World Cup Hypocrisy, Christmas Not Eco Enough, Digital Discriminates Old People - Marketing News 022

World Cup Hypocrisy, Christmas Not Eco Enough, Digital Discriminates Old People – Marketing News 022

by | Nov 30, 2022 | Marketing News

Martin Henley : Hello there. My name is Martin Henley. This is the Effective Marketing content extravaganza and if you’re new here, you won’t yet know that I’m on a mission to give you everything you need to be successful in your business. Providing, of course, what you need to be successful in your business is to know more about and be implementing more effective sales and marketing in your business, which is of course what you need if you’re going to be successful in your business. So what goes on here is I’m giving you everything I know about sales and marketing in The What The series. We bring in anyone we can find with experience that’s going to be useful for you if you are looking to be more successful in your business in the Talk Marketing series. I review the very best and the very worst of content across the internet, marketing content that is. And every other week we bring in Melanie Farmer, the Concierge of Co-creation at Crazy Might Work, and we speculate wildly about what the marketing news might mean for you in your business.

Martin Henley : So if that sounds interesting and useful, I hope it does, because that’s why we’re here; then you should take a second to like, share, subscribe and comment because that will give us the motivation to continue with this epic journey to support as many of you as we possibly can just to be successful in your business.

Martin Henley : Today is marketing news so we do have Melanie Farmer, the Concierge of Co-creation at Crazy Might Work. Good morning.

Melanie Farmer: Good morning. Hello.

Martin Henley : How are you, sister?

Melanie Farmer: Very well. Yeah. Nice. I’m enjoying Summer, it’s here in Australia.

Martin Henley : Fantastic. Lovely. Summer is very hot and there’s lots of flies in Australia. That’s my experience of summer in Australia.

Melanie Farmer: And inside. Time.

Martin Henley : Inside. Time. Yeah. Where are you? Are you in the Blue Mountains? Near the Blue Mountains? Yes.

Melanie Farmer: Yes. Which is just, Oh, we’ve got a waterhole near where I live, which is beautiful. And when I can sneak up there and have a swim at that time. It’s so lovely.

Martin Henley : So lovely. I don’t think I’ve ever told you. I went to the Blue Mountains with my camera once and I booked into this hostel and I headed off in my flip flops and I got so far in my flip flops.

Martin Henley : That I had to catch the train back. I was like three or four stops away from where I started and I was walking around taking photos in the Blue Mountains on my own, laughing to myself. It was like so stunning. Like I came around a corner and there was just this huge ravine, like jungle ravine, and there were all these white parakeets flying across. It was just so stunning and spectacular. That might be my happiest day ever taking photographs. I mean, I was laughing out loud to myself in my flip flops in the Blue Mountains. It was so much fun. So much fun. Yeah, I love it there.

Melanie Farmer: It hasn’t changed. Those cockatoos that you’re describing felt the self crested cockatoos, and they’re incredible when they get in a pack. But it’s also surprisingly cool under all those trees in the rainforest there. And it is a little bit Grand Canyon about the Blue Mountains because there’s this mountains and southern cliff drops in this huge incredible valley called the mega Long Valley. I mean, we really think it through when we name things.

Martin Henley : Oh, Australians, you really think it through when you name things, it’s mega and it’s long. Yeah. So the thing about these cockatoos are they, they were like there was a huge bunch of the flock probably.

Martin Henley : And they’re like shimmering in the sun as they fly across and I’m looking down on it. It was so beautiful, it was so beautiful. And I just went to have a quick recce. I mean, I got in at 2:00 in the afternoon and I’m like, okay, I’ll just go and see where it is. And then I was just off and I got back at like 9:30 at night, having caught a train back and having like calf strain because I’ve been basically hiking in my flip flops for like four and a half hours. So yeah, that was really cool. I really liked the Blue Mountains.

Melanie Farmer: Yes.

Martin Henley : Good. Okay, so we’re here to talk about the marketing news, but before we do that, we typically have a little post. So what’s happened for you in the last couple of weeks that you’d like to have a post about?

Melanie Farmer: I think probably it was about. But a couple of things. One, we’ve we’ve run our first face to face NSA leadership program in Australia, which is just been we’ve been waiting to do this for for a couple of years. And what a difference. It’s just been wonderful to see. It actually changed our view of the content and its importance to organisations. But just seeing the conversations that are happening when people are face to face, it just opens things up. And the second thing is finally formally enrolled in my biomimicry degree at Arizona State University. It took a year to get all the paperwork sorted because they are very particular about who they let in and they’ve let me in despite their best efforts not to, I think.

Martin Henley : Just teach anyone about biomimicry. That would be insane.

Melanie Farmer: No, no. It’s probably very it’s very, very careful. Well, yes. And they they they require a lot of paperwork. So that’s all done. And I’m officially enrolled, so I’m super excited about that.

Martin Henley : Fantastic. Excellent. What’s my boast? I went and did some work, which is really cool. I work with a group from a. Telecoms company in the Middle East. We had an amazing time. They gave me some video testimonials. We really did have an amazing time, like you say, the face to face thing and the virtual thing just streets apart like a million miles apart. And what’s the thing? The thing is they were it was like a it wasn’t in house, but they were a team from a business. So they all knew each other. They’d all been working with each other for like eight, nine years. And then I pop up to start telling them stuff. Always amazes me how this works, But it does. It really does. So that was really good fun and I’ve actually fixed the lights here now. So now I’ve got like my desk looks like a truck. It’s got like two massive lights here to light the rest of the room when I’m here. So hopefully I don’t look like a head on a puppet or whatever it was.

Melanie Farmer: Well, I was just thinking that’s an impressive lighting setup you’ve got going.

Martin Henley : It really is an impressive lighting setup. Yes. So I’m very happy about that. Okay, good. So, Break done, let’s talk about the marketing news.

Martin Henley : What’s caught your attention? It’s been a big couple of weeks, I would say, for marketing news. Some big things are going on.

Melanie Farmer: If we just blow past Black Friday for now, which is that one of the things that happened, of course, we three things that I noticed, the little things actually. Two things. Two things. One is what they’re doing in Norway with the Postal Service, kind of they’ve got an interesting campaign going around climate change and Christmas. Christmas is not exactly the most sustainable, eco friendly holiday, one might say. And so the response by the Norway post office, ironically, I know it’s an interesting organization to run this campaign. So and the second one is looking at the pressure that’s mounting around the Qatar World Cup and how the different communities are wanting to stand up to, I guess, human rights policies in that country. And so that is just kind of interesting to to see what does this mean for advertisers. It’s just it’s quite a challenge. And I’ve got I’ve got really mixed views about that. But I just thought it was interesting to see who and where these pressures are coming from and what people are doing, what brands are doing.

Martin Henley : Yes, Excellent. Okay, good. Well, I’m ready to have that conversation with you. I think we’re going to have a difference of opinion. I am so ready to have this conversation because actually it’s got my goat really has got my goat. And I’m glad you find it like where this pressure is coming from. Okay, cool. So I’m ready to talk about the World Cup. I think that’s the big story. We should have that conversation first. And then I’ve got a story about old people being excluded from the digital economy. And I don’t think it’s even the digital economy. It’s the digital society. We’re creating this society that depends so much on digital technology. And it’s kind of interesting because I know it’s not what I thought it was. It’s different from what I thought it was. And I think this is going to continue to be a problem, but we’ll talk about that when we get there. And then I wanted to talk about Black Friday a little bit. I know you’ve had some Black Friday success, so I wanted to talk about Black Friday success a little bit. But let’s start with your. Clearly, I think is going to be mistaken view of what’s going on around the world.

Martin Henley : So you provide us you provided us with a story. The story is here. What is your take on this, Melanie Farmer? From Adweek, LGBTQ+ ad organization calls on brands to condemn World Cup restrictions. Okay, good.

Melanie Farmer: Look, I mean, the bottom line with this story is Joe Lycett, who’s a British comedian, was putting pressure on David Beckham, who is the brand ambassador in Qatar for the World Cup. And reportedly there’s a $11 million deal for David Beckham to be the ambassador. Now, Joe Lycett has said he will shred $10,000 worth of cash if David Beckham doesn’t withdraw from that deal. And several days later, David Beckham shows up in Qatar, clearly not saying no to that deal. And Joe Lycett posted a video of himself shredding what seemed to be $10,000 worth of cash and then later said that he donated it to l g, b, t, i charities. So, long story short, what’s interesting in this article is I think, how the community anti LGBTQ community, the pressure that they’re putting on people like David Beckham to to reject and also for other brands to reject some interesting things for example in that story around Lucas Aid, who have chosen not to have their brand shown throughout the tournament, although they are sponsoring multiple brands, multiple teams, I should say, but they’re not allowing their brand to be shown out of protest for the policies in country. So, yeah, I mean, I have really I don’t know if we’re going to have a disagreement about this, but. I guess for me, I don’t know that I think that it’s anyone’s business what David Beckham does. In terms of when he’s really there for the football. You know, is he there to change a company’s politics? Is that going to make a difference? I mean. I don’t know. But I’m interested in what your thoughts are on that.

