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Cindi Jones is featured in the December 2019 Quirk’s “Ask the Expert”!

Cindi Jones is featured in the December 2019 Quirk’s “Ask the Expert”!

Our colleague, Cindi Jones is featured in the December 2019 Quirk’s “Ask the Expert” column.  In the column, Cindi responds to this question:

Today’s marketing world is ever-changing – how prepared are you for these new realities and consumer expectations?

Cindi talks about how marketers can address 5 new marketing realities:

  • “Small is big”
  • “It’s personal and it’s a segment of one”
  • “Sustainability is an expectation, really.”
  • “AI,AR,VR.  It’s all here. Now.”
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More Questions (and Answers) About Corporate Purpose

Since conducting a webinar on Corporate Purpose back in 4th quarter of 2019, we received many follow up questions.  Here are a few of the more common, along with our perspective from Carol Gstalder, Corporate Brand & Reputation Strategy.

Q: It seems like every time you pick up a newspaper or listen to CNBC someone is talking about Corporate Purpose.    If you had to weigh comments in favor of vs against the idea of Corporate Purpose, where would you say it’s falling right now?

A: As of today, momentum is leaning towards giving the Business Roundtable companies the benefit of doubt that their pledge to run their businesses in the interest of a broader set of stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers, communities and shareholders) is truly genuine.   Establishing comprehensive KPI’s and measuring long term actions and outcomes will ultimately reveal the extent to which board and company behaviors align with this pledge.

Q: Should individual brands have their own purpose, or should companies reach for an overarching “house of brands” purpose?

A: It’s important to have an overarching and clear core purpose for the entire company.   However, the ways in which a company activates a core purpose and brings it to life can and should reflect each brand’s unique reason for being.   This recognition of the brands’ uniqueness will differentiate each of the brands in the corporate portfolio and help define how the company can make a difference to its stakeholders.

Q: This all sounds very interesting, but it sounds like it requires a whole realignment of a company.  Is there a way to do this in stages and how long would it take?

A: A pledge towards stakeholder value and purpose is only meaningful if it is followed up with true commitments and actions like:

  • Turning their values into action,
  • Authentically connecting with important stakeholder concerns,
  • Operationalizing across their business.

A lack of authenticity risks using purpose as a shallow badge with little to nothing behind it – creating business risk.

Key stages involve:

  1. Defining the corporate purpose,
  2. Building internal alignment,
  3. Activating purpose and long-term measurement and continuous improvement,
  • Identifying various ways to stage alignment and activation
  • Recognizing what for the business.

Q: In working with clients on this issue, what challenges, if any, have they mentioned around communicating it internally?

A: Identifying how purpose is personally relevant to employees across various functional areas, businesses and brands is a common challenge companies experience.

In defining purpose, is critical to understand employees’ values, what is driving their behaviors and the end states they are trying to achieve.

  • What do your internal stakeholders expect?
  • What is it unique about your company and what it does that truly motivates employees and connects to both their hearts and minds.
  • How do you take that central purpose and build buy-in and engagement, beginning to lead from your head and heart as you illuminate your reason for being across stakeholders?

This is an area of challenge for some companies as they work to uncover that internal relevance and human story that conveys their purpose and builds internal alignment.

Q: What methods can possibly be used for measurement?

A: Establishing KPI’s and measuring performance on specific stakeholder behaviors through primary custom research helps companies to assess their progress.  Typical questions you would want to measure for include:

  • Are employees more deeply engaged?
  • Are you attracting top talent to your company?
  • Do communities welcome your operations and give you license to operate?
  • Are you fulfilling promises to your customers and suppliers?

Companies are also increasingly adopting relevant universal goals, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to measure their own progress against broader societal goals.

View original webinar HERE

Dr. Brooke Edge Joins Heart+Mind Strategies as Solutions Director, Brand, Systems+Journey Solutions Team

Heart+Mind Strategies, a leading research-based strategic consultancy, welcomes Dr. Brooke Edge as Solutions Director on the Brand, Systems+Journey team.

