“Podcasting is the next generation of radio.”

Steve Jobs

So I’m a big fan of podcasts. I use my travel time in only 3 different ways. I use it either as down time (silence) to think and reset my thoughts, playing kids tunes to appease the little people in the back who I taxi around or to learn and seek inspiration by listening to podcasts.

The great thing is in the last week I’ve found I’m and certainly not alone. From my posts on LinkedIn to conversations with friends and clients we’re all seeking valuable content in delivery methods that are convenient to us.

Podcasting is taking off!

According to the Podcasting Intelligence Report by Media Week and Nova Entertainment in Australia there are 3.5 million people listening to podcasts (aged between 16-64). So 1 in 4 people in that age bracket consume podcasts and the growth rate is only accelerating.

The ABC’s Podcast Survey states 16% of Australians 18-75 claimed to have listened to a podcast in the last week and If you limit the age range from 18-24s its 27%.

So what are we all listening to?

Highest ranking podcasts in Australia

according to Techly is:

  1. ABC Radio: Conversations
  2. The Joe Rogan Experience
  3. TED Talks Daily
  4. Stuff You Should Know
  5. Casefile Ture Crime
  6. The Teacher’s Pet
  7. Hamish & Andy
  8. Kate, Tim, & Marty
  9. Hack (triple j)
  10. The Daily (The New York Times)
  11. Australian True Crime
  12. My Favorite Murder
  13. Global News Podcast
  14. Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations

Analytics and usage patterns are still being determined and there are more and more podcasts arising everyday.

The future for podcasts

What I like to think is that advertising may not be the future for commercialising podcasts. Research to date shows that other options such as subscriptions are better fitted to the medium. If we look at a market such as China subscriptions are key to accessing content. The Chinese government estimated the market for paid podcasts alone as $7.3 billion in 2017.

I, like most listeners, like to the idea of ad free content as it prioritises the user experience. I tend to find podcasts with advertising less engaging. but some of the most popular podcasts are commercialising their content in this way. So success is there to be had.

However, unless you’ve got the big bucks or an influence it could be hard to get cut through in the beginning. Advertisers are looking for big listener numbers before they invest.

The Netflix approach to podcasting is seeing merit. Luminary Media is currently exploring how much people will pay for podcasts. They have 40 big-name creators with the intention of launching a subscription-based podcast network.

Spotify is also trialling activity with podcasts so the interest due to the demand is there. I think it’s a good fit for Spotify. Podcasts are accessible in a freemium model but ad-free podcasts are only available to subscribers. That’s right the exact same way they have structured the access to all our favourite tunes.

Not yet seamless….

I think podcasts will only become more entrenched as it’s quickly proving to be a convenient way of consuming valuable content. There is still a way to go before podcasts are more integrated with voice applications such as Alexa and Siri but let’s face it, it’s coming.

So how do we find out about the great podcasts people are launching out there?

Well that’s where I thought I would throw it out you guys! Sure, you can scroll through and search the podcast lists but even with Netflix I find if someone recommends a show I’m more likely to give it a chance. And everyone likes a recommendation.

So, what are you listening to?

Comment below..

Wrtiten by Olivia O’Connor, Founder of Liv By Design a creative strategic marketing consultancy. Through facilitated workshops Olivia (or Liv) will harnesses the creativity of your workforce to achieve simple, effective and innovative results.

We help marketing teams, SME’s and business leaders with simple sustainable solutions to tricky problems.” Olivia O’Connor

Have a chat with Liv sometime soon!

Key-Person Dependency is the term used when a business is heavily reliant on the knowledge, relationships or skills of an individual or a very small number of people. (Often the business owner or owners). Typically, this is found in SME’s, however, it can be found in organisations of all sizes.

Let’s put this in straight forward terms. Are you a business owner or manager? If something happened to you tomorrow (god forbid) and you couldn’t work would the business survive?

The loss of an owner or key operator can be a real blow to a business.

Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to key person risk as they often take on all the business functions or maintain control of all the business functions. These can include all aspects of sales, marketing, operations, HR, accounts and the list goes on.

There comes a time when the risk of burn out becomes very real.

But before we get to some helpful hints let’s look at the importance of small business to the community.

