Monday, 14 August 2017

The Privacy Trade-Off

What is privacy? And just what kind of price are consumers willing to pay for theirs? Web services such as Facebook and Google may be 'free', but the truth is that being connected does come at a cost. Targeted ads provide value for customers, but challenge the traditional need for privacy. So when the law hasn't yet evolved in response to the collection of big data, how do we know where to draw the line in the sand?

For users of social media, Facebook's free platform offers a way to connect with the world. Their ad platform exists so users don't have to pay, but even if they did, the network wouldn't be so comprehensive if there were costs involved. For Facebook to maintain what's called 'critical mass', every single user would have to pay dollars for their services. The thing is, what most people don't realise is that they are actually paying for it now. Not with money, but with their privacy.

USYD's Marketing Matters explores the concept of privacy and what it means in this day and age by exploring the learning from Terry Beed's guest lecture for Regulatory Environment & Ethics. Louis Brandeis and Samuel Warren define privacy perfectly in their essay The Right to Privacy, stating that privacy is a right valued by civilised men-something that is essential to democratic governance and an integral part of our humanity.

We have the 'right to be alone'.

Louis Brandeis and Samuel Warren championed the protection of the private realm as "the foundation of individual freedom in the modern age." Nowadays, marketers have the ever-increasing capacity to invade consumers' personal activity.

Internet marketing brings forth a myriad of privacy challenges. And for the new breed of marketers who use targeted, behavioural marketing, without regulatory enforcement, the increased data available on the web could lead governments, companies and criminals alike to exploit consumers' rights.

Privacy is a concept in disarray. 

In Daniel Solove's essay Taxonomy for Privacy (2006), privacy is described as being 'a concept in disarray'. Solove writes, "Nobody can articulate what it means. As one commentator has observed, privacy suffers from 'an embarrassment of meanings'."

The Taxonomy For Privacy is a framework for understanding privacy in a pluralistic contextual manner, which explores the fear of what happens to private information. These fears are grounded in:

  1. Collection: surveillance and interrogation.
  2. Processing: aggregation, identification, insecurity, secondary use and exclusion. 
  3. Information Dissemination: breach of confidentiality, disclosure, exposure, increased accessibility, blackmail, appropriation and distortion. 

Privacy regulations are more than just guidelines. 

In countries, such as Germany, tough legislations exists to fight against the systematic erosion of privacy rights. In Australia, the AMSRS has outlined a code of conduct for marketers, and the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) is currently being ammended. 

In 2006, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) commissioned a review of privacy and found that the overwhelming message was that Australians care about privacy, and they want a simple, workable system that provides effective solutions and protections. 

Source: ALRC

A similar study by the OAIC found that there was a 15% increase in Australians willing to divulge personal information; a number that rose from 43% to 58%. However, 50% were more concerned about providing their information over the Internet. 

"Australians believe the biggest privacy risks facing people are online services - including social media sites. Almost a half of the population (48%) mentioned these risks spontaneously. A quarter (23%) felt that the risk of ID fraud and theft was the biggest, followed by data security (16%) and the risks to financial data in general (11%). Young Australians were most concerned about personal information and online services, with six in ten (60%) mentioning this as a privacy risk."

See the full breakdown below: 

Reluctance was the biggest barrier, with most consumers signalling that they felt that organisations often had no right to know their personal data, or the fact that it might lead to unsolicited direct marketng. Interestingly enough, they were less concerned with financial loss due to scams.

More recently, the ALRC considered legal liability for data breach in its inquiry into remedies for serious invasions of privacy. The 2014 Report, Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era (ALRC Report 123), concluded that regulatory responses, including mandatory data breaches, are a better way to deal with data breached than a civil action for invasion of privacy. 

What this means for Australians is that instead of being blasted with headlines touting 'the end of privacy', we will soon be ushering an era of 'privacy protection'. 

The privacy market is a big business. 

Businesses value Facebook's billions of users, as much as their ability to use targeting services to reach the right audience. As the technology advances, this form of advertising will become more intrusive. For example, did you know that Facebook already has the right to endorse sponsored posts without your permission?

You see, what makes this form of advertising so successful is a little thing called 'retargeting;. By using tracking pixels, browser data is stored in what's known as cookies, which assist in improving the shopper experience. 

In the EU, websites recieve 'informed consent' when using cookies and users are notified when accessing the sites. While privacy concerns are legitimate, cookies are nothing more than pieces of data. 

The ultimate trade-off. 

There are some benefits to sacrificing privacy. For example, recommendation engiones help consumers discover great products that they might actually be interested in, which greatly enhances the online shopping experience. An app developer can analyse your behaviour to fix bugs that they may not have otherwise known about. 

Additionally, these benefits are no longer limited to digital - target marketing is beginning to migrate into bricks and mortar. Until recently, digital billboards are nothing more than slideshows. Now a company called Clear Channel Outdoor has introduced billboards featuring dynamic targeting advertisements that are programmed to target specific locations. 

One of the hurdels that could possibly impede further advancement is the consumers themselves. Consumers will need be acclimatised to changes gradually in order to help alleviate their fears over how their information is used. 

