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Managing Marketing: The Role Of E-Commerce In Marketing And Business

Paul-Fisher-30acres

Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by TrinityP3 Founder and Global CEO, Darren Woolley. Each podcast is a conversation with a thought-leader, professional or practitioner of marketing and communications on the issues, insights and opportunities in the marketing management category. Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals.

Paul Fisher is the Managing Director of 30 Acres and talks with Darren on the opportunities and considerations for an organisation when they are embarking on transacting with their customers through the internet and the importance of ensuring each step of the customer experience reduces the friction and pain points.

You can listen to the podcast here:

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Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing and today I have the opportunity to sit down with Paul Fisher who is Managing Director of 30acres which is what, an e-commerce business, but anyway, welcome, Paul.

Paul: 

Thank you very much, it’s great to be here.

Darren: 

What is 30acres because it sounds like a farm to me?

Paul: 

Well it’s funny because I get that question quite a lot and there is a bit of a back story but I won’t bore your listeners with the back story just yet, but.

Darren: 

No, no, please, bore me.

Paul: 

Okay, well I guess we are best described as integrated commerce agencies and we help brands do their thing using internet technology and digital technology so be they an e-commerce store or a business looking to execute omni channel strategies, that’s kind of us. So half the business is technologists, software developers and so on, the other half are marketers, social media people, content creators, strategists, SEO people, programmatic media people, email marketers and so on.

Darren: 

Where’s the 30acres come in?

Paul: 

So many, many, many years ago I was working for a very big retailer and I was kind of living the corporate dream. I’d got to the top of the food chain and I was kind of banging my head on the ceiling a little bit.

Darren: 

Climbed the greasy pole and you’d hit the glass ceiling, yeah?

Paul: 

Something like that, yeah. And I kind of got to the point I was wondering whether I could get any further and I was a bit frustrated I guess with the pace of change trying to sort of drive this behemoth forward with e-commerce tactics when they were not quite ready for it.

So in a moment of frustration, I was sitting there with my marketing manager and another senior manager of the team and we were wondering what life would be like after work at this particular business and we started throwing around, this is how long ago it was, we started throwing around possible names for our new consulting business such as E-Biz Solutions and E-Biz this and all these terrible names.

Then the following day my marketing manager who is an English chap came back to me and said, “I’ve got it, I’ve got it! It’s 30acres”. And I said, “What the hell has that got to do with anything?” And he said, “Well, you know, I just like the way it rolls off my tongue!” And I said, “Hmmm, 30acres, it sounds kind of nice”, and I started picturing somewhere like Byron Bay, green fields, sea change, tree change, whatever.

Anyway, it kind of stuck in my head as a bit of a symbol of doing things differently. Busting out of the corporate world, not being constrained or limited in ways of doing things. And so for me it became a symbol of possibility, green fields, opportunity and when the time came for me to start my consultancy business, that was the name that sort of floated to the surface, so, yeah.

Darren: 

That is not a boring story at all because I actually like the metaphor of the green field, you know, 30-acre green field on which you could turn it into anything that you want.

Paul: 

The great thing is, it kind of means different things for different people so when we meet new clients for the first time, they always have this idea that we’re working from a farmhouse on 30 acres somewhere up near Byron Bay which is not too far from the truth but it does mean different things to different people and that’s part of the beauty of it.

Darren: 

But it is based on technology and commerce and a lot of people call that e-commerce. But what does e-commerce actually mean, because I think it’s sort of become a nebulous term, hasn’t it?

Paul: 

It has because when you think about e-commerce, the ‘e’ being electronic, commerce being buying goods and services, I mean it’s supposed to represent people buying goods or services via internet technology but as internet technology starts to permeate the physical retail world even the world of watches, wearables and so on, the lines are becoming extremely blurred.

Just as digital marketing is now just marketing, it’s much the same thing which is why we call ourselves a commerce agency because we don’t really discriminate between helping businesses do their thing online or offline because it’s about putting the customer at the centre using these technologies, I guess to have one view of the world.

