“Digital Love?” Published In The Hub Magazine

I recently co-authored an article taking closer look at digital adoption during the grocery shopping trip based on a study we fielded. Digital is a hot topic in shopper marketing, and we wanted to see if shoppers were actively utilizing these emerging tactics. We found that they aren’t as quick to adopt technology as we are.

Check out the full article here: Digital Love? Are Shoppers As Enamored With Technology As We Are?


Thanks again for stopping by site. As you can see, I’ve had a very unique career. I feel this is a professional strength, as it gives me a diverse set of experiences to pull from for the ideas I generate, the sessions I facilitate, and concepts and copy I write for Integrated Marketing Services.

I graduated from Seton Hall University in May of 2004 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management.  I chose Seton Hall because they offered this specific degree as a business degree.  It focused on running a sports franchise like a business and geared business classes towards the sports world, such as Sports Marketing, Sport Management, Sports Finance, etc.  This degree let me pursue a passion of mine – sports – while providing me with a solid business foundation.

During my time at Seton Hall, I had 3 professional internships – 2 with the Reading Phillies (AA Phillies Affiliate) and 1 with the Indianapolis Indians (at the time an AAA Affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.)  These taught me the ropes of working in sports, and it was great to see everything I learned about in school in action.  I also was afforded some rare opportunities at these internships – hosting a contest on the field, dressing up on theme nights, being a contestant in contests, even dressing up like a cheerleader and performing.  I think what I miss most is the sense of comradery there was among the staff.  We were as much a team as the one that was on the field.

While job-searching after my internship with the Indians, I decided that commission-based sales wasn’t for me.  Most entry-level positions in the sporting industry were heavily commission-based, so it made finding a job in sports that wasn’t sales very difficult.  Because of this, I had to expand my job search to fields outside of sports.

Pursuing my interest in the marketing field led me to The Mega Group, a marketing communications agency specializing in traditional marketing, internal brand communications, and online promotional item stores.  I came on aboard there as an Account Coordinator to help with the various in-house accounts.  It was there I was professionally introduced to copywriting and design.  I encountered them in college, when I realized I really enjoyed them both and considered them for career paths.  I tried to take on as much copywriting and design work as I could from our clients and even currently do a bit of freelancing on the side.

From there, I came to Innovation Focus, a new product development and market research consultancy where I am currently employed.  I feel like I received a reeducation when I started here.  I had only touched on the periphery of new product development before, and it took me a solid 2 months before I could even speak the language of the business.  I’ve enjoyed learning and practicing this new knowledge as well as market research.

At Innovation Focus I had the good fortune to learn more about subjects I really enjoy, namely creativity and creative problem solving.  I knew I wanted creativity to be involved in my career for some time now.  I found out I really enjoyed creative problem solving after I was trained in the Focused Innovation Technique.  After I attended the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI), I knew I wanted my career path at Innovation Focus to be in creative problem solving and creativity.

I found an opportunity to merge my formal ideation training and my love of creativity with my copywriting experience at Integrated Marketing Services, where I currently serve as a Concept Writer/Brainstorm Facilitator/Copywriter. My role is to facilitate brainstorming sessions for beginning themes and ideas, and then help knit those ideas into full shopper marketing program concepts program concepts which execute at a specific retailer.  The concepts contain multiple recruitment (out-of-store) and engagement (in-store) elements, which all reflect the theme of the program.

So far – I love it!  I feel extremely blessed to find a position that allows me to combine my love for creative problem solving/ideation with my love of copywriting.  I enjoy creating a unique engagement for shoppers at each retailer.  I’m still figuring out the emerging field of shopper marketing.  Although it’s a bit restrictive as far as what you can and can’t do, I’m up to the challenge.  I hope to continue to do work in the conceptual and copy areas for years to come.

Again, thank you for taking the time to learn more about me, my thoughts and my career – I appreciate it. Feel free to get in touch with me at any time through: andrew@andrewzenyuch.com.

7 Simple Ways To Spark Your Creative Fire – References

Previously, I wrote about a breakout session I attended at the annual American Creativity Association (ACA) conference I called 7 Simple Ways To Spark Your Creative Fire. It was a really great session – lots of fun, and it gave you very simple tips that worked.

Amantha, who ran the session, was nice enough to send me the references to her presentation.  I’ll break them down tip by tip below along with the quoted text.

