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posted by Will Weatherly Mar 22,2017 @ 02:16PM

Think Slow

I own a copy of a New York Times Bestseller by a Winner Of The Nobel Prize in Economics (sounds impressive, huh?). “It’s fantastic!” That’s what all the reviews and podcasters say. I wouldn’t know yet. It’s been on my desk and my “next” list for a while now.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

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The title alone got me to buy it, because it is the idea of fast-vs-slow thinking that’s been on my mind when it comes to making great marketing.

See, in a few weeks, a team of us from Riggs will be visiting the DIGSOUTH conference in Charleston. The digital wave is advancing our field faster than ever, and change is the status quo. Waves are scary, but they're also exhilerating. We’re pumped. 

Looking over the conference topics, it hits me just how much is happening all around us right now:

  • Virtual Reality
  • Augmented Reality
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Predictive Data Analytics
  • Internet of Things
  • Geo-Mobile
  • 24/7 Live Steaming
  • Digital Automation

 And all of this forces a lot of fast twitch thinking for marketers:

  • What’s new?
  • What’s now?
  • What’s next?
  • Do this?
  • Do that?
  • Click.
  • Post.
  • Share.
  • Like.

Confession? It can get a bit frenetic and pretty overwhelming.

Now, alongside all this, the very same week DIGSOUTH is tackling all that’s new and next, there’s another event going on in Atlanta. It’s a customer experience (“CX”) journey mapping workshop by Strativity’s Journey Management Academy.

If “journey mapping” isn’t on your radar yet, that’s okay. CX is still an emerging though rapidly growing field. Here’s a definition from Harvard Business Review:

“A customer journey map is a very simple idea: a diagram that illustrates the steps your customer(s) go through in engaging with your company, whether it be a product, an online experience, retail experience, or a service, or any combination.” - https://hbr.org/2010/11/using-customer-journey-maps-to

In essence, journey mapping is taking inventory. In our omnichannel world, it’s becoming all the more relevant. This process of auditing every customer touchpoint can take days; require input from all corners of an organization; and involve hundreds if not thousands of Post-it notes.

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It’s slow. It’s methodical. It’s disciplined. It’s full and deep and complex.

Sound painful? Consider this...

Digital innovation is rapidly increasing the number of customer touchpoints. This exponentially increases the need for strong, creatively differentiating brand experiences. There’s never been a greater need for marketers to slow down before going fast. To get clarity before getting creative. 

The best fast thinking is built on a foundation of slow thinking.

So, have you set aside time and resources for slow thinking? Your business' trajectory, your company culture, and your brand marketing – they all depend on it. And there's no time to wait.  

posted by Cathy Monetti Mar 15,2017 @ 04:45PM

Connectivity. And Uber.

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I RECENTLY TOOK my first Uber ride.

I know, I know, this is an embarassing admission. But there it is, and here is why I mention it at all.

I am fascinated by the Uber experience and the statement the phenomenon makes, not just about our culture, but about connectivity.

 ~~~

IT WAS OUR FIRST NIGHT in San Diego and we had just made dinner reservations. The weather was awful (yes, we brought rain to Southern California), so even though the restaurant was not more than a mile away, walking was out. That's when my daughter suggested we consider Uber. We had a rental car, so it took a little convincing to decide to leave it parked in front of the house and to summon "a local" to drive us up the hill to Bull & Grain. But that's just what we did.

The car arrived in mere moments, and the three of us climbed in. Eliza quickly struck up the conversation that was repeated with every subsequent Uber driver: How long have you been driving? What made you decide to do it? How do you like the work? I was fascinated by each and every one of these exchanges. They were personal (albeit short) commentaries about life and its twists and turns: It was the first night with Uber for one admittedly anxious woman, a school teacher with young children at home. Another was a longtime driver who happened to be a jazz musician with great artist recommendations (Anita O'Day) and a strong suggestion we rearrange our intenerary to include a visit to Cabrillo (we did) and the museums at Balboa Park (we didn't but wish we had).

 ~~~

UBER IS HOT, there's no doubt about that, with some experts putting the private company's value in the $60 billion range. (Billion.) While this evaluation is a rather hotly debated topic, there's no denying "mobile moment" appeal on which the concept is based. Hailing a ride requires the push of a button. Cars are (generally) close by. Fares are established up front, and because the bill is paid automatically and electronically, no cash changes hands. That means there's no worry over being ripped off by a circuitous route driver, and there's no fretting over a tip. (I can't overly state the value of this part of the model.)

And there is the fact your driver is not a distant, impersonal professional but a "regular" person who has a particular set of circumstances that brings him/her to Uber driving in the first place. The whole experience feels more pedestrian, somehow, like these people are your neighbors--human beings with complicated lives and jobs and families, challenges and charms, flaws, dreams and failures. You might be strangers in a car, but there is also between you a sweet window for connection, somehow, a quiet understanding you are just people going about life and doing it the best you can.

 ~~~

THIS CONNECTIVITY is a very real part of Uber's appeal, that's what I think, and it's the point I want to make. It's an acknowledgement, however understated, that we are all in this together, that whether you're the one giving the lift or the one paying the fare, both sides of the Uber equation are actually doing something good, something that helps a brother out.

It's a pretty compelling business benefit, I have to say, even if it's a quiet one.

posted by Teresa Coles Mar 08,2017 @ 01:07PM

When all things work together

I’m a big believer that the right people come into your life at the right moment, as long as you recognize you’re not the one who’s in control of making those things happen. Call it Alchemy. Karma. Faith. Whatever your position on these matters, it’s enough to acknowledge that encountering and sensing the impact of a new human being along our path — often in a single, ordinary moment — is a true gift.

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That’s exactly what happened here at RP on a cold and dreary morning about a year ago. A young woman had reached out to me with the possibility of engaging us on an assignment, and I suggested we gather for coffee one morning in the Green Room. There in that quiet corner, I was immediately struck by this one in whom I saw remarkable insight and a sense of self-awareness I wish I’d had 20 years ago.

While it was not the right time and place for us to connect at that time, I felt there was perhaps a different purpose to our meeting. Today, I’m happy to announce that my hypothesis has been happily proven with the addition of Stephanie Owens as our newest account manager.

Stephanie brings with her the perspective of working in both agency and corporate marketing environments, no doubt a factor in her thoughtful and intuitive approach to collaborating with clients and RP team members. Her experience in managing the development of cross-channel programs that incorporate every modern marcomm element is a strength she’s already putting to work for a number of RP clients.

And did we mention she’s loads of fun? One look at her when we walked into the recent ADDYs celebration, and we knew it was all just as it should be.  

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We think she’ll fit in just fine.

 

 

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