It was great to bring the big show to Melbourne for the first time and to see the 2000+ friends we have developed over the last 10 years in Australia.

Also featured at the event was a great new Australian story from Hills.


Will facebook be the identity layer which ties you to the 100s of connected sensors and devices which will make up your day in the Internet of Things? According to Quentin Hardy, Mark Zuckerberg thinks so, just like Jeff Bezos thought beyond books to monetize the underlying computer science platform behind, Facebook is looking to solve the big problems of tomorrow like wireless connectivity, connected cars, homes and things using the infrastructure it has constructed to deliver underwaterdogs.

In a recent visit to the Philippines I was amazed at the impact on a large part of society without access to the internet including basic functions like email who through wholesale agreements between telcos and social networks, have become hyper-connected on facebook and twitter and have almost skipped a step in technological evolution.

Statements from super-telcos BT and AT&T, as well as Cisco at Davos suggest that these kind of deals where connectivity is included with your device ALA kindle will be more prevalent this year. Combine this with the dropping price of network sensors and we are entering an explosive era of growth for hyper-connected things.

As marketers, we know behind these things are people. This hyperconnectivity is an amazing opportunity for us to find new ways to deliver value and create a connection the like of which we have never attempted, turning consumers to customers. A binding identity is a key piece of the puzzle.

Its clear that facebook is a key player in connecting people, but will we trust them to connect our things? Fun times ahead

Original article in NY Times by Quentin Hardy

photo credit: Jonathan Kos-Read via photopin cc

An interesting chat between network, hardware, software and content leaders on the future of digital.

Some key takeaways:

  • Hyper-connectivity is here this year through many network connected sensors and devices and accessed through your mobile
  • The opportunity for marketers is to turn consumers into customers and form value based relationships using these new type of connections.
  • Trust is a key commodity in the battle for this new connected economy, governments need to adapt to this need. Vendors need to be empathetic.
  • The connected car, home and self are key areas of focus.
  • Recalcitrant sectors like education, healthcare and government have the opportunity to rapidly advance and deliver incredible value to the world.
World Economic Forum 2014 - New Digital Context

world economic forum 2014 – New Digital Context

Forgive me my filipino friends, but on my last visit to the Philippines in June 2013, I was confronted by the country. I flew into the old terminal which is severely run-down, hailed a cab (rookie error) with a less than reputable driver and stumbled my way to glossy Makati (the financial district) through the ramshackle streets and traffic.


I met wonderful people thanks to my hosts at AllFamous including the great people from Rappler an independent media company innovating in social media and many major brands. Then I ate a bite of good food and then zipped back onto the plane home.

Having visited and enjoyed Mumbai and Bangkok before, I was disappointed in myself for feeling a sense of unease from Manilla. Which is why So I was pleased to be able to return to Manilla again 6 months later. I was keen to understand the feeling of people, since November 2013, when the Philippines was hit by Typhoon Haiyan which caused so much devastation and destruction. This time I booked my car in advance and chatted with my driver about the country.

We chatted about the friendship of Filipinos and Australians and our mutual admiration for the features of our respective countries. We discussed Filipinos incredible hospitality which is often misinterpreted as subservience (and sometimes abused for less than wholesome purposes). My host agreed if you ask something of a Filipino, the answer is always “Yes” or at least “I will try”. This goes for family most of all but also friends old and new. This is certainly my experience of my Filipino friends in Australia, they are beautiful, caring, people.

However my hosts immediate emotion was fear-fullness, fear that disaster will strike again and fear that the government will continue to fail its people in the areas of reform. There was also hope,  in the rejuvenation of charitable foundations due to the attention from the typhoon and hope in the power of technology in the form of mobile devices and social media to be a force for change in the country.

“… in the past, a crime was committed on the street, people felt they could do nothing. Now they take pictures with their phones and post immediately to social media.”

the empowered citizen journalist seemed to be a great source of hope for him:

“Now the government, it has started to fear the people. It is harder to hide corruption.”

For Brands and multinationals the opportunity of a growing middle class in a country of 100 million is immense, the adoption of technology and social media is impressive, the people seem to be skipping a number of phases of technology evolution and running straight to hyper-connection. Famous Filipino service is now available on demand via Twitter and Facebook.

KBB Digital Thanks to our other panellists Michael Hardy, Deputy Commissioner from the ATO and Melanie Perkins, CEO from Canva for chatting today on Kochie’s Business Builders for an eclectic panel on Tax, Startups and Tech, oh my.

Watch it here.

I’m now a huge fan of the Canva app, I think they’ve nailed ease of use in design an area where there is no tool for the rest of us besides powerpoint or word. Check out Venture Hacks.

Also great to see the Tax department proactively engaging with the community, hats off to their comms team, that is a tough gig and they are really trying to be accessible to every Australian.

What will you Stop Doing, Start Doing and Keep Doing next year?