Prior to joining Heart+Mind Strategies, Brooke was most recently Director of Research & Strategy at WPI agency priceweber out of Louisville and she was responsible for the design, execution, and analysis of research projects for a variety of clients, including a focus on guiding strategy development.

In her position with Heart+Mind Strategies, Brooke will be responsible for designing research projects and overseeing their deployment for and interactions with key clients on the Brand, Systems+Journey team, and providing insights-based guidance with the goal of helping clients build their businesses.

Brooke has experience with a wide variety of categories including, CPG, Healthcare, Financial Services, Family Entertainment, Nonprofit, Transportation and the Energy sectors.

Brooke completed her PhD in Communication and Media Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder and her MA in Cinema Studies at NYU. Brooke’s undergraduate degree is in English from Davidson College.

FREE WEBINAR: Is “Corporate Purpose” a Real Opportunity or Just a Marketing Fad?

Recently the Business Roundtable, a group of nearly 200 U.S. chief executive officers, issued a new statement on the purpose of a corporation. How are companies that embrace this concept articulating, activating and enabling Purpose? To what extent is it deepening stakeholder relationships and impacting business performance?

This webinar delivers what you need to know about this new way of looking at the value generated by companies, including:

  • How companies find an area of purpose that makes sense for their brand,
  • How they ensure their Purpose fits with stakeholder expectations,
  • How they drive a sense of purpose through their organizations.

Our panel of experts provides rich case studies to illustrate how companies implement purpose for business results.

VIEW WEBINAR

Kendra Schuchard, Healthcare Industry Expert, Joins Heart+Mind Strategies

Reston, Virginia, October 15, 2019:  Heart+Mind Strategies, a leading research-based strategic consultancy, welcomes Kendra Schuchard as Senior Solutions Consultant to its Healthcare Team.

Kendra has worked on both the client and consulting sides of the healthcare industry, most recently as a Senior Vice President with Escalent.  Her experience spans the industry, including insurance organizations, pharmaceutical companies, OTC and device manufacturers.

Her particular expertise is in Customer Experience/Voice of the Customer and brand equity, segmentation, marketing and communications design and testing and product demand/optimization.  Consistent with Heart+Mind Strategies’ focus on understanding both rational and emotional motivations, Kendra is skilled in the use of methods like ethnography, designed to deeply probe the roots of human decision-making.

“As Heart+Mind Strategies expands its Healthcare team, we are pleased to welcome professionals like Kendra, whose experience and leadership will help us broaden our offerings to clients across the industry spectrum,” said Shawn Wade, Senior Vice President and leader of the healthcare team.


About Heart+Mind Strategies:  We are a research-led consulting firm that uncovers how people think, feel and make decisions, and uses that knowledge to help clients achieve their specific goals. Our scientific approach to understanding how individual and societal values influence decision-making is why many leading global brands and organizations work with us. For more information: heartandmindstrategies.com

 

FREE WEBINAR:  What’s Missing from Customer Decision Journey Work?

WATCH FREE WEBINAR HERE: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XvyqjvomcneCJiYNBAYo3PuRaQ6zJjdh/view

In the last decade we’ve seen an explosion of interest in the Customer Journey.  Why? Digital and social media have dramatically changed the path to decision-making, the size and diversity of influences and channels, and the experience customers expect. At the same time, AI and machine learning improvements promise marketers personalization tools like never before possible.

The problem? Old, linear models are still at play to inform cutting edge solutions being deployed today. Messaging, channel/touchpoint planning, and CX delivery today must ALL be about the right experience, in the right place, at the right time. But this requires understanding how human systems operate and interact with the resources around them when a customer, consumer, voter, employee, stakeholder, or partner makes a decision.

Our approach is to leverage systems thinking when unpacking the decision-making journey.  

