Real estate agent fires art director for not dressing inappropriately…


, , ,

You cannot make this stuff up, so I’ll tell it to you straight.

One industry in which I’ve done lots of marketing education in the last 20+ years is the real estate industry. And as you marketers will know, real estate agents sit at the bottom of the consumer “Trust Barometer” either just above or below, advertising and marketing types, depending upon the measurement report.

Two things my proprietary research has revealed over the years:

  1. Consumers believe most real estate agents try too hard to pretend they’re something they’re not – professional – by overdressing to impress.
  2. The bigger the photo of the agent in the real estate ad, the less that consumers trust the agent.

Last week I was reminded of this by a mate of mine, who is a very talented art director. He was recently contracted by an average suburban real estate agent in Sydney, to design their ads, brochures and some digital assets.

He was to work in their back room and not have any dealings with the public. Here’s what he wore on his first day at work:


This is a typical day’s clobber for most in the advertising and digital world. Quality casual clothes. There are no shiny suits, no completely useless neck ties, no Russian clown shoes that stick out 4 inches in front of your toes curling upwards on the end (minus the pom-pom) – in other words he did not dress like a spiv who leaves you counting your fingers after shaking hands with you.

Within an hour of starting work, the female who contracted him – no fashion princess herself – rang the recruiter and asked him to tell my mate he was inappropriately dressed for the job. She demanded he wear a suit and tie to be a back room art director designing her marketing collateral. Seriously, she did. She wanted him to dress completely inappropriately for the job he was tasked to do, because she had bad fashion sense.

The recruiter rang my mate, fearing he was working in board shorts, singlet and thongs. My mate promptly sent the recruiter a photo of himself in his fully acceptable work clobber. The recruiter’s response; “I’m speechless”.

Suffice to say my mate didn’t go back the next day.

Then a few days later my mate gets an email from GQ with a recommended look for this season. Here’s the image – it speaks for itself:


I have friends and relatives who are very successful real estate agents. They dress comfortably, they don’t overdress. They never pretend to be anything but who they are – a real estate agent. They know that if they overdress they lose their customer’s trust, because they look like they are trying too hard and therefore by implication, have something to hide. This translates into dishonesty, just as the consumer trust barometer reveals.

So maybe if the fashion fools of real estate started dressing appropriately for the job and focused on customer service, rather than their Jimmy Choos, they might move up the consumer trust scale.

Gotta go to work now. Where are my designer stubbies?


Connect with me:

The Daily Mail’s ironic typo about retail store Typo…


, , , , ,

If you ever needed more evidence of the disease being spread by the content marketers, just read a typical content marketer’s content or “curated” online publication.

The mistake these cyber-hustlers perpetuate is summed up by this phrase “I type, therefore I am….a copywriter”. The “experts” peddling content marketing claim “everybody writes”. Well sorry to state the obvious, but it’s simply not true.

Everybody types, but not everybody writes.

Here’s a headline running today, in the curated online “news” site The Daily Mail.

Parents ‘disgusted’ after finding swear words on books candles and beach towels in popular stationary shop on display in front of children



I’m no grammar dude, but any primary school child knows the word stationary means “standing still, not moving”. Just like the brain of the article’s author.

Anything referring to writing materials, books, pens etc is known as “stationery“. The easy way to remember it is “e for envelope”.

Here’s a clanger by BigW – sent to me by a colleague who wants anonymity. And the company wonders why it’s standing still in terms of growth?


And here’s another typo I noticed in the Qantas magazine last week.


The subhead says “Epson have it in the bag“.

The last time I looked Epson was singular, while have is plural – in layman’s terms.

The subhead should read: “Epson has it in the bag”.

Mistakes like this are everywhere. An application I read for a marketing role requiring writing skills, included the following: “Unfortunately, motor accidents do happen, with thousands hospitalised in Queensland due to road traffic crashes each year.”

