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HIGH-SPEED change is the new disruptor in the travel industry and the rate of change in the next three years is going to shape and transform society for the next 100 years in a way that we’ve never seen.

Futurist Chris Riddell believes that our future will see a complete reinvention of everything that we see today on planet Earth.

He was presenting in Sydney some of the key changes on our horizon to delegates at Flight Centre Travel Group’s annual event, Illuminate, dedicated to informing and providing insights into the global corporate travel industry.

As a futurist, Riddell looks to see how “humans and business are adapting and changing to see what we can do to get ourselves ready for the future.”

His presentation focused on how the travel industry is going to change and why delegates need to be an extension of what’s happening within the human part of this change. According to Riddell some of the main disruptions shaping our future include:

The Amazon Effect

For the first time in history we’re witnessing on a large scale an online business, Amazon, moving into the offline space. Amazon’s US$13.7 billion purchase in 2017 of bricks-and-mortar organic grocery chain Whole Foods Market sent the share prices of major grocery retailers plummeting overnight. This purchase was the reverse of the mainstream progression of businesses moving from the physical to the digital. Overnight, Amazon became the biggest bricks-and-mortar retailer in the U.S. by market capitalisation and in doing so shifted us into a world of ‘category killers’ ruling industry.

The big question remaining is which other oppositional business is going to buy up traditional organisations. Might Facebook buy Costco? Will Twitter buy Target?

In the business of data, Google (Alphabet) is the biggest data company on earth – there is no close number two. We’re leaping into a world where category killers are dominating industry.

Trust Issues

We’re emerging from one of the biggest trust crises we have ever had. Our trust in organisations in the private and public sectors is at an all-time low. Data crises including with Facebook and the Cambridge Analytics scandal have eroded trust in those companies whose business is data. Similarly, the Volkswagen emissions scandal and consumer confidence in the U.S. along with many other public corporate crises has dented our trust in many big brands. The question then is how do we move ahead? 

Riddell believes that trust fundamentally is not going to go back to previous levels and that we will have to reinvent trust to be able to move forward. He says technology will be an enabler for us to reinvent trust. In the tech sector, the makers of wearable technology are faring better when it comes to trust – the value of the experience we get from wearable devices, for example, compared to the data we share is on parity, and this puts us in a place of trust with these brands.

Feeding the beast

The truth is though that we are worried about robotics, technology and our future. Nearly everything we do, from getting on an aeroplane, checking into a hotel, hiring a car, involves generating a lot of data, which ‘feeds the beast’ in terms of telling companies about our likes, habits and preferences. In order for many interactions with companies and their apps to succeed we need to keep feeding them a whole lot of data. Data is one of the most important resources that we have, and it truly has become the ‘new oil’. In order to win trust with customers, you need to create exceptional value every single time.

One of the fastest growing sectors in the world is the healthcare sector where the accumulation of data is presenting many opportunities but also structural and privacy concerns. The ability to run your own heart tests through portable technology that will become more accessible is mirrored by companies like 23andme.com, where you can send off a $100 test sample to a company and receive in return a full DNA spectrum on your health. This is prompting many people to start seeking treatment for conditions that they don’t yet have and putting severe strain on the health system.

Addiction to technology

We live in a new age where we are addicted to technology and yet are continually distracted by it. Technology from companies like Apple and Microsoft is now invading even personal intimate offline moments we are meant to have with each other. Consumers now have more technology power in their pockets than many organisations have, and replace their technology faster. This has created a power balance shift, where consumers now own the experience and will dictate the experience they will want to have with us. What we have to do now is keep up with this data transfer and reinvent ourselves.

The sharing economy, block-chain, augmented intelligence and the internet-of-things are the changes that are going to be impacting the travel industry and anyone connected to travel. What this means is that organisations are now getting so much data and opportunity to get insight from individual human beings than we have ever had before. No longer can we just ‘pigeon-hole’ people, but we have to use this data to create tailored, individual experiences. ‘Augmented intelligence’ is about blending humanity and technology together to create experiences that just a few years ago you never thought were possible.

