Data is the lifeblood of the information age and by analysing it companies can understand their operations better, drive innovation, and generate more revenue.

Matt Kuperholz is known by his clients as the ‘data whisperer’, some even say he ‘dances with data’.

Mad on technology for as long as he can remember, Matt trained in actuarial science but soon realised his true passion was computer science. Now a data scientist, consultant, company director and Matt has received recognition from the Australian Prime Minister and Chief Scientist as one of 100 knowledge workers shaping the new economy.

Data is an asset, and according to Matt it’s value depends on the insights you derive from it with analytics. The more analytics you apply to identify and solve problems the more the data is worth.

In data, Matt found a way to combine his three best skills: solving problems, practicing high-end mathematics and working at the highest level of what computers can achieve.

Starting out as an analyst in 1995 when actuarial consulting firm, Towers Perrin sponsored his University course, Matt earned promotions to senior analyst and then became a consultant until 2001.

This was the launch of a 20 year career where Matt has become one of the most sought after data analytics experts in Australia. Throughout his career he has specialised in data mining and analysis, financial and actuarial analysis, programming, management, presentation and sales.

After Towers Perrin he consulted for Raptor International, directed a boutique web and technology consulting firm, and in 2005 started his own consultancy where he utilises his expertise in the application of artificial intelligence technologies.

With such a distinguished career it was not long before top-tier companies knocked on his door. In 2006 he started as a Principal at Deloitte where he worked with the forensic technology division to develop the internationally acclaimed, Analytic Insights practice. This success earned him partnership at Deloitte where his great work continued for another 2 years, up to 2013.

Then in February of 2014, he joined PwC as Partner and Chief Data Scientist, where he remains today.  

Not content to do just one job, Matt continues to consult with Matt Kuperholz Consultancy, is a Director of SOS guard, and is on the Wisdom Council for The Hub Melbourne.

From 2008 to 2011, Matt sat on the board for Karma Currency foundation, a gift card based non-profit that seeks to energise charitable giving in Australia.

To cap it all, Matt is now making a name for himself as a speaker and sharing his knowledge with like-minded industry professionals. He speaks on various topics that help large companies improve their marketing functions, how to use leading edge analytical techniques and the how to achieve a win-win with data for marketers and customers.

Matt says data is a fantastic thing to be mining, because everything else we are mining is running out, while data stocks are only increasing.

This profile is part of our series of spotlights on the keynote speakers that will be coming to Melbourne for the World Marketing and Sales Forum 2016. Use the promo code NEWSMODO10 for a 10% discount on tickets. 

Transitioning from media writing to brand journalism

Journalism and traditional newsrooms are  experiencing falling circulations  , which is forcing them to shrink their workforce. In Australia, between 2012 and 2014 alone, the number of journalists fell by 20%. Meanwhile, brand journalism is on the rise, which has attracted journalists to the “other” side.

But are media writing and brand journalism really so different?

Marketing, specifically content marketing, is getting ever closer to traditional If in a newsroom, you have editorial guidelines; increasingly you do when writing for brands, too. These set the standards for brand journalists to adhere to, and also the style/tone needed to set the brand apart from competition. The glue that binds it all together is the story. Do readers derive value from the story you’re writing?

Source: Prowly
Source: Prowly

Objective vs. Subjective

While the notion of objectivity is open to a lot of debate – in both journalism and brand journalism – consumers are still more likely to trust brands that appear impartial. That translates to content that is:

  • Not self-promotional

  • Credible

  • Helpful and relevant

  • Presenting different views/voices

According to HubSpot, there are four models of brand journalism: brand awareness, industry news, create & sponsor, lead generation. Regardless of what model it is, brand journalists should always endeavour to impart what they know in an objective manner.

Style of writing

Trained journalists know the inverted pyramid too well: juiciest bits at the top, less relevant stuff at the bottom.  have a limited attention span. Hence, this makes the transition a bit easier.

Source: University of Leicester
Source: University of Leicester


In journalism, we typically structure a story along these lines:who,what, when, where, how and why. The same applies to brand journalism.


