Brand Transformation

Brand Transformation

With all of the changes and impact resulting from the pandemic, companies are repositioning their brand, offerings and services in the marketplace. Scott interviews Leslie Tullio, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at McDermott Will & Emery on these current challenges and discusses how to build authenticity into branding once again.



To hear Scott’s entire conversation with Leslie Tullio, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at McDermott Will & Emery about “Brand Transformation”, listen or download here:

Carbon Quadrants: The What and Why of Personality Based Marketing

Carbon Quadrants: The What and Why of Personality Based Marketing

by Scott Gillum
Estimated read time: 5 Minutes

If you are a business marketer and your organization has more than 4 personas, keep reading. Making things even worse, the personas you have are most likely sales personas or, more accurately, “selling scenarios.” I’ll explain.

Most B2B personas are built around a title or role and are constructed to identify the needs of the buyer in their role, which is helpful. They may align solutions with those needs, suggest the content that aligns with the buyer journey, and perhaps even identify the preferred sources of information they use.

All good things to have except that there is no “person” in the persona, which is what marketing needs in order to do its job right.

That job is to create awareness and drive interest in the brand, products and services of the organization. It’s not to sell. And this is where we run into problems. Most personas are built using the titles of buyers (budget holder, decision maker, user, etc) which may, or may not, be present at the beginning of the journey.

Marketing’s success is about finding audiences who are seeking information and getting them to do something with it. Share it, demand more of it, request to speak to someone about it. It may be too soon to know if that “someone” is a buyer, but what we do know is that it is a type of person. Two types actually, and it’s their personality type that determines it, and not their title or role.

Until recently, it was very difficult to understand the difference. In the past, we’ve collected engagement and/or intent information about buyers and guessed about their motivations and behaviors. With AI enabled personality profiling tools, we now have the chance to better understand our specific audiences, and when I mean specific, I mean down to the individual.

Personality based marketing (PBM) can help us understand how to write copy to attract these personality types. It can help us understand their content preferences for lead nurturing, and it can improve the overall performance of campaigns because we know which personality types will not engage or respond.

Why does that matter? Because according to Gartner, personally relevant content drives engagement, and that relevancy isn’t just about your job or role, it’s about you.

It’s about your personal preference for consuming content. Some people like “big picture,” quick to consume visualized assets such as animated videos. Others prefer long form white papers with details on how to use or implement a product. The difference is how those personality types intend to use the material and that speaks to their motivations.

For the big picture folks, the motivation is that they like to share new ideas with others. It makes them feel good about themselves. Others need information for their own purposes. To help understand how to improve the performance of their team, their platform, or their advertising efforts.

It’s why we created Carbon Quadrants. Our proprietary process for determining which personalities are most likely to match the behavior we need to improve response rates, consume or share content, and most importantly, play a critical role in the buying group.

Through our analysis we can also determine which audience segments are most likely to respond or not. Engage in the early stage of the buying process or skip it altogether. Through the use of AI tools we can know how to address audiences on a deeper, more meaningful level and as a result, improve the performance of marketing.

If you’re interested in improving the performance of your organization contact us to learn how Personality Based Marketing can help.

How The Pandemic Revealed the Way We Really Want to Work

How The Pandemic Revealed the Way We Really Want to Work

As previously published on 1/22/21 in Mediapost 

by Scott Gillum
Estimated read time: 5 Minutes

With the rollout of the Covid vaccine, companies are predicting that employees will begin returning to offices in mass during late spring or early summer; but will they? 

Due to office modifications required for greater distance between desks, along with other adaptations for protection, workers expect that their office schedule will alternate to allow for capacity constraints. The expectation is that they will be in the office every other day, with many hoping for 3 days at home and 2 days in the office, according to a recent survey in the Wall Street Journal. 

This schedule may appeal to convenient wisdom but it seems to ignore what we learned about how employees really want to work. 

Covid flipped the script on the work environment. Once, remote working was the exception and it has now become the rule, with the added challenge for many of online schooling for children. Houses were, and continue to be packed with family and for many, chaos rules the day. 

At the end of 2020, we set out to figure out how Covid had impacted the lives of our talent network, in particular, how they are balancing work with the new demands of being remote, especially, those who are working parents.

