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Marketing Australia - April May 2018

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APR/MAY 2018
Blockchain: the new authentic
Marketing salary guide
Luxury brand marketing
B2B best-in-class
Marketer profile
Rebecca Shears
Surrender Portal
Football Federation Australia
Yoshi’s Tour
Creating social influencers
Zach Taub
Personal data and finance
Brad Doble
Retail banking fails
Ben Pfisterer
Retail fintech
Rob Pardini
ROI and attribution
Simon Gellibrand
Unlimited budgets
April/May 2018
Why the blockchain revolution
will have to wait a little longer
We’re in a year of reckoning for blockchain initiatives says
Martha Bennett where some will write off investments
and give up while others w ll continue to forge ahead
“In 2018, we expect to see a
number of projects stopped
that should never have been
started in the first place.”
Martha Bennett
Pr nc pa analyst Forre ter
B ockcha n isn t one thing
it s an architectural pr nciple
A b ockchain is a store of reco ds that is
I frequently get questions on how I see 2018 shaping
up in he blockchain technology arena and this is he
one sentence summary I usually give The visionaries
wi l forge ahead hose hoping for immediate industry and
p ocess transformation wi l give up Following blockchain
technology feels a l ttle l ke living in two parallel universes
one is the wor d of pre s and vendor hype fuelled in equal
measu e by commercial se f interest and a genuine desire
for innovation and which remains firmly in the phase of
irrational exuberance
The other is the world of enterprise bu ine s and
technology profe sionals who are actually wo king on
“Brands that borrow their
values and stage their
superficial experiences
will continue to be called
out for all to see across
social media.”
There's no such thing as “ he” blockchain
ma ket ngmag com au
mong the mo t frequently asked ques ions
Forrester receives on he topic of blockchain
are How would you define blockchain?
Should we consider inves ing in a
blockchain based solu ion? How mature
is the technology? What are ome of the key challenges of
which we shou d be aware?
@ma ket ngmag
blockchain projects This latter world is firmly anchored in
he phase of rational asse sment and everyone’s agreed hat
large scale w despread deployment of blockchain based (or
indeed blockchain inspired) networks i n t imminent The
inhabitants of his econd universe also recognise that you
need to be prepared to be in it for the long haul as the true
transfo mational potential of blockchain based networks
will take a long ime to materialise for non technical
as much as technical reasons That’s not to say hat this
latter group wi l persevere wi h all of the blockchain
in tiatives hey have started Forrester released our 20 8
blockchain predictions late last year and we predict we ll
see some serious pruning of projects in 20 8 In tia ives
will increasingly be a ssed against standard business
benefit models and hose found wanting wil
be given
he go ahead or th y be stopped f alr
nderway The
projects hat proceed w ll fall into three categorie
The e projects are focused on understa in what t means
to develop a blockchain ba ed yste
a th ’ ork
on real use cases but the ul imat
l i n stiga on a
lea ning not necessarily del
This is he terr tory of the visionaries who recogni e
hat to realise the true value of blockchain based
networks means reinventing enti e processes and
industries as well as how pub ic ector organisations
function Those who persevere with heir blockchain
in tiatives are not only aware (sometimes painfully)
hat the technology is s ill at a very early stage of
development but also understand that this isn’t really
about technology but about business This is what sets
hem apart from hose who follow he siren ca l of tech
industry promises without suicient grasp of what a
blockchain network is a l about both f om a business
and a technology pe ective he resulting vanity projects
will invariably fail
In 2018 we expect to see a number of projects stopped
hat shou d never have been started in he fir t place
Going back
re I started Forrester sees 2018 to
be the year o
g for blockchain ini iatives
Those wh
anslate the headlines into real ty
wi l
nts and give up while others
derstan ing of he technology and ts
potential in he long run w ll continue
The e projects cover two bases one l
ing how to work
with his nascent technology Two e ivering an actual
system hat can be deployed in a real business context
Many of these proje s are intra comp y
OK a large global o ganisa ion can achieve sig
eiciencies by puttin certai rocesses on
blockchain Other p ect
nter com
mul iple ecosystem pl
ose goi
are likely to remain com atively
on he improvement of e i
reinventing them
Roy] Ama a’s Law “We tend to overestimate
of a te hnology in he short run and
es imate the efect in the long run ”
ster i
Marke ing Content Pa tner
isation w th which we
o ate bring exclusive content
m Fo rester analysts at
Editor’s choice
Matt Adendorff
Most shared
Tom Donohoe
Most read
Carly Yanco
Blockchain can wait
More than money
Bec Brideson
Rich woman’s world
Steve Sammartino
Tech, currency, brand and change
Valos and Lloyd
Focus on Boomers part two
Sérgio Brodsky
Accentuate the negative
Phillips and Stoykov
Making finance sexy
Con Stavros
Surrendering price as a weapon
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Ben Ice
Editor, Marketing.
typically avoid giving people advice about
their money. As a rule, I'm reluctant to give
people advice about their marketing, too.
It’s a good thing, then, that there was plenty of
contribution from experts putting this, a money
themed Marketing issue, together.
I spoke to a friend about the theme. His
response? “Shouldn’t they all be about money?”
He was right, but this one gets nice and specific
in a variety of ways. Boiling the whole thing down
would reveal one key idea: money is changing.
Money is shifting and like changes in tech,
consumption trends, customer expectations,
communication and loyalty, marketers must
adapt to survive.
In another way, money is like marketing in that
sound knowledge of a few core principles and
some life experience – not to mention creative
thinking and good luck – can prove invaluable.
While evolving slowly, the ways we earn it,
store it and save it have merely trickled along in
comparison to the biggest money change of all:
the way we spend it. We’re in a world where one
can blast so many funds at so many vendors in
such little time, it’s difficult to keep track.
In 1980s Hollywood, a protagonist
preparing themselves, browsing, trying on
new looks, dining and socialising with friends,
flashing credit cards, purchasing items and
maybe squeezing in some entertainment along
the way was the subject of a montage scene.
Through the power of editing and funky synthesisers, the whole experience was shortened
so as not to bore viewers with the mundane
moments in between.
Today, someone spending a similar amount
of their hard-earned on a similar amount of
items and brands, while socialising with friends
and entertaining themselves, would make for
pretty dull watching. I don’t know what the
opposite of a montage is, but a filmmaker
would need to find a way to lengthen the scene
– consisting entirely of a person sitting on the
couch, phone in one hand and credit card in the
other – to fill the same amount of screentime as
a modest montage.
While the material world enables speedy
spending, it also empowers quickfire price
comparison, product research on customer
satisfaction feedback forums and more.
Customer power does stretch beyond new ways
to deplete funds on toys in record time.
Those material goods, when not in use, can
be put to work and monetised in the sharing
economy. When no longer required, the transactional landscape can be used to find a buyer
and sell for some quick cash. The same avenues
used for comparing shiny new trinkets can be
used to find major savings comparing banks,
credit companies, superannuation plans, utilities
and insurance. As ever, new avenues mean new
opportunities and challenges for marketers.
Money’s shifting. Some people enjoy
new opportunities they’ve never been able to
access – think the sharing economy or starting
a business with no overheads and marketing
it for free on social. On the other side of the
same coin – think jobs lost to automation or the
small, medium and large businesses trampled
by giants – some who’ve had access to a wealth
of opportunities for some time will find them
drying up.
Money won’t be the same; but it’ll never
“Despite the severe flaws
in most contemporary
digital attribution solutions,
the CPA and ROI figures
they generate are treated
as gospel.” (28)
“You can measure
email opens and clicks
’til the cows come home,
but that’s not what it’s
really about.”
“We recently did a survey
and found that more
than 60 percent of our
businesses could move
to cashless today.”
“There will be pains as we
break down barriers and
force businesses to consider if
they are helping or hindering
the world around them.” (14)
1. A current medium of
exchange in the form of
coins and banknotes; coins
and banknotes collectively.
1.1 Sums of money.
1.2 The assets, property
and resources owned by
someone or something;
1.3 Financial gain.
1.4 Payment for work; wages.
Middle English: from Old
French moneie, from Latin
moneta ‘mint, money’,
originally a title of the goddess
Juno, in whose temple in
Rome money was minted.
Source: Oxford English Dictionary
“It’s not just about
being creative.
I need a team
of people that
can do analytics
as well as run
campaigns.” (46)
“While they
enjoy ‘luxury’
they are also
seeking unique
that money
can’t buy.” (26)
“In 2018,
we expect
to see a
number of
have been
started in
the first
“As micropayments get
easier, it’s going
to be a lot harder
for consumers to
understand their
positions.” (30)
“Sure it may be
nice to blow off
steam playing
foosball or
table tennis,
but to what
end?” (82)
“Throw a ball at a wall
over and over again, and
you’ll eventually reach
a point where you can’t
throw it any more.”
“It is time to change
the narrative and
stigma around the word
‘charity’ and collectively
focus more on ‘social
“These people have
been around! They have
possibly been burned by
marketing promises made
to them in the past.”
“We are
all little
trying to get to
the pot of gold
at the end of
the rainbow
and feeling
when we
across a gold
coin along
the way.” (86)
The new
What happens when technology replaces our need to trust in our transaction
partner? That’s exactly what blockchain is touted to do, so will it bring marketers
pain or gain when it comes to building genuine connection between company and
consumer? Fiona Killackey investigates.
123RF's Andre Francois.
very modern marketer is aware of the three
emotionally charged steps required to
transform a company’s target audience
into its most vocal ambassadors: Know.
Like. Trust.
Since the dawn of time, people have been buying
products and services in exchange for what they deem to
be of value – whether camels in exchange for a bride or
the latest Louis Vuitton handbag in exchange for a portion
of their salary. We have been brought up on a model of
marketers making people aware of what a business has
to ofer, encouraging rapport or likeability to prompt
transaction and, finally, creating an experience within that
transaction that imbues trust between giver and receiver.
A new technology is set to shift this modus operandi,
removing the need to ‘trust’ any company or business with
technology that makes authenticity inevitable. Welcome to
the world of blockchain.
What is blockchain?
At its most basic, blockchain is a series of records (or
blocks) that are linked (or chained) together and kept
secure through a process called cryptography (a way of
coding that ensures data remains ‘secret’ and unable to
be removed or modified). When a new record is added, it
includes all the information of the records before it –
the latter being ‘locked’ so it cannot be tampered with.
This process appears to make blockchain one of the most
secure transaction systems in the world. According to
Bettina Warburg, a blockchain expert and co-founder
and managing partner at Animal Ventures – a consultancy
that works with tech companies operating in the areas
of blockchain, digital media, AI (artificial intelligence)
and IoT – blockchain is “a decentralised database that
stores a registry of assets and transactions across a peerto-peer network”.
It will be the brands that
live up to their marketing
promises – and provide full
transparency over how they
conduct business – that will
thrive in this new space.
Speaking at TedSummit in 2016, Warburg explained,
“As humans we have always found ways to lower
uncertainty about one another, so that we can exchange
value… blockchain is basically a public registry of who
owns what and who transacts what. The transactions
are secured through cryptography and over time that
transaction history gets locked in blocks of data that are
then cryptographically linked and secured. This creates
an immutable, unforgeable record across this network
and this record is replicated on every computer that uses
this network.” Likening it to the open-source information
platform Wikipedia – which stores images and text as
well as changes to that data over time – Warburg says
blockchain “is an infrastructure that stores many kinds
of assets”. These may well be titles to a house, a contract,
transactions for a product, personal ID (such as a passport),
title of ownership of IP (intellectial property) or possession
of a digital currency like Bitcoin.
Its power, said Galia Benartzi, an entrepreneur and
co-founder of Bancor (a company that makes it easier
to launch virtual currencies) in a TEDxWhiteCity talk
in 2016, lies, “in allowing a network to operate reliably,
without the need for a central point of control”. Instead of
utilising centralised platform marketplaces, like Amazon
or AliBaba, or services, like Uber and Airbnb, blockchain
allows anyone in the world to transact with anyone else,
without a middleman or intermediary required.
Sectors most afected by blockchain
When most people think of blockchain, they think of Bitcoin – a type of digital currency launched in 2009,
that utilises blockchain technology to disrupt banking and payment systems. Yet Bitcoin is just the tip of the
iceberg in what’s possible with blockchain technologies. In addition to banking, many other industries will need
to develop new operations in order to thrive in the era of blockchain, including:
When you purchase a new home, you purchase all of its history – even those parts that you
may not be aware of. Blockchain will enable buyers to review every change to the property’s
history in seconds, as well as speed up transactions by enabling ownership to be verified and
transferred without an intermediary.
Think of the biggest charity you know and chances are it’s been hit with claims of corruption
at some point in its history. Blockchain ‘ledgers’ would enable people to see exactly what
happens to their donations and engage in cross-border payments, while reducing costs for
charities through disintermediation.
For the past decade businesses have been busy pulling together their corporate social
responsibility and compliance teams, and now they’ll need to invest even more time and
resources in this area. Blockchain technologies will force brands to publicly list their
operation and labour costs, waste and transmissions and true environmental impact.
We need only cast our minds back a few months in Australia to the marriage equality vote to
understand the need for transparent and trustworthy technology when it comes to voting.
Blockchain technologies will enable anyone to register and vote online, without the possibility
of their vote being edited or erased. Democracy Earth is one start-up leading the change,
calling its work ‘democracy for the internet era’.
Few industries are as ripe for change as healthcare and, despite many attempts at digital
innovation in this space, none appear to have had as much of an impact as blockchain
will. According to IBM’s Blockchain Blog, this new technology could positively assist in
many areas, from supporting the entire life cycle of a patient’s health records and billing
documentation, via preventing counterfeit drugs and increasing detection, providing
accountability and transparency, to clinical trial reporting and working alongside Internet of
Things (IoT)-enabled medical equipment to provide the best health outcomes for patients.
There will be pains as we
break down barriers and force
businesses to consider if they
are helping, or hindering the
world around them.
Transparent transaction
One of the most exciting (and perhaps confronting) parts
of blockchain technology is its ability to force transparency
upon transactions. Unlike the anonymity platforms like
eBay (or to a lesser extent Etsy) provide sellers (and buyers),
blockchain removes the uncertainty faced when swapping
what we perceive as value (i.e. money) for a product
or service. Rather than rely on reviews or website
testimonials (which may well be false), blockchain
enables users to provide ‘cryptographic proof’, such as a
government-issued ID, an approval from a trusted third
party, certified recommendations or even a birth certificate,
without enabling the other party to view the specifics of
these documents.
Going even further, blockchain technologies could
enable companies selling such things as vegetables to add
every step in their manufacturing process, right down to
the chemicals used (or certificates to say they have not
been used) to ensure the buyer knows exactly what they’re
receiving. In place of the current stickers on food stating
the product is organic, a user could place their smartphone
over a QR (quick response) code on the food and use
blockchain to instantly see how and where that food was
planted, harvested and shipped.
According to Richie Etwaru, author of Blockchain:
Trusted Companies, it will be the brands that live up to
their marketing promises (e.g. 100 percent organic) – and
provide full transparency over how they conduct business
– that will thrive in this new space. Those that don’t, says
Etwaru, will face stif competition… from a blockchain
version of themselves.
Marketing with blockchain
The requirement for transparency – which puts power
back in the hands of the people – will further test the
claims many marketers for brands make today around
‘authenticity’. Rather than simply being an overused
buzzword for panel discussions, ‘authenticity’ will take on
new meaning in the era of blockchain. Does the service or
product do what it claims to? Are all points in the supply
chain accounted for? Does the business genuinely live
up to the values it claims to promote? Are the company’s
operations necessary or is it just bureaucracy that gets in
the way of customer satisfaction?
According to a 2017 survey by McCann, 42 percent of
Americans find brands and companies less truthful today
than 20 years ago. This decline in trust is also witnessed
in the B2B world, particularly between businesses and the
companies they use to market their products.
In 2017 Uber sued mobile agency, Fetch Media, for
misrepresenting the efectiveness of mobile ads. In the
same year social network-turned-publisher, Facebook
was sued by three marketers in California – Tom Letizia,
Mark Fierro and Greg Agustin – who claimed the
powerhouse inflated the length of time that users spent
watching video ads (from 60 percent to 80 percent). So,
how can marketers utilise blockchain for the best interests
of their brands?
As with any relationship, the one between marketer
and consumer begins and ends with trust. “Trust is the
foundation of every business,” says Bernadette Jiwa,
founder of The Story of Telling. “A business is not merely
an organisation that creates value or exchanges goods
and services for money. It is the promises we make to
our customers in return for their trust.” By utilising
blockchain’s transparent technology, marketers will be
able to identify where their advertising spend is going and
verify engagement with the people most in need (or want)
of their products or services.
Blockchain will also allow marketers to pay consumers
for use of their data (further enabling people to only see
adverts and marketing messages most suited to them)
and even show consumers how and where that data is
being used. Without the need for intermediary agencies,
marketers will be able to connect with and verify the real
impact influencers have in their space, connect with and
pay people who are already creating quality content using
a brand’s products or services, and work directly with
creatives (such as musicians and artists) to purchase or
license their work.
The impact that blockchain technology will have on
the way we experience, and interact and transact with
businesses is immeasurable. There will be pains as we
break down barriers (physical and digital) and force
businesses to consider if they are helping, or hindering
Bitcoin: fad or fortune?
most dangerous global scam in 20 years’, he wrote,
“Bitcoin’s market price is almost certain at some point
to crash and burn.”
According to Wadhwa, Bitcoin’s “price is not a
reflection of its growing usage as currency; it reflects
merely demand for the mirage of its speculative
value”. Further, Wadhwa says the currency is
nothing but “hype” and will die the same death as
“the dotcoms did… and there will be no one to turn
to when it does, because no government or bank is
backing Bitcoin up, and the people who are hyping
Bitcoin will have cashed out and be long gone”.
Vivek Wadhwa is a vice president of academics and
innovation at Singularity University, a fellow at the
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate
Governance at Stanford University, director of
research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and
Research Commercialization and exec in residence
at the Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University.
In a piece that first appeared on LinkedIn (and
was republished by Inc.) titled, ‘Why Bitcoin is the
Wadhwa is passionate in his concerns, but it’s a
passion matched in intensity by those with opposing
views. Rupert Hackett, CEO of (a
Melbourne-based company that helps people buy and
sell Bitcoin) and the only Australian representative
of the newly formed International Decentralised
Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
(IDACB) is one of them. “Bitcoin is absolutely here
to stay,” says Hackett. “After nine years without a
security flaw as a system to exchange trust without
intermediaries, we are witnessing the birth of a new
internet protocol. It may look trivial today – but an
open, permission-less value exchange should be
treated with the same reverence as open exchange
of information aka the internet.” Is Bitcoin a reliable
currency we will all be using in years to come? While
experts are divided, one thing is certain: only the
future will tell.
the world around them. Yet, there will also be gains, as
we create a more level playing field, inviting in people
who have not yet been able to access commerce due to
centralised, controlling and sometimes corrupt systems.
In our race to embrace it, we must remember within the
hype, that this technology is still in its infancy and so
too must be our expectations. “We tend to hold novel
technologies to an unrealistically high standard, in terms
of what they’re supposed to deliver,” said Finn Brunton,
historian and blockchain expert at New York University in
a recent interview with Bettina Warburg for Wired. “When
we compare them to existing systems we begin to see the
possibility that even a slight incremental improvement
would still be an enormous gain.”
Type Bitcoin into Google and you’re now met with more
than 300 million results. By February 2017, one Bitcoin
was equivalent to AU$13,304, which shows the value
people place on this new transaction tool. But is this
new form of currency an avenue for fortune or another
tech fad that’s more hype than hope?
Since the term first appeared on a forum back
in 2008, Bitcoin has become a largely popular
– and puzzling – concept. Described as the first
decentralised digital currency, it enables anyone
in the world to transact with anyone else, without
the need for an intermediary (such as a bank or
payment service like Paypal). Just as misunderstood
as the currency itself, is the origins of its founder,
Satoshi Nakamoto. Widely accepted to be a group
of people, rather than one person, Satoshi Nakamoto
is the name given to those responsible for the
first iteration of Bitcoin and its first blockchain
database in 2009. Despite its mysterious origins,
Bitcoin has grown immensely in the decade since
its first mention.
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All that
High net worth individuals
are a highly attractive
and lucrative audience for
any brand. So what traits
define these individuals
and what can marketers do
to attract their attention?
Tracey Porter investigates.
t is clear Australia’s financial elite are kicking some
serious goals. New research recently released by Credit
Suisse shows the number of ultra high net worth
individuals (those with a net worth of $65.5 million) in
Australia grew to 3000 in the 12 months to June 2017.
The latest issue of the company’s ‘Global Wealth
Report’ found that during the same period the number of
millionaires in Australia grew by 200,000 to 1.16 million.
