The first margarita mixed in space. Why?

Jose Cuervo briefed McCann, New York, to come up with a stunt for National Margarita Day.

They wanted to take advantage of its rich history as a pioneer of tequila, and own the space.

Well the agency took it literally and decided to try and ‘do space’ better than anyone else. You be the judge if it tops Red Bull. I’m not so sure.

With 100,000+ views of the video in Facebook, is this an effective stunt?

I’d love to slice the engagement results by the potential target market or analyse the sales uplift (if any) to determine an ROI.  #MeThinksItWillBeNegative!



Operationalising emotion – harnessing the power of feelings to fuel growth

Richard Branson has done it by instigating unlimited annual leave for Virgin staff, after spotting Netflix implement it.

Virgin unlimited annual leave

Zappos has done it with their “wow” approach to customer service and 10 core values:

And relatively new social platform start-up, Buffer, has done it with it’s radical transparency and approach of openly listing all employee salaries for everyone to see. The  brains behind the new social service believe it creates greater trust and less friction and disgruntlement between employees if there’s nothing to hide. You can read all about it here.

Salaries @ Buffer

Salaries @ Buffer

So have you done it?

Have you thought about how to operationalise emotion in your business?

I recently heard Richard Umbers, Myer’s Chief Information and Supply Chain Office, speak about it, at a retail event hosted by Steve Kulmar and his team at Retail Oasis. If you’d like to see his slide deck, click here.

Richard’s premise was to create the ‘new retail’ by harnessing the power of customer experience which drives an emotional response. Only then can you say you are truly customer centric and delivering on your business or brand promise.

Measure it

Many companies measure NPS (net promoter score) to identify customer advocates – customers who are more emotionally bonded and happy to recommend. How are you identifying yours?

Are there other emotional measures that you are using?

Happiness surveys

Have you implemented staff happiness surveys? If so, then have you segmented  your staff based on their tenure, value, engagement, and happiness levels to identify your staff rockstars (to use a word from Todd Wheatland in relation to identifying top performers in terms of content marketing)?

Photo by Billy Plummer - legend photographer who creates extraordinary out of the ordinary

Photo by Billy Plummer – legend photographer who creates extraordinary out of the ordinary

There are plenty of people cynical about happiness (or any other form of staff satisfaction survey), because they feel that they’re

  • a waste of time
  • boring
  • not bought in to by senior management
  • not getting to the heart of the issues
  • and the list goes on

They’re probably right.

However I’d argue that it’s due to the organisation that they’re in. And the fact that there are endemic problems that aren’t being addressed or rectified based on what the surveys reveal.

The cynics are also probably right because most of the surveys are in a boring format. Create some fun with them. Make a bit of a song and dance. But most importantly act on the findings!!

Be honest

In today’s world authenticity rules. So make sure you’re approach to customers and staff is honest, heartfelt, authentic and real. Only then will you start to get beyond the business politics and functional puffery that may show up in your business, and start uncovering true emotions that can run deep, divide or become positively infectious.

Start operationalising emotion now.

Drone tests for parcel delivery – where will it take us?

Have you heard of Alibaba?

If you haven’t, then just to let you know, it’s the world’s largest e-commerce company. It was founded in China in 1999, by an entrepreneur called Jack Ma.

Last year it surpassed the American population with 334M active customers (America has around 316M people). Alibaba has a market cap of $251b (compared to Walmart at $246b, and Amazon at $157b with only 270M active customers).


A few weeks ago Alibaba started testing drone deliveries of tea in the three test cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou to a range of 10km.


Is it more of a publicity stunt or will it be able to successfully and securely deliver other types of packages?

Check out the video release by Alibaba Drone delivery

Jack Ma has has stated that he aims to expand Alibaba’s operations across the globe in order to reach a target of having two billion customers by 2025. So look out world!

Amazon, Google and DHL have also tested drone deliveries

Currently it’s illegal to deliver commercial parcels via drones in the US. However Civilian air space is expected to be opened up to all kinds of drones in the US by 2015 and in Europe by 2016.