No matter what the future of technology and digital marketing brings for consumers, companies and their stakeholders, to an extent, it will always be important to respect privacy. However, at the rapid pace of technology evolution, regulation can rarely keep up with the change. So it is up to us to trust ourselves to do what is right and not add to the erosion

Alyce Brierley.
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Friday, 11 August 2017

MoM Student Survival Guide

Are you feeling a little out of touch? Don't know which way is up and which way is down? In the last post, Marketing Matters covered the Marketing essentials necessary to get by this semester. This time, MoM asks some current and graduating students about how they've survived university life so far. 

What do you wish you knew about the course before you started studying?

Mitha, graduating MoM student, Digital Marketer at Glass Financial.
Time flies. 1.3 years will go by so quickly without you even realising it. So make sure to maximise that time. Don't isolate yourself, make the most of what the university can offer - from colleagues, experienced tutors, business-based clubs, events, and even resource access in the library that you'd usually have to pay thousand bucks for if you didn't have the free access from uni.

Ayesha, current MoM student, Director of Training at ILSC Sydney. 
The most important thing when it comes to this course is time management. It may look like the assignment is due in 7 days but trust me, next thing you know you only have 7 hours left! If I knew juggling work, family, and full time studies would be that hectic I probably would have considered things differently. So please do not underestimate the time and effort it consumes to get a distinction. Take things step by step. Maybe it seems daunting initially, but once you get in there you will surely enjoy the journey! Just know that we are all here for each other, so please reach out if you need any help!

What is the most rewarding thing about the Master of Marketing program?

Kevin, graduating MoM student. 
The most rewarding thing about the Master of Marketing program for me is being able to gain and share knowledge from aspiring and/or experienced marketers all over the globe. It's the most notable reward for me because not only have they helped me grow as a marketer, but they've also become friends that I will cherish for life.

Donna, graduating MoM student. Marketing Manager at Bridge Climb, Sydney. 
The Masters really gave me insights into many areas of marketing which i didn't have a great deal of exposure to. Global marketing, for instance, was something that interested me. Looking into ways to market to different cultures and create thoughtful and indepth strategies that are aligned. This will certainly assist me in my new role. Also, the opportunity to work alongside amazing like-minded people and bounce ideas off of others was extremely beneficial. Marketing to me is all about "what's next?" and asking the question of "how can we better engage with our customers and continue to improve what we offer them?". It was a breath of fresh air to be among people striving to do the same.

How has the degree prepared you for your career?

Nicole, current MoM student. Communication Coordinator at Institutional Analytics and Planning, University of Sydney. 
This degree has prepared me for my career by covering all facets of the marketing world. It truly opened my eyes to the different aspects of marketing that give grads a competitive edge. Performance reporting, internal marketing and the hands-on experience of working as a consultant are only some examples of what provides a relevant well-rounded experience regardless of the position you obtain post-graduation.

How do you balance the study load with work, family, and friends?

Ashleigh, current MoM student. Healthcare Professional and Expert Sales Representative at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
In regards to work life balance - I think the main thing is being extremely organised with your study plans and preparations, and set times and goals for doing assessments. Also try and work with others who have similar work ethic so you may find it easier to stay on track. Ensure to always have study breaks and try and do something fun and with family and friends at least once a week. Go outside - you can study and get some vitamin D too.

Daniela, graduating MoM student.
Overall, one of the most important things I've learnt during my experience was to manage time efficiently. Everyone is capable of accomplishing anything they want to but time is a key player to achieve those goals. Being under pressure during hectic situation makes you become adaptable and quick thinking in any circumstance. My advice is to fill the schedule as much as possible because having free time ends up in procrastination. Instead, if you designate a set time to any task, you can accomplish so much more.

What tips do you have for students commencing the Consulting Project?

Kim, graduating MoM student. Current Marketing Manager at Get Craft. 
The ethics approval is a tedious process that takes a really long time. So I recommend submitting it as early as possible when you get to part two of the Consulting Project. My client was the University of Sydney's Centre for Continued Learning, so it was a low risk category, but it still took two months to receive the response after the initial application. It can take even longer if you need to do research with children.

Rebecca, current MoM student. Project Manager.
For me the most challenging aspect of the consulting project was the amount of time it took putting together the transcripts. It takes about 3 times the length of the recording to type it out and then additional time to correct typos and formatting. You also have to listen to your own voice in slow motion for hours and hours! I ended up having two interviews transcribed professionally and it cleared my head to focus on the project. It's around $1.40/minute, but it can add up quickly. For example, one of my interviews was 48 minutes long. I wish I'd put money aside in advance because it was worth it. There are phone apps out there, but I didn't really trust them to do an accurate job.

Do you have any other helpful tips for commencing students?

Lizette, current MoM student. Community and Events Manager, Incubate, University of Sydney.

  1. In regards to class, learn the basics. Don't expect everything you need to be taught in class so prepare to allot time outside of the classroom to study; this is a master program after all. 
  2. Prepare your meals properly because you'll end up eating junk food if you don't plan
  3. If you're working, make sure you inform your colleagues and people around you about you class commitments ASAP. This becomes highly important during assessment time when you have due dates.
  4. People wise, be smart about who you work with; this is your career so manage your team wisely. If team members don't pull their weight with work, pull them into line. The most stress I've gotten was mainly from group work.
  5. What makes good friends doesn't necessarily make good colleagues. In the university environment, you're looking for colleagues
  6. The university offers lots of opportunities on campus. Think about what interests you the most. You'd be surprised about all the different areas you can get support. A lot of MoM students also work on campus, and they'd be happy to give you a recommendation or referral to someone who might know more. 
  7. On the other hand, don't be afraid to try new things, there's no better place than uni to do that! Attend a meetup or society outing even if the activity is something you've never done before. 
MoM students interviewd by Alyce Brierley
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Monday, 7 August 2017

MoM: Marketing Essentials Survival Guide

Going back to student life after spending years in the workforce can be overwhelming at the best of times. For those joining the Master of Marketing program in semester two, well I understand that it might be a shock to the system. But don’t worry! MoM has got you covered with this handy semester survival guide for all your marketing essentials.

