A clever new slogan by one of Australia’s big banks has changed the word ‘fee’ to ‘free’ in relation to ATM charges.

It is a subtle, but necessary innovation as the banking sector fights to remain relevant in the face of rising fintech start-ups that are challenging the status quo.

The Big Four of Commonwealth, ANZ, Westpac and NAB have all ditched fees at their ATM machines in a bid to save Aussies money and win some favour back.

What it also shows is that they are listening to consumer groups and their displeasure with “foreign ATM” fees within Austrlaia, with RBA data showing that withdrawals have slumped to their lowest ebb in 15 years.

Still, the salient point is that the banks had used consumer wants and desires to engineer an outcome that favoured them. And with genuine fintech competition coming through the advent of payment platforms like PayPal, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, harvesting that customer data is critical to success.


The rise of marketing analytics in finance

It is easy to look at the rapid rise of PayPal and Bitcoin as markers that the banks are ready to be challenged. The problem is, investment has slowed in fintech startups on a global scale.

This indicates that either the market is too saturated or competition is too fierce for investors to be tempted into sinking their hard-earned cash into new platforms.

With the major banks still holding significant sway, and fintech start-ups locked in a competitive war to be the next to challenge them, using numbers to understand what consumers want is the currency all financial services should be looking to invest in.

And farming this data should become practice from the first instance, not a tacked on innovation later on, digital intelligence platform CoolaData’s VP of customer success Hagit Ben Shoshan said.

“Don’t wait until your startup is big to start implementing analytics. Understand your user behavior as early as possible to be better prepared for your next high stage of growth,” he said.




Business intelligence and business analytics are big industries

The flipside of having so much competition in the fintech sphere, is that software developers are meeting the demand with data analytic farming software to meet their needs.

When it comes to business intelligence and analytics software, global sales have reached $17 billion in 2017 alone.

Velocity Marketing Analytics managing director Frank Koechlein said that BI and BA are now ‘a critical necessity’ for marketing efforts by financial institutions and fintech firms.

“If you don’t have an analytics platform, your financial institution is at a significant disadvantage,” he said.

Banks and credit unions are responding, with the Digital Banking Report’s 2017 Financial Marketing Trends showing the desire to improve analytics capabilities is one of their top priorities this year.


Crunching the numbers to deliver a personal experience

Using data to understand customer behaviour is the new world way to deliver personalised, targeted content to your customers.

Perhaps ironically, there is data that shows that these numbers are producing tangible gains when it comes to marketing.

A McKinsey report showed that using data to generate marketing solutions can increase productivity by 15-20 per cent. Another report put together by The Financial Brand showed that by delivering a highly individualised experience, financial institutions can increase their annual revenue by 14 per cent.

To produce content that works, the numbers need to be harvested. Data analytics is no longer a value-add for the finance sector’s marketing, it is an essential tool.




Which brings us back to ATM fee becoming ATM free. The Australian banking sector is at a crossroads at present, working against competition it has never faced before, the declining use of services, interest rate angst from consumers and the ever-present threat of a Royal Commission by Federal politicians.

But by listening to its audience, using the data that shows that cost of living is at the top of the concerns list for most Australians and acting with a simple measure that garners favour, they have immediately clawed some ground back.

Using data analytics for financial marketing works, and those who neglect it risk being left behind.




Lonnie Feigenbaum




Header image credit: Olu Eletu



It’s easy to discover which brands have seized the imagination of a small, target group; and then taught said group how to spread the word, make converts to the brand; and turn this small, target group into a mainstream culture. Think Nike, Starbucks, Lululemon/Lorna Jane etc


The consumers that buy from these brands, are often “religious” in the buying and do not cross the paddock to the other, sometimes similar brands. Understanding cult branding and how to use it, is a heavy investment but has proven that fixed-mindsets and loyalty are priceless commodities.


One way to look at your target audience, is by building a bridge between your customers “I need” and the “I am” – I need running shoes, I am a Reebok runner.. By identifying archetypes of your consumers, and this can vary based on gender, location, age, culture etc you’ll be able to narrow down the best ways to communicate, relate and create emotional connections with the specific audience. Using these universally recognised “characters” your brand can fulfill an unconscious ambition linking your community through an ongoing narrative.


