World Business Forum 2017: Day One


The words simplicity, change, agility and sleep may not seem as though they have anything in common, but delegates at this year’s World Business Forum in Sydney learned otherwise.

Day one brought together top thinkers from a diverse range of industries and experience to share their message for how businesses can adapt and move forward in times of constant disruption.


There is no such thing as simplicity

Ken Segall, Apple’s former ad agency creative director and author of Think Simple, kicked the morning off with his presentation on the importance of simplicity, not just in marketing but at all levels of a business – from products right through to culture.

But achieving simplicity is not actually as simple as it sounds. In fact, Segall said businesses need to devote a lot of their time to accomplishing simplicity, but at it’s core simplicity is about being authentic.

Segall talked about when Steve Jobs first returned to Apple in 1997, and the company was “days away from bankruptcy”. Apple needed to do something to stay afloat, but new products were months away.

They created the “Think Different” campaign as a way to tell people that Apple was alive and well, while they worked on creating a new product to bring Apple back from the brink: the iMac.

Segall said a key success of the iMac was that it removed consumers of the burden of too much choice. He compared Dell and HP, which have 26 and 41 models of laptops respectively to choose from, while Apple has just three.

And, of all available profit, Apple makes more than Dell and HP combined.

When Steve Jobs first returned to Apple in 1997, they made 20 distinct products and they were pretty mediocre at them all. The first thing Steve Jobs did was “kill virtually Apple’s entire product line”.

Jobs said Apple was going to make just four products and they were going to be world class, world leading products.

Segall also talked about the language of simplicity, which is best epitomised by Apple’s infamous ‘i’ products. He also talked about how simplicity should feature in how businesses name their products.

Products can change wildly, but their names should remain the simply the same, as with the MacBook, iMac, iPhone.  

We’ll leave you with one of Segall’s favourite quotes:

“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to remove” – Antione de Saint-Exupéry


Ken Segall Former Ad Agency Creative Director, Apple
Ken Segall Former Ad Agency Creative Director, Apple

Think differently about your business model

Next was Rosabeth Moss Kanter, author of MOVE: Putting America’s Infrastructure Back in the Lead, which talks about how businesses need to think differently about their business model if they’re going to survive.

Nothing is consistent anymore, Kanter said – not how people watch TV, not how they travel, not how they communicate.

That’s why she stresses the importance of openness and flexibility in business strategies. In particular, she told the delegates to approach their business strategy like it was a piece of improvisational theatre.

Kanter used Verizon, the US telecommunications giant, as an example. June 27, 2007 was a day that, she said, would go down in Verizon history. It was the day the iPhone launched.

Verizon had passed on the opportunity to partner with the iPhone as the network carrier. Then, on June 27, one of Verizon’s top executives held the iPhone in his hand and said, “We have no idea how to do this”.

This story gets better. Verizon’s CEO eventually went to Google’s headquarters to pitch an idea: Partner with us in the next smartphone. Google agreed and, fortuitously, Motorola also came aboard. Together, Google, Verizon and Motorola created the Droid smartphone.

Kanter said it was openness and willingness to partner with other people that got Verizon through — to create what she calls an ecosystem made up of partnerships with plenty of internal and external stakeholders.

Now Verizon owns AOL and Yahoo! and have plans to move into creating their own content, because they’ve completely rethought their business model.


Rosabeth Moss Kanter Professor at the Harvard Business School
Rosabeth Moss Kanter Professor at the Harvard Business School

We live in a Lego block world

After lunch, Mohan Sawhney spoke about agile innovation, and how to create a start-up mentality within an established organisation.

Agile innovation is crucial, Sawhney said, because there’s little opportunity to invent something completely new. Technology today builds onto other, existing technologies – apps use mobile internet, existing mobile operating systems, and so on, to offer a new way to do travel (Uber) or communicate (Snap Chat).

“We’re living in a Lego block world,” Sawhney said. “All that matters now is creativity and execution.”

Sawhney, the author of six books – his most recent being Fewer, Bigger, Bolder: From Mindless Expansion to Focused Growth, which highlights the key components of agile innovation that he discussed with delegates today:

Structure: Organisations need to be “ambidextrous”, which means they’re able to hold two conflicting ideas about their business at once – protecting the existing business and maximising it, while disrupting it at the same time.

Process: Break the traditional “waterfall” method of innovation, by combing the entire process into one four-week loop, then test and adjust. You can do this by breaking down big projects into many smaller manageable ones.

