Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hello again everyone and let me start by saying how quickly another year has passed before our very eyes. This week I'd like to take a step back from  Business, Social Media and all things Sales and Marketing and focus instead on something more important.

Namely family and friends and how at this time of year it's certainly a time to reflect on how fortunate we are to be surrounded with so many good people who all help enrich our lives and really help to make life worth living.

On a personal note I'd like to thank all the readers for their support, feedback and input as it makes doing the Road Scholars Marketing blog so enjoyable.  As well I'd also like to wish you and those special to you a very safe and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

And so until next time, good luck and as always, good marketing.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Twiiter Currently Testing The New Twitter Offers

Twitter and E-Commerce

With the natural evolution of Twitter and the inevitable movement towards e-commerce, Twitter are now testing on limited basis to some merchants in the USA, the ability to perform commerce functions straight from a tweet on the Twitter site.

Still in its test phase, advertisers will be able to directly connect with their prospects through Twitter and perform eCommerce functionality in selling them their goods and services. This new functionality is called:  Twitter Offers and will allow any participating business to design card-linked offers and promote them via the Twitter network.

Simple System

The Twitter Offers will appear in users timelines, at which point if they like the offer being made by the advertiser, will be able to add the offer to their personal credit  card through a short and simple process and then actually gain the product being purchased by presenting the digital card at the business, organisation or retail store.

This system has added benefits for the user as the entire transaction is directly linked to the credit card and consequently the need for any type of voucher or additional card is unnecessary. Like all other purchases made on any card, the results of the purchase will later appear on the credit card statement within a few days as per normal, providing a permanent record of the financial activity that has been undertaken.

Measure ROI

Apart from the general simplicity and ease that this model delivers, it will also continue to meet the key criteria of measure ability as it will also allow the business to be able to directly attribute specific sales to promotional activity and thereby provide a true measure of the respective return on investments (ROI's) of the various campaigns being undertaken on Twitter.

Like many other social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter can also access it's customer database to provide strong targeting capability. Advertisers on Twitter are able to target the advertising to specific demographics within the Twitter group hereby ensuring that an appropriate message will always be sent to the specific targeted groups.


From a security point of view, Twitter Offers that are linked to a users credit card will be fully encrypted and stored to facilitate both easy claiming or to make additional purchases on Twitter providing the same level of protection as an SSL certificate would for your website.

At any point this data can also be removed as required. Although there have been no tight timelines spoken of to date, it is almost certain that over time as the process is refined and polished, this feature will be rolled out to the masses. So stay tuned to see how this new commerce initiative progresses in 2015.

And naturally if you'd like to learn more about Twitter, any of the other Social Media Marketing platforms of digital media in general, simply attend any of the free Digital Enterprise Workshops listed here on: and sign up for any of the seven free two hour workshops which will also qualify you for a free four hour coaching session specifically focused on your business needs.

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

NBN: Like The Classic Castrol Commercial Where Oils Aint Oils, NBN Aint Necessarily NBN Either.

The Most Asked About Topic: The NBN

As we quickly approach the end of 2015and the first half year of the highly successful Digital Enterprise Program that I have spoken about often in this blog, my co facilitator and
course design Trent Rebeiro and I were recently reviewing the year as a whole and discussing what areas of discussion have been the most talked about and requested by the
majority of attendees to the workshops and the coaching sessions alike. Without much doubt one of the most talked about if not the most talked about topic has been that of:
The NBN. There have been many questions but here is a summary of the main ones that keep being asked from workshop to workshop.

What is the NBN?

The NBN stands for the National Broadband Network and represents the name for the proposed and improved national broadband set up that would provide all Australians access to quick internet speeds that would provide obvious advantages to all internet users whether they be businesses or just normal everyday users.

How fast would this new system be compared to what we have now?

Obviously if we are going to go to the trouble of sending all the money to develop the costly and time consuming infrastructure necessary to support this new system, the improvement in
operating speeds would need to be significant. Well here's where it gets a little murky.