Darren:

So when did you first become aware, like personally aware of the ability to transact online?

Paul: 

Ah, I would say it was probably in about the year 2000, if not a little bit before. More in terms of looking at merging internet technology and then I had a couple of jobs where we were starting to crystallise ideas as to how we might sell products online and you know, for me, I then actually saw a job advertised and I was very interested in the internet stuff and the job basically said, “We want someone who has an interest in travel and the internet”. I thought, “Wow, that sounds like the perfect bloody job. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Darren: 

It’s a good combination, isn’t it?

Paul: 

Yeah and I guess selling travel via the internet is probably a very natural fit because you can sort of tell a story, transact online, there’s no physical picking, packing, warehousing, shipping and so on. So yeah I got involved in e-commerce pretty early and specifically in the travel eco system for quite some time.

Darren: 

It’s interesting isn’t it? Because I’m sure at the time it would almost have been, “Wow, that’s amazing!” And yet now, could you imagine not actually booking or planning or doing travel online? I mean, it’s become so ubiquitous that you wouldn’t think of doing it any other way.

Paul: 

Absolutely and I think back then the challenges were massive, you know, how to give consumers one experience aggregating lots of information from lots of hotels, lots of airlines, and all of these I guess, service operators had very disparate systems, very archaic legacy systems so the dream of trying to sell something on one screen was actually at that point, it was a dream. It just seemed like it was insurmountable but as the technology caught up, it became very real and very possible.

Darren: 

It was interesting for me because it was around that time, around you know, early 2000s, it was software. It was amazing how suddenly software went from something you would go into a bricks and mortar store and buy a CD-ROM and then suddenly, you could buy the update, and they’d still deliver it to you through post.

Paul: 

That’s right, yeah, yeah.

Darren: 

And then it was, “Oh no, we don’t have CD-ROMs anymore, you just actually pay for it and it gets downloaded onto your computer” and now, this all happens in the background and it just gets deducted from your credit card.

Paul: 

Yeah.

Darren: 

Without even actually having a transaction.

Paul: 

And I think that’s the story of beautiful commerces reducing all the friction points. And whether you’re selling software, selling travel, selling shoes, couches, whatever, it’s about trying to reduce friction points and make it very convenient and very easy and that’s the dream of perfect commerce really. How do we make it possible, convenient, to have a beautiful experience and delight customers by removing those points of friction?

Darren: 

But we’re talking about in a lot of the cases, services and things that can be actually transacted without delivering a product. And a lot of people talk about e-commerce in relation to retailing products, don’t they? I mean, we have quite a lot of consumer packaged goods companies that talk about setting up e-commerce where they have to deliver product to the consumer rather than going through the retailer.

Paul: 

That’s right. I think those particular companies have got quite a challenge to re-engineer the way they’re constructed to be able to achieve that. Because when you think about packaged products that might sell in a supermarket or a convenience store or something like that, those products are usually sold by the pallet load at volume and it’s a very different experience to sell individual products with higher volume via normal logistics services.

And also, most of those entities, if you think about the corporate structure, they have distribution systems, distribution managers, regional sales managers and all of that infrastructure, it’s about selling into I guess the distribution networks. They’re not really geared up to streamline their services for e-commerce. Some of them might, they might be moving that way and in fact, I think there are quite a few who are looking to acquire businesses that are set up that way and there’s a very, very famous story of have you heard of Dollar Shave Club in the U.S.?

Darren: 

Yeah, of course.

Paul: 

Yeah. Which became a very successful company selling  shaving kits, razors and so on.

Darren: 

And then got bought.

Paul: 

By who? Unilever.

Darren: 

Yeah, the biggest competitor.

Paul: 

Exactly. So I think that those companies are finding different ways to access these emerging markets.

