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?

The Drum Digital Summit

The Drum Digital Summit

On Friday, November 13th at 10am EST Scott Gillum, Founder & Chief Executive Office of Carbon Design spoke with a panel of industry experts at The Drum Digital Summit.  The panel fused real cases of success with personalization, helping the industry understand what is achievable today, while also taking a look at the risks and rewards of implementing personalization in digital advertising and online purchases.

The panel covered the importance of providing more meaningful engagement with potential customers along with best in class examples of:

· Personalization and relevancy in digital advertising today
· How direct-to-consumer companies personalize their product offerings
· Personalized Customer Experiences that DTC companies provide

The Drum Digital Summit was a five-day festival which kicked off on Monday 9 November and brought together key players from tech, brands and agencies.  The APAC publisher and programme curator, Charlotte McEleny, picked out 10 must-watch sessions.

The core theme that ran through every session was ‘speed’, which is reflective of one of the words that is being uttered most regularly in conversations with the editorial team, in every country.

The event can he downloaded here.

Can your agency grow effectively with a team of contractors?

Can your agency grow effectively with a team of contractors?

Scott appears on Jason Swenk’s Smart Agency Master Class Podcast, the #1 Digital Marketing Agency Owner podcast for sharing the strategies and stories from real agency owners of what is working today in the agency world, and how they got to where they are now.


In this episode with Jason, Scott will cover:


  • What is the “upside-down” approach to recruiting agency talent?
  • Can an agency be successful with a team full of contractors?
  • How you can keep your employees focused.
Listen to the podcast here:
Digital Marketing, New Challenges and Directions

Digital Marketing, New Challenges and Directions

by Scott Gillum
Estimated read time: 2 Minutes

Antonio Ramírez, CEO at Pixel506 and Scott Gillum, CEO & Founder of Carbon Design discuss what you need to know about Digital Marketing newest trends.  Topics discussed will be managing work and family life balance and how to keep employees engaged, productive and appreciated.

For more tips on marketing, business, and thinking differently delivered directly to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter at

The Authenticity Bomb

The Authenticity Bomb

By Jackson and Scott Gillum
Estimated read time: 5 minutes

Editor’s Note: A father and son project often results in something being built. A treehouse, a restored car or a piece of furniture. With very little mechanical skills but a knack for storytelling and a son who is an English major, our project resulted in a white paper on Personality Based Marketing to be published in the fall. The blog post below is an excerpt from that piece, Jackson researched and wrote it, I just helped to frame it, without any tools…of course.

John B Watson is a crucial character in the use of personality in advertising, used extensively today, yet for many his name is unknown. He lived during a time (1878-1958) that saw the rise and boom of both psychology and personality studies.

As a professor at Johns Hopkins he did extensive research in psychology until a scandalous affair with a student would cost him his job. After being forced to leave the university, he entered the world of marketing work as a door-to-door salesman for advertising agency J. Walter.

It didn’t take Watson long to start making observations about his customers. He concluded that rather than consumers being rational, they acted emotionally. Watson claimed: “tell him something that will tie him up with fear, something that will stir up a mild rage, that will call out an affectionate or love response, or strike at a deep psychological or habit need.” The Authenticity Bomb.

Using this, Watson would lead several advertising campaigns, utilizing strategies that are still in use today. During his advertising for Ponds Cold Cream and Pebeco toothpaste, he revolutionized the way that testimonials were used.

These testimonials were based on evoking the emotional response of desire for the customers. The ads featured seductive women, and were not directed to men but instead to women with the promise that they would become more desirable. The same approach used today in the advertising of skin and beauty products.

Attractive men and women drinking beers together sent a message greater than “this is a good beer” but instead “drink this beer and you can be like them.” Watson’s style of ads pitched a new reality attainable through the acquisition of their product.

There is now a new phenomenon in advertising. A new alliance few expected between social movements and corporations. Historically, adhering to social movements could be bad for business, and we have seen many examples of this.

Two recent examples are Budweiser’s “Born the Hard Way” Ad and Pepsi’s famous “Live for Now” ad. Both of these ads came out in 2017 and they were massive failures, each in their own way.

