The Need to Move From a Network of Silos to Data-Driven Collaboration

If you work in marketing, you may have spent a good portion of your life in meetings and status phone calls for the projects you are working on. And I am not talking about your internal team meetings to keep your own piece progressing forward (you spend plenty of time doing that also), but the coordination check points that are set to help herds of different companies working on the project to progress in unison for the common goal.

The stakeholders involved may include multiple technology vendors, creative agencies, media planners, brand managers, program managers, legal, PR, exec sponsor, and the list goes on depending on the project. A key reason for this, is these calls often serve as one a few chances to attempt to cram learnings, confidence and collaboration quickly against the non-moving deadline for all involved. Looking past the veil of collaboration, sometimes its mainly to ensure all hit their target deliverables and dates (and sound/look good doing it).

On separate ends of the spectrum, we are seeing a specialization of agencies booming for particular market needs (social, mobile, local, social-mobile-local) along with the continued growth of integrated agencies (who most often, acqui-hire from those niche agencies during their growth mode) and technology providers that provide a particular integration required (wearables, live streaming, tv, social dev). That being said, don’t expect the number of parties on the project check-in conference calls to drop in volume anytime in the near future.

While we all have the chance to build extremely rewarding and successful engagements working in this manner, it can be a lot of brain-busting work for all involved when each new project comes through. A key problem is many brands, and marketing campaigns, are organized as silos within many companies with a rotation of partners and resources that may engage on a given project. At the same time, the industry is moving towards a real-time, collaborative, data-driven marketing environment. Which means things have to move faster, be more agile, work smarter and across a plethora of devices.

Network of Brand Agency Silos


Top 25 Software Development Firm in Philadelphia

Humbled to receive the feedback that Stuzo is ranked by the Philadelphia Business Journal as a Top 25 Software Development Company for 2013. All credit goes to our software development team (not just in Philly – but around the globe) and awesome clients who let us work on projects with them. Additional credits to: the inventors of the smartphoneinternet, Atlassian, Facebook and people who let me hack websites together for them back in college (sometimes paying me).

Stuzo Top 25 Philadelphia Developers

Poor Mobile Experience Lowers Search Placement in Google

“Focus on the user and all else will follow.”

 Moustache Mobile

Google said it, so it must be true. Mobile user experience, beyond the surface level of your site, does matter. (more…)

5 Consumer Interaction Drivers learned from Sigmund Freud

Freud with Fiddy - Marketing

Sigmund Freud is famous for making society’s understanding of the conscious mind versus the unconscious mind popular. The conscious mind is associated primarily with our current moment of perceptions and awareness, while the unconscious mind largely motivates the actions in our lives — even if these motivational drivers are only available to us in a disguised form. If you compare the mind to an iceberg, as Freud often did, the unconscious is the large mass unexposed below water level. Humans: We are complex beings, aren’t we? Now let’s fast-forward about 100 years: How do we use Freud’s principles to create extremely successful and engaging social and mobile marketing solutions?

Think about this short lesson from Freud the next time you make a restaurant decision from a Yelp reviewer, change your mind when opting in to a Web form, or decide to buy that pair of New Balance sneakers over Nike when presented the option in a social shopping application. Is it only because of a present perception you are aware of (price, fit, need), or does a possible unconscious motivator also propel you toward one direction over the other, which you can’t always put your finger on right away? In most successful and engaging marketing experiences, you’ll often tap into multiple parts of your mind, especially when it comes to socially connected mobile experiences.

At Stuzo, when architecting, designing, and developing mobile experiences (we’ll use both social and mobile in this post interchangeably, as the social Web is mobile, and vice versa), we’ve learned a lot over the years from Freud to create successful social and mobile engagements for leading brands. Here are our five tips for marketers to engage users to take action by tapping into their conscious and unconscious minds with the help of our friend, F.R.E.U.D.  (more…)

The only way to achieve success as a manager… BE YOU

A great piece on management I discussed with my own team was recently published by Fast Company. See some snippets below and check out the full article titled, How To Manage When You Hate Being A Manager. Don’t let the title scare you away, it doesn’t mean you hate management. This piece is to promote the Devora Zack’s management book (which I have added to my reading list).

“Take solace. You are not alone. Most leaders don’t discuss managerial-related angst, out of concern for appearing ineffective, weak, or incompetent. Yet the majority of managers struggle with managing others. In a 2011 Berrett-Koehler survey of 150 leaders, 68% of managers confessed they really don’t like being manager.

“The only way to achieve real success as a manager–and to garner the rewards and benefits of managing–is to lead from a place that is authentic to your core. There are no hard and fast rules. Okay, so there is one rule. And I get to set it. How convenient for all of us. Ready? Be You.

Read more >

Stuzo Philadelphia Business Journal January 2013

Philadelphia Business Journal Coverage

“Independent Once Again” – Nearly 2 years after being bought by Dachis, Stuzo is back on its own

A pioneering social-media agency based in Center City is independent once again and is looking to grow.

Stuzo, which was bought by Dachis Group in late 2010, separated from the Austin, Texas-based company in November and announced the split on its blog eight days ago. Neither it nor Dachis Group disclosed the terms of either deal.

