Creating a team identity.

Creating a team identity beyond language.

Audiences and markets have become globalized and teams have grown to an amazing ecosystem of culturally diverse talents, inspiring brands across the globe with unlimited growth opportunity and fresh perspectives. We have offshore teams with copywriters and designers in London, development & QC in Buenos Aires, software engineers in Chennai and marketing teams in NYC. Maybe your campus in Prague has members from different nationalities.

Inspiring and managing teams is a wonderful challenge, and with team members from different countries and different cultural backgrounds and languages, it requires also a fresh and diverse perspective as their teams itself. Wherever your team is in one office or globally dispersed, they are expected to deliver their best performance, creativity, and unique point of view into the game. So, how do we leverage, support and inspire such a diverse workforce?

Language and cultural differences.

One of the key components of every collaborative relationship is trust, and open communication among team members is key. Language proficiency is a challenge and can undermine trust between its members. Colleagues with different levels of proficiency could be perceived as less communicative or reliable, undermining healthy trust-building in each other’s abilities and skills. It is crucial to find ways to transform these differences, into creative energy. It’s important to explore those differences so we know how to interact and grow as a group.

A way to encourage this understanding of diversity is to create unstructured moments, not necessarily 'a meeting'- where everyone can share their cultural background and expectations about communication and working style. The team gets to learn more about each other by listening, sharing and asking questions and sharing about their backgrounds, even to learn what kind of food they like, or learn a traditional recipe from your home. It's amazing when teams discover that we are not that different after all.

Teams experience a lot of pressure, and members of multi-language teams frequently relieve stress by switching into their native tongue, inadvertently excluding other teammates from their conversations. We need to reverse language barriers and communication anxiety by encouraging open dialogue in teams as a whole, creating a "team identity" equipped with amazing different strengths and unique backgrounds, united in one vision. Like a team of superheroes.

Reducing language gap

The success and strength of every multi-national team reside in one basic -but rather complex- aspect: communicationHow can you measure the degree of language connection among team members? When people come from similar nationalities, the level of 'language distance' is usually low. Even if they come from different backgrounds, people can interact formally and informally, align, and build trust. They arrive at a common understanding of what certain behaviors mean, and they feel close and congenial, which fosters good teamwork.

Coworkers who are geographically separated, or come from different countries and cultures, could experience some kind of language anxiety that could prevent interactions. This originates from the inability to communicate, missing information and/or negative evaluation. This negative dynamics reduce team performance, and especially for creatives, artist, and designers, where creative energy, collaborative expression, and multi-team interaction is vital.

Creating a team identity

In a team, is important that everyone gets enough speaking time, and that everyone knows what they’re working toward. What’s our vision and why we are doing what we do. Bringing everyone around common goals and a unified vision is key. I can not stress this more! as evident it may seem, this is poorly done, and team members spot it quickly when is fake. Is has to be an honest take, not a speech. That's why you need to know the brand, the clients, the team, the story. You need to be the first one to believe it to be able to inspire it. Highlighting the importance of each diverse skill in your team will level up the group dynamics, and also how much value the team is contributing to the success of the service, product or brand. Be open about the unique appreciation for everyone’s input and encourage meta-communication. Each particular story amounts to create a more solid, trustworthy and collaborative team.

Bringing everyone around a unified vision is key. Its has to be an honest take, not a speech. That's why you need to know the brand, the clients, the team, the story. You need to be the first one to believe it to be able to inspire it.

Break down your common goal into actionable steps and outline each individual’s role and responsibilities. This reduces the chance of misunderstandings and lets everyone know that their contribution matters. Clarity of each team member’s contribution also makes it easier to address team performance as a whole. It sets expectations for what needs to be done, by who and when.

Building a team identity also entails finding common things between team members. Make space in your working day to promote team interactions, to get to appreciate each other team members. Perhaps there are teammates who share the same taste in movies, music or TV shows. Some may bond over hobbies or share information about their families, etc. Personal connections within the team make it easier to work together, trust and have a solid team identity.

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To be continued…

 


Optimizing your media strategy can generate a significant budget release, either for growth reinvestment or return to bottom line.

As your company’s content strategy becomes more sophisticated, your marketing budgets become bigger and more complex, demanding top-notch planning efficiency. Global marketing spend exceeds $1 trillion, around 1 to 2 percent of global GDP and keeps growing faster.
beforehand, this requires stepping back to evaluate priorities and best practices to achieve that, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each type of planning. When blended together, you end up with a highly effective strategy that moves your business forward much more quickly than focusing on a single tactic alone, allowing the investment to be effective. The goal is to be more efficient and by experience, it can be achieved. The key is to progressively incorporate certain practices into your daily planning.