The subject of this sentence is “motor accidents”. How do thousands of motor accidents end up in hospital each year?

Maybe Confucius should be taught in schools? Here’s what he had to say about communication:

If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.

This gives me an idea. Given the B.S. being peddled by the content marketers, maybe content marketing should be rebranded. Just call it “helpless confusion” as that’s how it makes most intelligent marketers feel…

Emotion Trumps Reason – always has, always will…


, , , , ,

As the world digests the US election results, the TV screens are full of experts asking questions about how it was possible Trump got elected. Using the rational side of their brains, people are trying to explain why it shouldn’t be.

Well any marketer worth their salt will tell you, one of the most fundamental principles of marketing is this – people buy emotionally and justify their purchases rationally.

If people bought rationally, Jimmy Choo probably wouldn’t exist as a brand. No rational human wants to walk around in 6-10 inch high stilettos! If we bought rationally, the most dominant recent US contribution to the planet – the Kardashians – wouldn’t have any followers.

But we always buy emotionally. Take middle age men for example. They buy a red sports car, then justify their action by claiming a great trade-in deal, free cup holders, acceleration from 0-100 in 3 seconds and lots of other vehicular facts. The real reason they buy the car, is that when they take off at the lights they feel like God and believe it will help their chances with the feminine sex. Fools.


Politics aside – Trump is first and foremost a promoter. He knows that to win the hearts and minds of the people, you must tap into them emotionally.

“Make America Great Again” is a powerfully emotional proposition. Particularly when Trump shouts it as “Let’s Make America Great Again”.


Compare it to Hillary Clinton’s – “Stronger Together”. This is nowhere near as emotionally appealing – despite all the focus groups used to develop it. The rational discussions in those research panels can easily justify anything – though rarely do they correctly understand human nature.


So if you want to succeed with your marketing, your proposition has to be an emotional one. Which is why the Content Con Artists are leading marketers into failure.

They claim you have to stop publishing salesy copy – you just have to publish lots of vanilla content and non-sales copy, or tell your boring story in an “awesome” way and the world will flock to your door. “You no longer need to sell” is their false mantra.

Let me explain something very simple – selling is emotional. People love being sold to – and the experience is called “excellent customer service”. So ignore the Content Con Artists and go forth and sell something if you want your business to succeed.

Like many of you I am a tad nervous about the future after today’s result, but I was also nervous about the quality of both candidates.


Now I’ll just wait for the sales pitch from the President elect once he’s in office and won’t waste time trying to justify why he won.

All that rational thought is too emotionally draining…



Connect with me:

How low can marketers go…


, , , , ,

As those who work in the marketing industry know, it is in dire need of good publicity. What’s the adage about a cobbler’s shoes always in need of repair?

We’re ranked at the bottom of the list of the most trusted professions, if we make the list at all. And the recent outing of long-suspected shonky media buying agencies, has only served to confirm what the general public perceive. I’ll have more on the media buying dishonesty soon.


One of the reasons I’ve not posted here for a couple of months, is that I’ve been tutoring on advertising to 150 university students – in the first and final years of their degrees. To put it in perspective, I’ve read and marked 350+ assignments and presentations submitted by enthusiastic young people wanting a career in our industry.

It gave me some time to reflect and I’m a tad concerned for their future, as I’m not sure how valuable their degrees will be if they want an honest career. Here’s why:

In 1994 I ran my first e-marketing seminar, including some guest speakers from different organisations. Little did I realise at the time, how indicative it was of the industry that was to evolve to the ‘digital marketing’ one we know today.

There was a presentation from a new joint venture called NineMSN. It was between Microsoft and the owners of a television network. A lady whom I knew from the marketing industry was suddenly their e-marketing expert, despite having no expertise. Mind you, nobody had any expertise. The presentation was slick and full of graphics, charts and outlandish predictions about the information superhighway – remember those buzzwords?