Over 97% of Australian businesses are small businesses. That is they have between 0-19 employees. It’s a large and vibrant sector which is vital to the health of the Australian economy. Small business accounts for 33 per cent of Australia’s GDP and they employ over 40 per cent of Australia’s workforce.

Now to bring this a bit closer to home to WA the State Government reports that there are 224,270 small business who contributed $48 billion to the WA economy. 491,993 people are employed by small business in WA and 41% of the private sector workforce is employed by small business.

So as a collective we’re looking at a sector which is the heartbeat to business but they’re in a high risk situation where their business is dependent on them. Not only that, as individuals they’re left feeling as though everything is up to them. When you’re in this situation somethings got to give and their personal lives often suffer.

So how can business owners start working on their business (being more strategic) rather than working in their business?

What we’re about to suggest here is embarking on the beginnings of succession planning so that small businesses can grow and then sustain that growth, without them. They need to move from being the technician to instead and trying to do everything to overseeing the business.

Collaboration

Yep, it’s a simple one but we’re not talking about drinks and an early finish on a Friday. We’re talking about working together and using team cohesion to deliver the best services or products possible to your clients. Nothing brings people together like a common goal. Your strategic goals for the business should be shared with the team so they understand where the business needs to go and what role they need to play in that.

Empowerment

Once your staff understand where the business is going and what their part is you can then ask them to start thinking about how they can deliver on the goals. Why ask them? Isn’t it quicker to do it yourself and just tell them? In short no. By handing down a strategy with what they ‘need to do be doing’ we liken it to giving a kid a map of an amusement park and telling them they need to follow it and not get distracted on the way. It’s hardly engaging or fun. Instead get them to give you the answers. Let them think about what they want to achieve and how they plan to get there. Listen to their ideas. Let them have a few wild rides and trial some things. If it doesn’t work then move on to the next trial. Before you know it you’ll find new ideas spreading. You’ll find engagement at an all-time high and you’ll have staff that aren’t dragging themselves to work to follow a manual.

Encourage open communication

We heard that mumble under your breath. “What I just let the staff run wild and do what they want and try new things? They could ruin me!” Okay not exactly. This is within reason and within resources available. By encouraging open communication if one of your team come up with something that may never work hear them out give them the opportunity to talk through it and if you have an environment of open communication you will find that someone will critique the idea and bring them back to reality. In amongst that wild idea you may have an element that could be simplified or adapted to work.

Automate your process

Yep, we just got boring. By automating processes, it not only saves you time but it also ensures that more people can be capable and easily trained to complete day-to-day tasks.

This is where big business excels. Large organisations are twice as likely to innovate in the area of operational processes as small business’. (Reported by the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Commonwealth Government.)

Capture your customer data

If you got great sales and business development personnel ensure the details of your clients don’t leave with them. You should own and control all your client records.

Business owners need to invest in their future and the future of their business by empowering their staff and setting up processes that help people move towards one common goal. This will allow their staff to feel like they are contributing. They’ll feel more included and confident and they will be more likely to go the extra mile. They’ll be happier at work and in effect happier people in general.

Here’s the mic drop. You’ll not only be responsible for uplifting your team but you’ll also free yourself from the treadmill of business problems and tasks and instead rise above this and start looking ahead into the possibilities of the future of your business and for yourself.

This article is by Olivia O’Connor, Founder of Liv By Design a creative business solutions company. Liv By Design is dedicated to helping business owners grow their business and start strategically planning their initiatives.
Through facilitated workshops Liv By Design harnesses the creativity of your workforce to achieve effective innovative results.

Keep using it and it will grow.

“Like a muscle, your creative abilities will grow and strengthen with practice.” 
― Tom Kelley

Tom Kelly is the author of Creative Confidence and the Director of Design Thinking Firm IDEO.

Let’s face it when we go to work, we aren’t scheduling in our creative thinking time. We schedule meetings, follow ups, conference calls and a list of to do’s as long as our arms but we never schedule thinking time. Maybe that’s because we’d never accept, or we’d suggest another time.

We get it. We’re all busy in the trenches getting stuff done but if I was to tell you having time to think was a key trait of the successful would it change your mind? Successful leaders value the time they can get to stop and reflect. Why? It helps them to think differently, perhaps change a course of action or come up with an idea they hadn’t thought of before. We can call this going out on the balcony, strategic thinking, creative thinking or critical thinking. Whatever you want to call it, it helps. In fact, it can be the most valuable time you’ll spend out of your whole week.

