Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Treehouse plans

One of the great things about Google Books is that what it contains is before the time when any random half-cocked idea could be published to the world.

The stuff you get in Google Books was written, edited and published in the true sense - quality stuff.

My current grand plan is a tree house, and so Google Books helps me with some great info. Here are some links to some of the gold that i've found:

Happy building!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Westpac engaging business customers

I often walk past the Westpac branch on the corner of Collins and Swanston. It's a bank branch that offers the regular services you'd expect of a bank, but it has something that makes it unique for banks in the CBD.

This branch has a shop window that is passed by tens of thousands people every day, but there are plenty of banks like that. What's unique about this branch is that its windows are not filled with posters of the latest home loan or term deposit rates, rather its lovingly merchandised with products from one if its business banking customers. Each month a different customer gets a turn.

What a great offer for valued customers, something I'm sure many of these small business customers could never think to afford.

I don't have a business so I'm not really sure what the most important thing a business bank can do to satisfy its customers, but handing over high street window space is a good start.

I wonder if this is one if the factors that makes Westpac have the highest business banking satisfaction of the Big Four.

*disclaimer: I work for Roy Morgan, which is one of the reasons I get thinking about customer satisfaction quite a bit.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Advertising and sponsorship, the Olympics and Paralympics

These past two weeks I have been totally wrapped up in the Paralympics. A lot has to do with how well Australia is doing, but I have also enjoyed the ABC's commentary and programming.

The mix of expert comments and entertainment, especially the nightly panel was totally engaging - a real lesson in how to engage an audience.

But probably the biggest difference I noticed between the Olympics and Paralympics was the difference in advertising and sponsorship. Unlike the Olympics, in the Paralympics sponsors are able to advertise within venues, thus getting their branding within the sports broadcast.

In the Olympics this is banned, thus sponsors rely on commercial tv advertising. And this was probably the thing that most turned me off channel nine's Olympics broadcast. The continuous ad breaks required to payback the broadcast rights made the already lackluster programming lineup even worse.

It leads me to ask, could there be a different sponsorship model for the Olympics where sponsors pay more for in-venue advertising (a reality of all modern sports) in exchange for non-commercial, or at least limited commercial  broadcasts?

I imagine that is one dream too large.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Social media - the customer's channel.

Storm over Target's 'trampy' fashion sense |

Like the multiple viewer complaints posted on the Channel 9 Facebook page over the past two weeks, this complaint to Target reminds us that Social media is the customer's channel.

As much as Facebook, Twitter might be seen as marketing communication channels, the real ownership is in the hands of the customers.

As such, responsibility for these channels should be business-wide, a cooperation between both Customer Service and Marketing.


Ahh, the Facebook democracy. Here we (and me) are praising the ability of the everyday person to stand up and make their voice count. Good on you, great to get your voice heard! But, for every Common Sense Rises the the Top article we get a loopy non sequitur post like the following pearl of wisdom on the nine news Facebook page:
first of all i would like to say that this comment is in no way offensive to 9 news.

Im 19 years old and feel the need to express my opinions.
When seeing the ads on t.v about the news story coming up with refugees and illegal immigrants getting housed in australia with families etc, i don't need to see the story to know what its about. in fact i am ashamed to see australia for what it is today, WE as a country need to realise that before we put hard earned tax payers money into housing and looking after refugees and those less fortunate from other countries.. WE need to think about our OWN first. Take a trip down to melbourne or sydney or brisbane just to name a few, look at all the homeless on the streets, in freezing winters and rough conditions, why cant we house those people first? why cant we put them in a detention centre with tv's and a nice comfy bed, food and a nice warm shelter. WHY do we just look past this and leave them on the street and give people from other countries an opportunity and somewhere to stay before we do with our OWN? WE as a country need some form of real leadership, to take priority with our own born and bread before we as country will lose what we once called "home".

Please take the time to read this.
 The result? Over 73,000 likes and rising. Gee, top job Australia.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Using parentheses in promotional writing

I work with some guys that you would say come from the old school of advertising. Back in the day, before flashy websites and 3 second TVCs, well written copy was highly valued.

Today we are taught about the ruthlessness of advertising copy, keeping it short, calls to action, active sentences. However, every now and then I enjoy reading promotions that are well written by someone that takes pride in their product descriptions and catalogues.

Of all the things that I think stand out for me is the use of parentheses in promotional writing. The old school is not afraid to use parentheses to provide more context or give a little more meaning. Some might think if it's in parentheses then its superfluous, but to me it can add a little fun.

It may seem silly when you're competing so heavily for the consumers time but just adding a little flourish to your usual pared-back promotional copy might be a nice change (give it a try, I dare you).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It doesn't end at employment.

The 10 States and 10 Jobs With the Most Low-Wage Workers - Atlantic Mobile

The stats presented in the above link just go to show that employment isn't everything. With so many pundits tracking unemployment rates you'd be forgiven for thinking once this goes down everything will be peachy.

Looking at these stats though paints a different picture. The massive amount of people on low and very low incomes goes to show that breaking the poverty cycle is more complex than just increasing employment.

Makes me greatful for what I have and the opportunities I've been given, that's for sure.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Who says where country borders lie?

BBC NEWS - India climbdown may help China border dispute

Within this article is the following quote:

"when the Chinese claim line was posted on Google earlier this year, it led to a furore in India."

If the majority of the world's population use Google Maps as a reference, does this mean Google has become the de facto arbiter of Geo-political boundaries?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Europe's unemployment crisis.

"Putting a million people back to work would be £26bn – or around half of the latest £50bn tranche of QE released by the Bank last month."

A new op-ed in the Guardian factors humans into the EU crisis for a change.

Put's it into a perspective you can understand.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cost savings

ANZ to cut 1000 jobs |

One thing banks have been doing very poorly is explaining these "increased funding costs". It seems like shedding jobs is just the easy quick fix. Maybe if they explained these funding costs better... If it is actually a real problem - then maybe there'd be less hostility against the banks.

But for a lay man like myself, when you see such low mortgage rates overseas, such low demand for money, why is Australia the opposite?

Can someone sell me the bank's Cry Poor story?