Because the industry was still in gestation, the audience of marketers was extremely sceptical towards her claims – much like today’s worried marketers and business owners are about social media and content marketing.


Trust me I work in digital marketing…








The most powerful presentation came from an email supplier who used a whiteboard to draw a diagram of how the internet worked and how computers connected to each other. He explained what it meant and the potential for what it meant. The audience lapped it up.

And the rest as they say, is history. A whole industry was spawned. The “how to be an instant digital marketing expert” industry. Anyone can be one – just use some digi-buzzwords, imply secret knowledge, claim all things that always worked no longer do and you’re away. Even better if you publish a book denouncing all things common sense and praising unproven new marketing secrets.

Or better still, just announce “I am a digital marketing expert” and you automatically are. No qualifications necessary. For a typical example of this faux expert, you need look no further than the latest digital flavour of the month – the alleged Content Marketing experts. They give charlatans integrity.







If it is so easy to get away with deceit to succeed, why should anyone bother with a marketing, advertising, public relations or communications degree? If all you need to do to fake expertise is Google “world’s best <insert subject> advertisement” and copy it for your brand or client, why study at all? If you can manufacture phony credentials by paying a slave in Asia or the subcontinent, to ghost write a book for you, so you can claim to be a “thought leader” why get a degree?

The digital era has sunk the marketing industry to a new low. I’ve never known marketers to be as cynical about agencies, suppliers and alleged expertise as they have in the first fifteen years of this century.






But I live in hope, as I suspect the digital tide is turning. There is a growing chorus of intelligent voices calling out the cyber hustlers for what they are. Marketers are realising you need to use lots of media channels and continually test lots of media channels to succeed. Those who dumped proven channels for solely digital ones, are doing U-turns and going back to their roots.

They’ve realised the various digital media are not all they’re claimed to be – results are revealing the truth. If only Australia Post had maintained its investment in direct mail, as this channel is killing it for serious marketers. And of course television is still the dominant media by massive figures.

So maybe knowing about marketing strategy, branding, the time-proven principles of creating outstanding advertising, media planning and all that tertiary-trained knowledge, gained at university, will be worth investing in for a marketing career?

It better be. I’m having a ball hanging out on campus and learning from tomorrow’s ad legends – they are enthusiastic about their future careers and I’d love them to have a worthwhile industry in which to work.






But they have to study first. Where’s that homework file…



Let’s connect:

The four essentials to developing brilliant creative ideas – and there are only four…


, , , , , , ,

I’ve lived in Melbourne twice in my life and visit most years. One thing I quickly learned was there are only four colours worn by the locals (apart from their AFL team’s). It doesn’t matter what time of year, it’s always the same four – they are:

  • Black
  • Black
  • Black
  • Black


I was reminded of this when teaching the Principles of Advertising at university recently. I used an example for the students I developed years ago when training young advertising executives on the job.

There are only four essential things you need to develop brilliant creative. Without these four you will fail dismally. Yet you’d be surprised how many digi-kids don’t use them. They just use hope as a strategy for producing ideas.

So here they are dear reader – the four essentials to brilliant creative work:

  • The brief
  • The brief
  • The brief
  • The brief


Without a clear brief you are groping in the dark. You cannot work on the theory of “you’ll know it when you see it” when it comes to recognising a good idea – and usually without any connection to long term strategy or brand direction.

The obvious benefit of a written brief is that it eliminates the danger of interpretation which occurs with a verbal or no brief.


Here’s another example I developed years ago for teaching briefing. I’m told it’s been used by others who also teach. Clear your mind for a few seconds. Now, what do you visualise when you read the word “rabbit?

You obviously have an image of a rabbit in your mind’s eye? Is it white, brown, grey or chocolate? Hopping or sitting still? Nibbling on food? Being cuddled or sitting in the cross hairs of a gun sight? Maybe you’re a Monty Python fan and visualise a killer rabbit? Whatever you’re imagining, it will be very different from other people’s interpretation.