Of course all thinking and no action isn’t what we are talking about either that would have some other more negative outcomes. What we are saying is that even if you were only to spend an hour a week to reflect you may just be able to reprioritise or come up with that solutions you’ve been chasing for months.

In order to have our creativity warm up let’s look at some methods to help us be more creative at work.

1. Try a Team Sport

Collaboration is always a great way to bounce ideas of other people. We’re sociable creatures and we develop more well rounded solutions when we work together. Curiosity will lead you to creativity. Get together and you will different points of view you may never have considered. People working together will have a better outcome than someone by themselves. Building on people’s ideas is the rewarding and energising aspect to collaboration.

2. Game Plan

Get a creative session happening in your meetings and reap the rewards of higher engagement and more actionable and effective results.

Meetings are great forums for collaboration and creative thought. However, in many organisations it’s a lost opportunity. Everyone gets together reviewing minutes or going around the room talking about the plan for the week. Instead open with a rapid-fire brainstorming session to an issue that’s relevant to everyone in the room. Capture ideas and have each person jot down what they will do to contribute to the solution.

3. Find Inspiration

There’s always a world champion to look up to. Find Inspiration from them. Look at different industries. Is customer service your challenge? Is it engagement? Whatever the challenge is look outside your industry to how the best in class organisations have delivered on these. When things can be improved on or done better there is the opportunity for disruption.

4. The Cool Down

Free up time for thought. Protect some time in your week to thinking. Ask yourself what is my biggest challenge? What are the organisations biggest challenge? If I could overcome one obstacle what would it be and how would that effect what I am doing today? Block some time out in your calendar and if you reschedule it make sure it still happens. It’ll be the best time you’ve spent all week.

Good luck team, happy work out!

This article is written by Olivia O’Connor Founder of Liv By Design.

Liv By Design is dedicated to helping organisations harness the creativity of their teams to create more effective business solutions. Do you have some challenges in your business? Let Liv By Design rally your team to deliver simple and realistic solutions.

Research proves that kindness has a ripple effect. It’s contagious even!

Jamil Zaki a Stanford psychologist documents the concept of “positive conformity”.

“Participants who believed others were more generous became more generous themselves”.

There is always a lot of focus on customer centricity and improving the lives of those we are serving but workplaces also provide an opportunity to create happy people and improve lives. Our working days fill a lot of hours in our week and if your workforce is continually waiting for time to pass, chances are well…. it’s affecting your business.

Negative side effects
The expectation of employees is to go the extra mile for the customer. We know it improves client loyalty, referrals and retention but let’s face it if people aren’t happy at work this is unlikely to occur. Christine Porath Associate Professor at Georgetown University and TED speaker on energising workplaces identified that people exposed to rudeness are three times less likely to help others, and their inclination to share drops by half.

Positive side effects
The opposite happens with kindness. Respectful engagement amongst teams and healthy interactions also allows individuals to feel more comfortable sharing ideas, they are more willing to listen to each other and support each other. This lays solid foundations for creativity and more effective problem solving which dare we say, leads onto innovation. This is again supported with Jane Dutton’s research at the University of Michigan, concluding respectful engagement with individuals and teams does in fact enhance creativity.

Patient Case Study – Mercedes-Benz unleash the contagion
Let’s look at this in action.

The Harvard Business Review conducted an interview with Stephen Cannon then CEO of Mercede’s Benz USA. Cannon recognised that success was about more than just his vehicles. It was about how much the people who sold and serviced the cars cared and how generously they behaved. “Every encounter with the brand,” he declared, “must be as extraordinary as the machine itself.”

It goes on to state examples where staff had acted on their own will to go out of their way. One dealer realised once he’d closed a sale and was filling out forms that it was in fact the customers birthday. The dealer arranged a cake and celebration when the customer came to collect their vehicle. Another is a customer in desperate need of a tyre after getting a flat on her way to her child’s graduation. They were out of stock of the tyre required but the service manager went out of his way by jacking up and removing a tyre from a showroom model.

