Posts Tagged social-media

When did you last innovate your innovation approach?

Creativity Innovation

The old adage, ‘Standing still is the fastest way of going backwards’, feels more true than ever: whether it’s daily Facebook visits passing the 1 billion mark, 24/7 news across your devices, Google’s driverless cars or the Internet of Things… the world we live in is changing rapidly and often unpredictably.  In line with this, marketing challenges are becoming more complex too: brands need to play by different rules to be successful and it’s tougher than ever for new products to launch and still be around a year or two later.

It’s more than just a little strange then that our industry doesn’t seem to be keeping up with the times… and particularly strange that this is true of our approaches to innovation, where surely we have a real permission (and a need) to innovate?  In reality though it seems to be the same formula for innovation: an inputs to workshop to concepts model that is often linear, often slow and often dependent on a select audience of consumers where there’s a risk of killing ideas either too early or too late in the process.

So how innovative is your approach to innovation?

Here are 5 key questions to ask yourself.

  1. Are you ‘thinking big’ when it comes to all the possible data sources that are open to you?

    Whatever category you’re in, there is an increasing volume of data that exists in the ether, just waiting there to be tapped, mined and distilled into useful perspectives and ideas on where to go hunting.

    Social listening can be a valuable start-point to enrich your foundation of learning. While you need to ensure you’re targeting the right conversations in the right places – otherwise forget trying to get a meaningful ‘signal’ – listening in on what people are talking about in relation to your category or its adjacencies can build a powerful and often unexpected picture.

    As a case in point, we extracted over 200,000 online reviews about health and wellness products and used our Review Mapping tool to identify 12 connected opportunity platforms to investigate further: a number of them were in overlooked areas felt to be already well catered to. Since then a number of ideas have been developed and tested, with a large majority being judged as ‘outstanding’ in BASES testing.

  2. Are you getting the true picture?

    Getting to consumers’ less rationalised ‘System 1’ responses has been an ambition of the industry for some time now. While traditional focus groups can be guilty of lapsing into traditional question and answer patterns that are more ‘System 2’ in nature, learning can be deepened with creative techniques, such as metaphor elicitation, or projective and enabling techniques specifically designed to get to deeper motivations and undeclared needs. If you have the freedom to go digital, then mobile ethnographies give you the license to be truly with consumers in the moment, and in this respect are a fantastic tool to get real world perspectives and often more of an unfiltered perspective on what’s important.

    At Antedote we’ve also being embracing the opportunity to use wearables and sensory tech to help explore the actual picture: our ‘Quantified Self’ approach incorporates data yielded from apps and biometric devices to explore new perspectives. Often the gap between what consumers think they do and what they do are what’s most illuminating and a great start point for innovation.

  3. Are you able to get rapid feedback from consumers along the journey?

    Waiting for weeks or even several months for consumer feedback can slow down the innovation journey to a juddering standstill – it’s not just about clients rarely having the luxury of time in today’s marketing landscape, it’s also that those key stakeholders start to get distracted by other initiatives and momentum is simply lost.

    Today we have more tools open to us that enable us to explore ideas in short, sharp, rapid ‘bursts’; ensuring we’re building on them quickly and iteratively. Our recently launched Idea Accelerator tool is already proving a real value-add: in some markets we can begin to get real time feedback on early innovation ideas in as little as 60 minutes after that Ideation Workshop wraps up. We use it to both prioritize ideas and get an early read on how they can be optimized – and being a digital tool you can even get reaction to packaging concepts and other visual support.

  4. Is your idea ‘digi-ready’?

    In today’s digital world it’s only natural that innovation briefs have a digital component, or of course can be the sole focus of your innovation. A visual mock-up of a website or app goes some way in bringing to life how an idea will look and feel, but interaction is often more telling. Digital prototyping is increasingly featuring at some point along the innovation journey. Antedote’s approach to digital prototyping allows you to build in user journeys and uncover learnings for optimization built around user experience.

  5. Are your deliverables harnessing the potential of the digital space?

PowerPoint continues to survive as the main vehicle for a debrief… but often falls short when it comes to selling ideas onwards and upwards within the organization. For innovation in particular we’ve heard instances of ideas needing to be pitched via other means, or clients running the risk of being shown the door. It goes without saying that the digital world offers many means to bring to life desired ideas and experiences in powerful ways: interactive websites, apps, consumer journey films and prototyping are just examples of more powerful ways to get the message across.

So how do these 5 questions leave you feeling about your approach to innovation?

If a little bit nervous, then we believe that’s a good thing: it’s an exciting but uncertain time to be in the world of marketing and this means our innovation approaches need to involve putting one foot forward into the unknown, experimenting and doing things differently… so a little apprehension is a sign of being inventive and moving forward.

So let’s not default to the known and the familiar.  Let’s be bold and be brave. Let’s discover the new.

Image Credit: cc Parker Miles Blohm

Leveraging Social Media to Find Missing Children


I love watching organizations from different sectors form solid partnerships for the betterment of society.

Most recently, Facebook joined the list of channels supporting AMBER (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) and became the first social media platform to partner directly with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

AMBER alerts have been received by communities through radio, television, billboards, and texts. Now if a child goes missing in your area, you will receive a geo-targeted alert notification in your Facebook Newsfeed with the child’s photo and relevant info.

Facebook’s trust & safety manager, Emily Vacher, comments on what inspired the partnership:

We’ve noticed over the last couple of years that when kids go missing, people started posting about this on their Facebook pages to share information within their own communities. And we saw a lot of successes out of this. Kids have actually been brought home because of the information people shared on Facebook.

