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Choosing Wisely

Everyone is a decision maker at some point. Decisions come in many shapes and sizes, but how do we make them effectively? The best decisions are made with a plan in mind, so here are some tips on how to make an effective decision-making plan.

Making the decision alone? Set a deadline and stick to it. This ensures you don’t overthink the choice you are making, causing “paralysis by analysis.” Look for all options and solutions and think about their potential consequences. Whether you make a list or choose an option lottery style, you can make decision-making fun. Getting perspective from friends or family is a great way to approach a decision.

Making a group decision? Make sure to get other perspectives – this can reduce bias. However, avoid getting input from too many people. You can start to diminish your decision-making power, the more people you add to the mix. Make a checklist. You want to keep your goals and priorities in mind while also looking past those goals, asking, “How will this affect us in a year?” Finally, follow up after the decision has been made to see if there are tweaks to make, and get feedback from your group.

Trying to simplify the decision-making process is essential to making sure you focus on the actual decision and how it will affect you, be it big or small. Decisions need to be made all the time. Why not make them painless? Want to know more? Download the full report.

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Romance in the Digital Age


Since Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan first IM’ed each other in You’ve Got Mail in 1998 – largely normalizing online dating in popular culture – claims that we’ve entered a “dating apocalypse” have arisen time and again. Whether or not that’s true, dating has undeniably changed in the digital age.

Dating-focused tools have largely shaped the modern romance landscape.

Beginning with Match.com’s launch in 1995, a plethora of online dating sites and apps have become available to singles looking to find love. Rather than waiting for a chance encounter that leads to finding the one, modern singles can seek out partners on popular apps like Tinder and Bumble.

In terms of meeting like-minded people, these new tools are definitely convenient. However, they also have downsides. For example, curating an online dating profile and vetting possible partners often results in the online dating burnout phenomenon. In addition, the rise in assortative matching through online dating has led to more marriages between financial “equals,” but there is also a resulting paradoxical effect of increased wealth-inequality gaps across households.

New communication tools have changed romance, too.

Of course, online dating and dating apps aren’t the only things that have changed our concepts of and behaviors related to dating, romance and love. How we communicate overall has drastically changed in the last 20 years, and tools like texting, video calling and social media have also had an impact, in both positive and negative ways.

One of the positives of digital tools is how video calling can make couples in long-distance relationships feel more connected. For example, in 2015, a public radio station in California showcased Jorge and his wife, Magda, who must live separately in the U.S. and Mexico for 10 years because of U.S. immigration law. However, FaceTime helps them close the gap. Magda often strolls around the streets of her small hometown FaceTiming Jorge on her iPad and introducing him to passersby. When the Wi-Fi is working, she even “brings” Jorge to church with her.

Brands are figuring out how to use modern romance to drive loyalty.

Brands have learned that these new digital tools have both advantages and disadvantages in human relationships and are using that information in marketing. Some brands, like Apple, tend to focus on how their technology brings people together. Others, like Dentyne and Durex, have encouraged disconnecting, tapping into people’s desire to turn off their screens and have in-person interactions. Finally, some brands are actually leveraging these new digital platforms themselves to market to customers. For example, on Valentine’s Day in 2015, Domino’s allowed Tinder users to “swipe right” and engage in a pun-filled conversation for a chance to win a free pizza, resulting in 700 Tinder matches and a potential social reach of more than 200,000.

As new digital tools continue to alter human behavior, relationships and how we think about dating, romance and love will also continue to change. To learn more about the effect digital tools are having on modern romance, download the full report.

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It’s All Inter-Connected: How the Internet of Things is Changing the World

If you’ve heard the term “Internet of Things” (IoT), it might have been related to controlling your home’s heat while you’re away or dimming your bedroom lights with a smartphone. IoT refers to inter-connectivity between the internet and everyday devices, so these are certainly two examples. Yet with $772.5 billion projected to be spent worldwide on the IoT in 2018 and 31 billion devices projected to be connected in 2020, they’re just the beginning. And this hugely growing trend has the potential to drastically impact consumers and businesses.

The IoT’s Impact on Consumers

New developments in IoT technology promise to add convenience, efficiency, and automation to many aspects of consumers’ lives including what we wear, how we interact with our homes, how we shop, how we work, how we get from place to place, and how we experience travel. What if your shirt could adjust to your body heat? What if grocery stores could completely eliminate checkout lines? What if your hotel room could lead you through a morning yoga routine on a full-length mirror? These are just some of the questions leading-edge companies are asking and, using the IoT, developers are bringing solutions to fruition.

 The IoT’s Impact on Business

The IoT is also having a drastic impact on businesses in every major industry by providing constant access to a huge amount of data and allowing for even greater automation of tasks. In the healthcare realm, for example, the rise of wearables and remote monitoring is starting to help patients become more involved in managing their health and is allowing for more collaborative doctor-patient relationships. In financial services, the wealth of data from IoT-connected sensors and devices has the potential to disrupt everything from retail banking and to digital payments to consumer lending, investments, and wealth management—not to mention the revolutionary potential of the intersection of blockchain and IoT.

Thought Starters

The Internet of Things is seeping more and more into human life every day, impacting how we experience life at home, work, and everywhere in between. How can you harness the IoT in your daily life to benefit from its key advantages: convenience, efficiency, and automation? And how can your industry and your company leverage what the IoT offers to businesses: a constant stream of data and automation of tasks?