Aquaus Kelley knows distinguishing your community is just step one in the process; nurturing and building that community and cementing a place in the everyday lives of those within it allows your audience, and consumers to feel that they are part of the bigger picture – and offering participation as a co-creator or influencer in the brand story is also a powerful way to reinforce that relationship.


Newsmodo CEO Rakhal Ebeli looks at how to unearth the passion to give back and find the content that tells our brand story in a way that connects us to communities, embedding us in their culture.




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In this episode:

  • Building meaningful, significant, and transformational brands
  • How to curate local culture and lifestyle in an effort to bridge gaps
  • Building value between brands, communities, and culture


About the guest:

Aquaus Kelley is the Founder of ‘A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group’ based in New Jersey, as well as a content creator, brand strategist, social ambassador, and educator. He and the team at #WeLOVEHubCity aim promote positivity and inspiration to his city by curating local culture and lifestyle in an effort to bridge the gap between business, community culture, education, and government. Aquaus specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development and social impact.


Aquaus’ ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe, leverage the influence of popular culture to create social change, and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.

To keep up-to-date with his happenings and daily musings – follow him on Twitter @Aquaus




Bridging The Gap




Header image credit: Corey Agopian



Media technologies have come a long way since cave paintings, and even though the way we tell stories have changed many times over, the key to a good story is pretty much the same. Engage, excite, educate. Stories are authentic human experiences, so our brains respond to content by “connecting” with the story to make sense of the experience.


With the growth of technological capabilities; software, programs and apps are becoming increasingly accessible and user-friendly. Everyone has the potential to be a storyteller in their own way nowadays, whether it’s a facebook update or a snapchat, a blog post or a video but does that mean that everyone is actually good at it?


Good storytelling allows us to understand ourselves better and to find a commonality with others. It unites communities, brings people together and can strengthen bonds of those on the receiving end. Organisations, causes, brands and individuals that create and display authentic meaning and purpose that others can believe in, participate in, and share; that’s when storytelling becomes momentous.


So how do we go about creating genuine emotions, presence and behavioural responses through content? Diana Yazidjian has established herself as a front runner for the new-age way of thinking and creating content that helps us bond with our audience; because stories are how we are wired, stories take place in the imagination and to the human brain, imagined experiences are processed the same as real experiences. That is where the power of good storytelling can turn your brand from recognisable, to memorable.


Newsmodo CEO Rakhal Ebeli discusses how to unlock the power of authentic storytelling that really changes the way people think and feel with the best in the business.



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In this episode:

  • The power of an authentic story
  • How storytelling can can trigger emotion
  • Why emotional connection is so valued


About the guest:

Diana Yazidjian, the Managing Director of DFY Consulting who has over 15 years experience in marketing, technology and strategic storytelling. She speaks at marketing conferences and forums, and has guest blogged at HuffPost and Infopresse. You can participate in one of her full-day workshops to learn from her expertise when it comes to emotional intelligence in storytelling.

To keep up-to-date with her happenings and daily musings – follow Diana on Twitter @dfyconsulting



The Power of Storytelling




Header image credit: Jakob Owens



Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or B2B. One stand-out summary of what branding ‘means’ is courtesy of Entrepreneur; they say that “Your brand is your promise to your customer.” By telling your customer what they can expect from you, your company is differentiating itself from your competitors.


On the other hand; others say your ‘branding’ has nothing to do what you give or do for your customers either- but in reality it’s “the perception that a consumer has when they hear or think of your company name, service or product.” According to The Balance it’s the mental picture of your company represented by the elements, words, and creativity that surround it. So it’s easy enough to tell your customers and audience what you’re going to do, or what you’re going to give them.. But how do you make them think of your brand and business the way you want them to?


This is where “branders” like today’s guest, Pia Silva comes into play – where they can break down your business, analyse it and create all the different elements to showcase your brand at its best; clearly delivering your message, emotionally connecting you to your target audience and motivating your customers by creating a powerful loyalty loop.


Newsmodo CEO Rakhal Ebeli discusses how exactly you can reinvent your brand to be the badass that kicks butt in the competitive landscape, and what content can we create that amplifies our message to the masses.



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Download the episode here


In this episode:

  • What branding means for solopreneurs and small businesses
  • How to build a brand that stands out from the competition
  • Building a badass brand


About the guest:

Pia Silva, entrepreneur, speaker, writer and the Founding Partner and Brand Strategist behind Worstofall Designs; her badass branding skills has helped many companies and business entrepreneurs build their brand strategy, positioning, messaging, logo, marketing and more.