The report also revealed that last year saw the largest
increase in the number of billionaires in this country
since the start of the century, adding eight new billionaires
in 2017, lifting the total number to 33. And it’s clear the
numbers are having a big impact on the retail sector with
Europe-based luxury conglomerates Richemont, Kering
and LVMH – which last year generated a collective $80
billion in global sales – all growing their bricks-andmortar retail presence here.
No sign of waning
But it’s not just in high-end fashion where the efects are
being felt. Australia is now regarded as one of the most
matured markets in the Ferrari global network. Australasian
CEO Herbert Appleroth says the growth of the luxury
market – not just in cars but right across the segment – has
been on an upward trend for many years in Australia. All
the signs point to that growth continuing, he asserts. “I
think in Australia our clients are becoming much more
sophisticated in their approach to luxury. They are much
more open to celebrating their successes than perhaps they
were in the past.” Private membership club The Luxury
Network (TLN) is a global group specifically set up to
facilitate new business development between high-end
companies, by providing direct access to members’
pre-qualified high net worth individuals (HNWIs).
lightwise © 123rf
Founded in the UK in 2007 and launched in Australia
in 2011, the group works by strategically aligning brands
operating in this space for joint collaborations, product
placements, endorsements, media sharing, B2B and
B2C networking, sales and luxury showcase events and
numerous other ainity marketing activities. Michelle
Santoro is the managing director of the network’s Victorian
arm, members of which include brands operating across
the luxury real estate, marine, travel and automotive
sectors. She says she has noticed that the presence of
luxury brands in Australia has grown considerably over
the past few years, with the number of applications to TLN
commensurate with this. Likewise, the general manager
of the Vintage Luggage Company (VLC), Ben Palmer, says
he has also noticed a “very steady” increase in wealthy
clients purchasing from his store – specifically in the past
12 months. “This is particularly from the Chinese market
who are moving to our neighbourhood and have a thirst for
luxury products. We also have a very elite clientele in our
area [of Sydney] who travel overseas quite frequently and
they are familiar with our brands and what we represent.”
Santoro says while the definition of what an HNWI
looks like will vary from brand to brand, they will
always be defined diferently from many other consumer
groups because they are typically a lot more discerning.
“While they enjoy ‘luxury’ they are also seeking unique
experiences that money can’t buy or exclusive access to
events, previews and advice. The ‘experience’ of the brand
has to be consistent from advertising and marketing
through to the in-store engagement. Understandably,
people looking to spend a lot of money expect to be treated
very well.” Qualified gemmologist and Diamond Guild
member Matthew Ely, who runs his own bespoke jewellery
boutique in Sydney’s Woollahra, agrees high net worth
consumers routinely look for the highest quality and the
best. However, he says that what also comes with this desire
is an openness to creativity. “We find that there is a strong
orientation towards jewellery for the family, not just as an
investment or spontaneous purchase, but to create special
cherished moments that can be shared with the family or to
update existing heirlooms that will be modernised in order
to be celebrated by a future generation.”
VLC’s Palmer has a background in advertising, but now
travels the world seeking out vintage items such as $70,000
Matthew Ely
In a word they are specific
and “quite fussy”, he says.
“The most common trait though
is they want something not
everyone has and something
Baccarat Zenith chandeliers, limited edition $20,000 gold
Lalique Oran vases and $36,500 Prada steamer wardrobes
for resale. He says, despite being more astute than normal
consumers, HNWIs tend to “know what brands they like
and they are willing to pay for the quality products”. In a
word they are specific and “quite fussy”, he says. “The most
common trait though is they want something not everyone
has and something unique.”
Values matter most
The marketers’ comments are reflected in a consumer
insight report on HNWIs published by global measurement
and data analytics company Nielsen. It found that in order
for brands to ofer informed marketing and communication
strategies, develop new and relevant products and services,
and successfully create the perfect customer experience
journey tailored to their sector, they must first understand
the unique characteristics and expectations of the HNWI
Style and substance
Each year Ferrari Australia hosts around 300 events across
its Australasian network, incorporating an array of lifestyle
experiences with the finest food and wine, art and design.
A core part of this program is what Appleroth describes
as “money can’t buy” experiences, which have recently
included private jet charters to an exclusive resort in Byron
Bay for the premiere of the all new Ferrari Portofino.
“The art of luxury is giving clients a unique and special
experience, diferent to every other Ferrari client,”
Appleroth says.
For Ely, whose entry points start at around $15,000
for a bespoke engagement ring, customisation and
personalisation is key. “I believe success comes from being
genuine, authentic and having a legitimate relationship
with our customers. By the very nature of something
‘bespoke’, it is one-of and created for the individual.
This difers from the handcrafted pieces on display in
our boutique, which are designed and created by me,
I believe success comes from
being genuine, authentic and
having a legitimate relationship
with our customers.
but available for all to share and enjoy. The level of
customisation, personal service, eforts in sourcing of gems
and the physical handcrafting creation process make the
brand a truly end to end luxury service. We communicate
this point of diference across all touch points of our
marketing strategy.”
Palmer too enjoys opting for the unusual when it
comes to marketing to HNWIs. He says since establishing
his business in 2005, he has engineered a number of
diferent marketing initiatives to capture the attention
of this lucrative consumer segment, some of which have
proved more successful than others. On the whole Palmer
says he has found the group he refers to as “elite clientele”
usually prefer intimate parties in the VLC boutique as
opposed to more public settings.
“We have held events in conjunction with private banks
in Australia in our store and have had key people speak at
the events, including the head of Louis Vuitton Australasia.
We have found this is the best way to interact with our
consumer. Nielsen argues the first and most logical step is
to generate brand appeal and make an efort to stand out.
In this, HNWIs are no diferent from any other
consumer segment, it says. “Beyond mere labels of
exclusivity or price thresholds that may create a perception
of a premium brand, HNWIs often show an advanced sense
of brand assessment and interpretation, based on their
own experiences, an advanced education and significant
exposure to premium brands on an ongoing basis.” A sense
of exclusivity is also important to the consumer segment
that currently represents less than one percent of the
world’s total population, but together accounts for more
than 40 percent of the world’s total wealth. “Rare vintage
wine, limited edition spirits or exclusive advisory services
would typically create the sense of exclusivity desired by the
majority of HNWIs. Premium brands have to embed in their
value proposition a set of unique features or propositions
that create and convey this sense of exclusivity at all times.”
Surprisingly, Nielsen also discovered that price
does matter to this group. Although wealthy individuals
have access to larger financial resources, they don’t
systematically opt for spontaneous purchases. The value
for money is an important aspect of their buying decisionmaking process, even for emotional purchases, Nielson
found. That’s why the price positioning must always be
defined based on the perception of the benefits (whether
material or emotional).
Nielsen’s research into this type of high spending
consumer also uncovered the fact that values and beliefs
also have an important part to play when HNWIs are
looking to make a purchase. Typically, HNWIs are more
inclined to make purchasing decisions based on the impact
of their purchase on broader society; for example, favouring
fair trade or by ensuring alignment of brand values with
their own beliefs and value system. Nielsen says its research
suggests that it’s not always the end consumer who will be
the key decision-maker, as intermediaries – such as family
oices or financial consultants – play a major role in the
purchase decision. For this reason it is important to ensure
that the right efort is being made in the correct places,
the company says. It should also be noted that HNWIs are
usually very savvy when it comes to their financial needs
and investment choices. “Financial planning oferings must
get the balance right between the technical performance of
the financial vehicles, but also on softer emotional drivers,
such as trust and security,” the Nielsen report stated. Being
made to feel special is a key component of encouraging
wealthy clients to loosen the purse strings, the marketers say.
clients in a private setting. We have also sponsored a few
select charities and events throughout Sydney, which has
been a great branding experience for us.”
Palmer says few initiatives have worked better, however,
than those that have seen him and his team consistently go to
great lengths in terms of their customer service ofering. One
of the most important factors is that some specific clients like
to see pieces in their homes before they commit. As a result
the boutique goes to extreme lengths for its clients, which
includes ofering an in-house design service, he says.
Where possible, to build up trust, he and his team
personally deliver products to clients’ home addresses as
they are “generally very private and don’t want couriers in
their homes,” he explains.
“I don’t think a broad branding approach works
when dealing with luxury items. We have a very specific
clientele and you have to reach them in diferent mediums.
You have to play in the space they are in. This can be anything
from sponsoring $10,000-a-plate dinners to luxury high-end
magazines, to the very basic specific emails and calls. I have
built up a relationship over the years with our top clients and
they appreciate me finding rare and unique items or they will
also ask me to go looking for specific products. Once I find
them, I personally call them or visit their homes to view. This
is one of our best forms of marketing for the top end clients;
they want that bespoke one-on-one service.”
First impressions count
Santoro, who through her role with TLN regularly deals
with operators in this high wealth space, says personal
grooming is just as important as strong after sales
follow-up when it comes to HNWIs being drawn to your
ofering or opting for a competitor brand. “I think that
personal appearance is extremely important, particularly
in the luxury space. A sound understanding of business
along with a solid knowledge of the ‘luxury’ industry is
essential, in order to create and facilitate partnerships that
are the right fit.”
Palmer agrees that while it may sound a little shallow, image is
an important part of creating a lasting impression. “Wealthy
clients will notice what you are wearing and they also like that
you can relate when coming to luxury brands,” he says. “They
are generally very private and want utmost privacy on what
they are purchasing, but if they can see that I am wearing a
Cartier bracelet, for example, they comment on it and, as bad
as it may sound, it puts you on a similar playing field.
“It never ceases to amaze me the diferent ways people
make money and are successful in life, but it always comes
back to how you treat the people around you. One of the
greatest things I have learned [from my interactions with
this segment] is that you need to work like no one else is
willing to so you can live like no one else can live.”
ROI declining?
Time to rethink your attribution
Biased and inaccurate measurement may be costing you. Rob Pardini
examines focusing on and leveraging the right attribution methods.
Almost all businesses that invest in online marketing assess
its efectiveness by linking conversion events (i.e. online
leads, acquisitions or sales) to online advertising that
occurred on the same device in the lead-up to conversion.
This ranges from simple last-click-wins attribution, to
more sophisticated multi-touch approaches that assign
some credit to the sequence of ads seen (tracked using
third-party cookies) and search links clicked, along the
online customer journey. However, attribution based
on the tracking of digital touch points almost always
results in a biased understanding of cost per conversion
for six key reasons:
Online advertising – particularly online search
– converts interest that has been driven by oline
channels. Often online channels are assigned all the credit
for converting interest that has been cultivated over years
of brand building.
Almost all touch point-based approaches to
attribution do not strip out baseline conversions (i.e.
conversions that would have occurred even in the absence
of marketing).
Touch point attribution optimises the serving of
digital ads to people likely to convert, as opposed to
serving ads to people likely to be influenced by advertising.
This is one of the reasons retargeting often appears highly
efective. Bombarding people who have demonstrated an
interest in a product with targeted advertising for that
product may prompt some incremental conversions, but
this tactic also spams a lot of people who would have gone
on to make a purchase anyway.
Cost inaccuracies occur in reporting from most
of-the-shelf solutions for measuring the efectiveness
of digital channels. Accurate integration of cost data
from content (e.g. Outbrain and Plista), ailiates and
hroughout the era of mass marketing, an
accurate understanding of ROI has rarely
been available within organisations that
invest heavily in advertising, despite its being
prized. With the advent of the digital era
came the promise of seamless measurement of the business
impact from online channels. The plethora of performance
metrics available for online channels, however, hasn’t
resulted in clarity about marketing efectiveness. Most
businesses that invest heavily in marketing are making
critical investment allocation decisions based on flawed
reporting of ROI and/or cost per acquisition (CPA). This is
resulting in the misallocation of investment that is holding
back long run business growth significantly.
programmatic buys into ad servers is hampered by
technical integration challenges. This leads to incorrect
CPA and ROI figures being reported.
Cross device tracking is only incorporated into some
multi-touch attribution solutions (and very few
solution providers have a footprint of logged-in users
across multiple devices suicient for deterministic crossdevice tracking at scale).
Some browsers, such as Safari, block third-party
cookies by default. This efectively blinds the
attribution solution from online advertising served in the
lead-up to a conversion.
Despite the severe flaws in most contemporary digital
attribution solutions, the CPA and ROI figures they
generate are treated as gospel in many businesses. In
contrast, any form of ROI tracking for oline channels is
rarely available. This data imbalance almost always leads to
a progressive shift in funds into online channels over time,
particularly into paid search, retargeting and other tactics
that convert existing interest.
There is usually one key indicator that the investment mix
between oline and online channels is skewed excessively
towards the latter. If the proportion of online conversions
attributed to digital media is trending up consistently over
time, this is a key sign that digital media is progressively
taking more and more credit for sales that would have
occurred anyway. Reallocating funds away from conversion
tactics such as retargeting and paid search, and into
channels that target top-of-funnel metrics, will almost
certainly drive more rapid business growth and deliver
better long run ROI.
Similarly, the opposite also usually holds true (though
this is occurring increasingly rarely). If the share of
“Despite the severe flaws
in most contemporary
digital attribution solutions,
the CPA and ROI figures
they generate are treated
as gospel.”
online conversions generated by paid digital media is
trending down, this is an indicator that better results
will follow if a higher proportion of the overall budget is
invested in activity designed to convert interest. While
the results from digital multi-touch attribution are almost
always flawed, they are still useful.
Digital multi-touch attribution results shouldn’t be
treated as a reliable indicator of CPA or ROI, even after
steps are taken to correct for some of the more egregious
flaws that are often present within digital reporting, such
as inaccurate tracking of costs for content, ailiates and
programmatic. The most efective way to leverage digital
multi-touch attribution results to drive better business
outcomes is to focus on the rank between diferent digital
publishers within any given campaign, and use the
relative performance between them to guide decisionmaking. If this is done in tandem with optimising the
overall mix between oline and online channels, long run
ROI improvement is likely to follow.
Rob Pardini is chief data scientist at WPP AUNZ.
on trees
Marketing speaks with Zach Taub,
chief of marketing at Moneytree,
about personal financial data, and
how it can be used in non-creepy ways.
oneytree was
originally founded
in Tokyo by
Melbourne’s Paul
Chapman and
the US’s Ross Sharrott and Mark
Makdad. The personal finance
management app enables users to
get a complete view of their finances,
which can typically be segregated
across multiple providers. It has
since added other capabilities to its
service, launching in Australia and
offering added value and power to
consumers through a range of data
sharing options.
Marketing catches up with Zach
Taub, Moneytree chief of marketing
to discuss the company’s origins,
how sharing financial data can be
beneficial, and the similarities and
differences between the Japanese
and Australian markets.
Marketing: How did your brand
and attitudes towards consumer
data originate?
Zach Taub: A couple of years after
we launched we realised it was very
hard to monetise just an app. We
wanted to build a business around
it. After [we won] App of the Year
a couple of times in a row, many
companies came and approached
us and said, ‘Do you guys want to
build an app for us?’ or ‘Can you
give us your data?’. The leaders at
the time decided that it would be
very interesting to do a data-driven
model, but didn’t want to be creepy.
There were a lot of concerns for us
around privacy and the rights of
users. After a lot of discussions with
people who are using the app as
well as with potential partners, we
realised there are times when user
data can be or should be shared
with third parties. Just not in the
advertising milieu. We decided to
say ‘let your data work for you, work
on your behalf’. So we built out –
using the same technology we use
to power our app – a whole platform
that now serves 35 corporate
It’s not Google or
Facebook that is the
product, it’s you that
is the product.
partners in Japan and allows users
to use Moneytree as a financial
identity service provider. So we
have the app, which has a couple of
million installs, and then we
have people who are actually
going into a broader value-added
ecosystem as partners and signing
in with Moneytree.
What’s an example of a user being
able to share their data for their
own benefit?
The really straightforward example
[is] we actually power a data feed
for Mizuho Bank’s app. Mizuho is
the third largest bank in Japan. It’s
one of the Japanese megabanks.
Inside its own consumer app, you
can sign into Moneytree and see the
holistic picture of your finances from
other banks, credit cards, digital
money etc. We’re already providing
a very strong value proposition
for consumers because, in their
main bank app, they’re able to see
other data from other apps or other
services. That’s becoming a bit more
common these days.
There are a couple of companies
in Australia that are doing something
similar. The next example: once
you’ve spent all this time collecting
and managing your data through
Moneytree, you can import it into
one of our third-party service
providers. An obvious partner from
the very beginning would be a tax
preparation company. All that data
from multiple accounts could be a
huge hassle when you have multiple
bank accounts, credit cards and
expenses to move all that stuff over
manually to tax prep software.
One of the biggest accounting
firms here in Japan ingests all of
that data. Sign in via Moneytree and
it ingests all your data and it saves
you time on your tax preparation.
That’s the data portability side of
it. That’s the business we have up
and running here in Japan and the
business we are seeking to establish
in Australia.
What is it about today’s economy
in Japan that made this so popular
and such an award-winner?
When you’re working in the start-up
world you always want to solve a
problem. You always start with a
problem solution statement. Digital
banking uptake was very low at the
time the app was launched. It was
low because the experience was
bad. The idea was basically to bolt
on a more user-friendly interface for
the banks. We were not looking to
disintermediate or take customers
away from banks; we were looking
to improve the relationship that
consumers had with their banks.
That was the problem we sought
to solve, and initially banks here –
vision, which at that point was really
all about building that platform. We
hadn’t even built the platform at the
time we took the investment, but
that was where we were going.
When it comes to sharing user
data with third parties without
being creepy, your main example
is sharing financial data across
various finance apps. Are there any
other examples?
On the ‘creepy’ side of things, our
concern was the fact that if you’re
using Google or Facebook, it’s not
Google or Facebook that is the
product, it’s you that is the product.
Your data is the product, and people
are marketing to you via those
The fluidity with which money can move
is going to change people’s behaviour.
because of the wave of fintech that
had been sweeping in the west –
were very afraid of disintermediation
and didn’t really want to cooperate
with us.
After we started to win awards
and get recognition in the industry,
banks started hearing from their
users that they preferred to use
the Moneytree app over the bank’s
native mobile banking experience.
That ended up becoming the
foundation for partnerships with
the banks and investment from the
banks. In a round of investments
we were actually the first company
in Japan to receive simultaneous
investment from all three of the
Japanese megabanks. That was
a huge validation of our efforts. It
signalled that they believed in our
platforms and all the data that they
collect. That is built in to all the user
agreements. But if you start to think
about financial data, which is the
most personal data you can have,
and the most sensitive, we don’t
want to be looking at that data in
aggregate. That data belongs to the
consumer, and we think that we can
build a marketing model that would
upend the power relationship. It’s
the consumer that has the power
because they’re the data owner
and they can choose to share that
data with service providers if they
so wish. Obviously they don’t have
to, there’s no requirement. We don’t
require them to share anything with
anybody. They’re welcome if they
like to, they’re welcome to not if
they don’t.
Is that as simple as ticking a box in
the app?
We use an industry-standard service,
which basically says when you’re
connecting to a service: ‘This service
wants to use these pieces of data to
provide you with this product. Do
you accept?’ It’s the same thing you’d
use when you sign in with Facebook
or Google. Instead of having a
blanket ‘opt-in’ or ticking ‘agree’ at the
end of a 20-page contract – without
even necessarily having read it – we
make that experience extremely
transparent. We allow consumers to
maintain their privacy. ‘I didn’t know
I had to share that with those guys
and I don’t want to share that so I’m
not going to sign into that service’,
then they’re done.
At any time they can reach in
and shut off that connection to the
service. Within the app and within
our web interfaces, users can log
into their Moneytree account and
turn off any third-party connections
any time they want. Those third
parties are obliged to take your
data out of their database pretty
much immediately.
Why was Australia chosen as the
country for expansion?
The super obvious answer is that we
have an Australian founder. There
was a point in the business where
the three founders were actually
working together as scholars at
Swinburne University. We have
some market knowledge and some
affinity for the market. Obviously, we
are interested in Australia for that
reason. From a practical point of
view, the time difference is minimal,
Australia is an English-speaking
market. We built our app to work in
English and Japanese from day one.
As micro-payments get easier, it’s
going to be a lot harder for consumers to
understand their positions.
Are you encountering many
significant similarities or difference
between the two markets?
Our vision for data portability is not
really a vision about technology; it’s
a worldview. It’s much more in line
with the idea that people are owners
of their data. There are a lot of ways
in which Australia and Japan are
different – population demographics,
technological penetration,
regulators, regulatory environments
etc. But where they’re very similar
is that you have markets that are
dominated by a small number of
large financial institutions. That
means people often have multiple
bank accounts because they have a
bank with a national brand and they
have their local brand.
Same goes for credit cards.
