Thursday, February 28, 2013

N-of-8: Back to basics

It’s a good time to recalibrate our tools.  In this post, I will address the basic questions about N-of-8.

What is N-of-8 ?
A creative facilitation model using a diverse group of 8 individuals

Who does N-of-8 ?
An innovation team led by a trained group moderator

When is N-of-8 used?
  • Customer insight and involvement: to engage key opinion leaders who will most influence future practice. 
  • Product claims and messaging:  to see how your story can be told from multiple viewpoints. 
  • New product and service creation: to help brand teams understand and compare current usage – and then create ideas to solve known customer problems, and even expose new ones. 
  • Mission and strategy articulation: a way that leaders press forward and convey the big picture.
How N-of-8 is different:
Not just for “coming up with ideas,” but also for assessing and planning to put them into action

Where is the difference of N-of-8 meaningful to the brand?
Opportunity and structure to create new processes, products, and services

Why is the difference of N-of-8 relevant to the brand team?
Innovation outcome can be measured in financial results, marketing differentiation, and image acceleration

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tighter spending and budget cuts -- now what?

As marketing budgets are squeezed, it demands even greater focus on Communication Planning and ROI analysis.

What tools, techniques, and models are you using?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

8 intelligence types

  1. Linguistic and verbal intelligence: good with words
  2. Logical intelligence: good with math and logic
  3. Spatial intelligence: good with pictures
  4. Body/movement intelligence: good with activities
  5. Musical intelligence: good with rhythm
  6. Interpersonal intelligence: good with communication
  7. Intrapersonal intelligence: good with analyzing things
  8. Naturalist intelligence: good with understanding

Monday, February 25, 2013

7 business books on my reading list

People often ask me what books I'm reading.

Here are a few I saw in airport book stores, and now are in the queue on my ibook library.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ohio State: blend of classic and modern

A few weeks ago, I spent some time driving and walking around the campus of The Ohio State University.  

It was an inspiring blend of classic architecture and modern design.

Friday, February 22, 2013

3x Strategy for getting more from ‘social’

Last month, I was invited to speak at the annual meeting of the Endurance Sports Media Group in Orlando.

The topic of my ESMG talk was  “Getting more from ‘social’ for your endurance media brand.”   

My goal was to offer practical ways to connect, engage, and interact more with their readers.

 To connect more, we reviewed the social channels, profiles, and how the publications were using them already.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter                       
  • Google +
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube            
  • Tumblr
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn

We also determined their baseline Klout scores as one metric of current connections.

As we moved to engagement, I posed the question: “why you want to use social media?”

The current data on engagement shows that social media is:

  • Not an end, but a means
  • Not something “monetize”, but a way to increase value
  • Not something you charge for, but a way to get more people to pay for what you sell

We reviewed examples they referenced as other publications doing social well.  Plus, we discussed examples of personalized brand experiences.

Then, I highlighted what I believed to be their biggest asset = Content

And we got very specific with a social strategy: Leverage Content by 3’s

To move forward, you should choose 3 channels

  • one to focus on                       
  • one to pilot
  • one to observe and learn

Next, feature your content 3 times per day, and leverage partner content 3 times per week.

When you execute this, you can evaluate against a goal of 3 times  the followers.  Finally, you should set a goal to refine after 3 months.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

1200th blog post

Today marks my 1200th blog article posting.

It's quite an exciting milestone.  

Thanks to the colleagues who helped post their insights over the years.  

And thanks to you who have continued to read, follow, and comment.


Monday, February 18, 2013

N-of-8 goes beyond brainstorming

Here are some ways an effective N-of-8 session goes beyond brainstorming.

Brainstorming produces "flashes of insight" from your team, but N-of-8 provide a method to capture and build upon them. Those unique little thought-germs that have the potential need to be expanded into full-blown concepts or initiatives that really make a difference.

Brainstorming is often just another meeting, a scheduled time slot during which people sit robotically ticking off ideas like agenda items.  Conversely, N-of-8 can function as a community for thinking and a change laboratory.  It can connect individuals and their ideas in a supportive thinking environment.

Brainstorming often becomes a competition for who can throw out the most ideas or even the craziest ideas.  During an N-of-8, participants are rewarded for building upon each other’s thoughts, instead of competing with them. 

(Click on the photo above to enlarge the table.)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sacrifice + Bliss exhibit at Franklin Park Conservatory

Today, I toured the Franklin Park Conservatory and its current exhibition, “Sacrifice + Bliss.”

An environmental activist and advocate for plastic pollution awareness, artist Aurora Robson uses cast-off plastic, excess packaging and junk mail to create transformative works of art with a message.

Her large-scale sculptures and installations are displayed throughout the Conservatory’s plant collections, while Robson’s paintings, collages and smaller works are on view in the Cardinal Health Gallery.

Our tour guide was quite good about connecting the importance of environmentally sustainable choices through the interactive educational components and community projects associated with the exhibit.