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!


Local cafe using Twitter for orders

Lena was having a coffee at her local in Maroubra last week and found out that they are taking orders via Twitter from all the businesses around the area. This is definitely one of the best uses of Twitter I’ve seen by a small business.

Apparently this cafe has been around for ages, but they are being very smart in the way they are pushing forward for their existing customers. You can see below the flyer created by the cafe (very simple) to alert people of the offering.

Cafe using Twitter - November 2010

Cafe using Twitter - November 2010

I love this and love how rustic and honest the execution is.

Congrats Billy’s Cafe. Keep up the good work.



  • AWARENESS: You don’t need to create anything too fancy to let existing customers know you are doing something new. A thick cardboard flyer located at the counter is enough.
  • SPEND: You don’t need to spend a great deal to get something new up and running – just an appetite for something new and a desire to innovate.
  • MONITORING: You do need to monitor this service, so hopefully the cafe has a smart device or a computer close by to ensure all orders are fulfilled.

    US Google search results – Buy from search

    The Google search results we see in Australia are totally different to those seen in the US. The US is definitely a lot more advance in how they are serving up content and the additional functionality in the paid search results.

    If you search for ‘tag heuer’, the following appears (as at 7 November 2010).

    Google search results US - shopping

    Google search results US - shopping (7 November 2010)

    The key areas that are different from AU search results are:

    • ‘Ads’: all paid search terms are referred to as ‘Ads’ rather than ‘Sponsored links’
    • Google Checkout: people can check out from the paid search terms
    • Discount: people can get a discount when they click through from the paid search term
    • Images: rather than just text, the paid search ads have images associated next to them – all images have a price next to them.

    Let’s compare that to the AU google search results page:

    Google search results (AU) - 7 November 2010

    Google search results (AU) - 7 November 2010

    The main difference is that there are no paid search terms at all for ‘Tag Heuer’. Not sure if that is because Tag have protected their term – very silly if they have and aren’t allowing any of the retailers to jump on board.


    Some other screens within Google that I think are fascinating in the US are the following:

    Credit cards Google search US - 7 November 2010

    Credit cards Google search US - 7 November 2010

    The thing I love about this screen is Google introducing their comparison area – which is basically their own affiliate network. This deserves a whole post to itself, but if you want to check it out, click here.



    • Global test: when you are overseas do a couple of Google searches to see how different the search results are compared to AU.
    • Local test: continually test what improvements to the search results page Google are introducing.

    I love how much more Google are adding to search. It is scary how much they are starting to control. They will take over from Microsoft one day as the evil empire! Starting to take bets on when that will be. I’m estimating late 2013.

    Book review – The Myths of Multi-tasking (Dave Crenshaw)

    I thought I was great at multi-tasking and getting a lot of work done by doing so until I listened to this book: The Myths of Multi-Tasking by David Crenshaw. It’s a very easy to listen to book that takes you through the journey of a client who also believes they are awesome at multi-tasking.

    The biggest eye opener for me was in doing the following task: on a piece of paper, do two things:

    1. Time yourself to write ‘Multi-tasking’ and ‘1 – 13’ then
    2. Time yourself to write one letter/number from ‘Multi-tasking’ and ‘1 – 13’ until you completed it.

    When I did this it took me nearly double the time to complete the second task to the first, which showed that if you start a task, finish it before moving on to the next one.

    The book also bought up the term ‘switch tasking‘ which is a very interesting term. Multi-tasking doesn’t really exist because you can’t do more than one thing at a time – whenever you engage with this you are actually switch tasking. Basically, switching between tasks and not doing either very well.  Below are some steps to help you stop switch tasking:


    1. Recognise that multitasking is a lie.

    2. Understand the difference between background tasking and switch tasking (background tasking is doing another task while waiting for the printer to finish printing or something that doesn’t involve a deep thought process).

    3. Become aware about the truth of how you have been using your time on a weekly basis (where does the time go, where do the interruptions come from).

    4. Create a new and realistic budget of how you will use your time on a weekly basis (this is a difficult thing to do, but means that if you plan your week up front you can get out of work on time without it dipping into your weekend).

    5. Schedule reoccurring appointments with your key people (these should be weekly meetings to run through things that are critical to the business – it helps to stop the interruptions).

    6. Set expectations and create personal shop hours to let people know when you will be available (free from this time until this time and communicate to all parties).

    7. Resist making active switches (finish the task you are on before you go onto something else).

    8. Minimise all passive switches (control your day, don’t let others control it – email, phone calls).

    9. Give people your full attention when you are with them (don’t answer your phone, be present).

    10. Schedule plenty of travel time between appointments (include this in your meeting times and leave so you aren’t stressed when you arrive).

    11. Never commit to something without your calendar in hand (I try to do this with my iPhone, but I think I’m going old school next year and getting a paper diary – sad, but true).