Oftentimes both in Japan and
Australia, people are earmarking
credit cards for specific use cases.
‘This one gets me points when I do
this, this one gets me miles or this
one gives me a discount.’
People have multiple credit
cards for different channels. Japan
and Australia are very similar in that
regard. While Japan is probably
the leader in the world in loyalty
programs, Australia’s not far
behind. Consumer loyalty programs
are huge in Australia as well. There
were enough similarities in the
financial landscapes that we could
test the idea of defragmenting your
financial life by putting it all back
together in the one place where you
can see it.
Were there early challenges or
unforeseen difficulties?
If there’s anything that makes us a
little bit circumspect, it’s probably
the old aphorism that timing is
everything. Japan, strangely enough,
is a leader in open banking thinking
and implementation in Asia. If you
know anything about Japan, you
know it has not really been a leader
in most things for a very long time.
We were involved with the regulators
as they were developing an open
banking framework. We had a
huge hand in developing what’s
become Japan’s open banking and
regulatory model.
We chose to go to Australia
basically at same time that Australia
is in its infancy of its open banking
regime as well. So, one of the things
we’ve seen that’s a small challenge
is timing related: there’s a lot of
‘wait and see’ going on. Many of the
financial institutions are waiting to
see what the Government’s going
to mandate before they decide how
they’re going to comply. We do have
a lot of relationships between larger
and smaller financial institutions. I
think everyone is holding fire until
they have a better idea of how the
regulation is going to pan out before
they start working with new partners.
What’s exciting you in money and
Moneytree is really excited about
insurance and insuretech. That’s a
space that’s very much ready for
innovation. It’s an old industry. It’s
very, very slow to move, and the
application of technology could
really revolutionise how insurance
is done.
How do you think the way people
use money will change and
develop as technology develops?
It’s extremely interesting. We have
some visibility across Asia and we’re
seeing how different economies are
in different positions when it comes
to going cashless. I think cashless
is the next big wave of innovation.
There are already a lot of cashless
products out there in the market.
Contactless payments, mobile
cashless, mobile contactless.
You’ve got Android Pay or Apple
Pay. The fluidity with which money
can move is going to change
people’s behaviour.
At Moneytree we believe even
though your money has been
virtualised – you don’t get an
envelope full of cash every month
– we want you to understand what
you’ve got. As micropayments get
easier, peer-to-peer, automated
debit and deposit, it’s going to
be a lot harder for consumers to
understand their positions. It’ll
be interesting to see how that all
shapes out. We say: defragment
your personal finance. The funny
thing is 'defragment' is a term that
works with a certain generation. It
means one thing for one generation
and different things for others. As
a young child I was defragmenting
hard drives. That has a very strong
image to me, of something that’s in
pieces that needs to be cleaned up.
But the truth is it’s harder and harder
to track your personal financial
position. It’s actually harder for
businesses as well.
Top three significant marketing objectives in 2018
Nurturing and progressing leads
Optimising customer experience
The best of B2B
The 2018 annual ‘B2B Marketing Outlook’ report by Green Hat asked B2B
marketers about performance and challenges of the past year,
and where they are focusing their efforts this year.
he 2018 version of
Green Hat’s ‘B2B
Marketing Outlook’
report offers an in-depth
look into the businessto-business (B2B) marketing
profession in Australia. Surveying
412 respondents, it asked them
about marketing performance,
strategy, planning, and attitudes
to new tools and techs available to
them. Measuring marketing ROI was
the biggest challenge for them last
year, closely followed by optimising
the customer experience. As for
significant marketing objectives for
2018, generating, nurturing and
progressing leads topped the list,
followed by optimising customer
experience (CX).
Each year, the report also looks at
the behaviour and responses of
‘best-in-class’ marketers. These are
defined as “leaders and innovators
of the B2B marketing industry”,
and their practice can be used as
benchmarks for all B2B marketers
looking to see the best results from
their marketing. To identify them, the
survey selected three key areas that
have a significant impact on overall
marketing effectiveness:
= Understanding target audience
– have they developed personas
for buyers in target markets?
= A focus on pipeline outcomes –
do they get satisfactory (more
than two-thirds) follow-up of
marketing leads by sales teams?
= Adopting technology – have
they implemented a marketing
automation platform?
Best-in-class marketers
were significantly more likely
than the rest of the participants
to have achieved their marketing
objectives in 2017, including in
the areas of developing strategies and plans, measuring results,
aligning sales and marketing, and
improving CX.
For the first time, the annual
survey asked B2B marketers
whether they achieved their
marketing objectives in 2017.
Only 24 percent said they did.
Why? Is marketing simply not
working? Where are they going
Generating leads
Have you achieved your marketing objectives over the previous 12 months?
wrong? Andrew Haussegger,
managing director at Green Hat,
links it more to not clearly defining
objectives and measuring outcomes.
(See Figure 1)
“There’s a lack of planning in
place,” he says. Just over half of the
participants documented content
and social media plans, less than
half documented lead generation
and lead nurturing efforts, and only
a third say they’ve sat down with
sales teams to align their efforts.
As for measurement, Haussegger
says it has been a challenge for
B2B marketers over the last couple
of years. “In order to know if you’ve
achieved your objectives, you need to
have the right measurement in place.
If you’re not measuring, then you don’t
know.” Indeed, measuring marketing
ROI topped the list as the biggest
challenge for marketers last year.
“You can measure email opens
and clicks ‘til the cows come home,
and that’s interesting at a low level,”
says Haussegger, “but that’s not
what it’s really about.”
Measuring the effectiveness
of cross channel experience with
clients, or campaign attribution?
“There aren’t that many that can put
their hand up and say they do that
well.” (See Figure 2)
Not sure
Best-in-class marketers were
far more likely to have achieved
their objectives than the rest of
the study. Not coincidentally, 95
percent performed some sort
of marketing ROI measurement,
73 percent accurately measured
lead conversion and pipeline
performance, 66 percent measured
sales lead follow-up and 55 percent
measured campaign attribution.
They were also far more active
when it came to documenting
strategies in social, content, customer
personas and experience, sales and
marketing alignment, automation and
account-based marketing.
Top three marketing challenges in 2017
Measuring marketing ROI
Optimising customer experience
Generating leads
Best-in-class marketers in this space
were those who align closely with
sales teams, with clear definitions
of marketing qualified leads (MQL).
About 68 percent have a shared MQL
definition with sales teams, whereas
only 39 percent of the rest of the
respondents achieved this. Another
trait is their success rate in getting
satisfactory or better lead follow-up.
Across the board, Haussegger
believes there hasn’t been much
improvement in sales and marketing
alignments for B2B businesses in the
last couple of years. “We haven’t seen
improvement in planning, we haven’t
seen improvement in lead follow-up.
“The other thing we look at is follow-up
by sales. That did not improve: 44
percent last year said they’re getting
satisfactory lead follow-up, this year
it’s 43 percent. About the same.” (See
Figures 3 and 4)
In Green Hat’s survey, sales and
marketing alignment was the least
significant objective for 2018. The
much higher overall performance
of best-in-class marketers and their
stronger efforts in this space – getting
better lead follow-up, agreeing on
a MQL definition and developing
strategies together – shows an
immediate and obvious opportunity
for marketers to focus on developing
to increase chances of reaching their
goals in 2018.
This is another area that has not
improved greatly in the last few
years. Only half (48 percent) of
participants said they developed
customer personas to better
understand their buyers. All bestin-class marketers have developed
highly targeted personalisation
strategies. (See Figure 5)
Haussegger believes that many
marketers aren’t getting the time
and budget to work on strategies
here. A quick fix, again, could be to
work closer with sales departments.
“They’re not aligned enough with
sales,” he says. “If they were, it
would be the logical thing to do – to
Which of the following processes do you currently have established between your Sales and Marketing teams?
(multiples allowed)
Shared goals & KPIs
Collaboration sessions to review shared KPIs
Mutually agreed definition of a ‘marketing lead’
Defined lead management process (entire funnel)
Automated lead routing from marketing system into CRM
Mutually agreed service level agreement (SLA)
Not Sure
sit down and say ‘let’s understand
who our customer is’.”
This is only going to increase in
importance, and those marketers
that don’t start investing in it
now will be left behind. Content
marketing is one space where B2B
marketers are investing heavily.
“How can you have a strategy
around your content, your content
mapping and development if
you haven’t really analysed your
customers?” he asks.
“The increased availability of
information has quickly transformed
everyone into product experts,”
says Marco Battois, head of
You can measure email opens and clicks
’til the cows come home, but that’s not what
it’s really about.
marketing ANZ at Henkel – Adhesive
Technologies. “So, more than ever
before, we will need to be closer
to the decision-makers to be able
to support them throughout their
buying journey.”
B2B marketers may be reluctant
to develop customer personas
for a number of reasons. Battois
recommends enlisting the help of
experts. “All the data we have access
to means nothing if we cannot
transform it into meaningful insights
to support our decision-making
process,” he says.
“Recognising that we needed
help from the experts to guide us
through the changing landscape has
been a mindset shift for us.”
(See Figure 6)
This year, 54 percent of all
respondents reported they use a
On average, how many Marketing leads are followed up by Sales?
More than
two thirds
One third to
two thirds
Less than
a third
not available
How can you
have a strategy
around your
content, your
content mapping
and development if
you haven’t really
analysed your
marketing automation platform.
While this in fact represents a
decline in the results from last year
(63 percent adoption), Haussegger
believes this actually signifies
a growth in understanding of
marketing automation.
“There are people who have
smart email systems and they’re
calling that automation,” he said
last year, believing the numbers to
be overstated.
Great potential exists with
linking an automation platform
to a company’s CRM, which only
41 percent of all respondents are
currently doing. Lead management
is greatly optimised when leads can
automatically flow from marketing
to sales across this integration, and
Green Hat predicts further growth in
this area in future.
Haussegger says this is a oneoff change that just keeps on
delivering. “Once automation’s
connected into the CRM and data is
flowing through into a sales team, it’s
harder to disconnect, to take
that functionality away.”
A/B testing and retargeting
are the most common marketing
technologies deployed by B2B
“[Over the next 12 months] we’ll
see the continued development and
adoption of marketing automation,”
says Anne Stonier, marketing
and communications manager at
Greencap. “This will enable marketers
to exploit the advantages of delivering
highly personalised and relevant
content along the customer journey
from prospect to purchaser to loyal
customer. At the same time, it enables
repetitive tasks to be automated
with accompanying marketing cost
benefits,” she says. (See Figure 7)
Have you developed personas for buyers in your target markets?
We plan to
Not sure
For which of the following do you have a documented strategy? (multiples allowed)
Content marketing & social media
Digital marketing
Lead generation & nurturing
Sales & marketing alignment
Customer experience
Which of the following marketing technologies do you deploy today? (multiples allowed)
A/B email testing
Programmatic media advertising
Dynamic content marketing
Predictive data analytics
Augmented or virtual reality
Investigated for the first time in
this year’s study, account-based
marketing (ABM) is defined for the
research as “a strategic approach to
B2B marketing based on account
awareness in which the seller
considers and communicates with
individual customer and prospect
accounts as a ‘market of one’.”
It has been creating buzz in B2B
marketing for a couple of years,
and 46 percent of respondents
reported they currently invest in it.
Haussegger isn’t so sure about this,
thinking it may be a similar lack of
understanding case to last year’s
inflated automation statistic.
(See Figure 8)
“We’ve had targeted accounts
selling and target account marketing
for many years, but what’s
happening now is that technology
is enabling this area of marketing,
whereas it didn’t in the last few
years,” adds Haussegger.
“I wouldn’t think 46 percent of
B2B companies are doing ABM… I
won’t be surprised if next year, as
people understand ABM a bit more,
that number drops: ‘oh, you mean
ABM? That’s what that is? Oh, no,
I’m not doing that!’”
A recent study from Demand
Gen of primarily US marketers found
that 52 percent of respondents had
had their ABM strategy in place for
less than six months, and 56 percent
defined their ABM program to date as
in its ‘early stages’ or ‘testing phase’.
“The US is well head of us. If
they’re at 52 percent – but only in
early stages – we’re nowhere near
46,” says Haussegger. Well, no
matter how many are actually using
it (and what they think they may be
using!), it appears to be working,
with 56 percent in Green Hat’s study
saying it delivers ROI, a further 35
planning to continue its use despite
not being able to quantify ROI,
and only two percent planning to
discontinue their ABM strategy. (See
figure 9)
Content development will be 2018’s
top investment area, with more than
two-thirds of respondents rating it in
their top three. Almost 60 percent of
B2B marketers have a documented
strategy for content and social media.
“There’s a content shock out
there,” says Haussegger, “too much
Facebook, the second most
popular platform, follows LinkedIn,
although this may change again
Do you currently do Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?
Not yet, but we are planning to implement it
Yes, Sales & Marketing have joint responsibility
Yes, this is the responsibility of Sales
Yes, this is the responsibility of Marketing
Not sure
Yes, this is another department’s responsibility
ABM is delivering
moderate ROI
ABM delivered
strong ROI and
plan to increase
Too early to
comment on ROI
for ABM
this year given its recent changes
away from publishers and brands to
once again focus on individual user
Best-in-class marketers take
content one step further, with 74
percent personalising it by segment
or even the individual to improve CX.
ABM not delivering
ROI for us yet but
will continue
“Many organisations still view
B2B marketing as quite productdriven and based on rational
decision-making, but more
marketers will continue to sharpen
their pencils on communicating
a compelling brand story”, says
David Reece, head of marketing –
Not sure
ABM does not
work and we will
not continue
enterprise solutions at MYOB. (see
Figure 10)
B2B marketers are perhaps
getting more social media savvy,
with 21 percent seeing good results
from social marketing, an increase
from 14 percent last year. (see
Figure 11)
Which social platforms is your business actively using?(multiples allowed)
Which statement best describes your current ABM situation?
How would you describe your social media marketing in the last 12 months?
Too early to tell
No results
Not sure
B2B marketers are following the
lead of their B2C counterparts and
recognising the importance of CX. It
is a big challenge, with 95 percent
saying they found optimising CX
challenging. About half (48 percent)
have undertaken customer journey
mapping and are developing
personas. CX, says Haussegger, “is
becoming a competitive differentiator
like product, functionality and price.”
(see Figure 12)
Vanessa Ng, head of beverage
solutions at Nestlé Professional, says
Nestlé will be starting a combined
focus on content and experience to
get the best results. “I’m considering
thought leadership and what we can
contribute to decision-makers,” she
says. “We’re identifying what inspires
them and makes them tick. We’re
shifting away from a sales focus
towards CX.”
(multiples allowed)
Social media targeting
Customer journey mapping
Content personalisation
Automation for lead management
Data integration & analytics
Account-based marketing
Good results and ROI
NPS Benchmark
Series Australia &
New Zealand
powered by
SSI logo is a registered trademark of Survey Sampling International, LLC. Net Promoter, Net Promoter Score and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company Inc, Satmetrix Systems
Inc, and Fred Reichheld. Icons by Gregor Cresnar from the Noun Project
FMCGs to first
in fintech
After beginning her career in FMCGs and telcos, Rebecca Shears had a fresh start
in financial technology, embracing a new digital frontier. By Michelle Keomany.
One of the
things about
being the first is
that we got a lot
of growth really
hile the buzzword bitcoin has
recently forced
fintech into the
Australian online currency transfer
company OFX has been disrupting
the finance industry before the
word ‘fintech’ was even invented.
Now operating in six countries and
celebrating its 20th anniversary,
OFX ofers its customers savings of
up to 75 percent on the transfer rates from the bank. This
is all done through the convenience of a streamlined and
secure website and app. With an impressive 20-plus year
career, Rebecca Shears is the CMO guiding the brand from
strength to strength and continuing to forge their reputation as a true blue disruptor in the complicated global
finance industry.
Shears speaks with warmth, charm and genuine awareness. Originally from the UK, she got a strong start in the
marketing industry as part of the graduate program at
Unilever. She credits these formative years for setting her
up with the marketing fundamentals that have helped her
entire career. The classic FMCG taught her how important
it is to focus on customer insights – what they think about
your product and your category. After spending some time
in sales, Shears also gives credit to being on the front end
of a product, visiting stores and understanding what your
product looks like on the shelf and how it’s sold.
“I have to say that Unilever and
Proctor and Gamble and those big
FMCG companies really understand
the basics of marketing. Our CEO
here at OFX has come from GE and
he’s got the same philosophy. It’s all
about understanding the numbers
and your customer. Those two things
are the most critical,” Shears says.
She emphasises that it’s also about
being able to switch that end-to-end
focus inward to look at the company
itself. “Unilever was really focused on the commercial side
and giving you a strong business understanding… if you
don’t understand the commercial side of the business as a
CMO or marketing director, you’re not going to succeed.”
She talks about how important it is to be in touch
with the business as a whole, the profit and loss account,
ROI and just how important it is to be ‘on the numbers’ in
general. During her time at both T-Mobile and HP, Shears
always made time to attend trading meetings with the sales
teams – even when marketing wasn’t being discussed.
This is a practice she continues today, attending the daily
OFX sales meetings. Does she think this is a common
downfall among other senior marketers? Definitely. “I’ve
seen it quite often. There’s an old joke that marketing is
the colouring-in department. There are some industries
where marketing isn’t seen to be as important as product
and sales and I think [when people don’t understand the
numbers] that’s why.”
five favourite
phone apps
Career Timeline
achieving this at a young age. “I found
Shears also highlights how personher very inspirational and she taught
ally important it is to her to be a
me about self-belief… She taught
successful collaborator. “Get to know
me that women should stop putting
your counterparts in sales, finance
Chief marketing officer, OFX
themselves down and believe in themor product and understand what
selves more. She had a big impact on
makes them tick. Everyone should
me going through my career.”
have aligned metrics, but if you don’t,
Shears first joined OFX in 2016,
sitting down and really underHead of marketing, UK and
overseeing the major rebrand from
standing what’s important to your
Ireland, HP
OzForex. She says this was like
peers really helps that collaboration.”
opening a new door and being able
A natural insightfulness and genuine
to start again while still keeping all
interest in the business as a whole
the great fundamentals that were
comes through in Shears’ overall
Head of acquisition marketing,
established with OzForex. Part of
approach and is part of the reason
the reason she chose the role was the
fintech suits her so well. She has a
company’s size; with just over 300 staf
highly adaptable skill set from FMCG,
JANUARY 2000 TO MAY 2003
globally, it was a far cry from the size of
to telco, to IT to fintech, and sees the
Group manager, consumer
Telstra or HP. “I find that exciting, I can
value in meeting the challenges that
marketing, Telstra
really make a diference in this role
come with changing industries.
and we can make decisions, make them
When she left Unilever it was
happen quickly and see the results. And that’s incredible.”
an exciting time for Shears to join the mobile industry at
When OFX first launched, it was the only company
British Telecom: the market was exploding in the UK. There
ofering a much needed alternative to traditional currency
was a lot of money and a lot of interesting, bold work from
transfers through the banks. Now, according to KPMG,
telco brands. “Even though FMCG was meant to be fast
investment in the Australian fintech sector has risen from
moving, it was only after I left and went somewhere else
US$53 million in 2012 to over US$675 million in 2016. The
that I understood what fast moving really was!” She credits
number of fintech start-ups has increased from fewer than
the decision to leave FMCG as a real turning point. “I felt if
100 in 2014 to 579 companies active in Australia today.
I didn’t do it at that time I could get pigeonholed, because
Shears says that the constant change of the market, especially
I was in cosmetics and personal care for six years and I
in digital, is both her biggest challenge and opportunity.
think it’s important to change and try diferent industries.”
She talks about the incredible value in being able to
Shears says that her time at HP working with international
track everything against metrics and needing to constantly
markets and then moving to (and back from) Australia also
prove the ROI of what she’s doing. “I find that there’s a
helped broaden her global understanding.
wealth of opportunity, but also we’re having to become
As well as key professional experience, Shears speaks
much more multi-skilled. It’s not just about being creative.
about what she learned from key people such as Dirk
I need a team of people that can do analytics as well as run
Woessner when she was at T-Mobile. She credits him for
campaigns,” she says. On top of the normal responsibilities
showing her the value of building a strong team. “He taught
as a CMO, being a disruptor brand
me that if you listen to, support and
in the tech space means that OFX
trust your team, you can build a really
also needs to stay ahead by looking
great environment and that’s always
for new technologies and understayed with me and I’ve worked really
standing all the platforms available.
hard to build that team environment
Shears says: “It’s not just about
wherever I go.”
going to the media agency; we’re
Shears also worked with Holly
1. World clock
running in-house search ourselves,
Kramer, previously the group
some programmatic in-house, we’re
managing director at Telstra and
2. OFX app
running our CRM, we have to undercurrently the non-executive director
stand Salesforce – it’s much more
at Nine Entertainment, AMP,
3. BBC News
complex than it used to be.”