A brief gives you direction. It’s your creative road map designed to save you wasting time going down dry gullies. Both David Ogilvy and his creative protege Norman Berry have been attributed to stating the creative ode: “Give me the freedom of a tight brief.”  This has nothing to do with budgie smugglers BTW.


Give me the freedom of a tight brief…

The tighter the brief the more relevant creative options you can create. Whereas a woolly brief (or no brief) sends you in too many irrelevant directions and wastes time, money and resources. That’s why a written brief, accompanied by visual stimuli remove confusion caused by interpretation.

My old boss David Ogilvy stated “search the world and steal the best.” But he meant it for inspiration, not plagiarism. Yet so many digital marketers use search engines as their creative resource. They enter “best <insert category> advertising” into Google and then copy what they can. This is not a bad idea as the starting point for inspiration, but if you don’t have a brief, how will it fit your brand? And there are limits to how often an idea or execution can be copied.

Every agency has their own version of a briefing document – if you need one, contact me and I’ll send you an example.

Then again, you could just search Google for “world’s best creative brief”…

creative brief

Hint to Telstra – Australia wants your service to work properly, Australia is not interested in your rebranding….


, , , , , ,

On Friday I received an email from a computer at Telstra. It was an announcement that mainly caused me to shake my head in dismay.

The subject line reads: See our new brand before Australia does

True dear reader. Apparently rebranding is the priority of the company that specialises in regular service outages, digitally disrupting businesses from functioning, preventing kids from doing homework and generally stopping people connecting in the connected world.

Someone needs to explain to Telstra what digital disruption really means.

The disruptions have happened so often that Telstra’s compensation offer of a free data day, now falls on deaf ears. Australia (to use Telstra’s collective noun for all people and businesses in this country) is fed up – we just want our internet and phones to work. After all that’s what we pay for. Well we pay more than that – if we want Telstra to mail monthly invoices to us, because we cannot rely on their internet to deliver it by email, we have to pay north of $3 an invoice. If this was a third world country there’d be riots in the streets.

film not video

The email content states:

There is nothing more important to us than our customers, so before we share the next chapter of our brand story with the world on Sunday night, we wanted to share it with you.

On what planet do these people live? What Telstra customers have bookmarked the Telstra brand story, anxiously awaiting the next chapter for their reading pleasure? Change hands please, we customers are begging you.

The message continues with a link to a video and a subtitle “Click to watch the film“. As they say, the devil is in the details and I suspect if you click you’ll watch a video not a film.

This ignorance of small data is what Telstra is famous for, apart from digital disruptions. Here’s an email Telstra sent to me two days before Friday’s rebranding message.

The subject line reads: Malcolm, here’s a hot deal on a Samsung Galaxy S7 and Tab A 8.0

Samsung offer

Samsung 2

There’s even a free footy pass for the two codes I don’t follow – just another small data glitch…

Samsung 3

Note to Telstra: I am currently about six months into a two-year iPhone plan with you. Why would I even consider switching to a Samsung now?

The computers at Telstra must know what phone and plan I’m on – aren’t I one of those customers referred to in the rebranding message – who are supposedly more important than anything else?

This is the simplest and smallest of data – a customer’s record. How does Telstra continue to get things so wrong? Why is mediocrity such a respectable KPI at Telstra?

But hey, why get the small customer data correct when you’re doing a rebrand?

In case you are waiting with baited breath dear reader, the rebrand is all about the magic of technology. And I must say it does reflect Telstra’s technology – it magically disappears when you want to use it.

You can watch the magic of technology here, or maybe you can put the garbage out, you’re call.

As a shareholder I’m so pleased Telstra is focusing on rebranding, rather than providing a service that works when I need it to. That’s sure to keep the analysts and the customers happy.

Gotta go – need to put the garbage out.

