TWEETRESPONDER – a cheap, customisable twitter auto responder

To make sure I don’t lose this site. Here is a great twitter auto responder that allows you to customise 10 messages for $3/mth.

Great for any companies that have a lot of different brands or requirements for getting back in touch with followers.

Would be perfect for pharma brands where compliance can approve 10 messages at once so the brands seem responsive.

American Apparel have been doing it for years. It really does help engage the follower and enhance the experience.

Why Country Road’s loyalty program is so successful?

I love Country Road’s loyalty program. They combine a good use of emails, DM and catalogues to keep their base engaged and remind them to go back into store and spend money.

In 2010, Country Road sent 37 email marketing messages across a range of different topics and themes. All of them were promoting in-store and online retailing (no surprises there).

Below is a summary of some of the communications that they sent out in 2010, across emails, DM and the subscriber section on their website.


  • DM reminders help reinforce email messages
  • Catalogues with offers promote purchase of the advertised goods (I always go in store as soon as I receive them)
  • Email messages need a constant theme or design to help keep costs down.

To find out more, please get in contact with us at WiTH Collective.


PRESENTATION: Digital isn’t everything, it’s part of the pie

I recently did a presentation to a group of commercial printers who service the advertising and design industry. They were interested in understanding how they could tailor their services to compete in a digital world and what they could do to increase their services.

The theme of my presentation was around ‘Digital isn’t everything, it’s part of the pie’. The presentation covered the following:


  • History of the Internet – from 1968 to today
  • Australian digital trends and statistics – eCommerce spend, female & male online habits, age groups, media consumption habits


  • Customer journey – from awareness to retention
  • Overcoming customer blindness – personal data capture
  • Email communications – Bluefly January 2011 total emails (57 in the month)
  • CRM programs – Qantas, Country Road and Apple


    The top five actions for commercial printers are:

    1. Understand the digital space
    2. Understand the data capabilities of brands & campaigns
    3. Tailor your product offering to have increased creativity through the use of data
    4. Redevelop your production process that allows short rapid print runs – online tonight, mail tomorrow
    5. Evangelise to Creative Agencies (Studio Managers, Creative Directors, Production Managers) & Clients.

    To understand how we can tailor a solution for you, please visit WiTH Collective.

    PRESO: Future of digital engagement

    Early in November I presented at a company conference on the Future of Digital Engagement, particularly focusing on what is happening in Australia.

    The presentation covers four key areas:

    1. History of the Internet (quick timeline)
    2. Australian online habits
    3. 3 Game Changers – Google, Steve Jobs and Apple, and Social Networks
    4. Key take outs (summary).

    The preso is available for view below and download at my slideshare page. I only uploaded it last night on slideshare and it’s already made it to the home page. YAY!

    Enjoy and welcome feedback!

    SUMMARY: The Training Camp – Jon Gordon (audio book)

    I enjoy listening to audio books while I work. Mainly because it blocks out the background noise, but also because it keeps me learning while I’m working.

    The types of audio books I listen to are personal/professional development. The key reason is because it reminds you to be positive and grateful of every situation. No matter how crap your day is, you can always find something to be positive about. Also, I’m not a big fan of fiction – I need to get something out of what I’m listening to.

    The latest book I’ve just listen to is Jon Gordon’s new one ‘The Training Camp‘. It’s an easy listen because it is a parable. I like parables – easy to digest, apply and remember the learnings (especially when they aren’t the core focus of what you are doing).

    After listening to ‘The Training Camp‘ book, here are my key take outs. They are a selection of key phrases or reminders to keep you focused on ‘not being crap at life*’ or not having a ‘crap day at life’. When you are feeling unmotivated or negative, it’s a great list to come back to and read a few of them.


    *QUOTE: BEN PHILLIPS, Chief Strategy Office, His Life & His Board


    THE TRAINING CAMP by Jon Gordon (September 2010)

    Start your day off right! Instead of the world creating you, you create the world.

    Find something you love and are passionate about.

    Don’t be a 50%, invest 100% and every ounce of your energy in knowing what you want and become great at it.

    The best want it more.

    Measure desire in turns of actions. Everyone has a desire to be great. Everyone has a desire to accomplish something meaningful and have an impact.