Back in the old days, journalists often specialised in just one medium. Nowadays, multi-media journalists are more common as competition is fierce. Those skills, encompassing radio, TV, print, online writing, would transfer well to brand journalism.

  • Radio to brand podcasts

  • TV to brand videos

  • Print to brand magazines

  • Online to brand blogs

Journalists and media professionals are trained to adapt to different publications, topics and formats. Transitioning to brand journalism with its different models shouldn’t be a bridge  too far.

How to think like a startup: Create content that punches above it’s weight

On the Brand Storytelling podcast this week, we are joined by Locomote co-founder and host of the Locomote podcast, Passion Never fails, David Fastuca.

David started Locomote with his cousin and business partner, Ross Fastuca. Locomote is a corporate travel platform that reduces travel spend while streamlining the booking and expenses process for employees.

We talk on the show about the world of startups and the brands that have grown from nothing into global corporations. We also dive into his role as a global ambassador for Rare Birds, an initiative with the aim of leading a million female entrepreneurs by 2020.

Listen to the full show here: 

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

Download the episode here

In this episode: 

  • How do these startups get their start and what are the traits they have that make them succeed against the odds?
  • What needs to grow outside your content strategy for your business to be successful.
  • Finding the content your audience will engage with and creating emotional storytelling around it. 
  • Tips for startup aspirants to move the needle with content that punches above its weight. 

Preview of the show:

Rakhal Ebeli: What have you found personally as an individual that has really helped you not only I’m sure understanding and really diving into your industry through your own research and creating that content, but I guess from a more public persona perspective how have you found that that’s been advantageous for yourself?

David Fastuca: It helps myself articulate what we’re trying to say a bit better. It does open yourself up to becoming “vulnerable” because it can lead to criticism at times because not everything that we write people are going say “Yay, that’s awesome.” We do try and stir the pot a little bit and throw a few things out there. You need to be willing to take that criticism and talk through it with them. It can be a bit of a debate at times depending on the subject. As long as it’s respectful, then it’s a good thing to engage in.

If you feel really passionate about what you’re talking about, then back it up and say why you believe in this thought because a lot of it is opinion based. There are a lot of things that we write about that are statistical and then we reference where we get the stats from and then build an opinion from that. It helps build that thicker skin because you do get that feedback that you need to engage in at times. It’s helped hone those skills where I just got in life in general.

Rakhal: Absolutely. When we talk about storytelling, your brand’s not had historically a long story to tell, but you can certainly dive into the ups and downs of your own journey and share them with an audience. What tips and tricks can you share with brands that are listening in today around identifying the stories to share and then how you actually flush them out to tell a broader story? You’re positioning your brand ultimately as the thought leader in your space, so making sure that all those stories come from the same position.

David: I think it’s good to not just talk about all the good things that have happened because it’s easy to just promote all the great things that happen and all the nice fluffy stories. What I’ve seen work well is when we talk about the hard times, the times where we had to look at ourselves in the mirror and decide where we wanted to go and what we wanted to be as a company. It’s those moments there whether you’re talking live in front of an audience or on this particular podcast, it’s when people start to open up and trust you a little bit more and people let down their guard. 

On a weekly, daily basis, you have the ups and the downs. I like to personally talk more so about the bad moments because that’s what made us who we are and made the company that it is today. It’s all those moments where we thought we were at the brink but then got ourselves out of that and then become that little bit stronger and harder and the more times that happens the stronger and harder and better we become. We like to engage in those sort of stories and push those out more because people can really relate to that because they’re going to business events and entrepreneurship events and courses because they might be going through a rut or they need to learn or they’re stuck in a situation. It helps them relate to you at that level where it’s not all high and mighty and it’s an easy lifestyle. It’s bloody hell at times.


90% of Startups Fail: Here’s what you need to know about the 10%

Tech venture Locomote plans to revolutionize corporate travel industry

The seven things keeping entrepreneurs from a good night’s sleep

How to build an online marketing strategy

Thought leadership: Content marketing’s secret weapon

A new study by the Economist Group on thought leadership content says 75% of executives have become more selective about the content source, mainly due to the increasing volume being pumped out by marketers.

The good news is, there is still around a third of executives who consume thought leadership content on a daily basis, with some having increased consumption “a lot” over the past year.