Chris Riddell’s challenge is: “If you want to be in business beyond tomorrow, you need to start thinking about the future like a technology company. You have to keep up with this relentless pace of change that we are going through. Your job is to see where the opportunities lie for you, because this is the most exciting time to ever be a human being on planet earth.”

Illuminate 2019 was supported by Flight Centre Travel Group’s corporate businesses – FCM Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller, cievents, Stage and Screen Travel Services and 4th Dimension Business Travel Consulting.


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Client News

The Corporate brands of the Flight Centre Travel Group are celebrating after being named in The Australian Financial Review BOSS Most Innovative Companies list for 2019 last night in Sydney.

The prestigious annual list, published by The Australian Financial Review and Boss Magazine, is based on a rigorous assessment process managed by Australia’s leading innovation consultancy, Inventium, in conjunction with a panel of industry expert judges. 

The brands of FCM Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller and Stage and Screen combined are represented as Flight Centre Corporate in the Professional Services list and are recognised for bringing a revolutionary AI-inspired online booking tool, Savi and smart assistant mobile application, Sam to the Australian Travel market.

“We are thrilled to announce the first-ever industry-specific Most Innovative Companies List. What separated the most innovative organisations from the least, was the involvement of the customer the entire way through the innovation process. Leading innovators also had strong mechanisms in place to recognise the innovation efforts of their staff,” said Dr Amantha Imber, Founder, Inventium.

Savi is an exclusive online booking tool which has been developed by our Corporate brands in conjunction with the company’s technology partner, Serko. It is available exclusively for customers of FCM Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller, Stage and Screen Travel Services. Savi includes rich content, unique user modules and exclusive functionality that can’t be found elsewhere in the market. Savi and Sam together deliver an integrated superior travel experience.

Savi

Executive General Manager – Flight Centre Travel Group Corporate Division James Kavanagh said that Savi was created in response to the poor user experience observed from many online booking tools in the corporate travel sector.

“Savi was developed to incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create a smarter, better and simpler user experience for the business traveller and travel co-ordinator,” Mr Kavanagh said.

“Savi was born in response to a number of requests from customers to better streamline their business travel programs.

“Engaging with our customers we identified opportunities to address inefficient and costly actions in the online travel booking process which led to the development of Savi and its exclusive modules that leverage the latest in AI capabilities.”

The Savi Select, Savi Credits and Savi Voice modules help businesses and travellers make smarter decisions to maximise their travel savings.

Mr Kavanagh said that customers were engaged with at all stages of the product development process to ensure that it was adequately meeting their needs.

“For the first time, Savi is bringing a leisure booking experience into the corporate world in Australia and New Zealand. It has saved our customers time with its intuitive recommendation engine and traveller engagement model to expedite the booking process with the widest range of products including exclusive rates for our corporate customers,” Mr Kavanagh said.

“It is a leap forward as a customer-centric product and providing improved productivity.”

 

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Blog

Social marketers are saying that their biggest goal with social media is to increase awareness and more than half (59%) use social to support their sales and lead generation objectives according to the latest findings from the Sprout Social Index.

Developing a strategy that supports their organisation’s goals is listed as the number one challenge that they face (nearly half of social marketers) and 43% saying that a major challenge is properly identifying and understanding their social audience.

Planning and strategy are even more important than ever for a social media campaign to have true effectiveness and social listening, monitoring your brand’s social media channels for customer feedback and insights, will become even more important, a fact known to social marketers.

According to the report social marketer’s top goals for social include:

  • Increase Brand Awareness 70%;
  • Sales/Lead Generation 59%;
  • Increase Community Engagement 48%;
  • Grow My Brand’s Audience;
  • Increase Web Traffic 45%.

But how do marketers define engagement when measuring social success? 72% seek likes and/or comments; 62% desire shares and/or retweets; 60% seek interaction with consumers; and 34% desire revenue attribution. Inspiring consumers to take action (32%) and inspiring an emotional response were indicated by 29% of marketers.