    The best of the best are willing to do what it takes to be great. The best don’t just think about their desire for greatness – they act on it. They have a high capacity for work, they do things that others won’t do and they spend more time doing it.

    It is selfish not to be your best. To deny being your best was to deny the gift you were meant to give others.

    The best are never satisfied with where they are.

    The best have a willingness to be uncomfortable and embrace it as part of your growth process.

    Too many people don’t become great because they are not willing to learn and get better. They don’t like being uncomfortable.


    Become a life long learner!

    See everyone as a teacher. Don’t ever think you have arrived.

    Fear success, not failure! Don’t stop striving to be better.

    Stay humble and hungry. Humble that you know you don’t have all the answers and you see everyone as a teacher. Hungry with a passion to improve and set new goals and milestones.

    Future success is the result of how you work, prepare and practice. How you strive to improve everyday.

    Force yourself to be uncomfortable.

    Everyone needs a coach to strive to get better. Coaches need to treat each player differently based on the player.

    It’s the little things that separate the best from the rest.

    It’s striving to get better everyday. The best realise that it’s not about the big things. Success is all about the little things.

    Being the best is the doing the little things 5% better than the rest. They are a little better at a lot of things.

    The best do ordinary things better than everyone else.

    Focusing on the little things.

    Recipe for success is about practice and execution. They plan their day, they follow up, they committed to the process of the fundamentals.

    The focus is to improve each day. Improve each day, each week, each month is a huge improvement over time.


    1. What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire?
    2. Say no and yes. Yes to priorities and no to some opportunities that can distract you.
    3. Tune out distractions. Don’t listen to what others say about you. Zoom focus on what you need to do today. Focus on continuous improvement.

    Mental toughness is something you can develop.


    • What have you ignored?
    • What do you need to zoom focus on?


    Each day you need to weed out the negativity and feed it positive thoughts. Think of your mind as a garden and if you don’t weed out the negative thoughts the weeds will take over your mind, and if you plant positive thoughts the negative thoughts will have no where to grow.

    You must practice thinking positive thoughts. You choose the positive.

    Don’t let your fear of failure define you – focus on the performance (or now) and seize the moment. Make the most of the moment.

    20 ways to get mentally tough

    1. When you face a set back think of it as a defining moment that will lead to a future accomplishment.
    2. When you encounter advertisty remember the best don’t just face it, they embrace it. Knowing it is not a dead end, it’s a detour to something greater and better.
    3. When you face negative people know that the key to life is to stay positive in the face of negativity not in the absence of it.
    4. When you face naysayers remeber the people who spoke postive words and believed in you.
    5. When you face critics, remember to tune them out and focus only on being the best you can be.
    6. When you wake up in the morning, take a walk of gratitude and success.
    7. When you fear, trust. Let your faith be greater than your doubt.
    8. When you fail, find the lesson in it and recall a time when you have succeeded.
    9. When you head into battle, visualise success.
    10. When you are thinking about the past or worrying about the future, instead focus your energy on the present moment. The now is where you power is the greatest.
    11. When you want to complain, instead identify a solution.
    12. When your own self doubt crowds your mind, weed it and replace it positive thoughts and positive self talk.
    13. When you feel distracted, focus on your breathing, observe your surroundings and clear your mind and get into the zone. The zone  can be created.
    14. When you feel all is impossible, know that all things are possible.
    15. When you feel alone, think of all the people who love you and have helped you along the way.
    16. When you feel lost, pray for guidance.
    17. When you are tired and drained remember to never, never, never, never give up. Finish strong in everything you do.
    18. When you feel like you can do it, know that you can do all things through him who give you strength.
    19. When you feel like your situation is beyond your control, pray and surrender. Focus on what you can control and let go of what you can’t.
    20. When you are in a high pressure situation, remember to smile, have fun and enjoy it. Seize the moment.

    LIFE LONG LEARNER – greatness is a life’s mission

    11 traits to be the best you can be

    1. The best know what they truly want
    2. The best want it more
    3. The best are always striving to get better
    4. The best do ordinary things better than everyone else
    5. The best zoom focus
    6. The best are mentally stronger
    7. The best overcome their fear
    8. The best seize the moment
    9. The best tap into a power greater than themselves
    10. The best leave a legacy
    11. The best make everyone around them better.