Martin Henley : Here’s the thing. Here is the thing. This is what’s known as the paradox of tolerance. Okay, Where? We are so tolerant. But we can’t tolerate these people’s intolerance. Do you know what I mean?

Melanie Farmer: I totally get what you mean. Yeah.

Martin Henley : Yeah. So the issue is that. It’s not our place. Well, 100%. It’s not our place. So I go there. I work with people from the Gulf States. I’ve worked with Arabs across North Africa, in the Gulf states. They are. Some of the most humble, respectful, engaged, open to learning fun people I’ve worked with in the world. You know, in the world, just amazing people like really, really amazing people. And when I first went there, I had an expectation because my expectation has been handed to me on a platter by the Western media and organizations. And when you go there, it’s absolutely nothing like that. Like the only thing that’s true is Riad really is a lot like Milton Keynes. Like there’s no center and there’s lots of roads mean, but that’s it. And it really is 50 degrees. But the people like the women in the groups that I’ve worked with, are the most engaged and outspoken and direct it. And so the truth of what goes on in the Middle East is so different from our expectation, I think. And what strikes me about this whole thing is the hypocrisy, the blatant, blatant hypocrisy. So I’ve been looking at some stats, so and I’ve read a brilliant thing this morning, like the sports minister for Qatar said, look, we’re welcoming everyone. You know, we are relaxing our laws, we are welcoming everyone. We’re not making an issue of this. And if these campaigns, like the One Love Armband campaign were part of an ongoing effort, then we wouldn’t have any issue with that at all.

Martin Henley : But if you’re coming here to make a point about the way we live, then we are going to have an issue with that. You know, so if Harry Kane, Gareth Bale, the German football team, were always concerned and always making comments about the state of. Laws around people’s gender, then that wouldn’t be so much of an issue. But I don’t think I don’t think Harry Kane or Gareth Bale or the German football team could give a rat’s ass about gay rights for a second for the rest of the year. And now they’re like puppets, like the total doubt. So to make a point about these things. The thing is, you would imagine that Qatar is the only country in the world where where homosexuality is is illegal. But actually a third of the world, like 69 countries out of 196 countries in the world still outlaw homosexuality. And I’m not anti LGBTQ. Live your life. I’m happy for you to live your life 100%. But it’s not like it’s not without its issues. So, for example, this week I’ve read that 68% of LBGTQ people have considered suicide. At some point, something like 50% of LBGTQ people have experienced discrimination when accessing health care in the UK. You know, so it’s not like being gay is the coolest thing on the planet, and it’s not without its issues. You know, I mean, and and people are in different places with it. It was illegal in the UK 50 years ago, 1967 is when they changed the law.

Martin Henley : You know, famously, Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for being a homosexual. You know, so it’s not it’s not the hypocrisy. Just it screams hypocrisy to me. And I’ve looked. So here’s what it is. It’s racism. You know, it is absolutely racism, because the only thing like this is one of three issues. The first issue is the the gay rights. The second issue is the migrant workers. And then the third issue is they can’t get a beer. Okay. So the issue with the migrant workers is we’re saying the West is saying 6500 migrant workers have died in the 12 years since they got the World Cup. But that isn’t 6500 migrant workers who have died building these stadiums or having anything to do with the thing that’s all migrant workers for all causes. So it’s people who’ve been run over. It’s people who’ve had heart attacks. It’s everyone who’s died. And there are something like 1.5 million migrant workers in Qatar, and the population is only something like 2 million. So statistically, I think the the mortality rate is typically around 1% when weird things aren’t happening in countries. So that is well within the statistical norms. The mortality rate in Nepal, where a lot of these people come from, is 6%. So, you know, these migrant workers, clearly it’s grossly unfortunate that people die at all, but 6500 of 1.5 million over two years isn’t even a statistical anomaly. You know, it’s like it’s actually six times better than it would be if they were in their home country.

Martin Henley : So that’s that issue. We seem to forget that there are slaves. There are people in the UK who are trafficked into the UK that 20 years ago, 2004, there was the you remember the thing with the Chinese migrant workers who died on the beach in Morecambe because they were being paid £5 per 25 kg for cockles that they collected. So it’s not like we’re without our issues, you know, it’s really not like we’re without our issues. But we march in to Qatar and we’re like, You have to think the way we think. And they seem to have got it completely backwards. Like this is our opportunity seems to be the defence to change them. No, this is our opportunity to go there and appreciate their culture and accept their hospitality and learn something. Do you know what I mean? And experience a fantastic sporting event. Sorry, I’m on one now. The last thing is the beer. So they’re not allowed to drink in the stadiums? You’re not allowed to drink in the stadiums in the UK. So now they’re saying, oh, you can you can drink in hospitality, but not in the stadiums. And that’s exactly the way it is for the Premier League. 40, 40 weeks out of the 52 weeks of the year. Now, you can’t drink in a stadium because there’s been stadium disasters. The point of this is, is drinking the coolest thing in the planet because actually 9000 people a year die in the UK from alcoholism.

Martin Henley : So maybe it’s not so cool that we’re allowed to poison ourselves with alcohol. So the short sightedness and the hypocrisy really has got my goat, because you know what? I’ve met lots of people from this region. I’ve worked with lots of people from this region, and they are beautiful, amazing, open people. And this is essentially just racism, just to say. It must be corrupt if it’s there because the human rights in this country is so bad. The human rights in this country isn’t so bad. 100 people a year die in the construction industry in the UK. So the Qataris claim that 47 people have died building these stadiums over 12 years. Again, that’s not a statistical anomaly. Like we haven’t built seven or eight or nine or ten amazing football stadiums in the UK in the last 12 years and we’re still losing 100 people. So here’s what I’ve got. Here’s what I’ve got is so here’s the Qatar. They’re putting pressure on the brands. The brands don’t care. They are just continuing to advertise, maybe because they know that it’s a nonsense. And then it goes to stuff like this. Did you see this where the German team were covering their mouths because they’re not allowed to speak out about gay rights? This is the German football team. Now, with all due respect, what a German footballers know about gay rights. Here’s the thing. If it was in the UK, in the Premier League, there is not one footballer who has come out as gay in the entire history of the Premier League.

Martin Henley : So it’s not like it’s not like being gay is the coolest thing in the UK even. Do you know what I mean? So here’s the German football team covering their mouths. They forgotten, of course, what happened with Ozil in 2018 because basically he’s a German international footballer of Turkish descent, a muslim, and he spoke out against the treatment of the year guys in China. And he was basically ran out of the German football team with 98 caps and a World Cup win and ran out of Arsenal Football Club in the UK. And he now plays football in in Turkey. And then this is the end of it. We’ve got idiots turning up at stadiums dressed as crusaders. And they think it’s a joke. Do you know if they think it’s a joke that we turned up nine? We’ve been going to the Middle East to murder Muslims for 900 years and they think it’s a joke to turn up in Crusader and they’re all offended when it’s like, Well, I couldn’t get in with my fancy dress costume with like my my, my plastic shield and my massive sword. I couldn’t get in like, they’d got no sense of humor. These people, like, we have been going to the Middle East and murder Muslims for 900 years. And so this is exactly what you said. We just turn up and tell them how it is. It blows my mind. It absolutely blows my mind. And then the appetizer.

Melanie Farmer: Yeah. So this is where I don’t see we have in any way the opportunity for a disagreement, because I agree wholeheartedly with everything you’re saying. I do. I worked in Dubai for five years and the thing that I loved about that was that the people I was working with came from Bahrain, Saudi, Qatar, all over the region. All over. And the women from Bahrain were far smarter than me, incredibly intelligent, sharp women who were running AI Analytics back in 2010 or something, Right. Well ahead of the rest of the world. They’re running bank divisions and so forth. And they’re wearing their full sort of head coverage and whatnot, certainly religious and all that. But in no way did I feel like these people were suppressed housewives things. And they said to me openly that they had choice. Now, I know that it’s not true everywhere. And certainly the Saudi story was slightly different. But the Saudi guys that I worked with, one of them at the end of a week long course was crying. I mean, really emotional. And he said he wanted me to come to his country and be a guest, but he knew he wouldn’t be allowed to show me around because, of course, I’m a female with him in public and so forth at that that time. And he just said it. You just want to he wouldn’t be allowed to do that. It wouldn’t be right. But he was so distressed by that.