Before you start feeling defeated by the heavy workload and lack of social life, just remember that we’re all here to help each other succeed. The University of Sydney has loads of workshops for maths, excel; while the Library’s Pat Norman holds workshops for using the databases; APA Referencing - there’s even a workshop on how to use Endnote if you haven’t already signed up.

But for now, let’s get you up to speed on the marketing basics.

5Cs Analysis 

Source: SMS

The 5C Analysis is one of the most commonly used frameworks, perfectly suited to understanding the internal and external environments, as well as identifying the key problems and challenges facing the company.
  • Company: Explore existing and potential problems with the company's business; the vision, strategies, capabilities, product line, technology, culture and objectives. 
  • Customers: This situational analysis involves knowing the target audience, their behaviours, market size, market growth, buying patterns, average purchase size, frequency of purchase, and preferred retail channels.
  • Competitors: A competitor analysis is crucial to understanding the external environment in which the firm operates. This involves knowing the competitors' strengths, weaknesses, positioning, market share, and upcoming initiatives.
  • Collaborators: Collaborators are otherwise referred to as external stakeholders with a mutually beneficial partnership. Understanding the capabilities, performances, and issues of agencies, suppliers, distributors, and business partners helps to better identify business problems. 
  • Climate/Context: This is the evaluation of the macro-environmental factors affecting the business. A PESTLE or PEST analysis framework can be used to analyse the economic, social/cultural, technological, environmental, and legal scenarios.

STP Targeted Marketing 

Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning, or STP, is a three-step process used in targeting marketing plans, and after SWOT is one of the most commonly applied models in practice.
  1. Segmentation: Identify potential market segments you could target in a marketing campaign.
  2. Targeting: Customise marketing campaigns and communication channels that appeal to each segment. 
  3. Positioning: How a brand or product is aligned within the target market. 

PESTLE or PEST Analysis 

The PESTLE/ PEST frameworks are used to explore the external environment of a company, providing an in-depth understanding of specific trends of the market from a macroeconomic perspective.
  • Political: Laws, global issues, legislation, and regulations. 
  • Economic: Taxes, interest rates, the stock markets, and consumer confidence.
  • Social: Lifestyle and buying trends, media, major events, ethics, advertising, and publicity factors.
  • Technological: Innovations, access to technology, licensing and patents, manufacturing, and global communications.
  • Legal: Legislation - both current and potential.
  • Environmental: Local and global environmental issues, and their social and political factors. 


Source: Slide Model 

S.W.O.T. is an acronym that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT analysis is used to investigate the internal environment of the company based on its products and services. 

Strengths and weaknesses, such as patents and reputation, are internal to the company’s reputation. Whereas opportunities and threats, like competitors, developing technologies and legislation, are part of the part of the external market.

The Marketing Mix - 7Ps and 4Ps

Source: Marketing Mix

Traditionally known as the core 4Ps of Product, Price, Place and Promotion, the 4Ps were designed at a time where businesses sold products rather than services and the role of customer service in helping brand development wasn't so well known. Nowadays, the extended ‘service mix P’s'- People, Physical environment and Processes is more commonly used when reviewing competitive strategies.

Competitor Analysis 

A Competitor Analysis framework helps to identify competitors and evaluate their strategies to determine their strengths and weaknesses. This critical aspect of any marketing strategy first identifies competitors, determines whether they are direct or indirect, categorises their products/services, profitability, growth pattern, marketing objectives and assumptions, current and past strategies, organisational and cost  structure, strengths and weaknesses, and market share.

The simplest way to make comparisons with competitor’s products and services is to make a competition grid which will clearly illustrate how your company fits into the market.

Porter's Five Forces

Source: Mind Tools

Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter published this business strategy tool in 1979, to aid with the analysis of an industry's attractiveness and likely profitability. This framework goes beyond analysing competitors by examining other factors that could impact the business environment. These five forces that make up the competitive environment, are those which could possibly erode the profitability of a company.
  1. Competitive Rivalry looks at the number and strength of competitors in terms of quality. Fierce rivalry can induce aggressive price wars and high-impact marketing campaigns. Saturated markets allow suppliers and buyers to go elsewhere if they don't perceive enough value. 
  2. Supplier Power is determined by how easily suppliers can increase their prices and how expensive it would be to switch from one supplier to another
  3. Buyer Power looks at how much power consumers have to drive down prices or switch to a rival. It is better to have many customers then only a few who you rely on.
  4. Threat of Substitution refers to the likelihood of your customers finding a substitute product or service. A substitution that is easy and cheap to make can weaken your position and threaten your profitability. 
  5. Threat of New Entry concerns how a company's position is affected by the people's ability to enter that market. Strong and durable barriers to entry allow a company to preserve their position in the market.

Value Proposition 

Finally, the most important of all is the value proposition. It is a concise business or marketing statement that a company uses to summarise why a consumer should buy a product or use a service. With aspects relating to the core and augmented product, it communicates how a product solves pains and needs, communicates the specifics of the added benefit (augmentation), and states the differentiating aspects. 