People: Collaborative innovation is key. Organisations can no longer function as a silo. They need to function as an ecosystem – building on previous speaker, Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s theory of collaboration – that consists of research institutions, government agencies, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, innovation marketplaces, and so on.


Mohan Sawhney Professor at the Kellogg School of Management
Mohan Sawhney Professor at the Kellogg School of Management

Sleep more, work less

Finally, Arianna Huffington was the last speaker for the day, joining us by video link from Los Angeles due to a family emergency that prevented her from flying to Sydney.

Huffington is the author of fifteen books, but in her latest, The Sleep Revolution, she turned her attention to what she calls our “sleep deprivation crisis”.

“Ever since the first industrial revolution,” Huffington said, “we’ve been treating human beings like machines.”

Machines don’t need downtime, but humans and the human operating system, Huffington said, is not built like a machine: “The human operating system needs downtime.”

The importance of sleep featured prominently in Huffington’s presentation. She talked about how getting enough sleep is crucial to productivity and efficiency, and how it’s become embedded in the culture of many organisations around the world.

As algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence becomes more prominent in our working lives, creativity is going to become an incredibly valuable resource. Huffington said companies will need to bring on more creative people, because they will be the game changers, but nothing inhibits creativity more than sleep deprivation and burn out.

Her advice: Sleep more, work less.


Arianna Huffington Founder of the Huffington Post, founder and CEO of Thrive Global
Arianna Huffington Founder of the Huffington Post, founder and CEO of Thrive Global

Viral content and why it works


In this latest episode of the Brand Storytelling podcast, we discuss the ‘magic bullet’ of video marketing that unfolds when clips go viral. With video accounting for 74% of all online traffic; and more than half of us watching at least one video clip a day, it’s no wonder that the impact video can have on brands, both positive and negative, can be long-lasting and far-reaching.


We are joined by Jonathan Creek who investigates and researches the science behind the human brain, and why we feel the need to share and re-purpose this content over and over again.


Newsmodo CEO Rakhal Ebeli discusses the formula known as the ‘spread factor’ which is based on basic human instincts and how we can understand the effect is has on all of us; using these key takeaways to maximise our content creation in the hopes of reaching the largest audience possible through viral pathways.



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


Download the episode here


In this episode:

– Why viral content is so ‘addictive’ to watch and share

– Rules of video engagement

– Creating content that will promote itself


About the guest:

Jonathan Creek has a decade long career in TV reporting and for the last 7 years has become the leading man in understand viral content and how to harness it’s attractive nature to your audience. To keep up-to-date with his happenings and daily musings – follow him on Twitter @JonathanCreek

SnapChat: why big brands are getting onboard


SnapChat is about more than just cute filters that add slime and snails or puppy dogs’ tails. This app is actually made of marketing opportunities that can benefit your content on a massive scale.



SnapChat is a tool that was originally targeted at the teen audience, with Mission: Impossible style posts that self destruct after viewing. It also comes saddled with an armada of different filters that can transform the user into a kitten, puppy or fire-breathing dragon. Cute.

It is a casual social media tool, and provides a limited window to reach your audience. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have enormous value as a marketing vehicle, especially when you are talking about a global audience of 166 million active users every day.


SnapChat is about more than puppy dog ears and flower crowns. Image:
SnapChat is about more than puppy dog ears and flower crowns. Image:


Thinking outside of the box

It can be easy to view the self-destruct nature of SnapChat posts as a challenge. But many marketers are embracing this to great effect to generate unique and thought provoking content.

It is a marvelous method to tease your audience, dropping previews of upcoming products or services and dangling enough content to your audience to make them hungry for more.




Other ways you can maximise the small window of opportunity is to use SnapChat to drop promo codes, launch products and create contests.

By offering real value with the exclusive feel that SnapChat provides in its content delivery scope, you can generate real engagement with a wide audience.


The dos and don’t of SnapChat

Before you start dropping snappies, there are a number of important considerations to take into account.

Firstly, abandon the Photoshopped and creatively crafted posts, SnapChat is not the place for it and those posts are likely to get lost in the wash.


Image Credit: Fast Company
Image Credit: Fast Company


This is a place for real images, candid images. It is a golden opportunity to post images behind the veil of your business and give your audience a peek at the ‘real’ operation.