Under the original plans that the former Government were basing its costings around, the system that would have been bought in was the:  Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) NBN which is the gold standard and probably the system you will have seen overseas if you have been lucky enough to already see it in action. This version of the NBN would deliver around 72Mbps (Mega Bits per Second).
To put this into context ADSL (or Asymmetric digital subscriber line) which many people reading this will be currently using even now only provides  somewhere between 8 to 12 Mbps.

The problem however is that the current discussions by the Government today is that the form of NBN being discussed is not the: Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) NBN but the largely outdated and much slower version of: Fibre To The Node (FTTN) NBN which has been around for over ten years and only delivers a relatively modest 24 Mbps speed or one third of that of the FTTP option.
Now this speed is admittedly double the speed of existing ADSL speeds but a fraction of what it could be with an optimal setup.

How do the costs compare between FTTP and FTTN?

Again I'm reminded of another famous TV ad for Johnny Walker where the liquor store owner asks: "would you rather have the scotch you'd rather pay for or the one you'd rather drink?"
It's a little bit like that in that in absolute terms the FTTN is certainly cheaper in raw dollars at around thirty five billion dollars whereas the FTTP would be double the cost but would provide triple the speed at a more cost effective price per Mbps received.

What is the best option moving forward?

Ultimately this question will be discussed, debated and in time decided by our political leaders, but from a purely factual basis the FTTP is not only the most cost effective option, but more importantly represents the network of the future that can be used and scaled up for years to come. Those nations that previously invested in the FTTN model have now been forced to pretty much treat the investment as a sunk cost and pay the full amount to upgrade to the required FTTP level, to be competitive with out areas that have it and the advantages that it delivers. Sadly the reality is that having FTTN is not a stepping stone to the FFP. It is a completely different system that cannot be refitted and updated using the same infra-structure and consequently represents wasted funding that in no way lessens the future investment in FTTP.  Ultimately time will tell what Australia end up doing and we will have to watch this space to see.

And as always if you'd like to learn more about the NBN or any other aspect of social media just sign up for a free Digital Enterprise Workshop here on: and sign up for any of the seven free workshops which will also qualify you for a free four hour coaching session specifically focused on your business needs.

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Why Do I Need Social Media When I Already Have A Quality Website


A question that comes up a lot during my discussions with clients that have worked for years to design, build, populate, test, refine and measure their website is understandably, 'why do I even need all these social media platforms when I finally have a good looking, modern, fully functional website that is as good or better than most of my rivals in my chosen market space? Frankly it's a great question. The answer to the question is yes do need the other social media platforms as well as a current, functional and fully responsive website. Let me try to explain why.



To fully understand the reasons why you need both a modern website as well as a strategic array of relevant and mutually supportive social media platforms as part of a combined digital media system, you need to fully appreciate the prevailing attitudes people have. Basically they view websites as corporate which they are. They are owned, run and populated by the business and there function is largely if not in some cases, exclusively to sell products and services.
That's actually not an issue. People know this and they are becoming increasingly more comfortable to go there to make their various purchases at the right time. Social media on the other hand is largely seen as the opposite to a website. People don't want to be sold on social media and in fact a recent report showed that over 80% of people on Facebook resented being sold to by businesses. It's simply not about business or selling. It's all about engagement, discussion, community building, problem sharing, insight generation and so on. As the name says: Social Media. Both very valid reasons for being but both very different. Now over time things may change but for now at least as marketers, we need to be aware of this and respect these views.


So how does this translate into action when the average person on the web is concerned? Put simply individuals get their information from social media and discuss it with and through their respective networks (with the average internet user belongs to three separate networks with around 140 to 170 users per network), until they have made a decision about what they are going to do with respect to that issue, challenge, required purchase or necessary action in general. Once they have made that decision they will then go to the website of the business they have identified as the best option for their needs. It is now believed that around 85% of consumers adhere to this principle.

Final Analysis

In the final analysis what all this really means is that the majority of people will make their minds up away from corporate website and only when they are confident that they have made the right decision will they then approach the site and transact online. I am sure that in some case some individuals may even go the website earlier to pull off some key information that they will use as part of their decision making process but it will rarely be a case of show me something on the site with a 20% off tag on it that will get the job done anymore. Customers and prospects alike are becoming much savvier, well informed and equipped to find and leverage the best deals online and with the ongoing success of aggregator, are perfectly placed to find and receive the best value with each purchase. As marketers it is a simple matter then of setting up these external social media sites and engaging with people there to ultimately have them come to your site to buy. That is why you need both a good website and social media to succeed in today's multimedia market space.