Darren: 

I think sometimes the main driver is not to have a sales channel, but to have a more intimate connection to their customer because one of the things that e-commerce does you know, set up properly, e-commerce allows you to really get to know your customer, to give them options, to learn more about the way they choose products and things like that and that’s something that a lot of consumer packaged goods companies miss out on because all of the interaction happens through a third party which is the retailer.

Paul: 

It’s interesting, isn’t it? If you look back say twenty years and we said that we can become more intimate with a customer via the internet than in a physical store, it seems kind of the wrong way around if you like, but it is actually true now.

What we can learn about a customer, not just from a customer’s behavior on your own side, but the way they move around the internet and the way we put together that sort of data picture of what their interests are, how frequently they purchase, what products they like and dislike, how frequently they like to purchase and so on.

Darren: 

What they browse, what they search.

Paul: 

Exactly and it’s not just via a website. Being able to do that across devices is now very much possible.

Darren: 

Yeah. Actually understanding the identity of a person rather than just a sort of collective demographic.

Paul: 

Absolutely. From the point of say story telling or trying to create some sort of interest or connection right through to purchase and beyond. And it’s interesting that now e-commerce brands are becoming very, very good at story telling online, much more so than say, the old world physical retailers. Being able to tell a story online whether it’s via social media or via their own websites, through influencers etc, there are some very, very sophisticated story tellers who are pure play internet companies.

Darren: 

It’s interesting because very few of those consumer packaged goods companies actually get their e-commerce site to get any sort of volume or scale because I think most of them go against exactly what you said before which is internet commerce is about reducing friction points.

In actual fact, if you own or offer a range of products, it’s much easier for someone to go to a retailer that offers all of the competitors products than just going to yours and someone else’s and someone else’s which then makes the focus on retailers. Retailers in Australia especially have not been as good as other countries like the U.S. or China in actually embracing online commerce, have they?

Paul: 

It’s true.

Darren: 

They’ve been slow.

Paul: 

They’ve definitely been slow and it seems like it’s taken the elephant in the room being Amazon, to really make a start in Australia to kind of wake them up really. You know, Australia has probably got about 7% versus say 12% in terms of internet retailing versus physical retailing.

The interesting thing that happened was, when Amazon started here, a lot of the retailers reacted and said, “Oh nothing’s really going to happen, it’ll just lift the category”. And everyone said, “No it’s not” and it turns out that you know, the incoming tide that is Amazon did actually lift all the boats because the data that’s now there indicates that internet traffic since Amazon is actually up 9% in Australia. It was actually flat before that.

So the arrival of Amazon has been a bit of a shot in the arm for internet activity in Australia. So how that actually bares out when it comes to the big guys whether it was JB Hi-Fi, Kogan, DJs and so on, we’ll have to wait and see. I’d imagine there’ll be a few retailers like Booktopia for example, certainly Kogan, you would think would be a bit nervous because there’s a lot of cross over with electronic products and so on. But yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how that one plays out.

Darren: 

It is quite a behemoth but even at the earliest days of Amazon, one of the things that they did use the platform for was really testing who you are and what your tastes and interests are, didn’t they?

Paul: 

Yes, absolutely.

Darren: 

Yeah, I guess Amazon was one of the first entities to really sort of test some advanced artificial intelligence for want of a better term, machine learning.

Darren:

Yeah, let’s call it machine learning.

Paul: 

Yeah, yeah, machine learning. Yeah, absolutely and really starting to sort of predict what I might like and yeah, I mean, they become the benchmark for how to up sell really online.

Darren: 

I remember buying books in the early days of Amazon, it would often be books that I already had and then I worked out there was actually a point that you could click and say, “I actually own those” and it helped refine that algorithm to then be much sharper in what it offered me.

Paul: 

That’s right.

Darren: 

And it was also a good example of the quid pro quo that if you’re willing to give up some information about yourself, it actually meant that you got a much better experience because it stopped offering these other things that I already had but it did surprise me that you know, occasionally I’d go off and buy a book for a child and then suddenly it would think, “Oh you’ve got children” and it’d offer me all these children’s books. No, it was a one off present! Where can I actually input that piece of data so you stop offering me. It was a one-off.