Melanie Farmer: And, you know, it was just you know, just some really interesting discussions were had. And for me, it’s about actually having a dialogue. And a dialogue is not one way. It’s not monologue and monologues never changed anybody. And by the way, because I am a biomimicry, there is nowhere in nature where a monoculture succeeds. It is actually a really dangerous and risky problem. And so everywhere in nature, you where you see poly cultures thriving, there’s a reason for that. There’s a reason why biodiversity is teach. Teaching us what we need to know, which is that diversity is there for a reason. So I’m not saying that for those who are, you know, badly impacted by things in Qatar that they should just never speak up. But it’s actually the speaking up and the journey that you go on. That is why you have butterflies and why the caterpillar struggled. You know, there’s a there’s the struggle. And that journey, it’s it’s theirs, not ours. That’s my opinion. I think the British have their own struggles. Australia has its own struggles. But in the end, I do feel that we’re all heading in in the right direction is human nature to, to evolve. And but I don’t feel like it’s, you know, it’s really our place to and I agree with you like I think. Joe Lycett, is this the end of your journey with human rights in Qatar? Yes. I can’t see that you’re going to be taking this cause on for the rest of your life once the World Cup’s over.

Melanie Farmer: That will be the end of your your media interest. So you’ll go to wherever else something’s happening. I don’t believe that it’s going to all of a difference. And if you have you been there? Have you worked with these people? Do you understand what you’re saying? And I was really interested to hear that what you were sharing around the, you know, the journey of the building of stadiums and the deaths and so forth. And I will say it’s even I’ll add to that that if you work in construction in a 20 year period, I am assured by the industry we work with some of the people like Laing O’Rourke and so forth who build Heathrow Airport and so forth. The statistic is that you are 100% likely to have a reportable workplace accident potentially resulting in your death, but definitely a reportable workplace accident, 100% guaranteed. If you work in that sector for 20 years or more, which they themselves don’t find acceptable. And of course they’re working towards fixing that. But I think if that’s true, then in that period probably there was a lot of those immigrants in construction. But if you had immigrants doing. Counting. That’s a different matter. And they all had lots of deaths. But you know what I mean. There’s probably there they should have had more deaths considering they were in construction, is what I’m saying.

Martin Henley : Yes. Well, the thing is, they don’t call them immigrants there. They don’t call them migrant workers. They call them expats. So it’s not like the way we think about it. Like basically if you’re white and you emigrate, you’re an expat, and if you’re brown or black or whatever, then you’re an immigrant, you know? I mean, so they don’t have that distinction there. They are all expats. Like if you and I go there to work, we’re expats. If people go, they’re from Nepal, they’re expats, so they don’t have this racism going on that we have. Like they’re not calling them migrant workers, they’re calling them expats, and they appreciate they have these people come into their families as nannies and helpers. And, you know, and I’ve spoken to people about this there, and, you know, they have real affection. So they like the last time I was there, people had travelled to Indonesia to see to visit with the family of their nanny who who’d brought them up when they were kids, you know, And it was so it’s insane the like. So you said like who’s driving this? So we’ve got ourselves into the weird situation where these countries have a really bad reputation. In the UK, it’s not a weird situation. So now they have to buy football clubs to do what that that same media. Now, of course, sports watching. But you talk to people from the region about it, they don’t think about it like that at all.

Martin Henley : They just really quite like making good investments and they really quite like Premier League football, you know? I mean, that’s why they’re doing it, because they couldn’t give a shit what the UK press think of them. You know, they’re not reliant on the UK for anything, you know, they’ve got their own wealth, they’ve got their own industry, the transformation that’s going on in the economy in Saudi Arabia and the culture under under the new Crown prince is insane. You know, the investment that’s going on, the commitment that he’s made to the people is insane. There’s nothing like that going on in the UK. Like we’ve got a new king. What’s he done? Nothing. You got moody with someone because his pen wasn’t working, you know, that’s what he’s done. This guy, 37 years old, has just come in and transformed the entire economy, you know? So it’s not only about oil anymore. Now it’s about technology. Now it’s about education. Now it’s about all of these things, you know, So it just frazzled my mind. So it feels to me like this is entirely like clearly the LGBTQ community are going to drive this and activists in it are going to drive it because it’s at the front of everyone’s minds at the moment. But mainly it’s just been a creation entirely of the Western press that they just continue to sustain because they don’t like Arab people. You know, it’s just plain and simple racism.

Melanie Farmer: I don’t think brands are. Really paying that much attention or even lip service to this to these issues, from what I can see. The only one that’s really stood up is Lucas Aid. And really the only way they’ve stood up is said, well, you know, we’ll take our. But isn’t it Coca Cola or Schweppes or someone who owns Lucas Aid? Like it’s only Lucas Aid, which is probably a subbrand and they’re probably doing AB testing to see what happens. You know what I mean? Like, honestly, I don’t think. And all they’re doing is saying, well, we won’t show our Lucas, but we’re still sponsoring like this, still, you know. So it’s a very weird but I mean, apart from that, that’s the only one that appears to have actually done anything. There are others not even been silent on it. So I, I don’t think that it’s been taken that seriously in this particular case. And I do think that if you actually wanted change, you would you would take the opportunity for dialogue. And dialogue is two way. And I don’t see that happening at all. I mean, David Beckham is probably doing a lot more for that community by by actually taking that contract than not. Fact To be fair, you know, because he’s he’s he’s then engaged in deep conversation at higher levels for a long period of time. It’s a very different type of thing than saying, I’m not going to have anything to do with you because of this one thing. And then until you change, I mean, you know, I don’t see that that’s going to be the way to do that.

Martin Henley : But he doesn’t need to have conversations with with Qataris or people from Abu Dhabi about gay rights like this region has become.

Melanie Farmer: So they can worry that they can do that themselves. Like, I think it’s kind of arrogant to suggest that these poor, defenceless LGBTQ people in Qatar are unable to sort of take take it to the man and fight their own battle like they so helpless in unions. And what like it does defeat the purpose of the struggle. As I say, like this, you look at what’s happening in Saudi and now women can drive. There’s a lot of reasons why that has happened. But it’s a journey that, you know, it’s it’s a collective journey. Yes. But I wouldn’t want to take away from the achievement of that movement of the of the people of the country to to arrive at that.

Martin Henley : No. Yeah. And they they are evolving like all companies. All countries evolve and all regions evolve. You know, I found this week because I was looking for these numbers, 120,000 children a year are reported missing in the UK. That’s 20 times as many migrant workers have died in 12 years in in Qatar. Why is Harry Kane not concerned about that? You know why? Because that’s like a data problem. You know, so. And you kind of know the answer because the the press wants you concerned about non-issues, largely whilst the big issues go largely ignored. I think I mean, it’s.

Melanie Farmer: You know, UK is.

Martin Henley : Properly a mess when you actually lift the curtain and have a look at what’s going on is a mess. There’s 40,000 homeless people in the UK.

Melanie Farmer: You know, with our floods and fires, our homeless problem is unbelievable. I’ve got families in cars up and down the country, thousands of families. For us, yes, it’s just and the fact that it took us something like four weeks, maybe longer, to show up because we had too many communities, in my opinion. Yeah. To stop the stop people helping when they desperately need it, life and death. Because somebody showed up. The army showed up eventually. And then there’s this weird thing that happened where they had the press taking repeat shots of the army, fake distributing, fake distributing just to get the shot. Right. And then and then they went on to distribute like a few days later. It was like they were like, do it again. And this. And so the shock was more important than the actual job. And you’ve got to I mean, I know what they were trying to do, but it’s like I think your priority is these people have not had food for six weeks and are actually lying with a broken leg in the bush because there’s no road, because it’s been flooded. Like this is what people were living with some of these stories. But yeah, thousands of homeless up and down since the fires and floods, of course. And of course, there’s been a lot of money going towards that.

Melanie Farmer: And and of course the government’s trying to deal with this situation. But it’s it’s incredible number in poverty because they’ve lost not only their house but their job, their town. Many have been utterly destroyed, like the tsunami earthquakes, and they have nowhere to go. It’s quite shocking when you when you set the numbers. I mean, we’ve we’ve got a few. And you’re very hidden. You’re very hidden if you’re in the city, like we work with clients in rural and regional areas. So when we fly out or drive out to those areas and I say fly out because Australia is big. So when we go really go, go out on the ground, it’s utterly heartbreaking. And we have teenage mothers with depression and they’re living in a car with three kids and it’s kind of no fault of their own. You know, their house got destroyed, their family home of 100 years, the farmers had drought, now it’s flooded, the house has been washed away. And this person’s in this situation where that might have been the wealthiest family in the entire region. And they were supplying, you know, wool and corn to the country, let’s say, for 100 years. And and we just it’s very easy to say, oh, you judge these people. You do realise that that was the wealthiest family, you know, in they were up in the top, they were the top 10%.