Still confused? Sign up to any of these USYD workshops to get you up to speed:

Learning Centre
For English skills as well as other topics such as note-taking, time management, etc.
Location: Level 7, Education Building A35
Maths in Business
For Maths and Excel skills.
University Library 
Make use of the library resources and find the data you need.

Career Centre
Get help applying for jobs, writing resumes, etc.
Location: Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Understanding How AI Is Disrupting The Decision-Making Process

Debate concerning the future of artificial intelligence (AI) was brought to a head this week when Facebook shut down their AI that had developed its own language. As the debate heats up over ethics and regulation, Marketing Matters looks at the potential of machine learning and how it will change the decision-making process. 

Tuesday marked the first class of the semester for the students of the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney. No time was wasted on introductions with Colin Farrell, the leading lecturer of Decision-Making and Research, delving straight to the core of bias in the decision-making process. 

Source: University of Sydney, Decision-Making and Research, Colin Farrell (2017)

While terms such as selective perception, confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance may be foreign; everyone can understand that our brains are naturally wired to create patterns to help us deal with our understanding of the world. But how will this process change when AI takes the lead in the decision-making? 

Source: University of Sydney, Decision-Making and Research, Colin Farrell (2017)

How is AI already creating value for companies?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is finally starting to deliver value to some early-adopters. Online retailers are utilising AI-powered robots to manage warehouses and inventory. Utilities forecast electricity demand using AI, and the automotive industry is beginning to harness the technology in driverless cars.

Source: Mckinsey, How Artificial Intelligence Can Deliver Real Value For Companies.

Yes, it’s true that computers are now more powerful than ever, algorithms are more sophisticated, but AI’s advancements wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the billions of gigabytes of data collected every day. 

McKinsey Global Institute recently released a discussion paper titled, ‘Artificial intelligence: The next digital frontier?’  Of the 3,000 AI-aware companies around the world, of whom most being in digital frontier, AI was used in the core part of the value chain to increase revenue, reduce costs, and have the full support of the executive leadership

Can AI replace executive decision making?

For the moment, no. Current cognitive technologies, while great at finding patterns and making data-based predictions, have their limitations. One of which being that they are only able focus on simple problems that still require human input. As time goes on, cognitive technologies will absorb the easiest aspects of executive jobs; liberating executives from the mundane and providing them with more time to use more creatively and productively.

However, while AI adoption is imminent, executives using AI technologies are only employing it for tasks such as predictive analytics, automated written reporting and communications, and voice recognition/response.

Source: ZDNet, image rights (Bloomberg Beta)

The age of AI is upon us.

Well it’s not exactly here yet. There is a huge difference between voice-enabled digital assistants like Siri - a web search and voice interaction tool, and the level of intelligence of machine learning artificial intelligence like IBM’s Watson.

Source: IBM Innovations 

Once AI reaches a certain level, their advice would be way more accurate than than the average human’s, which means that people may defer more and more decisions to AI. Unfortunately for us humans, this means that we could gradually lose the ability to perform those tasks and make decisions by ourselves.

Is there a risk?

Earlier this week, researchers at the Facebook AI Research Lab (FAIR) found that their chatbots were communicating in a new language developed without human input. As amazing as this sounds, there are profound implications for AI.

Source: One Poll

Although AI isn’t sentient yet it could still be considered dangerous. Scientists and technology innovators such as Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Steve Wozniak have previously warned that AI could lead to unforeseen consequences. Stephen Hawking foretold back in 2014 that AI could even mean the end of the human race; stating, “It would take off on its own and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded.” 

Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, at the Recode’s Code Conference 2016 cautioned, “If you assume any rate of advancement in AI, we will be left behind by a lot. We would be so far below them in intelligence that we would be like a pet,” he said. “We’ll be like the house cat.”

More than 8,000 people, including top AI experts, have signed an open letter urging research into ways to ensure that AI helps, rather than harms, humankind.

Five of the potential risks identified include:
  1. Loss of Privacy
  2. Development of AI-powered weapons
  3. AI Causing Harm Unintentionally or even indirectly, 
  4. Computers Turning Malevolent
  5. Robots replacing humans as the rulers of the planet 
Ok, so that last one was a worst-case scenario, but wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry?

Ethics and AI. 

Concern over the development of AI has led to the creation of organisations like Open AI and Partnership on AI. Their goal being, "to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return."

Partnership on AI, with founding members Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft, seek to support research and recommend best practices, advance public understanding and awareness of AI, and create an open platform for discussion and engagement.

Source: Reddit

In conjunction with the 2017 Asilomar conference, experts have agreed on a core set of principles to govern AI development. A key principle, for example, demands AI be developed in accordance with human values; something that will be very hard to put into practice. Another principle stipulates that the economic prosperity created by AI should be shared broadly, to benefit all of humanity. But what does that mean? 

Should we fear AI? Perhaps, but not just yet. While the risk of information overload, selective perception and confirmation bias are diminished significantly with AI, it is still possible to make bad decisions about what machine intelligence is permitted to build.

With Moore’s Law stating that processor speeds will double every two years, could computer’s intelligence eventually surpass humans? Will they succeed in eliminating bias? Or will they, as with humans, develop biases of their own?  Fortunately for us, until they are able to feel emotion or think creatively, we have nothing to fear.