But why were these employees so happy to go out of their way? Things rapidly evolved when Hendrik Hynekamp became the first-ever general manager for customer experience at Mercedes-Benz. Hynekamp identified that 70% of front-line employees had never driven one of the cars outside of the dealership. For these employees to take pride in the brand he needed them to experience the joy of driving a Mercedes-Benz. So, he developed a program where each dealership employee (23,000) were able to drive a Mercedes-Benz for 48 hours. As you can imagine the reactions were extremely positive but Hynekamp states ….

“Sure, people got to know the cars very well. But the biggest piece was the pride piece.”

Summary
So, whilst there may be no blueprint, no process in place to instil kindness in your workforce you can be assured that kindness can organically disseminate. You can speed up the distribution by leading by example and using recognition to reward examples you find amongst your team. However, small they may be to begin with. Cultivate your contagion by creating the right conditions and watch it spread.

Positive workplace cultures create happier employees which create better experiences and a happier world. Here’s to creating happy workplaces and happy people!

First of all be clear about what you’re trying to achieve. Clarify your goals and then look for a marketing consultant who can deliver on these. This is important as we’ll mention again later marketing can cover a lot. Be clear about what it is you need. Is it a social media expert? Is it help with researching your customer? Is it capturing testimonials? Is it driving leads? Think of the end goal and talk to a few professionals to see how they would deliver on your problem.

At the end of the day a marketing consultant is just like any other business consultant. They should be there to understand your business and then work with you on developing a strategy, planning and problem-solving.

The Start Up

You might be a start-up and let’s face it employees can be the overhead you just can’t afford. A consultant on an hourly rate seems a lot more suitable. You may just need some help validating your offering and then tightening up on your key messages such as an elevator pitch and value proposition.

The Small Business

Perhaps you’re a small business. Perhaps you’ve been doing the marketing yourself since you started the business and you simply don’t have time to do this and actually RUN your business. Considering a consultant could be the flexible option for you to see what can be possible from a professional before you commit to a permanent hire.

The Marketing Team

Perhaps you have a marketing employee but you’ve uncovered that marketing covers a lot of tasks. If you have someone in the hot seat whether it’s a marketing manager or marketing coordinator chances are they are doing everything from designing letter heads, coordinating office signage to managing all digital platforms and getting involved in many strategic projects when they get the chance. It’s hard for them to come up for air never mind clearing time for creative thought and strategic planning.  

Here are some major benefits to hiring a consult:

Focus

They are free to focus on the specific project and task you set for them. There’s no getting distracted with the demands of internal stakeholders and needing to sift through priorities day in day out. The focus is clear and because of this the deliverables are more efficient.

New points of view

Often working across various industries they can deliver a different point of view for your organisation. They will come equipped with success stories where tactics and strategies have had great impact and then they can adapt this to your organisation.

Skills and experience

The average consultant has worked in different industries and gained insights with their skills and experience over many years. You can benefit by acquiring the skills you need to take your business to the next level without having to permanently invest in hiring someone with that level of expertise.

UK-based research firm Source Global Research published a report stating “The Australian consulting market is now the largest in the world relative to national income.” This is a trend that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down as organisations seek external expertise to accelerate plans for growth.

The Finanical Review reported

“Firms in Australia are enthusiastic users of consulting services and were much more likely to call in the advisers than businesses in almost every other country”

This was according to the report Planning for Growth in 2017 by research firm Source Global Research.

Planning for Growth in 2017 by research firm Source Global Research.

David Zehner, the head of Bain in Australia and New Zealand further supported these sentiments stating “The premium consulting market in Australia has plenty of room to grow. The market for premium consulting services is growing because companies are increasingly aware of the value of external support.”

So if you’re considering a consultant you’re not alone. It’s a flexible option that allows you to access premium expertise and maintain a focus on driving change and results for your organisation.

At Liv By Design we are a Marketing and Design Thinking Consultancy based in Perth Western Australia. We come armed with a wide network of marketing experts from digital marketing, SEO, social and overall strategic planning and coaching. If you’re looking for some obligation free advice on how you accelerate your results we’d be happy to chat.

Thanks for now!

“Marketing is too important to be left just to the marketing department”
– David Packard, HP

A pretty harsh comment Dave! But before we get defensive let’s think about this. Marketing today needs to play a different role than it did only a few years ago. In order to achieve better outcomes marketing teams need to adapt the role that organisational change does.