Paul:

That’s an interesting point actually. I wonder whether some of these retailers will ever give you access to your own data to that level of knowledge so obviously there’s a lot of information that Amazon would have about you. Would they ever open that up? You think about you know, a Facebook has had a lot of flack for collecting so much data, selling it to advertisers and so on. There’s a push for giving people access to their own data, being able to delete it. Would a retailer like Amazon ever give you access to what it thinks about you and allow you to tweak that? I wonder?

Darren: 

Well it certainly would be interesting reading and I think there’s already people talking about a block chain which I read recently was voted the most overused term in marketing, but there was someone extrapolating the idea that eventually all of that data could be put onto block chain so that you as the individual could then control and release the parts about you that you’re willing to have known.

Paul: 

That’s interesting.

Darren: 

I thought it could be a bit too late, it could be the horse has already bolted because to scan all of the internet and find all of the databases that have all of the bits of information about me that they’ve collected over the years.

Paul: 

Yeah, yeah, well it’s interesting because a lot of that information now is housed anonymously of course, in third party data warehouses that are now used by say programmatic media engines and so basically they don’t know who you are, but they know with some fairly good probability that it is you and this is what you like because your information travels around the internet.

And that information is obviously not just behavioural information, it’s credit card data, it’s data from all sorts of different sources that’s aggregated and then put together with I guess advertising machinery to predict what you like and what you don’t like. So the information is there, it is aggregated, but it’s de-anonymised I guess.

Darren: 

Yeah.

Paul: 

In theory.

Darren: 

One of the big things that’s impacted transacting, especially transacting online is the rise of the new ways of payment, right? And certainly I think Alipay and WeChat Pay, the Chinese have been particularly good at almost democratising electronic payments probably because it’s a great way of getting rid of cash out of an economy.

Paul:

Absolutely.

Darren: 

But it’s interesting how a lot of the banks and financial institutions outside of China are really playing catch-up, aren’t they?

Paul: 

I think they’ve been caught fairly flat-footed in that regard and there are a lot of very exciting, I guess you’d call them fintech players who are moving into the banks’ territory and whether we’re talking about the PayPals of the world or even the AfterPays of the world who are managing to sort of wedge themselves in between the customer and the transaction, they’re not just creating new ways of payment but trapping that data which they can then sell onto data warehouses to tell a bit more about what you do.

Darren: 

I know when we go to China, if you’ve got a WeChat connected account, you actually don’t need cash anymore, even food vendors have QR codes and you just scan that and the payment’s already made. To your point about reducing friction, it makes it unbelievably easy to transact.

Paul: 

Absolutely. Another example in the e-commerce world, there are probably quite a few different examples but Shopify which is known as an e-commerce juggernaut of sorts, they have 700,000 stores on the Shopify platform worldwide and they had a product called Shopify Pay, Shopify Payments and it’s effectively their own kind of payment gateway.

When a merchant sets up with Shopify rather than their own payment gateway, if you’ve been to another Shopify site anywhere, it knows that you’ve been to another Shopify site so it knows what your details are and so basically you don’t have to keep entering your details every time you go to a different merchant. And the evidence so far indicates that conversion rates are 40% better for people who use Shopify payments because of that frictionless process. So there’s certainly a benefit there and there are pros and cons for merchants as well but it’s all about reducing your friction.

Darren: 

So what do you see are the big opportunities for companies that want to reduce the friction of transacting with their customers. I mean, what’s the starting point in all this?

Paul: 

It’s very different if you’re an existing e-commerce player versus a new business but for existing e-commerce players, it’s really understanding your customer and what they want and trying to make things easier for them. But sometimes making things easier for someone such as keeping a membership profile etcetera just to move the transaction process can be quite daunting because people don’t like to give over their information, they don’t like you to keep their credit card details and so on.

