Introducing the Snapshot

I’m launching on a weekly newsletter, curating things of interest that I contemplate, read, see, do and learn each week. Occasionally, I’ll also include excerpts from essays and other longer-form writing I’m working on. Sharing this out every Sunday. Inviting your ideas and feedback. Eventually I’ll be setting up an automated subscription. In the meanwhile, this will help to further focus my week and connect with others, even when I’m in deep writing or research mode. Hope you enjoy the first Snapshot next week. :-)

Doctoral Dissertation complete!

Took a few years :-), but I’m happy with the results of a very satisfying doctoral research journey. It was such an honour to learn more about these talented Canadian entrepreneurial innovators who participated in my study. … I’ll be prepping some shorter papers and a synopsis in 2019, but if you’re keen to read the whole thing, here you go:

"The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World's Toughest Problems"

Discovered that my brother and I both love this book, The Power Of Positive Deviance, and have recommended it to others. Authors Chip & Dan Heath have drawn upon this work to formulate the "Bright Spots Method" featured in their book, Switch. How do you find and scale hidden pockets of innovation in your organization? These books will help.



The Marketing "C" Word

My marketing "C" word is: Community.

In this time of social media and online research, it's a word that's being terribly abused and misunderstood. So, inspired by a Canadian comedy troupe's recent hilarious take on "Tights (leggings) are not Pants (trousers)" ... I'd like to explore why the groups of people comprising most Market Research Samples, Marketing Panels, Facebook Groups, Focus Groups, User Segments, Employee Groups, Idea Jams, etc. are NOT a Community.

Let's take an Online Marketing Panel, for example. Brands are told that by assembling a group of customers onto a digital platform and asking them research questions with some moderated discussions a few times a year, that this is a "Brand Community." The promise is that this group will represent the Voice of the Customer. Real predictive market insight will emerge. They will provide great product ideas for Open Innovation. Governments and non-profits are told the same thing about Online Citizen Panels.

I've heard even brands and practitioners speak of one-week Voice of the Customer market research campaigns. And once-a-year Open Innovation online crowdsourcing initiatives. The word "Community" is used liberally in both cases.

Let's be honest. We all know intuitively that you can't build a real Community in a week. It doesn't seem logical that a Community would only interact once (or twice or four times) a year. It feels restrictive to have everyone's online communications so managed and moderated. In reality, these are classic market research initiatives cloaked in the new vocabulary of the Participation Economy.

So, if these aren't Communities, what is a digital marketing Community? How do you build one? How do you keep it vibrant? How do stakeholder Communities contribute to disruptive innovation?

Milton Glaser, new work

One of my heroes. In 2000, I had the honour of working with him and his team on a project. Unforgettable. He's so wise and empathetic ... still going strong at 88 years of age.

From @dexigner: Milton Glaser debuted three new works in 276 New York City subway stations. The three posters - a direct counterpoint to President Trump's attack on humanity - reflect Milton's agency and commitment to justice using art & design to inspire social engagement.

Read more:

Photo OF MILTON GLASER by Leida Snow,  Print Magazine

Photo OF MILTON GLASER by Leida Snow, Print Magazine

eBook: The Marketer's Guide to Customer Participation and Co-Creation

I really enjoyed collaborating with Neya Abdi and David Gardner on the writing of an eBook for Chaordix: "The Marketer's Guide to Customer Participation and Co-Creation." Full of useful tips and examples, it helps readers understand: what Participation Marketing is; the essentials of Co-Creativity; steps to becoming a Participation Brand; how a Corporate Culture can embrace participation; what you need to deliver Successful Co-Creation; the unique Chaordix Co-Creation Methodology, and the potential impact on Customer Experience. 

It's a PDF you can download over on my LinkedInThe Marketer's Guide to Customer Participation and Co-Creation