To keep up-to-date with her happenings and daily musings – follow her on Twitter @PiaLovesYourBiz



How Badass Is Your Brand? 




Header image credit: Hermes Rivera



How socially ‘aware do you think you are’? Have you ever studied your own emotional intelligence? Nowadays, the way we represent ourselves and our brands in public can be so much more complicated than days gone by. The acceleration of social media and the proliferation of platforms has meant that we as marketers need to be playing by a whole new set of rules for engagement.


According to Entrepreneur there are 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing – Listening, Focus, Quality, Patience, Compounding, Influencer, Value, Acknowledgement, Accessibility and Reciprocity. That’s quite a list but boy do they make some very good points.


The lists of what-to-do and what-not-to-do are endless… From what’s the best time to post on social media channels, to the best types of content and everything in between – how we manage social to create consistently great engagement as well as be popular can often be a challenge few can overcome.


Our guest today Mandi Bateson knows that content can build an audience, whilst great content will attract the right people to your business, your brand. So how do you create a strategy that will engage your audience and have them become your very own brand ambassadors?


Newsmodo CEO Rakhal Ebeli discusses how to take advantage of different social media platforms and engage your audience properly, so you’re giving them what they actually want.



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Download the episode here


In this episode:

— Strategising your social media marketing plans

— Why trying to gain mass attention may not benefit your brand

— Using content to start conversations with your audience


About the guest:

Mandi Bateson is the Head of Social at M&C Saatchi with over 12 years worth of marketing experience and specialises in strategy, training and workshops. She has worked with some impressive brands over the years, and puts her knowledge of social media, digital communication and content strategy and planning into action, every day. 

To keep up-to-date with her happenings and daily musings – follow Mandi on Twitter @DigitalMands



Storytelling Over Time 




Header image credit: Uroš Jovičić



We learn things very differently to how those who came before us would have in generations past. Even as adults, we know that whilst reading regularly is a key driver to personal growth, so few of us actually have, or at least find the time to do it.


Finding ways to condense all those learnings and cram them into content that’s much easier to digest. This has lead to the rise of infographics and other innovative ways to represent information, data and research that makes learning easy and often even fun!


Scientifically speaking, almost 50% of your brain is involved in visual processing,  70% of all your sensory receptors are in your eyes and we can absorb the general sense of a visual scene in less than a tenth of a second. Pretty impressive when you think about it; it takes us 150 microseconds for a symbol to be processed in our brains, and another 100 microseconds for us to attach a meaning to said symbol. That is some seriously fast thinking.


In this day and age, we’re highly susceptible to information overload, and researchers have found that infographics help us engage with the information provided because they’re colourful (back to pre-school basics) and stimulating, therefore making it easy for us to process and remember them. Our guest today Brian Wallace knows better than anyone how much a great infographic can impact a consumer.


Newsmodo CEO Rakhal Ebeli discusses the ways we can add a splash of colour to our brands and create some memorable content that your audience will want to share.



Subscribe on: iTunes | TuneIn | or an RSS feed of your choice! 


Download the episode here


In this episode:

— Why infographics work so well

— How to make the most impact with your infographic

— Creating memorable content for your audience


About the guest:

Brian Wallace is the President and Founder of NowSourcing; the US’s premier infographic design agency. He has perfected the art and science of telling a compelling story backed by data, and creating visually stimulating pieces that help brands educate and connect with their audiences.

To keep up-to-date with his happenings and daily musings – follow him on Twitter @NowSourcing




Visual Data and Audience Engagement





How much video content do you consume each week? If you think about it, it’s the medium that engages the most senses and yet we can consume it with the most ease. Whether you’re on a train or the treadmill, we all take in video at different points of the day. In 2017, video accounts for 74% of all online traffic, with more than 55% of us watching it in some form every day. Some statistics show that using video on a landing page can increase conversion by up to 80%.

Most recently this year, LinkedIn started trialling a video feature where some “beta-users” could publish videos directly to the platform without having to upload them to YouTube first; as was the previous process. And as you’ve probably noticed, now that they’ve opened up the feature (announced by Pete Davies on August 22nd) to all users it has completed exploded and almost dominated the content being shared.

