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An industry ahead of the rest

13 Mar

Contextually rich communications. Advanced technological applications. Early adoption of emerging technologies. Augmented reality.

Does any particular industry come to mind? How about the Health Care industry?

Augmented reality (AR) has applications in the diagnosis as well as the treatment of disease, and has assisted in the professional medical community for over 10 years.

AR’s interactive imaging helps doctors accurately visualize their patient’s insides – and I mean their patient’s actual insides. Various scans can be combined with each other and then be projected onto their patient to allow doctors and surgeons a completely non-invasive look inside.

AR is also applied to medical communications and education. Genzyme, a biotech company used AR to demonstrate the risks of taking calcium-based binders. Schools are now also using AR to help students visualize the systems of the body, and understand their functions.

I could talk about the exciting marking, branding, and advertising opportunities in medical communications, because you’re right, there are many. But the opportunity that excites me the most is the chance to make the lives of patients and caretakers a lot less stressful, and maybe a little more fun.

AR on the patient level could provide additional support on administering drugs or treatments and injury rehabilitation. As patients we are often bombarded with more info than we’re capable of retaining (I know I struggle to remember even a quarter of it just a little while later). AR markers added to medical product packaging, informational brochures, and patient starter kits would provide instant follow-up demonstrations, instructions, and support for patients and caretakers.

The organization that can also infuse some entertainment (read: fun) into the experience, as well as some subtle-but-effective branding wins all the prizes.

Are there other ways we can create shared-value with customers using AR? Where are the opportunities for businesses and organizations in Victoria?

(photo courtesy of Medical Augmented Reality)

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The Copeland Collective launches in Victoria

12 Mar
The Copeland Collective from Victoria BC

(L>R front) Asmaa Methqal, Kristin Grant (back) Jodie Carlisle, Doug Brown, Derek Ford, Michael Tension, Bryan Dwyer, Dave Wallace, Kris Hageland, Andrea Merson, Danny Prew, Matt Andres, Brandon Wells

When advertising people look at potential solutions to marketing challenges, we do so through the lenses of our trade: corporate strategic planning, research and data analysis, branding, marketing strategies, ads, promotions, contests, social media…you get the idea.

But bring an interior designer or a videographer or a multi-media artist into the brainstorming fray and you see the opportunities through remarkably different eyes.

That’s the idea behind The Copeland Collective, a brand new creative community of some of the most talented artists and professionals the city of Victoria has to offer.

Logo for The Copeland Collective in Victoria, BC

The Copeland Collective is a creative problem-solving machine, designed to revolutionize the way we look at how brands and customers interact, and move away from traditional advertising solves.

In addition to Copeland staff, the Collective includes:

But this is more than just a powerhouse group of creative minds: these are connectors and entrepreneurs with their own communities, and they’re wired into the city,  into culture and into the vibe on the street.

With these amazing talents taking our analytical and creative skills to a new level, we think we can do anything the other major Canadian urban centres can – and do it better.

We’ve got projects already in the works and you’ll be hearing a lot more about The Copeland Collective and the players within it as we roll ahead. Stay tuned!

(Photo by Derek Ford, logo by Michael Tension)

5 – er, make that 4 – essential ways to increase your blog’s popularity

25 Oct

Zombie hand with four fingers

There are about a billion posts out there giving blogging tips, so why bother reading this one?

The zombie hand of course. Beyond that, we’ve written nearly 700 posts in 3 years and have seen our blog not only bring us major new business, but been nominated for a West Coast Social Media Award and been runner-up in the US-based Fuel Lines Blog of the Year poll.

That’s our credentials anyway. Now onto your blog and how to boost readership. Here are 4 keys to building on your own successes.

1. Focus on your audience. Once you’ve defined to whom you are writing and have that fixed as a mental image in your mind, it’s simply of matter of speaking to them through your content and language. For example, when writing a post for potential new businesses, never make the assumption that they have the same level of experience in the bowels of your industry. Don’t just write about what’s important to you; write about what matters to them. “You” is still the most powerful word in sales.

2. Write about the stuff you’re crazy about. If you’re into wombats or zombies, find a relevant way to introduce this area of interest into your content. You personalize your posts when you do this, bringing your personality to the writing, which distinguishes your blog.

More importantly, you engage yourself, which becomes more important the more of the damn things you write! I might suggest to someone at Copeland that they write about the value of brainstorming, but I shouldn’t expect too many woohoos in response. But if I suggest they write about the value of brainstorming to survive a zombie apocalypse, different story.

3. Communicate the complex simply. Everything seems complicated at the moment. Technology that seems straightforward to you may baffle your readers. You need to distill the complexity, not just in terms of the language you use, but in the visual look of your post. If you can achieve that, you will have communicated that you are straightforward and easy to deal with as well.

This is where editing is key. Write your post. Let it sit for a few hours. Then revisit it with the intention of shortening it by 25%. Reduce the length of the longer paragraphs and eliminate the waffle. You get to the nub much faster this way, which respects your readers’ appetite for simplicity and recognizes that there are many other things they could be doing at that moment.

4. Make the posts looks tasty. Readers often decide in a glance whether they want to get stuck into your post or not. So make it visually appetizing. I advocate the use of exceptional photos or illustrations to give it some pop. A visual also can set a tone or create a personality for the post out of the gate.

Short paragraphs give people a chance to visually breathe during the read, especially important when they are skimming over a longer post. It’s as if they are crossing a pond on stones, and each stone (or paragraph break) is a place to regroup. You don’t want to have the stones too far apart.

There are certainly many more tips than these, but I’m out of fingers.

A simple way to more creative brainstorms

9 Aug

Try whacking this statement up on your whiteboard before your next internal brainstorm:

Whiteboard with "What if we did something completely unexpected?"

Is there any other possible mantra you could take into a creative problem solving session that would yield more groundbreaking solutions?

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