But I must say, if I purchase something on Amazon or Apple, I like the frictionless process that they already have my details and it goes straight to checkout, it’s done. It’s convenience.

Darren: 

Especially on a mobile phone. I mean, the idea of actually shopping on a desktop seems so limiting now when you can be two or three clicks to find, purchase and have it delivered.

Paul: 

Absolutely. And yet, the weird thing is that conversions on mobile devices are roughly half what they are on desktop.

Darren: 

Really?

Paul: 

So in terms of I guess, usability, user experience, refining the process on mobile, we’ve still got a long way to go, despite the fact that we are prolific users of our mobile phones and mobile usage is up and has well and truly overtaken desktop. But the process of transacting still lags behind and I think that’s a combination of things but I think user experience experts are now starting to realise that you know, you can’t just say that mobile first, you’ve really got to think mobile first and how can I make this the process that people use rather than the person who’s going to approve the design on a desktop for example?

Darren: 

Yeah and that’s the trouble, they start with that and go, “Oh well”, but it’s responsive and then you actually look at it on mobile and try and get your finger to click on the you know…

Paul: 

Yeah, it needs to be a designed bespoke experience for mobile.

Darren: 

And this is not just an opportunity for big companies. I mean a lot of the examples we’ve used are incredibly big corporations that are doing online transacting or e-commerce.

Paul: 

Yes.

Darren: 

Because you know, TrinityP3, I think I shared with you is, we have our own cart and the reason we did that is that apart from the consulting business which we wouldn’t at this stage think about, there were lots of small things that we offer that have small transactions and it was just easier to offer those through an e-commerce platform.

Paul: 

Absolutely and it makes sense for a lot of products, especially for your products, the products you mentioned to me where people just need to buy services or simple products etc.

Darren: 

Buy our book.

Paul: 

Buy your book.

Darren: 

Download a PDF or you know, don’t forget the book! Or even quite simple consulting meetings.

Paul: 

I mean the great thing is, e-commerce is accessible for everyone. The tools and technology have been well and truly democratised. You can be very sophisticated or you can be just simply putting a toe in the water quite easily. So the tools that used to be available to the really big guys, for example a site that once cost $250,000 to build you can probably build now for less than a tenth of that.

So I guess that throws up some interesting kind of questions around the explosion of e-commerce. It means that all of these smaller guys are chipping away at the bigger guys. You don’t have to be amazing but if you’re a little bit good, then you’re having impact on the big guys who have been the established players.

Darren: 

It’s interesting what you said there because we hear it from a lot of big clients that, “Oh it’s the IBM platform or it’s the Adobe platform”, there’s these big platforms, big investments and yet you know, there are now lots of very low cost ways that small players can get involved.

Paul:

It’s true.

Darren: 

I mean, WordPress has lots of plug-ins for e-commerce.

Paul: 

Yes. Squarespace.

Darren:

And other platforms too.

Paul:

Yeah and it really depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If you want something very bespoke, very custom, very much about your brand and your experience, it costs a lot more. If you’re having integrations with sophisticated warehouse systems, inventory management systems, accounting systems, ERP systems, etc, the price obviously goes up because it takes time to integrate to these systems.

But yeah, if you want to put a toe in the water, it’s pretty quick to get going these days. Even getting towards the sort of medium level sites, you can do something fairly sophisticated quite quickly. Projects that used to take say twelve months to complete now take three months to complete and you’re going to see more of that so I guess what that means in terms of the types of sites that are now proliferating, we’re now finding there are niches within niches, so yeah.

Darren: 

Well what does that mean? What type of niches within niches?

Paul: 

So I guess at one end of the spectrum, you’ve got the Amazons and the Ebays which are marketplaces. Then the other end of the spectrum, you might have someone offering a single product, so for example, we did some work with a very clever couple who designed their own deodorant product, it was a natural deodorant product. One product. And they’re selling millions of dollars’ worth of one product.