What Social Platforms Do Marketers And Consumers Use?

Marketers Follow Brands On:Consumers Follow Brands On:
Facebook 89%Facebook 66%
Instagram 65%Instagram 41%
Twitter 50%Twitter 22%
Youtube 49%Youtube 35%
Facebook Messenger 44%Facebook Messenger 13%
LinkedIn 38%LinkedIn 6%
Snapchat 28%Snapchat 14%
Pinterest 28%Pinterest 17%

89% of marketers say they use Facebook as part of their brand’s social strategy.

What Does Your Audience Want?

To align your goals with consumer actions it is important to know how and why consumers are using social media.

The report revealed:

Why Consumers Follow Brands On Social Media

Why Consumers Unfollow Brands In Social Media


A good understanding of these responses is required to align your social media activity to truly engage with consumers and not alienate them with irrelevant or ‘spammy’ content.

Social Posts That Encourage Consumers Likes And Shares

What sort of posts are likely to elicit a positive response from consumers?

Type Of PostLike/Comment OnShare
Posts That Entertain67%55%
Posts That Inspire57%50%
Posts That Teach46%38%
Posts That Tell A Story38%37%
Discounts Or Sales37%38%

There’s been a shift away by consumers of discounts and sales and a flight to entertaining and inspiring content compared to previous surveys.

Whilst Facebook continues to dominate the social landscape, marketers need to dig deeper to understand their audience and understand that consumers want to be engaged and entertained before they buy.

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Client News

ENJOY the highlights of Singapore and a cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas back to Australia with a 13-night fly, stay and cruise package from Cruise1st.

 

Cruise1st is offering the fly, stay cruise package that commences in Singapore and disembarks in Brisbane, Australia.

 

Travellers will fly from Gold Coast to Singapore on 3rd November 2020 where they will enjoy one night of pre-cruise accommodation in Singapore. This will provide a chance to explore this fascinating and exotic Asian city.

 

The next day, they will board Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas for a 12-night cruise back to Australia. Stops include Darwin, Airlie Beach and Cairns in Queensland, with opportunities to sample lush rainforests or The Great Barrier Reef before concluding with arrival into Brisbane.

 

The package is priced from $1,899* per person twin share from Gold Coast and includes the flight from Sydney to Singapore and one-night pre-cruise accommodation in Singapore.

 

Radiance of the Seas offers a cruising experience like no other, with panoramic vistas, sleek surrounds and a range of dining and entertainment options.

 

There is a nine-storey central atrium; floor to ceiling windows; casual and formal dining options including a Brazilian steakhouse, Italian restaurant and sushi; three pools; fitness centre; rock climbing wall; mini golf; basketball court; jogging track; video game arcade; theatre; casino; clubs; lounges; duty free shopping and a teen lounge area and disco.

 

For more information call 1300 596 345 or visit www.cruise1st.com.au.

 

*Terms & conditions apply. Subject to availability. Restrictions may apply. Prices are per person, twin share based on an inside stateroom. Prices subject to change at any time.

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Client News

Brisbane – Former PanAust managing director and resources industry veteran Dr Fred Hess has been appointed a non-executive director of Brisbane-based MPX (Mining Projects Accelerator).

MPX is a project generator that uses cutting edge artificial intelligence and machine learning information, combined with traditional exploration techniques to accelerate the identification of drill targets on prospective mining leases in Australia. 

Dr Hess had been with PanAust for 13 years including four as managing director. Prior to joining PanAust, Fred managed the Macreas Gold Mine in New Zealand and the Mt Gordon Copper Mine in Australia following a career with WMC Resources and Bougainville Copper Limited in Papua New Guinea.

He will take up his appointment in April.