Australia Post and Woolworths.
4. The weather
As a tech company, OFX is a
Shears says she admired Kramer for
sophisticated and secure digital app
being a female in one of the most
5. LinkedIn
and platform. As a business, it focuses
senior roles in Australia, and for
on customer service. Even though it’s a purely digital business, when it comes to money, customers still like to have
a real voice at the end of the phone, which is reflected in a
24/7 support team. While the core of its business is expats
and travellers, with B2B functionality also being developed,
OFX helps its customers achieve a lot more than access
travel money.
Shears recounts some incredible stories such as the one
about a mother who is supporting her daughter in South
Africa, where she works as part of a mounted anti rhinopoaching unit and is paid just $200 a month. OFX helps
parents and children alike to support family members
overseas who are experiencing hardship.
The business also fluctuates depending on the foreign
exchange market. Shears says that this is a very diferent
environment to be working in; she never had to be up to
speed on the geopolitical environment or such things as
Brexit or US politics when she was in telcos.
“One of the things about being the first is that we got a
lot of growth really quickly,” she says, recalling the earlier
stages of OFX. “We didn’t really need to diversify our
marketing strategy; we basically just grew from search and
word of mouth. And then as the market got busier we had to
really look at the marketing.”
Along with the rebrand, OFX diversified its marketing
mix with a lot more multimedia-based campaigns. “As
we’ve grown we’ve actually got a huge customer database
and when I joined OFX there was no one concentrating on
CRM. So that’s something I’m focused on. I brought on a
new head of CRM and now we’re automating a lot of our
comms,” says Shears.
The business has started to see some real results from
reactivating customers who have been with it for a while,
but aren’t actively using the service. This shift also has an
impact on core metrics for the marketing function, Shears
adds, “In the past, the core focus was on new registrations
and customers. Now, we’re talking about more of a life cycle
approach, how we track revenue per customer and retention, rather than just how many customers.”
Shears also recognises the reality that some
customers will only use OFX once or twice and then
never again. Her broader challenge is twofold: keeping
It’s not just about
being creative. I need a
team of people that can
do analytics as well as run
Rebecca’s top five tips for
finance marketing
Understand the regulatory environment, but
don’t be driven by it: “Focus on the customer
insights first and ensure that you are talking to the
customer in a language they understand!”
Segment the audience, and create products and
services to answer their needs: “We are in the
process of doing that now at OFX and it is fascinating
to understand how attitudes to finance can vary so
differently across customer groups.”
Elevate the brand: “It’s important to capture
people’s imaginations and interest with your
content marketing (particularly in social media) and
then move on to talk about the functional messages
Focus on customer service: “Finance is highly
personal, and customers really appreciate
good service and the human touch. Our 24/7
support is critical to our business model and is one
of the reasons why our NPSs (net promoter scores)
are so high.”
Listen to customer feedback: “If our customers
take the time to send us feedback on Twitter,
we always respond and, where viable, we act on their
comments too.”
the company relevant and top of mind in key moments
and, second, to present new user cases that customers
haven’t considered.
It’s a really exciting time to be in this space, as personal
finance is moving as quickly as the rest of the world in a
digital age. “We’re moving much more globally and buying
overseas; the world is becoming more connected with
things like the sharing economy. The opportunities are
always broadening.” And how does she feel about the pressure to continually perform under all these conditions?
“I actually really enjoy that; marketing is critical to driving
the growth in a digital business. We definitely are driving
the acquisition of what we do.” Rebecca Shears represents
not only the new forefront of online Australian finance
marketing, but also a new digital frontier that’s only
getting stronger.
Why the blockchain revolution
will have to wait a little longer
We’re in a year of reckoning for blockchain initiatives, says
Martha Bennett, where some will write off investments
and give up, while others will continue to forge ahead.
Martha Bennett
Principal analyst, Forrester
Blockchain isn't one thing;
it's an architectural principle
A blockchain is a store of records that is:
Cryptographically encoded
(but not, by default, encrypted)
Write once, append only
Distributed and completely
or partially replicated
I frequently get questions on how I see 2018 shaping
up in the blockchain technology arena, and this is the
one-sentence summary I usually give: The visionaries
will forge ahead; those hoping for immediate industry and
process transformation will give up. Following blockchain
technology feels a little like living in two parallel universes:
one is the world of press and vendor hype, fuelled in equal
measure by commercial self-interest and a genuine desire
for innovation, and which remains firmly in the phase of
irrational exuberance.
The other is the world of enterprise business and
technology professionals who are actually working on
“Brands that borrow their
values and stage their
superficial experiences
will continue to be called
out for all to see across
social media.”
Decentralised in its
pure form
There's no such thing as the’ blockchain
Application layer
Application programming
Software developement kits/
development platforms
Blockchain or shared ledger layer
Which of these elements you use, and which
‘flavour’ of each element, is determined
by your use case and the
requirements arising
me onse
from it.
ch nu
ha cept
nd ion
pe ad/w
rm ri
iss te
au dent
the ity
nti an
ca d
exert co
cu ntra
tio ct
rep P2P
pri enti
va alit
cy y/
mong the most frequently asked questions
Forrester receives on the topic of blockchain
are: How would you define blockchain?
Should we consider investing in a
blockchain-based solution? How mature
is the technology? What are some of the key challenges of
which we should be aware?
“In 2018, we expect to see a
number of projects stopped
that should never have been
started in the first place.”
blockchain projects. This latter world is firmly anchored in
the phase of rational assessment, and everyone’s agreed that
large-scale, widespread deployment of blockchain-based (or
indeed blockchain-inspired) networks isn’t imminent. The
inhabitants of this second universe also recognise that you
need to be prepared to be in it for the long haul, as the true
transformational potential of blockchain-based networks
will take a long time to materialise, for non-technical
as much as technical reasons. That’s not to say that this
latter group will persevere with all of the blockchain
initiatives they have started. Forrester released our 2018
blockchain predictions late last year, and we predict we’ll
see some serious pruning of projects in 2018. Initiatives
will increasingly be assessed against standard business
benefit models, and those found wanting will not be given
the go-ahead, or they’ll be stopped if already underway. The
projects that proceed will fall into three categories:
These projects are focused on understanding what it means
to develop a blockchain-based system. Ideally, they’ll work
on real use cases; but the ultimate goal is investigation and
learning, not necessarily delivery of a working system.
These projects cover two bases: one, learning how to work
with this nascent technology. Two, delivering an actual
system that can be deployed in a real business context.
Many of these projects are intra-company, and that’s
OK: a large global organisation can achieve significant
eiciencies by putting certain processes on an internal
blockchain. Other projects are inter-company, involving
multiple ecosystem players; those going live during 2018
are likely to remain comparatively small-scale and focus
on the improvement of existing processes rather than
reinventing them.
This is the territory of the visionaries, who recognise
that to realise the true value of blockchain-based
networks means reinventing entire processes and
industries as well as how public sector organisations
function. Those who persevere with their blockchain
initiatives are not only aware (sometimes painfully)
that the technology is still at a very early stage of
development, but also understand that this isn’t really
about technology, but about business. This is what sets
them apart from those who follow the siren call of tech
industry promises without suicient grasp of what a
blockchain network is all about, both from a business
and a technology perspective; the resulting vanity projects
will invariably fail.
In 2018, we expect to see a number of projects stopped
that should never have been started in the first place.
Going back to where I started: Forrester sees 2018 to
be the year of reckoning for blockchain initiatives.
Those who failed to translate the headlines into reality
will write of their investments and give up, while others
that have a deep understanding of the technology and its
transformational potential in the long run will continue
to forge ahead.
To quote [Roy] Amara’s Law: “We tend to overestimate
the efect of a technology in the short run and
underestimate the efect in the long run.”
Forrester is a Marketing Content Partner,
a leading organisation with which we
collaborate to bring exclusive content
to readers. Read more from Forrester analysts at
Don’t bank on it
How can Australia’s banks quickly reinforce their meaning and
difference in the eye of the consumer before it’s too late?
rand Z’ is a global
consumer brand survey
study conducted by
Kantar Millward Brown.
Marketing speaks with
Brad Doble, managing partner –
Sydney at Landor Associates, about
his organisation’s analysis of one
particular segment: retail banking
in Australia. Landor’s findings
were that retail banks in Australia
are underperforming in two key
areas that the annual 'Brand Z'
study identifies as key drivers of
brand power: meaning (the role the
brand plays in people's lives) and
difference (how it stands out from
Brands in Australian retail
banking sector fared poorly in both,
and are ripe for swift disruption,
says Doble, unless they find ways
to innovate in more than just
customer experiences.
Marketing: What’s wrong with
retail banking in Australia?
Brad Doble: Banking as a product
is quite commoditised. The money
doesn’t really belong to the banks,
so no matter what bank you go to
it’s the exact same money. Interest
rates are for the most part set by the
Government. The product set is very
much the same. We’re interested
in looking at: ‘Well, how are banks
performing within the sector?’
compared to the brands that
are now setting expectations
around meaning and relevance
in people’s lives. Think Airbnb,
where you start to get brands
that didn’t exist before setting new
benchmarks, both for the experience
that you have, and the relevance
a brand has in your life.
Aside from product, why do
you think banks have difficulty
differentiating themselves from
competitors and in the minds of
Another challenge is the amount of
effort they put into it. To be really
transparent, I think banking has a
real problem, in that I don’t think
customers are part of their agenda
whatsoever. They treat customers
fairly poorly in terms of the level
of innovation that’s developed and
their level of service. It’s far more
focused on shareholders than it
is on the customer. That’s just a
personal perception. In Australia
there are the big four banks. I
think that they’re not making a great
deal of effort to stand out. They
think the big four is almost a brand
in and of itself. That’s my take on it,
based on having worked overseas
for a long time and the amount of
effort that people put into more
competitive marketplaces.
Is their offerings being quite
similar part of the reason it’s hard
for them to connect? They’re
associated with finance and
money. It can be boring.
It’s just such a low engagement
category. You don’t think too hard
about what ATM you go to or what
bank you’re at unless you’re doing
life changing things. You worry about
it when you’re getting a mortgage.
You worry about it when something
goes wrong. To some degree, you
don’t think that hard about your
bank. It’s a bit like energy companies
and insurance companies. You just
don’t engage very deeply with them.
With that context, there are
two areas that we believe they
can differentiate on: one is the
experience they give you, the
service that you get. That’s where
you see somebody like Commbank
moving ahead in its profile. It is
actually getting a bit more relevant
with things like Albert for small
businesses and the way its app
works. Commbank’s delivering
on the utility of it. So one area for
differentiation is creating that better
experience. The problem with that is
One area for
differentiation is
creating that better
experience. The
problem with that,
is you get the edge
for a short period of
time, but everyone
can catch up really
you get the edge for a short period
of time, but everyone can catch up
really quickly. It’s not sustainable
The other area to differentiate
is in your philosophy – why you
do what you do and if you stand
for something. Between 2016 and
2017, brands like NAB were starting
to make a bit of a move towards
being more meaningful. That could
be driven a lot by its recent ‘More
than Money’ campaigns. Customers
are starting to say, ‘This bank
actually understands me, and money
is a way to get what I want in life, as
opposed to the end goal.’ That may
start to be what drives differentiation
in a sense of meaning for them.
Many are increasing their focus on
customer experience, or at least
present the image that they are.
How are they performing?
Some of them are certainly better
than others in certain areas.
Commbank is leading the way with
its digital offer. It’s miles ahead. ANZ
stole a bit of that away when it had
exclusivity on Apple Pay. ANZ in
particular is trying to revolutionise
the branch and be far less ‘we’re
behind the counter and you’re in
front of it’. I don’t know how effective
that is though, whether or not
people think ANZ is a better bank for
breaking down that barrier. I’m not
sure that anyone is really nailing it
in terms of the experience element.
There are marginal gains for people,
but I don’t think any of them have
made substantial difference.
Analysis of the research reveals
Australians don’t see digital
improvement as innovation. How
is innovation defined and how can
banks innovate in other ways?
Our hypothesis is people are
looking for innovation in product
offer, not just in service channels.
For example, one of the biggest
challenges right now for so many
Australians is getting into the
housing market. If a bank could
come up with a product of some
kind, some kind of savings vehicle,
that actually geared itself towards
helping all those people who are
trying to or are unable to do that,
that’s starting to innovate the
product. I don’t think many have
innovated the products for such a
long time when it comes to retail
banking. You still get mortgages,
you still get a credit card, a personal
loan, a car loan. There’s been no
innovation in the product offer that
actually says, ‘I do really actually
understand your life’.
UBank seems to be able to
tailor itself far more distinctly.
Again, being small, being nimble –
it operates in a different way and
I think that’s where there is some
innovation. I’d always imagined
innovation was directly linked to
the service channel and around
digital, but it was just really
surprising to see that the banks
that have the lead in digital aren’t
necessarily the ones being
perceived as innovators.
There’s been
no innovation in
the product offer
that actually says,
‘I do really actually
understand your
It goes back to what you were saying
about getting ahead in experience,
but then getting caught up with
very quickly. Banks can streamline
experiences, but everyone will be
right there with them.
This is a personal bugbear. When
you look at the management
consulting firms getting into a lot of
this, their model is to lift everyone
up to best in class. You do that by
making it more generic. There is
no personality, no differentiation
when you do that. You can have
that leadership for a little bit, but
it’s not sustainable.
Developments in fintech,
blockchain and disruptor apps are
making it easier for consumers to
manage their own finances. Will
banks become obsolete? Where do
you see them in five to 10 years?
I asked that specific question to a
banker, and they felt quite confident
there’s still a role for banks. There
is a chance for major disruption
in terms of owning the customer
relationship. If you think about the
bank – it’s just a balance sheet – it’s
a big chunk of capital. If they don’t
work harder on that experience,
something like Google, Apple or
even Tyro, can come in and own that
customer relationship and the bank
becomes far less relevant.
That person who owns the
relationship can change whoever
their capital is behind them
relatively easily. Unless they
work harder to actually own that
customer relationship, and really
embed themselves with genuine
loyalty, I don’t think banks are as
secure as they need to be for the
future. One of the big things that
stops people moving banks is
inertia, rather than loyalty. There
isn’t a great deal of loyalty with
consumers for banks. They’re not
as bad as insurance companies,
where they’re seen as a necessary
evil, but I do think they’re seen as
interchangeable, and unless some
or any of them really start creating
a far deeper relevance or sense of
meaning, they are at risk of being
disrupted completely.
Should they invest in loyalty or in
developing new products to reach
a new audience, a new generation
of customers, in the face of
I don’t mean loyalty in the way
airlines do it – locking you in with
frequent flyers and points systems –
but just making themselves stickier.
Making someone want to work with
them. As for new audiences, that’s
another thing I’m not sure they’ve
got their heads around. People’s
relationship to money is changing
so much from what it was in the
past. I think unless they can really
understand customers better, and
the new customer mindset, I don’t
think they’ll get that stickiness.
They’ve got all the data that proves
the more products you have with
them the stickier it is, but I don’t
think that’s being incentivised in
any way.
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Throw out the rulebook
and flip the funnel
Simon Gellibrand on how to leverage an unlimited marketing budget.
Throw a ball at a wall over and over again, and you’ll
eventually reach a point where you can’t throw it any more.
Even mustering all your efort, there’s nothing left in the
tank. Performance media is a bit like that ball at the wall.
Eventually, your efort will outweigh the return, and there
is no point throwing anything more at it. It’s the point of
diminishing returns.
To manage the efort, we can apply a CPA goal, and also
monitor closely the efort versus the return and calculate
the marginal gain. If the marginal gain is decreasing, we are
hitting diminishing returns and therefore the value of the
customer remains, but the efort to achieve that customer
is more. Most businesses will have a good grasp of their
customer value, but to manage that across performance
media, we must review CPA, ROI or ROAS (return on ad
spend) goals at a channel level.
ustralia’s savviest marketers are throwing
out the rulebook when it comes to budgets.
Smart brands are focusing less on the
allocation of marketing spend and more on
cost per acquisition (CPA) and return on
investment (ROI). In other words, they are taking budget
of the table and focusing on outcomes instead. Clearly,
the conversation is changing. Instead of asking marketing
teams: ‘What do you want to spend this month?’, the
astute are asking: ‘How much do you value your future
customers?’ This new paradigm – marked by the shift from
budget to value – is proving critical in getting results in
performance media.
When you approach the issue of marketing spend with the
above question in mind – and with the goal of applying the
notion of diminishing returns in sight – it’s evident that
a rethink of the traditional marketing funnel is required.
The traditional marketing funnel starts with awareness
strategies, and then moves through the narrowing paths of
interest, consideration and sale. The activities that cost the
most to execute (like video, programmatic display and paid
social) are the least eicient at converting customers – you’re
spending more of your marketing budget reaching out to
people who may not be interested in the product you sell.
Flipping the funnel is a crucial tactic in the pursuit of
unlimited budgets. It enables you to max out your highestperforming channel first, before moving onto the next
channel. Logically, the highest-performing channel has the
lowest CPA. Once you have maxed out your lowest CPA and
highest-performing channel, you can move on to the next
most cost-efective.
acquisition of
etention off
So, you’ve wrapped your head around the idea that your
first focus lies with the last touch before conversion – the
channel with the lowest CPA. Paid search is more than
likely your go-to channel here. It typically drives a low
CPA and is the last touch before conversion, making it
your logical starting point in an unlimited budget model.
The paid search channel can be further broken down into
more granular strategies.
Start with brand search (‘ACME credit cards’),
which produces a much cheaper return than a generic
search (‘credit cards’). Saturate brand and remarketing
search terms before product and then generic terms.
Iteratively stepping up the CPA ladder ensures that you
are focusing first on the channels with the lowest
acquisition costs. The second rung on the cost ladder
could be paid social or programmatic remarketing.
This, too, can be split up into strategies and tactics
aligned to your product or service.
Then there’s programmatic prospecting. This has a
higher CPA as it prospects out to new audiences. You’ve
got quite granular options here, including programmatic
guaranteed, PMP (private marketplace) deals and openauction prospecting.
Finally, there’s video. Tasked to drive mass awareness,
video comes with a higher CPA. That said, you could
manage six-second bumpers, 15-second or 30-second
TrueView ads on a cost per view (CPV) basis to aid scale
and reach a frequency goal. As this approach shows,
you’re not filling the funnel top-down anymore, but more
bottom-up. And, rather than setting a budget at a channel
level, you’re prescribing a CPA or ROI target – only once
you reach that target at a channel level do you stabilise
spend on the current channel, and move on to the next.
If you are going to pursue this new way of thinking and
apply the unlimited budget model to your brand, then it’s a
great opportunity to not just flip the funnel, but challenge
it too. Customers today travel through a very non-linear,
never-ending journey.
To better reflect how customers move through this loop,
we should challenge ourselves to think about the business
objectives and set KPIs to these. Identify the job to be done
– for example, if your brand is well-known, but falling
short in the consideration stakes, then you need to set CPA
KPIs that allow this, at a channel level. In this case, even
though video may have a higher CPA, it may be a critical
tactic to invest in if your KPI is to move customers across
into the consideration side of the loop.
Moving to an unlimited budget model requires a big shift
in the way you talk about marketing. You need to flip the
conversation to focus on the most eicient channel first,
to maximise opportunity and minimise CPA. You can also
challenge linear pathways by identifying a specific goal,
such as awareness or consideration, and focusing your
energy on that goal.
In this new realm, you’re setting clear KPIs and sticking
to them. In asking the question ‘what is the value of the
customer?’, having a KPI conversation instead of a budget
conversation and also understanding where your brand fits
in the CX (customer experience) loop, you’re on the path
towards an unlimited budget model that meets or exceeds your
acquisition targets and puts your brand on track for growth.
Simon Gellibrand is head of performance media at
Performics Australia.
It’s about so much
more than money
Chris Freel challenges us to change perceptions
on charity and think beyond cash contributions.
Chris Freel is
or many people, the mention of ‘charity’ is
closely associated with the idea that people
are trying to convince you to donate. Pesky
tin rattlers outside the train station, the
TV ads pulling on your heartstrings and
unsolicited phone calls during your dinner can make you
feel like all they care about is getting a slice of your hardearned cash. There’s no denying that money does indeed
help the charity world along, but when it comes to making
a diference, it’s not the only thing that can create change.
And, in a weird twist, in some instances – especially with
some of the smaller grassroots charities with which UnLtd
works – an obsession with money can actually get in the
way of the impactful work that is being done. Here’s why.