    Digital Training – new slide share presentations

    In May 2010, Leo Burnett APAC organised a digital bootcamp in Singapore to help get a selection of agency staff up to speed with all things digital marketing. It was an intensive three days of lectures and group discussions. The core topics covered included:

    • Search
    • Mobile
    • eCRM
    • Project Management
    • Social Marketing
    • Technical
    • Website Design
    • Creative Inspiration

    Below are two of the presentations I prepared on search and CRM:

    CRM: An Introduction

    Search Engine Strategies: Introduction

    For other digital marketing presentations, please refer to my slideshare account.

    CHALLENGE: How do you make a promotion successful without attracting prize pigs?

    We are currently running a promotion to encourage people to sign up to the Baileys Lounge (yes, yummy Baileys Irish Cream). The competition is win 1 of 5 LG LCD TVs if you sign up to the Baileys Lounge. The Baileys Lounge provides great recipes for how to use Baileys, in drinks and as deserts, as well as special offers from third-parties. One of the KPIs is obviously additional sign-ups to the Baileys Lounge – I can’t tell you the exact numbers but they are ambitious.

    Baileys Lounge Registration form

    Baileys Lounge Registration form


    How do we get the word out about the promotion without spamming the competition and prize pig sites? Another element is that we need this to go ‘viral’ and be dependent on word-of-mouth rather than media. Ideally, we would prefer for the prize pigs not to enter the competition because their opt-out rates will be high as the program goes on.  WE WANT BAILEYS LOVERS! People who love Baileys and what to know how and when to drink it – as well as getting some exclusive offers.


    I would love to know what you think, so please post some comments if you have anything.

    START COMMENTING NOW! Put your viral thinking caps on……..YAY!

    Look forward to hearing all of your thoughts and ideas.

    A new way to create your own – ‘NikeID’ Japanese site’

    The Japanese really do have an interesting take on what works online. Most of the creative sites they develop combine a number of things that ensure the are engaging. The new NikeID (customise your Nike’s) is another example of that.

    It combines animation, interaction and customisation. It’s a pretty shallow site, but still a great one to spend some time on. Below is the journey through the site and customisation.

    NikeID Japan homepage

    NikeID Japan homepage

    NikeID into the city - home page

    NikeID into the city - home page

    NikeID - animation sequenceNikeID - animation sequence
    NikeID - animation sequence
    NikeID - animation sequence
    NikeID - animation sequence

    NikeID - animation sequence

    NikeID realcity - customise page

    NikeID realcity - customise page

    NikeID realcity customise

    NikeID realcity customise

    NikeID realcity customisation complete

    NikeID realcity customisation complete

    NikeID realcity - navigation

    NikeID realcity - navigation

    The sites focus is branding, but it’s the perfect opportunity to be selling.


    While the site is a good branding site, there are a few things that it could do to enhance it:

    • Buy – there is no quick way to buy the shoes that you have customised. After the customisation has finished, you link through to another site and then customise the shoe again. It seems like a waste doing it twice.
    • Save – there is an option to post this on your blog (I’ve tried to do that below), but there is no way to save this as a file that can be reused. You can download it for use as a screensaver or wallpaper, but not an image.
    • Gallery – it would be great to see what all of the other colour combinations that people are selecting.

    Day 1. Hungry for more info

    Day 1 in a new job is always hard. You don’t know the process, the people or the way things are done. It is different to what you are use to and at times you definitely feel unsure of what to do next. I can happily say that day 1 for me was wonderful.

    The top five reasons for it being wonderful were:

    1. Familiar – I had met a few of the people and the digi team prior to my arrival.
    2. Team – The digi team are all so nice and easy going that I’m sure I will slot straight into the team.
    3. Lunch – Andy and Jay took me to lunch at the Italian place (I’m very big on first day lunches).
    4. Meetings – I had was invited to meetings, which meant I got to meet more people and exposed to more of the clients.
    5. View – I can see the whole Sydney Harbour Bridge if I turn my head 45 degrees. 


    When you start a new job, make sure you are prepared before you get there.

    • Meet as many people in the team as you can before hand 
    • Make sure you have a lot of meetings organised
    • Invite yourself to lunch.