  1. We know the path is shaped and behaviors influenced by the brand and life systems in which people make their decisions.
  2. We identify the rational and emotional drivers of the decision at each stage of the process to showcase what is most relevant at different points in the journey.
  3. This involves mapping the discrete behaviors, interactions, and feedback loops that revolve around the needs, wants, and realities of your most important audience – mapping the system.
  4. Our Journey Map allows you to capture a holistic view of decision dynamics while also providing the detailed view you will need.

When you understand how these systems work, you uncover the role(s) you need to play in context of everything else.   Our outputs make the findings actionable to guide comms planning, inform CX design, inspire product/service innovation, and/or better train AI tools to optimize the human experience.

Bottom line: clear imperatives for brand success.

In this webinar you’ll learn key  principles to make your next Customer Decision Journey study a home run.  Sharpen your knowledge of:

  • How many Customer Decision Journey studies fall short
  • The lessons we can learn from Systems thinking to improve these studies
  • How mapping in this way better informs an array of strategic planning needs

Heart+Mind Strategies’ Brand, Systems+Journey team leader, Maury Giles, will use riveting case studies to show you a different way of thinking about the decision Journey.  Mr. Giles is a serial entrepreneur and innovation expert who’s known as a high energy, entertaining speaker.    He’ll inspire you and lead you to a new way of thinking about the Customer Decision Journey.

Heart+Mind Strategies Expands Internal Ownership, Announces New Partners

Reston, Virginia, December 5, 2018: Heart+Mind Strategies, a leading Insights+Strategy+Activation consultancy, has expanded its roster of Partners and Owners as part of its strategic plan to broaden employee ownership, leadership and management of the company for future growth.

Individuals who either acquired ownership shares or increased shares in the company include:

• Jennifer Airey
• Martina Benedict
• Beth Forbes
• Maury Giles
• Dr. Carlos Elordi
• Erin Norman
• Shireen Olsen
• Royal Smith
• Dr. Shawn Wade
• Mark Wirthlin

Maury Giles, Shireen Olsen, Royal Smith, and Dr. Shawn Wade are now Partners in Heart+Mind Strategies, where they will participate with the existing Partners to help guide the strategic direction of the company.

Mike Dabadie and Dr. Dee Allsop, co-CEO’s of Heart+ Mind Strategies, commented: “For the past eight years we’ve been consistently growing at 10% or better, so broadening our internal leadership has been an ongoing goal because we believe the opportunities for advancement and success of our people are directly tied to the continued success of the company now and into the future.”

Before being offered a partnership stake, employees must meet certain requirements and exemplify qualities central to the company’s culture including:

  • Commitment to bringing Heart+Mind Strategies’vision to life, taking personal responsibility for the company’s success.
  • Participation in the leadership of setting, implementing, meeting, and fulfilling the company’s vision, mission, and business strategy.
  • Provision of leadership to employees, mentoring them and guiding them to realize their full potential.
  • Powering the financial engine of the business, treating its resources as they were their own, taking action to ensure financial success, and working to deliver a return on investment for all stakeholders.
  • Behaving in a manner consistent with company values of integrity, collaboration, innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurism.  We are open, direct, respectful and honest in our communications, taking ownership and responsibility for our actions.
  • Guaranteeing that client work advances the principles and frameworks as established by our heritage and in the company’s mentor, Dr. Richard B. Wirthlin.
  • Acting toward others as we would want them to act toward us.

About Heart+Mind Strategies:  We are an insights-led consulting firm that uncovers how people think, feel and make decisions, and uses that to help clients apply strategic imperatives to achieve their specific goals. The complementary disciplines of Insights + Strategy + Activation are infused through the organization and our employees for the fulfillment of our mission and delivering customer informed opportunities.  Our scientific approach to understanding how individual and societal values influence decision-making is why many leading global brands and organizations work with us. For more information: heartandmindstrategies.com.