And while this is a casual space, don’t be afraid to hire a pro. The social media influencers of the world know all the tips and tricks to get maximum exposure and it can be a helpful expenditure to hand them the keys to your account.

And finally, make sure you know your brand’s personality and ensure all of your posts reflect your mission. Consistency is they key and your posts should help your audience get a feel for the true nature of your enterprise.

Casey Neistat’s Snap Stories

How to spend your remaining budget before the EOFY

When you’re busy trying to sign off projects and plan next year’s content marketing strategy it can be easy to spend your remaining budget on quick wins like Facebook ads. 

However, this is the perfect opportunity to invest money in areas that are normally hard to get buy-in. Yes, they might not be flashy and exciting but investing in your people, digital assets and infrastructure will set you up to achieve your 2016-2017 content marketing targets. 

Here are three smart ways you can use this financial year’s remaining budget:

Invest in your collaboration tools

With flexible working hours and locations on the rise, it makes sense brands invest in collaboration tools. Teams are no longer sitting together in one office. They’re spread out over time zones and continents. 

Sure, email is still important but most of us have started to use other, less formal and quicker ways to communicate and share information: Slack, Google Hangouts, and Dropbox, just to name a few. 

Brands should do a quick audit and find out how their staff is communicating to see if they can provide additional support such as increasing data allowances and updating IT policies.

Update and refresh your content

You know that email opt-in you haven’t updated since 2013? That might be the reason why email sign-ups and engagement have been low. Same goes for your YouTube channel, landing page, and blog. 

People are exposed to hundreds of new content each day. This doesn’t mean you need to produce content daily to keep up, but it does mean that to stay relevant and on point, you need to be in a constant cycle of renewing and refreshing your main content pieces. 

Brands should choose three pieces of content that have had the most success or that will help them achieve their content marketing objectives and spend time, money and resources updating them. 

If you’re not sure which ones to choose, updating your email opt-in, your most viewed blog piece or video, and About page are always great choices. 

Review your infrastructure and databases

When was the last time you cleaned up your data? Or fixed the broken links on your website? We tend to not think of websites and databases as living things but in a sense they are. 

We feed them information every day and expect them to do something as a result. But we have a habit of neglecting them, and so the systems we depend on fall down. 

If it’s important to your brand to be found in Google searches, to email the right people with your products, and allow people to buy with one click, then you need to have a functioning and secure infrastructure and database. 

Brands should hire an expert to do a little housekeeping: clean and merge lists, update your SEO and plugins, fix internal links, and revise your data security procedures. 

Follow Rachel Kurzyp on Twitter and visit her blog.

Brandjacking: what you can do to avoid it


In this latest episode of the Brand Storytelling podcast, more than a decade into the era of social media; reports show that from 2014 – 2016 fake social media profiles increased a whopping 1,100 percent. Fake profiles aren’t limited to just people and celebrities, some of the more famous ‘brandjacking’ you may remember has happened to BP, American Airlines and Target.

Today we are joined by Bo Breuklander whose speciality is policing social media for brand imposters and why it is so important to be prepared for a social media crisis.

Newsmodo CEO Rakhal Ebeli looks at why brandjacking is so easy because of publicly available company and brand pages; which although gives your audience information they need and want from you, can just as easily be flipped on its head to be used against you.



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



Download the episode here



In this episode:

– How you can avoid getting caught in the fake profile crossfire

– Why neglecting your social channels during the ‘good’ times will hurt you during the ‘bad’

– Employee advocacy playing a key role in brand storytelling


About the guest:

Bo Breuklander manages online brand presence and reputation; he’s the front-line of defence against cyber brandjacking. To keep up-to-date with his happenings and daily musings – follow him on Twitter @Breuklander




Reports of the death of email have been greatly exaggerated, it seems. Because the ‘old school’ way of marketing is making a roaring comeback, largely because social media platforms keep shifting the goalposts.



When pages like Facebook, YouTube and the rest started to take over the internet, the poor old email was left behind. The sparkle and immediate engagement was too appealing for most companies to resist, and content was funnelled through these channels instead.

But we are now seeing a shift back towards email newsletters as these companies grow frustrated of changing algorithms that disrupt the reach to their audience.


Go old school with your marketing. Well, maybe not this old school. But you get the drift.


In 2014, Buzzfeed decided to take this route and got 1 million email subscribers. Campaign Monitor reports that this growth is continuing at about 1 million new subscribers each year and that the news outlet is enjoying a 20 per cent increase in web traffic each month.

