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What Can Marketers Learn from Floating? An Interview with Aaron Douglas

Aaron Douglas is a unique human being. That’s not Aaron in the photo above… we’ll get to that later. Aaron has journeyed from attending a seminary to marriage counselor to digital agency founder. He’s also a Jiu Jitsu enthusiast.

Oh, and did I mention he launched the largest float center in central Indiana?

What is Floating?

Floating is a sensory deprivation therapy that’s growing in popularity. The primary reasons people float are to reduce chronic anxiety, heighten cognitive function and relieve pain. Some people float to escape the bustle of life and relax for a few hours, while others use floating as a therapy for anxiety and stress.

Floating is also used to increase creativity, attention, and retention, as well as explore thoughts and emotions in a semi-conscious or meditative state. Other people float to help manage and reduce pain as a supplement or replacement for pain medication and physical therapy.

We had an amazing conversation with Aaron that focused on two areas:

  1. What has it been like moving from a digital agency serving clients to becoming the client?
  2. What can marketers learn from floating?

The conversation points very much to the gap between marketing strategies and business needs that often causes pressure between the agency and the client. Agencies often have great toolsets and insight into marketing strategies that their clients do not. However, that superior knowledge doesn’t necessarily mean the agency knows what’s right for the client. Our clients often have pressures – both economic and cultural – that require them to move in a direction that may contradict industry best practices.

As well, we discuss the advantage of agencies focusing attention on ideation and strategy as part of their offerings. Too many times, companies are focused on deliverables (x blog posts per week), while the deliverable isn’t actually moving the marketing needle. Just as floating, a sensory deprivation technique can be used to center a person’s focus and help them heal more effectively, spending time away from execution can help marketers and agencies better focus their strategies and achieve greater results for their clients.

© 2016 DK New Media.

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