At LEAD, we have been in the business of branding for companies of all sizes and demographics of all types. It’s far easier to understand the general consumer’s mindset and plot their experiences because there is a host of research available with large data samples. More elusive is the mindset of the luxury consumer because they are taste setters at the hottest restaurants and clubs. Their eyes see the first of the next wave of art. They are able to touch and smell places that are unreachable by even the analysts seeking to understand them. So despite claims that you can effectively market to the luxury consumer, if you seek to do so from analysis of current or past behavior, you’re already behind.

We contend that luxury is to be found in the new, not the old or the already experienced. We have seen this first-hand in our work with some of the world’s most exclusive brands, so we believe the key to winning their hearts and minds is to redefine the five senses in the way they experience the world. Read the rest of this entry »

The Future of Marketing

It occurred to me last night that 2 months from now I will have spent 20 years in marketing. This realization brought up two different but related thoughts from a couple mentors in my life.

I made it a practice to keep from getting stale by changing my career every 5 years. When I would talk to my dad about my decision process, he would always ask:

“Do you feel like you’re getting 5 years of experience or 5 times 1 year of experience?”

An author friend of mine way back, Tim Powers, told me once as we were hanging out at one of his book signings drinking Coors Light: Read the rest of this entry »

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about designing social media experiences, it’s that they have to illustrate to audiences that we “get” them in order to engage them. The reason so many marketers are struggling to show solid ROI for their social media programs is simply because they aren’t designing their strategies specifically for the medium.

It’s not enough to clone the same content and interactions used in other media like websites, paid ads, and email newsletters. The keystone to your strategy should be recalling why you’re in business in the first place and remembering who it is that you are helping. Then you can begin thinking in a non-promotional way about how to elicit the unexpressed needs of your customer. Read the rest of this entry »

At our recent Marketing Innovation Forum, Forrester’s Peter Burris illustrated the changing tech buyer’s journey and what that means for marketers. Following his presentation, I sat on a panel where I emphasized the importance of fostering social media as a collaboration platform in B2B businesses, based on a new McKinsey study: Read the rest of this entry »

It’s an overused word, and some grimace at how often it’s brought up, but innovation is once again the word of the day. And for good reason. In marketing, customers control more of the decision cycle because of ubiquitous access to more and more data. This access comes from a growing array of devices that shape how they engage based on their personal preferences. For product developers, upstart companies have as much access to enabling technologies as the big boys, and because of their agility advantage, can bring great products to market faster that better serve customers’ unmet needs. In both cases, innovation has become an imperative not just for growth, but for sustaining a viable business. Read the rest of this entry »

The world has a trust problem, and according to Nielsen, we marketers are a big part of it. Only 40% of consumers trust marketing content, but 90% trust content from their social networks. Compounding the problem, there are troublemakers among us, who have flocked to social media to expand their marketing reach, promoting the same alienating content they use in other media. And then they wonder why they don’t see a return on their investment. It’s time to enlighten our brethren and teach them how we can collectively participate in social media in a way that puts us in a more trustworthy light. Read the rest of this entry »

Moments That Matter

As consumers access more information across emerging media channels and new devices, marketers have responded by perceiving every new interaction as an available touchpoint to connect with and engage their target audiences. This has created an overpopulation of brand messaging that has had the reverse effect of dangerously distancing consumers at critically important buying moments. Read the rest of this entry »

As digital screens permeate consumers’ lives at home, at work, in the store, in their car and even at the bank or hospital, so many industries are finding ways to enhance their digital product, software and service experiences in order to grow their business. There are some clear yet important challenges that product managers and marketers face when bringing digital products to market today. Read the rest of this entry »

Three marketers are standing on the side of a fast-moving creek they’ve been instructed to dam using only the materials lying around them. High above them is a big boulder lodged in the hillside. At their feet are hundreds of baseball-sized rocks scattered around the shore, a match, and a stick of dynamite. They talk through their options: Read the rest of this entry »


I wake up.

The alarm clock application in the LCD TV by my bed chirps out my morning playlist. I hit the “off” button and my schedule pops up on the screen.

I wipe the schedule aside and catch my personalized news that has learned my preferences from my DVR content filter and consumption behaviors. “You might also be interested in…” recommendations appear at the bottom from my last few days viewings. Read the rest of this entry »