Money can assist with driving behavioural change,
but it’s not the only change agent. It’s the behavioural
changes themselves that can actually lead to the greatest
impact on communities – not money. Take for example
one of UnLtd’s charity partners, BackTrack, which
operates out of Armidale, New South Wales under the
guidance of a remarkable man, Bernie Shakeshaft. He is
living proof that the ability to make a real diference is not
ruled by how much funding can be achieved. Shakeshaft
It is time to change the
narrative and stigma
around the word ‘charity’
and collectively focus more
on ‘social responsibility’.
started BackTrack in 2006 with nothing more than an old
transport yard he had managed to acquire at minimal cost
from the local government.
Fast forward 12 years and Shakeshaft and his team
have transformed this deserted space into a place where
kids – who often have nowhere else to turn and who
have fallen foul of the system – come to find support,
community and guidance to help them to get their
lives back on track. He uses unconventional methods
and, thanks to a decision to turn it down because of
the conditions it comes with (which would not enable
BackTrack to operate and drive the results that it does),
has little to no government funding. Yet BackTrack’s
programs that reintroduce the kids into education and
employment have delivered exceptional results – with
some 87 percent of participants now engaged in education
and employment.
The BackTrack team is guided by the principles of
the ‘Circle of Courage’, which has four areas of focus:
generosity, belonging, mastery and accountability. Or as
Shakeshaft aptly calls it: “owning your s**t”. (As an aside
– this resonates for me in life in general.)
The kids who come to BackTrack often have never
had anybody who believes in them, may have been in and
out of jail, homeless, victims of serial abuse and violence,
and in and out of foster care. One of the first things the
BackTrack team does is provide a sense of belonging. No
kid is ever turned away from BackTrack and everybody
is treated equally. BackTrack spends a lot of time with
the kids getting them to understand that they have to be
accountable, they have to own their s**t – no matter how
bad it may be – as that is the first step on the path forward.
BackTrack spends 80 percent of its time focusing on
the future, 10 percent on the past and 10 percent on the
present day. It takes accountability for the present and
then focuses on where the kids want to be in the future.
CEO of UnLtd
Think beyond contributing
your cash. What skills and
resources do you, or your
organisation, have that can
make a diference?
Its programs bring mastery to life through agricultural
training, welding, woodwork and working with dogs.
Generosity and humility are repeatedly on show through
all that it does. There’s no doubt that money through
donations is an important part of enabling BackTrack
to do what it does, but the real secret sauce for success is
social responsibility as shown by the local community –
from providing job opportunities to the young people in
the program, to supporting their social enterprises and
the general support of the local community to help these
kids get back on track. It is a real community efort.You
may be wondering why, in The Money Issue, I have spent
so much time focusing on the work of one charity and how
money isn’t the only thing that matters.
Don’t get me wrong. Fundraising, payroll giving
and regular donations all do a great deal in helping our
charity partners run their programs, so money is hugely
important to enable the work. But it’s only one part of
the equation. Generosity comes in many diferent
forms and often what is given in time, resources, sharing
and action has equal impact. It is time to change the
narrative and stigma around the word ‘charity’ and
collectively focus more on ‘social responsibility’.
We all have a responsibility to make our country and
our world a better place and leave a positive legacy for our
children and their children’s children.
As an industry of marketers we have so much
collective power to be able to do this, so please think about
how you can harness your power for good and get in
touch. I challenge you all to think of charity in a diferent
way. Ask yourself if you are currently doing anything
that is helping to make Australia a better place? Consider
what you can do to create social impact for good, to leave
a legacy and make our country better for all, including
those less fortunate than ourselves. Think beyond
contributing your cash. What skills and resources do
you, or your organisation, have that can make a
diference? Are you using them for good or do you have
room to? If you are already helping making a diference
with your skills and resources and time, then please
accept my gratitude and consider encouraging your
friends, colleagues and anybody who will listen to do the
same. If the answer is ‘no’, then I invite you to consider
how you can make a diference.
At UnLtd, we work with organisations and individuals
in the media, marketing and advertising industry to use
our collective skills and resources for good. We believe
that all young Australians deserve the best opportunity in
life and we also believe that if we collectively harness our
power and influence for good then we can make a hugely
positive diference in our country. Give us a call. We’d love
to help you (and your organisation) help others.
Marketing is proud to have UnLtd
as a Content Partner. UnLtd brings
the Australian media, marketing and
advertising industry together to tackle a big issue:
youth disadvantage. We urge you to visit
and get involved.
On the cards
en Pfisterer is the
Australian country
manager for Square,
the retail payments
tech developer.
After previous roles working in
business development, strategy
and innovation at NAB and Visa,
he started at Square in 2014 and
was part of its Australian launch
in early 2016.
Here he speaks with Marketing
about changes in bricks and mortar
retail, the tech developments that
are letting small businesses access
the information big businesses have
had for decades, and what new
payment technologies will mean for
the future of cash.
Marketing: Today much of the
discussion around retail and
consumption centres on online
trends. What have been some of
the biggest changes in the physical
retail space?
Ben Pfisterer: Bricks and mortar
has been going through significant
changes. It probably started about
nine years ago. That was when the
[current] most commonly accepted
form of payment – although at that
time it was still cash – card, was
starting to grow in utilisation. Back
then and obviously for many years
before that, magstripe technology
was the predominant card type. It
worked really well when it was a
minority type of transaction, but as
it continued to grow in popularity, it
obviously attracted a lot of attention
from a security perspective.
EMV (Europay, Mastercard and
Visa) technology was deployed,
otherwise known as chip cards, and
that basically put a microprocessor
on a piece of plastic, which was very
exciting from a security standpoint,
but for people like myself in the
innovation space, what it meant
was you effectively had a microcomputer, or a small computer
format, sitting on a piece of plastic.
It was great for security, but even
better for additional functionality.
So, the first thing that came out of
that was contactless technology –
with the deployment of technology
like Visa Paywave and Mastercard
Paypass. It’s commonplace now,
and Australians are the highest
adopters of contactless technologies
in the world. That vastly changed
the transaction experience for
businesses and consumers alike.
Now, if you go into a business
where you don’t do a contactless
transaction, it can feel like a totally
different type of transaction,
particularly if it’s a fast-moving
transaction environment. Australian
cardholders really do expect to
be contactless. There’s still a
place for slower transactions,
but it’s remarkably shifted. We
now see in excess of 85 percent
of all transactions being done
on contactless, and, sometimes
when we look at things like events,
you can see upwards of 97 or 98
percent contactless transactions.
That immediate transaction sees
an environment vastly change.
The next paradigm that’s coming
through is cards are the dominant
transaction type above cash and
cash is declining rapidly. We’re
now seeing both consumers and
businesses understand the power
of the data that can come from
Marketing speaks with Ben Pfisterer, country manager at Square,
about new developments in retail payment technologies,
and what to expect for the future of cash.
limit. A lot of other markets, the
contactless limit capped at lower
amounts – 35 or 50 maybe. That
didn’t really get into your everyday
spends in terms of shopping or
petrol. Australia’s is a good limit,
an effective limit at $100. People
started seeing that they could
use it in all sorts of environments.
Probably most importantly, if you’re
going to deploy something with a
two-sided innovation – on the buyer
and seller side – like contactless,
you have to get the balance of both
right. If too many businesses deploy
If you’re going to deploy something with
a two-sided innovation – on the buyer and
seller side – you have to get the balance of
both right.
done for decades. Any business can
now start to understand its sales
history a lot better. Consumers
too are now seeing a raft of new
products come through: internet
banking, and mobile app delivery of
electronic transactions to give them
more insights into their spending
habits and make sure that they’re
managing their accounts and their
transaction history better.
Why do you think Australia has
been one of the fastest adopters?
It’s hard to say. Having been lucky
enough to work at the forefront
of that migration, I think the
Australian industry did it quite well
in terms of deploying contactless,
so it’s something that can be
used in the majority of everyday
environments. So, the first thing that
was implemented was the $100
contactless readers, and not enough
contactless cards, those businesses
would quickly get sick of not seeing
the volume and probably move
away from the technology. On the
other side, if there were too many
cards and not enough businesses
accepting contactless, consumers
would forget about it pretty quickly.
Australia did a great job of actually
making sure the growth on both
sides [was] mirrored. It started to
get into the everyday. People started
to see it more and expect it more.
Businesses started to understand
the benefits and the advantages
of doing faster, contactless
transactions. Then, when you get
your large format stores – like Coles
and Woolworths – deploying it,
that’s when you see hyper growth
coming through across the markets,
and pretty much most terminals,
as they get deployed, now look at
contactless to make sure that’s right
for their environment.
How do Square’s products and
strategies reflect these trends?
When we started about nine years
ago in the US – and in early 2016
in Australia – on the payments
side, our number one objective
was making it simple and easy for
businesses to first start accepting
card transactions, and then take
that migration on the path to
understanding their business and
the tools that they can use to start,
run and grow their business. That’s
been a key part of our premise, and
why we offer value to the market.
We started with that, and we
continued to grow out. Just over a
year and a half ago, we launched
the first contactless reader, and
that was really, really well taken up
by Australian small businesses. We
deployed our contactless reader
and then quickly followed with
around 10 different products like
electronic invoices, ecommerce,
a range of APIs (application
programming interfaces) and things
like virtual terminals, so you can take
transactions over the phone, in front
of a computer.
Our most recent one is the
stand, which now means Square
isn’t just about mobile small-sized
businesses, it’s also about bricks
and mortar businesses. They can
now have a payment product that
can integrate with their POS (point
of sale) system, but also integrate
seamlessly into the aesthetics of
your countertop. That’s something
we launched a few months ago, and
sees us growing into different types
of businesses as well.
card transactions, not only from the
security perspective, but also from
an insights perspective.
That’s something that Square
loves to support small Australian
businesses on. They now have
the ability to not only extract
transaction data, but [to also] attract
an immense amount of value from
understanding and analysing their
transaction data. They can now
understand sales trends, product
sales, time, seasonality, things like
that. They could start doing the
analytics that big businesses have
Was that a move into the
mainstream, when compared to
your small, more portable Square
Although we’re becoming a more
commonly known brand in Australia
now, when we first launched, we had
to understand that those businesses
we hoped would use Square
wouldn’t automatically know who we
are. We didn’t want to complicate the
market with a wide variety of product
sets like the ones we had in the US.
We’ve just launched products as and
when they feel right, and then we
get consumer feedback. We started
with the more iconic Square readers,
definitely more appealing to mobile,
micro, or fleet-based businesses that
have a lot of people on the road.
[For them] it’s about that small
format, that low cost and that ease
of accessibility. But you’re right,
we had a lot of feedback from
Australian businesses that started
small – maybe at a market, a pop-up
or online, and then migrated to a
bricks and mortar environment,
or they were taking one store to
many stores. They loved the Square
POS and software tools, but was
there something for that that
could integrate a payment solution
and POS solution while keeping
their countertop seamless and
aesthetically pleasing? That was
part of our migration, moving
upmarket now to offer a wider
variety of tools to a wider variety of
Australian businesses.
How far do you think we are from a
cashless economy?
This is a really topical question
at the moment. We recently did a
survey and found that more than
60 percent of our businesses could
move to cashless today, which was
really surprising. We see it at a
tipping point. We think over the next
12 months we’ll start to see those
early adopter businesses move
to cashless more and more. More
businesses in Australia are starting
to catch up to realise the benefits
of card transactions as opposed to
cash transactions, so we’ll start to
see a bigger migration. With any
such seismic shifts, it does happen
over time. We think over the next
12 to 24 months, you’ll start to see
more and more businesses move
away from cash.
The next step on from that is a
cardless economy. How far away
are we from that?
That’s definitely on the horizon as
well. Apple Pay has launched in
Australia, which has been really
well-received by consumers. At the
moment it’s only deployed across a
small number of banks. Hopefully
we’ll see pretty soon a wider variety
of the large Australian banks as
well as the small ones offering
consumers the ability to use mobile
phone payments. From the business
side, that’s something we’re really
passionate about. We know the
benefit that transaction brings to
those buyers and sellers. We’re
definitely ready, our contactless
technology is now widely deployed
across a large number of businesses.
Hopefully you’ll see a lot more of
that, because one of the things
people probably don’t understand
is, putting transactions onto a
mobile phone – where you’ve got
to tap your phone instead of your
card – is only the first step. Once
that’s unlocked, you then start
seeing significantly more value
We recently did
a survey and found
that more than
60 percent of our
businesses could
move to cashless
propositions come through to
complement that experience. It’s
only the start of that journey.
Are you referring to value coming
from the consumer data that’s held
in those phones?
Definitely. There’s no bounds in
terms of what it could do. Once you
start having that POS experience
integrated onto a phone, you’ve got
processing power and application
development that’s significantly
greater. You only have to think of
a few ideas. So, being able to do
one tap in a transaction is not only
a transaction for the payment, but
also an exchange of loyalty details.
It can build up loyalty accounts
and get more data-rich feeds from
things like electronic receipts.
That path keeps building out and
ultimately moving towards more
location-based marketing, and more
location-based transaction details.
So, when consumers are anywhere
near a shop they may want, or a
product that they’ve been looking
at, they can be alerted in real time.
But again, we’re only at very much
the start of that, and with any of this
technology, you’ve got to get the
basics right. Then it’s mass adoption.
I’m keen to see that happen really
Solving pet peeves
Surrender Portal
RSPCA Queensland
Liquid Interactive
success can bring big problems. The
RSPCA is recognised and trusted all
over the world. It’s Australia’s oldest
and largest animal welfare charity,
with each state and territory having an
affiliated branch. RSPCA Queensland
is the state’s most successful animal
welfare charity, and is known as the
largest animal shelter in the southern
hemisphere. One of its services is
to provide shelter and care to pets
that are voluntarily surrendered by
their owners. However, the service
had become so well-known that
up to 5000 animals were being
surrendered each year in Queensland,
all with their own specific care and
rehoming needs. Shelters were
reaching capacity, the call centre was
overloaded and over $3.5 million was
being spent on animal care costs for
the surrender service alone.
Having recently redeveloped its
headquarters in Brisbane, RSPCA
Queensland was acutely aware of
the cost and time implications for
increasing capacity in its shelters.
Instead, the marketing team decided
to try a digital solution to reduce the
volume of pet surrenders without
compromising animal welfare.
Utilising the behaviour change
capabilities of digital agency Liquid
Interactive, the team developed a
solution to this complex, costly and
distressing problem.
Strategy: It began with a focus
on customer motivations and
touchpoints. The emphasis was
on a detailed analysis of available
data to enable a simple but
targeted execution.
Objectives: RSPCA Queensland
receives less than three percent
of its $48 million operating costs
from government funding. The
remaining 97 percent must be
raised from commercial operations
and philanthropic support. Internal
expectations are that every dollar
spent should deliver strong ROI. The
objectives were both simple and
- Reduce the number of pets
surrendered to RSPCA
Queensland’s shelters by 10
- Reduce the number of pet
surrender calls to the call centre
by 10 percent.
- Ensure the innovation is
sustainable and avoids
ongoing costs.
- Deliver strong ROI.
- If possible, develop a solution
that can be commercialised and
provide revenue to help fund
animal welfare.
Phase one: understand the
motivations for surrender
The data analysis phase began
by asking ‘why are pet owners
surrendering their pets?’
Knowing that the surrender
process typically takes an hour
from phone call to surrender,
the team took the opportunity to
leverage the organisation’s biggest
repository of data and insights
– the frontline staff. Call centre
staff deal with cases all day, so we
knew they understood surrender
situations. They had already
collated an extensive database of
types of animals surrendered and
what problems caused owners to
surrender them – they had already
captured 832 unique combinations
of pet and problem.
The data provided important
clues. If an owner is considering
surrendering a pet, they are most
likely experiencing difficulty related
Background: For some brands, big
directly to the animal – for example,
behavioural problems or barking – or
something indirect like a relationship
break-up, moving house or allergies.
The most important, overarching
insight was pointed out by one of
the call centre staff: “Many owners
who surrender their pets have
preventable problems. They just
need some help.” This pointed to
the first part of a possible solution:
persuading owners that they didn’t
have to surrender their pet.
Phase two: understand the
pathway to surrender
The second question was ‘how
do customers find their way to
the RSPCA?’ Liquid’s analytics
team looked deeper into the data
to find out what struggling pet
owners were searching for online
and the results they were getting.
Research into search behaviour
highlighted the next key insight:
there’s plenty of advice online to
help owners overcome common
pet problems, but it is often buried,
fragmented and vague. Owners
in these circumstances may be
time-poor and feel that research
into alternative solutions may be
too hard and overwhelming, or
they perceive it as a non-starter.
Surrender comes out looking like
the easiest option. Investigation
helped define the average
surrender journey:
- Owners have a problem with
their pet.
- Some search for help online.
- Advice is vague, unreliable and
- Owners feel frustrated and
- They surrender their pet to the
There were two points at
which this solution could intervene:
getting advice on the internet;
and surrendering an animal to
the RSPCA.
With so many combinations of
animals and reasons for surrender,
all requiring specific messages,
a standard marketing campaign
would not be sufficient. But what
if there were a one-stop website
that had reliable advice for specific
pet problems? If we educated
owners about alternatives and
offered support resources, could
we help them keep their pets? The
strategy for the RSPCA Queensland
Surrender Portal was born: a new
online experience that:
- interrupts the surrender process
by ensuring the Surrender Portal
appeared at the critical moment
pet owners search for help, and
- provides realistic, specific and
genuinely helpful advice.
Execution: The first step was
creating and curating relevant
content. Data analysis found that
just 64 out of the 832 recorded pet
problem combinations accounted
for 83 percent of all surrenders.
This majority became the focus. For
each of these combinations Liquid
either wrote helpful suggestions
(based on RSPCA advice) or curated
support resources and services.
For instance, dog owners on low
incomes can struggle to afford
dog food, but the Surrender Portal
can point out that it is a common
donation item at local food shelters.
Liquid’s designers packaged the
problems and solutions into a digital
service that was placed in front of
the existing pet surrender form. Now,
before a customer can complete the
surrender form they have to specify
their situation. For instance, ‘I love
my dog, but I can’t walk it anymore’
or ‘I love my guinea pig, but I don’t
have time to look after it’. The use
of the word ‘love’ was key because
many owners really loved their pets
and didn’t want to give them up.
Based on their situations, the Portal
provides targeted advice and, if that
is not sufficient, then alternatives to
surrendering are suggested – and
only after the customer has said
those options wouldn’t work can they
get to the surrender form. There was
no announcement or promotional
campaign for the release. Instead
it was slotted into the site’s
architecture and left for users to find
as part of their existing journey.
Results: The impact was
immediate. The day the portal was
released, call centre staff noticed
a drop in the number of calls. Over
the last 12 months the results have
- a 22 percent decrease in
surrendered animals – over
1000 fewer pets every year, and
- $800,000 annual savings in
animal care costs.
Given the entire project only
cost $60,000, the savings in animal
care costs have given RSPCA
Queensland more than 13 times
the return within the first year,
without a single dollar going
towards promotion. Call centre
staff also noticed a change in the
attitude of pet owners who do
decide to surrender their animals.
Prior to the Portal, callers often
acted as if the process was entirely
the RSPCA’s responsibility (some
would even simply abandon their
pets on the shelter’s doorstep).
It educated owners and shaped
their attitudes and behaviour.
Staff report owners taking more
responsibility for the smooth
transition of their animal to RSPCA
care (supplying health records or
care packages at handover, for
example). For owners who really
don’t want to give up their animals,
RSPCA Queensland is now able to
reach out at a crucial moment and
provide solutions that help keep
those pets at home.
Background: Energy is not a
category that’s typically known for
high levels of customer involvement.
Choosing an energy company
has often been a ‘set and forget’
decision with very little making up
the relationship between brand
and customer beyond billing. A
significant number of people can’t
even name their energy provider.
But with prices increasing
rapidly and energy policy
becoming a hot-button political
issue, Australians have grown
more conscious of the way they
use energy, with the likes of solar
installation, smart homes and even
electric car charging ports changing
the sector.
In the midst of these changes,
the AGL brand had lost a clear
point of differentiation. Like the
other major players in energy,
the brand was seen in the sector
as an incumbent – out of touch
with changing social and
customer expectations. Existing
customers weren’t even aware of
the fact it was more than simply an
energy distributor.
The company’s 2015
announcement that it would close
all the coal-fired power stations in
its portfolio by 2050 had not cut
through with consumers.
AGL rebrand
measured by consumers identifying
AGL as a brand with clear values of
sustainability, as well as positioning
AGL as the market leader. Results
would be tracked by brand metrics
and Net Promoter Scores.
Strategy: The rebrand was
Objectives: AGL wanted to stand
out by standing for something.
The vision was to create energy
solutions for the communities of
today and tomorrow. This vision
led to AGL’s brand ambition – to
reshape the future of energy for
all Australians. As the biggest and
longest established energy provider
in the country, it was in the position
to create the biggest change.