Mining industry veteran Dr Fred Hess

MPX Executive Director Grant Wechsel said, “Dr Hess joins MPX with over 30 years experience in the industry across copper, nickel and gold operations including assessing project opportunities and exploration programs, through to developing operating mines, which will be a huge asset for the MPXteam.” 

Established by Ortus Mining Capital with interests in Singapore, Laos and Australia, MPX’s strategy is to accelerate high potential mining projects along the value curve using robust technical analysis, proven leadership teams and astute capital raising programs.

MPX is currently building a stable of projects within the accelerator having secured a number of promising leases already and some strong prospects across different commodities in Australia.  

Fred Hess said, “I’m very attracted to the idea of trying to accelerate the identification and development of an economic ore deposit by rapidly screening multiple project opportunities. By selectively gathering data that can quickly inform the decision to continue to invest or discard, this helps to spread risk for investors while maximising the chances for success.

“I see the ‘accelerator’ approach using the latest advances in information technology as the new way forward for exploration. I look forward to providing strategic direction to the company through both the project filtering and subsequent development phases.”

MPX Executive Director Simon Cohn said, “The traditional time frames to discover new projects and accelerate them to development and ultimately production is leaving a future gap on the supply side in the gold industry.  

“We believe the use of technology to better identify targets and also continue to analyse drilling results combined with a laser focus by management on only taking suitable projects forward is a very real point of difference in the Australian market.

“Having someone of Fred’s standing in the industry to advise on project selection and strategy is a huge benefit for us and we look forward to working with him.”

The MPX board is targeting a mid-2019 launch by completing a fully funded initial capital raising. It is proposed that the accelerator will launch with 6-10 projects initially and that this will be progressively augmented by further additions.

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Client News

BRISBANE – Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN), a leading worldwide provider of payment technology and software solutions, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Sentral Education in Australia, further expanding its educational market capabilities.

The cloud-based school management platform streamlines school administration, student management and data management. The acquisition will accelerate product enhancement and development for schools using Sentral’s school management platform and aligns well with Global Payments technology-enabled, software driven payments strategy.

“We are excited to be a part of the Global Payments team,” said Greg Coffey, General Manager of Sentral Education. “It will be business as usual for our clients. Sentral’s core values, vision and customer centric approach continue to be at the heart of our future operations and strategy. Sentral is dedicated to providing market-leading school management software and we look forward to introducing additional innovation and further enhancing our platform.”

“We are delighted to welcome Sentral Education to Global Payments,” said Mark Healy, Managing Director of Global Payments Australia and New Zealand. “Sentral was founded and run by a group of truly passionate individuals who are dedicated to making schools better. Software integration is at the core of our businesses and Sentral will benefit from the global expertise we have not just in payments, but in school management solutions. The acquisition aligns perfectly with our strategy of providing market leading software and great user experiences in technology solutions and payments.”

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Blog

With ongoing algorithm changes to Facebook and Instagram in particular, the ability to communicate directly with your own database is more important than ever.

One medium of communication that is seeing a resurgence in value by organisations and marketers is the now humble email.

But what is it about email messaging that has lasted and brought it back into vogue as a valuable marketing tool?

Put simply, it is the only guaranteed-delivery option the internet has left.

As The Wall Street Journal’s technology reporter Christopher Mims recently wrote, “In the #deletefacebook era, it’s become a way to fight back against the algorithms that try to dictate what people see.”

Readers sign up to receive email communication and whilst your communication remains relevant, that should prevent them from hitting the unsubscribe button. Email is still free and a direct way of communication which can be personalised.

The key is take the view that you’re building a loyal and engaged community. Members are looking for you to provide insight, authenticity and interesting information — not just sales spiels.

And whilst the Snapchat generation may view email as being antiquated and not immediate, they all have email accounts. The truth is that you can’t rely on email marketing alone and you will ignore social media platforms at your peril. However, email marketing should hold a key place in your marketing communications mix.

email marketing

Mims quotes Wales-based jeans company Hiut Denim co-founder David Hieatt as saying, “If you ask me, would I want a mail­ing list with 1,000 peo­ple on it or 100,000 fol­low­ers on Twit­ter, I’d take the 1,000 emails all day long, be­cause the busi­ness you get from 1,000 emails will be much more than you get from 100,000 peo­ple on Twit­ter or In­sta­gram.”