Amazon was the first to push the boundaries in late 2013, when their CEO, Jeff Bezos told CBS television’s 60 Minutes programme:

“We can do half-hour delivery… and we can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds (2.3kg), which covers 86% of the items that we deliver.”

This was the first video that Amazon posted, showing a conceptual system called Amazon Prime Air to deliver parcels to customers.

Interestingly Google has also been testing drone deliveries in Australia since 2014. Google X, a division of the US-based technology company dedicated to making major technological advancements, tested Project Wing near Warwick in Queensland.

The first person in the world to receive a delivery from a Google drone was Warwick farmer Neil Parfitt, who took possession of a precious cargo of Cherry Ripes!

DHL, with Deutsche Post, has also tested flying parcels to the German island of Juist – the first time an unmanned aircraft has been allowed to deliver goods in Europe.

And in Singapore, Infinium Robotics, is testing using drones to deliver food and drinks for restaurant chain Timbre. The 5 1/3-pound drones can carry just over four pounds of food. They won’t be flying to tables directly but rather a wait station where waiters and waitresses can then take the food to tables, sending the drone back to the kitchen. In essence a more efficient system of service.


So look out! And look up! Where will this take society?


Assessing CRM and loyalty programs. What to look out for?

As many of you know I also consult through TrinityP3, a marketing management consultancy.

At TrinityP3, we help companies assess marketing performance on one hand, and agency performance on the other. As well as Executional Performance between them.

I’d like to share a case study that we recently posted to the TrinityP3 Blog.

Baby and dog

For this project I worked with a client to assess a CRM proposal that a specialist agency was proposing.

Click here to find out the challenges I unearthed.

And as a reminder, here are 10 factors that I believe are needed for successful CRM / loyalty programs:

1. Loyalty programs are not silver bullets. They do not stand alone. They need to be part of your integrated marketing strategy.

2. Create a shared vision across the organization on why the loyalty program is important.

3. Set realistic goals and objectives.

4. Ask customers what benefits really matter to them.

5. Don’t just collect data. Use your customer data to create actionable insight you can use to engage, keep and grow profitable customer relationships.

6. Make loyalty program benefits and incentives attainable and realistic.

7. Don’t copy your competitors with a “me too” program. Create a distinctive customer experience.

8. Empower all departments to leverage customer insight to better meet the customer’s needs.

9. Create and execute an ongoing customer communications plan that is relevant and consistent.

10. Measure success (ROI) at the campaign, customer and program level.

Click here to read the full case study as posted on the TrinityP3 Blog



What a great year of independant consulting. I’ve worked with some fabulous clients and colleagues and helped create greater clarity with customer engagement programs, greater collaboration between resource structures and ultimately improved performance value with agency partners. So a big thank you to:


Lend Lease



Volkswagen Group Australia (including the Passenger Vehicles, Commercial Vehicles & Skoda Teams)

Tourism NZ



NSW Transport

TAL Insurance


Employ Group – AussiePay


LTG GoldRock


Greencross Vets

Retail Oasis

and Valcorp Finefoods – Sirena

Plus a huge thankyou to Darren Woolley at TrinityP3 for publishing The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing in a Data-driven World (as outlined in my last post here). I offer all my wisdom in over 27,000 words. Plus Mike Morgan weaves in his depth of experience on Search Engine Marketing. Please feel free to download all 10 Chapters here now

Wishing you all a very merry festive season and a well earned break. Hopefully you can enjoy a few rare moments of calm.

Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing in a Data-driven World

Are you struggling to make sense of where digital fits in your marketing mix?

Are you being hounded by technology vendors and agencies offering the next new digital ‘thing’?

Are you starting to lose faith whether your digital investments will actually deliver any business value?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing in a Data-driven World is for you.


Over 27,000 words in 10 Chapters offering tips, frameworks and tools to help redefine your digital marketing activity.

Why did I write the guide?