To approach thought leadership in a way that delivers lasting value, brands need to take a step back and evaluate how this fits with the overall content marketing strategy. 


What is thought leadership?

Some confuse between the two terms “thought leadership” and “content marketing,” and use them interchangeably. Some say the former is about long-term effect and the latter about what exists today.

The truth is thought leadership is a branch of content marketing, or better yet, the “platinum standard of content-based reputation enhancement.”

Source: QuickTapSurvey
Source: QuickTapSurvey

Hence, it would take time before you see the results of thought leadership. People don’t become experts overnight.

As you can see from the diagram above, thought leadership is different from other content marketing activities in terms of effectiveness and scale, yet it still needs coordination/support with other channels.


Why bother?

Remember Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion/influence? “Authority” is the main principle at play with thought leadership content.

Source: QuickTapSurvey
Source: QuickTapSurvey

According to the aforementioned Economist Group’s study, the benefits of thought leadership are clear:

  • Three-quarters of senior executives are influenced in their buying decisions
  • 67% would be willing to vouch for that brand externally
  • More than 80% would be influenced in their choice of business partner



To reap rewards of thought leadership, the content brands create needs to be “innovative, big picture, credible, and transformative.”

To validate the thought leadership quality of your content, here are some questions to ask:

  • Does it propel readers towards action? Or is it actionable content?
  • Does it provide new or compelling insights?
  • Does it encourage a two-way conversation?
  • Does it steer clear of self-promotion (whether of product or service)


Ways to start building thought leadership

The usual content marketing practices apply: content curation, creation, editing. To elevate it to the top of the pyramid mentioned before, it takes research, staying up to date with industry trends, analysing and identifying the knowledge gap that your content can fill.

Remember the audience

Although true in any marketing activity, it’s especially crucial in thought leadership content to address a specific audience. Because it is more about depth, not breadth. The more you zoom in on your target audience, the more you understand their challenges and thus provide relevant content that helps them.

Subject matter experts

If you want people to trust your ideas and insights, tap the knowledge of experts, whether internal or external. A lot of companies are still not involving these stakeholders in thought leadership content development.

Content formats

Brands can create a content hub which is rooted in a core service. Example: IBM has the THINK Marketing hub around their machine learning service, and the Smarter Planet hub around their smart technologies.

To spur conversations around your thought leadership content, consider expert roundups. This works on the Consensus and Reciprocity Cialdini’s principles too.

Following from the point above, guest blogging has proven effective for many thought leaders.

…..Speaking at the World Marketing & Sales Forum 2016: Don Peppers

Don Peppers is widely recognised as one of the world’s most prominent customer-focused business strategy experts. Since 1993, he has been at the cutting edge of the customer experience collaborating on 11 books and founding a consultancy.

Don and his writing and business partner, Martha Rogers are often credited for radically rethinking the basics of mass marketing, developing a direct approach to customer relations. 

Their first book, The One to One Future was described as the ”bible for new marketing” by Businessweek, in 1993. At the time, Don and Martha thought they were writing business science fiction as they predicted rise of social media and eCommerce. They even had a chapter aptly named ‘Take Products to Customers not Customers to Products’. 

Not content with producing a new holy text for marketers, Don and Martha founded a highly successful customer-centric consulting firm Peppers & Rogers Group. For 23 years they have helped organisations realign their CX strategy, provide frictionless experiences for customers with improved technology and operations, and imbued customer-centric cultures among employees.

The strength of their partnership has been recognised by their induction into the Direct Marketing Association (US) Hall of Fame, in 2013 and by SatMetrix, who ranked Don and Martha as the most influential authorities on customer experience management issues, in 2015.

Don has gone on to write ten more international bestsellers – nine with Martha – and his writing on innovation, technology, CX and corporate culture has also found a home among his 300,000 followers on LinkedIn earning him the title of top INfluencer. He’s also written for Fast Company. 

As a founding partner of CXSpeakers.com, Don presents, workshops and consults on issues modern enterprises are grappling with. He has advised, educated and motivated audiences in over 40 countries, on six continents. His customised presentations and workshops are known to be captivating, persuasive and entertaining. 

