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Feb 23, 2012

Get Schmart About Marketing

bwired attended the Schmart Marketing Conference in Melbourne yesterday and David Warwick will also be at the Sydney conference today. Have a look at the #smc12 hashtag stream on Twitter for updates and reactions from attendees, and check out the Get Schmart website for the latest updates and videos from the conference.

A Quick Round-Up

The speakers at both the Melbourne and Sydney conferences including both local and international speakers:

  • Jeffrey Hayzlett is best-selling author, speaker, “global business celebrity” and currently heads The Hayzlett Group, an international strategic business consulting company driving change for high growth businesses.
  • Shivani Gupta is the CEO of Passionate People Institute, a company dedicated to creating more passionate people across the globe.
  • Billy Tucker is the owner of data consultancy 57 Signals. Previously he was the CEO of Cudo Australia, one of Australia’s leading Group Buying businesses.
  • Rob Belgiovane is a founding partner and Executive Creative Director of Belgiovane Williams Mackay and board director of the BWM Group, the largest independent marketing communications group in Australia.
  • Scott Stratten is the President of Un-Marketing. He is an expert in Viral, Social, and Authentic Marketing which he calls Un-Marketing.
  • Dan Gregory is the founder and CEO of The Impossible Institute™, an innovation and engagement company that advises management, marketers and sales departments on what truly drives their customers, cultures and employees.

Key Tip for Marketers

Insight is essential

Insight into your customers allows marketers to truly connect to their audience in a demanding landscape where we are bombarded by messages on a daily basis. This insight will also help us understand which of the many tools and online platforms should be used to best connect with our audience rather than blindly choosing a platform and wasting time and resources.

So how can we apply “insight” in marketing? There were a few different points of view from the speakers:

Personalisation: Billy Tucker, founder and former CEO of daily deal site Cudo and currently head of 57 Signals, talked about the changing users behind our web browsers. We’re no longer talking to the “digerati” – the internet has grown up and has even reached the Luddites. More people (of all ages) are feeling comfortable with online retail and buying online, and users are getting increasingly comfortable with the death of online privacy (though this could be up for discussion). By looking for and using the right data on your customers, you can provide a personalised experience and drive conversions (that’s what it’s all about). Pretty sure something else was said, but the Scottish accent was confusing at times...

Make your audience your sales force: With an insight about your audience that is both relevant and authentic, the Australian population can become your sales force through word of mouth. For BWM, one example is the “Rabbits” campaign for Big Pond. By drawing on an insight (a parent’s fear of their child falling behind in school), BWM and Telstra came up with an idea that socialised itself and demonstrated a simple concept that is extremely effective when harnessed – word of mouth. It’s one of the most powerful media around.

Authentic: This is bandied about a lot – be authentic in social media. But as Scott Stratten said, social media doesn’t make brands authentic, but it does reward authenticity– it’s just that most of us fail to take advantage of this opportunity. The same goes in advertising and marketing in both online and offline interactions with our audience.

Because we’re bombarded with so many messages from the time we’re a kid to today, we can get cynical. Authentic communications can be a welcome and refreshing change to the low standard of customer service and tired old advertising messages we continually face as consumers. As an example, Dan Gregory cited the campaign for the reformulated Mother energy drink: “Tastes nothing like the old one!”

Social media provides an excellent tool for authentic communications, but simply entering the space just to tick off a marketing checklist is not enough – it must be planned and managed with care (and enthusiasm!). Take the time to learn about your audience (e.g. how they want to be spoken to, what information they want to hear; what communication methods they prefer) and engagement is easy.

Bridge the Gap

We're barely scratching the surface of all the great insight shared at the Schmart Marketing Conference - not to mention the many mentions of animals! Pheasants, polar bears, lions, rabbits - the list goes on! (To know what the heck we're talking about, you'll just have to go next year!)

And if you need help bridging the gap between social media, digital and traditional marketing - give us a call at 1300 780 566 or email

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