This is a great example of how observing existing human behavior and leveraging existing technology can achieve a greater goal.

I hope to see more partnerships like this recent one form in the near future. As more organizations and companies recognize and invest in the power of social media and the newest forms of technology, we can create a better world together.

Emoji Insights – Understanding the new digital language of your consumers


A recent New York Magazine article, “Smile You’re Speaking Emoji- The Rapid Evolution of a Worldess Tongue” explored the recent emergence and wide spread adoption of the emoji. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have seen or used 001-joy “Face with Tears of Joy” and 006-smiling-face-with-heart-eyes “Smiling Face With Heart-Shaped Eyes”, two of over 250 emoji symbols, in your text messages or social media updates. You might even own emoji pillows and emoji shirts, or have read Emoji Dick (an emoji translation of Melville’s classic Moby Dick). It is clear that emojis have pervaded our communications, across nations and generations (used by teens and moms alike).

One of the greatest appeals of the emoji is its ability to illustrate what words sometimes cannot as well as carry multiple secret meanings.

 These seemingly infantile cartoons are instantly recognizable, which makes them understandable even across linguistic barriers. Yet the implications of emoji—their secret meanings—are constantly in flux.

…As Jenna Wortham, a New York Times technology reporter, wrote in an essay about emoji for Womanzine’s emoji issue, they “have become an ever-evolving cryptographic language that changes depending on who we are talking to, and when.”

…This is the fun of emoji. The nailsnail-painting emoji , in some circles, has come to mean “I’m not bothered” or “Haters gonna hate.”levitatingman Man in Business Suit Levitating could mean “jumping for joy,” or it could mean “mystery.” (Online speculators have already nicknamed it “the Man in Black emoji.”)

– Smile You’re Speaking Emoji, Adam Sternbergh

As the emoji tongue continues to grow, how can businesses stay relevant and understand the new digital language of their consumer? Different emojis have different meanings in different circles, and even those meanings are continuously evolving as we speak (or type6-winking-face). It is not enough to reference an emoji dictionary because the combination of certain emojis, plus who is talking, and to whom, and when, can reveal the undertones and motivations behind a message so much more than simply recognizing tongue as “Face With Stuck-Out Tongue With Tightly Closed Eyes”. Through deep consumer insights, businesses can crack open the more nuanced pieces of the emoji language to better understand how their digitally-savvy consumers communicate and to focus marketing endeavors in a more effective way.

antedote is a strategic insights and innovation consultancy based in San Francisco, and we have helped many of the world’s leading brands like Pepsico and Unilever to garner deeper insights about their consumers and identify opportunities to grow their brands. To learn about antedote’s latest innovation tool, please click below for a free demo:

Learn more

Instagram Launches Autoplay Video Advertisements

Recently Instagram launched 15-second autoplay video advertisements on their platform. Although Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom has been known to be very hands on with their brands when they first launched static image advertisements last year, there are still complaints among users that the brand ads are not attractive and simply don’t fit the beautiful feeds. There is also uncertainty among users if the video function even really belongs on the platform.

Launching idea after idea, advertisement after advertisement, may not be the best way for these tech companies to thrive, as their followers begin to grow more irritated. Tech companies have to start exploring new ways to remain relevant and profitable in the rapidly changing landscape. The time is now to truly understand user’s needs and to ascertain deep human insights to find the golden opportunities to grow the business and brand.


Tapping into my inner storyteller with Steller

Last week I stumbled across a new app, Steller, which offers an easy way to create visual stories with your existing photos and videos. Not only is the UX incredibly intuitive, but also the preloaded templates are beautifully designed, which ensures that your finished story looks like a work of art. This got me thinking about storytelling, and if or how all the creative tools we have at our disposal are changing the way we create, tell, interpret and engage with stories.

In the past, stories were narratives passed down verbally person-to-person, generation-to-generation. They were a form of memorializing events, passing time and ultimately reinforcing the collective values of a culture by instilling a common narrative. Now with the advent and accessibility of content creation tools and social platforms, like Instagram and Vine, and even Snapchat, storytelling and storysharing has become more inclusive and accessible than ever. More interestingly, these new mediums have developed their own verbal and visual languages – the most popular being of course, the hashtag. These different modes of expression, whether it’s creating poetry in 140 character (Twitterature) or capturing a mood through a specific filter or editing a moment into a six second looping clip, are encouraging people to be more creative and playful with the way they communicate their stories.

Inspired by these emerging mechanisms for expression, I tried my hand at storytelling with Steller. Take a look my inaugural story about our beloved office dog, Wellie, here.

Leveraging Facebook posts to determine your personality

Leverage Facebook posts

Many tools exist these days to help us quantify ourselves and the data we produce online and in the real world through existing activities. If creatively used, many of these tools have the power to become innovative research tools. I recently came across Five Labs, an app that predicts your personality by analyzing the language you use on Facebook using an artificial intelligence engine.

It makes me think of the role that existing social media data will play in research moving forward, and how we can incorporate this into “human digital context.”

Plus it’s really interesting (and a great use of spider charts). For instance, according to my 10 years of posts, I’m assertive, inventive, sensitive, efficient and friendly (with 75% neuroticism apparently).

While tools like this one might have a long way to go with regards to reliability, if used in conjunction with existing research methods the possibilities are endless.

More on Five Labs from Business Insider.