podcasting

The Rise and Rise of Podcasting

Podcasting is not new. However, what was once seen as a niche and hobbyist medium has well and truly gone mainstream. 

The art of audio storytelling has seemingly been given a shot in the arm through this format and embraced by content producers equally, from those at the kitchen table through to the larger media houses.

Many people first became aware of them when Apple over 15 years ago first offered over 3,000 free podcasts on iTunes. According to Forbes, there are now over 800,000 active podcasts with over 54 million podcast episodes available globally. 

With low production costs and few barriers to entry, podcasting as a medium is available to nearly everyone. The popularity of portable music players and smartphones has only made accessibility to podcasts easier.

podcastingMichele Levine, chief executive of research firm Roy Morgan, said podcasts are growing in popularity in Australia with nearly 10% of Australians now downloading audio or video podcasts in an average month:

“Podcasts are a relatively new part of the media landscape but are making an increasing impact as audiences for the service are on a steady growth track up an impressive 70% over the last four years to over 1.6 million Australians in 2019.

“The ability to listen to your favourite podcast while commuting to and from work and tuning out from the hustle and bustle on crowded public transport, or just relaxing in your spare time to catch up on what’s been happening in an area of personal interest is appealing to a growing number of Australians.”

Podcast rankings

As the attention of advertisers and brands follows, the seemingly fragmented world of podcasting and audience measurement is becoming more ordered, particularly with radio heavyweights embracing the platform. 

Late in 2019, Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) announced the launch of the first monthly Australian Podcast Ranker which sees Australia’s top 100 most-downloaded and listened to podcasts ranked each month. The monthly rankings can be accessed here.

The ranking was launched with a foundation group of podcast publishers including News Corp Australia, Podcast One Australia, Nova Entertainment, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), Australian Radio Network (ARN), Macquarie Media and SEN/ Crocmedia.

The rankings are dominated by our larger entertainment groups, with many familiar names including Hamish and Andy at the top. True crime is continually popular with News Corp Australia’s series of crime podcasts ranking highly including The Nowhere Child and Who the Hell is Hamish? 

podcasting

How can podcasting benefit your brand? 

Have you considered podcasting as a means of engaging with your customers and seeking out new audiences? A podcast may well fit in with your brand strategy and content marketing program and provide the following benefits: 

Reach new audiences

Podcasting can help you reach new audiences, especially through recommendations and referrals from satisfied listeners. If your podcast provides relevant and informative listening chances are that others will value your show, even if they’re not currently a customer.

Building relationships with an audience

Even though a podcast provides a largely one-way stream, it’s a great way to speak directly to your audience and is considered quite a personal medium, much like quality radio programming. The audience has elected to opt in, so you have a good opportunity to keep their attention. 

Make your brand more real

If you avoid the temptation of the hard sell and instead provide an informative listening experience and make your listeners feel part of a community then your engagement levels will be high and this will be reflected in brand trust and confidence.

Accurate Analytics

The digital medium allows you to accurately measure engagement by tracking key statistics which may include, amongst others: 

  • number of listens for each episode
  • country or region they listen from
  • ratings and reviews
  • top-performing episodes
  • average length of listening. 
mining feasibility studies

Project Failures Highlight Importance of Critical Feasibility Studies

With a high failure rate among mining projects in Australia, more rigorous feasibility study standards that align to staged study objectives need to be mandated according to project management and advisory firm, Siecap.

“A robust feasibility study can make or break a project,” said Siecap Managing Director David Irvine. “It is critical in securing funding from investors and addressing the critical success factors of the project.

“It’s important to think strategically and consider what stage a project is at – concept, pre-feasibility, feasibility or bankable feasibility and understand the requirements and critical success factors to successfully move to the next stage, or move on altogether.

“Unfortunately, we see many mid-tier companies not getting this right in terms of striking the right balance with technical, commercial and social requirements with what they’re trying to achieve.”

A report from global consulting group McKinsey, Optimizing mining feasibility studies: The $100 billion opportunity, has found that more than four out of five mining projects came in over budget with over half recording an average budget overrun of 49% – and this was just for those projects that reached production phase.

So, what goes wrong?

There is no universal standard for feasibility studies and study processes remain largely unchanged in the past 20 years leading to an imbalance between technical, social and capital raising requirements.

“However, the parameters for projects have changed greatly; mines are becoming bigger, deeper, steeper, more remote and higher risk to develop owing to lengthy approval timing, community opposition or lack of social license and as a result, are far more susceptible to delays or cost overruns than ever before,” Irvine said.

“Too often, companies spend the wrong amount of time and money on misaligned concept and prefeasibility study stages, and not getting the correct balance of detail and certainty from the technical components than is warranted at this stage of the project.

“With project proponents’ appetite for risk generally at an all-time low, decision-makers are often trying to eliminate as much risk as possible, demanding increased detail and certainty, and this is driving costs in the feasibility phase.

“Where too much has been spent in the early studies phase, few companies or decision-makers have the confidence to walk away and can keep projects alive longer than justified.”

According to Siecap, risks are also often poorly understood. Strong experience will identify the fatal flaws and how sensitive a project is to volatile parameters like commodity prices or environmental concerns. Good project managers and experienced teams play the most valuable role in aligning and prioritising core elements of a good feasibility study.

While the best projects will still get funded, raising capital for projects has been getting harder particularly in the upstream space where uncertainty on timing and hence return on investment is a key consideration.

Irvine said that investors are looking for lower risk, higher shareholder returns and stronger capital discipline from their targets. 

“With a reputation for high levels of spending, gold plating assets or not living within its means, the resources industry is struggling to compete with alternate investment streams like technology, money markets and treasury securities.”