The aim of guide is to help demystify the digital landscape, get back to business fundamentals, and help marketing managers move from confusion to clarity in 100 days.


The Guide has been published by TrinityP3 and is available to download for FREE here.

What will you discover in each chapter?

Chapter 1: The rise and rise of digital marketing in a data-driven world

In this chapter we highlight the array of statistics (which unfortunately will be out-of-date the minute you read them) and trends that have accompanied the rise of digital and data-driven marketing.

Chapter 2: How digital marketing fits into the marketing mix

In this chapter we put digital marketing into perspective, as a silo mentality no longer applies. We look at all the key channels and activity and define how they interrelate and fit into the marketing mix.

Chapter 3: How the best of the best approach digital marketing

Chapter 4: Launch with a rock-solid foundation

Chapter 5: Listening to customers to remain relevant

Chapters 3, 4 and 5 delve into how best to approach digital marketing from a business and strategic perspective. They outline the need for marketing plans that map back to your business plan, and the need for clear objectives and measurable goals. They also describe the death of the marketing funnel as we know it. Importantly, Chapter 5 outlines the shift from product-centricity to customer-centricity, and the need to redefine customer segmentation based on emotional triggers, personas and behaviour.

Chapter 6: The new four-pillar structure for developing digital ideas

Chapter 6 explains the new art and science of creating digital marketing activity. This is no longer a linear process but involves a new approach that brings together creative ideation, compelling content stories, technologists and data scientists. This chapter will also help you reassess the internal and external resources that you will require in order to successfully evolve to next-best practice.

Chapter 7: The never-ending campaign

Chapter 8: Understanding the art and science of performance data

Chapters 7 and 8 detail the impact of being ‘always on’, as well as the need for more flexible content calendars and more actionable data reporting.

Chapter 9: Educating your brand world

Chapter 9 looks at the importance of re-skilling and realigning internal departments, including the C-suite, in order to effectively implement digital marketing in a data-driven world.

Chapter 10: Diving into digital in a data-driven world

And to make it actionable, I’ve included a framework to help implement your very own 100-day action plan.

So download your FREE guide by clicking here now




I don’t want to buy on price shop assistants!

I want a bloody amazing shopping experience!

Spiral to the bottom

In Australia it seems that retailers are spiralling to the bottom. Every shop assistant I come across, whether it be in fashion, hardware, kitchenware or giftware seems to open with a discussion about a cheaper product.

Sinking feeling


Here’s a quick story about one experience I endured last week.

Our kitchen sink cracked so it was time to shop around. After a bit of Googling and comparing  products I was off to Hardware and General to look at a few.

I asked the obligatory naive questions about the evolution of sinks and why it was so hard to find a twin tap option. But soon ended up finding a perfect ceramic option in cream.

Yet I literally had to talk the shop assistant into buying it as she kept offering alternatives that were lower priced.

Price wasn’t the issue I kept explaining. I wanted it to match our old fashioned, wooden kitchen, and look better than the cheap stainless steel options.


And then I was off to look at taps at a store across the road.

Again the assistant tried spiralling me into cheaper products. She was stunned when after listening to her spiel I simply said, “Great I’ll take the first ones you showed me.

“But they’re a little more expensive that what I’m showing you now”, she said.

What a drip she was.

Far out <insert expletives and sighs>


I just want a pleasant shopping experience. One where assistants understand the power of digital media and how consumers do their research prior to entering – as well as in the shop.

And one where assistants get to know you, your tastes and desires, and match products to what you are actually looking for. And not perform nervous acts of insecurity and hence throw a cheaper option at you straight away.

Retailers are to blame – not the retail environment

Have retailers gone mad in reaction to tough times? Or are retailers causing the tough times by simply forgetting about good old fashioned salesmanship?

1) Get to know your customers and make them feel special!

2) Create a real shopping experience rather than a desperate plea for business!

It’s simple.

Maybe Myer could learn this, given it’s poor recent profit announcement, rather than blaming everything else but their poor customer management!

Anyone else experiencing poor retail service and price, price, price only discussions?