  1. Warm Up Your Mind
  2. Warm Colorshttp://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a783612537~db=all
    “Two studies investigated the role of specific interior design elements on creativity. In Study 1, a photographic structured Q sort was used to determine where participants would feel most creative and least creative. Content analysis of the photographs by independent raters scaled each setting according to size, shape, light, internal organization of objects, and characteristics of bounding surfaces. Analyses identified 5 environmental characteristics that independently predicted greater perceived creativity: (a) complexity of visual detail, (b) view of natural environment, (c) use of natural materials, (d) with fewer cool colors used, and (e) less use of manufactured or composite surface materials. In Study 2, tests of actual creative performance were administered in 2 different settings. One setting had been rated relatively high in creativity potential, and the other setting was rated relatively low in creativity potential by the original participants in Study 1. Creative performance of an independent sample was greater in the setting that had been rated higher in creativity potential by participants in Study 1.”
  3. Expose Yourself To A Wide Amount of Information – http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a790768197~db=all~order=page
    “This study examined how affective states and exposure to diverse information influence figural divergent thinking using a pretest-posttest design. A total of 148 participants were divided into 4 conditions: positive affect, negative affect, information, and control. In the positive and negative affect conditions, participants respectively listened to the elation and depression statements of the Velten procedure. In the information condition, participants listened to the neutral statements of the Velten procedure. In the control condition, participants listened to word-processing instructions. Divergent thinking was measured using the figural form of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT), and affect was measured using a mood questionnaire and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Multivariate analyses of covariance were conducted using the TTCT, mood, and state-trait anxiety premeasures as covariates; the TTCT, mood, and state-trait anxiety postmeasures as the dependent variables; and treatment condition as the independent variable. Results showed a significant effect of condition on posttreatment TTCT scores, F(3, 140) = 3.37, p = .0203; mood, F(3, 140) = 7.44, p = .0001; and state anxiety, F(3, 140) = 6.27, p = .0005. Comparison tests showed that the information exposure treatment resulted in significantly higher TTCT scores than the control condition, indicating that exposure to diverse information can enhance divergent thinking. Results further indicated that, although the positive affect manipulation was effective in enhancing mood and reducing state anxiety, it did not enhance divergent thinking scores. The negative affect manipulation did not appear to be effective. Possible explanations for these results are discussed.”
  4. Constraints Provide Directionhttp://www.psychology.heacademy.ac.uk/docs/pdf/p20030617_22pike.pdf
  5. Deviant Images Increase Creativity – http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/110536546/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0
    “Three experiments test the existence of an automatic deviancy-creativity link. Using a lexical decision task, in Experiment 1 we found a semantic link between deviancy and creativity words in that decision times for creativity-related words were enhanced after subliminal deviancy priming. In Experiment 2, participants were led to think about either a punk or an engineer and afterwards were administered creative insight and analytical reasoning problems. According to a pretest, punks and engineers were judged as differing in uniqueness but not in creativity. Participants given punk priming solved more creative insight problems and fewer analytical reasoning problems than those given engineer priming. In Experiment 3, participants were incidentally exposed to abstract artworks symbolically expressing either the concept of conformity or deviancy and were subsequently asked to solve a creative generation task. Exposure to the artwork representing deviancy led to generation of more creative solutions than exposure to that representing conformity.”
  6. Imagine You’re On A Datehttp://www.carlsonschool.umn.edu/assets/118373.pdf
    “Mental mechanisms that evolved to solve specific adaptive problems are often highly sensitive to ecological cues indicating a particular adaptive problem or opportunity, such as a potential threat or mating opportunity (Cosmides & Tooby, 1992; O¨ hman & Mineka, 2001; Schaller, Faulkner, Park, Neuberg, & Kenrick, 2004; Todd & Gigerenzer, 2000). Moreover, much research has shown that various cues can automatically activate certain goal and need states (Chartrand & Bargh, 1996; Schaller, 2003), and that such states can influence perception and behavior without explicit conscious awareness (Bargh, 1990; Bargh & Chartrand, 1999). Given the central role of reproduction in evolutionary processes, a functional perspective suggests that mating goals are likely to be closely linked to adaptive outcomes (Bugental, 2000; Kenrick, Li, & Butner, 2003). Cues related to mating can serve to both activate a mating goal and its affective responses (Scott, 1980) and trigger specific mating-related cognitive mechanisms (Gutierres, Kenrick, & Partch, 1999; Haselton & Buss, 2000; Kenrick, Sadalla, & Keefe, 1998). Furthermore, mating-related motives appear to facilitate particular perceptions, cognitions, and behaviors associated with reproductive success (Griskevicius, Goldstein, Mortensen, Cialdini, & Kenrick, in press; Maner et al., 2005; Roney, 2003). If displays of creativity have evolved in part because of their benefit
    in courtship, cues designed to activate mating motives may also trigger displays of creativity.”
  7. Squeeze Your Left Handhttp://www.psych-it.com.au/Psychlopedia/article.asp?id=78
    Activating the extension memory enhances creativity.  “In addition, extension memory might be activated after individuals clench the left, rather than right, fist for several seconds. After individuals squeeze their left hand for a minute or so, they can more readily remember which of 27 tasks they previously chose to complete (Baumann, Kuhl, & Kazen, 2005). The left fist, when clenched, might activate brain regions in the right side that underpin extension memory. Extension memory represents the core values of individuals and thus, when activated, improves the capacity of individuals to remember their preferences (Baumann et al., 2005).”

It’s nice to know that these 7 simple tips are grounded in some pretty heavy-duty theory and research. It’s really amazing that something so simple is proven to increase your creativity. I just wish some of these studies we publicly available. I’m working to find ways to incorporate these tips into my everyday life.


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First Post

Here’s my first post to test this thing out. If you’re reading this, thanks again for stopping by. Feel free to use the links to your right to navigate around.