Alyce Brierley
Current student from the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Monday, 31 July 2017

The Whisper - with Linda McGregor

With so much data at our fingertips, nowadays as marketers, our job is to translate inputs about our target audience into true insights about their behaviour. Why is this so important? Well, understanding consumer behaviour presents marketers with the magic key that enables us to build a bridge between consumer need and brand offer.

Image source: Can You Whisper Your Way To Brand Love? Linda McGregor.

Essentially, in the end, the goal is brand love. Great marketing is the craft of whispering to our audience, rather than shouting at them, to guide them along a journey of brand discovery and brand trust; by applying deeper understanding so that you can influence their behaviour and trigger a need. The Whisper is something that we all can understand, but more often than not, we are so focused on results that we forget that brand love takes time.

Throughout our studies, first in Geoff Fripp's Evaluating Marketing Performance (EMP), then with Pennie Frow in Internal Marketing, and finally with Teresa Davis in Contemporary Consumer Behaviour, we have been familiarised with the Customer Migration Pathway. But seeing it in theory and using it in practice are two completely different things. 

Source: Geoff Fripp, Evaluating Marketing Performance, Session 2, Semester 1, 2017.

Who is Linda McGregor and what have horse whisperers got to do with achieving brand love?

Linda has spent her career working all sides of the business: marketing, advertising, strategy and business development. She has over 30 years of experience working on both the client and agency sides in the UK, Asia and Australia, before finally founding her own insight consultancy, All About Eve, in 2003. With decades of expertise in distilling insight into behaviour-changing strategy, Linda is well versed in the art of fashioning bonds between audiences and brands. 

The University of Sydney is fortunate to have close ties with Linda. On many occasions she has given her time to help inspire the future marketing managers of Australia; most recently at the Orientation Welcome Evening. Now, she has agreed to share her lessons with Marketing Matters, for the benefit of those who couldn't make it to the event. 

Linda draws upon her two passions in life - audience insights and her love for horses to explore how Horse Whisperers, the masters of distilling insight, are able to change behaviour and create bonds of trust. 

Image source: All About Eve. Linda McGregor speaking at Battle of the Big Thinkers, Vivid Festival, Sydney, 2017. 

Understanding the four elements of the craft. 

The analogy of the horse whisperer and the training ring is a stunning paradigm of the strategic manoeuvres used by marketers that are needed to develop brand love. As marketers do when approaching a strategy, the whisperer enters the ring with a vast well of behavioural knowledge and past experience up his sleeve. This knowledge is accessed reflexively as the circumstances of his relationship changed depending on the cues from himself and the horse - or consumer. 

Image Source: Can You Whisper Your Way To Brand Love? Linda McGregor. 

If you missed Linda's talk, don't despair because lucky for us, Marketing Matters was able to sit down with Linda and get an inside look into her practice. 

MM: As a marketing consultant, sometimes it's really easy to get bogged down on all the data. How do you go about selecting relevant data and then translating it into true insights about consumer behaviour?

Linda: Relevant data is all about focus. A good start point is a tight brief so you’re crystal clear on the audience that you’re trying to understand – and WHAT you are trying to understand about them. Build a picture or portrait of them so that they come to life for you, so you can see them as real people.

Then you look to do what we at All About Eve call 'the unpack': get past behaviour to triggers and need drivers. Think about it as getting past the symptom to a root cause. This is when you get to the real insights that will allow you to influence, and even change, audience behaviours.

It’s all about getting past the conscious mind and behaviours to the subconscious mind, where neuroscientists will tell you 90% of all decision making action takes place.

MM: You've spoken in the past about fashioning bonds between audiences and brands to achieve brand love. In your opinion, what is the most important difference in approaches between 'the push' and 'the pull' in marketing and where does 'the whisper' fit in?

Linda: Both push and pull have a place in marketing campaigns. For me, however, pull is the stronger one because you tap into existing consumer needs and use them to connect and bond the brand to her (or him).  That seems to be a clearer route to Brand Love building, because it taps affinity. 

The Whisper is the approach to how you achieve that effective pull. How you whisper to the audience’s inner need, instead of just yelling at them. Fundamentally by understanding, giving them time to know the brand offer then choose to come to the brand, freely.  The Whisper offers the benefit of building a stronger, deeper bond between the audience and the brand. A strong but silken thread that binds.

MM: For some, especially those who didn't hear you speak last week, the metaphor of 'the whisper' might be a little abstract to understand. Could you briefly explain what's involved in the four stages of the whisper?

Linda: Well firstly, I would say we should arrange another talk then, lol!

For now, here are the 4 elements (rather than stages, which infers they have a linear order), in summary: 
  1. The Insight Watch
    Gathering Qual & Quant info, translating to insight and unpacking to a subconscious level to understand the true triggers to audience behaviour - and hence how to influence it
  2. The Patient Pause    
    Counter-intuitively, not rushing to pull the consumer into the decision to choose your brand. Instead giving them time & space to build trust with, and of, your brand.
  3. The Consistent Offer  
    Taking a relevant brand offer then consciously & consistently delivering that in a message in the audience’s language. Demo-ing that brand’s 'talk' and 'walk' match.
  4. The Choosing              
    The resulting benefit of the other 3 elements of the whispering approach. By talking with the audience, not at them, you build affinity – leading to them choosing to join the brand
According to Dr Terry Beed, Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Sydney, In the context of our Business School, this is where our knowledge of consumer behaviour, drawn from the literature and other sources including “experience” and Big Data comes to the fore. It builds towards responsive adaptation in challenging (maybe dangerous!) circumstances. 

