This year, we’re lucky enough to be celebrating Nebo’s 10th anniversary. Adam and I are incredibly proud, but we’re not the ones you should be congratulating.
Let me explain.
Nebo was established in 2004 as a reaction against what we saw as the marketing industry’s deepest flaws. We started by taking a human-centered approach to marketing as well as treating clients, employees, and vendors the way we’d want to be treated. Culture would be our competitive advantage. We’d prioritize long-term strategy over short-term wins.
We didn’t know if we could make it. We definitely didn’t know if our approach would resonate. But we thought we were young enough to recover if we didn’t.
Flash forward 10 years and we’ve achieved more than we ever thought we could.
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The Jewel Wasp is perhaps the craziest parasite in nature, and it has a pretty interesting method of getting other bugs to do what it wants.
It actually enslaves cockroaches by stinging their brains and injecting a mind-controlling venom. According to Wired, “The wasp then leads the zombified roach by its antenna to a chamber, where it lays a single egg on its perfectly relaxed host and seals it inside with pebbles. Here, the larva bores into the cockroach and feeds off its organs before killing it and emerging from its corpse into the light of day.”
Unfortunately for designers and marketers, we possess no such venom. Even if we did, using it to get our users to take a desired action would be highly unethical. Not to mention highly illegal.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t have tools at our disposal to influence behavior. We do. And the first one is gaining a comprehensive understanding of why people do what they do.
It’s no secret that, like many moms who work outside the home, there are times when my roles blur. How often have we made a quick call to the pediatrician’s office in between meetings? Or answered a work email while feeding dinner to our children? Living in a digital world has given us tremendous flexibility to multi-task and to be plugged in more often then ever.
But what has surprised me as I’ve learned to juggle these two demanding roles – digital marketing project manager and mom – is how many correlations exist between them. I’ve started to realize that it takes a specific set of core skills to be great at both.
Being a mother has been the most rewarding and difficult job I’ve ever had. Before my son was born, I felt so many emotions. Nearly six years later, I’m enjoying this wild ride, with so much still to learn.
So, in honor of this coming Mother’s Day, here are a few things I’ve learned about project management from building a relationship with my absolute neediest client… my five year old.
As you can imagine, we do quite a bit of brand work. Frankly, it’s one of our favorite things to do. Working with new product launches or start-ups is particularly exciting. The entire world is at our fingertips. We can craft the perfect story and message to encapsulate the heart and purpose of the organization.
Even when established brands need help taking their brands in a new direction, the work is exhilarating. I don’t think there is anything more challenging or more rewarding than boiling down a company’s tools, technologies, people, and culture into a succinct, powerful story that helps them connect with customers.
Great companies have personality. They have history and stories to tell. They have unique products and services. They aspire to solve problems and serve their various market segments.
However, one thing that often gets overlooked when companies build their brand is trust.