Melanie Farmer: And now, you know, the, this situation, environmental disaster has happened and there but for the grace of God go I, we haven’t, we haven’t experienced that personally. But yeah, and then our attention is on gay rights in in Qatar super important. But what I do think about it is that if our eyes are somewhere, that’s where the media are of course, certainly. So for example, during fire and flood season, when this when that stuff happened in Australia, all the I’s went on to Australia during the fires and then everywhere or during flood, all these incredible off scale floods same. So our eyes go where the big story is and then whatever is happening, that’s the story that’s so right now is the World Cup. Yeah. And so what’s our angle. Don’t really care what it is. Let’s just put our flags up. Whatever the thing is that we want to kind of talk about, just sort of fit that in to where the eyes are. So, I mean, that’s that’s that’s what a good, good, a good a normal I wouldn’t say good. A normal media response is find every possible way to have people talking about a story We did. Well, here’s one. And look at us. We’ve just talked about it for a while.

Martin Henley : 37 minutes, 30 minutes.

Melanie Farmer: Without thing any of these applications. But never mind.

Martin Henley : Yes. What’s the last thing I want to say? I think that’s enough. The last thing I want to say is what benefit are Coca Cola really conferring on the world? You know what I mean? They’re selling brown sugar water. That’s what they’re doing. So how they spend decide to spend their advertising dollars, You know, who cares? And they’re not they’re not occupying the moral high ground either, you know? So anyway, let’s let that be an end to it. I’m not sure if that was. I think it is marketing news because I think people, when they’re marketing their businesses, need to. Yeah, I think they need to be able to see through this.

Melanie Farmer: Well, you know, you opened before we both got united in our emotion with it is you opened with a really interesting point about where do your brand values stop in a way? Like does this support your brand in the end or not? And is it your role as a brand? To make decisions like this that is someone else’s brand in values. Let’s say you put your own brand and values and I’m Coke and these are my brand and values, which is sugar for all. You know what? So where does your where do you end? And someone else’s thing is their thing. Is it your it is actually going to strengthen your brand in the end. So let’s say anyone listening is thinking about their own brand and there’s always these moments, Will you sponsor this? Will you do that? And you have decisions to make. So that therein lies the dilemma, I guess.

Martin Henley : Yeah. And I’m in favor of I’m really looking forward to a time where we get to a point where brands just stop politicking altogether. You know, you’re in business to deliver value, hopefully to a market. Just do that, you know, a little bit like Harry Kane. Why don’t you just focus on playing football and when you have the opportunity to be a really mediocre United States side, just do your job and score a goal. I mean, okay, we’ve touched on the environment, so let’s go to your number two story.

Martin Henley : Your number two story comes from the Norwegian Postal Service. Are concerned about the environmental impacts of Christmas. Is that what’s going on? Yes, the story.

Melanie Farmer: I really like this story. I think it’s a really. That’s an interesting company also that actually who does it. Basically, the Norwegian Postal Service is tackling environmental damage that an end Christmas. And they’re kind of saying that Christmas is like the least sustainable holiday that you could have. And the postal service through this and they themselves have cut 51% of their CO2 emissions and they are challenging other large companies in Norway to to to line up with the Paris Agreement and also do this. Right. Cut their emissions. And so this this is a storytelling ad where Santa gets together with Mother Earth and they fall in love and and all this. And then you see this on screen. I can’t live without you. No one can, says Father Christmas. And they kind of get back together again. But I think it is quite it is quite interesting because it’s saying, let’s step up and deliver on this, these promises. And you’re bringing together the idea of Mother Earth and and Father Christmas and Well, I think that the challenge at Christmas is mass consumption. It just goes passel crazy. It’s a bumper season for Amazon and for any logistics companies. Suddenly we decide we need to have all brand new bedding for the guests that are coming. We need new furniture. I mean, just goes really crazy at this time of year and and we decide we need to bake 15 cakes and we’re only going to eat one, you know, So this is Christmas. And so they’re just sort of challenging us, I think, to to to think about that. The actual ad is a beautiful, beautiful ad.

Martin Henley : Very. Should we watch it?

Melanie Farmer: How long is the love story? But I. It’s about 3 minutes.

Martin Henley : Okay, let’s start watching it. I’ll stop.

Melanie Farmer: It. Oh, hang on.

Martin Henley : No, it.

Melanie Farmer: It’s six. It’s 6 minutes. Yeah, you’ll get to three and get the idea.

Martin Henley : Okay, cool. Well, maybe three will be too long. Let’s see what goes on. Oh, now it’s going to take forever to load. I’ll take it. It’s raining.

Narrator: You be Nelson, Old Brown.

Martin Henley : In the beginning, everything was fine.

Narrator: We were awesome.

Martin Henley : We were like each other.

Narrator: Some two.

Martin Henley : Polar opposites. And he was a perfect match.

Narrator: But on the other hand, somebody had to be born. Or they could say they wanted. If you were naive, that’s all. A little naive.

Martin Henley : I miss being naive. Right. So I think we get the point. Father Christmas. Mother Earth. Get it on. Then they don’t like each other because it turns out the Father Christmas is just a representation of the patriarchy and consumption. They don’t get on. And then he has to kowtow to Mother Nature and tell her, Yeah, you’re the. You’re the important one. I’m sorry. I’ll go back to doing what I did. The thing is, I can’t disagree with you. Christmas is awful. Christmas is just such a horrible exercise in consumption, in overconsumption. And consumption is a disease. It used to be a disease. Now it’s just what you do at Christmas. I think it’s awful. I wonder.

Melanie Farmer: Is it way right? Was that but but I think it doesn’t I don’t think it actually tackles what you individually are doing, but it’s throwing down a challenge to the large companies of Norway who have not met their agreements. I think that that is interesting, right? I don’t know if it’s the best, but, you know, I do think it’s certainly got people talking over there, especially. It’s very targeted to Norway, of course.

Martin Henley : Yes. Well, can I just know this is the Norwegian Postal Service. Can they just not deliver the letters? We really need the Norwegian Postal Service to challenge us on climate change. Do you know what I mean? It’s like.

Melanie Farmer: Yeah, let’s. Well, I think the thing is, they’re saying if we can do it, you can get on with it. So I don’t know. I mean, I think that’s pretty impressive that they’re able to have reduced emissions by such a huge target. That’s quite. And so they’re trying to brag about that and link it to Christmas somehow and climate. And so, you know, it’s kind of an interesting attempt I respect to them for the the what do you call it, the production quality?

Martin Henley : Yes.

Melanie Farmer: The production is beautiful story, right? The attempted story. And and I’m not sure for me the message lands, but I’m not Norwegian and I do know it’s a very different mindset having worked in Norway and Sweden and so on, there’s a really quite different mindset there. So I think I can see how that would land with that audience. Yes, because it is a very climate conscious and sensitive audience, and so it’ll probably hold to account those who haven’t yet delivered on on their climate promises, the large organizations and and will celebrate the fact that they have so that that in itself goes tick. I’m going to make sure that I support them. So as a marketer that that for me probably lands well with that audience.

Martin Henley : Maybe I just think there is an environmental cost to actually producing this ads and for all of us to be playing it on our computers and the servers that it’s hosted on. And I just wish brands wouldn’t, you know, I mean, I just just deliver the letters. I mean, is there even a need for them to advertise? Because I’m sure that the National Postal Service of Norway is the leading light. If you’ve got a letter, you’re probably going to use them as like Royal Mail in the UK. Do they need to be advertising? I don’t know.

Melanie Farmer: And if it went like this, your it said we’ve smashed our climate targets. We know our clients care about climate, other people haven’t. We have to tell this story. It happens to be Christmas. What we got to somehow fit that in there and this is this is this is the result. So I think that’s what happened. And I’m not sure if it quite land, but I do like the I got to give them a round of applause for telling a story which, you know, I miss the time of stories. And I would say even if they’ve cost the planet by making it the fact that they have held up their end and reduce their emissions by 51%, they can afford to make an ad because they’re obviously really smashing it out of the ballpark with with their targets, which others are not. So, you know.

Martin Henley : I hope it hasn’t come at the cost of service to pensioners. I hope it hasn’t come because they’ve closed down rural branches. I hope that’s not.