At the University of Sydney, the professors take pride in preparing their students for the ring so that when they get in there, they can respond and get results in the dynamic setting of contemporary marketing. Linda McGregor’s metaphor leaves her audience with a vivid impression of a different yet powerful kind of marketing model to draw upon.

Alyce Brierley
Current student from the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Friday, 28 July 2017

New Semester, New Journey

August is nearly upon us, which means the end of studies for many students from USYD's Master of Marketing program. Not the end of the road per se, but the beginning of a new exciting chapter in their lives, careers and future projects. For the rest of us, the journey continues in semester two and we are ready to welcome many more new students into our MoM family.

New students, here's your chance to get involved. 

If you can dream it then you can do it. That’s why we’re all here, right? We’re here because we have a dream and we were gutsy enough to take control of our lives in order to make it happen. With this new semester about to embark, we have an opportunity to get the most out of our master degree. Sure, you can do the bare minimum and just come to class or you can get involved in the community. Our student cohort is full of bright, up and coming stars with a wealth of experience to learn from.

That’s why we can’t stress enough the importance of becoming a member of our student run Facebook group, ‘Master of Marketing USYD’, as well as the closed LinkedIn group by the same name - for students, alumni and industry professionals. You should already know that networking is important and all of these people want to help you achieve your goals.

Marketing Matters want to hear your voice! So if you have a way with words or an opinion to share, get in touch because there’s no better way to strengthen your personal brand or increase your online presence than to contribute to the Master of Marketing blog.

Add your fellow students to your LinkedIn profile, endorse each other for skills, share articles, job postings, ideas, videos ANYTHING! Just don’t waste your time here and sit by on the fence because one year goes incredibly fast and before the blink of an eye this amazing experience will be over and it will be graduation time and that moment may have passed you by.

But before you start thinking about graduation, I hope you will enjoy this welcome video made by current student, Bowie Chen, with tips shared by current students from Master of Marketing program.


Go out there and do amazing things. 

For those students who are about to finish their studies, we just wanted to tell you how much we have enjoyed learning with you. You have become almost like family over the last semester and we hope that you will continue to be active members of our community; sharing stories, experiences and opportunities. We only get out of the program what we put in and just because you have finished, doesn’t mean that you are now on your own.

Remember, no matter which path we choose, we shall never fear the roles we play now, nor those we will play in the future.

Finalists for the Marketing Consulting Project, Alice Xie Yifan and Sarah Homewood, along with the winner of the award, Jessica Farrell, presented their projects to the audience.

Be engaged with the industry. 

Honorary Associate Professor, Dr Terry Beed, reminded us on Tuesday evening that both the University of Sydney’s Business School and the Dean, Associate Professor Geoff Frost, place a great deal of importance on engagement with the marketing industry. The receptions held for incoming and continuing students, are designed specially for this reason, with leading executives and marketing professionals as well as alumni, often invited to provide opportunities for students to network. 

We believe that’s what sets the University of Sydney’s Master of Marketing program apart from other programs of its kind. We are the most connected and engaged program on offer for experienced marketers. 

MoM students: Chris North, Honorary Master of Ceremonies, and Alyce Brierley, Social Media Manager of Marketing Matters.

What you missed at the welcome reception. 

On Tuesday 25th of July, orientation began for the commencing students, many of whom attended the evening welcome event at the Abercrombie Business School’s Refectory. Acting as Honorary Master of Ceremonies for the Reception, the event was hosted by current Master of Marketing student, Chris North, who in keeping with his reputation for comical relief, had us all thoroughly entertained throughout the evening. 

The opening speech delivered by Honorary Associate Professor, Dr Terry Beed, and Associate Professor Geoff Frost who is also the Associate Dean (Graduate Business), as well as a special message from Pennie Frow, Program Director of the Master of Marketing. Explaining how the Master of Marketing program can ‘pave the way’ for students to excel in their careers, Pennie highlighted how successfully completing the program can take students to the next stage in their career, opening up new opportunities across a broad spectrum of marketing roles.

Professor Donnel Briley; Stephen Jenke, Guest Lecturer and recently elected fellow of AMSRS; special guest Ms Margot Priday, CEO of NewsMediaWorks; Andrew Baxter, CEO Australia and New Zealand for Publicis.

A number of the program’s professors and lecturers also attended along with esteemed industry leaders and special guests such as Linda McGregor, Founder and Owner of ALL ABOUT EVE. Linda’s speech on Brand love demonstrated how, as marketers, our craft is to translate input from our target audience into true insights about their behavior, which can in turn give us clues on how to influence it. Only then can we hope to build the bridge between consumer’s needs and our brand offering. To achieve the lofty, lucrative goal of brand love. By using the analogy of a horse whisperer, Linda demonstrated how to interpret consumers’ behaviour to create bonds of trust between customers and brands.

The University of Sydney's MoM students - past, present and future.

It might be hard for new students to understand Brand Love from Linda at this moment. But, as we just mentioned, never let setbacks or fear dictate the course of your life. With the great Master of Marketing program at your fingertips with professional professors and lecturers from Master of Marketing program, all students will be guided by force, nurtured by expertise. 