Don has helped many businesses maintain a competitive edge and is now so well respected The Times of London listed him as one of the Top 50 Business Brains, Accenture included him in their list of Top 100 Business Intellectuals, and the UK’s Chartered Institute put him in their list of the “50 most influential thinkers in marketing and business today”. 

Remarkably, Don has never had a job he was educated for, he graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science and Astronautical Engineering then went on to Princeton to master in Public and Foreign Affairs. But, for all this, he pursued marketing because he ‘just got it’. 

Don’s latest book, Customer Experience: What, How and Why Now is a collection of essays packed with examples, suggestions, inspiring ideas and advice on how to think about, improve and deliver a better customer experience. 

To top it all, Don is a family man with five children and if you don’t think he does enough, he is also a competitive runner.

This profile is part of our series of spotlights on the keynote speakers that will be coming to Melbourne for the World Marketing and Sales Forum 2016. Use the promo code NEWSMODO10 for a 10% discount on tickets. 

How to define what makes the perfect marketer

On the Brand Storytelling podcast, we are joined by Joe Koufman, CEO and founder of AgencySparks, a matchmaker for brands and specialist marketing agencies. We dive into the question of what makes a perfect marketer and how do we know if we have hit the summit of perfection?

In an ever-changing industry with skill sets and job descriptions changing daily and new technology evolving at a never before seen pace, marketers are now faced with the challenge of adoption or adaptation when choosing the best platforms to build their audiences. 

Joe Koufman has extensive experience in both marketing and business development and has worked with top brands and agencies, including Engauge (now Moxie) and KnowledgeStorm.

He also serves as a board member of the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Associaton (AiMA), the American Marketing Association’s Atlanta Chapter (AMA – Atlanta), the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia amongst other positions. 

Listen to the full show here: 

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

Download the episode here!

In this episode:

– How to mix brand storytelling and content marketing into the perfect marketing blend. 

– What channels should marketers be concentrating on with the explosion of content? 

– Steps to take to increase your personal online footprint. 

– The work AgencySparks did with the Atlanta Hawks to host an agency ‘shootout’. 


Preview of the show: 

Rakhal Ebeli: I love the way that you’ve been able to use cross-platform technology, as well as bringing it into real life. You’re able to capture the imagination, and essentially those leads through the content, and then bring it across to something more personal at an event. Events are becoming more and more a part of the experience, that online experience, that challenge to actually commit to another person, or in this case another agency, whether it be a relationship for business or pleasure. What was the ultimate outcome of that content marketing case study for your business?

Joe Koufman: We had 19 specific requests from a client to connect with one of the agencies that we work with. Ultimately, that was the largest goal, was to make connections between brands and agencies, and that was quite successful. By having marketers fill out the form online, that kicks them into marketing automation as well. We were able to then nurture those leads over time, and create relationships that could be much longer lasting than just Valentine’s Day.

Rakhal: What do you think the learnings for our listeners around content marketing and brand storytelling were from that? You clearly had a really clear direction, a theme to the storyline that you pulled through from the video to the communication, to the invitations, to the live experience, in it was that matchmaking play on words. What would you say, more broadly, are the takeouts for our listeners?

Joe: I think we all are in the content creation business these days, but also content curation can be equally as powerful, and certainly a lot less work than creating content from scratch. For example, that weekly marketer’s toolbox that we publish, we’re constantly on the hunt for the next set of tools. Marketers really appreciate getting that content regardless of whether we created it, or just curated it. We like to mix content curation and content creation together for the ultimate … Also, as you mentioned, multi-channel.

We’re not just thinking about our blog, we’re not just thinking about our emails and marketing automation, we’re thinking about social, we’re thinking about in-person events, it’s the whole combination. I think that the new marketing ecosystem can be very, very confusing, and so my advice for marketers would be pick one thing, do it really well, start with that, do it really well, and then expand from there. Don’t try to boil the entire ocean.


AgencySparks – Blog Sign-up

AgencySparks – Blog Archive

Can Anyone be a Marketer? 