This simple reframe is a great way to approach the often maligned new years resolution. This was also the topic of the SKS14 event hosted by datarati, where I attended as a guest.  I quite like the event format that the guys from Capital-E and TenAlphas coordinated, its partially live, partially webcast and results in a very dense amount of content, learning and networking in a short amount of time. One of those events where every attendee had a solid handful of takeaways.

Here’s to a year of productivity next year.


Full content here


Audience is a thought provoking reframe of the methods for utilising earned media by my colleague Jeffrey K. Rohrs (He assures me, he was using JKR well before Quidditch was conceived). Jeff believes those who attract audiences rather than renting those of others using paid media are at a significant competitive advantage.

Taking a cross channel lens, partly influenced by his time with the Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, Jeff lays out a path to building audiences which first examines the different behaviour of SEEKERS, JOINERS and AMPLIFIERS and how they relate to SUBSCRIBERS, FANS and FOLLOWERS.

Filled with interesting examples and easy to follow thinking, Audience is a must for any marketer seeking to utilise content marketing or social media marketing or those looking to understand how to build earned media.

I particularly like the section on “the Art of Asking”, discussing the ideas of Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls who moved to a fan-based funding model for her work which creates a value exchange between her and those whose couch she crashes at while couch-surfing her way around the world on one of her many tours.

Also recommended for sometimes lamented email-marketers looking to find swagger to go with their highly effective digital activities. A channel is just a channel an audience is the object.

Check it out on kindle now

Or join Jeff and Myself at Dreamforce where we’ll be hearing the tale live (hopefully spoken-word style wearing smoking jackets). There will be shows at 11:30AM and 3PM, try the veal



Thanks to Tracy Harris at Austrade for having the marketing cloud at AIEC to share some ideas on social media marketing. It was a pleasure to join Andrew Bognar who shared some of the programs that NAB are running including the social media command centre. The stories that ring true for me for those in international education are pictured in the slides below.

  1. Lorna Jane – shows the importance of a strong content strategy, evergreen content pillars like Move, Nourish Believe combined with a kitbag of great social media tactics, has Lorna one of the best social marketing brands in Australia today.
  2. Shangri-La Hotels – have realised the importance of a local brand given the breadth of their operations across asia, europe and the middle east, they need to demonstrate local knowledge while maintaining a luxury asian brand. The local property manager owns the local social sentiment and is accountable for engagement.
  3. Tourism Australia – teaches us about creating content platforms which are big ideas that create a platform for many executions. They also use partnerships incredibly well to gain additional reach, funding and relevance.
Australian International Education Conference – Social Marketing from Derek Laney

MAD Week

An enjoyable afternoon at the MCA, overlooking the quay and chatting innovation in digital. A lively and sometimes possessed Faris Yakob set things up with a thought provoker. The afternoon continued with tech, debate and the inevitable questions are we innovating enough and who pays for innovation given the existing agency funding model.

Funding was a source of anxiety as agencies struggle to structure agreements which allow flexibility to fail while delivering the goods in a competitive and changing market.

For my part, I shared observations on salesforce’s journey so far to becoming (according to Forbes) the worlds most innovative company.

How to Build Innovative Culture (BandT MAD Week) from Derek Laney

Our last post dealt with observations on the higher education industry, in this post we look at solutions.

salesforce perspective

Over the last 6 years working in one of the fastest growing technology organisations where the majority of our workforce is ramping, I’ve made these observations:

  1. Just because information is shared on a social network or intranet doesn’t mean individuals will seek it out before needing the skills for their job. There is still a need for guides and teachers.
  2. In addition though self service knowledge is efficient, colocation creates strong ties and networks that can be leveraged into the future. At salesforce we use a bootcamp program to ensure new recruits form strong ties quickly.
  3. those who communicate stories well, are more effective than deep experts. Dr Karl is one of my favourite pop-educators and within our organisation it is these great communicators who consistently achieve in enablement. To aid understanding we should take the techniques we learn in content marketing and translate them into internal education or even better, just make our internal education materials public by default.

Our Learnings

For Universities

Similarly universities have a number of key competencies:

  1. A strong network of knowledge and coaches
  2. A dense cluster of like minded individuals who share similar needs and bring diverse experience
  3. Clear mapped pathways and widely recognised badges for achievement (Dip, MBA, PHD)

Utilising technology institutions can connect in a whole new way.

Connected Institutions

College fraternities know the benefit of intense shared experiences, hazing is still a popular process due to its power to bind individuals together to mutually support each other (make up your own mind if the end justifies the means).

Education institutions need to use technology to connect in a whole new way

  • with their students to bridge the experience gap, to listen to needs and provide personalised  pathways.
  • with faculties to provide consistent experience and joined-up learning
  • with other providers to provide life long learning pathways
  • with courses – MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) provide a tantilising vision of what taking the best knowledge and connecting it with social directly to student devices can do

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