Archive for the 'Blog' Category

Giving something back

Philanthropy in the past has been limited to individuals of mass wealh or huge companies.

However every one does do their bit helping one another out and their local causes.

We view Philanthropy as out of our reach…. for now… maybe later in life.

Causes such as Kiva unlock this and unleash the long tail.  So we can all engage in helping others out (in $25 usd increments).

Kiva provides a platform for people like you and me to provide funds to micro finance companies in developing and third world countries.  On this platform you invest in their project or business and in return they provide blog updates and knowing you’ve had a direct hand in helping someone else out.

Your investment doesn’t end there.  Once its repaid you get the money back and can reinvest it in others.  Yup you get every cent back.

As a bit of a hobby economist this concept is awesome, using the multiplier effect (looking at how additional investment will flow in an economy) you can find how many times your investment will flow through the economy.  Simply 1/percentage of savings ie in Peru the savings levels are 17% so 1/.17 = 5.9.  Meaning your investment will add ~ $125 to the gdp of Peru.

Thats only on a basic level, there are further flow on effects.

So my idea to you is:

  • Create a philanthropy focus in your company, commit some money to invest in projects like kiva.
  • Let your employees pick the companies to invest in and follow their progress.
  • Take it a step further and match the lend that your employees place in Kiva.
  • Get your family together and place a loan in a business.
  • Get your workmates together and all join in to support 1 business.
  • Your local group such as Rotary / Lions or your church could support causes on this and get your members to keep up to date with what is happening.
  • Help Kiva out with their operation costs by sending them a donation.

You can check out Kiva at (my lender loan page is here).  Facebook group is here.

So jump on, lend some money, help make a direct difference and see what happens.

Your marketing decision can help others too.

August 31st, 2008

Mash Ups new terminology for?

Mash Ups… let’s mash up two pieces of information that aren’t typically associated with each other.

Mash ups are old hat.

Rice with seaweed? rice, seaweed…eww boring.  Combination = Sushi. Yum!

Music with shoes? No way.  Ipod + Nike’s = Exercise info.  Give me it now!

Maps with Traffic? huh? Analytics + Maps = Business Intelligence.  Can’t get enough of it!

Mash ups are just same old creative out of the box thinking…

Same game, different name

August 28th, 2008

The Great Beer Run

The best story ever told to kiwi’s

Put a speights ale house on a freighter

Take it to london

We need 4 blokes to man it

The greatest beer run of all time

120,000 kiwi males applied…. thats 6% or about 1 in 19 of ALL males in new zealand…

Crazy numbers

The story for them is i drank speights all the way to the uk on the greatest beer run of all time…

What a story!

What story can you tell?

August 26th, 2008

Platforms are about opportunity

Platforms are about opportunity.

Using our platform imagine the possibilities.

Using Fontera (a milk co-operative) as your platform you can suddenly reach unreachable markets.

Using Facebook as a platform you can engage with your customers in new ways.

Using Basecamp as a platform to organise your business from you can suddenly run your business from any location easily.

I have written about Platforms before but I’ve been chewing them over moreso of recent.

How can I turn these resources into a platform for others? How could I modify our systems to provide a platform for others (and operate as a saas)

Some ideas i’ve had is:

Turn my productivity system into a platform for others to use

Turn our research writing systems into a service to other organisations wishing to collate information

Turn our Marketing systems into Software as a Service

Stop and think about your existing systems / services, could you rebundle those into a platform? Maybe you should? or maybe just critically thinking about it will help you manage your existing resources or platforms better.

August 24th, 2008

Big Buck Bunny

Big Buck Bunny.

Great video.  Check out (stream via vimeo here).

Big Buck Bunny was created to showcase the Blender software.

What better way to sell a product (although as its open source funded by donations not direct selling) than to show us of its capabilities.

Reminds you of classic sales.

Sell the sizzle.  The great animations you can make.

Don’t sell (pitch) me.  Show me.

