Determined to be different, when your bank can’t even market well


I’ve long ago resigned to fact my bank is actually a marketing company that does excellent IT while making gazillions of dollars of cash every quarter.

But with this latest campaign CommBank can’t even do marketing well.




I enjoyed reading Doc Searls on the Facebook IPO and the upcoming challenges that the valuation will have on people who made such a huge bet.

He has some great references which challenge the idea that targeted advertising will be some great silver bullet to help pull your “brand” above the noise. And some interesting points about going back to building relationships with your customers:

The amazing thing here is that business keeps trying to improve advertising — and always by making it more personal…

By its nature advertising — especially “brand” advertising — is not personal…

making advertising personal changes it into something else that is often less welcome..

start believing in free customers…and to form relationships that are worthy of the word.

Our Survey says #1

Following the release of Australian Bureau of Statistics Unemployment Data last week Roy Morgan Research did a Poll where electors (sic) were asked:

The monthly Australian Bureau of Statistics unemployment estimate is 4.9%* while the monthly Roy Morgan estimate is 9.3%. Which do you think is closest to Australia’s true level of unemployment – 4.9%* or 9.3%?”

The Results in

This special telephone Morgan Poll…with an Australia-wide cross section of 651 aged 14 and over

were stunning. Apparently

“Only 30% of Australians believe the ABS unemployment figure”

That would be “30% of Australian’s with a margin of error of…”? According to their own data, something in the region of 4% btw.

(As Stilgherrian says in his Podcast lionising Dennis Shanahan, if you don’t mention the margin of error in your poll, then you are a…well listen to the Podcast.)

Is a sample of 527 people – 124 of the people they talked to can’t vote – large enough to get a reasonable result without too great a margin of error? Is it satisfactory to accept the results of a poll and Roy Morgan’s supposed miniscule margin of errors when such a small sample is intended to represent more than 15 million Australians? That’s one person interviewed for every 23,000 Working Age Australians.

That they are surveying people about the results of another of their own surveys exaggerates the suspicion this survey was done simply to benefit Roy Morgan and the chooks they need to feed. Even the Onion would find it hard to parody that.

Perhaps it’s time for surveys to be instead reserved for something far more valuable?

Especially if you win a twenty one inch remote control television!

I too get a bit jittery when speaking in front of larger groups of people. It’s easier with a nip or two down the hatch first, but that’s mostly not suitable. This article from Bill Bennett gives some interesting insights into how you might start to conquer those fears. Maybe I should do that podcast I’ve been considering for some time…

Is ‘Anything but Facebook’ the Open Web?

I’d just been invited to an event via Facebook, When open web evangelist, Molly Holzschlag tweeted:

Despite having used Facebook to publicise events previously I firmly believe people and organisations shouldn’t solely use it to advertise their events “just because everyone is on there”.

So I immediately responded to Molly:

Disappointingly, Molly confirmed my entry was too short. She did kindly favourite and retweet it. And, because Twitter and WordPress aren’t Facebook, I’m able to share this post and said tweets without first forcing you to login.

Tonight I noted Molly had followed up with the following gem:

It was a tweet which prompted some interesting responses. Many pointed out that “access” can mean many things. And it led to an interesting discussion on the topic.

I’m using her update to bulwark my response to the initial tweet. If I need to have an “account” or “login” to see content on the web, it’s not open. It’s clear some content requires restricted access for privacy and other reasons – but Public Events or status updates you otherwise share to 4 gazillion “friends”? No. They are restricted because Facebook needs to pay for Instagram and get a bajillion dollars in an IPO.

It’s possible that one day Facebook will no longer be the default location on the internet for a substantial percentage of the population. It’s even possible they’ll no longer try to corral everything within their “platform”. But until that day comes, I’ll continue to limit my use of Facebook to an ‘as needed” basis.

And when I invite you to an event, I’ll probably tweet, sms or email you a link to a file on my dropbox.

A Pat on the back for Chris Uhlmann

We all love a good pat on the back when we’ve done good work. Conversely, we also expect some form of criticism if we’ve made mistakes when we are responsible or accountable for something.

Management has to strike a balance between, on the one hand, encouraging and supporting their staff while, on the other, calling them out for their mistakes as they help to correct them. In both cases it’s also important to not be seen to be treating staff like children.

Bruce Belsham’s defence of Chris Uhlmann against Paul Keating’s criticism reminds me of a parent who celebrates their child’s most ordinary work. While I’ve no opinion on whether Keating is justified in his criticism, Belsham’s retort – especially with his allegations of bias – feels like it has come straight from the pages of Christos Tsolkias’ The Slap. Rosie, the aggrieved mother of the abused child would be proud of his no matter what defence. One only hopes though he doesn’t follow her lead and take it, Chris Mitchell style, all the way to the lawyers.

Tonight, Chris Uhlmann might just be embarrassed about all the attention. It might even be reminding him of the time the ABC forgot to pay the power bill for his Sydney apartment. While this time there appears to be no twitter evidence of any red wine drinking as there was the time he was left sitting in the dark, I still can’t get out of my head an image of him curled up on the floor surrounded by empty bottles of red crying “Why, Bruce, Why?”

I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s glad his partner is back this month. Probably not to help him continue to learn on the job, as Keating speculated, but perhaps to share the walk from the front door to the studio. Fingers point, whispers carry. It’s easier to ignore them if you’ve got someone else to talk to after all.