17th century practices drive dynamic digital disruption dollars…


, , , , , ,

Once again this week, I saw another media article about the amazing digital disruptor, the Dollar Shaver Club. By all accounts it is a very successful company. And so it should be. It has taken a 17th century publishing model and used 21st century technology to digitally disrupt an industry. Amazing stuff.

After all, who would have thought people would order a product remotely, rather than walk into a store, and get the company to deliver the product to them by mail? This type of innovative thinking is digital dynamite.

To think that a company can completely disrupt human behaviour by applying one of the most continually successful analogue business models to a digitally-based business, well it’s just business gold.

Let’s analyse this shall we…

ANALYZE THIS, Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, 1999. © Warner Bros.

The business model is called the subscription model and it uses a negative option offer.

A negative option purchase is one whereby the customer agrees to have goods or services provided automatically, and the customer must either pay for the service or specifically decline it in advance of invoicing.

And this may come as a surprise to some of you dear readers, but Dollar Shaver Club was not the first to offer a negative option. Strange but true.


Research indicates the subscription model first started in the publishing industry in the 17th century in the UK. Over time it expanded to the US in the 19th century when chapbooks (cheaply printed paper covered books) were sold door-to-door.

Regular readers will know that door-to-door selling is now one of the primary channels for digital distruptors like Uber, Hello Fresh, et al.

door to door

As markets grew and new technology disrupted society – automobiles, telephone, courier services, faster postal services – the subscription industry boomed. By the mid 20th century you could order books, magazines, vinyl records, plates, stamps, collectibles, vitamins, cosmetics and food – all delivered to your home, using a negative option payment method.

By the end of the 20th century in addition to the items above, I’d worked with clients selling wine, nappies, car washes, food, CDs, DVDs, education, tools, newsletters, coffee and more on a negative option subscription model.

In fact, any regularly consumed item is perfect for a subscription model – as long as the cost of delivery is not prohibitive. Many business software programmes are now sold on a subscription service – including this blog platform for example.

So let’s quickly look at Dollar Shaver Club.


In Australia they provide razors for either $4, $7 or $10 per month. They mainly promote their business using the digital medium of television. You select the offer you want from the website and then keep an eye on your letterbox. Your razors arrive by post and that’s one less item you need to worry about when you go shopping. Marvelous stuff.

These digital disruptors are bloody geniuses. Who’d have thought hey?

But congratulations to the lads who built the business. They understand that technology changes – human nature doesn’t. Humans all love a bargain and as the laziest species on the planet, we love things made easier for us. Tap into those two emotional triggers and you can make money.

Seems the adage is becoming standard practice – the more things change, the more they stay the same…

So in summary, here’s the lesson: if you want to go forward in digital disruption, just look backwards…

I’m off to a meeting, better have a shower – where’s my razor?

Why most shared content has no impact on your brand…


, , , , ,

Any marketer, advertising agent, researcher or social scientist worth their salt, knows for any marketing content to resonate with, let alone influence, the typical punter, it must be consumed numerous times in a short space of time. Seeing something just once, rarely makes a serious impression (though it is rated as such in media terms – an impression that is).

Unless the message is designed as a direct response message, giving prospects all the information they need to ‘act now’, most marketing messages hardly penetrate our grey matter if only seen once.

Just look at the way we learn at school – through repetition. A message has to be repeatedly consumed for it to eventually make it through our distracted craniums and finally embed itself into our conscience. This is called learning. It’s a rare human indeed, who can read or view something only once and then remember the content.


Information retention comes through repetition not from glancing at content

So what does this mean in the world of digital chewing gum for the brain? This is the world where the people mostly share content in social channels, which requires less than a metaphorical chew to consume. The receivers of said content quickly scan it, dismiss it, then start to chew on the next piece of content, ad infinitum.

digital chewing gum

The majority of content shared by consumers is mostly images, video, memes, jokes, fundraising appeals and personal stories. People rarely share words or phrases, particularly lots of words like those populating ebooks, whitepapers, brochures and the like. Of course people communicate back and forth using words, but it’s not sharing in the content marketing sense.