Some of the companies adopting this delivery method may surprise you as well. Like Airbnb, for example.  



This is a company that has made a killer app and is tailor made for the social media world that exists in the palms of people’s hands. But Airbnb has a strong e-newsletter following that devours daily pics of some of the finest accommodation available.

It is not just news outlets and companies taking this approach, with celebrities penning e-newsletters for their fans as well. Lena Dunham of Girls fame issues her Lenny Letter through this channel, for example.

So when you are looking to click publish on your content, don’t forget to dust off the old Outlook and consider issuing it through email. This old school method may just create new world results for you.




Building a brand: how to do it and why we must act now

In the latest episode of the Brand Storytelling podcast, we’re looking at why building your brand and keeping relevant, not only in a physical space; but online as well, is more important than ever. More than 80 percent of shoppers will undertake a web search before committing to a purchase. With reports showing that almost a quarter (23%) of shoppers purchase online goods to due social media marketing, and Baby-Boomers and Seniors rising in the ranks of the online bandwagon; it is now crucial to stay ahead of the game and ensure that your business is the ‘go to’ company.

Today we are joined by entrepreneur, author, speaker and business and marketing coach Jim Palmer who is one of the world’s top experts in success; to help us decipher the differences between having a online presence, and being the brand that first comes to mind for your audience.

Newsmodo CEO Rakhal Ebeli discusses why supercharging your brand using content marketing to create a powerful and effective online presence, needs to be at the forefront of your mind.


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


Download the episode here


In this episode:

– Using content marketing to cement your presence

– How to ‘win over’ your audiences 

– Why more and more people are choosing online


About the guest:

Jim Palmer is the founder and CEO of several business’ and one of the top experts on smart marketing and building business strategies. He is the host of Newsletter Guru TV and Stick Like Glue Radio. To keep up-to-date with Jim and his happenings and daily musings – follow him on Twitter @getjimpalmer

Copying and pasting on Facebook; legal or not?


Social media can be a bit of a free-for-all when it comes to posting and sharing content, much to the chagrin of those trying to market this lifted content.

But are the likes of Facebook and Twitter really lawless badlands where content is ripped and shared with no fear of consequence? Not quite.



La Trobe University has put together a detailed list of what passes muster under Australian copyright law, and there are many protections for content.

You can read the full list here, but the general thing to remember is that social media copyright is based on each individual component, not the page or account as a whole.


If you are using someone else’s content, the law does mandate that you need their permission to do so.

The exceptions to this are:

  • Fair dealing, when you are using the material for research, study, review, news reporting or parody

  • Linking and embedding content

  • When the copyright has expired and the material is now public domain

  • Short excerpts used in posts


While these exceptions in the Copyright Act are helpful, they are not perfect and were not built with the internet in mind.

Australia does not enjoy the fair use defence that businesses in the United States enjoys, which means sharing a newspaper article through your business page can breach copyright in Australia.

And the consequences can be severe, albeit rarely applied, and can range from fines all the way up to jail time.


World Business Forum Sydney 2017: The year of the leader

Mahatma Gandhi spoke of a time when leadership meant having muscles, but time changes and a good leader today doesn’t wield power through intimidation, fear, or by force.

At the World Business Forum Sydney 2017, executives at multinationals, business owners, and key decision makers in marketing and sales will gain crucial insights into modern leadership, offered by some of the finest leaders of our generation.

Arianna Huffington sold the Huffington Post to AOL for US$315 million in 2011. She led the news site to a Pulitzer Prize and expansion into 17 editions around the world, it was a business she literally broke bones to see succeed.

Arianna will be speaking on the topic of New Management, what is beyond money and power, how reducing stress boosts productivity, and how ‘leaning back’ makes for wiser leaders.

Daniel Goleman is perhaps the world’s best known authority on Emotional Intelligence. His article, “What makes a Leader” is considered one of the top ten “must -read” articles published in the Harvard Business Review.

At the event, Goleman will take attendees on a journey of self discovery. He’ll examine what leaders need from themselves to achieve high performance and how harnessing the power of self-awareness can lead to better leadership.

Jimmy Wales is not your typical billionaire dotcom entrepreneur, in that he isn’t a billionaire, but he did co-found the 5th most popular website in the world, Wikipedia. Only Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft get more visitors, and even though commercialising the venture must be tempting, Wales prefers Wikipedia to be a tool for the people.

