'The road to discovery is the most exciting journey there is.'
As a lifelong learner, thinker & maker, I help brands discover, launch, grow, transform and innovate to achieve their objectives in myriad ways.
My career longevity coupled with my extremely diverse range of experience empowers me with a unique holistic perspective that few in the industry can claim. I am a brand shaman & scrum master: meaning seeker, problem solver, connection creator & innovation driven visionary focused on helping clients unearth their differentiator, diagnose sticking points, creatively think through their most relevant opportunities, strategically design break out solutions & cultivate inspired communities both inside & out, to expand their options.
I attack, or lead multidiscipline & cross-functional teams to attack, projects from multiple angles, swiftly & efficiently, believing the first step is to
make sure all the puzzle pieces are out of the box & facing up.
I believe it’s imperative to shape a big awesome vision & a rich cultural experience informed by all different kinds of data, inputs & benchmarking metrics.
Doing more with what they already have, gaining clarity on what they’re missing or creating something altogether new to capitalize on market white space, are primary ways I have supported corporate, retail, FMCG & non-profit clients, as well as startup entrepreneurs, to
Discovery, Connection, Authenticity & Innovation drive everything I do with a primary goal toward helping clients insightfully respond to constraints & catalyze long term sustainable success by utilizing the untapped potential of both their internal & external culture building opportunities.
Ways I support ORGANIZATIONS:
-- Research: deep-dive into myriad data sets gleaning insights to support understanding for proposals, specific project aspects or other activities required by either strategic or creative team members. Conduct audits, surveys, interviews or develop informal focus groups.
-- Collaborative Thinking: organize team brain-storming/design thinking sessions along with relevant & diverse stake-holders toward catalyzing insights & initial actionable steps for allocating resources.
-- Strategy Development: gathering up all existing in-house work to date, to develop a comprehensive foundational approach, or brand strategy, that narrows focus to guide subsequent developmental efforts more effectively and efficiently.
-- User Experience: deep-dive around Customer Journey across all touch points, digital & physical.
-- Communications Planning: pull together a holistic, top line communications or content strategy that augments work to date, including digital marketing framework, social media focus, etc.
-- Brand Graphics: identity, extended visual vocabulary & other related graphic communications needs for website, technology apps, video, social media, print & events.
-- Strategic Design: quick & comprehensive strategic-creative iterations across all relevant media channels for provoking team thinking & perspective formation, including new product, packaging, merchandising, environmental & event design.
-- Presentation Development: preparing best-practice case models, in-house presentations to promote better understanding of priority informants or client pitches that communicate the scope of brand-related informants & objectives.
Ways I support ENTREPRENEURS:
-- Research: review of cultural drivers, sector, competitors, best practice, trends, influencers, resources, analytics, content/brand presence to date & objectives to glean additional insights that help further define: user motivations-expectations-aspirations, consumer pain point, market white space, key word identification, metrics/benchmarks supporting investor facing presentations, etc.
-- Data Gathering/Survey:
-- Strategy Development: ‘business as brand’ guidance toward integrating salient value propositions to optimize resources & sustainability. Exploring alliance/partner opportunities, etc. Clarifying consumer experience/sales funnel overview, identifying KPI's to track progress, etc.
-- High Level Messaging & Communications Development: tightening up vision, mission, values, attributes, positioning, brand pillars, narrative, content strategy, prioritizing comms platform, top line digital marketing objectives toward aligning with research & strategy to guide all subsequent content development.
-- Brand Graphics: identity, extended visual vocabulary & other related graphic comms needs for website, technology apps, video, social media, print & events.
-- Strategic Design: quick & comprehensive strategic-creative iterations across all relevant media channels for clarifying positioning including solutions for social media, video, new products, packaging, environmental expressions, etc.
-- Testing: online A/B testing or in-person survey/focus group development to fast-track implementation.
-- Presentation Development: investor pitches, press/media kits, brand guidelines, etc.
More About Me
I believe the scope of life experience as a consumer is noteworthy, having walked in a few 'segment' shoes myself: child, pre-teen, teen, 20 & 30 something, young professional, bride to be, pregnant woman, new parent, parent of teens, parent of Millennials, daughter, daughter of in-firmed parent, personal & beauty care shopper, financial manager, health care/insurance investigator, Boomer, homemaker, wine enthusiast, vacation planner, activist, gardening enthusiast, fashionista, fitness conscious, sailing lover, plus many more.