August 21st, 2008

The Infinity Assumption

Content is king is the oldage saying of Internet Marketing

It still is (we’re still telling stories right)

However is your content scalable?

Have you maximised the opportunity for it to spread?

If not.  Your wasting time.  Build some systems now for all content.

Make the infinity assumption.  My content will be out there for infinity.  Surely i should put some systems in now to leverage the time component.

Some ideas:

  • Share via a blog
  • Share on
  • Integrate social bookmarking (make it easy for friends to share)
  • Destroy any barriers to accessing your content
  • Get it syndicated
August 19th, 2008


Patterns are heuristic shortcuts.

Patterns are what experts have.  It’s how doctors can sum up a patients state in a glance or how you can make snapshot judgments.

They come from experience and learning.

The are all around us, in our clothing, our behaviour, how we interact.

Identifying patterns helps in creating greater understanding.

Learning something new builds new patterns.

Doing something that makes you uncomfortable or afraid builds new patterns.

You should always be seeking new patterns!

Quite often the same patterns are everywhere.

Now use these patterns in your strategies, they will be more creative and remarkable than you ever thought possible.

(remember innovation is the application of patterns in new contexts)

August 17th, 2008

12 Hour Startup Follow up

Thursday evening I threw my 12 hour startup idea at a wall to see if it would stick.

It was at the monthly Auckland, Web Meetup (great event to meet people btw)

We did a 20×20 format.  20 slides, 20 seconds each.  So I thought i’d jump up and give it a shot.

12 Hour Startup is a way of bridging the gap between aiding traditional companies to becoming more dynamic.

Building upon my last post really is how to sell key stakeholders on trying this model.

How can you sell this to your management, It’s a marketing decision:

  • to staff it says we value your input let’s give it a go
  • to customers it says we are seeking new ways to help you
  • to management it’s driving strategic direction from sales (ideas that work)


  • Validation of ideas
  • Stimulate Innovation & Creativity
  • Out of the box thinking
  • Flow on effects – employees maintaining this mindset over time

Need I continue?

Again I am seeking case studies, thanks to those that have given some feedback really appreciated

(have uploaded a copy of my presentation with basic notes, the objective was to get everyone focused on me instead of the slides, which worked)

August 14th, 2008

Marketing after the fact

Marketing after the fact should be consistent.

Case in point.

I recently canceled my storage unit at a local storage firm.

As we held a bond and prepaid a month my account was in debit.

Awesome.  At this point in time I was happy with the service, helpfulness of the company.  On my recommend list.

6 weeks later my account has still not been settled even after numerous emails.  They then post a cheque to my old address (even though i explicitly stated when i finished up my address has been changed).

Now they offer to deposit it into my account.  That’s fine.


From my perspective.  You have wrecked what was otherwise a positive customer experience.  Do you think I would recommend them again? Doubt it.

Marketing continues after the exchange, it is in the sizzle consumers receive, do not burn a customer because they have switched brands or ended the relationship.  That way they never come back.  Or recommend you.

August 12th, 2008

Taking a Stance

What do you do? what do you offer?

Is this clear? It should be.

You should be taking a stance. This is who we are. This is what we are about.

People love to talk about firms that take a stance. We are all about flowers. We are all about Art.

Take a stance NOW.

[Thanks to Jim Russell of Shag Gallery, New Zealand for inspiration for this. He does awesome art work. Check it out if you are driving past.]

August 10th, 2008

Marketing under the Electoral Finance Act

Here in New Zealand we have a (controversial) rule limiting how politicians finance their campaigns.

The idea was to limit wealthy supporters buying elections.

The part I want to focus on is what a private individual can do without having to register.

The Act makes it illegal for anyone to spend more than NZ$12,000 criticising or supporting a political party or taking a position on any political matter, or more than NZ$1,000 criticising or supporting an individual member of parliament, without first registering with a state agency, the Electoral Commission. [Wikipedia]

looks like private individuals have to register if they want to spend more than $12k.  So what do they do now? They get creative…..