As always if you'd like to learn more about any aspect of social media just sign up for  a free Digital Enterprise Workshop here on:
and sign up for any of the seven free workshops which will also qualify you for a free four hour coaching session specifically focused on your business needs. 

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.

Monday, November 17, 2014

LinkedIn: Five Must Do’s To Drive Your Success

Really Only Five

It seems unusual to be able to call this blog post: Five Must Dos To Drive Your Success because I can think of at least fifty tips that would be worthy of being on such a list and perhaps even before mentioning them we can begin by saying that LinkedIn's potential is best highlighted by the fact that you can literally have ten lists of five great tips, and it would be one person's opinion against another as to which list is better. But for what it's worth here is one list that I hope will help position, promote and ultimately drive your LinkedIn business further.

 1. Complete your profile 100%

LinkedIn keeps a careful eye how complete your profile is at any given point. Ideally your aim should be to totally complete your LinkedIn profile. Within this, you should include all your past and present work history, a summary of all the key professional skills you have, detailed information about which qualifications you have and the educational institutions you have attended to receive those qualifications. LinkedIn will suggest to you what else you need to further fill out your personal profile to get it to 100% and All Star status.

2. Post a professional image of you in your profile

On Twitter and some other more playful platforms you can have a casual photo or even animated avatar but not on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the preeminent white collar, professional networking site in the world and positions itself as a serious site for serious people. Not surprisingly then, a serious shot of you adds to your credibility and makes your profile look more professional and in keeping with the tenor of the site so remember to only use a high resolution and professional image. This is defined as a head and shoulders portrait of you or something in a serious pose that may come from the work setting such as giving a presentation. 

3. Continue to drive quality new contacts within your network.

And in keeping with this third point, never be lazy enough to use the default invitation as it’s cold and impersonal and shows you have put absolutely no thought or effort into approaching someone that you want to add to your LinkedIn network. Alternatively if you can do some due diligence and add what you have learned into your note asking for them to join with you, not only will you have a far greater chance of success but it will also position you as someone that has taken the time and effort to find out more and by extension someone worthy of greater consideration and respect.

4.  Complete your specialisations

Specialisations should answer the question- what makes you unique from everyone else.  Now with well over three hundred million active users on LinkedIn, it is becoming increasingly important to differentiate yourself from others that may have a similar background to you with comparable qualifications, skill sets and documented professional experiences. One way to highlight this difference between yourself and others is to take extra time to fully flesh out this section that explores additional skills and abilities you developed over the journey that may not necessarily be typical or common within the various role you have undertaken in your career.

5.   Join a group

Join key groups on LinkedIn is a wonderful way to meet and connect with large numbers of people that may be members of your ideal target audience and by inference, key prospects for your business.  AS well as customers and prospects, you also have a real opportunity to meet other businesses that may be complimentary to yours where there is the potential to form strategic alliances as well as meting businesses that operate either before or after you in the distribution channel, where you may supply them or visa-versa.  It goes without saying that as well as joining existing groups you can also start your own group and try to act as a key opinion leader in your field.

Take Action

Regardless of  which steps you decide are most important for you in your current situation on LinkedIn, the key is to take action. Start now and even if you commit to only one of these a day you will have done all five within a week of starting which will surely start to drive high levels of engagement and potentially business development for you and your business brand.

As always if you'd like to learn more about LinkedIn or any of the key social media platforms, just sign up for  a free Digital Enterprise Workshop here on:
and sigh up for any of the seven workshops which will also qualify you for a free four hour coaching session specifically focused on your business needs.  

