Meet The Woman Tasked With Saving Uber From Itself

We sat down with Uber’s chief human resources officer, Liane Hornsey, who emphasized her desire “to stamp out anything that is a remnant of the past.”

Over the last six months, Uber’s been rocked by a series of scandals that brought this soaring unicorn back down to earth. It all really started with Susan Fowler’s blog post on February 19, 2017, that detailed incredibly poor management practices and a human resources department that prized the success of the company over the needs of its employees even in the face of sexual harassment allegations. Since then, revelations of sexist and other inappropriate behavior at the top of the company have dominated headlines, including an outing to an escort bar in South Korea and an executive obtaining the medical records of a rider who was raped by her Uber driver in India.

Read Full Story

Building an Absolutely Fabulous Customer-Centric Business

The convergence of marketing, context and technology has redefined what it means to be a successful organization in the information age. To be successful, you have to be customer-centric. But what does that really mean?

It means building an organization that – from bottom up and top down – is customer obsessed. Companies aren’t successful because of a single person. Success is built through a collective people working towards a common goal. So your whole organization needs to be invested in the customer.

And saying you are customer centric and customer obsessed doesn’t cut it. It needs to be present throughout all processes and leading the charge for the way you craft your brand and marketing strategies. Strategies need to start and end with the user. UX and designs should constantly be validated against personas. The way experiences are built have the technology to empower users in their experience. Saying you are customer centric doesn’t cut it anymore.

So how does your organization actually become customer-centric?

First you have to build a foundation for customer-centricity by getting internal buy-in and creating/promoting that vision from within. From there, you have to know your users and use data to understand and anticipate user needs. Lastly, you need to have a digital experience platform (DXP) that powers the customer-centric experience and a feedback loop to continue to evaluate efforts and deliver on authenticity. As you go through the steps of becoming customer centric, you are empowering each touchpoint in your brand experience to know the user and deliver on their needs.

Want more? Don’t worry, we’ll give you more.

As absolutely fabulous agency/tech partners-in-crime, Genuine and Acquia are here to give you step-by-step guidance on becoming customer obsessed. We bring together the world of product and service, so we have a unique point of view on what it takes and we are honest about it. Because when it comes to strategy and customer experience, honest evaluation is key. And when you look in the mirror darling, we want you to look fabulous.

So stay tuned and stay engaged. Reach out. Ask questions. Expect honesty. And most importantly, stay fabulous!

The post Building an Absolutely Fabulous Customer-Centric Business appeared first on Genuine.

Talking AR, VR, Live Video, and Healthcare Communications with Robin Farmanfarmaian

Medical futurist, healthcare thought leader, and author of The Patient as CEO, Robin Farmanfarmaian talks implications of AR, VR, and live video on patient communications.
<p>In highly regulated industries, such as healthcare, there exists a communications struggle. Consumers, in this case, patients, are demanding authenticity, honesty, and transparency more than ever in marketing and messages received from their care providers. However, it is a thin line for brands to tread with so many privacy concerns at stake.
<p>Medical futurist, author of the best-selling book <a href=”” target=”_blank”>The Patient as CEO</a>, and professional speaker Robin Farmanfarmaian, argues that the way healthcare brands are seeming to sidestep these concerns, and keep up with the communication revolution, is by putting the patient behind the messaging wheel — meaning using patient influencers to tell aspirational stories — and bringing these stories to life using new immersive technologies such as augmented reality and live social streaming.
</p><figure data-type=”image”><a href=”/webhook-uploads/1492614312113/Robin-Farmanfarmaian.png”><img data-resize-src=”” src=”″></a></figure>
<p>“We’re not looking for brands to tell us what to expect of a treatment,” says Robin, “Instead we’re putting our trust in somebody who, let’s say was a Kaiser Permanente patient, and has gone through the same treatment you are about to. Now they have a fun and inspiring life, and they have tips for how to handle and get past what’s ahead. But they’re telling you how Kaiser thought through the little things to make it easier for them along the way. That’s effective healthcare marketing today. The trust is in our perception of our peers’ experiences.”
<p>Robin understands first-hand the power of the visual medium to build an aspirational brand. Having been misdiagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age, Robin wrongly suffered forty-three hospitalizations and six major surgeries, and to this day continues to battle with Crohn’s disease. And yet, through the power of visual storytelling Robin has been able to move beyond being a victim, and has cultivated her brand image as an unstoppable force of positive energy.
<p>“When I’m able to share my story visually, I’m not someone complaining about a disease, listing symptoms and struggles for sympathy. I’m not evoking negative emotions. Instead, I share a story of aspirations and inspirations, roadmaps to progress, and give people the hope and the power to do what I have done and continue to do. Seeing and hearing my energy and confidence despite the disease, makes all the difference in the perception of possibility.”
<p>It’s these types of stories that consumers in the social media driven economy crave. Highly personal, and highly real. And when brands can capture, then communicate these stories to their audiences by way of engaging and immersive technologies, that’s when people take notice.
<p>“Why would you follow a brand?” asks Robin. “Or a healthcare company specifically? You wouldn’t. Unless they make it all about interesting people and their lives. People want to follow people.”
<p>The key is to empower people to go live through the brand hub to share their transformational experiences, and that’s an effective influencer marketing model for healthcare brands. Smart companies are using patients as influencers in their communications.
<p>Beyond that, smart companies are also making the most of AR, VR, and live video. Robin has an interesting take on the intersections of these technologies.
<p>“In regards to the healthcare field, and medicine specifically, virtual reality is going to be bigger, because it’s so immersive and it has the potential to alter/remap the brain. The whole world is going to be AR. That’s going to be, and already is (<a href=”” target=”_blank”>Pokémon Go</a>, <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Snap’s Spectacles</a>) very consumer. But VR is going to be the transformational technology in healthcare. And live video, for now, is an exciting stepping stone.”
<p>We can look at the visual storytelling revolution thus far as a 4-step process. The first step is the real, unaltered world. Life and business live as it always has been. But then, step two, social media came along and provided the ability to craft a new reality in real-time.
<p>Whatever you wanted to show of your life, your brand, that’s what people would believe and buy into. You could alter you who were and how you were perceived through well-crafted stories and brand imaging on social platforms.
<p>Then, step three, <a href=”” target=”_blank”>live social video</a> hits the scene and starts breaking down those walls. LIVE, whether on Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, or YouTube, is a throw back to step one, bringing us back to what’s really going on behind the scenes of the well-crafted world we were previously shown. It’s refreshing, engaging, and exciting.
<p>Let’s think about the next step now. Step four is when AR/VR capabilities combine with that of live video. You can go live, but use AR to overlay a message and create a world you want your audience to see. Or go a step further and create a live, fully immersive virtual experience, as is proving possible using <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Facebook Spaces</a>. Mixing AR/VR on top of Live is where we’re betting brand messaging, and healthcare communications specifically, is going next.
<p>As exciting as the potential for these technological advancements may be, brands must not forget the core reason consumers, or patients, will tune in for. Robin reminds us,
<p>”The best way to use live video, AR/VR, or any social engagement campaign in general, is to give people something to hope for, aspire to, or be a part of. Inspire people to believe in themselves by believing in you.” – Robin Farmanfarmaian
<p>Catch Robin on <a href=””>episode 4 of the Catalyst podcast</a>, and be sure to grab a copy of her book, <a href=”” target=”_blank”>The Patient as CEO</a>, today.
</p><figure data-type=”image”><a href=”/webhook-uploads/1492614366067/patient-as-ceo.png”><img data-resize-src=”” src=”″></a></figure>

