Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The more than small change session in Melbourne

This time last week we were packing down the signs and breathing a sigh of relief that our second Think Fresh 09 speaker event went off without any major hick ups.

We had three more interesting speakers this time round.

We kicked off with Kate Kendall the online editor for
She spoke about Social Media - fad or here to stay?
She shared this video as an opener, which we have had great number of requests for a copy of.

She went on to share some great social media tools and examples of the good (Dell who has earned $3M in revenue from Twitter), the bad & the ugly of brands in the social media space.

One of her key tips was that integration with other media is the key to social media’s success. She also added that brands need to decide for themselves if & how they can use it, do their research (copy & improve), and should look to consumers not the experts to guide them through the social space.

Those interested in chatting more about social media with those in the know, checkout, on Fridays, 8am @ Mr Tulk, where you can catch Kate Kendal and sometimes us from Melbourne strategy team.

Next up was Toby Dewar, McDonald's National Media & Sponsorship Manager.

He talked us through the transformation of the Macca's business with a very successful ending.
They sent themselves some pretty impressive goal in 2002 for the Australian business;
  1. Fix the food
  2. Get relevant
  3. Become Australia's favourite brand

While number 3 is still a work in process, but there have been improvements in leaps & bounds that have made not only a difference to the bottom line, but has seen them confident in the inheritance they will leave for the future managers of the business.

We finished up with Kate Gunby, OMD Insights Director. Kate presented the findings from our latest research - Future Shapers. The research is a deep dive into the issues organisations are wrestling with to future proof themselves against the constantly changing business environments.

The GFC (no surprise there) was a one the Big Issues business leaders are facing, but accountability, media fragmentation & increased number of communications stakeholders were the longer term concerns.

Another key outtake was in the area of marketing budgets, with most expecting to invest the same YOY, and more looking to increase than decrease.

In terms of channels, more funds are going to be allocated to explore the areas of Online, Mobile and DM at the expensive of Sponsorships and Print.

While this event spells the end of the Think Fresh Festival for 2009, Think Fresh is all about stimulating the conversation, so it is only the beginning....the future really is coming...lets embrace change and be part of's over to you.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Competing for the Future

I just stumbled across a post by Vijay Govindarajan, who is an academic who blogs on business strategy & innovation.

I thought it was interesting to share in light of a our Think Fresh theme.

He includes a framework for strategic thinking, with focus on competiting for the future instead of competiting for the present.

Worth a look.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Getting Fresh with OMD Clients

  • Last Friday, as part of the Think Fresh, we invited 3 of our clients to talk to OMD about the future of their business and the challenges they’re facing.
    The session was a great and feedback from OMD staff has called for more of it!
  • We kicked off the panel with Leigh Miles, Category Manager of Spreads at Fonterra. Leigh gave us a very entertaining look at the Dairy Category.

Leigh talked to the importance of staying in touch with bigger consumer trends with the example of how butter was the bad guy of spreads in the 90’s but a shift in health trends where consumers want to know what’s in their food has seen a return to butter as the natural alternative to margarine.

  • Leigh also discussed the growth of private label brands in our supermarkets as a major challenge for the Fonterra business. He believes that there are two advantages that brands have over private label that need to be leveraged to stop consumers going to the dark side:
    1. The ability to invest in marketing a brand
    2. Putting resource into innovation

Next up, Nikki Clarkson, National Marketing Director at Austereo told us about their future challenges and what they’re doing to future proof the business.

  • Austereo is facing challenges not too dissimilar from ours when it comes to how we use technology for communications and remain relevant. With the old adage, Content is King, Nikki’s challenge for the future is how Austereo maintains the distribution of content effectively across any channel in which radio can be heard or viewed.

  • To future proof the business Nikki talked about nurturing current talent and always being on the hunt for the next big thing. They have dedicated talent hunters hanging out in comedy clubs, scouring talent shows, attending comedy festivals and listening to tonnes of demo tapes to stay in touch with who could be the next Hamish and Andy.

Finally, Cratis from Open Universities Australia gave us a brilliant overview of how their business has grown in recent years and talked his big challenges:

  • Finding more of the right distribution partners such as MyCareer and Seek are key to growing their business
  • Cracking the creative challenge around getting the tone right for a busy adult audience and improving the overall customer experience is crucial to their ongoing success

We hope to make the client panel an ongoing program at OMD so look out for more of it in the near future.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Forecasters session in Melbourne

Sheesh - there was so much great stuff to soak up it has taken me a few days to digest and report it back on this hot little date last week.

About 85 of our nearest and dearest joined us for this session, thank god we had enough savoury muffins to go around.

We kicked off with the delectable Risto Sampola, technology blogger at 3aw and Owner of Deeptank, personal technology training. 3 of his top tips:

1. Location based GPS communications are on their way and it won't be long till we are receiving real time communications offering up to the minute offers and communications from brands

2. RFID codes are being integrated into smart phones and will rule out bar codes in the future. Will mean customised comms on mobiles are on their way... by purchase etc!

3. Video is being integrated into static comms like print and outdoor check out

Next up was Charlie Nelson, futurist and quant confucious:

1. Crucial to understand the past demographic and social trends to recognise patterns on the horizon - Curiosity is king!
2. The wisdom of the masses - better learning from the collective perspective of the masses than listening to a handful of experts. check out James Surowiecki

3. Three potential scenarios for the economy - Goldilocks (not too hot not too cold) / Second Wave (a not so deep but longer laster downtown) / Victims of Success (we get spanked by a stronger recovery and super high inflation rates)

Finally our beloved Leigh Terry, Managing Partner at OMD and digitial whizz kid. He presented the Magnicifent 7 - considerations for 2010

1. Using all assets to invite customers (and non customers) to interact with you

2. using all of your touchpoints to engage ‘beyond the box e.g.

3. Make our comms come a-LIVE e.g. Orange their Glastonbury bull campaign
4. Get participation rather than simply ‘story-telling’? Quests and challenges e.g. British Army

5. Everyone needs to be using search marketing

6. Social Media is more than blogs and tweets - think inside out first... customer experience!
7. Improve the brand experience check out dominos BFD
So... we gorged ourselves on fresh thinking... still digesting it all. Tomorrow we'll be feasting again!