The Perfect Match: A Valentine’s Day Campaign

Marketers Toolbox: MarketMuse

…..Speaking at the World Marketing & Sales Forum: Adam Garone

In 2003, 30 men were given 30 days to grow the best moustache they could in the name of a good laugh. The organisers were amazed at the conversations ‘the mo’ inspired and the frivolity gave way to serious discussions about men’s health – and so, the Movember Foundation was born with Adam Garone playing the part of ‘Chief Mo Bro’.

The movement grew steadily, in 2004 the Movember team brought together 450 men and raised $54,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

What had started as a bit of fun began making a difference, by 2005 almost 10,000 ‘Mo Bros’ and ‘Mo Sistas’ had raised more than $1.2 million, and funded six men’s health projects.

Now, according to the latest reports, there have been more than 5 million Bros and Sistas, who have raised almost $700 million and funded 1,000 men’s health projects. Owning the month of November, they’ve also been able to raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancer, as well as male mental health and suicide issues.

The idea, which Adam says was inspired by the women working on breast cancer campaigns, has grown to become an organisation with 150 employees in seven offices around the world.

Through Movember funding, the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center made a significant research breakthrough identifying that there are 25+ different kinds of prostate cancer. In 2011, the world’s first Prostate Cancer Genome Mapping Project was completed.

From this success, the plaudits have rolled in for the brand and its chief. Adam was awarded the Ernst & Young Australian entrepreneur of the year in 2008, then in 2009, he earned the Melbourne Business School Outstanding Alumnus Award and in 2013 he was awarded the GQ Australian Man of the Year. The Movember Foundation was awarded the Cult Brand of the Year in 2016 and since 2011 it has consistently ranked in the top 100 NGOs in the world, to put that in context there are an estimated 5 million NGOs around the world.

Before growing a moustache became an annual event, Adam served in the Australian Army for 11 years, where he completed a graduate diploma in communications and informations systems at UNSW. But, it was his time in the special forces, where he acquired the leadership and operation management skills that would prove useful in his current role. 

Then, while completing his Masters in Marketing at the University of Melbourne, Adam jumped into several marketing roles. The first was as Product Manager with Panduit where he managed the data communications portfolio.

From there he moved to Pracom, where for four years he worked with Vodafone and Macquarie telecom to implement and market a web based management portal. With 5 years marketing experience under his belt he scored a job with Run Property, which was Australia’s Largest property management company. A year later the Movember Foundation began making waves and became a full-time job.

His passion for grassroots social movements has never subsided and in 2013, Adam became the chairman of the Classy.org board. Where he is able to help the next generation of social enterprises.

Adam continues to ‘change the face of men’s health’ with Movember as it innovates sustainably and strives to make a positive impact on lives.  

This profile is part of our series of spotlights on the keynote speakers that will be coming to Melbourne for the World Marketing and Sales Forum 2016. The event will put the spotlight on new ideas and inspiration to leave attendees with the tools they need to succeed and achieve their personal and brands goals. 

Future pacing: The colliding worlds of journalism and branded content

On the Brand Storytelling podcast, CEO & Co-Managing Partner of Brain+Trust Partners Scott Monty stops by to chat about the intersection of journalism and branded content. We also talk about how the news cycle is being led by brand publishing with traditional media stuck playing catch up. 

Scott also produces his own podcast, The Full Monty that unpacks the week’s digital news and offers his unique insights into the trending issues and opinions. 

Listen to the full show here: 

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

Download the episode here!

The who, what, where, why and how in this episode:

  • Who are the brands that should be pushing into the content space?
  • What are the future predictions we can make about branded content? 
  • Where does the future lie for the journalism industry.
  • Why brands should be looking to build bigger audiences for their content. 
  • How publishers can establish their content via brand storytelling. 

Preview of the show: 

Rakhal Ebeli: That’s something that I’m sure you tackle with your clients. What are some of the tips and tricks when you’re looking at a blank canvas, and someone comes to you and says, “I want to be a publisher of great content, brand storytelling.” What do you say are the most practical and pragmatic steps to start analyzing and then putting in place?

