I went to a panel that I was excited about “I’m so productive, I never get anything done”. I thought this would be a great session on being more efficient and productive.

Guess what, not so informative. The end solution: you just have to buckle down and get stuff done. Don’ avoid what you need to be doing by checking Facebook, Twitter, etc. Bummer. I was looking for some key nuggets of advice and what I got was what I already knew.

Oh, but pretty much all agreed that Voicemail is not necessary. Don’t leave a message, we see the “missed call” and know you called. And, the questions presented by the audience were more insightful than what the panel had to offer.

Wasn’t much purpose to this one but the intent was Personal Enrichment. And it did make me realize that sometimes, I know just as much, if not more, than what the panelists do about organization and multi-tasking.

As stated in my first session of the day on How to Personalize Without Being Creepy.

Basically, as marketers, we need to enter into our relationship with consumers slowly and conservatively. Personalization is important – it makes content more relevant and appealing to the consumers – but you can’t just jump right in.  First, we have to build trust and set expectations. One of those expectations is privacy.

Key points: make opt-in and opt-out easy, be transparent in how the data given is being used and anticipate creepy situations and build into design

Purpose of this session for me was to make the world a Better World. People don’t want to be stalked online and served content that makes them wonder why or how they were targeted for it. Marketers need to be transparent in what data they are collecting and how they are using it. It is our responsibility to our consumers to protect their privacy. In the end, this will make for a better world.

It’s the man your man could smell like.

The Weiden+Kennedy crew put on an entertaining panel discussion about the birth of the Old Spice man (that is once they actually got the presentation to start working…15-20 minutes late). Turns out it took about 5-6 years for them to come up with a campaign that really struck a cord with viewers. Wow, that is a lot of time. But thankfully it worked out and they didn’t get fired in the process. Highlights of the panel – they produced 186 video responses in 2 1/2 days for under $200k. The key to their success was that P&G (their client) trusted them.

Oh and on a side note, when you are having a difficult time getting a presentation to work, it helps to have Justine Bateman there to entertain and interact with the audience.

Panel Purpose: Reinvention. It was all about how Old Spice has reinvented itself to stay culturally relevant.


We need more whiteboards in our kick-off/briefings. I think it would help us start each project off with clearly defined roles and expectations – not just what the client wants.

In our project kick-off meetings we need to talk about not just the deliverables the client wants but what each person on the team wants to get out of the project. The point is to uncover personal agendas and discover individual expectations.

On a white board, put everyone’s name up and ask them what are their Goals, Fears and Expectations for this project.They can be individual and don’t need to be about “I want to expand our clients business” but are allowed to be “I want a great piece for my book” or “I am afraid I won’t have enough time to devote to this team.” Honesty is key.

In the end, we will have a very clear understanding of what our team wants and how we are going to accomplish this.

Brands are at the top and then drop off the face of the earth but the question is why and how can you stop it? Well, first, brands need to change it up. We can’t keep doing the same thing – it gets old and boring. We need to change it up and keep up with what is going on in the real world. Also, our brands need a, you guessed it, PURPOSE.Kind of funny that everyone else is now jumping on our bandwagon. Glad to be ahead of the game on this one.

This one falls under the purpose category of reinvention since we are always trying to help our client reinvent themselves to stay relevant in today’s world.

It’s 8 am and your email suddenly jumps from 2 unread emails to 12. How many of them are relevant and did you actually want? Ever heard of bac’n?I hadn’t. It is the kind of email that you kind of wanted, you registered for it, but maybe youdidn’t really want it right then. Well, long story short, we need to keep our emails short and sweet and see if we can bundle them so we don’t overwhelm the consumers. I concur, I need to find a way to turn off my shopping emails when it is the end of the pay period and just have them sent to me at the beginning of the pay period when I have money to make spontaneous buying decisions.

This is definitely under the “Better World” purpose for me. Who wants to keep getting their inboxes overwhelmed with email? If we had less emails from spam and bac’n then we would have more time for better things.

Interesting session with Tony Schwartz. Key takeaways – working longer doesn’t mean better work. Focus for 90 minutes and then take a break and renew. In the end, you are more productive. The demand on our lives is increasing and our capacity isn’t keeping up. We can increase our capacity by increasing our energy. A way to increase our energy (physical, emotional, mental and human spirit) is to take breaks during the day.

I like it, maybe we should implement a rolling break plan every 90 minutes at the agency. We could put recliners in the theater and everyone could take short naps. We already have a ping pong table for the agency to use to blow off steam and get a break. Any other ideas?

Good session on personal enrichment. How you can be more efficient with your time and get more done without working longer hours.

First session of the day was Tools and Processes for ADD Project Managers and Entrepreneurs. Started this one at 9:30 without any coffee…ugh. Fortunately, it was an entertaining and enlightening session.

First point of enlightenment – ADD is genetic. I have felt like ADD was environmental since the longer I work at GSD&M the more ADD I feel. I blamed it on all the new projects, clients and agency demands in combination with new gadgets and apps that are constantly pulling our attention in multiple ways.  I still don’t know if I completely agree but, hey, they have done the research so I will go along with it.

Second point of enlightenment – ADD affects four areas of your brain. Because of that it manifests in different ways for different people. Kind of like the fact that no two snowflakes are alike, no two cases of ADD are alike. Interesting because this explains why so many people have such different experiences with ADD. (more…)

Session: Unleashing Employees: Empower Innovation from the Ground Up

General Notes: Tablets are the most quickly adopted technology ever (there are 82 million tablets in use today). Of the game changing technologies – cloud, social, mobile – mobile was voted by the room to have the biggest impact. Customers are empowered by social – a bad experience can be tweeted about and can be highly impactful. Employees are empowered by mobile and social. 120 million smart phones are used for business. Employees are going to find a way to get work done – not always with the blessing of IT. Companies need to support those methods and adopt new ways. Companies need to support employees from the ground up – empowerment can’t just happen at the top.

My takeaway: the most successful people will be those that feel empowered and are supported by their companies. But how do you get people to feel empowered? As an agency, we do a lot for our employees and still I don’t know that everyone feels empowered to make a change or bring forward new ideas.