Your email database is valuable and can be maximised from a marketing perspective very cost effectively. Ensure you build your database and gain the contact details of each new client or prospect.

Two very effective marketing programs which enable you to market effectively to your email database include Mailchimp and Marketo.

Mailchimp is a marketing automation platform that helps you to create marketing campaigns and share with clients, customers and other contacts. Mailchimp will assist with your list management and compliance with direct mail requirements. The platform enables you to manage subscribers, generate custom reports, view click-through and success rates, track your emails, and ensure full transparency of campaigns.

Marketo is a powerful engagement service offering a cloud-based email marketing platform with a range of capabilities including marketing automation, social marketing, lead nurturing, budget management, analytics, sales insight, and website personalisation. One of the big benefits is native integration with CRM suites such as Salesforce.com. A leading digital marketing suite, Marketo will streamline your email marketing processes and enable you to provide unique customer offers through personalisation.

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Client News

Mineral explorers are now able to reap the benefits of using artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse large amounts of geological data in identifying possible mineral deposits with the launch to market of a new data analytics solution.

Brisbane-based analytics and technology company Orefox has begun working with Mining Projects Accelerator (MPX) in assessing data identification of drill targets on prospective gold and copper targets in Australia. 

Orefox is the company commercialising the research undertaken by Quantum Geology on Artificial Intelligence and deep learning driving ore discoveries. 

Orefox founder and CEO Warwick Anderson said it was satisfying to bring the offering to market after several years of research and development culminating in securing MPX as a foundation client.   

“We’ve developed a system that utilises a hybrid artificial intelligence capability to analyse huge amounts of geological data and then collate patterns in that data,” Mr Anderson said. 

“The patterns uncovered by this process are patterns that a human geologist could never see as the datasets are simply too large and complex for a person to make sense of.

“We are delighted that MPX, who are the foundation client for Orefox, could see that this technology can accelerate the discovery of new ore deposits for them.”  

Orefox has participated in the Unearthed Accelerator Program.  Parent company Quantum Geology also counts Queensland University of Technology (QUT) as a shareholder through their QUT Bluebox company. QUT Bluebox is the innovation, venture and investment company for the university.

At a time when mining investment is rising and the need for new discoveries to meet future demand is high, Orefox is providing these services to market not to replace traditional exploration, but to work with client’s geology teams to accelerate the discoveries. 

“Our mission is to put our clients at the centre of geological data science innovation, allowing them to make bigger mineral deposit discoveries, faster,” Mr Anderson said.

MPX Co-founder and Director Grant Wechsel said the technology had the potential to help fast track the development of suitable projects.

“We believe heavily in the use of this technology from Orefox to help us analyse data and more accurately identify drill targets, which will help us focus on moving suitable projects forward in an accelerated time frame,” Mr Wechsel said.

Orefox has officially launched to market after Mr Anderson spoke at the Geological Survey of Queensland’s Digging Deeper 2018 forum and announced the commercialisation of the Quantum Geology research.  

In addition to their founding client, Orefox is speaking with a number of ASX-listed companies about providing services and welcomes enquiry from other interested parties.

About Orefox.
Orefox works with mining companies to put them at the center of geological data science innovation. Our artificial intelligence and machine learning allows companies to increase efficiency and success in finding new ore deposits. www.orefox.com

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Blog

If you’re looking for a great experience to entertain clients, supporters, staff and partners then a day at the races is definitely something to be considered.

 

Whether you’re into betting and the horses — or not — a day at the races offers something for everyone. Racing clubs are not just in the business of horse racing, they’re in the business of hospitality with most race courses offering a number of venues and experiences to suit all comers.