Melanie Farmer: What we’re going to do. And then the CEO said, fair enough, I’m willing to just stuff a bit.

Martin Henley : But the thing is, where does it where does it end? Do you know what I mean? Where does it end? All of this stuff, I don’t know. Christmas is a hideous thing.

Melanie Farmer: Oh, yeah, Yeah.

Martin Henley : But this is like. So the postal service just, like, deliver Santas letters, Do you know what I mean? Just that’s. That’s your job. Just do that thing. But now, what are they saying that children shouldn’t be writing? Are they saying that? Are they saying, Look, don’t. Why did they say something that would have an actual environmental impact, which is we’ve opened up an email hotline to Santa Claus. You don’t have to now go to the shops, buy the paper that was used to be a tree. Put it in the post, get it picked up by a truck.

Martin Henley : We don’t have to buy. We don’t have to burn tens of thousands of tons of stupid letters to Santa Claus because we’ve set up an email address. Do you know what I mean?

Melanie Farmer: Mother. Mother Earth character who could just. I just to wrap up on the Norway thing, if you scroll on, I don’t know who’s at Poston, who’s running these campaigns, but they have other campaigns such as When Harry Met Santa, which is about LGBTQ, Santa and Harry. And then they’ve got Make Christmas Great Again, which is a Trump parody. So I don’t know what they’re trying to do. They’ve got really. But you know what? I know it’s going to land in Norway. I feel like that country has quite different. It’s a different audience to.

Martin Henley : Okay. The thing is, I’m sure it would land lots of places. It’s not landing with me because I don’t I’m not really interested in I’m not really interested in the postman’s issues around climate change or gender equality or Trump. Just deliver the letters, please. Come on. So I think I’m probably in a minority of people who don’t really care about the Postal Service’s take on all of these things. Particularly, it’s not very interesting. It is like the majority view. You know, I mean, it’s like, oh, we just think what everyone thinks. That’s good. Let’s move on with our lives.

Melanie Farmer: Yeah, Yeah, go ahead.

Martin Henley : Okay, cool. Right. So this comes to what I think is an important story, which is something that I wasn’t thinking about in the right way before I read this piece by The Guardian. So what they’re talking about is discrimination. Millions of Britons frozen out in the digital age, from banking to shopping and parking, consumers without access to tech are left frustrated. So many people in Britain can’t live without their smartphones and use it to manage all aspects of their lives, from banking to shopping and socialising. But what if the opposite is true and this clever technology is erecting invisible barriers that leave you unable to do basic basic things such as pay online, contact your GP or even park. This is what it feels like for Jean Peters, the 83 year old widow who lives alone in a South Cambridgeshire village, complains that everything is going online at a faster and faster rate, at the detriment of those who can’t keep up. But basically they’re talking here about the the end of life, how difficult it is now to even park your car, book an appointment with your GP. All of these things. The thing that’s interesting is that this lady Peters is quite outspoken on the subject. She says year by year it gets harder and harder for the technically challenged to function normally, and we are growing increasingly pissed off about it. It’s quite a militant 83 year old lady.

Martin Henley : The thing about her is that she has an iPad that she uses daily and an iPhone that she is less comfortable with. And she says that companies should be required to offer online alternatives. The issue here is that. The issue isn’t that I didn’t get a chance to highlight this one. But the issue isn’t that the issue isn’t that these people are unaccepting of technology. She’s got an iPad. She’s got an iPhone. It’s that the technology continues to evolve. So after the tribulations of yesterday, the Internet not playing with us, we’re back to cover this, what we think is quite an important story. So the story is Melanie Farmer. The story is and this is more interesting than I thought it was when I started reading it. So it’s discrimination. Millions of Britons frozen out in the digital age, from banking to shopping and parking, consumers without access to tech are left frustrated. So this is the story. We all know this is going on, that older people are being left out of the digital revolution. But it’s not because of why I thought it was. So what they’re saying here, many people in Britain can’t live without their smartphone and use it to manage all aspects of their life, from banking to shopping and socialising. But what if the opposite is true and this clever technology is erecting invisible barriers that leave you unable to do basic things such as pay online, contact your GP or even park.

Martin Henley : This is what it feels like for Jean Peters, the 83 year old widow who lives alone in a South Cambridgeshire village, complains that everything is going online at a faster and faster rate to the detriment of those who can’t keep up. So there’s a brilliant quote here. She says, Year by year, it gets harder and harder for the technically challenged to function normally, and we are growing increasingly pissed off about it. Now, the thing about this lady, Jean Peters, is that she has who uses an iPad daily and an iPhone she is less comfortable with. So what’s interesting to me about this is it’s not what I thought it was like. They don’t have devices. They don’t get on with the devices. That’s not it at all. What it is is that because it is continuously changing, continuously evolving. And specifically they talk about passwords like which are a nightmare. And the thing about this is that there are 11 million people, they’re saying literally 11 million people. Whereas it was here, the Digital Poverty Alliance, a group of charities formed to tackle exactly this issue, estimates that there are as many as 11 million people in the UK who are struggling to deal with the tech only options that have become the new normal.

Martin Henley : So. What’s occurred to me is this is going to happen to us. This is going to happen to every generation. This isn’t like a once off because now technology is available and old people don’t fancy it, which is kind of what I was always led to believe. This is no these people are engaging with the technology, but because the technology is evolving for not really a very good reason, I would say it is excluding people and it is going to happen to every generation. Because I’ll tell you, passwords are the bane of my life and have been for like the last 20 years when I was running a marketing agency and we had seven or eight people sitting around and we were working for 30 clients and we’re managing all those those passwords. It’s a nightmare and it still is. Now, there’s only two of us here, you know what I mean? And we’re just managing really my stuff. So I know you’ve got some insight on this, but what do you think about the situation? Were you aware that that was the situation, that it’s not that they don’t have haven’t kept up with the technology because the technology changed in the last 20 years, but rather they are keeping up with the technology. But it’s because the technology is changing every day that they’re not able to keep up.

Melanie Farmer: Probably not as none as aware as I should have been. Like like you sort of say. But I think I know that the biggest growing market on Facebook for the last decade has been particularly female females in their seventies. And partly it was so they could keep in touch with their grandkids, but then they found each other online and suddenly that’s actually one of the biggest groups on Facebook. And of course, to interact on there. The best way to do that is with iPads and iPhones. And so when you think about when Facebook came around that that would have been a time when those people now in their seventies, would have been in their fifties, sixties, embracing technology and so forth. But yes, it’s always been the thing. So imagine that you are 80 and motorcars suddenly was the only way to travel and you couldn’t get your horse and cart anymore. You’ve got to navigate a completely different animal at that stage in your life when you’ve just figured life out. So there was a lot of angst around that time. It’s never it’s not a new thing. It’s not a new problem. Like you say, there’s been all sorts of churn and the failure is in co-design, I think. And I know that in Sweden there’s a really interesting project that did this really well, so approach this problem really well. So they were looking at how Meals on Wheels is delivered and they wanted to allow their customers, who were largely in their eighties to consume and order things via their smart TV online and know when is their meal coming and who’s coming and what do they look like and all that on the on their TV.

Melanie Farmer: So these people in their eighties, they’ve got these smart TVs, but what they did was co design with those people and they developed a device that looks like it’s brown plastic with fluorescent buttons. Looks like it was developed in the 1970s and the buttons are really big. So it does the same thing as what everyone else’s devices do, but it’s a plastic rubber button thing versus a smart screen, which they just weren’t getting on with. So I think there’s real merit and strength in co-design with your customers. And and this this assumption and fail that happens sometimes with not realising that’s a huge market. And I think what’s worrying me is that that’s a growing market. That’s a huge growing market is the grey pound, as they call it. And so if you’re, if you’re neglecting that market, then that’s not only that’s that means your customer base is going to get smaller and smaller and smaller when eventually everyone is in that market and you designed anything for them because you’re continually changing without thinking of that market. So it’s a real fail on. I mean, I think it’s fantastic that there’s this alliance. We do a lot of work in aged care ourselves. We’ve done two cross-industry collaborations in the last year. Australia has a bit of a shocking history. In recent years we had a royal commission into age care.

Melanie Farmer: So those those audiences have money and, you know, it’s just a complete embarrassment to think that you wouldn’t co-design. And this is the power of user centric design. But I think I really like the thing that you’ve raised around continual change because you know that even if that happens, it doesn’t mean that you you have to change the front end experience. The back end can change. You can have different meals and different ways of things getting delivered and so forth. But that doesn’t mean the device necessarily has to continually be different and upgraded and so forth. It could look and feel the same for the user who’s comfortable with that look and feel, which is what they’ve done in Sweden.