Requirements for Feasibility Success

With at least 25 percent of projects failing post feasibility, Mr Irvine said it is vital that a feasibility study ensures it balances the requirements of technical, economic/commercial, social/environmental factors and critically prioritises capital raising requirements.

A rigorous feasibility study must to be managed in stages to meet the clear objectives and scope of the stage the project is trying to move through, be supported by robust research, validate the value and cost drivers of the project, be subject to independent review and address core concerns of the audience including critical success factors. 

About Siecap

Siecap is an independent project management and advisory firm offering services across the project development lifecycle including advisory, feasibility studies, as well as project assurance and independent review services and project delivery. siecap.com.au

BADC

Great Barrier Reef Campaign Wins BADC ‘Best of Show’ for Publicis; Industry Veteran Inducted into Hall of Fame

Publicis Australia takes out Best of Show at the 2019 Brisbane Advertising and Design Club (BADC) Awards for their Great Barrier Reef campaign, scUber, for client Tourism and Events Queensland, collecting the largest overall haul of 18 medals and finalist placings.

Winning three gold, two silver and a bronze for the scUber campaign, chairman of judges Dantie van der Merwe said, “In this serious environment we live in it’s getting harder and harder to be fun. It’s even harder to create awareness for a very serious issue in a fun way. It’s this perfect balance that made this work a clear stand out.”

The Great Barrier Reef is a world heritage listed natural wonder, but negative media coverage following bleaching events had hurt its reputation worldwide. Tourism and Events Queensland needed to change the conversation and stimulate global tourism interest in the reef. Publicis’ solution: create the world’s first rideshare submarine on the Great Barrier Reef, called scUber, by creating a global partnership between client Tourism & Events Queensland and Uber. From the window of the submarine, Publicis and TEQ showed the world the reef like never before, a unique and vibrant underwater world teeming with life.

The campaign results were spectacular, generating a massive 4,320 pieces of live global news coverage and over 4.5 billion opportunities to see the campaign. The publicity coverage was valued at over $130 million (ASR). View the Best of Show piece here


Video advertising delivery specialists Peach sponsored the BADC Awards which were held on Saturday night at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane. With nearly 600 people in attendance, the awards night, hosted by Daniel Connell, was the largest in recent years. A quality field of over 640 entries vied for recognition in over 90 categories.

ROMEO Digital followed with the next overall number of medals and finalists, awarded a total of five gold, three silver, three bronze and another three finalists. ROMEO was awarded for their outstanding digital work for client Queensland Museum for Anzac Legacy Gallery and Anzac AR Correspondent App and also for Queensland Surf Life Saving for Life-Fi. Taking home Gold for Innovative Use of Digital and UX Design – Life-Fi is a wireless network that only works between the flags on the beach where beachgoers can connect their phones and receive critical information on beach conditions in their own language.

The night also belonged to a number of smaller independent agencies with JSA Creative, Flip, GrowthOps, and Theola also taking home record medal hauls.

Client of the Year was awarded to not one, but two clients. Presenting the first award to Queensland Museum for their work with ROMEO Digital on the ANZAC Gallery and AR App, Dantie van der Merwe said: “The first winner actually made the judges quite jealous. This work was big, intelligent, world-class in its digital thinking and rounded off with a beautiful commitment to craft.”

Signet Packaging was also awarded gold and bronze for their work with small independent agency Brainheart for their work: Official Packaging Supplier of Air Guitar Australia. van der Merwe said: “The judging panel felt that it’s as important to reward the crazies, the fun and the entertaining. The power of humour is often underrated in today’s serious world. It’s refreshing to see fun creative work for a category that could be considered dull and boring. Every client should study this work and ask themselves the question, ‘Are we being brave enough?’”

Hall of Fame Induction

Inducted into the BADC Hall of Fame with a number of heartfelt nominations was Rob Kent, recently retired managing director of the mighty Mojo.

Former Mojo managing director Rob Kent inducted into BADC Hall of Fame

Jo Millington, client service director of VMLY&R said of Rob: “The suit of all suits, the iconic Rob Kent. Rob steered Mojo for over 25 years and his impact continues to flow throughout our creative industry today. He hired, (sometimes fired), mentored, shaped and influenced the industry’s best and brightest. People left, they often returned. He created and sustained one of the most revered agency cultures in Brisbane advertising and he made magic for his clients.”

BADC president Stuart Myerscough said: “What a fantastic night with the industry celebrating some truly fantastic creative work. Both the volume and quality of world class work on display is a real testament to the health of Brisbane’s thriving creative community. It’s also fantastic to see not one, but two clients of the year getting acknowledged and I truly hope this inspires more clients to be bold and place greater trust in their agencies, working with them in partnership. Fortune favours the bold, but without client bravery, some of the most innovative ideas can end up in the bottom drawer.”

All the finalist and medal work can be viewed online at badc.com.au

future of travel

Global Futurist Chris Riddell Wants You to Think About the Future like a Technology Company

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.


44032850_m

Flight Centre’s Corporate Travel Division Named One of AFR’s Most Innovative Companies

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.”

 

social media marketing

The State of Social Media Marketing

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.

30671322 - singapore skyline, view from the garden by the bay

Cruise from Singapore to Brisbane with Royal Caribbean International

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.

MPX Mining Projects Accelerator

MPX Appoints Fred Hess to Fast Track Mining Projects

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.

sentral education

Global Payments Acquires Sentral Education, a Leading Provider of Cloud-Based School Administration Software Solutions in Australia

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.”

email marketing

Back To The Future: Email Marketing

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.