TEST YOUR BUDGET “USABILITY”: FROM CARD SORTING TO JOURNEY MAPPING…ALL YOU CAN EAT UX BUFFET

1-Create a visual spent landscape I used this technique from my storyboarding days and now is a must-use tool in UX design. It’s like pitching the budget to yourself! Take a wall and use as many post-its until you see the full budget ecosystem. It really works.

2-Ensure alignment across units: create an objective analysis of economic, strategic, and marketing-oriented criteria for each brand. Better marketing return of investment (MROI) starts with better and clear objectives.

3-Align your targets: clarify and align mismatched marketing and sales targets, it will bring light into your budget allocation efforts.

4-Consolidate your brand spending: sort your spent in relation to your growth goals and forecast: grow aggressively, grow, sustain, etc.

5-Find relevant drivers of value: made your mission to constantly find new ways to engage and guide customers. New experiences, new channels, research, communications or content, your brand should bring innovation and expertise.

6-Identify the most effective media and channels: spending in the right places will reach more priority customers, whether is online or in-store -or your partner venue- it will most likely to be a hit. Find out where consumers make their decisions. Data-driven media spent is an extremely efficient way to advertise.

7-Country-based budget: Consider the particulars of each country’s multicultural context and shift spending from lower- to higher-priority markets.

8-Generate internal communications: demonstrate to the rest of the organization how the new allocations would benefit the company overall. Every successful planning needs everyone in the company to be involved and supportive.

9-Identify your consumer's journey: use digital analytics, social media management, in-store initiatives, and post-purchase online service. Understanding the consumer path from research and consideration to purchase and brand loyalty.

 

10-Focus on your consumer's experience: deliver consistent high-quality content for use across touch-points both online and in-store. This also applies to your partners’ experience, think of them as your ambassadors and evangelist. Create a workshop or a learning event. An online channel exclusively for your partners could be a hit -and a relatively inexpensive- way to get where your audience is.

CONCLUSION:

You can mix and match these UX practices like colors on a palette to create the right vision of your media budget into a successful work of art.

 

Let me know what you think. Thank you!

The new audience identity

Understanding your audience in this ever-complex marketplace requires a unique ability to combine massive amounts of measurement information with the right perspective.

While entertainment industry is changing the way they do business, technology is doing its part. Analytics tools had proven to be successful, making connections between pieces of research, identifying facts and behaviors. But if we want to understand how our audiences interact with our content, we might need to change how questions are made.

The New Audience Format

Spoiler alert. There's is no audience format anymore. Audiences have grown to become agnostic, nomadic, multi-tasking, experiential and very direct. There are no two viewers alike. In the same demographic, they might not share the same interests. Most of the time they are ‘uninspired’ by expensive Networks marketing extravaganzas. Options multiply with every tweet, facebook like or selfie ever taken. If you’re not reaching, engaging, and monetizing your audience, you’re likely losing them to someone else.

Changing the concept of engagement

When it comes to understanding, all the information you can get is important. But you have to be smart and sensitive in order to relate effectively. Read the signs, get feedback, and adjust your approach as necessary. Think of an audience in terms of a “first date”. Analytics can give you a way to read your audience “body language”. You’ll get tons of real time feedback. From measurement tools, analytics apps and marketing research, you get to embed with your product, and how much you can play out. It’s important to have all the details, but the key is to understand how to read the information. You got to be responsive.

A subtle smile, eye contact, mirroring, head-tilt, all require a bit of interpersonal sensitivity. Look at the trends in the social media; keep an eye on relevant comments. The right timing or even the weather can give you a metric that algorithms might have missed. Take a moment, observe, and the pointers will become visible. You’ll actually see your audience ‘body language’ the way Neo sees The Matrix.

A relevant example is the movie Jurassic World. The audience ‘body language’ was pretty clear: On that weekend, the re-post rate for Jurassic videos on YouTube was 45 to 1 (the average is 9 to 1). The trailer on the official Universal channel got 66.6m views (multi-channel networks money well invested) Twitter almost broke: #JurassicWorld peaked at 63K. The “conversation” for the film was very high and very positive on social media that weekend. Thousands and millions share trailers with their community, on multiple social channels. And that’s intent of purchase...like a kiss. Plus, no big sports events or soccer matches on TV that weekend. Add shirtless Chris Pratt and school calendars and TV were packed with dino-theme curricula. Finally, people just love seeing Pterosaurs munching on tourists! Go family-friendly entertainment! Jurassic World broke the box office, scoring the biggest opening weekend in history with a sweet $511.8 million in tickets sales worldwide, outdoing even Harry Potter. Universal Studios had a nice date!