We’ve always dealt with aspects of internal engagement. We develop internal newsletters. We send out emails updating the team on wins and positive stories. We are the go-to team for almost every other department. So why then do we continue to work in silos. Why do we await the news of the next big priority of the sales team? Why do we outsource market research in the hope that a third party will provide the depth of understanding of our customers that we need?


Marketing teams can be the busiest function in any organisation as it crosses over to the needs of almost all internal stakeholders. So if we serve all departments wouldn’t it be fair to say that instead of serving we instead lead? Sure we do this to some degree in that we can advise what our brand guidelines state and what fits in the realms of possible and not possible, however, there is a future, or should I say the present, that demands more.

“Marketing has the ability to drive organisation change.” – Olivia O’Connor


In the past we haven’t been able to address problems clearly. The issues often relate to sales challenges or customer service issues and they are all treated in isolation. We need to sift through the issues that are brought to us and instead look to the root-cause otherwise we might be treating injuries that need surgery with a band aid.


In the past we haven’t been able to address problems clearly. The issues often relate to sales challenges or customer service issues and they are all treated in isolation. We need to sift through the issues that are brought to us and instead look to the root-cause otherwise we might be treating injuries that need surgery with a band aid.


“Our jobs as marketers is to understand how the customer wants to buy and help them to do so.” – Bryan Eisenberg

Transformational marketing relates directly to the elements required for innovation. It starts with a customer focus and centricity that presents unmet needs and developing a strategy from here. Marketers need to accelerate their skill sets that help them unlock the ability for discovery.

Marketing not only needs involvement in the design of new services and products but marketers have the opportunity to be driving and facilitating these designs. By creating cross functional teams and guiding them through customer findings we unlock better results, create shared goals and create a sense of purpose for individuals and the organisation.


Transformational marketing is our bag at Liv By Design. We know we can help you and your team. Reach out if you’d like to chat more.

Why do you need a value proposition?

Let’s keep this really simple. Value propositions will help your customer understand what you do and how you do it in the shortest amount of time possible.

A value proposition only needs to be a couple of sentences long but it needs to be easily understood by your customer (so using their language) and tell them about the benefits that your company, your services or your product provides.

People feel at ease when they understand something. So it’s important to keep the audience in mind at all times when you are developing your proposition. A good value proposition describes what problems you solve, how and the key benefits to your clients. It’s letting them know why you are right for them.

By holding a fun brainstorming workshop to develop your value proposition you will not only attract more customers by succinctly communicating the benefits you provide but it will also:

  1. Provide your team with more clarity about what they need to prioritise in their roles
  2. Help your team passionately and accurately summarise what it is they and your company does
  3. Increase workplace engagement by giving teams a voice

Once you’ve got your value proposition your staff can use this in introductions and when they are telling people about what your organisation does. We all have short attention spans so at a networking opportunity you want your staff to be able to passionately and accurately represent your organisation.

Use your value proposition on your website and all your marketing collateral. To be clear though a value proposition is NOT a slogan or a TAGLINE. It’s what let’s people know what makes you different and how you can help them. It will help pave the way to a successful relationship as people won’t buy what they don’t understand.

You don’t need to stop there. Once you have your organisations value proposition why not start implementing versions for different functions of the business. You might have different products or services. Create a value proposition for all of these. If you’re recruiting create an Employee Value Proposition which will help you attract the talent you’re looking for but succinctly summarising the benefits your workplace provides.

At Liv By Design we completed 22 value propositions in 2 weeks with one organisation and different cross functional teams to the point where 90% of employees had been involved in creating a proposition.

Why was this so effective?

1. Most of those employees felt that if they needed to they could run the same rapid fire brainstorming workshop themselves.

2. It helped them remember what the propositions were because they had input into creating these.

3. It provided the staff with the ability to really strategise and discuss what was important to their clients and prioritise these. It helped simplify all the things they were trying to achieve in their roles and gave them a better view of what they needed to be dedicating time to.

Our value proposition workshops simply harness your team’s ideas, feedback and most importantly their knowledge of your clients. If you’d like to know more reach out we’d be happy to chat about how we could help.

Why is it that we are driving down the highway or going for a run or taking a shower that we get moments of inspiration? All of a sudden, new ways of thinking emerge to problems we might have spent hours trying to figure out at the office or in a meeting. Why? This has always intrigued me 

 In religion it’s been termed as a moment of revelation.  