So they’ve found a little niche, they’ve found that people wanted a particular deodorant product that was natural, didn’t contain all the kind of nasty stuff, found a way to resonate with their audience and they are doing incredibly well. Similarly, we have another client who has manufactured a disposable sanitary product and has found an audience, it’s a subscription model, also doing incredibly well.

So these very interesting little slivers of retail, being very specialised, very driven by story telling, low barrier to entry to get into the game.

Darren: 

It’s really interesting those examples because I say TrinityP3 is a micro multi-national. In some ways, those two examples are global boutiques because they are a boutique offering, but they get global reach.

Paul:

Absolutely.

Darren: 

Because e-commerce, online transacting is a global business.

Paul: 

Exactly, exactly. And the possibility for global reach with a small business is very real and very much there. It’s possible. And then when you throw into the mix some of the marketing tools that are available to augment that e-commerce experience, whether it’s chat bots, loyalty programs, reviews, modules, you name it, there’s all these great tools. There’s some great marketing automation tools that can make it possible for a two-person operation to seem like they’ve got a ten-person operation because the tools are doing the heavy lifting. It’s really possible.

Darren: 

It’s interesting because traditionally we talk about social platforms like the Facebooks and the Instagrams as creating communities but in actual fact, when you think about it, e-commerce has an opportunity of creating communities of people through things like reviews and the like and it even has a stronger core to that because it’s about people putting their money where their mouth is, isn’t it?

Paul: 

Yeah, very much so and I think if a brand can find a way to resonate and connect, it becomes pretty powerful. Then you have these evangelists that talk about the business and you get that magic thing in marketing called word of mouth and there’s nothing more powerful than that. And so there are a lot of very small brands doing a great job at storytelling, resonating, building communities around their products, building evangelism I guess and becoming you know, underground worldwide successes.

Darren:

So what do you think is the biggest obstacle for people, for businesses, getting into actually building an e-commerce or online transaction presence?

Paul: 

I think the biggest obstacle, if it’s not the biggest obstacle it probably should be, is really finding that product market fit. You know, it’s easy to come up with your own kind of custom candle or something like that but there are a gazillion of those out there. It’s really trying to find a product that resonates with an audience and yeah, there’s a lot of people having a crack because the barriers to entry are quite low.

But really trying to find a product that truly resonates with an audience, I think that is or should be the biggest obstacle to success. How do you do that? There are in fact, where I live in Byron Bay, there are a few world class fashion brands and people always say, “How did these guys become so massive?” And they’re really, really big here and in the States and they started out their process of product market fit by going to the markets, testing these products at the markets.

That resonated with people. Then they decided to move online and I guess in the internet world, you can do those kind of tests using say, social media and using some very basic paid media tests just to see whether or not your product resonates.

Darren: 

Mind you, Byron Bay as a test market is a little bit unusual because you’ve got the Hemsworths and the Jackmans, and it has got quite an international flavour, especially that connection from Byron Bay to Los Angeles or Hollywood.

Paul: 

It’s really interesting, it’s become a bit of a celebrity hub of late. What used to be a bit of a hippy, bohemian enclave has now become a hippy, bohemian, celebrity enclave. And yeah, it’s interesting, it really is. There’s a lot of celebrity spotting going on these days.

Darren: 

But I think irrespective, you’re right, a core thing which is build your customer base. And really one of the things you said very early on is that all of this technology is purely there to reduce friction points.

Paul: 

Yeah.

Darren: 

You know that if you build a desire for the product, then the real role of e-commerce or an online store is to just make it easier for people to access the thing that they want.

Paul: 

That’s right and I think to achieve those things, you still need a good product, a good strategy and good execution and there are still a few moving parts there if suddenly you find that you have a market. You still have to find ways to get your product onto someone’s doorstep and it’s all the tiny little moving parts you have to do exceptionally well because as we know, a great brand experience doesn’t end when you put your credit card through the cash register.