Martin Henley : Yeah. The thing is. Yeah, I hadn’t. I thought this was a one time problem. I thought before I read this article, I mean, I. Did I. You kind of.

Melanie Farmer: Put a spotlight on that.

Martin Henley : Here’s the thing is I’m talking to people now and I’m working with people around digitalization and digital transformation, all these things. And the thing that strikes me about that is that it’s happening. It’s never happening for the benefit of the customer. It seems to me it is almost exclusively happening for the benefit of the company. Now, the way I see this in my idealistic kind of way is that, you know, businesses offer value and they extract value or they are given value from their from their customers. They offer value to their customers and the customers give them money in return. And this is the the ideally symbiotic relationship. But the way businesses see digital transformation is as an opportunity to reduce headcounts, to pass more responsibility onto their customers and to generate more profit. That’s the way they see it. But the.

Melanie Farmer: Data.

Martin Henley : And 100%, yeah. So the worst case for me is like my guilty. What is it called? Guilty. Something.

Melanie Farmer: Pleasure.

Martin Henley : Pleasure is a McDonald’s breakfast. I really, really like a McDonald’s breakfast. And I know it’s really bad for me, but I really like it. So I go to McDonald’s maybe a couple of times a week and they’ve installed these kiosks. So basically they brought it in during the pandemic. So they’re like, well, so you don’t have to engage with people.

Melanie Farmer: And it just.

Martin Henley : Doesn’t work. It just well, apart from anything, it won’t accept my card. So now I have to go and queue and then I have to have an argument with the staff whose jobs they’re trying to replace with these kiosks, you know, to say, no, my card doesn’t work. That’s that’s why I’m here. But the way it works is historically, you would stand in the queue and the entire menu would be above the till. So all the time you’re in the queue, you’re thinking, What is it that I want to eat? Well, now that’s gone. So they haven’t even put the menu above these kiosk machines. So now people go to the front and get to the front of the queue to this kiosk and now they’re bro’s browsing every category, thinking like, what do we want? So the time to place an order has gone from whatever it might have been a minute to now five or six or 7 minutes. So even if my card were working, if I see that there’s one person already at the kiosk, I’m not going there. I’m not going to stand five or 6 minutes to wait for a McDonald’s. It’s not the point at McDonald’s. The point of this is that this like this digital transformation for digital transformation sake is ridiculous.

Martin Henley : And it’s exactly like you say, this is a market with money. This is 100% a market with money. They’re sitting on all the money. It’s the truth, you know, So. So it’s just. Not even counter-intuitive. It’s stupid that this this market aren’t being served. I’ve just replaced my phone. There are still three or four apps that haven’t been able to move across, including my revolut, which is where I do my daily like cash access. And I was on I was on with them yesterday for 2 hours and they’re like, Well, you have to send me a selfie. Well, your app’s not working. It doesn’t, it doesn’t like I’ve taken the selfie, I’m pressing the send button. Nothing’s happening. You know what I mean? So there is a prime example. I’m not 83, I’m not tech illiterate. I teach digital marketing. Do you know what I mean? And I’m essentially not frozen out. I still have access to that service. And I said to them, Look, why do you need a selfie? I’m in the account. I’m talking to you in the account on the old phone. And they’re like, Oh, are you? It’s like, I’ve told you this five times, Do you know me? But they still won’t. Yeah. So this is what struck me about this was that.

Melanie Farmer: Oh, finish. And I’ve got another little example, but carry on.

Martin Henley : Yeah. Yeah. So this is what struck me about this particular story is it’s not it’s not a one time thing. It’s not that old people don’t like technology. Well, it might have been 20 years ago, but that’s not it anymore. This lady is pissed off as a tablet and an iPhone. She’s like, double, double gadget it up, but she can’t park. She can’t access like they can’t access government services. You know, they can’t they don’t answer the phones anymore. You know, it’s just like and this for me is stupid because like you say, this is a market with money. So why are they now just basically shutting the door to this market? And the truth is, they’re shutting the door to all of us, you know? So.

Melanie Farmer: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Martin Henley : What do you have to say?

Melanie Farmer: Yeah. Look, I when I first came back to Australia in 2013, I was with my husband and we’re taking a tour of the country. Why don’t we get to Sydney? He wants to see Bondi Beach. We get on a bus. They require us to use a particular bus card, which here is called an apple card in the UK would be an oyster card and so forth. Actually, the oyster, I forget what it’s called in the UK now, but a card that’s a transport card. Basically, in order to get a transport card you need to already you can’t be a tourist. You have to have been doing all these other things to get your transport. And there’s a particular place you can get it from. You can’t get them on the bus. So you get on the bus and and he said, you can’t get on. And then he basically threw us off the bus and said, he’s got a schedule to keep and you just got to get off. Now, this experience is going to be happening to every tourist. International tourists coming who just say, well, I want to go to Bondi, I’ve got cash, I have a credit card. Neither of these are accepted on the bus. That was 2013. Now, since then, that’s that’s been fixed. So now your credit card acts as a transport card. So they fixed it. But at that time, I was thinking, you know, I grew up in this country and now I can’t catch a bus to Bondi even if I have cash and a credit card. What is happening? What is happening to me is a complete and utter disaster. How many how many dollars have they and how many tourists are telling that story like I am and saying, unfortunately, I couldn’t get the bus because there was no money. The bizarre thing that you cannot the notion you can’t buy one of those cards from the bus driver, completely ridiculous or nor do you know where he couldn’t direct me to a place said, well, where can I get that from? Because I don’t know and drove off.

Martin Henley : Yeah.

Melanie Farmer: And their customers on the bus were like, We’re so sorry. You know, it’s the bus. But I are the customers who have the power card that we don’t have, you know, sort of offering to pay for us. And he goes, No, you, you’ve already swiped on.

Melanie Farmer: Yeah. No one could help us.

Martin Henley : So I went to Singapore recently, and now you have to do the immigration thing on your phone before you go. So you get, like, a thingy badge and you scan it on the way in. What does that mean? I don’t get to go to Singapore if I don’t have a phone or if I don’t have a smartphone. It’s like it’s so short sighted and rude and exactly like, I mean, if this lady said it. Discriminatory, because why? Because it makes it like. So we’re sold all these things on convenience, but then people are completely shut out so it’s not convenient for them, you know, I mean, it’s completely inconvenient. I have spent an hour trying to buy some parking on a on an app in the UK where it’s not quite working. And this is the issue is that because I used to work in it and I always remember my friend Johan, he was making like he was a coder and we had this accelerated coding tool, so it was like autocomplete for coding. So he’d be there specifically from 10:00 at night in a government function. This was in South Africa, high on Red Bull and he’d be like specifically there from 10:00 in the morning till 7:00 in the morning because he didn’t want to see his boss, because he didn’t want his boss interfering with what he’s doing. And he’d be like, I’m making things. I’m making things. Why is he getting in my way? Do you know? I mean, it’s like it’s that’s what it is.

Martin Henley : So these technologies are just like, well, you should know. Well, you should make better code is the truth. I mean, but they there is this weird thing around AI, around coders around it, people. I had it recently with my Mac. You know, for some reason Dropbox was dumping tens of gigs, hundreds of gigs on my Mac. And it’s like there was a day where it just dumped 150 gigs of data on my Mac, and now my Mac’s got five gigs of data remaining before it dies, basically before it’s full. So I had to delete it all and then I did it and I’m on the phone to Apple. I spoke to 12 people. One of them’s interested to do their job and she escalated the call to someone who wasn’t interested. And I’m saying to these people, What do I do? Because it’s a little bit of an emergency, Do you know what I mean? If it gets to it fills my entire drive. It’s over. I’ve got a real problem. And one of these guys as well, you shouldn’t just delete the files if you don’t know what they are. And it’s like, Well, what actually am I supposed to do? So there’s a real issue with technology in that technologists don’t have what you’re talking about co design. They don’t even have customer centricity. They don’t even have the customer as the focus of what they’re doing. You know, I mean, it’s like because we know better.

Melanie Farmer: They’re not talking to them, sensing, they’re not listening. Third, they’re not co-designing, which is the advanced level of customer centered growth. And it’s not like there’s no scientific evidence that customer centred growth is the answer. There’s books written about this. There’s a lot of data to suggest that those were customer centered are far more likely to not only grow but have longevity, durability. So that’s the world of startups. And if you’re not obsessed with the customer like you are, like you’re very much like, is there value? I’m not doing this because I like standing in front of you. Like if there’s not value, it’s not happening. Yes, you’re always checking that feedback loop, like, is this, is this adding value even as you go? So but the result of that is one people keep coming back to your service gets better and better. And three, you kind of you’re much more likely to have referrals because it’s a weirdly point of difference, which it shouldn’t be when you look at how someone else might do these things.

