Jimmy Page, the Hardy Boys & Razorfish

In the Marketing Hitch Ad Industry Innovator series, David Wiggs was kind enough to profile Razorfish and my role as vice president of marketing.  David indicates that Razorfish has “helped reshape marketing conversations by leading public, transparent discussions on how digital touches all aspects of the marketing enterprise.”  In my conversation with David, I discuss a few examples of how Razorfish helps reshape marketing conversations through thought leadership like the social influence research that my colleague Andrea Harrison has been developing.  I also touch upon how Razorfish lives the social values through employee blogging, among other activities.  David’s profile also mentions aspects of my personal life, such as personal inspirations (Jimmy Page), and books I’m reading (Hardy Boys along with my daughter).  The personal touch is not only fun but relevant.  At the 2009 Razorfish Client Summit, Matthew Weiner, the genius behind Mad Men, provided several examples of how Mad Men episodes reflect his personal life and experiences.  You might say Jimmy Page is working hard at Razorfish.

Obama.com & You

View more presentations from David Deal.

At FIAP Buenos Aires, my Razorfish colleague Joe Crump discussed seven tactics that marketers can learn from Barack Obama, America’s first digital president.  I’ve reproduced his presentation here and highly recommend you take a moment to browse through it. The seven tactics are:

1. Got a vision for what you want to do?  Great.  Now go recruit a team of digital specialists to craft your strategy.

2. Make your message findable.  Make your content visible in the right place at the right time.

3. Be relevant to your audiences.

4. Create engagement.

5. Empower your fans.

6. Reward the faithful.  Give them inside information. Make them feel special.

7. Be transparent.  Use digital to report on what you’re doing throughout your campaign, whether you’re launching a new product or building a better brand.

I would add one more take-away:

8. You need a compelling message.  In this era of consumer-generated content and advertising as an experience, what you say about yourself still matters — a great deal.  Barack Obama delivered the right message at the right time.  As Joe mentions, his vision of change was short, simple, motivating, and viral.  Does messaging still matter to marketers? The answer is a resounding yes.  But, what’s changed is how you deliver that message — not by pushing it but by employing the kinds of tactics Joe discusses, such as empowering your fans and creating engagement.

What do you think?

Give Them Hope Now

How would you like to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth?

All you need to do is take a moment to contribute to the Give Them Hope Now campaign, launched by Levi’s®, a client of my employer Razorfish.

By participating in Give Them Hope Now, you’ll be supporting the Hetrick-Martin Institute, which provides services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.  The institute, home of the Harvey Milk School, provides a safe haven (including counseling and many other services) for LGBTQ youth who have suffered abuse and violence because of their sexual orientation.  The goal of the Give Them Hope Now campaign is to raise $500,000 for the institute.  Here is how you can help:


Donating is easy. Go here: http://www.givethemhopenow.org

Spread the word

Follow @givethemhopenow on Twitter and mention the cause (please use the #gthn hashtag).

Pass along the givethemhopenow.org site to your friends and colleagues.

Share these testimonials from the Give Them Hope Now YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/givethemhopenow

The Give Them Hope Now campaign includes a fundraiser hosted by Dustin Lance Black, the Academy Award® winning screenwriter for Milk; actress Heather Matarazzo  (The L Word), and Paul Colichman, CEO of Regent Media, owner of The Advocate and Out MagazineRazorfish support includes creation of the Give Them Hope Now donation site, YouTube channel, media buying, and Social Influence Marketing.

Let’s see how quickly we can raise $500,000 to help at-risk youth.

How do you escape innovation hell?

At the 9th Annual Razorfish Client Summit, Razorfish Strategy executive Joe Crump asked a simple question: why can’t we innovate more often?  His premise: innovation, like pornography, is something we recognize easily when we see it — the Virgin Galactic, the customized Dell laptop, or just about anything Pixar creates.  But even when top marketers and designers try to innovate, 80 percent fail.  He stated many reasons why:

  • We mistakenly equate innovation with creativity, which makes innovation feel more like serendipity
  • We don’t really try to innovate. Most of us are just content making incremental improvements to our work
  • We measure the wrong things.  We obsess with click-through rates instead of wowing the consumer with brilliant engagement.
  • We use the wrong tools.  Focus groups are the enemy of innovation.
  • We rely on processes that kill innovation.
  • We equate innovation with advertising.  As Joe put it, “If I were in the television ad business, I would assume the crash position.”

So, if what Joe says is true, what’s the answer to actually innovating?  In a word, experience.

Innovation Hell by Joe Crump, Group VP Strategy & Planning, Razorfish from Razorfish on Vimeo.

“Stop obsessing on marketing messages, and start obsessing on better product experiences,” Joe said.  Then he gave a preview of the Razorfish Experience Wheel, a new process that Razorfish is developing to create fresh consumer experiences.

And then Joe did something quite remarkable.

in TED-like fashion, he challenged Client Summit attendees to share with Razorfish a business problem, a global problem, or just something that plain bugs you.  Razorfish will spend the next year using the Experience Wheel to create an innovative solution the problem.

Want to play?  Please send your problem to innovate@razorfish.com.  Joe will do the rest.  We’ll report back to you in about a year.