    • Active switches – you choose to make (you initiate the switch)
    • Passive switches – whose are the ones that come at you without your choice (others initiate the switch – questions, emails, phone calls).


    So from this book I have learnt that:

    • TRAVEL: I need to allow time for travel and actually leave when I say I will.
    • FINISH: Stay on one task until it’s finished (even writing this blog post was difficult bc I have my email client open and know that I have unread emails – argh – you need to close it and only respond when you have time to do so.
    • PHONE: Only answer the phone or return calls when I have time scheduled in.
    • MULTI-TASKING: You can’t multi-task, it is a lie and actually wastes more time than it saves.


    Moral of the post: take control of your work week, write down what you need to achieve for the week and focus on one task at a time until it is finished.

    Paris Marathon Learnings – what to do better next time!

    On 11th April 2010, Justin and I did the Paris marathon. It was my first marathon and I loved every minute (even if I was absolutely shattered at the 37km mark). The people and the 80 bands who lined the streets definitely made the run even more wonderful and because of these bands I managed to run 43km rather than 42.2km. I ran over to every band to clap and thank them for there support – weird I know.

    Yesterday I received confirmation that I’ve been accepted to run the Tokyo marathon in February 2011 and I can’t wait. The goal is to run somewhere between 3.30 and 3.45 so I had better get training. EICK!

    While going through my emails, I came across my 10 learnings from running the Paris marathon and wanted to share (BTW – this is more for me to remember over time).

    Dom’s top 10 marathon running tips:

    1. Taper: cut training right down from 7 days (if you are going stir crazy, do other forms of exercise like walking)
    2. Gels: have one at the start of the race and then at every 10km (need to take 5 in total)
    3. Water: walk through every water station while drinking – it gives your legs a chance to recover and changes pace so you are ready to run hard when you start
    4. Anti-inflammatory: take Voltaren before the run and then at the half way mark on the run – smother body with Deep Heat before running
    5. Run cool: don’t over dress – dress for 15 degrees warmer (when we started Paris, it was 3 degrees – I totally overdressed in leggins and a long sleeve shirt, Juz ran in a singlet and shorts – eick!)
    6. Food: don’t carbo load, small regular meals two days before – a big meal the night before will follow you on the run
    7. Pre-race food: small bowl of cereal and yogurt
    8. Prepare: get ready night before, charge watch and iPod (lay everything out)
    9. Magnesium: have a glass of Ultra Muscle Ease (magnesium) in the morning to help with the muscles and then as soon as you get home after the run
    10. Talk: make sure you talk to people on the run and enjoy it (I managed to talk to about 15 people throughout the run, mainly the old people who had run over 100 marathons – hard core. Best memory was running most of the way with an old Spanish guy who couldn’t speak English and then seeing him at the end of the race – Awesome how you bond with someone after 25km of running with them).

    Love to hear about your best running tips. Can’t wait to get the plan together for Toyko. YAY for runnning!

    Apple does Local Area Marketing (LAM) – OMG!

    In a world where there is constant debate around the relevance of email due to the introduction of social networks, Apple has started to target local consumers with local area updates (or more specifically local area marketing LAM).

    Apple has always been great at their email design, but there has never been any smarts to any of the emails they send, ie no proper data work before their email sends, they don’t recognise what products/software you own or have registered with them and they constantly repackage global emails and deliver them locally.

    However, over the past month, Apple have sent out two emails both focusing on the Australian or, more specifically, the Sydney market. They are actually using their database for local area marketing (LAM). The two emails were to announce the following:

    1. New Apple store opening in Castle Hill
    2. Filmmakers camp for kids during school holidays.

    As expected from Apple, both emails are beautifully designed and have very strong headlines and calls to action.

    My only question about these emails is: Is this a new start for Apple emails or is it a once only?


    Apple email - new store opening - Castle Hill - sent 16th August 2010

    Apple email - new store opening - Castle Hill - sent 16th August 2010

    Apple email headline - new store opening - Castle Hill - sent 16th August 2010

    Apple email headline - new store opening - Castle Hill - sent 16th August 2010


    Apple kids Filmmaker Camp email - 10 September 2010

    Apple kids Filmmaker Camp email - 10 September 2010

    Apple kids Filmmaker Camp email headline - 10 September 2010

    Apple kids Filmmaker Camp email headline - 10 September 2010


    • Apple are starting to look at their database. They have only sent out blanket communications for such a long time. There was no smart data work done prior to any email send.
    • Apple are starting to use their database properly.


    • Even though Apple are starting to use their database properly, they still don’t know that I don’t have kids. A simple data capture exercise or incentivised survey would have helped them know and understand this.
    • My expectations have been lifted and I am now expecting local emails from Apple. I’ll be disappointed if I don’t get them (but it won’t stop me loving Apple – sad).


    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.
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