Scott Monty: The first thing is, what are you looking to achieve? You say you want to be a publisher, so you want to be a publisher. What do you want to get out of it, do you simply want more awareness, do you want to drive customer loyalty, do you want to drive leads? Are you getting ready for a big launch? There’s a whole number of questions that can be asked and answered with regard to what your sole purpose is for doing this. There’s nothing wrong with going after sales, but that’s a very, very different kind of approach than simply creating a better reputation for your brand, it’s a much different content approach. That’s really the first step. The second question is, who are you trying to reach? Is this something that is for customers, is it for suppliers, shareholders, employees, and on and on and on? It could be for all of those audiences, and in some cases, you may need to create different versions of content based on the audience that you want to reach.

The next question is, where do you want to reach them? It could be on different channels, and obviously different demographics, different age groups, they behave differently, they’re on different devices, different platforms, et cetera. You need to map that out. Very quickly you get to see that it’s a complex environment, it’s not just a case of, “Well, we’re opening our doors as being a publisher and we’re hiring traditionally writers,” but that’s becoming more the exception rather than the rule these days, because more often than not people are looking for visual storytellers, particularly videographers. That is a whole new talent for a lot of companies that have traditionally operated in the written space. You begin to get into this whole bouillabaisse if you will, of ingredients that are leading to your ultimate purpose.

Rakhal: It’s something that you can’t have one without the other without the other, so all these things need to be considered in conjunction with each other. When you’re starting to map that out and the client sees that there is a journey to be taking, do you also manage their expectations around their turnaround of acquisition of customers, leads and people who are loyal to your brand, or are you challenged with clients and businesses and brands that potentially want this to be like flicking a switch like a Google Ad Words campaign?

Scott: I think you have to set expectations up front that the content game is not a short-term solution. If you want immediate results, then go and pour more money into Google Ad Words, or to other kinds of advertising. If you’re becoming a publisher, that means that you’re doing a few things. First of all, you’re slowly and hopefully painstakingly creating an audience, because of things that you do consistently and repeatedly over time. This is how the game of trust works, and when you think about any publication that you frequent whether it’s on the web or on an aeroplane or whatever, you tend to have some kind of relationship with that publication, whether it’s a magazine or a newspaper, or obviously a website. You go there for a reason, you trust the reporting, you trust certain individuals there, the same thing needs to be taken into account here. Because of that, we obviously counsel clients on understanding that this is a long-term game. It may take a year or more to get the kind of results that they’re looking for sometimes.


Audio: Back to the future – Theme

Audio: Journalism: Last Week tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Audio: The Fully Monty – Leave your hat on

Audio: Back To The Future (1985) Theatrical Trailer

…..Speaking at the World Marketing & Sales Forum 2016: Rahaf Harfoush

Just as the Kevin07 campaign turned to Myspace to attract the youth vote in Australia, Barack Obama’s 2008 Yes We Can campaign saw ‘New Media’ as a key battleground for engagement — At just 24, Rahaf Harfoush joined Yes We Can’s New Media Team in a move that would prove to be her big break.

Eight years on, as a Digital Innovation & Foresight Strategist, Rahaf has written bestsellers, runs a consultancy she co-founded, delivers Keynote addresses at conferences, and teaches in an MBA program.

Rahaf became a full-time volunteer for the 2008 US presidential election campaign, which soon saw Obama recognised as the ‘most tech-savvy president-elect’ in history. Her three month stint with the campaign gave her a wealth of insight into the importance of unwavering strategic vision and social media, leading to her first book: Yes We Did: An Inside Look at How Social Media Built The Obama Brand.

This was the launchpad for a remarkable career.

Now a published author, Rahaf made a name and career for herself in innovation and strategy. She became the Associate Director of Technology Pioneers at the World Economic Forum in Geneva. Here she developed a passion for entrepreneurship, which was then borne out in her subsequent recognition as a World Economic Forum Young Global Shaper, and her membership with the exclusive Summit Series Network.

In 2012, Rahaf teamed up with her sister, Riwa to found their own think tank and ‘special projects agency’, Red Thread. The company prides itself on out-of-the-box solutions to strategic problems. The company has worked across 20 countries on more than 70 projects with clients, such as Unilever, Shutterstock, Gap, Campbell’s, Accenture and ING Bank.