Principals was tasked with
creating a new identity to help bring
this story to life. The rebrand and
associated brand campaign would be
the first consumer expression of the
company’s commitment to ending
its reliance on coal and also to signal
a shift in focus around customer
experience. Success would be
underpinned by research focus
groups, one-to-one interviews with
customers and energy users, and
customer journey mapping – all
of which validated AGL’s
commitment to transforming into
a customer-centric organisation.
AGL is aiming to put the customer
at the heart of everything it does,
empowering people to take charge
of their energy usage through simple
solutions, smart technology and
personalised service.
Other key changes included:
- creating an aspirational
customer experience inspired by
research with AGL’s customers
- developing a visual style that
combined human-centred
design and best practices, and
Standing out
by standing
for something
- designing a single set of
standards that unified
customer experiences across
digital platforms.
To deliver on this strategy,
AGL needed to do more than tell
a new story. The brand needed
to fundamentally change the way
it operates by transforming the
customer experience and investing
in a future where energy can be
generated, stored and shared by
individuals, not just by companies.
Execution: Work on the project
began in early 2016 with the
new brand identity launching in
April 2017. The brand strategy,
positioning, identity and logo
were all built around the single
brand idea of: ‘The future is ours to
make’. AGL was putting power into
the hands of people, combining
innovation with humanity.
The rays of the AGL logo –
originally gas jets – were evolved
to suggest the diverse forms of
energy the organisation offers.
Inspired by an outstretched hand,
the new logo brings a human touch
and is designed to animate and
come to life in digital channels. The
signature blue, which commands
high recognition and differentiation,
was retained and re-energised. It
is optimistic and approachable,
without sacrificing a sense of
expertise and authority.
Developing a distinctive new
brand voice for AGL was also
integral to the project and another
powerful way to stand the brand
apart from competitors. In recent
years, energy retailers have
converged towards an innocuous
‘friendly’ tone of writing, especially
in below the line executions. Even
brands like Powershop – known
for bold, brash above the line
communications – have been
rendered almost indistinguishable in
more functional executions.
XXVI, Principals’ brand language
arm, developed a unique new voice
for AGL that is conversational yet
upfront, with a touch of Aussie
charm. It would be rolled out across
a range of customer touch points
including customer eDMs and
web copy. Terms and conditions
documents have also been made
refreshingly readable. The result
is a more human, more distinctive
and more engaging experience for
customers when they interact with
their energy company.
A 45-second TV ad launched the
new brand. The face of the campaign
created by McCann is a credible yet
approachable man who explains
AGL’s move toward more sustainable
energy. After communicating the
company’s commitment to exit coal
and outlining the brand’s $3 billion
fund designed to make renewable
energy more affordable, he delivers
the brand’s new call to action: “So,
are you with us?” In tandem with
the launch of the new identity,
AGL worked with digital agency
Loud and Clear to pilot a series of
‘signature moments’. These included
‘One Minute Move’, which allowed
customers to experience a seamless
transition of their energy when they
moved house. One Touch Pay was
also piloted to deliver payment
options at speed.
AGL was also the first energy
brand to go to market with an app
that acts as a self-service meter
reading tool. The product aims to
combat ‘bill shock’ for consumers,
by giving them the freedom to
estimate their bills in advance.
RESULTS: Since the launch of
the new identity and the associated
campaign, brand metrics have
shown an increase in the desired
consumer associations of the brand.
This confirms that the rebrand is
delivering to AGL’s goals. It:
- provides sustainable and
alternative energy options
- pioneers new technology
- is Australia’s leading energy
supplier, and
- is a leading generator of
renewable energy.
In consumer testing the identity
concept was seen as a credible
move for the brand. It strikes
the right balance of authority
and approachability, while still
expressing a more contemporary
identity better suited to today’s
energy challenges. In June, AGL
also had the highest NPS of the
three major energy companies: 4.6
percentage points higher than its
nearest competitor. The trial of the
AGL self-service meter reading app
is currently generating 700 selfreadings per day, with users of the
app reporting a NPS of +42.
Broad earnings figures released
in August showed a full-year
statutory net profit of $539 million
for the year to 30 June compared to
a loss the year prior.
And, in the Melbourne Design
Awards, the AGL rebrand was
awarded Gold. This capped off a
successful rollout of the new identity
to Australia’s energy consumers.
Background: For the past
decade the Hyundai A-League (HAL)
has enjoyed a relatively steady
growth in fan numbers. But the trend
plateaued as we reached saturation
point with the current young male
audience. We needed to launch
the 2016/17 season in a way that
encouraged new fans into the fold.
Specifically, we were after young
families. However, a small number
of negative fan incidents were
getting blown out of proportion in
the media, creating the perception
of a less than ideal environment
for families. We needed to change
the perception of the league as a
negative environment to attract the
new ‘young families’, and grow the
game without alienating our existing
loyal fan base.
1. Show off the potential of the HAL
audience ahead of broadcast
negotiations five weeks into the
the 2016/17 season.
A-League: You
Gotta Have a
2. Grow engagement levels among
the young family audience
across the first four rounds
of the season. The following
benchmarks were set, based on
six month forecasts:
• awareness objective: +1%
• familiarity objective: +2%
• passion objective: +11%, and
• favouritism objective: +1%.
3. Increase revenue drivers across
the league:
• average broadcast: objective
• average attendance: objective
+5%, and
• membership: objective +5%.
Strategy: When it comes to
sport and teams, love is usually an
inherited passion. A legacy passed
down between the generations.
But with only 11 seasons under
our belt, that legacy didn’t exist for
HAL. However, research showed
that football is changing the rules.
Our existing ‘superfan’ football
families became superfans through
their children’s participation. The
kids played on the weekends and
became passionate about HAL. As
parents sought out the game to
help support and bond with their
kids, a new legacy was created.
Children’s participation was key
to unlocking this dormant growth
opportunity. Even better, football is
currently the largest participation
sport in Australia, with 1.4 million
participants aged under 15.
However, just 42 percent state
they support a HAL team. Yes, that’s
right: grassroots players are the
future of the game, and 58 percent
of them did not have a HAL team.
To entice a passionate mass of new
Yoshi's tour
League fans we needed to fuel the
football fire, provoking every single
person to pick their team.
Execution: Enter an unlikely
hero: Yoshi, a 10-year-old footballcrazy kid who didn’t yet have a HAL
team. He got up close and personal
with every club, then told his story
on social and digital channels to
show everyone ‘You’ve Gotta Have a
Team’ and help choose which one to
get behind.
Social media
Yoshi visited all 10 clubs and had
them competitively pitch for his
support. The clubs tailored ‘once in
a lifetime’ experiences for Yoshi that
showed off their unique strengths –
from a goal scoring master-class with
Tim Cahill in Melbourne, to firing a
cannon with the Mariners, to holding
the Grand Final trophy in Adelaide.
This resulted in 10 threeminute cheat sheets about every
club in the League, the ultimate in
‘edu-tainment’, supported by more
than 100 pieces of video content
for social.
We made sure local areas were
familiar with their team, showing off
the colours and club heroes.
This wasn’t just a campaign, this
was a live pitch and it was ignited
on social media. Yoshi shared the
reports, stats, fun facts, player
profiles and training sessions he
learned on the journey. All 10 HAL
clubs stepped up their on-field rivalry
and made a direct call to players, fans
and sponsors, that in turn went headto-head to vie for Yoshi’s support.
PR added extra fuel with tailored
behind-the-scenes content,
exclusives, interviews, photo
opportunities and Yoshi became an
overnight sensation – more sought
after than the trophy itself.
Ultimately, Yoshi made his
decision live on Sunrise and
chose Melbourne City. But with
the most incredible stats in the
HAL’s history, it turned out every
club was a winner.
We launched with a teaser campaign,
provoking the national audience to
pick a team of their own and drive
them to watch the content pieces.
1. Broadcast deal
The campaign’s impact helped
secure the value of Football
Federation Australia’s (FFA)
biggest TV deal in the history of
the League.
2. Young family engagement
• awareness increased 10%
• familiarity increased 57%
• passion increased 46%, and
• favouritism increased 556%.
3. Revenue drivers
• average broadcast TV
viewership increased 46%
• average attendance increased
34%, and
• membership increased 6%.
‘You Gotta Have a Team’ started
a national conversation, with 238
million earned media impressions.
PR delivered over $10 million in
value. This included 420 total PR
hits (12 TV hits, seven radio hits, 88
print and 313 online). Yoshi trended
on Twitter on launch day, and Twitter
engagement was up a colossal 670
percent. There were over 400,000
social posts from fans, who wanted
Yoshi to choose their team. The
campaign delivered an ROI of
125 percent in just four weeks.
Incremental revenue was generated
from attendance, membership and
broadcast negotiations. A 30 percent
profit margin was factored in as
per the industry benchmark, to
deliver $1.25 per dollar spent. A
very conservative estimate of the
lifetime value of the 168,000 new
HAL fans sees the ROI increase to
224 percent.
Background: Connecting with
consumers can be a challenge for
FMCG brands and they often rely
on costly and inefficient sampling
to engage with the key grocery
decision-makers in a household.
Being able to identify and engage
the right influencers for a campaign
can be an effective way to target
sampling with the right audiences
and allow them to tell the story
of their experience to friends and
followers, amplifying the impact of
this direct experience.
With a bespoke and innovative
technology solution, the partnership
between Social Soup and the
PepsiCo Smiths Snackfood range
Sunbites aimed to reduce friction
in the sampling process by
eliminating the need to send
product out. Sunbites via Grain
Waves first hit the Australian
FMCG market in 2009. Since
then, the brand has continued to
innovate, including the introduction
of Sunbites Snack Crackers in
mid-2017. Sunbites Snack Crackers
introduced a ‘better for you’
snacking option to share, snack on
alone or add to the lunchbox. The
launch product performed very
well for quality, loyalty and repeat
purchase, but the challenge was
for consumer consideration in a
category dominated by the heritage
brand Shapes.
PepsiCo Smiths
Social Soup
Objectives: The Sunbites Snack
Crackers launch already showed
that the brand had strong repeat
purchase figures, so the primary
objective of Social Soup’s Sunbites
Snack Crackers campaign was
trial. Social Soup was able to bring
unique expertise to the secondary
objectives, which were to create
awareness and relevance around the
range, proposition, tone of voice and
in which aisle they sat. In terms of
social conversations, the objective
was to amplify the product’s creative
direction ‘Celebrate the Small Stuff’;
specifically, that snacking should
be fun, simple and healthy, and not
compromise on taste, but be a fun
part of an everyday eating routine.
Strategy: Trial is undeniably a
powerful way to activate change
in behaviour. It creates an avenue
to capitalise on product benefits,
creates desire and consideration,
and can literally change behaviour.
Sampling as a medium allows
brands the opportunity to foster
engagement, increase brand
awareness, build brand loyalty
and finally drive product sales.
Traditional sampling channels
require considerable investment
and do not offer strong, quantifiable
ROI. The cost of events, products
themselves, support and shipping all
add to the sampling campaign. And,
traditionally, the feedback cycle is
long and difficult to track. Not
only that, but consumers’
interactions with FMCG goods
is considered very transactional,
not allowing for rich and deep
interactions with the brand.
Because sampling is such an
important part of connecting with
influencers in an FMCG context,
Social Soup researched this
new era of digital sampling and
developed an elegant technology-led
solution to streamline the sampling
process. Social Soup created
an app where vouchers could
be redeemed in-store. Research
conducted by the company shows
a decisive link between finding a
product a consumer likes and the
Social sampling
likelihood of then sharing that new
discovery on Instagram – this is
particularly true for the snack food
category. Furthermore, sharing
this information on social media
leads to action: according to Social
Soup’s research, after seeing a new
snack food on their Instagram and/
or Facebook feeds 59 percent of
people will go in-store to see, try
and buy the product. Social Soup’s
social sampling platform combined
trial with pathway to purchase –
driving targeted consumers to trial
a product in-store from the shelf,
interrupting the pathway to purchase
in an organic and familiar manner.
The process facilitates an
authentic experience with which
consumers are familiar and can
easily replicate during their next
shopping trip. Additionally, its
social sampling campaign created
and captured on and offline
conversations. Samplers share
content online through their social
media accounts and their stories
with offline networks – friends and
family, traditional word of mouth.
This campaign was the first time the
voucher technology had been rolled
out in Australia.
Execution: Social Soup designed
a campaign with a tiered influence
approach to generate large-scale
brand awareness and generate
The Sunbites
campaign exceeded
all KPIs on reach and
content as well as strong
positive sentiment
tracked through Social
Soup’s bespoke
AI analysis on
campaign content.
trial and behaviour change to
choose ‘better snacks for you’. The
process allowed Social Soup to
know customer locations and track
their full experience journey with
the product, get feedback and also
reward them for sharing in social
media, which provides authentic
influence from a real experience.
One of the traditional challenges of
sampling campaigns has been the
cost of getting product to people to
consume in their home, creating a
real-world experience. The voucher
delivery system in the Social Soup
app knows when a customer has the
product in their hand and we can
deliver a voucher to them to redeem
at the checkout. Using the app,
2300 targeted sampling influencers
scanned the Sunbites products in
Woolworths and Coles stores and
were given a voucher to redeem at
the checkout, scaling trial on the
path to purchase. Social Soup also
recruited 50 micro influencers, who
received premium product packs,
personally delivered, to engage their
social communities and create high
quality influencer generated content.
Results: The Sunbites campaign
exceeded all KPIs on reach and
content as well as strong positive
sentiment tracked through Social
Soup’s bespoke AI analysis on
campaign content. The campaign
reached 2300 targeted sampling
influencers and 50 micro
influencers, who delivered a
combined reach of more than 1.2
million people. The campaign also
saw more than 2000 social posts
created, more than 200 reviews
and strong positive sentiment
(82 percent and 4.8 out of fivestar rating from 219 reviews) as
tracked by Social Soup’s bespoke
AI analysis. The AI analysis
demonstrates one of its industry
leading capabilities.
In-app technology facilitated
in-store sampling from consumers’
local supermarkets via the voucher
system. It smoothly enabled scalable
trial, social reach, reduced lead
times, full transparency, targeting,
product education, brand awareness
and trial.
Download the trend briefing prepared especially for the
marketing managers of Australia and New Zealand at
Should you bot
your brand?
What do people
really think about
interacting with
branded AI?
How will AI
change the way
marketers work?
Why your sexy
innovation lab is
Matt Adendorff
is CEO at Fusion Labs
nnovation labs are springing up
everywhere, being commonplace
in industries from banking
to the property sector, aimed
at everything from improving
productivity to showcasing new
tech, creating new revenue streams
or bolstering existing ones. For some
companies, this means creating a
goal-focused unit. For others, it’s
as simple as setting up a group to
communicate with other industries
or giving employees ‘free’ time to
innovate. While innovation has a
dirty reputation as a buzzword, the
value is evident when it’s done right.
Building a prosperous lab isn’t as
simple as throwing a bunch of ideas
around in a sexy looking warehouse.
Innovation takes discipline, rigorous
strategic thinking, team diversity and
the right tools. While there are some
fundamental principles for success,
there isn’t a set template for every
project. Because of this, and some of
the issues discussed below, we see
so many innovation labs fail.
All too often, there’s too much focus
on the ‘theatre’ of a lab rather than
what the team is actually achieving.
Many companies focus on the
physical space, and yet often the
setting is irrelevant. For innovators,
their physical surroundings aren’t
a crucial part of the process. Sure
it may be nice to blow off steam
playing foosball or table tennis,
but to what end? In saying this,
when designing the space, function
should be top of mind. These are
collaborative spaces – pop some
whiteboards around the room so
people can brainstorm together
and ensure desks are adjustable
so innovators can move around
easily. There should be the right
amount of technology around and
it should be an easily accessible
space for people to work in.
Companies also like to fixate on
a single methodology. It’s really
about people being entrepreneurial,
with solid tools to make them better.
Agility and adaptability are key
drivers of success. Many companies
seeking new innovations repeatedly
follow a single process rather than
adapting as needed. Innovation
is bred by supporting people to
explore, take risks and
be entrepreneurial.
To get your lab to a place
where innovation teams thrive,
you need to empower your people
with the mindset, environment
and frameworks to change as they
learn and discover new things. It’s
essential to get the right people in
the space, with a unique blend of
mindset, skill set and experience
needed to tackle ambiguous projects.
Australia is known for producing
or helping to produce great
innovations, thank you Wi-Fi,
Google Maps, Penicillin, Ultrasound
and, my favourite, Milo. Yep, brain
juice from the land of Oz. Despite
the game changing inventions,
Innovation isn’t as simple as throwing ideas around a
cool warehouse. Matt Adendorff explains why present
approaches to innovation labs are failing.
funding and general risk tolerance
to develop new ideas is still very
much behind in Australia, even with
the Federal Government’s push to
make Australia the innovation nation.
Yes, this is changing, but there are
still roadblocks to the success of
labs. For many that fail, it’s because
they’ve made little to no financial
contribution to company revenue.
There is no shortage of creative
juices or volume of ideas originating
within the labs, but few are designed
to search and execute on profitable
business models. This has to do
with a focus on product rather
than business model and a need
to always build rather than ‘buy’ or
‘curate solutions in an innovative
way’. Preventing good innovations
from making their way out of the lab
and then dying requires a framework
and processes that consider clear
pathways back into the business.
Finding a sponsor with a budget and
mandate should be done upfront,
before any money and time are
spent on a new innovation.
Something that we see all too often
is innovation labs that struggle with
the idea of failing fast. Fast failure
means killing bad opportunities; it
should not mean good opportunities
dying because of bad innovation
practices. Innovators need to be
comfortable with the idea of failing
fast. The approach should see lots of
experiments along the way to a grand
success story. Some small parts of
the process will fail, and some will
grow, and some elements will die.
And that’s totally acceptable, in fact
we would consider that a positive
outcome of elimination. It means that
our assumption to knowledge ratio
is improving and we become better
equipped to make decisions.
It may sound strange, but innovation
“Sure it may be nice to
blow of steam playing
foosball or table tennis,
but to what end?”
labs need solid frameworks and
governance highlighting their
strategic fit and how innovators
engage with the lab itself. The
take on criteria for a functioning
innovation lab needs to consider:
= Is it a big enough opportunity
worth pursuing?
= Is it properly sponsored by the
person who will own it once it is
in production?
= Is it strategic enough?
= Can the lab add significant
impact and speed up execution?
Funding models also need a
holistic approach, so it’s not stalling
at the stage gate meeting. Project
governance needs a well-rounded
approach, not just in people but
in skills as well. The blend needs
to consider design, business,
engineering and everything in
between. And, finally, the processes
and language involved throughout
the organisation need to be
common, so that everyone can
understand exactly what’s going on.
The key is in common language that
is simple, easy and sticky.
No, we’re not talking Metric versus
Imperial. We’re talking metric
systems to measure success. Many
innovation labs either have incorrect
metrics in place or don’t have any
at all. And this is a pivotal flaw.
Success must be goal oriented.
You can’t measure the success
of a lab by the number of people
involved; it’s about the type of
people involved and the outcomes
achieved. It’s crucial to define the
purpose in the first place. Innovation
centres fail because of lack of
purpose. Measurement should
happen in stages, rather than in
long-term increments. The activity
metrics, like number of customer
interviews, number of prototypes
created and tested etc, are all
important to measure and report
on, but over time value is measured
by revenue.
One of the biggest challenges for
innovation labs largely rests with
the executives and management,
and whether subordinates are
empowered to push up against
hierarchical structures. Those
higher up in the pecking order
need to understand how to
sponsor projects and resist the
desire to quash change. Laying the
foundations with clear philosophies
on how projects will find success
is integral to project coherence.
I’m passionate about getting teams
out of the office. Innovation doesn’t
have to happen within the four
walls. Second, and as the CEO of
Fusion Labs, I welcome this: kill
the HIPPO. Never allow the highest
paid person to be the only decisionmaker; we don’t necessarily know
the minute detail of everything.
When it comes to innovation, it’s a
three-prong approach – think big,
start small, scale fast. Innovation
is found when everyone on board
understands the purpose, goals are
aligned to the objectives, failure is
welcomed and a culture to question
is adopted.
Read more
like this in our
strategy section on
Seven ways to
future-proof your
SEO strategy
Tom Donohoe is a digital
marketing consultant
earch engine optimisation
(SEO) is always changing.
To stay ahead of your
competitors you need to be able
to shift your SEO strategy. Expect
to see mobile devices, artificial
intelligence (AI) and voice search
dominating the news. But what
practical steps should you take? In
this article, I’ll take you through the
key trends to be aware of, and what
you can do to act on them.