The act of sharing has less to do with the content being shared and more to do with narcissism. “Look at me, I’m sharing this before anyone else” or “look at me I’m sharing something – how many likes did it get?” or “look at me, I liked something”.

The average adult attention span is now roughly 8 seconds (just less than a goldfish) and ASS Times keep getting shorter and shorter – less than 1 second for many image-based channels like Instagram. So the ability for any snack-size marketing content to resonate at all in the memory of consumers, is nigh impossible. Did you like that piece of digi-jargon – “snack-size”?

attention span

And what about all that thought leadership content floating in cyberspace? At best, much of it remains in the ‘download folder’ of computers, because we’re too busy to print it or consume it in any depth. It’s why good quality email messages to opt-in subscriber lists, along with blogs, are still the best performing content online.

Ironically the content marketing failure is being driven by the content itself and FOMO. I’ve talked about the infobesity problem before. The average punter is waterboarded with content from friends, strangers, government, institutions and brands every second of the day. Add to this deluge, the modern dilemma of FOMO forcing consumers to have minimal engagement with content, and you can see why brands gain almost zero benefit.

Consumers know there’s loads more content coming down the digital pipe and they don’t want to miss it. So they quickly and disengagingly ‘like’ something, or ignore it, before moving to the next set of pixels.

content hipster

Hipster training to consume marketing content…

Just as we chew gum without thinking and then spit it out, it’s the same with content. We consume it without thinking and with almost zero emotional engagement. We swipe, pause, swipe – in a constant process to churn through the non-stop current of content. And the pause is usually shorter than the time it takes to spell ‘pause’. And even if consumers do take a few seconds to read or view your content once, will it really make a lasting impression?

Hmmm that reminds me, I’d better check my emails. Oh look there’s a dog…


P.S. Please feel free to share this content with as many as you like:)

Youi’s awesome marketing automation is still failing awesomely – even for ex-customers…


, , , , , , , ,

Regular readers of my musings may recall the appallingly mediocre service I received at the hands of Youi. I eventually rang them to ensure they had cancelled my policy, because they were still charging my credit card.

The lady who served me was wonderful and agreed I had received shocking service. She fully understood why I was leaving and was going to raise the issues with her supervisor. The supervisor was probably an awesome supervisor, most likely wearing lycra and a cape. After all, Youi constantly tell us how awesome they think they are.

awesome service

An awesome Youi supervisor?

At the end of the call, the customer service lady said I would receive an automated survey. I mentioned I was aware of the survey (see previous post). I explained it was designed by fools and didn’t allow me to rate individuals like her really well, as it wanted an overall rating for Youi.

She agreed the survey was badly designed and wished me luck. And you guessed it folks – the survey never arrived.

I haven’t been a Youi customer for a couple of months now. So I ask you dear reader, what do you think arrived in my inbox yesterday? Yes, that’s right, another Youi email asking me to “share my winter warmers” – as if I was still a customer. There’s even a hashtag #winterwarmers to create digi-credibility.

Here’s the first screen:

Youi 2

Malcolm, do you have a winter warmer to share?

What is going on at Youi? Why is the marketing automation so appallingly bad? They have my complaint on record, in numerous blogs, social media posts, emails, phone calls and text messages. I’ve cancelled my policy. I am an ex-customer. As John Cleese stated in the famous Monty Python dead parrot sketch; “this is an ex-parrot, he’s ceased to be”.


And I’ve ceased to be a Youi customer – yet their marketing automation technology is still sending me customer communications – I bet their digital marketers call it content marketing? Why do they accept such marketing mediocrity?

Here’s the second screen:

Youi survey 2

Even if I was a Youi customer, how am I supposed to remember the name of the person who served me, so I can mention them in my winter warmer? Certainly their CRM system wouldn’t be able to identify anyone linked to my account – that would require a simple computer system that works. And it’s pretty obvious Youi’s doesn’t – work that is.