I come to the 'Marketing & Advertising' space in atypical fashion -not through business school or a communications degree- but from a storytelling & systems based design background informed by architecture plus film making. I had an idyllic childhood growing up near the Mississippi Delta in a small town filled with farmers, bankers & other 'Busy Town' sorts where everybody knew your name & friendly conversation was the currency. An oasis by today's standards, where as a 5 yr old I led playmate expeditions within a 2 block radius to discover hidden wonders brought to vivid life by big-fish storytelling.
Within the past 4 years I've discovered I'm an INTJ personality type, characterized as 'mastermind' or 'walking think tank', the rarest type found in women [1 in 1,250]. With a better understanding of what's driving me 'in there' beyond my own cerebrally-informed Why, it's clear how important intellectual honesty & culture are to me. In addition I can now better articulate my innate approach to life which is best characterized as a perspective-effectiveness orientation. I value deep, careful, long range thinking around complex challenges, with an exceptional ability to perspective shift, detect patterns, intuitively perceive motivations & envision the long range implications of actions. I also innately seek measurable means & efficiencies to achieve sustainable impact. In short, my passionate pursuit are Long Range Elegant Solutions to unwieldy, complex challenges.
These insights highlight my unique value in the context of a world requiring immediate results. I, like many others, can help achieve quick wins, plus I can also help lead longer range ones that foster greater, farther reaching potential.
Processes that Bring People Together
Whether ideating ways to engage the target out there, or considering tactics to optimize an internal team's potential, relationship & process are critical to both. Consumers or team members are more likely to open up to you, if you do so with them, and structure is essential to sustain & shape that exchange. My approach to any project is to model openness & trust plus encourage cross-discipline team members & stake-holders to do the same. Three frameworks for gaining optimal team results include:
Design Thinking = Discovery Tool
- appropriateness toward exploring Consumer Experience & Tangible Product Development through an empathetic lens for nailing the heart/soul issues.
- provides deeper understanding of the consumer, their needs, articulation of their problem[s] that need to be solved/their jobs that need to be done, defining critical ingredients that must be present in solution.
Lean StartUp = Process Tool
- appropriateness toward launching initial MVP prototypes for observation/adaption purposes.
- quickest, cheapest way to get completed concept in front of consumers to gain feedback, observe behavior, & measure results against goals to optimize iteration efficiency to the refinement process.
Agile = Management Tool
- appropriateness toward developing software & similar to Lean
- a methodology supporting continued refinement through Rapid Learning Cycles with strict deadline controls for setting priorities
With any of these approaches creative ideation is also required that leverages strategic design, cultural context & references plus draws from content supporting mission or inspired by Why? or captures customer-sourced storytelling. It’s also imperative to be mindful of the need for a shared vision or an integrated marketing experience throughout the entire arc of the journey for further articulating strategy at each level of the 'sales funnel'. If you substitute 'Relationship' for Purchase, the journey is similar for both external & internal members involved with the value proposition.
Awareness – Interest – Evaluation – Decision – Purchase – ReEvaluation – RePurchase
Win-Win Results =
The Facts + our Yearning for Fiction
I believe we’re all influenced by the Facts & our Gut --& regardless of the next sweeping wave of disruption or tech advancement this goal post shaped decision-making construct will remain, knowing one side may be more heavily weighted depending on the value proposition. As for the seemingly irrational behavior we sporadically witness –it’s still just a matter of digging deep enough to uncover the visceral motivation.
The Facts are ‘out there’ & measurable. The Instinct is ‘in here’ & most times requires greater lengths to understand. The most effective outcomes are expedited when these two align, as an energetic, catalyzing vibration [Right + Left Brain merged] through a visionary narrative that resolves business goals, practical operations & compels desired behavior by forging new connection, surprise or perceived innovation. Plus most times The Truth is a winner.
Most critical for developing any value proposition is 360 Research to unearth the relevant Facts plus Emotional triggers within a particular segment & context. 360 Research includes exploring, as much as possible, the quantitative & qualitative data sets to reveal the most relevant Consumer, Cultural, Business Industry, Trends & Influencer inputs, to literally concoct an initial ‘bubbling petri-dish stewpot’ of potential. From this elemental alchemy, prioritized & foundational insights can be gleaned to launch a well-considered direction through one of the processes mentioned above.