As well as the traditional posts and articles you could add and share on LinkedIn, we now have a completely new medium to take advantage of. As we covered off on in a blog post last week (bit.ly/linkedinvideo-howto) there are already numerous tips and tricks to recording your own video whether it’s factoring in the length, adding subtitles or some basic editing, to the content and topics you cover, the one consistent piece of advice is authenticity.

According to our guest String Nguyen, your LinkedIn connections and audience are looking for you to be as personable and authentic with your videos so they can learn something from you, or join you on your journey .. whatever it may be, just be you.

Newsmodo CEO Rakhal Ebeli discusses creating vlog content that moves the needles on your personal brand authority and how to set yourself apart from the other thought leaders in your space.



Subscribe on: iTunes | TuneIn | or an RSS feed of your choice! 


Download the episode here


In this episode:

– Using video to build your personal brand

– The future of video

– Leveraging LinkedIn to stand out from the crowd


About the guest:

String Nguyen is No. 1 “Top Video Personal Brand LinkedIn” as well as the Video Content Creator and Producer at StringStory Media. She’s amassed a huge following since jumping on the LinkedIn bandwagon in August with her daily video and written content on the #StringStory chain.   Her passion is educating her audience and sharing knowledge with those willing to listen.

String is hosting a FREE workshop later this month all about growth hacking your LinkedIn, creating organic inbound traffic and how to pull people to you. Head here to reserve your space – LinkedIn is the new Facebook 

To keep up-to-date with her happenings and daily musings – follow String on Twitter @StringStory or connect on LinkedIn @String Nguyen


Have you ever stopped to think about what your digital footprint says about you? What story does the lineage of images, posts and conversations you’ve had over the years on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… the seemingly endless list of social channels most of us exist play on… how has our engagement on them shaped the way we are viewed by those who know us, those who don’t and some who may be looking to in the near future.

It’s no secret too that happy staff make for a better work environment, are more productive and are ultimately committed to the cause. And the flow on from that can often be even more powerful. The collective ‘story’ that your staff tell about your business is often the biggest determinant of brand sentiment in market. There is no more powerful brand advocate than those who work within the organisation day in and day out. They, willingly or not, are living and breathing representatives of your narrative… and to the earlier point, those stories are now playing out in so many ways and on so many different platforms. Imagine the reach if every one of your staff shared the business’ inspiring story on every platform, every day!

So how can we help our employees enjoy more enriching careers, be happier with what they do and ultimately act as positive influencers for our business in market? Our guest on this episode Dr Lindsay McMillan is working on a project that is aimed at doing just that.

Newsmodo CEO Rakhal Ebeli discusses how employees are your first and foremost marketing tool—so get ready to write some internal memo’s to the self and pump up that morale.



Subscribe on: iTunes | TuneIn | or an RSS feed of your choice! 


Download the episode here


In this episode:

– Employee advocacy, is it the right way for brands to ‘advertise’ themselves

– What issue that is most often overlooked

– Strategies you can implement in your workplace


About the guest:

Dr Lindsay McMillan is a leading academic, thought leader and social commentator about all things HR and life in the Aussie workplace; Dr Lindsay McMillan is the Managing Director of Reventure Ltd and for several decades, has continued to shape the landscape of our work lives. He is a recipient of an OAM for services to Australians with disabilities through a range of health organisations and employee assistance programs. He is a Churchill Fellow and a recipient of a Rotary International Foundation Fellowship.

One of the highlights of Storyology in Sydney was Jennifer Byrne’s Q & A session with Gold Walkely winning photographer, Andrew Quilty and his cousin, Archibald Prize winning painter and activist, Ben Quilty who discussed their work on the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

Andrew began by describing the weeklong journey he made into the bombed out Kunduz hospital building to take the now familiar and shocking photo that went on to win both the Gold Walkley award for Journalistic Excellence and the Nikon Walkely Photo of the Year award for 2016: The Man on the Operating Table. He described moving forensically through the building, which had since been overrun by the Taliban, while drenched in sweat with the sound of fighting mere blocks away ringing in his ears. He remembered opening the swing doors to the operating theatres to capture the image of Baynazar Mohammad Nazar lying dead on the operating table under a pile of rubble. When asked if he knew it was THE photo, Andrew said “I knew it was a symbolic scene” but he only realised its true significance later. Andrew later went on the capture husband and father of four’s family’s devastation in the aftermath of his death in a vivid and raw photo essay; a project that he believes was important to give context by chronicling the life of the victim.