 

Some venues at the track can cater for a crowd of a couple of hundred or down to smaller groups and can do stand-up catering or sit down, depending upon the sort of function you’d like to have.

 

The horse racing can be great background entertainment or central to the day, the venues can tailor to suit, or you can look for an event manager to tie it all together and facilitate the type of experience required.

 

 

RGC recently managed a race-day for agri-products trader Cory Johnston to celebrate their 50 years in business in 2018.

 

Doomben Racecourse in Brisbane was the venue for the day where Cory Johnston took out naming rights sponsorship for the nine-event race card. This was a great platform for them to leverage the day through television signage exposure and at the racecourse.

 

120 guests were entertained with Brisbane Racing Club’s hospitality team looking after the guests superbly in a private room and trackside experiences offered to guests including rail access to the starting gates and opportunities to watch a race from the race caller’s room, with a view of the action not to be missed.

 

Experienced MC and race day host Mark Forbes of Game On International was engaged to facilitate the formal proceedings and entertain guests. Event photography was provided by EV Photo – if you’re going to the expense and trouble to organise a significant event then make sure it is covered properly by a professional photographer. The results are priceless.

 



Racing clubs are not just in the business of horse racing, they’re in the business of hospitality


 

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Client News

 

Meat and agri-products trader Cory Johnston is celebrating its 50th year of operation in 2018 and is confident about its future after a decade where turnover has doubled in size through a strong commitment to customers and a diversification of its product range.

 

Specialising in sourcing and supplying an extensive range of protein-based produce: chilled and frozen meats, grains, pulses, oil seeds, and various vegetable and animal protein meals, Cory Johnston is targeting the food service industry, smallgoods manufacturers and opportunities for growth through its grain and meals division.

 

Cory Johnston director Peter Shearer said domestic meat trading had been the main foundation of the business but that the company was looking at opportunities in new markets.

 

“International trade is expanding for us and we’re looking at new markets including in Latin America and Europe,” Shearer said.

 

Shearer said that grain and associated products, whilst making up about a quarter of the business, would look to expand as the company invests more resources into that part of the business.

 

He said that a focus on the supply of food products in the community was centred on quality and sustainable operations.

 

“People are becoming a lot more concerned about where their food comes from,” Shearer said. “We work closely with suppliers to get the right quality products to the right sections of the market.”

 

Cory Johnston was formed in 1968 after frozen beef retrieved from a distressed cargo ship – which had caught fire off the Queensland coast – needed to be sold in the domestic market on behalf of the insurance company. This opportunity lead to Douglas Cory and the late Don Johnston forming a partnership which lead to the creation of Cory Johnston Pty Ltd later that year.

 

The continued growth in business, as well as astute investments, allowed Doug Cory to diversify into cold storage which led to the establishment of the Doboy Coldstores in 1976.

 

Late in 1987, Doug decided to purchase Don Johnston’s share in the business. This resulted in Cory Johnston (NSW) which operated together with Cory Johnston for the next eight years. After that time the Cory Johnston (NSW) office was (by mutual agreement) divested.

 

In 2001, Doug decided to step back from his commitments and negotiated the sale of Cory Johnston to younger brother Trevor and long-time employee Peter Shearer. Under the direction of Trevor and Peter, the business has continued to diversify and prosper. In early 2012, Cory Johnston moved from its home of 26 years at Doboy Coldstores to new offices in the Metroplex Development at Murarrie.

 

Trevor Cory will be retiring from the business in 2019 and attributes much of the success of Cory Johnston to its staff and their market knowledge.

 

“Knowing what our clients need and making sure that need is filled coupled with our financial reliability has been the cornerstone to our longevity and in building successful relationships,” Cory said.

 

“We see opportunities to build the by-products part of the business, such as tallow, poultry oil and feather meal and to increase supply to stock feed manufacturers.

 

“Whilst I’m looking forward to retirement, the business is in very good hands with opportunities in the near term for continued expansion.”

 

For further information on Cory Johnston visit: www.coryjohnston.com.au

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