Stuzo employs 40 at its Philadelphia headquarters and in Europe, but has about seven openings, according to Gunter Pfau, who has resumed his position as CEO.

The separation from Dachis left Pfau and Mark Spangler, Stuzo’s vice president of operations, as Stuzo’s owners.

Get the full online article at:



Engaging the Social & Mobile Customer Through Stories

Q: What’s the most valuable asset for your brand on social platforms?

A: Consumer driven conversations reinforcing your brand.


Over the past few years, we have had the opportunity to shape hundreds of consumer engagement marketing programs together with our clients in this evolving space of social marketing. We’ve created some big wins and also learned together along the way. The services delivered started with strategy, page and community building, and the development of consumer-centric experiences, apps, and campaigns, which were all measured and iterated on. These are all things brands will need to continue to embrace; however, it’s time to evolve and recognize how all of these help drive one key thing – stories in the social ecosystem.

People rely on their friends to make decisions. You already know that and the numbers show it. A Like, Tweet, +1, Share, and Comment all generate a rich library of social distribution about your brand, known as earned media. Social experiences and apps that are designed around a brand’s products and services give consumers the opportunity to share these valuable stories with their friends and give the brand more control over the messaging and distribution of the earned media.

So how do social apps, websites, mobile and .com approaches evolve to take advantage of this opportunity? (more…)

Leadership Qualities Infographic

Well put by the Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness.

P&G Engagement @ Scale: Countless Little Interactions Enable Scale In Social

Behind every amazing athlete is an even more amazing mom. This is the clear message that is, and will continue to be, presented by Procter & Gamble during the course of this year’s London 2012 Olympic Games.

The problem faced by the largest global marketers in the social space is how to effectively leverage their global footprint, consisting of tens or hundreds of millions of consumers across markets and platforms, to successfully roll out an impactful and measurable campaign at scale. Smart marketers are addressing this problem head on by blending three separate disciplines – Social Program Design, Social Story and UX Architecture, and Social Technology Delivery – into one unified approach, by working with only with best-of-breed partners that can deliver end-to-end solutions at scale.

To get into the spirit of this year’s program, take two minutes and watch this amazing video, which touches on Procter & Gamble’s theme of calling the world to take the simple action of saying “Thank you, Mom.”

For those of you who watched the video – take a few moments to dry your eyes. You need those Puff’s tissues because of this emotional connection that is innate in most of us based on the role parents, specifically mothers, play in the development of us as human beings. The spirit of this video is what is being translated into Procter & Gamble’s social initiatives; to let individuals be the ones creating their stories of thanks for their mothers, and for mothers as a whole around the world.

One of the solutions for this year’s “Thank you, Mom” initiative involved providing each Procter & Gamble local market around the world the opportunity to engage their consumers in a lightweight manner through social channels. The ask on the consumer is easy – simply open your heart, provide a message thanking your mother and share this message across your network. It’s these opportunities for lightweight interactions that will create countless conversations in social to get the big marketing message across for Procter & Gamble this year. The “big idea” is now deeply rooted in sustained, simple interactions around stories. To deliver optimal results, social programs and experiences can no longer be designed without marketers having an intricate understanding of how to leverage social technologies and the art & science of storytelling through the Open Graph. The social experiences that deliver business results are those that are framed so that the interactions that happen within the experience result in lightweight stories that propagate widely and deeply throughout the social graph. Never before was this possible at such a massive scale, but Facebook, through its brilliant marriage of owned, earned, and paid media, now enables us to deliver engagement at scale in a measurable manner.

Stuzo | Dachis Group was there from day one, working hand-in-hand with Proctor & Gamble, Facebook and a variety of leading agency partners to bring the program to life. A set of managed services from codified UX guidance, to Open Graph Object and Story architecture, to the development of a scale-advantaged technology solution, with real-time optimizations and ongoing measurement dashboard build and analysis were provided by our dedicated team to deliver optimal business outcomes. The result was an experience that lived on Facebook, with data integrated on a social microsite, and connected with various YouTube channels. The experience enabled consumers to engage with the program across social channels so that they could include their very own ‘thank you’ to the important mothers in their lives. Consumers can create their ‘thank you’ using text, photo, video, or their computer’s webcam, and then post it simultaneously to mom’s Timeline and into a public gallery to be shared with the world.

Organic “thank you” stories flowing throughout the social graph, resulting in earned media turning to paid media and vice-versa, generating outsized amplification and business results for Procter & Gamble. Localized versions of the Thank You, Mom experience were deployed to dozens of individual markets’ Facebook pages, from the US to the UK, from Russia to India, to Japan and Latin America , and virtually everywhere in between – delivering a heartwarming scale-advantaged, global social activation for the largest global marketer during the worlds biggest sporting event. This is Engagement @ Scale.

This post was originally published for the Dachis Group Collaboratory.

54 Pearls of Marketing Wisdom = $1,000 To A Great Cause

HubSpot and Who’s Blogging What recently worked with 26 marketers in the field to discuss social media, mobile and upcoming trends in the marketing space. Through our contributions of time (and text) to this, Doctor’s Without Borders received a $1,000 donation from HubSpot. A very great cause and happy to have been a part of it. Download the PDF to check it out.