Conclusion. Audiences consume and interact with information in unexpected ways, so you have to be tuned in real-time. Consider what’s going on in the analytics and reports, and outs of them. Data is generated and delivered by the same audience you are trying to connect, from video channels, chat, social media and tweets. Paying attention to the ‘vibe’ or body language cues can go a long way. Use them to your advantage. Analytics can be tricky, but they are just the tip of the data iceberg. Keep your cool, be yourself and be responsive. Pick your actions accordingly and maybe it could be the start of an unforgettable relationship.


How to create a hit with a low budget and a clever strategy

Deadpool has always been a fairly popular Marvel character among hardcore fans, but relatively unknown to the rest of the world…until today. He’s a kind of quirkish, snarky anti-hero with a natural ability to break the fourth wall to communicate with his readers/audience, usually to mock the super hero cliché. Against all odds, Deadpool made it to the big screen, and compared to others in the same genre, with a tiny $58 million budget.

From the buzz and temperature of social conversations from these past weeks, looks like Deadpool is going to break some barriers over the weekend and the people at Fox and TSG(financiers of Fox live action movies) are going to be celebrating next week. Why? Because they had created a hit out of nowhere. And off course, the movie is pretty entertaining, despite the R rated label. Looks like someone at Fox marketing is planning and executing the right way some key strategic moves:

1.Release date

Deadpool probably will beat their weekend competition in this long president weekend.Zoolander 2 have drawn on nostalgia viewership and also a good campaign to cash on tickets to save the day. And How to be Single, the Dakota Johnson romantic flic, well…is just that. Deadpool release date feels like it was “under the radar” in the distribution timeline because there are literally not many movies for grown-up audiences to go. Big Oscars contenders have their on fight last week, Fifth Wave is a bore, and Zootopia is due next week, so Deadpool has a green wave to rise above the numbers. Plus, is Valentine weekend, with basically no “The Notebook” movies in sight. So this quirky potty-mouthed anti-hero is the royal ambassador of anti-valentine audiences.

2.Marketing Campaign

We all know that a box office hit need good PR and Marketing strategy, but honestly, most of the studios FAIL on these matter, and don’t tell me because of the budget. Advertising is not all about showing the movie trailer or character posters here and there. Its about building a brand. The marketing around the upcoming film has been nothing short of phenomenal, deserving of a glowing five out of five chimichangas. The trailers and promos for the film have all been tongue in cheek and absolutely hilarious, playing off of different trends and tropes to create unique communications. Seriously, if the ads are this good, just imagine what awaits fans in the theaters (eat your heart out Star Wars). Even they did a Valentine style campaign that is just brilliant

3.Social Media Strategy

We’re living in a postmodern, meme-culture, hero over saturated age. Audiences are CRAVING for some originality. No more remakes, no more sequels, no more cinematic universes with happy meal toys and epic superhero faces in a box of cornflakes. Deadpool itself is a bit of a snarky commentary on the over exposure of the genre, even an R-rated very violent superhero movie, but guess what, its unique. The audience age is that perfect 18-34 years old, which are highly social users. So, its no surprise that online conversations about Deadpool are hot on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, you name it, where fans can engage and engage others. The movie has been promoted virtually only through social media. In fact, the movie was only green-lit after test footage was “leaked” on social media. Fox released a red-band trailer unsuitable for TV, and the movie landed an R-rating. So marketing made up for the lack of television ads with their creative social media campaign. During the holidays, they spoofed the 12 Days of Christmas, with #12DaysofDeadpool, which spotlighted special content released each day. The content included downloadable videos, pics and emoji’s. And also took over Valentines with fake gushy romantic Ads all over the internet and street billboard.

 

The big man @ ComScore, Paul Dergarabedian, said this today about Deadpool: “This may be the first movie of 2016 that kind of elevates everything, and gets that box office momentum charged.” Sweet remark. Againits all about building a brand. 

The movie is also off to an impressive start overseas, with a tracking of more than $90 million for the weekend. Deapool is on fire at the box office today: it began playing at 7 p.m. in 2,975 locations; on Friday, it expanded into a total of 3,558 runs, including Imax locations. The Imax portion of Thursday night’s haul was $2.3 million, the sixth biggest preview ever for the large-format circuit.

Once ranked nr. 182nd out of 200 in the popularity list of Marvel properties, Deadpool is on its way to become a success. The movie probably step over the heels of Guardians of the Galaxy ($94.3 million) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier($95 million) and likely score the biggest R-rated opening of all time. Tip of the hat to the marketing team @ Fox.

Deadpool, starring the sexy-mouthy Ryan Reynolds, beautiful Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller and Gina Cara, all directed by Tim Miller.