution.

Photo credit: 50 Watts