    Traffic driver with results – commenting on posts

    I have been trialling a few things to help drive traffic to my blog over the weekends. There is normally a dramatic drop to around 20 – 30 views for one day of the weekend, see graph below. This weekend, I tried something new and commented on a number of blogs talking about Dell, retail email marketing and digital training. Even though a lot of the posts were from late September – early October – not always the latest posts on the blogs – it drove an increase in the amount of traffic to my blog

    Blog traffic to Dominique Hind's Collective - 13 October

    Blog traffic to Dominique Hind


    As at 9.30am on Tuesday, 14 October the traffic to my blog yesterday was 214, which is a dramatic difference from previous weeks where the average was around 85 per day. This is the third highest trafficked day. This shows that commenting on other peoples posts really does help to drive traffic to your site. I am just disappointed that my two week holiday interrupts the momentum I have gained on the blog (well not really disappointed – I’m so excited about my holiday).

    Blog traffic to this blog - 14 October 2008

    Blog traffic to this blog - 14 October 2008


    1. Do a search using Google Blog search for terms that you have blogged about (ie for me, my most popular topics are Dell, retailers emails and digital training for agencies)
    2. Open what you think are relevant blogs and read through posts
    3. Make comments on the posts and direct people back through to your blog posts and the blog URL
    4. Record all blogs that you have made comments on and put them on your blogroll


    In addition to commenting on blogs, last weekend I joined a lot of new social marketing platforms. These sites have captured some of my comments on blogs and are driving a few people a day through to my blog. Below are the top referring sites to my blog.

    Referring traffic to Dominique Hind's Collective - 13 October

    Referring traffic to Dominique Hind

    Referring traffic to Dominique Hind's Collective - 13 October

    Referring traffic to Dominique Hind


    1. Subscribe to all new social networks (StumbleUpon, Facebook, Twitter, MeeID, LinkedIn, Backlink, Tumblr, Popego)
    2. Include your blog URL in all profiles you set up
    3. Add all of your new posts to your pages and direct traffic through to your posts


    Like everything digital, this needs to be nurtured. Any time you upload a new post, you need to promote it. Therefore you need to make sure that you do the above actions either immediately or in the following week.


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    Australian Politicians, where are you online?

    Most of the US election campaigning has been played out online. Hilary and Obama both used their communities and networks extremely well online. They gathered their supporters and they kept them updated on policy amends, gatherings and opinions. Rather than their online focus being inconsistent and dipping in and out, they were extremely focused on making sure everyone was updated constantly.

    During the 2007 Australian election campaign, Kevin Rudd experimented with more online tactics than John Howard. It was a good trial, but nothing as conclusive as what the American’s are doing now. It showed that Rudd was a little more in touch with the younger voter and could leverage his supporters WOM (word of mouth) power, however, he still didn’t get it 100%.

    There were a few missed opportunities by the Labour and Liberal parties:

    1. Constant presence online – Rather than having a static website or one that is updated with minor superficial updates, there needs to be something else to capture voters minds…….and votes. The ideal would be for a political blog (or microblog), detailing the daily/weekly events, thoughts and responses to tricky questions that have come up during the day or themes that are coming out online/through press or articles.
    2. Consistency within the party – Not one party had everyone aligned with what to do and communicate online. The ideal would have been to get the whole party using the same online platforms (video, blogging, websites, social networking, etc) and ensuring consistency with their online presence and communication. For example, during the election the Liberal party should have developed an overarching or umbrella campaign that communicated the do’s and don’ts of any online communications. There should have been a single platform (digital hub) where all of the ‘celebrity’ or ministerial politicians should have updated their daily events and trials.
    3. Leverage social networks – there are so many Facebook pages and groups dedicated to political parties and politicians. The political parties need to use and leverage these. Getting involved with these will give the owner of the groups the satisfaction that they are being heard and people are getting involved.
    4. Monitor the noise – the political parties had the perfect environment to monitor what were the sticking points and what were the topics that were getting the most coverage online. The easiest way to do this is via monitoring blogs, forums and using one of the free PR monitoring applications (see future posts for more on these free apps). The hardest thing is analysing the themes and topics that are most important.

    There is a huge opportunity for an agency in Australia to work with the political parties to help them understand what they should be doing online and develop an ongoing umbrella strategy that they can all work towards.