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

More Proof That Pinterest Needs TO Be Part Of Your Digital Media Marketing Strategy

Four Years

As many of you will already know I have been a strong advocate for Pinterest over the last years and have consistently included it in virtually any discussion on social or digital media in virtually all the presentations I give ranging from the Federally Funded, Digital Enterprise Program to my own monthly podcast business series, Dan&


Consequently it's pleasing to occasionally find some independent validation of the growth, utility and overall effectiveness that Pinterest provides both its business members and users alike and in particular I spotted this infographic above through White Gloves Social Media that encapsulates seven key points that ironically I have been touting as well.
Of the information provided I don't think anything is more important than the first point made that Pinterest is the fastest growing website in history at an incredible 40% faster than Facebook at the same stage in its development. Certainly Facebook is still significantly larger but has had at least a seven year head start to build that sizable lead.
Inevitably I get asked about which of these two sites is better to promote a specific product or business brand or whether they are both outmatched by a professional looking blog. To answer this you need to understand that it's not about size or the rate of growth although both of those dimensions are important considerations, but rather about the central and different function of these platforms.

Blended Learning Appeals to All

We know from our understanding of learning styles that people are largely visual and are stimulated and greatly engaged by quality pictures that can then be used to gain attention and interest. From this starting point they want to generally find out more about the item they are admiring and ultimately discuss their findings with other members of their trusted inner circle of friends and colleagues.

Now if that sounds reasonable then by now you are also thinking that sounds like a smooth and logical progression that moves from Pinterest to a Blog and then on to a Business Page on Facebook.
And if you thought that you'd be right because each of the three platforms has an important function in the process of how people find, learn about and consolidate their understanding about things so what it really means is that all three are vital to a fully functional and cohesive social media marketing strategy.

Digital Enterprise Program

For more information on all things social or digital media please go to the Digital Enterprise Program link and book in your next free workshop:

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Segmentation: Another Great Example From A Budding Young Business

Through my ongoing association with the Digital Enterprise Program I have this week found another wonderful example of a clever and strategic example of SME segmentation , in the form of an impressive young business in: Leaf, Root & Fruit.

 Now you may be hard pressed to think of any markets that are more saturated, operating in a highly competitive  market space with a fairly homogeneous product offering with little perceived difference between players and the existence of key major players in Bunnings and others.

espite this careful market mapping and segmentation has lead the Leaf, Root and Fruit brand to differentiate, position and target a highly significant and yet largely untapped segment of the market.

In broad terms, Leaf, Root & Fruit is a Gardening Business recently set up by forward thinking principal, Duncan Cocking with the expressed purpose of assisting people to grow their own food. Committed to reducing the impact of modern living on the environment, Duncan actively promotes a sustainable and organic approach to gardening.

His core belief is that having your own edible garden provides you with fruit, veggies and herbs that are tastier, healthier and better quality than what’s on offer at your local supermarket.

Leaf, Root & Fruit offers gardening services to support food production in front and backyards, veggie patches, balconies and courtyard gardens all over Melbourne.

One of the brilliant insights through careful market segmentation Duncan has made is to provide support to anyone with mobility issues, enabling them to get back into the garden and rediscover their passion for gardening through the use of raised garden beds. In this way he is able to tailor make  individually designed, elevated cypress sleeper veggie garden beds that allow comfortable gardening, whilst standing or sitting as required for people of ages.  

With no need for chemical treatment, cypress is the safest and most sustainable option to use in the veggie patch, whilst combining this offering with a wide range of allied services such as workshops, vegetable patch planting and garden maintenance services.

The name Leaf, Root & Fruit came directly from the Philosophy of Edible Gardening that Duncan has developed. The philosophy is simple. Leafy greens are the easiest to grow and anyone can do it. Fruits are more of a commitment, they take a long time to get to harvest and have more complex growing requirements. Roots are somewhere in the middle, in terms of complexity and commitment.

The company logo is cleverly colour coded with a traffic light system to reinforce the message. In keeping with his belief, that everyone should be able to grow their own food, Duncan provides ongoing support and has set up an impressive array of complimentary value adding social media platforms  including his blog as well as Facebook and Pinterest.

He encourages the Leaf, Root & Fruit gardening community to take an active role within the group:  by clicking on:
and ask questions about gardening, as well as sharing  ideas, discoveries and experiences through the social media platforms. To get more information on the numerous exciting products and services offered by Duncan and Leaf, Root and Fruit, simply click on:
A wonderful example of an SME that has put the hard yards in early and has laid the strategic groundwork for great future success. And until next time, good luck and good marketing.