Martin Henley : Yeah, okay. But I think your priorities are two, three, four because actually number one is technologies think you’re an absolute idiot if you don’t understand what they’re doing, which is the most stupid thing in the world, you know, I mean, and we live in a world where these technologies are exalted like the very highest tier. And the truth is they’re doing a pretty shitty job, you know? I mean, because here they’re just they’re closing out 11 million people with money, which is insane. Insane.

Melanie Farmer: You have to look at the tech fails, which are where they’ve left the human out. So if you look at terminal five and I and I do apologise, Terminal five, because that was complicated, but when they first opened, you may remember that they lost everyone’s bags. Now in the first week it was a complete disaster. But the each individual component of the five step component was fantastic in the latest technology and all these video walkthroughs and all that. But then when the rubber hit the road system, one had to talk to system two and then three, four, five. So they hadn’t actually done a full test of the linkage moments, which is when things break down and. Understanding what human behavior is on the journey of that bag, because the bag is not checking itself in and out of airplanes and putting itself here and there. It’s its humans are.

Martin Henley : Involved in itself. To the airport.

Melanie Farmer: Yeah. Take itself to the airport, unpack itself the other end at the hotel. No, that’s not There are humans involved. So that’s where things can go completely wrong because the humans are using this technology. Yeah, it’s just I mean, I’m really shocked at the naivete of like when you just just look at the demographic switch that’s happening globally with with us all growing older and living longer and having money at those in those age groups that, you know, who is the champion. I mean, there’s you know, you’ll know that the heads of diversity and inclusion, that’s a role that has been growing globally, but it’s a recently new addition with those words in it. But it’s weird to think that diversity and inclusion, like those are the people who are also championing that those different different users needs to even exist. It’s like that’s your customer, Where’s the customer experience person? What are you doing? These people have money. There’s more of them than ever, and that’s not going to change. That’s where I just like you have to. Just look at this. Even from a cold hearted business point of view. Yes, it is a fail. Yeah. And it just meant who is going to be around in five years and it’s going to be the ones who listened.

Martin Henley : Yes. And the thing is, this is what I say to people when I’m working is don’t do it to be nice, you know? Don’t do it just to be nice to old people. Just do it out of 100% pure self interest. This is a great market. These people are sitting on expendable income and they’ve got the time to spend the money. But the thing is, this problem isn’t going to isn’t going to get resolved unless technologists sit down or businesses sit down and say, actually, technologies, you’re idiots because you’re not serving this market and you’re not serving anyone, any market because you think you’re so clever. That’s what actually needs to happen at this point because this generation are going to pass and they’re going to leave their money to the next generation who are 60 and then the next generation, that generation are going to be next in queue for this treatment. You know, because I’m already thinking, at what point do I just give up with these stupid passwords and just stop using these services, you know, And I’m nowhere near 83. Like, thankfully, I’ve got 30 odd years to go, but I am already thinking that. At what point? At what point? I’ll tell you what happened recently.

Martin Henley : Amazon, somebody recommended me a book and I went onto Amazon to on my phone to try and buy it. And I couldn’t. And I thought, Oh, it’s not working today. Like three or four days later, I went on again to try and buy it and it’s not working. I’m like, Well, this is weird. And then, I don’t know, it might have been ten days later. I go on and then I read it says, Oh, you can’t buy books now through the Amazon app. You have to go onto the store because Google are taking like a commission, whatever. They don’t want you to do it. So it took me two weeks to get this book, and I’m not 83. I mean, I’m not 83. So yeah, this is a problem that’s getting worse. Honestly, the world needs to wake up to the fact that these technologies need to be managed because they are not managing themselves. You know, they can’t. And, you know, maybe we shouldn’t blame them, but it’s the case that they’re not half as clever as they think they are. And what they’re doing in the name of convenience is actually excluding significant and important markets, people with money to spend on services and products.

Melanie Farmer: The World Economic Forum identified for 2025. This is a couple of years ago. The top ten skills of the future one is digital. Nine. Human. Human Interaction. Human Creativity. Nine. Of the ten.

Martin Henley : Oh.

Melanie Farmer: So if the ten top skills that we need for the future, only one of them is really digital. The nine skills we need for the future of work they’ve identified as being things like creativity, agility, ability, empathy, these sorts of things. These are the skills that are missing and needed and are going to be in highest demand, according to the World Economic Forum. And so we know for us, we developed our innovation program, which delivers all of those skills apart from the digital transformation, although we’re looking at that from a neuroscience point of view customers into point of view, but all the other skills they’ve built into our modules and tied together in a nice little bow. So you know that you cover them all, but they’re all about empathy and and design. Use a design that all those things, creativity, engaging the subconscious. And no computer is going to really help you with that stuff. In truth, humans, human behavior is not logical and rational. And we have a limit to how much change we can tolerate that changes over time. When you’re five, you have very high threshold for change. And it for some people, not everyone. That reduces over time. For others, they’re like a change junkie and they love it. Let’s have more change until until I’m 100. But I still.

Martin Henley : Think you get to the point where it’s just too confusing or your fingers that you like. You get arthritic fingers and it’s just like, you know, I remember these they used to make these massive phones with massive numbers. I mean, for that thing. Well, the devices are tiny. I mean, the device is so no wonder she can’t use the phone because it’s just too small.

Melanie Farmer: Yeah.

Martin Henley : This problem is going to get worse because now we’ve got machine learning and AI. And the problem with that is like we’re literally at a computer says no time, you know, because the problem with the AI and the machine learning is that the base layer has been done by idiots who already think they’re cleverer than everyone else. Do you know what I mean? And now they’re going to allow that layer to build itself a new layer on the assumption that the AI is so much cleverer than people. I think this is a this is going to be I think people are going to suffer. I think people are already suffering from this. And I think people are going to suffer more in the future because of this. And as much as my work is depends on this evolving technology. I think it’s irresponsible to not sit down and say this is exclusive like so you’ll remember when we were talking about the banks employing managers for the metaverse. I’m like, I hope they’ve still got like their rural branches open so that people who don’t have phones can go there. It’s a real issue. It really is a real issue. And it’s going to be interesting. And it is marketing because it’s digital, because it’s a market, you know, apart from anything else. It’s a market.

Melanie Farmer: Just quick. We ran a Cross-industry collaboration just recently on inclusivity in play. Working with people with disabilities. So we’re running online zoom sessions for our participants. There were 70 of them, ten teams, ten. That’s a lot, right? And each team had, you know, quite a lot of diversity in it. So there were people with, you know, challenges, with hearing, with vision, cognitive neurodiverse challenges, you know, recovered from brain tumors and so forth. So people with three fingers, quite a few people with missing limbs. And we had to design our program to be delivered online for this really diverse audience. And for us, it was absolutely amazing, very inspiring. They, I would say, delivered some of the best solutions in terms of their likely to actually happen in the co-design of how to increase participation in sport for people with disabilities. Right. But it did surface quite a lot of things that were going on with these online meetings and what they’re what that experience is like for those with neurodiversity, those with hearing or vision impairment. I mean, it was quite a challenge to sort out the thing for closed captions and and allow, for example, if you if you’re in a team and there’s a breakout, you can’t do live captioning in a breakout room so and you can have it in one room only. So what does that mean if there’s two teams where they need closed captions, You can’t do it. You have to and you have to leave those people in the home room. So these are things that haven’t yet been thought through. And, and the reason is that they’re not going to be considered as the majority.

Melanie Farmer: Let’s just deal with the majority. And in the in defense of these platforms, the world overnight needed these things. And so they went for the majority needs. But and now they’re on a journey, I hope. But it’s interesting that, you know, it was great for us to learn from those users what we needed to do to make the experience enjoyable and feasible, to be honest. And so we adapted quite, quite a lot. And we had to sort of think about is there enough room on our slide for the for the captions to be seen when we play video is is there a lot of noise and moving fast for those who who are kind of cognitively impaired and needing to take it slow. So we slowed down some of our video. So there’s a lot to think about when you know these people have money as well. These are people who are, you know, and there’s there’s millions of them around the world and even in just in our own country. So we really should be you know, it goes beyond those age. There’s just, you know, there’s disability and so forth. So but really great for us to celebrate that we were able to do this with all of this diversity in one large group. It was just fantastic. And but we learned more than then, probably because we learned they learned all the design stuff, but we learned how to completely change our service and adapt to what they needed to to get through that 100%.