    Here are some of the political reference sites from the US and one from the politically correct, UK.

    Written by Dominique Hind

    New starter checklist (process, process, warmth)

    There are so many things that need to be done before a new person comes on board that it’s worth putting together a checklist of everything you need to share. One of the most critical things to do before starting the checklist, is to stop and think about your first day and how it was:

    • What was good?
    • What was bad?
    • What was different?
    • What did you expect?
    • What would you change?

    On your first day, you expect people to make a fuss, understand a little more about you and start the new relationship on a high. In reality, most places are dying for you to get there (they have waited four weeks while you served out your notice period) and don’t think too long or hard about what it is like for a new person walking into the place.

    The new person is leaving behind processes, people and a company they may have spent a lot of time with and they feel like they are taking a risk joining a new company, with new processes, people and environment. It is a big deal, so you need to make them feel welcome. The more welcomed (and inducted) people are into a place the more likely they are to reciprocate to other new employees and share the love when they start.

    The one thing I remember about my first week at Mark (M&C Saatchi) was that no one took me out for lunch, I was shown where the food court was and then had to fend for myself. I did write about this on my blog and the next day, a lunch was organised and most people attended. It was great. I felt special and secure, which is exactly what any new person wants in their first week.

    Below is a simple checklist of everything that should be thought about when a new person starts:

    The boring stuff: INTERNAL APPROVAL

    To ensure the new persons’ first day isn’t their last, there are a few financial requirements that must be checked prior to them starting. These include:

    • What clients will they be working on?
    • Are they covered by retainer or out of scope work?
    • If retained, what percentage of time? If not, how will their time be recovered? (For advertising agencies, the minimum is about 65% billable.)
    • Have you allowed for salary on-costs in the amount? (For advertising agencies, this is around about 10%)
    • Will putting someone on full-time allow the freelance costs to be reduced? If so, by how much?

    The fun stuff: FIRST DAY

    Whenever a new person starts, most companies assume that someone within their team will show them everything – all the details, the people to avoid, places to eat, process, etc. However, most companies show new starters not as much as they need. Therefore, this checklist is a minimum of what is needed (no doubt there are a lot more things to include):

    • Admin – email signature, voicemail set up, stationery, security passes, kitchen, bathroom, shower, bike rack (very, very important)
    • Process – department processes, client processes
    • Finance – timesheets, pay details, tax file number
    • IT – computer passwords, email client, intranet
    • Client – key contacts, previous work, guidelines, expectations, relationship status, client contract summaries (retainer vs billed work), rate cards, previous billings
    • Expectations – role expectations, company expectations
    • People – introductions to heads of departments, daily contacts, finance, office admin, IT
    • Company – culture, corporate events (Friday afternoon drinks, lunch time sport), vision, philosophy
    • Location – closest dry cleaner, pharmacists, food court, running track (very important)

    This is by no means a complete list, so please feel free to send any other critical things that need to be included on the checklist.

    Written by Dominique Hind

    The digital exam – for all new starters

    With digital professionals being in such high demand, a lot of companies settle for anyone who will come to an interview and seems to know what they are talking about. At a previous company, we debated setting an exam for all prospective employees just to understand their level of experience and passion for marketing/digital.

    Whenever I interview anyone, the key thing I look for is a connection or the personality of that person. It is better to have someone that will be a great cultural fit than someone who won’t get involved with the company. Also, experience is important, but not critical. It is something that can be learned on the job.

    A key measure of their passion for digital is a must and there are ten key questions that can help you gauge their level of passion:

    1. Which blogs do you read regularly?
    2. Are you familiar with feed readers? What do you use?
    3. Have you ever created a blog or written a post?
    4. How often do you comment on blogs?
    5. Have you ever uploaded a video to YouTube?
    6. Have you ever uploaded digital photos to a site like Flickr?
    7. What social networks do you belong to? Do you use them for personal, professional or both?
    8. Do you use your mobile for anything other than making calls?
    9. Do you have accounts on any microblogging sites such as Twitter, Jaiku or Pownce?
    10. What is your favourite website or the website you spend the most time on?

    Very simple questions, but it will provide a quick view into whether someone is passionate about digital and whether you do want to employ them.

    Written by Dominique Hind

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