It’s when you’re at home unwrapping the present or the gift etc, that’s the kind of wow moment. And it’s the same with e-commerce, how do you keep that story going? How do you get someone advocating that product and so on?

Darren: 

I’m so glad you said that because a friend shared on LinkedIn how it’s driving them crazy the number of surveys they get asked to fill out every time they do anything online. You go and you purchase something but before you’ve even got the product or gone to the concert or gone on the aeroplane, they’re asking you, “How was that experience?” I just bought something, it’s not like I’ve actually got the benefit of the experience.

Paul: 

That’s right. And if that product doesn’t arrive when you expect it to, consumers are pretty unforgiving. If you get a call from customer service saying, “That product you’ve actually ordered is now on backorder. There might be a delay of one or two weeks.” People don’t like that very much. And that completely undoes all the great work you’ve done as a marketer all the way down the marketing funnel, just from that little logistics unravelling.

Darren: 

So from what you said before about the right product and understanding your customer, it really is a marketing function in the true sense of the word. The idea of e-commerce being an IT function or an operations function, they’re certainly part of the fulfilment but the actual strategy is a market one.

Paul: 

Well in terms of brand being the sum total experience that a customer has, absolutely it is. Being able to deliver an end to end beautiful, wonderful, delightful experience is definitely a marketing function and there are very few brands that get that right.

Darren: 

Now, I’ve just noticed the time. We’re running out of time. Is 30acres the type of agency where you’re so busy doing great work for your clients that you don’t have time to do it for yourself? Do you have your own e-commerce function?

Paul: 

I was hoping you’d ask that question. We’re kind of like the plumber with a leaky tap at home. We’re very busy working on other people’s…

Darren:

Or the cobbler, the old fashioned cobbler’s shoes or the bus man’s holiday.

Paul: 

Exactly, exactly. Having said that though, we do have a couple of instances where we have some skin in the game with a couple of clients and that is a way for us to kind of really walk the walk and make sure that we’re thinking that extra mile beyond just being a service based business, thinking about being in the shoes of a merchant because we have a little slice of our business.

So in terms of having 30acres having its own pure play internet retailing site, we actually don’t have one. Having said that though, there are some plans in the works so watch this space.

Darren: 

Okay. Well I heard a great story in Shanghai where an agency was asked to pitch for a coffee brand, we won’t name which one, and they said, “Look, we know nothing about the coffee/cafe business, but we’ve got some retail space downstairs, we’re going to open a cafe and give us two months and we’ll come back and let you know if we’re happy to pitch for your business.”

Paul: 

Wow.

Darren: 

Anyway, two months, three months later, the client phoned up and said, “We haven’t heard back from you”. And they said, “We’re making more money out of the cafe than we’d make doing advertising so thanks for the opportunity but no thanks”.

Paul: 

We’re good thanks.

Darren: 

Who knows, at 30acres you could be opening your own online retail store and suddenly you’ll be saying to clients, “Look, we haven’t got time to help you with your e-commerce issues, we’re too busy making money with our own”. Paul, look thanks for popping by, coming in.

Paul: 

It’s been a pleasure.

Darren:

Coming down from Byron Bay, I’m very jealous. It’s a beautiful part of the world.

Paul: 

You’ll have to come up. There’s always a desk for you there to pull up.

Darren: 

I can hot desk.

Paul: 

Absolutely, absolutely.

Darren: 

One last question before we go, who do you think is going to knock-off Amazon in the future?

 

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Darren is considered a thought leader on all aspects of marketing management. A Problem Solver, Negotiator, Founder & Global CEO of TrinityP3 - Marketing Management Consultants, founding member of the Marketing FIRST Forum and Author. He is also a Past-Chair of the Australian Marketing Institute, Ex-Medical Scientist and Ex-Creative Director. And in his spare time he sleeps. Darren's Bio Here Email: darren@trinityp3.com

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