AI is a big topic. Google’s pushing
to use AI whenever it can and it’s
no different in search. Its machine
learning system, RankBrain, is its
third most important ranking factor
after links and content. RankBrain
helps Google better understand
search queries. It runs tests on
Google’s algorithm to try and improve
the user experience for people using
the search engine, measuring the
success based on user experience
signals like click-through rate, bounce
rate and time on-site.
How to optimise for RankBrain:
= reduce your bounce rate
= improve your click-through-rate,
= keep people on your website
Nothing is more frustrating than a
slow website, and search engines
know this. Page load speed has
been a known ranking factor for
some time. Until now, this has only
applied to the desktop version of
your website. Google has announced
that, starting in July 2018, page
speed will be a ranking factor for
mobile searches, too. How fast is
your website load? According to
Pingdom, the average page speed
is 3.2 seconds, while Google’s
benchmark is two seconds.
How to improve your page speed:
= reduce media file sizes
= compile and minify your code
= upgrade your hosting package
= work with developers to improve
server response, and
= leverage browser caching.
In case you’ve been under a rock,
mobile devices are taking over the
world. It’s time to take your digital
strategy mobile-first. Jump into your
analytics and check your device split
to see what part of your website
traffic is mobile. Even if it’s not a
large part, here’s why you need to
go mobile-first: Google has said that
more than half of all its searches
occur on mobile, and this year it will
begin switching to a mobile-first
index. This means it will rank your
website based on how it renders and
appears on mobile devices.
The web’s changing, and so are the ways people
use it. Update your SEO strategy so you’re
not behind the times. By Tom Donohoe.
Comscore predicts that
50 percent of searches
by 2020 will be through
voice technology. Are
you prepared?
How to prepare for mobile-first
= make sure your website is mobile
= make sure the mobile version of
the site also has the important,
high-quality content, and
= note that structured data is
important for indexing and
search features.
A clear next step from mobile is
voice search. Siri, Cortana, Alexa,
Google Assistant and more are living
in our pockets and homes. Voice
search is becoming more prominent
in daily life. ComScore predicts that
50 percent of searches by 2020 will
be through voice technology. Are you
How to get ready for voice
= focus on answering questions
= target long-tail keyword phrases
= structure your pages with the
question in the heading and
answer directly beneath it, and
optimise your website for mobile.
Two big names in the web industry
– Google and Mozilla – have each
taken measures to make the web
more secure. Chrome and Safari
now show ‘not secure’ on pages
with forms when websites are not
secured with an SSL (secure sockets
layer) certificate. Not to mention
that Google has been using HTTPS
(hyper text transfer protocol, with
SSL) as a ranking factor for a few
years now. With this recent security
push, we can expect it will become
more important in the future.
How to make your website
= get an SSL certificate installed
on your server, and
= migrate by redirecting HTTP urls
There’s been a big shift in the length
of content required in the past
year. A short blog post is no longer
going to rank well for a competitive
keyword. To rank in search engines
you need to be writing long-form
content that covers several topics.
Research from Backlinko and Search
Engine Land has shown that the top
five spots on average in Google are
usual north of 1500 words.
How to write long form content:
= pick a short-medium tail keyword
= cover it comprehensively in
2000 words or more, and
= break it up by sub-topics: aim for
six to eight.
They are here to stay. With all the
new trends that come and go in
the SEO world, the foundation will
always be content and links. Google
has confirmed that content and
links are its top ranking factors.
Without great content you will never
get high-quality links. And without
high-quality links you won’t rank for
competitive keywords.
For more on
SEO, check
out the
dedicated Social and
Content section of
Why are we still
talking about
Carly Yanco is planning
director at J Walter
Thompson Sydney
bout 10 years ago some
clever social media ‘pioneer’
realised this brave new
world of marketing would need help
justifying its existence. And so they
introduced the wildly unspecific
and mystical term – engagement –
which quickly replaced traditional
communications measures and
reframed our understanding of ROI.
As a result, instead of measuring
effectiveness in terms of the impact
on brand perception (which is
well-established and has at least
been shown to have a correlation
with sales impact) the industry
rallied around this new proxy for
understanding communications’
success. We conflated ‘likes’, ‘shares’
and ‘comments’ with brand affinity,
ad recall and purchase intent. We
reported their numbers proudly
as if we’d found a secret sauce to
marketing. We started saying things
like ‘let’s develop a relationship with
It really would be a sad
case of unrequited love,
except that it isn’t. We
don’t love them either,
we love their money and
the whole thing is
a farce.
our consumers’. Social agencies
claim to have deep understanding
of what engagement actually means.
Here’s an example from one such
agency on its blog: “Social media
engagement is essentially like a
long-term relationship. You can
imagine a committed and lengthy
relationship takes dedication,
readiness to adapt, the ability to
think about the future and ensure
the other party involved is happy for
years to come.”
Just no.
Not one consumer has ever thought
about getting into a relationship
with our brands. It’s never
happened. Influencers have and
that’s because they want a brand’s
money. They want a business
relationship, not a romance. Our
‘dedication’ to a relationship with
consumers does not result in their
dedication to our brand in return.
The majority of people we’re trying
to ignite a budding relationship
with will happily buy another brand
without even thinking about the
fact that we retweeted them that
one time. It really would be a sad
case of unrequited love, except
that it isn’t. We don’t love them
either, we love their money and the
whole thing is a farce. We are not
engaged in a relationship with our
consumers. The measure of our
success should not be based on
how generous someone’s thumb
was that particular day. It should
We’re not doing ourselves any favours using the word,
says Carly Yanco. Here’s why it shouldn’t be a thing.
We are all little
marketing leprechauns
trying to get to the pot
of gold at the end of the
rainbow and feeling
validated when we
stumble across a gold
coin along the way.
be about how open they (i.e. their
brains) are to our communications
and how much of them they take in.
Plenty of experienced and
revered industry professionals like
Mark Ritson and Bob Hoffman
have now debunked the term. Even
Facebook has told us all to stop
using it and its associated metrics in
place of those we already had. And
yet client briefs still ask for it and
case studies are still littered with it.
With so much progress in marketing
science (Binet and Field, Ehrenberg
Bass Institute etc), why is this still a
thing? Maybe I’m wrong and we’ve
actually all updated our thinking.
Maybe by saying ‘engagement’ we
now actually mean, ‘the consumer’s
brain is actively laying down positive
memories and associations about
our brand’. If that’s the case, then
let’s do away with the word because
we already have more specific
ways to describe and measure that.
Metrics like ad recall, brand recall,
message outtake, purchase intent
aren’t perfect, but they’re much
closer to what’s important. I don’t
think it is the case though. I think
we’re still using it in the hope that
seeking engagement will someday
lead us to the marketing pot of
gold – going viral. Every time we
use it we set a doomed cycle in
motion where communications are
designed to achieve ‘likes’/virality
rather than involve people’s minds in
a brand or product message. Those
communications are ineffective, but
we wouldn’t know it because 5000
people liked it on Facebook and
that’s more than last time so we’re
#winning! We are all little marketing
leprechauns trying to get to the pot
of gold at the end of the rainbow and
feeling validated when we stumble
across a gold coin along the way.
Engagement is a catch-all
for the likes-and-stuff that
happen when you put something
interesting on Facebook, not for
when communications work.
Continuing to use the term this
way gives credibility to a measure
that has none. It falsely assures
clients and colleagues that the
communication was effective
despite any real evidence that it has
been. We aren’t doing ourselves or
the industry any favours in saying
the word ‘engagement’. Ever. Its
meaning is too nebulous to be
helpful in developing or measuring
communications. It really shouldn’t
be a thing.
Get a regular
delivery of
industry news
and views by visiting
It’s a rich
woman’s world
n ABBA’s ‘Money, Money,
Money’, a woman doesn’t
have many favourable options.
She can either work all day to
pay the bills or nab herself a wealthy
man “and have a ball”. Even in the
70s, clever women were seen as the
inheritors to men’s wealth either
through marriage or birthright – not
as rightful earners or powerful
consumers. The times have changed
since that catchy, lucre-inflamed pop
zeitgeist; women have forged an
alternative future where they no
longer rely on surviving in a “rich
man’s world”. One could say that we
are in the beginnings of a rich
woman’s world. From many millennia
of survival, women have in the past
few centuries risen through a sort of
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – first
to independence: the vote, the right
to own property, the right to work
and the right to inherit equally. More
recently, modern woman has finally
come up into influence, where she
has emerged as a power player in
the workforce, the home and now
the economy.
There is no doubt that the
20th century saw a vast uptake
of women in all labour markets,
thanks in part to the early stages
of industrialisation, but also World
Wars I and II, which demanded
that women pragmatically take
up the work mantle that men left
behind. Outgoing chairman of the
US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen
has said that women’s contribution
to the workforce has been a “major
factor in America’s prosperity over
the past century and a quarter”.
In her most recent address to
Australia, Summit of Women CEO
Irene Natividad agreed that the
rise of women’s contribution and
participation will effectively increase
the affluence of every country as
“GDP rises when there are more
income earners”. With only 30 to
50 percent of women in the
workforce, bringing more women
in would mean greater GDP
and greater profit, not only for
governments and economies but
for businesses as well.
Though there are still many
social barriers, financial ceilings
and limited leadership pathways
for women at work, they are a
fundamental part of our economic
base. Modern woman may rarely
be the CEO at work yet, but she’s
Bec Brideson is a genderintelligence entrepreneur
driving innovation and
exponential growth for
business and brands with
an overlooked market
opportunity. Her foresight
and new lens on business
has seen her become a much
sought after speaker and
consultant worldwide.
the CEO of the home with EY
predicting that women will control
75 percent of discretionary spend
by 2028. Public relations company
Fleishman-Hillard has estimated
that women will control two-thirds
of consumer wealth in the US over
the next decade. No matter how you
look at it a woman can either have a
Midas or a Medusa effect upon your
business. You need to know how
best to understand, connect with and
create a lifelong customer out of her.
So why isn’t gender more
important to businesses’ bottom
KPMG’s latest Outlook report,
asserts that the biggest issues
facing CEOs as potential threats or
opportunities in 2018 will be data,
technology, digital, innovation and
cyber security. Gender, however,
is nowhere near the agenda nor
is diversity seen as a potential
windfall or fallout for a company’s
future. Could they be unconsciously
If you like money and want your
business to make more of it, think
about closing that gender pothole
before it becomes a black hole,
says Bec Brideson.
biased? Yes. Are they missing this
low-cost, high-growth opportunity?
Hell yes – gender is not seen as a
hard metric and profit driver. And
here is the crucial missing logic.
Women are the gender spending
most of the money in today’s
economy. And women will be
ultimately controlling its future.
Yet they’re not realised, designed
for and communicated with. It’s
time we fix that for our benefit as
well as theirs.
The gender potholes in business
are widening into profit-sapping
black holes and they are getting
too big for us to continue ignoring.
These blind spots aren’t limited to
the common issues like the pay gap
or the ratio of male to female staff –
though these issues are important
to tackle. There are numerous
sources proving that gender diverse
businesses make more money. An
ongoing study from Nordea Bank
examined the performance of
11,000 companies over an eightyear period. It found that those with
a female head reported a 25 percent
annualised return; which was double
the MSCI World Index – the average
industry benchmark, which had set
annualised return at 11 percent.
A 2014 Gallup study found that
gender diverse business units across
two disparate industries returned
higher revenues than their less
diverse counterparts.
Credit Suisse found
that large-cap (large market
capitalisation) companies with at
least one woman on their boards
consistently outperformed boards
with no women by 26 percent
over a six-year period. Addressing
this is only a first step to fully
leveraging your ‘diversity dividend’:
a truly gender intelligent company
outthinks its competitors by also
considering the realm and vision of
the female consumer who is carrying
an increasingly heavy purse.
Australian vegetable farming
brand Kalfresh pivoted its entire
business proposition to leverage
its new Just Veg brand with female
consumers. By doing so it provided
a fast, easy and healthy solution
that saw second-grade carrots –
which would otherwise be sold
as stockfeed for $50 a tonne –
turned into a $5000 a tonne earner,
simply by enlisting the knowledge
and diverse expertise of the
farmers’ wives.
We’re seeing the impacts of
female consumers elsewhere in the
market too. What if a former female
staffer decides to lift the lid on a
toxic and sexist business culture
to a socially conscious female
consumer? Thanks Susan J Fowler*.
The gender
potholes in
business are
widening into
black holes.
What if women decide they don’t
like your brand values and
collectively boycott your business?
Then #grabyourwallet. What if
women decide they’re fed up with
what you’re doing, and can do it
better? Say hello to Shebah. And
what if women love what you’re
doing, tell all their friends and
start making you truckloads of
money? Time to talk to Sephora,
Nike and Xiaomi.
Brands must be careful to navigate
these new waters. Traditional
business practices and methods may
in fact be steeped in non-inclusive
ideas and language. Brands must be
able to disrupt themselves and query
old processes in order to dig out new
insights. In 2004 Dove revolutionised
the entire industry when it made a
conscious decision to approach its
business from a new perspective
that took a stand against an outdated
convention of female beauty. This
decade-long ‘Real Beauty’ campaign
is still going strong, despite some
stumbling blocks. Dove’s work to
transform its business into one that
is gender intelligent and aligns with
women’s new reality was not easy;
however, there’s more than profit to
be had.
If she loves you, her average
spend will increase, meaning she’ll
be coming back and spending
more. She’ll also be advocating
to her friends with positive word
of mouth leading to increased
customer acquisition, retention and
long-term loyalty. A business that
does well by the female consumer
will also benefit from internal issue
resolutions such as higher attraction
of female talent, a balanced
workforce and a thriving and
positive culture. There will also be
breakthrough innovation not driven
by highly expensive technological
transformations, but by diversity
in opinions, culture and gender.
It’s time that business begins to
rethink and redefine the avenues
for where it can make more money.
No longer is gender an issue to be
shouldered off to HR as a checklist
item – it is time to see it as a profit
driver that can truly deliver in leaps
and bounds.
* Fowler did just this in Silicon Valley
last year via a February blog post.
Money as tech and
currency as brand
Marketers need to stop looking under the cryptocurrency
bonnet and consider the global potential on the horizon,
says Steve Sammartino.
= In the Iron Age we developed
ferrous coins.
= In the Age of Discovery, we
traded bills of exchange.
= In the Industrial Revolution Fiat
currency (our current model)
took dominance.
Now that we’ve entered a
digital age, it is inevitable that
cryptocurrencies will emerge and
eventually gain mass adoption
and dominate global commerce.
The transition has been underway
for longer than we imagine. Most
currency that exists today is merely
numbers in systems people can
make claim to – less than 10
percent of which actually exists in
physical form. The move to crypto is
simply a step change that improves
the fundamentals of digital money.
While we could discuss in detail
how the technology works, it’s
far more informative for us as
marketers to understand why it
works and how we should assess
the changes from a business
perspective. After all, few of us
understand how the internet works
or our cars when we look under
the bonnet.
As with all tools, if an improved
one comes along, there’ll be a
portion of society that quickly
substitutes the standard with the
Steve Sammartino
is an author and futurist
who sees the world through
marketing eyes. He has
held many senior marketing
positions and has also built
and sold his own start-ups.
His latest venture is Sneaky
Surf, which is bringing
technology into the surf
industry. His new book The
Lessons School Forgot: How
to hack your way through
a technology revolution
is out now through Wiley.
Connect with him and see
his latest projects and blog at
hat is money? Once
we’ve grasped the basic
concept – as children
– that it can be used to
get stuff, we never ask that question
again. We become quite happy to get
money whichever way we can. We
seem to intuitively learn how it’s used
in a transactional and societal sense.
What’s not intuitive is that money is
temporal, layered and malleable. We
myopically see it as a tool. Prices
often change, but the money doesn’t.
Or does it? It turns out money does
change. Money changes because in
real terms it’s just a technology, and
all technology evolves. It periodically
goes through its own disruptions that
change its shape and how it’s used. It
has changed a lot across the
millennia of human experience. The
problem is that it happens so rarely
that we hardly ever get to notice it, let
alone experience it. We, however, are
lucky: we are witnessing a live shift.
For posterity, let’s look at the various
forms of money we’ve successfully
used – all of which represented our
level of technological development at
the time:
= Commodity money such as
cowrie shells and sharks’ teeth
arrived in barter economies.
= The agricultural era brought
about grain receipts.
new, better version. The pattern
of currency evolution above is
proof of that. But money – or, more
accurately, currency – is different.
It has some unusual and weird
properties. It can’t just be better, it
needs many forms of consensus to
accompany it. We all need to agree
on a winner. Before a currency
can become successful enough
for wide mass adoption it requires
scarcity, durability, divisibility,
portability, acceptance, trust and
stability. Cryptocurrencies pass
the first four tests, but they are
yet to be widely accepted and
trusted, though they will over time.
It may take a decade or more, just
as the web itself had a period of
genesis. A currency transition takes
time, because we need to remain
confident the system can be held
together between transactions,
with this new thing as the economic
fulcrum. When we do pivot to a
new currency, the change is always
slow. We like to have redundancy,
layers of currency underneath the
one we use to provide a margin of
technological safety.
It’s no surprise we still price oil,
grain and metals such as gold on
the market daily. We need certainty
and risk reduction. Socially, we
need substitutes in case something
goes wrong with the tool we are
currently using. And when a new
tool like cryptocurrency arrives, it
never lives in isolation. But in some
leading money market reports,
Bitcoin (the most well-known
cryptocurrency), is being priced
among the AUD, USD, oil and
gold. That’s because Bitcoin in real
terms has become a brand. Good
currencies not only require the
six elements for success, in many
ways they actualise into brands. We
trust their sustained performance
and ability to reduce our risk while
we hold them. The US dollar has
been such a strong brand for such
a long time, other countries hedge
their own currency in it. The US
was the enemy of Saddam Hussein,
but when he was finally caught, he
was carrying one million dollars
of its currency. An ounce of gold
has been able to buy a tailored suit
and leather shoes for over 1000
years. And Bitcoin has become the
beachhead crypto people want
to back as an eventual winner,
causing rampant speculation, and
in doing so undermining its ability
to perform the task of a currency.
It’s undermined because it no
the internet. While almost half of
the world is now on the internet,
the vast majority still can’t transact
on it, simply because of the money
they use. The world’s poor – those
most likely to benefit from the
internet – are the worst affected
by having cash as their primary
currency. Cryptocurrencies have
inordinate potential in developing
markets because they solve the
internet/cash problem. In fact,
cryptocurrency can reduce the risk
of operating in a cash world, while
having all the benefits of cash.
The US was the enemy of
Saddam Hussein, but when he was
finally caught, he was carrying one
million dollars of its currency.
longer has the stability required
for adoption. In times like these, it
pays to remember whose brand we
ought be building: ours, not that of
a currency. We must remain entirely
agnostic as to which currencies we
accept. In this case we need to be
late adopters, and only accept new
payment methods that make buying
easier for consumers by reducing
transaction friction and cost.
At the same time, we must not
be afraid to add a new option to
our existing payment layers. Watch
carefully as the market evolves
and globalises; this is probably
where and why cryptocurrency will
eventually become the dominant
force in global trade. The globe
is not as it seems to us in the
developed world. Billions of people
on earth rely solely on cash to
trade. Billions of people do not even
have bank accounts. This means
most of the world’s population
can’t participate economically in
Close to five billion people will
be using mobile phones by the
end of 2018 and, in the developing
world, people are more likely
to have a mobile phone than
indoor plumbing. And all anyone
needs to use cryptocurrency is
just that, a mobile phone. This
tells us of the possibilities.
Cryptocurrency has a serious
chance of playing industrial
leapfrog and becoming the
primary form of currency around
the world – led, ironically, by
less technologically developed
countries. What we can’t say is
which cryptocurrency(s) will be
the eventually winner(s), or even
if western governments will try to
outlaw them, and introduce their
own rather than cede fiduciary
control. But we can be sure that
this revolution is real, and over
time we’ll wonder why anyone ever
trusted a piece of paper with a
person’s head on it.
Baby Boomers:
effective messages
hile part one of this
article examined
digital devices and
digital channels when
targeting Baby Boomers, this article
focuses on message execution.
Christopher Benz is the
managing director of marketing
agency Brave, which has produced
broadcast campaign content
for brands including the Herald
Sun, Mitre 10, Tourism Victoria,
Australian Unity, Virgin Australia
and Village Cinemas. In his opinion,
“While Boomers are surprisingly
active online, they don’t fall into the
usual mantra that social marketing is
for ‘starting a conversation’.
“Our data shows that they are
quite happy to read, research and
act where necessary without having
to ‘join the chat’.”