My generation is not oriented to tech’: How ad tech executives’ fathers describe their kids’ jobs.

Digiday — June 16, 2017

By Yuyu Chen


Peter Krivkovich Sr., father of Peter Krivkovich Jr., AdRoll chief operating officer and chief financial officer
When I initially tell all those not in the communication business what Peter does, I would say, “Once you go looking on the internet, they find you and they follow you. They know your interests, and they stalk you until you surrender.” After their “Oh, my God” I tell them that it is about highly sophisticated and constantly optimized software, as well as algorithmic software systems that help companies better understand and deliver messages to their clients and prospects that result in higher sales probability. If I draw blanks, I go back to the stalking explanation.

Read what other ad tech executives’ fathers said about their kids’ at Digiday

The post My generation is not oriented to tech’: How ad tech executives’ fathers describe their kids’ jobs. appeared first on Cramer krasselt.

Friday Reading #99

99 red balloons, floating in the summer sky, 99% invisible, we’ve got 99 problems but an intro idea ain’t one. We’re getting awful close to the big centenary….


Salience is something we bang on about a lot at Goodstuff, paring communications down to their simplest and most distinctive so they can be easily though of. It’s famed political strategist Sir Lynton Crosby’s favored approach, applied with effect in the 2010 election with David Cameron’s relentless focus on the economy. But S______ and S_______ L_______ quickly became a hated cliche, indicative of robotic politics, not empathy. Why is that? The Drum argue that the issue lies with the inflexibility of the message across channels, an analogue campaign for a digital world.

For us it highlights the importance of understanding the context of communications. When no one is looking for you (as with many brand comms), brutal simplicity is necessarily to cut through – but when everyone is watching, all the time, greater finnesse is required to keep them watching.


In typical Zuckerberg-fashion, big Mark wants to make customer service even more user friendly by teaching his 100,000 strong bot-empire the art of negotiation.

The purpose of the upgrade was to allow businesses to interact with users on a more complex level, allowing them to negotiate deals across a number of different services including taxis and shopping deliveries, by using bots.

However, as the bots were required to learn more than just basic language syntaxes and pre-determined algorithms, they were trained on natural language negotiations between two people -but unfortunately, went above and beyond what engineers thought was possible. They found instances where the model was feigning interest in a valueless issue, so that they could later ‘compromise’ by conceding it. A fascinating example of the unexpected consequences of AI, and an example of its growing sophistication

Maybe next time we’ll think twice before asking bots if our bum looks big in this though…


Yep, it’s real. Honestly. Some bright spark working at Colgate in the 1980′s tried to get on board with the frozen ready meal trend by suggesting you might want to eat a branded dinner before brushing your teeth with Colgate. Funnily enough, it didn’t take off. It’s just one example from The Museum of Failure in Helsingborg, Sweden – a new institution dedicated to showcasing boundary pushing innovation disasters, from coffee Coke to female pens. Helping us to learn from the mistakes of the past, and raise a wry smile along the way.


Since the 1860s, the price tag has been the sole way that
retailers indicate price and flog their ways to the average punter like you and
me. In the online space, the idea of a stable price tag has largely gone out of
fashion – brands like Amazon, Secret Escapes and others allow customers to plug
into a marketplace reflecting the dynamic supply and demand, and changes the
prices to reflect this. Great stuff for online, but bricks
and mortar retailers are now moving into
this space to deliver flexible
pricing, and attracting the highest value customer at the lowest price point

You might recognise the women in the bath from a previous edition of Friday Reading – it’s Louise Delage, the fictional Parisian influencer created to raise awareness of everyday alcoholism. It’s just one 25 campaigns Adweek have pulled together as their tips for Cannes glory, the full list is a feast of inspiring ideas and brilliant case studies. Making the cut from past Friday Reading entries are Nike’s ghost running, and the little girl facing down the Wall St bull.