Wales will unpack the threats and opportunities businesses face in this brave new connected world, and examines the technologies that will form the next wave of business disruption.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter is an eminent expert on leadership for change, strategy and innovation and has received 24 honorary doctoral degrees that prove it. Kanter shot to notoriety with the release of her book, Men and Women of the Corporation, which argued that organisations are at their most productive when employees are empowered to make decisions.

She’ll be offering compelling stories from great companies who are leading the way to better innovations, profits and growth with a social good.

Mohan Sawhney helped us make sense of the online B2B marketplace in the early 2000s, he’s an academic, teacher, consultant, speaker and occasional poet and he’s all about innovation, new media and strategic marketing.

At WOBI Sydney 2017, he’ll examine how business can innovate together focusing on the customer. He’ll demonstrate how we can use our networks, social media and customers for ideas that will help shape our company’s success.

Our next speaker is a hard one to pin down, Randi Zuckerberg runs her own media company, has written books, hosted a radio show, produced children’s TV, spoken at forums and conferences around the world, performed on Broadway and is the lead singer in a band. Oh, and there’s all that work she did for Facebook.

Randi is one of the best speakers on the impact digital is having on every aspect of your business. She’ll also discuss how to align your social strategy with your business strategy and give you the tools to innovate now and into the future.

If you are a marketer, or simply have a passing interest in anything relating to Apple, then you can’t miss hearing from Apple’s former creative director, Ken Segall. Having worked closely with Steve Jobs for many years, Segall learned the secret to Apple’s success was simplicity.

Ken will be unveiling Steve Jobs’ obsession with simplicity to WOBI Sydney and how in a complex world embracing simplicity can lead to great success.

Our next speaker is a highly decorated academic. Ian WIlliamson is the Helen Macpherson Smith Chair of Leadership for Social Impact at the Melbourne Business School, the current Associate Dean of International Relations at MBS and is also the Director of the Asia Pacific Social Impact Leadership Centre. He’s a busy man.

Ian will share his thoughts on the barriers organisations face when responding to external disruption and how good or bad people management can determine the success or failure of your business.

At WOBI 2017 there will also be a Diversity Panel where Melbourne Business School Associate Dean, Jody Evans will lead a discussion with several prominent Australian leaders. The panel will discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion to an organisation’s culture, why organisations have been slow to adapt and benefit from diversity in the face of clear evidence and how to measure the impact of a diverse, inclusive and culturally competent workforce.

On the panel will be NAB’s Chief Customer Officer, Business & Private Banking, Angela Mentis, Executive Director – People, Performance & Culture, Ashley Winnett, and Chief Customer Officer at Australia Post, Christine Corbett.

Wobi 2017 Sydney is set to be the biggest and best since the event came to Sydney in 2014. Are you ready to lead more effectively and meet the challenges of today’s global business environment? You will be after WOBI 2017 Sydney.

Newsmodo is a proud sponsor of the World Business Forum 2017. The 2-day event will see thought-leaders and innovators from around the world gather to share their knowledge and passion for business.

To secure an exclusive 10% off your ticket purchase, quote NEWSMODO10 at checkout.

Building trust through content

In the latest episode of the Brand Storytelling podcast, we look at why trust in the media is in crisis around the world; according to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer. This annual study looks at people from all over the globe, from all walks of life and does not ask “do you trust the media, business’, governments”, Yes or No; but why don’t you trust them and who do you trust instead. For the first time, “a person like yourself” is a credible source of information as much as a technical or academic expert; and a staggering 53% of people globally belive that the system is no longer working.

On our show today we are joined by one of the founding partners of Melbourne based Zoetic Agency, and longtime communicator and strategic marketing genius Dionne Lew. So who better than the woman who helps build global visibility and trust in the marketplace to talk with us about getting your customers to trust your brand.

Newsmodo CEO Rakhal Ebeli discusses how some brands are using this unique opportunity to forge strong relationships and where the challenges lay in becoming the voice of authority to your audience.

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


Download the episode here


In this episode:

– Why audience trust in the media is on the decline

– Brands publishing their own stories

– Challenges and opportunities surrounding un-trusting audience


About the guest:

Dionne Lew is a longtime communicator, marketer and PR master. She’s an in-demand social media speaker and consultant who advises boards and senior executives on social media for business. To keep up-to-date with her happenings and daily musings – follow her on Twitter @DionneLew