The story behind the Pepsi ad is more complex than that of the Budweiser ad, and the fact that Pepsi advertisers never foresaw any negative response is astonishing, yet you can tell their heads were naively in the right place.

They picked up on the popular movements at the time, specifically the #resistance movement aimed at the Trump administration and the foundations of the BLM movement. This can be seen everywhere in the ad, where the focal point is an enormous protest with young people marching, directly aimed at their millennial audience.

Then, the ad makes a massive turn for the worst, the idea that a Pepsi can bring everyone together. The moment that Kendall Jenner hands a police officer a pepsi is the moment that Pepsi created what could be considered one of the worst ads in history.

The message is patronizing, calling on both the absurdity of the message along with popular anti- Kardashian-Jenner sentiments that they are relatable people. This “bomb” exploded because Pepsi appeared to be disingenuously producing an ad that attempted to take advantage of social movements, but perhaps they were at the right place at the wrong time.

And that brings us to today, following the death of George Floyd and the monumental growth of BLM protests that have grown across the entire nation in 2020, companies are scrambling to produce as many ads as possible to address this audience.

The interesting phenomenon is, just like where Pepsi produced an ad using social movements as a marketing ploy without any relevance to their company, so are an extensive amount of corporations with seemingly no backlash…so far.

On July 13, 2020 Old Navy, released its “#WeAreWe” ad. It is colorful, upbeat, and poetic, praising the social movements of 2020. It is also accompanied by a new store manifesto committed to activism within their own company, and it has been successful.

Below the surface lurks the fact that their clothing is produced in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Philippines, Sri Lanka, etc., countries renowned for their cheap labor and lack of environmental protection laws.

While Gap, Old Navy’s parent company, has addressed its garment production in the past giving it some praise, it still has glaring issues when it comes to worker pay and empowerment. Good on You, a website dedicated to rating the ethical behavior of companies, scored Old Navy a “2 out of 5” when it came to labor, and a “3 out of 5” when it came to environmental friendliness.

What Old Navy, and companies like them are pursuing is potentially dangerous to the brand. In addressing one issue they are exposing themselves to others. And potentially, setting themselves up to be unable to fulfill their promise to consumers, making them seem hypocritical.

What companies must realize is that while they may have the best intention, in order to be authentic they must be able to live it.  Especially when the “trolls” come knocking. In the emotional and polarized environment we live in today, “covering the bases” is a tightrope that keeps shrinking.

Watson’s ads were successful because companies pitched you a new better version of yourself, one you can attain only through them. Now, companies pitch you a new version of them, one that they hope you accept at surface value but don’t look at too closely.

Build Your Personal Brand & Become a Trusted Advisor.  *Webcast Now Available On-Demand*

Build Your Personal Brand & Become a Trusted Advisor. *Webcast Now Available On-Demand*

by Scott Gillum
Estimated read time: 3 Minutes

Build Your Personal Brand & Become a Trusted Advisor.  Now that we’re online almost exclusively, every interaction with buyers is being scrutinized.  You ARE the company’s brand, now more than ever.  Learn how to navigate this high risk environment with our CEO Scott Gillum and xiQ, Inc. CEO Usman Sheikh.  Webcast now available on demand here.

Before people decide what they think of your message, they decide what they think of you.  The more personalized our communication, the more we show that we care. Whether it’s an email or a one-on-one presentation, marketers and sellers need to do their homework on understanding their prospects and their business needs to appeal to their emotions and build trust.

Personality-Driven Engagement (PDE) by xiQ equips B2B professionals with the insights to build highly personalized messages that build emotional connections with their clients. xiQ uses AI to understand what motivates people, what drives them, and how to influence their decisions.

B2B professionals will learn how to:

  • Build their own personal brand
  • Understand the personality type of their buyers
  • Individualize communication
  • Analyze content that resonates

Who should view this webcast?
CMOs, CROs, B2B Account Managers, ABM & Sales Leaders, Marketing and Sales Professionals MUST attend this webinar. This session is OPEN for All.

View the webcast here.

Build Your Personal Brand & Become a Trusted Advisor.