Our Workday Study, completed in December, provided unique insights into how people got work done in “new normal.” Our model uses independent talent (contractors, freelancers, etc.), which gives our talent the autonomy to make their own hours.  

As a result, they could openly share how they work, in a large part because they don’t have to worry about “business norms” regarding a “standard” work week or meeting a manager’s expectations on productivity. 

Survey participants were asked to record their time using a color coded system. Green indicated time dedicated to their personal time, red to their professional, and yellow a blending of the two. All time was captured in a shared document enabling us to view how their days compared with others.  

The first finding was that there is no such thing as a typical workday. No two people worked identical days. The second insight was that our days are long (17.5 hrs), with 6.4 hours dedicated to work, 6 hours to “life” and the remaining 5 hours to blending the two. 

What may be most interesting is what we termed the “Power Hours.” The time blocks that fully focus on work. Two segments of the day were consistent across the group —  9:30 am to 12 pm and 1pm to 3:30 pm. What was interesting is how it varied by working parent based on the age of their children. 

Parents with children under 10 started their work days later in the morning. Parents of children over 10, tended to wrap up their days earlier. Drilling down, we found parents of elementary school children needed time to get them ready for the day (off to daycare, set up for online classes, etc.). Parents with older children were often transporting their children to lessons (music, dance, etc) or practices (soccer, lacrosse, etc.).  

This insight presents an opportunity to create different “office hours.” Instead of alternating days, organizations could alternate “power hour” shifts during the day.  This could provide efficiency benefits of allowing workers to shorten commute times by avoiding rush hour, with the additional benefit of a schedule that meets the personal needs as parents. 

By offering mornings shifts for parents of older children, and afternoons for parents of young children can not only control for capacity issues. but also, provide better work-life balance for employees.

If we’ve learned anything from the last year it’s that we need to be adaptable. Flexibility, adaptability and perseverance were, and are, critical to getting through this difficult time. The pandemic gave us a glimpse into work from a different perspective. We gained insight into how people balance life and work, instead of the other way around. 

We’ve also learned that a person’s work schedule is as unique as they are. It’s now time to use these insights to advance how we think about productivity, the environment that enables it and how it aligns to the needs of the employee. This is an opportunity to evolve the workplace, and our traditional view of a workday, and workweek. 

The Future Of Selling

The Future Of Selling

Face to face meetings are dead, at least for the foreseeable future. Companies have invested in sales enablement platforms without seeing a measurable improvement in productivity. Email response rates are at a record low, and webinar performance is declining. Scott interviews Dr. Howard Dover, Director of Professional Sales and Sales Coach, University of Texas at Dallas on these challenges and how they are impacting how we sell now and in the future .



To hear Scott’s entire conversation with Dr. Howard Dover, Director, Center of Professional Sales, and professional sales coach to discuss the Future Of Selling”, listen or download here:

The 2020 Work Day Study: What a Work Day Looks Like Now

The 2020 Work Day Study: What a Work Day Looks Like Now

What would your work day look like if you could pick how you spent your time?

When we founded Carbon Design three years ago we did it with the idea that work had changed…but companies hadn’t. People wanted to, and in some cases, had to, work differently. The M-F, 9 am to 5 pm workweek was an antiquated industrial revolution legacy. 

With the impact of Covid, the idea of a “work day” has changed even more dramatically. So that’s why we survey our talent to better understand what a real work day really looks like now. 

The cool part of this survey – Carbon is probably only one of few organizations that could actually figure out what a real work day looks like because of our business model. 

Our talent “own” their time, we don’t. Because they’re not a FTE, they have the autonomy to make their own hours, focus their energy on work or life when and how they choose. 

For the survey, we randomly choose a group of people to fill in how they spend their time. The diverse group included an almost even mix of women, men and age groups. 

Starting at 5:00 am the group used different colors to fill in 30 minute increments to define their focus at that time, extending to midnight. Three colors were used to create a “heat map.” Red showing time dedicated to work, yellow indicates a blending of life and work activities and green represents personal time. 

The results of the survey yielded insights into how to bring employees back into the office, how work days differ for parents based on children’s ages, and how to managing people in this challenging time.

Download the study now!

What would your work day look like if you could pick how you spent your time?