If you missed out on attending this event, be sure to attend the End of Year Reception, which will be held mid to late November on a date to be announced. There will be awards for best performance in the program and some exciting guest speakers in the line-up for this event. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months.

Notes on the special guests who attended the Master of Marketing Welcome Event 

Stephen Jenke is a Guest Lecturer in the Masters Program who was recently elected a Fellow of the Australian Market and Social Research Society.  He has held global roles with TNS and Kantor in the APAC countries for 10 years prior to returning to Australia recently. 

Ms Margot Priday is the wife of the late Dr Paul Priday a brilliant teacher in the Masters Program and contributor to the its design. Paul was one of Australia’s most respected Creative Directors before embarking later in life on a stellar academic career.  

Peter Miller, newly appointed CEO of NewsMediaWorks and former Global Head of Marketing Strategy for Adstream. Peter is an alumnus of the University of Sydney and a strong supporter of our Master’s Program. 

Andrew Baxter, CEO Australia and New Zealand for Publicis, a multinational advertising and marketing agency. Andrew is one of Australia’s most senior marketing executives and his wife Angela is a Tutor in the Discipline of Marketing’s undergraduate programs.

Alyce Brierley and Hazel Chen
Current students from Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Katy Perry To Witness Myer’s Comeback

Australia’s retail sector is in trouble. The $300 billion, over-crowded and highly competitive industry’s marketing strategies are getting more creative in order to secure top-of-mind awareness. It’s no wonder that retailers like Myer are partnering with superstar influencers to lift sales in the midst of a stale trading environment.

Fans set to Witness a change.

Perry, who released her fourth major label album, Witness, on June 9, stands as one of the biggest successes in the music industry. She has had huge international success, selling over 6.5 million albulms, had 14 Billboard hits, and even performed at the Super Bowl.

But the singer isn’t the same sugar-coated pop-start that she used to be. As a widely publicised supporter of Hillary Clinton in the US elections, Katy Perry has changed her stance in an effort to stand against misogyny. Not only her hair and music have changed, but also her message.

Change is also the theme of her new album Witness, an introspective, less pop and more dance vibed album that’s entirely different from her last two records, Prism(2013) and Teenage Dream (2010).

She has been accused of lipsyncing, being racist, homophobic and even mean (who can forget her all out feud with Taylor Swift). But that still hasn’t stopped the celebrity from garnering over 100m twitter followers, whether they be real or only bots.

Image source: The Australian (Renee Nowytarger) Katy Perry poses for selfies with fans yesterday at Myer’s Sydney flagship city store.
Katy Perry is Myer’s silver bullet.

Some would say that Myer chief executive Richard Umbers move to become the naming rights partner of popstar Katy Perry’s Witness tour is nothing short of bold. But for many years now, Katy Perry’s global reach makes her a key influencer.The singer has strategically secured numerous corporate sponsorships and ­celebrity endorsements with her ‘universal appeal’. Something which resonates particularly with Myer’s target audience.

In an interiew with Mumbrella, Michael Scott, Myer’s executive general manager of brand, marketing and loyalty, explained that the goal of the partnership is to boost the retailer’s bespoke and “special” offering to its customers.

“We are always on the look-out to partner strategically with brands which appeal and connect with our consumers,” Scott said.

Witness the new Myer experience.

The buzzword in marketing these days is experiential marketing. Perhaps that’s why Myer has heavily invested in in-store experiences to highlight the value of customer engagement. Live marketing schemes encourage consumers to participate nd interact with a brand on a personal level.

Myer boss, Umbers, who previously declared that retail’s not for the timid, stated that, “It is really about how does a modern retailer compete and the view is we have to be in destination retail, we have to have something that has a real experience theme to it, and this seems a very natural extension to that.

“We had the opportunity to present the Witness tour and we thought that would be a fantastic extension of our thinking around the importance of experiential retail,” Mr Umbers said to The Australian.

If experiential retail is the word, then Myer is spreading it like the gospel. Not only have they partnered with Perry, they have also erected an ice-skating rink for Myer’s Wonderland at its Sydney city store and a Tesla showroom at their flagship store in Melbourne.

Wonderland is another prime example of how Myer are investing big in experiential marketing.
A partnership made in heaven?

Image source: Katy Perry koala threat: Authorities warn marsupials to stay indoors.
In the Marketing Consulting Project we learned that when collaborating with stakeholders it is vital to consider all of the potential ethical issues that could arise from a partnership.

That’s why we really must question the wisdom of Myer partnering with the likes of Perry. Although highly influential, she has been known on many occasions top put her foot in it. Why should this time be any different?

Myer, who was initially thrilled to give their customers the chance to win free tickets to Perry’s Witness tour, was left embarassed when it came to an unfortunate comment by Perry. The campaign video with Myer, which is the sole naming rights partner of Perry’s Witness tour, offended viewers with Perry’s comment encouraging her pet dog Nugget to “chase some koalas”.

A spokesman for Myer said: “We are aware of comments in relation to Katy Perry’s Witness: The Tour advertisement and a particular reference made to koalas. We are currently removing the material which references koalas.”

In an interview with the Courier Mail, Claire Madden, who has worked at Australia Zoo and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, said that “This is just absolute ignorance from Perry and Myer, and inappropriate on so many levels” she said.

“Perry is a role model to so many young people, and this just destroys all the good work we do to try to encourage people not to let their dogs come into contact with koalas.”