Always the plate spinner, Rahaf began working on a second book, which became a New York Times Bestseller: The Decoded Company: What if we understood our talent better than we understand our customers? This was not to be her only further foray into writing, she contributes to The Mark NewsTechonomy and The Next Web and is now working on a third book.

Her background and knowledge of innovation and emerging business models has given her the opportunity to teach as an Adjunct Professor in the Sciences Po Finance and Economics MBA program, in Paris, where she now lives.

Fortunately, Rahaf’s insights are not the sole possession of her students and clients, she has been speaking about New Media and Technology at various events and forums since 2006. A highly experienced and sought after speaker she has delivered keynote addresses at the Global Business Congress and The Dallas Festival of Ideas, and has spoken at Tedx events and in the Big Data Experts Speaker Series.

In 2014, Rahaf was named as a “Canadian Arab to Watch,” by the Canadian Arab Institute and recognised as a Rising Talent by the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society.

Rahaf has realised her potential as a young gun and revels in her earned respect among her boomer and Gen-x peers. She continues to support youth and entrepreneurship with her place on the board of directors of Taking it Global and has also sat on the advisory boards of Enstituteu.com, OneLeap.to and SyriaDeeply.org.

But, perhaps most of all, she delights in instagramming photos of her pup, Pixel

This profile is part of our series of spotlights on the keynote speakers that will be descending on Melbourne for the World Marketing and Sales Forum 2016. Use the promo code NEWSMODO10 for a 10% discount on tickets. 

How the tourism industry uses content marketing to sell the dream

On the Brand Storytelling podcast, we are joined by the executive director of marketing for Tourism Tasmania, Guy Taylor. We talk about how countries and states sell the dream and attract tourists through creative storytelling experiences and engaging content. 

Guy also had a hand in working on the famous ‘Who is James Boag?’ commercials and also with Richard Branson at Virgin Records before moving into his current role at Tourism Tasmania. 

Listen to the full show here: 

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

Download the episode here

In this episode: 

  • How content marketing shares the stories of the people and cultures to promote the destination. 
  • The brands that Guy has worked with throughout his career.
  • The process of identifying the tourists you want to attract. 
  • What types of content are working for Tasmania Tourism. 

Preview of the show:

Rakhal Ebeli: When we talk in content marketing about pulling back the curtains and actually sharing the people behind the brand with the customers it’s so much a part of humanizing the concept of what those customers are really buying into and building genuine trust and engagement from there. You say that that was a little bit of a risk initially. Did you start to see it pay dividends? For our marketing listens out there how long does it take to start building traction with a campaign like that?

Guy Taylor: The first year after the campaign ran we had, this is four years back, we came off of zero percent growth base in inbound visitation and then we grew at sixteen percent for the year after that and we’ve been in double digit growth every single year since then. Some of the strongest growth in Australia and the largest number of repeat visitations in Australia, close to seventy percent repeat visitation and this is the thing. When you start to engage in a personal experience to live through a person and find out about the place through the people then it warrants repeat visits. Particularly the experience with the people that are coming to Tasmania, they’re caught in the teeth of the machine, they’re looking for an escape, a nirvana, it’s like a reality that’s somewhat Bohemian in a way, because the society that they lived in, big city life, is sterilized life and it’s stripped out humanity and authenticity and customer is valued over the worker and all of this kind of stuff.

Rakhal: You don’t shy away from the challenges and some of the flaws, even, in your cultural community there either. I think that’s a part of the attraction, isn’t it?

Guy: Absolutely. There’s a flight to reality going on worldwide at the moment. You’ve just got to look at the internet to realize it’s a massive collection of individual tribes and so people respond to something that’s multi-faceted and has flaws. Not everything has to be incredibly burnished. That’s the Queensland way. Beautiful one day perfect the next. Prison of bland repetition to some people. At the right time for the right visitor that’s absolutely the perfect offering but it’s not the kind of thing that we’re offering in Tasmania. It’s understanding the offering, obviously, that’s important as well.


Chris Hemsworth – Tourism Australia Commercial

Who is James Boag’s – Commerical

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