How is it possible that I cancel my policy, have a customer service person state they are raising the reason for my cancellation with their awesome supervisor, and Youi still gets it sooo wrong?

Youi’s ridiculous tag line is “we get you”. Well they (and their marketing automation) obviously get you riled, frustrated, upset and p***d-off at the time-wasting they cause and the lack of service. Not to mention the lack of faith they create in modern data-driven automated marketing.

Worse still, even if I was a customer, they want me to go to their Facebook page and help grow Zuckerberg’s bank account, as well as influence my social feed to Youi-oriented posts for the next month. What planet is the Youi marketing team living on?

So dear reader, should I give them a red hot winter warmer and share my awesome customer experience journey? (I had to get some marketing jargon into the post) If you have a minute, please let me know your thoughts thanks.


Here’s a winter warmer for you…

And if I am no longer a customer, does it mean Youi is in breach of the Privacy or Spam Act, by using my email address without my awesome permission?

Hmmm, maybe I should send an awesome complaint to the Privacy Commission – then Youi would really get me…


Uber and other startups starting to smell a lot like 1999 – again…


, , , , , , , , ,

I was working in New York just prior to the first dot.con collapse. I still recall the chancers and opportunists standing on street corners with suitcases full of business cards. They were literally handing them out to any random passer-by, as the primary way to get traffic to their websites. An early form of geo-targeting by the first generation of digital marketers.

business card

The activity reeked of desperation, but hey, they were heady times. Rich veins of gold were just waiting to be tapped by the dot.con zealots.

I’ve been reminded of those times again recently. It seems the street hustlers who harass you to support a charity, are now competing for sidewalk space with the latest cyber-hustlers selling online retail and App-based services.

Hello Fresh promoters are everywhere. I mentioned them in my last post – they are major users of print distributed by mail, letterbox, inserts and face-to-face (or hand-to-hand as some now call it).


Interestingly, in a few short months Hello Fresh has moved from $30 off your first order to $50 off your first order. That’s not a good trend and indicates a very competitive market with too many suppliers. Watch this space for brand consolidation in the near future. Like 1999, the predictions are that some of these home delivered food brands won’t last.

hello fresh 2

Hello Fresh

And sometimes fate steps in. Just as I was finishing editing this post there was a knock at my door and a charming lady selling Hello Fresh appeared. She even agreed to a photo for my blog. I didn’t become a customer as we are well-stocked for food. But what an innovative channel – knocking on doors to sell things. Did anyone see that digital disruption coming? Well it certainly disrupted dinner.

Hello Fresh door knocker

Helpling also uses printed inserts, brochures in letterboxes and hand-to-hand via street walkers to grow its business. Like all online retailers, they use that amazing digi-breakthrough of giving away a discount with your first purchase. This is a disruptive technique used by marketers for, hmmm, since the beginning of time!

hello 2


And this week, outside a CBD train station in Sydney, an Uber street walker shoved this in my hand.

Uber 2

Uber 1

Now who in their right-digi-mind would have thought it possible?

The disruptive taxi booking service for the App generation, is resorting to handing out printed leaflets in the streets, with discount offers, to acquire new customers?

What’s really really really really old, is new again – again:)


And just to clarify other digital myths doing the rounds:

  • Uber is not the world’s biggest taxi service. It’s one of the world’s biggest taxi booking services.
  • Airbnb is not the world’s biggest hotel – it’s one of the biggest accommodation booking services.

But why let the truth get in the way of a good digi-story about the disruption industry? It seems to me, the old quote applies more and more these days – “the more things change, the more they stay the same…”

Though it is ironic that by using fashionable marketing jargon like “disruptive” and disruption” I sound sooo 2016, yet these alleged disruptive brands smell like, umm well, so 1999…