Say what you will about her, Myer or their alliance. But one thing is for sure and that is that they are garnering attention in the press and on the world stage. It’s the first time that a department store has sponsored one of her concerts. If Myer’s falling market share increases with this gambit, then maybe it won’t be the last.

Alyce Brierley
Current student from the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Friday, 21 July 2017

For When Life Doesn't Wait

Afterpay. Why pay now when you can pay later? Everyone wants to live in the moment and face the consequences tomorrow. It's a wonderful concept that delves right to the heart of what consumers want. But is it really what they need?

Previously Marketing Matters explored the future of Bricks and Mortar upon the ushering of a more sophisticated online shopping experience - something that is becoming increasingly more important, as outlined in Contemporary Consumer Behaviour. At the beginning, it looked as though the outlook for retailers were bleak. Traditional retailers were slow on the uptake of online, but now, many are augmenting their physical presence with digital strategies and payment innovations. 

What the customer wants, the customer shall have. 

Retailers who have thus far dominated the market have adopted a click and mortar approach, being neither exclusively online or offline. They've realised that they must respond to the customers' preference for a shopping experience that optimises both channels.

Image source: Afterpay review, The Wealth Guy

According to research carried out by Deloitte, 40% of retail sales are influenced by digital technology. Consumers today are highly informed, especially with high involvement purchases, seeking out product reviews, cost comparison, and recommendations from family and friends, both in-person and online, either at home and in-store via mobile. 

The new retail environment is adopting customer-centric innovations, with many traditional retailers investing not only in click & collect, but also in payment innovations. While click & collect makes shopping easier, allowing customers to purchase online and pick up in-store, it also provides the gratification of instant ownership. 

Image source: University of Sydney, Contemporary Consumer Behaviour (Teresa Davis)

But the real innovation is Afterpay. Brick and mortar retailers are leveraging the advancements in payment technologies to entice customers to purchase products they might not otherwise have bought. It encourages spontaneity in the decision making process and similarly to credit cards, Afterpay gives customers the ability to buy in store, take their purchases home immediately and pay later - except there are no fees or interest. 

Evolving spending habits and how this impacts the personal budget.

By August 2016, 140,000 customers in Australia had used Afterpay and a whopping 65% of those are repeat users. Only 1% of those users were failing to complete their scheduled Afterpay repayments, resulting in a net transaction loss rate of 0.9%. 

The structured repayment system allows consumers to keep their finances under control. Unlike credit cards, where consumers often spend more than they can afford. With this innovation in the decision making process, consumers are no longer inhibited by the barrier of debt and products with hefty price tags can be perceived as affordable. 

As a frequent user of this service, I've bought goods that I wouldn't otherwise have considered buying. Payments are manageable and there is the ability to make extra payments to speed up the process. Unlike making purchases with credit cards, Afterpay feels trustworthy and safe. 

Teresa Davis, lecturer of Contemporary Consumer Behaviour, explained the decision making process in detail. The types of decision rules that consumers apply include an evaluation of alternatives. And unlike purchasing goods with credit cards, the risks and barriers to purchase are minimised considerably. 

How does Afterpay work?

Image source: Afterpay review, The Wealth Guy 

Whether you have money or not, now instead of buying upfront, consumers have the option to pay off purchases - just like layby. But instead of having to wait until the purchase is fully paid off in order to take it home, consumers are instantly gratified, taking their purchases home instantly.

Either a debit card or credit card can be used for repayments, which means that sometimes purchases might not always get approved. Afterpay employs various metrics during the approval process, including location and even what model of phone you use. Unlike credit cards, purchases are 100% interest free but if a payment fails, there is a $10 dollar late fee, followed by another $7 fee if the payment is not made within 7 days. 

Afterpay isn't just for in-store purchases, in fact most of its success stems from online purchases. Online shoppers can go to checkout without filling in lengthy credit card forms, and once they have created an account with their first purchase, the payment experience is seamless. Goods can either be shipped express or picked up in store. 

Here's a recap of the benefits for consumers:

  • Afterpay is another way for a consumer to pay either online or instore. 
  • Merchants offer Afterpay to end-customers with a BUY NOW, PAY LATER offer.
  • End-customers pay for items in 4 fortnightly installments.
  • Afterpay does not charge consumers any interest, establishment or monthly fees.
  • After the initial Afterpay signup, no additional information is required at checkout. 
  • Afterpay pays merchants upfront (less Afterpay fee).
  • Afterpay retrieves funds from the consumer.

How is Afterpay delivering results for businesses?

Image source: Afterpay review, The Wealth Guy

Due to the barriers of shipping times, receiving below standard quality products and the risk of security, the rate of growth in online shopping has decelerated slightly. By June last year, it increased only 13.5%, down from 15.7% the previous year. 

Ever since the introduction of credit cards in 1950, retailers have been constantly searching for ways to entice consumers to spend more. Merchants will do almost anything to make a sale, with some paying as much as 3% of the sale value in fees to credit card companies. Some businesses pass these costs on to consumers, but in general this is a thorn in the side for businesses and consumers alike. 

The facts are undeniable, Afterpay users are 34% more likely to follow through with purchases than credit card users and their average spend is 25% more than the average customer. Depending on what side of the fence you are standing, this can be perceived as either a good or bad thing.  But the turh remains, Afterpay is getting consumers to part with their hard-earned cash and the shopping experience will never be the same again.

Alyce Brierley
Current student from the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.