Martin Henley : Because if you design for the for the people with the biggest accessibility issues, then actually you include everyone you know. I mean, it’s not like it’s not like somebody with no accessibility issue is also going to benefit. And this is the thing I think that the focus needs to change and it needs to be and hope. I mean, I don’t know. I don’t see how it’s going to happen, but it needs to be a way like when I talk about this in the sessions, I put up a picture of Scrooge McDuck, you know, I mean, it’s like businesses are like, how can we get more easier? Do you not mean how can we get more easier? And we’ll just tell them it’s convenient? And even if it’s not, we’ll just persist with it until they just succumbed. You know what I mean? That’s what we will do. So that’s what’s going on here.

Melanie Farmer: We fall in love with our own cleverness and our own idea. We don’t necessarily think that the customer knows better. But I’ll tell you what’s real interesting on that point is one of our participants. He’s a double amputee and he’s also got three fingers on one hand and so forth. This guy is the first Australian with a disability who’s going to go into low orbit with the space program in America. Right. So and he runs an online gaming company for for anyone is basically Dungeons and Dragons Online. But many of his customers that have disabilities anyway, this guy going into space. Right. And what he is here to tell us is that if you’re in space, you walk with your hands because you pull yourself around. You don’t walk. Now there’s no gravity, so your legs are not very helpful. In fact, they’re in the way. So without he just take them off. So he’s like, first of all, I’m lighter. Second of all, I actually can move more, more efficiently around the cabin because then I’ve got my legs. So there’s actually an advantage to having me over someone else with these cumbersome legs. You’ve got to deal with. And also, I can walk around on the moon with my moon shoes. I don’t need to worry about, you know, actual feet and boots and whatever.

Melanie Farmer: I’ve got my carbon fiber, whatever, designed for walking around on the moon. And also, if we go to Mars and have a settlement there, the idea that you send all these able bodied people there now, what if halfway through the trip and one of these surgeons mentioned this, you discover a carcinoma, a lump in your leg, and it’s got to be amputated. First of all, you’ve got to perform that surgery. Halfway to Mars, arrive at Mars with one leg. And you realize at that point you haven’t designed the Martian colony for amputees. So we’ll just shoot Jim, because he’s going to be inconvenient. That’s really where you’re at. And then you realize that Jim is the only astrophysicist. So that’s pretty bad news shooting Jim. Right. So you have to design the Martian colony to be inclusive and ready for anyone with any disability to function there, because that could happen. Really? A club that anyone can join at any time. So it’s cheaper than retrofitting the Martian colony so you can have a debate about whether or not we really need a martian colony. But the point being with anything, a bus. A taxi. It’s a lot better idea to think about these things on day one. And then, as you say, you’ve now designed a taxi that anyone can get in.

Martin Henley : So, yes.

Melanie Farmer: You covered it. So he’s a really interesting. I’ll give him a shout out. Is Dwayne Fernandez. He’s he’s the CEO of Minds at Play. And yeah, he really kind of schooled me in a good way about the advantages of having no legs in space.

Martin Henley : Do you think he might be interested to come have a chat with me on my podcast?

Melanie Farmer: Oh, yeah. You got to. You know what you should do? Mine is interview him after he comes off the trip to space because he’ll have some stuff to say. Then he’s running some experiments about how the the advantages and disadvantages of disabilities in space. So and there’s nine others with disabilities in the capsule with him and I think they are up there for I think it’s a it’s like a few weeks travelling around the earth. Amazing, right? Yeah he’s he’s a really interesting guy to he’s a great speaker as well.

Martin Henley : Excellent. Now that’d be really cool. Introduce me to him And what I want to say, the thing is this gets beyond the token inclusion ism, because what this says is that actually the people with the biggest accessibility issues are the most valuable people. We should be working with them to design solutions, because then the solutions that we come up with will be accessible to more people. Maybe not everybody, but to more people, you know? So that’s a real light. Rather than having the tokenism, we have to have a gay person and a brown person. And and it’s something because for the for the tokenism, the attitude needs to change where it is. Literally, these people really understand the issue. You know, like if we really want to understand this problem, let’s go to the person with the biggest problem with it. Do you know what I mean? And yeah, so yeah.

Melanie Farmer: Yeah, that’s what they did in Sweden. And the next thing you know, their Meals on Wheels took off. All are ordering through their smart TVs because they had actually taken a minute to go, Let’s not just stick it on the smart TV and then no one uses it. Let’s find a way where this works for us because we want it to be like menu filling. But let’s make it. That is actually designed effectively by the people who are going to interact with this thing, who just don’t want to be dealing with your latest Samsung upgrade and whatnot. Yeah.

Martin Henley : And we should we should go into business with your guy, you know, offering that service. You know, this is this is.

Melanie Farmer: Actually.

Martin Henley : User friendly designed, you know, I mean, because it’s been designed by the person with the biggest challenge with it. Okay. Super cool. I got a child who needs to have breakfast over here. Are you hearing him?

Melanie Farmer: Yeah, yeah.

Martin Henley : Yeah.

Melanie Farmer: Especially their needs. You’ve got a customer.

Martin Henley : A customer there? Yeah. I’m not in the business of selling breakfast, though. The other thing I wanted to say about the other thing I wanted to talk about, but we’re completely out of time. Is this Black Friday thing really don’t like it? So, like, they set records, but also the amount of debts also went up, the amount of credit for Black Friday. I really just miss. Yeah, it’s consumption. I really just miss a world where you add value and people see value and they buy it, not because it’s a Friday in November or at the following Monday in November. Do you know? I mean, and it’s all based around discounts, which also I think are bad for small businesses. I don’t like Black Friday. Let’s just leave it at that. Oh, but I know you did well out of Black Friday. You had a little Black Friday initiative and you got some bookings.

Melanie Farmer: Yeah, 40% open rate, which is pretty good for for the sort of, you know, email campaigns and whatever in general is a bit above what you’d expect. But I’m saying that a lot above, you know. Yeah, yeah, quite a lot above I think it to be fair. Yeah. And then we got a few orders out of that too, which is fantastic. I mean it’s a combination of things, but I think as.

Melanie Farmer: Well. We, the thing we’re selling isn’t, it’s business to business. It’s not a retail fast moving consumer goods. You know, in some ways I think Black Friday can provide an affordability on something that you otherwise couldn’t afford. But I think then it can once you’re once you have that dopamine hit, you know, you want more and then you end up saying, well, five pairs of shoes or whatever, you know, really you don’t need any you could actually get. So yeah, I wonder if you, if you set up a thing like called Orange Friday or Green Friday and Green Friday is when you it’s only second hand, something like that, which would just be an amazing complete counter, whatever. But then you’re still going to be heavy logistics and all of that. So there’s going to be packaging and so forth. But still, it would be an interesting challenge to say, how might we? You know, offer the service that people want. But without this, without actually going crazy. It could be a swap thing. There’s no money involved.

Martin Henley : Yes. Yes. Barter.

Melanie Farmer: That way you just swap. I’ve got this. What have you got? In fact, it’s happening on my next door app. There’s a neighborhood app called Next Door. And this lady posted on there last week. She said, with everything we’ve all been going through, know, I’m a single mum with two kids, lost my job, etc., and Christmas is coming. I’m really stressed. I’ve got a seven year old and nine year old, but I do have some things. I’m happy to swap them so my kids can have presents. What? What have people got to offer? And there’s a thread in a response about 100 people saying, I’ve got a fridge, I’ve got a washing machine, I’ve got this, I’ve got that, and they’re swapping. Good.

Martin Henley : So that’s what the world needs.

Melanie Farmer: It’s a neighbourhood thing, so it’s often a local level where that sort of thing starts to happen. But it’s very heartwarming. The compassion in that thread is just really heartening to see. So, you know, there’s little things like that bubbling at a local level. But globally you’ve got Alibaba’s like, you know, probably off scale profit on Black Friday because it’s the Chinese they serve that market. And the Chinese in general are the biggest consumers on Black Friday.

Martin Henley : Yeah. Good. And it doesn’t really do business any good because everyone knows that sales plateau or fall in the in the run up, because now who’s going to who’s going to buy anything in the run up to Black Friday? You know, everybody’s waiting. It’s interesting. Okay. This guy really is going to start causing a problem if he doesn’t get some food. Okay, Dude, you’re an absolute legend. Thank you for being here, Mel. I will see you in a couple of weeks.

Melanie Farmer: Awesome. Thanks, man. See you later.

Martin Henley

Martin Henley

Martin has built a reputation for having a no nonsense approach to sales and marketing and for motivating audiences with his wit, energy, enthusiasm and his own brand of audience participation.

Martin’s original content is based on his very current experience of running effective marketing initiatives for his customers and the feedback from Effective Marketing’s successful and popular marketing workshops.







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