As the official war artist for the Australian War Memorial, Ben Quilty captured another side of the war in Afghanistan – the trauma suffered by Australian veterans during and after the war. On his decision to keep painting the veterans when they had returned home from the war, despite resistance from the the Department of Defence, he described veterans having nervous breakdowns and attempting suicide on return and said: “You have to keep these people’s stories going.” On his well known campaign against the execution of Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia, he added that he wanted to give people a voice: “Without a voice, no one hears them.”

When asked how they view their work, Ben said: “Activisim – all artists are activists, it’s what we do… making something is activism.” referring to the power of Picasso’s Guernica as an example. Andrew believes the main thing the cousins have in common is anger and their tendency to take risks out of anger. It is something he sees as a common trait in their family that he attributes to a strong “social justice streak” in their upbringing. “We grew up in such privilege and you go out and see how others live…” he reflected.

Andrew believes that Afghanistan has been professionally good for him but living there and watching a country in decline is very difficult and tiring. He continues to cover the war in Afghanistan, unsure of when will be the right time to stop covering it. Ben spoke of his new project, a book about Syrian refugee children that he is working on with Booker Prize winning author, Richard Flanagan, due to be published in March 2018, stating: “There is universal truth in children’s drawings.”

Saturday’s Storyology schedule in Brisbane was sure to impress any crime enthusiasts in the audience. In a setting that resembled ABC’s ‘The Book Club,’ accomplished journalists Quentin Dempster, Kate Kyriacou, Joshua Robertson and Kerry O’Brien sat down to discuss all things crime and punishment.

We first heard from The Guardian’s Joshua Robertson on organised crime in Queensland. Mr Robertson, who had previously handled the investigations desk, spoke of cannabis being the most trafficked drug in Queensland.

The News Daily contributor Quentin Dempster then fired off a list of questions about hydroponic cannabis plants, to which Kerry O’Brien interrupted, saying: “Why, are you interested in buying some Quentin?”

“No it’s not my drug of choice, Dempster said.

“They [cannabis traffickers] just sound like very enterprising people.”

This back-and-forth banter between Kerry and Quentin was incredibly amusing.

The recent story embroiling the Ibrahim family in a billion-dollar drug syndicate was raised. But Robertson hesitated in calling it a major triumph.

One billion dollars sounds like a lot of money but it is only the tip of the iceberg, he said.

“People tend to think there is one Mr Big at the at the centre of these organised crime syndicates.

“From what we’ve seen, there are usually multiple Mr. Bigs.”

Moderator Madonna King then passed it over to Kate Kyriacou, Courier- Mail Chief Crime Reporter and author of ‘The Sting: The Undercover Operation that Caught Daniel Morcombe’s Killer.’

Kyriacou took out a Clarion award in 2016 for her report on the undercover police effort that lead to the confession and arrest of Brett Peter Cowan.

While panellists praised both Kate’s work and the undercover work Queensland Police did in closing Daniel Morcombe’s case, Kerry O’Brien raised concerns for the state of investigative journalism today.

“It’s difficult because investigative journalism is very expensive yet so underfunded, O’Brien said.

“A four corners program will take around seven weeks to produce.”

Despite funding woes, Kyriacou seemed convinced that, as the English proverb goes, if there’s a will then there’s a way.

“Of course, it’s difficult and it takes time,” Kyriacou said.

“But every day I fight for the time I need to work on my projects.”

Left, Melissa Maykin, Middle, Kerry O’Brien. “I’m the thorn between two roses,” he said. Left, Melissa Maykin, Middle, Kerry O’Brien. “I’m the thorn between two roses,” he said.

The day finished on a lighter note with singer-songwriters Patience Hodgson, John Patterson, Hannah Shepherd and QWeekend columnist and comedian Mel Buttle sharing their favourite Brisbane stories.

Josh Patterson, from The Grates, recalled a night out in summer when a bouncer rejected him for wearing shorts.

“We were like, dude it’s the middle of summer and even the coppers wear shorts,” he said.

Mel Buttle then added her two cents regarding Brisbane’s hottest suburbs.

“I like to find a suburb of Brisbane that’s not a main one, not The Valley, Paddington or West End.

“Just go to a normal suburb and find an old bloke and sit down and have a yarn about what’s happened to the country for 50 minutes.

“That’s a popular Brisbane past time,” Buttle joked.

Despite some weird and wonderful experiences, everyone agreed Brisbane is a truly unique place to live.