He believes that this behaviour is
a function of some key characteristics
and drivers of behaviour. “Boomers
generally have saved well and are
well-resourced,” he says, “and their
behaviour is motivated through ‘selfactualisation’ message executions,
rather than mining the bottom of the
motivations pyramid. Baby Boomers
are more interested in emotions,
humanity and higher values than
messages pushing price and/or
shallow celebrity.” In contrast with
other generational segments, the
Baby Boomer motivations suggest
creative execution such as: family,
relationships and profound, superbly
executed travel imagery (even as
a context for regular products) are
all effective.”
The relationship between
segment characteristics and
creative execution is also made by
Jodie Rochetich, regional manager,
marketing and PR ANZ at Jetstar
Airways. Rochetich’s comments
imply that it is important not to
over- or underestimate similarities
between Baby Boomers and other
generational segments such as
Millennials or Gen X. “To ignore
the Baby Boomer group in media
planning or creative execution
would be foolish. They are not
old in attitude or channel
consumption. While they still
consume traditional media, they
are online, streaming TV and music,
and are very active on social.”
Baby Boomers appear to require
In the second and final instalment of their exploration of Baby
Boomers, Michael Valos and Warwick Lloyd offer insight
into effective execution of marketing messages to the segment.
Michael Valos
is director of industry
engagement in the
Department of Marketing at
Deakin University and chair
of Marketing’s industry
advisory board.
Warwick Lloyd is
Marketing Research
associate at Deakin
more reassurance and informationrelevant content when compared
to other generational segments.
The Jetstar approach has been
to use influencers. “At Jetstar we
also look towards working with
influencers who have the appeal to
this demographic segment,” says
Rochetich. While the whole concept
of market segmentation is based on
stereotyping – because segmentation
is generally seen by marketers
as an efficient basis of resource
allocation – we should be cautious.
Hunter Leonard, founder and CEO
of Silver and Wise, says, “Avoid
generalisations and always do the
work to understand the Baby Boomer
consumer in relation to your brand
These people
have been
around! They
have possibly
been burned
by marketing
made to them
in the past.
and their needs and wants.” In other
words, each product category has
its own context and, for appropriate
marketing messages, individual
research is required. Further, Baby
Boomers can be represented by two
sub-segments, each requiring slightly
different approaches to message
execution. There are younger ‘trailing
edge Boomers’ (1956-1966) who
are more digitally and technologically
savvy than ‘older Boomers’(19461955). It is important to recognise
this difference in technological
and digital savviness in developing
creative execution. Benz says,
“Anything too technology-focused,
especially if it looks too fussy,
is to be avoided. Simplicity is
fundamental for this generation.
Above all else, when pushing
technology, find the human element
and make the tech look easy or,
better still, visually avoid the
technology altogether.”
Visa’s senior director and head of
marketing, Jac Phillips, says, “At Visa
we are very conscious of how brands
make you feel and today’s tech
enabled consumers are increasingly
in control of the branded messages
they not only receive but also choose
to continue to interact with.” Phillips
considers it important to recognise
trends in different generational
segments and how their needs vary
in terms of message execution. “We
are moving away from only featuring
Millennials in our marketing”, she
says. “Instead we are moving to a
more modular creative approach
where the creative delivered will be
based on audience signals, so we
have relevant, purpose-led creative
copy. This means the accompanying
imagery will depend on the
segment’s life stage and interests.
Being tailored and personal is the
future we’re working on!”
In other words, older people
do not see themselves as old
anymore. Further, they need to be
recognised in message execution as
they represent significant spending
power. Further issues impacting
Baby Boomer message strategy
identified in ongoing cross-faculty
Deakin University research include
the need to recognise the idea that
they are cynical about marketing
special offers and gimmicks. These
people have been around! They have
possibly been burned by marketing
promises made to them in the past.
Creative execution to Boomers must
recognise eyesight often deteriorates
post-50, so larger fonts, symbols
and navigation icons (especially on
mobile phones) are recommended.
Not being digital natives, Boomers
are less familiar with technological
terms, which is a major contrast to
advertising agency staff, who are
predominantly very young and don’t
represent them. There is a need for
rigorous and ‘rational’ (as opposed
to impulsive and emotional)
content in influencing Baby Boomer
purchase decision-making.
As a result Boomers would
prefer more advertising copy and
more evidence of the brand promise
relative to other generations.
These people grew up in times
chronologically closer to World
War II and economic depression.
Boomers are often patronised and
misunderstood by young people.
Don’t refer to them as old! Don’t
assume they’re all in retirement
villages. In fact they are less set in
their ways than previous consumers
in these age groups. They are
adventurous, still relevant to society
and can face new challenges. They
can still actively take part in life.
They believe they are still youthful
and want messages about the
future. If you are using musical or
cultural icons or artefacts in nostalgic
appeals, make the appropriate choice
between ‘younger’ versus ‘older’ Baby
Boomer sub-segments. The other
consideration is ensuring gender
balance, particularly as there are now
more women than men in the Baby
Boomer segment – a bias one way or
the other can lead to a disconnection.
There are many wonderful
home-grown actors who are
now Baby Boomers and ideal
ambassadors for your brand – they
are also not as expensive as you
may think, as acting opportunities
can become limited later in life. It
may well be an approach that builds
brand recognition rapidly.
FCK: Drop
the mask
and cash in
What do the pratfall effect, cats
equipped with cameras and
restaurants going up in flames have
to do with marketing success?
Best we let Sérgio Brodsky explain.
uthenticity is one of the
most over-utilised terms in
marketing these days. Both
brand managers and their
agencies have emphatically shared
different research pieces about how
much customers value authentic
brands. Yet few have actually dropped
their happy-go-lucky veneers of
positive communications for more
vulnerable, self-deprecating and, at
times, negative communications. In a
commoditising and incredibly
predictable landscape, it is
increasingly hard to define and defend
a brand’s unique selling proposition
when there’s nothing truly distinctive
about it. This struggle to communicate
brand value in a compelling way –
especially for those in the FMCG and
retail categories – can certainly be
addressed by brands communicating
more than forceful smiles.
Those who watched Pixar’s
animation Inside Out will remember
that four out of the five main
characters represent negative
emotions. Fear, Anger, Disgust,
Sadness and Joy were not only
Sérgio Brodsky is an
internationally experienced
brand marketing
professional and scholar of
The Marketing Academy.
Having worked for the
world’s leading strategic
communications agencies,
he is a proven thoughtleader, regularly being
published and featured on
high-profile conferences
and festivals worldwide. He
is passionate about cities
and culture and the role
of brands and technology
in society. Sérgio is
multilingual, holds a BA
in IP law and an MBA in
global brand strategy and
innovation. Follow him on
Twitter: @brandKzar
fictitious characters, but the actual
make-up of the most basic emotions
hardwired in our brains.
According to Julia Haber, clinical
assistant professor of organisational
behaviour at Fordham University,
“[The] human tendency for negative
bias evolved over time to help
our ancestors survive by being
responsive to potential threats. As
such, negative stimuli in our brains
are processed almost instantly,
ensuring they are stored in our longterm memory.” On the other hand,
positive experiences have to be held
in the brain for at least 12 seconds
before they are stored as long-term
memories. And when capturing
audiences’ attention is one of our
biggest challenges, why not drop
the mask and cash in? Or, in other
words, it’s very easy to remember
the last few bad experiences we
may have had at a restaurant or
hotel or high street. But we really
need to make a concerted effort to
remember a nice experience. And,
realistically, experiencing something
extraordinarily positive is not
common and hardly cost-effective.
Creating bad memories of your
brand is certainly not the point I’m
trying to make. But a memory from
something that went wrong could
certainly have a very positive effect.
For example, few Hollywood A-listers
would have a brand stronger than
Jennifer Lawrence’s yet, when J-Law
tripped over her dress just before
collecting an Oscar her personal
brand valuation went through the
roof. By elegantly smiling at a moment
of total vulnerability, Lawrence moved
from one of the most loved to the
most loved Hollywood celebrity.
How can it be? The explanation
lies in social psychology through
a phenomenon called ‘pratfall
effect’, which is the tendency for an
individual’s attractiveness to increase
or decrease after making a mistake or
having vulnerabilities openly exposed
– depending on their perceived
competence in a general sense. At
first glance, this may sound weird but
if we think about this for a moment,
we’ll remember that the people we
like the most (aka friends) are those
with whom we’re able to share our
weaknesses, vulnerabilities and
embarrassments. Simply put, those
with whom we can authentically
interact and relate to.
But does it work for brands?
Can brands really be authentic to
the point of exposing themselves
and becoming more likeable and…
Clearly, thinking differently enabled
the company to earn differently (and
better) too. When it comes to the
most noticeable P in the marketing
mix, ‘promotion’, the same rings true.
In Japan, Onomichi city is a place
infested by cats and unless you’re
Mrs Cat Lady there are few reasons
to visit it. Instead of banning cats or
communicating efforts to reduce the
number of cats and make Onomichi
a more hospitable place, the local
tourism authority decided instead to
fit cats with small cameras and create
the world’s first Cat Street View to
showcase the city to potential tourists.
The total cost of the campaign
Creating bad memories of your
brand is certainly not the point I’m
trying to make.
profitable? This takes courage and
is certainly possible. Russell Bacon,
DirecTV CIO, wanted to tackle the
concept of failure and de-demonise it
as a word: “It was something people
didn’t want to talk about. We had to
make it safe so people could relate
to it and see the top leadership
team talking about it.” The response
came via a gamified video platform
encouraging employees to share and
celebrate their epic fails, and promote
collaboration, HR training and
crowdsourcing tools. This effort alone
decreased IT problems by 30 percent
and enabled the first enterprise
project free of critical defects.
Apple, the world’s most valuable
brand, holds a manifesto that is
overtly negative, calling its people,
“The crazy ones. The misfits. The
rebels. The troublemakers. The
round pegs in the square holes.”
was close to US$100,000, which
resulted in US$8 million in free media
exposure from the 409 media outlets
in Japan and abroad that amplified
it. This equates to a huge success of
80 times in terms of cost of media
amplification. After its launch, web
traffic reached two million page views
for a month. Tourist visitation went up
160 percent compared with the same
month in the previous year. Beyond
original expectations, Cat Street View
breathed new energy into the city’s
tourism efforts. It hosted a cat festival
in 2016 and now has ‘cat tours’ on a
regular basis.
Dove has been taking a similar
approach via its long running
‘Real Beauty’ campaign by putting
contrasting messages on the same
creative – ugly spots/beauty spots,
wrinkled/wonderful, fit/fat – and
turning negative elements into
positive memories. Burger King
went the full length to sadistically
remind people that the brand takes
its flame-grilling seriously through
a series of print ads showing its
restaurants in flames and smoke with
firemen, hoses, the whole shebang!
Last year Diesel launched a global
campaign around celebrating flaws
that was launched with the gritty,
glamorous celebration of ugliness via
its ‘Go With the Flaw’ spot, followed
by its second instalment ‘Keep the
World Flawed’ – each illustrating just
how hopeless it is to hide our flaws.
And crowning this flawful celebration
was a stunt during New York’s Fashion
Week that saw a pop-up Deisel [sic]
store selling authentic products.
The shoppers who bought the
seemingly knock-off pirated ranges
were in for quite a surprise, as the
one-of-a-kind pieces were specially
crafted by the Diesel design team,
and “very likely to become collectors’
items,” the brand says. Now that’s
an authentic fashion statement! For
marketers and agency folks, before
having the audacity to drop the
mask, here are some questions to
ask yourselves:
= What has commoditised or risks
commoditising in your business?
= Where are you ranked number
two or risk losing a leadership
= What are the most cluttered
categories in your business that
could benefit from a different
= How about your brand? Is there
any space for self-deprecation?
If your answers indicate the need
for reinvention, then just be the ‘no
man’ or ‘no woman’. Authenticity
is not about forceful smiles or
Pollyanna-like guidelines, but the
trials and tribulations facing us every
day. Have you noticed the wealthy
rarely smile?
Tales and taboos
Can Jac Phillips and Vanessa Stoykov
make finance sexy? Let’s find out.
Jac Phillips is senior
director and head of
marketing, Australia, New
Zealand & South Pacific,
at Visa.
Vanessa Stoykov is
founder and group CEO of
Evolution Media Group.
It meant
that after four
months of doing
pretty dry, I
could escape!
be bliss, but in my case it meant I
had no clue and could easily have
missed this amazing opportunity,
which became one of the best
career decisions I ever made. Thank
goodness he was desperate and
needed an experienced marketer.
Thank goodness he looked outside of
the box for that person. So I started
in the role, was given instant access
to incredible resources in people,
budget, agency support, and access
to training and development. I was
blown away. Blissfully unaware of
just how strategically and seriously
the bank took marketing, my respect
grew very quickly for those leading
the business. Not long after starting
I said to him, “You mentioned
storytelling and I want to explore
this more, as I think it is exactly the
direction we need to take” – not
only to differentiate our marketing
proposition from competitors, but
also because I could now see just
how much financial content (which
could appear complex and dry) I had
desperately tried to talk him out
of hiring me. I wasn’t the
‘banking type’ and financial
services wasn’t an industry I
could get excited about marketing. I
knew nothing about money (other
than how to spend it) and what little I
did know wasn’t something I
discussed much with anyone. Money
didn’t engage, motivate or compel me.
I was back from a four-year stint in
Asia marketing global brands that did
engage, motivate and compel me, but
as the breadwinner in our family, I
didn’t have the luxury of being choosy.
The Asian savings were depleting and
there were three hungry mouths to
feed at our new place in Melbourne.
He seemed nice enough. I
related to him as he had been in
agency-land just prior to landing
this gig heading up the marketing
function for one of the big four
banks, so we had a bit in common.
He was creative too. He could see
lots of potential in using storytelling
in a creative and clever way, because
helping people manage their money
effectively was very meaningful. Ooh
meaningful! I love a good purpose.
He got me – ‘maybe I should give
this gig a go?’ But in order to save
face I suggested we should start
with a short-term contract. He said
six months, I suggested four, just
to see if they liked me, if I was what
they were looking for.
For me, it meant that after four
months of doing something pretty
dry, I could escape! Ignorance can
at my disposal to educate, engage
and encourage action.
I read about a conference
coming up with the theme ‘how
to creatively market financial
services’ and just knew I had to
attend. It could be the silver bullet
I needed. That’s where things
became very clear to me. Call it
‘divine intervention’ because right
towards the end of that conference
a beautiful angel walked onto the
stage and began a presentation.
It wasn’t a bank person. It wasn’t
an Aussie male (our industry used
to be full of them, thankfully that
has changed in recent years) and it
wasn’t someone talking about PDSs
(product disclosure statements),
regulation, TV advertising or direct
mail. She was talking about new
channels (digital marketing was
just starting to take off then!) and
new ways of creatively speaking to
customers. She spoke of a world
in rich colour. The future was now
and I realised I didn’t have to face
this saintly journey alone in bringing
a fresh new way to sell banking
services and products. I had an ally
and she was talking my language!
Let me introduce Vanessa Stoykov.
Vanessa Stoykov
There’s a line I quote when I give
talks: money’s sexy, so why is
finance boring? Very few master
the art of marketing money or
financial services. We’ve all
seen the white, middle-aged
couple walking hand-in-hand
along the beach in typical bank
scenarios, but to market the
money industry with originality
and purpose is an art form. For
many years, Jac Phillips was
the client and I was the agency
owner who ran the content
marketing for parts of her bank.
In that time I learned plenty. She
is a marketer who knows when
she’s onto something, can back
it up with data every time, and
has that sense of originality and
entrepreneurialism that only
creativity and experience can
bring. For the past 19 years I
have run a creative production
business, and an online
learning business for finance
professionals. Working with her,
I uncovered a few secrets about
successfully marketing money:
1. Make it personal.
Money is impersonal and
often taboo. One way to
change that is to make it real.
Make it people-focused and
personality-based. Know and
understood that to get a deeper
relationship with customers, you
have to get personal with them.
2. Look and sound different.
We all have budgets and timeframes, but finance must be
marketed in a sophisticated way.
In finance, getting marketing
through legal and compliance
often means leaving out the
personality. To own a space,
colour, image and tone, and
cleverly adapt it to various
channels, is of value when
marketing money. To do that, you
need to have – or be – a client
who tenaciously pushes their
organisation into being different,
even if the lawyers aren’t happy
about it.
3. Break taboos.
As a society, people don’t like
to talk about money. We all
love showing what it can do
and the freedom it can buy,
but very few people actually
talk about money in a way they
would about something like real
estate. The more you can make
your marketing educational,
interesting and part of an
everyday conversation (that
means relevant) the more you will
cut through and influence people
to think and act differently.
4. Work with people
who are creative and
We figured out very quickly that
diverse groups of people who
are allowed to openly share
their diverse perspectives give
brands a real advantage. A
combination of creative and
industry experts incorporating
insights directly from your
target audience means rich
discussions and new ideas for
articulating banking products
and services. The fewer bankers
involved the better!
Back to Jac
Thirteen years on and I’m still
marketing financial services. It’s an
an industry I love and of which I’m
grateful to remain a part. Stoykov
has gone from strength to strength
and she’s about to publish her
first book – The Breakfast Club for
40-Somethings – about how we
manage our money better (if only
I had that 20 years ago!). Together
we’ve racked up more than 40 years
in the industry. We’re grateful for
having met, but most of all we are
grateful for the financial services
industry that exists in Australia.
It is strong, generally well run
and has allowed many Australians
to save, grow and protect their
wealth in order for them and their
families to ultimately live well. Now
that’s sexy!
Associate professor
Con Stavros is the
program director of
postgraduate marketing
studies at RMIT University
and one of Australia’s
leading commentators on
marketing matters.
Tweet him @constavros.
oney. Let’s not pretend
it’s unimportant, can’t
buy happiness or has
been superseded as a
store of value. It still makes the
world go around and is the fuel that
keeps the marketing machine
running, even if the money trail is
increasingly digital.
The display of money and its
influence is perhaps a little more
oblique than it was in the past, not
just because of an increasingly
cashless society, but also because
retail has changed significantly.
While you can still promenade down
Zürich’s Bahnhofstrasse and ‘feel’ the
wealth around you, a lot of retailing is
now at cookie-cutter shopping malls
where haute couture rubs shoulders
with fast food, or moving online where
anybody can be anything to anyone.
This shift has clouded the sense
of what money is and what it brings.
For marketers, advancements in
how money is accessed and utilised
have been transformative. It allows
them to build and exploit a mindset
of ‘spend first, pay later’. This has
obliterated the notion of saving and
produced an array of delineable
behaviours that allow consumers to
be corralled easily into segments.
Take the smartphone, a seemingly
biennial upgrade linked to the
observable gadget culture where
new is more than simply being
better. That same phone can digitally
connect to a terminal for payment,
reducing the purchase to another
type of swipe – creating even greater
distance between the sense of
money and its purchasing power.
An experiment: next time you
have a significant purchase to make,
try and do it in cash to get a feel
for the raw economic exchange
occurring. It will be a revealing
reconnection for most and you’ll
almost certainly feel a strange, primal
dissonance. It’s a good habit to get
your children into as well, so they can
appreciate a counter feeling to the
digital consumption culture they are
inheriting. Some key developments
are emerging as money’s place in
marketing settles into a networked
age. Consumers are now armed with
an enormous array of information on
purchase power. Entire industries
have sprung up, ‘comparison’ sites
and less formalised exchanges of
information that give consumers
unprecedented insights. Shared
spreadsheets track the negotiated
price paid for new cars across an
array of dealers. Savvy video gamers
‘game’ geographic online shopfronts
to purchase identical digital
products overseas for substantial
Consumers are increasingly
the pricing experts. Marketers
need to adapt to this and build new
relationships beyond transactions.
Price has always been an insipid
weapon for the marketer and it’s
time to accept it now fully belongs
to the consumer, where it yields
some power. Similarly, the branddestroying practice of chasing new
customers with monetary-based
sales promotions, while ignoring
brand loyals, is absurd. Brands
that move away from this pursuit
mentality and return to
some basic principles of relationship
marketing (it’s not dead) can
benefit significantly.
A natural extension of the new
customer chase has been a reported
focus on individual-level pricing
where a consumer’s online profile
and digital mapping help dictate
the price point offered. Ever been
offered a price online, backed out
at the payment page then got an
invitation some time later offering an
incentive to return? That’s relatively
blunt. A more sophisticated system
would have crunched the numbers
on your capacity and likelihood
to pay before you backed out and
set the parameters for success
in the first offer. The process of
pricing in this way is perilous given
consumers’ savvy and pricing
expertise I have noted. It’s all well
and good to price dynamically, but
it is a slippery slope to do so based
on individual consumer data given
the transparency that now exists. It
will be fascinating in the years ahead
to see how brands interpret the fine
line between price maximisation and
price justification.
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