Learn more about how the IoT is impacting consumers, healthcare, and the financial industry by downloading the full report.

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Engaging the B2B prospect at the top of the funnel.

In conversations with our clients, we hear a lot of similar pain points about marketing to B2B audiences. “Our target is extremely busy.” “Decision makers are hard to reach.” Attention lies at the heart of the challenge. How can you capture the eyes and ears of B2B buyers? Think about it as a one-two punch. First, take cues from existing buyer behavior. Second, embrace the fact that bold, breakthrough creative may be required to drive awareness and consideration.

Meet buyers where they are.
How do buyers want to interact? In person? Online?

For search and discovery, buyers prefer to interact online. According to Demand Gen’s 2017 Buyer’s Survey Report1, 61% of B2B buyers initiate their research with a broad web search. Boston Consulting Group (BCG)2 research adds that “[m]ore than one-third of all customers expect the supplier’s website to be the most helpful channel.”

Only after a prospect has completed the original search and discovery phase do personalized interactions become relevant; at this point, the prospect is further down the funnel and into the phase of serious consideration. According to BCG2, more than 75% of all B2B buyers say they have only limited interaction with salespeople. However, it is imperative that the sales team is able to prove their worth, as 64% of B2B buyers said the sales team’s knowledge and insights were very important when choosing a solution provider, according to Demand Gen’s 2018 Buyer’s Survey Report.3

So, invest time in your digital experience to ensure it’s a great resource for users at the top of the funnel. The content and design should clearly and simply communicate what your company offers and why it’s better than the competition. MailChimp, for example, does an excellent job of sharing their capabilities in a simple and straightforward manner.   

A little creativity goes a long way.

Once you’ve developed informative digital content, aim to engage buyers in new and creative ways to break through the clutter. Creativity can be inserted throughout your strategy, whether it be through using a tactic that’s new to the industry, catching attention through creative design elements or creating unique experiences.

For example, Rayner, a British intraocular lens manufacturing company, launched a new device called RayOne in 2016. Along with the product came an eye-opening (pun intended) B2B campaign. The campaign, titled “Not everyone can do this,” featured a contortionist, whose bendy body brought the product to life. The contortionist was featured at one of the company’s key events and drew in hundreds of surgeons. In fact, so many requested product demos that CEO Tim Clover had to step in and assist as the interested surgeons far outweighed the Rayner staff4,5. 

In an era when information is on overload and prospects have the world at their fingertips, it is important for marketers to make an impact during the search and discover phase. Engage in a way that your prospect will appreciate, make the smart tactical moves to capture their attention, and then wow ’em with your creative thinking. From there, it’s time to pass the reins to your sales team and allow them to seal the deal!

1. Demand Gen. 2017 B2B Buyer’s Survey Report. Available at:
 Accessed July 15, 2018.

2. BCG. How Digital Leaders Are Transforming B2B Marketing. Available at:
 Accessed July 19, 2018.

3. Demand Gen. 2018 B2B Buyer’s Survey Report. Available at:
 Accessed July 3, 2018.

4. Rayner. The Global Launch of RayOne®: Over 320 Surgeons Participate in Product Demonstrations. Available at:
https://www.rayner.com/en/news/global-launch-rayone.html Accessed June 5, 2018.

5. Create Health. Positioning A Product Very Differently So That All Eyes Were On It At Launch. Available at:
https://createhealth.com/works/rayner-rayone/ Accessed June 29, 2018.

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Feeling Stuck?

You’ve probably heard the term “writer’s block.” Well, we can assure you that that feeling of getting stuck isn’t limited to those of us tossing around nouns and verbs all day. From our researchers and strategists to our accounting team and designers, we’ve all found ourselves staring at a blank sheet of paper or flashing cursor. So what’s the solution?

Inspired by our new Insight on Rapid Prototyping, we asked our fellow Fusion Hill-ers what they do to get unstuck. Here’s some of what we heard:

Change locations – By far our most popular solution, going to a coffee shop, outside, home or even another part of the building for five minutes, gives us the reset we need. Emily Sauer – a director of creative and strategy – notes, “The newness of my surroundings helps ‘restart’ the way I was thinking about the problem I was trying to solve.”

Pick up some inspiration – Reading a favorite magazine, scrolling through Pinterest or walking around a museum – an idea from senior designer Sara Rubinett – can provide just the inspiration we need. Designer Erin Stahel refers to this as “switching out of creating mode and going into ‘soaking’ mode.” Sarah Nelson, a strategy intern, shared the idea of an inspiration walk.

Make a list – Adding more things to your to-do list might seem like the last thing you want when you’re feeling stuck, but Danielle Bender – a senior research strategist – finds it’s exactly what her brain needs. “I start a list of the other stuff I need to do and try to get a few of those things done and actually feel productive. Then I can come back feeling fresh and accomplished and maybe even have some ideas from my time away.”

Make some noise – Listening to music, a podcast or the Headspace meditation app are all great ways our team resets. Jessica Helvey – a director of creative and strategy – says, “I listen to my favorite ‘magic’ song that fixes everything and makes me super creative!” Just what is that favorite song? We’re curious too.

In our quest for ways to get unstuck, we heard praise for funny memes, hot showers and even roller-coaster rides at the Mall of America. But one thing was clear: While it can be tough to take a break when we’re facing a deadline, stepping away for a bit makes us a whole lot more productive and creative in the long run.

What are your favorite ways to reboot?
We’d love to continue the conversation. Visit our Insight Library to download the full report.

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