So what could $11,999 nzd buy you if you wanted to support your political party (or any other cause):

  • At $0.075 cpm on Facebook you could buy 159,986,666 ad impressions targeted at a kiwi audience. (Would blanket every Kiwi user on Facebook multiple times).  Simply send them to your Facebook page where they could become a fan / spread the word / make a donation to the party / share their views….endless.
  • At $0.05/click you could buy 240,000 visitors to your favourite political parties website.  Even at $0.50 you could buy 24,000!
  • Smear campaign? Buy advertising on Google when people search for a party show your advertisement for the opposition
  • You could create a social network on and spend $11,999 on search engine advertising sending visitors there to create a thriving community.
  • You could spend $11,999 on search engine optimisation to have your party show up in search engines no matter which party users searched for.
  • Spend $11,999 on paid blog reviews from local bloggers
  • Hire a student for $11,999 of time (@ $15/hour say 800 hours or about 20 weeks) just talking and partaking in political conversations online.
  • Or a mix of the above, get some volunteers to create a social network on, spend money advertising it on facebook/google, pay someone to develop an internet marketing strategy and use volunteers within the network to execute this campaign.  Leverage the power of loyal fans to deliver a campaign which may have cost millions on the open market.

I think you get the idea, being creative and utilising the internet as a platform to spread your story the possibilities are virtually unlimited (even on a tight budget).

Oh and if you were a political party receiving this kind of support, do what Barack did and setup a way of providing micro donations on your website, then your supporters can help push donations through.

(also handy if you provided free graphics, videos, documents for your fans to share online)

August 7th, 2008

Monetisation Models

Monetising your web service has been a topic I am forever intrigued with and been bouncing around as a blog post for a few weeks now.

Given recent discussions on Twitter I thought I’d grab this out of drafts and post it.

In terms of monetising your service, what options are there?

Idea is provide a free service with a premium model where loyal fans pay for extras.  The inherent problem is creating enough value in the premium option to swing users to pay (creating status is key).

Ads based
Make money off advertising, default is to use adsense.  Problem here is this is based on large volumes to cover your services.  No good if your starting out.

Glue ons
Features to your site that are actually of value to your users.  I call them glue ons.  You glue on a new feature (if your users like it, it sticks, if not it falls off).

Examples include: Job Boards (where people pay to list), Toolbars (which generate revenue help user), Consulting Time/Services, Ebooks/Book…

Long tail of monetisation
There are lots more: donations, blog sponsorship / paid blogging, selling links, cross selling, special one off content, limited edition merchandise


Looking at all of the options think anything that helps your users is likely to help you.

A job board that helps your visitors whom will need a job at one time or another, a paid fan club that gives me extra benefits (and status) that no one else gets, access to special reports that other have to wait 3 months for.   Think about what you can glue on.

August 5th, 2008

RIP Advertising

When I say I work in Marketing people assume I work in Advertising.

Marketing is the communication of stories.  The best ones spread.

Marketing is more than advertising.

Advertising is no longer required to deliver your story.

There are far too many communication channels to simply select one of them.

How do you think Contractors, Small Businesses have marketing themselves over time.  Most of them cannot afford advertising.


  • That training hairdressers and getting them to talk about smear tests whilst they cut their clients hair has been the most effective method of getting women along.
  • EB Games never advertises.  They just provide a great service to a core audience who then attract others to their shops.
  • Facebook or Myspace ever see an advertisement for them? (i dare you to make one)

The answer is in talking to lots of small groups of people and let them decide if your story is worth spreading.  If it is they will spread it.

This is just one answer there are many more.

So let advertising rest in peace and get creative.

(Advertising firms? Position yourself as an ideas agency, provide these services)

August 3rd, 2008

What are you doing all the way down here? You could:
- View my about page
- Or for first timers the New Here? page
- Or maybe email this to a friend
- Or subscribe to get blog updates