 An example is the story of Archimedes a famous Greek mathematician and inventor. He discovered the law of hydrostatics. He was taking a bath and realised that the water dispersed was that of equal volume to that of his body. His “eureka” moment, as its been scripted came when taking a bath!  

 Now I’m no neuroscientist and but in my research, I’ve discovered the answer is when we are doing things that put our brain into auto pilot it changes the thought pathways in our brain. Our pre-frontal cortex becomes relaxed

 What does that do? Well, the pre-frontal cortex is part of the frontal lobe and it is responsible for our planning, reasoning and judgement.  

 All essential and vital functions but it when fully engaged on a task the pre-frontal cortex is likely to censor unconventional and creative thinking.  

 If you think about it this area of our brain gets very little down time. But when it does all of a sudden different pathways and connections in our brain are made possible and that’s when we get our moments of insight and inspiration.  

 So, if we are a leader in a business or running a marketing team if we are focused on running a meeting for instance, this means that our pre-frontal cortex is fully engaged and as a result we cannot free ourselves up to being able to creatively contribute to the meeting.  

 We are too busy analysing and monitoring what people are saying, making sure the meeting doesn’t go off track and keeping time of the meeting.  

 So, if you have a problem that requires a creative solution give your brain some relaxation time.  

 What sets your mind at ease? You could try some activity like a walk, run or swim. Is it playing a game? Is it drawing or doodling? Is it simply your drive or ride to and from work? Embrace moments of stillness and see where your mind leads you.  

 If you’ve got a problem and you need a creative solution ensure the stage is set to unleash your own creative connections. Think of how you can best structure your next meeting or brainstorming session that will enable everyone in the room to shift from being task focused.  

If you need more ideas on how to structure a brainstorming session reach out. We’d be happy to chat more.

Agile marketing is an iterative and adaptive process. Agile lends itself to driving innovative solutions, a more innovative culture and better results. 

Whilst it requires the ability to be fast to act and quick to respond, this does not define the theory of agile. Being quick to respond simply means teams are still reactive but are very efficient at being reactive. 

Here’s why Agile is more than being fast to act. 

1. The customer is at the core. 

The concept of Agile Marketing brings a focus on identifying needs and pain points of consumer markets. The ability to empathise with consumers and adapt to their changing needs forms the foundations of competitive advantage. 

2. Aligning with overarching goals. 

Successful marketing not only requires an intimate understanding of who you serve but it also requires a close alignment to your organisations long term vision and the overarching business goals. One of the greatest strengths in agile marketing is the involvement of small cross functional teams which is proven to improve any campaigns success rate. Cross functional teams can identify potential inefficiencies earlier as more critical insights are presented before campaigns go live. It also empowers marketers and gives them access to different points of view that may have never been considered. 

3. Driving an innovative culture. 

The methodology behind Agile Marketing increases communication and transparency within an organisation by breaking down silos and empowering employees to offer new ideas. The fear of failure is removed as to fail fast is a natural step in the build-measure-learn loop. As part of the loop Agile also relies on testing, rapid iterations and small releases as opposed to large drawn out campaigns. In order to iterate it also forces teams to be more data-driven to learn and guide their efforts. 

In 2012, a group of forward-thinking marketers put their heads together to come up with the marketing version of the Agile Manifesto. (Agile applies key principles from agile software development.) 

According to the manifesto, Agile marketers value:

1. Validated learning over opinions and conventions

2. Customer-focused collaboration over silos and hierarchy

3. Adaptive and iterative campaigns over Big Bang campaigns

4. The process of customer discovery over static prediction

5. Flexible vs. rigid planning

6. Responding to change over following a plan

7. Many small experiments over a few large bets

Agile Marketing will become more and more important to teams and organisations. It’s a new way of working that is proven and used by the most innovative companies in the world. Agile is simply a representation of how we need to adapt and rise to the challenge of a fast-moving world and rapidly changing needs and channels. Agile allows us to do this by ensuring our analysis of the customer is never complete. 

It’s inherently a dedication to making peoples lives better by matching their needs with our products and services. 

If you enjoyed this leave me a comment. I’d love to hear what you think!