Archives for category: Customer Companies

(An Australian perspective with thanks to Dave Phillips of UTS and Mal Chia formerly of University of Adelaide)

In idyllic hobart, Tasmania the Australian higher education technology community gathered to hear the latest advances in the sector.  I took away a couple of things from the conference:

there is an amazing revolution taking place in open learning due to the convergence of cloud, mobile and social technologies and librarians these days, kinda kick-ass

While we may expect students to arrive at university with nothing but a notebook and open minds, the reality is that students see themselves as highly connected and capable. The rise in consumer expectations means students expect to consume information on-demand and be able to create their own learning pathways using a selection of available course materials.

The Education Experience Gap

The traditional student lifecycle and the processes universities have created to service students may no longer be relevant. Student contact hours are slowly decreasing in favour of self paced online video and in person workshops where key skills such as team collaboration and decision making can be fostered.

The Student Journey

Unfortunately some campus technology has failed to keep pace with this new demand for self directed learning. Whats needed is a renewed emphasis on user experience and persona based design.

Technology Gap

However for institutions the complexity of stakeholders slows progress, many decisions require wide consensus or voluntary adoption. This means a university technologist spends a lot of time educating and lobbying peers to use the available technologies and process advancements.

The Institutional EnvironmentWhen I think about my own learning, I initially started a creative arts degree (I wanted to be on stage), switched to Marketing and then combined Information Systems after interning at a friends garage software startup. Seeing the potential to self learn with support of a good mentor I completed university full time but attended minimal contact hours (2 days a week), skipping unnecessary tutorials in favour of time spent in the workplace and self learning software development online.

My RealityMy Ven diagram might look a little like the above. I’m an advocate for a university education for my kids but I feel like institutions need to adapt to support life-long learning to support the needs of the workplace and individual enlightenment.

At we talk a lot about the convergence of Social, Mobile, BigData, Communities, Identity, Trust and Cloud as being a customer revolution. Its clear in education this also manifests as an education revolution.

Salesforce @ Theta 2013 from Derek Laney

Originally posted on

While its been said your brand is the sum of the conversations, your brand looks a heck of a lot nicer if you pump great content onto youtube and instagram as red bull well knows. According to ADMA and CMI, 96% of marketers use the strategy but sadly only 29% think they have it nailed. And its not just about viral hits like dumb ways to die, a content drumbeat that connects with customers and leads them to advocacy wins in the long term.


Interviewed by razorfish’s Iain Mcdonald as ad:tech social media chair – Sydney March 12

While not news to most marketers in Australia, its clear that in the world of social media, increasingly digital strategy leans on brand produced content to build their online identity and encourage positive community engagement.

In 2013 most are increasing their budget as the model is largely proven through experimentation

Now will commence a full scale content war

Brands will fight to be the trusted source of information or the news breaker adopting traditional media models with inhouse journalists, editors and producers. Agencies are being handed newsjacking briefs to “do an oreo” rather than prebaked plans.

Realtime insights will become increasingly important

the old adage of 50% of my (content) marketing spend is wasted, if only I could know which 50%. We need to look for ways to scale the model across brands, campaigns and regions to make it repeatable. Some great learnings from the Obama campaign on how they used data to drive focus and then executed at scale in this previous post.

If you are a bank, telco or airline, there’s already a tonne of service related chatter as a baseline though you are focussed on creating positive sentiment by telling the stories that matter to your customers. Commbank CMO @kiwilark summed it up when he said

Your stories are more important than your brand

If you sell earthmoving equipment or airline engines you may be more challenged by silence, but brands like CAT and GE have showed this is not a reason to hide in trade mags as your sole source of outreach. A good story told and produced well wins every time.

If “soap” companies can do it, so can you

see the Unilever’s AXE graphic novel or more locally Nestle’s Fists of Fusion.

Finally, the result must be a great customer experience not just clever marketing, retail brands likeBurberry are starting to blur the line between physical and digital as they create luscious online and physical experiences to create customer experience which make you want to own the trenchcoat to match 🙂

AdTech 2013: Innovation and Measurement in Social Media from Derek Laney

via Danielle Walley

Local Governments do a lot of great work which is rarely fully appreciated.  In the past, a lot of the complaints towards local councils were in private and around the dinner table.  It was feedback the councils never saw, but also didn’t damage the brand.

Most Government departments and councils have been quite late adopters of social media as a communication channel.  In fact a recent survey by the ACELG  found that a lot of Australian Councils were still a long way from getting to grips with Social Media, finding that only 46% of councils still disallowed social media use at work, only 26 per cent have a social media policy and only 21 per cent train staff in social media.

So to understand how to better harness the opportunity that social media provides government, we were lucky enough to be joined on this webinar by the Social Media Officer at Brisbane City Council –Tracy Whitelaw .  The slides are below but also a recording of the webinar is embedded within (just scroll through the slides to the end).

But Tracy was able to break out the top five ways in which Social Media can help government departments in a new communications environment that is more transparent, engageing, targeted and real time.

1. Crisis Communications.  Brisbane’s most recent crisis was the terrible floods that hit Southern Queensland in January 2010.  Tracy explains how as the crisis kicked in, the corporate website was unable to keep up and the Council decamped its entire communications channel to Twitter and Facebook.  Social Media as a channel is so much more immediate and effective in terms of getting messages out and crowd-sourcing information in.  (Tracy’s experience here is invaluable so worth listening to the audio for this alone)

2. Engage at Government Scale.  This reprises the feedback issue raised earlier.  It does require some culture change within government but to carry the community with you on new Government projects is essential.  The way in which Social Media that can be used to target certain communities, areas or locations – or even different demographics.  Different channels serve for different purposes – you need to be where your audience is.

3. Social Service Delivery.  A Government Department should today handle Social enquiries just as they do through the phone or the mail.  From queries about lodging a Development Application to complaints about road degradation should all be services that government can deliver via social channels

4. Research & Consultation. Government Organisations need to engage with their community through social media and get ideas from them. Most Organisation start by listening to people talk about them only, but it is equally important that you follow similar organizations that are like yours. Of course the real insights are around “What matters to your customers”, not to you! It is  important that you use a Social Media tool that reaches across various social channels so you don’t miss out on those important conversations that are effecting, your business and your customers.

5. Social Marketing. Its NOT  just for selling products. Social Media is best used when you consider 3 main concepts for your communication content. Once you have all three concepts covered, you can then use Social Media to amplify that message to your target audience. This type of social media strategy is very powerful and allows the target  to rethink their impression of your organization, by removing the faceless mask they have known in the past, and engaging with content that is easy and enjoyable to consume.

5 Ways the Public Sector is Maximising Value from Social from Derek Laney