Steve Palmer - Showtime Digital

Steve Palmer

Steve Palmer

Steve Palmer is the Joint Founder and CEO of Showtime Digital. Steve has been in B2B sales since 1997 but influencing people and behavioural science has been a long-term passion.

The magic he brings to his clients is in knowing how to engage their audience. His goal is to help businesses understand the deeper reasons of why consumers convert online with them.

Does the current trend of Adtivism (corporate activism through virtue signalling) have similarities to reality TV’s contribution to the decline of free to air TV?

That’s my observation and we’re going to explore this in more detail regardless of the haters.

Back in the day

Reality TV held our attention for a season but within the decade free to air had started to implode as consumers looked elsewhere to find other forms of ‘reality’. If Smartphones and streaming services like Netflix had arrived sooner the decay would have been even faster.

Back in the early 2000’s the networks were licking their lips. It was cheap, trashy and created gossip around the water cooler at work the next day. They didn’t need to pay for talent because there was none, as hordes of suburban wannabe’s lined up to get their 15 minutes of fame.

What disappointed me more is not the hordes but the fact they all believed they need to seek the networks approval. Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash would never have got to the stage.

Nearly two decades after the first reality show the marketing landscape has changed to digital and social media. It would be fair to say the advertising industry has grappled with relevance given the demise of traditional media. So, to get some perspective let’s go back a decade.

Remember when advertising was creative?

Remember the Old Spice Ad ‘The man your man could smell like’? It hit our screens in February 2010 and went…should I say it? Viral (cringe).


Image1 –Isaiah Mustafa in Old Spice campaign (2010)

Ask yourself this. How much of an uproar would ‘The man your man could smell like’ create today?

Unfortunately, in 2019, the ad would be deemed misogynistic.

Today Isaiah Mustafa may identify as a 14-foot Chinese female, enter the Olympic Games and win 3x Gold medals in women’s weightlifting and pick up the ‘Woman of the Year’ Award. 

If this was a movie plot from 2009 it would be an Adam Sandler comedy. In 2019 it could be a documentary.

How far we’ve come in a decade

In 2019, nearly a decade after the Old Spice classic, Gillette got on a high horse of its own to tell its consumer base how toxic men had all become.



Image2 – Gillette, ‘The best a man can be’.

Note the video’s dislikes far outweigh the likes. That’s Gillette’s core consumer base who now buy razors from Schick and Dollar Shave Club.

Nike and Diet Coke

More recently Nike created a sneaker with the Betsy Ross flag incorporated into the design and because Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL player and political activist, took offence to it, they cancelled the sneaker release.

This was the same flag used at Barack Obama’s inauguration. I wonder where Mr Kaepernick was then?


Image3 ‘The Betsy Ross’

In June 2019 Diet Coke launched the Unlabelled’ campaign – ‘We’re removing our labels to start a conversation about yours’.

It’s a collection of stories of people who weren’t happy with the label’s others gave them, so they choose different labels.

(Image4) – Diet Coke, Unlabelled - Meet Brendon

It confounds me that we find identity through outward expressions like labels at all. Isn’t it the content of our character which matters?

It’s these labels which advertising agencies are jumping on. But why is the open politicisation of marketing more prevalent today and how did we get here?

Did we misinterpret Simon Sinek’s - What’s your why?

In September 2009, (Around the same time as the Old Spice Ad) Simon Sinek told us to ‘Start with Why’. But did we misunderstand what he meant by finding it?

I remember clearly after the video’s release; crisis meetings were held in boardrooms everywhere.

Corporate responsibility now meant political correctness. In a flurry, companies opened their check books to charities in the belief the millennial audience would approve of their $400 charitable contribution (is this tax exempt?) and buy their product.

In their excitement they shouted their modesty from the rooftops.

But it wasn’t only the big end of town, even blue-collar trades jumped on the band wagon. Overnight companies changed their name from ‘AAAAAAAABuilding Company’ (Yellow Pages optimised) to the ‘Green Building Company’. It made all the difference.

To complete their transformation, they built an $800 website to inform their clientele how environmentally friendly they had all become.

Image5 – Carbon neutral work vehicle

Like weeds, email footers sprouted up everywhere. ‘Please consider the environment before printing’ and ‘We’re a paper free office’. Environmental one-upmanship’s were tossed around so often you could have had made a salad out of it by lunch and included a liberal sprinkling of superiority.

Identity politics – Purchasing the tribe

Recently we’ve seen corporates moving to identity politics and buying tribes through virtue signalling. 

Identity politics comes in two forms, ‘common humanity’ which is inclusive and considers the majority (eg. Martin Luther King) and there is ‘common enemy’ politics. The latter is based on yelling the loudest and creating hate and division. There are any number of bullies with a multitude of causes prepared to drive a wedge in society.

There’s Globalist or Nationalist, left wing or right wing, Socialist, Marxist and Capitalist, male or female, black or white, young or old, straight or gay, the list goes on into the ridiculous.

For the most part companies prefer to choose liberal progressive causes. The challenge with this is their strength of voice belies their size. To illustrate this there may be no more divided country in 2019 than the USA (Image5).

Below we see the huge divide which has formed over the last decade between the Democrats and Republicans. There is no centre in US politics today. Even more troublesome for brands utilising adtivism is the diminishing sand dune of extreme left Democrats as opposed to the mountain of Republicans.

Image5 – Division in US politics 1980 – 2018.

If you’re going to virtue signal you better pick a winner. The groups which brands tend to focus on are younger, idealistic and push the boundaries of societal norms. Their views are often based on fairness and equality, focusing on what divides us rather than those virtues which unite us.

The narrowcast view of so many people today is often based on an algorithm served to them by the social media platforms they frequent. With this limited perspective they can be blinded by their idealism, intolerant of other viewpoints and heavily vocal on social media.

Live by the sword, die by the sword

The challenge with Adtivism is you must choose sides and you must realise the tribe or label you’ve chosen comes to the detriment of another larger, more united tribe.

Unlike reality TV product placement or sponsoring a charity, with adtivism you are at your tribe’s mercy.

The foundation of Adtivism is hate and division.

The tribe won’t ask permission when they attack, or when devastation occurs. Neither will they ask permission as groupthink takes over.

In the crowd’s drunken rage, no man’s land is defined (am I even allowed to use the pronoun) and a wall is built from which the tribe attacks and defends, (ironic as walls are immoral).

The illogical tribe demands everyone have an opinion to choose a side, you are either for us or against us and the silent apolitical majority becomes the enemy by default. The brand is now caught in a storm beyond its control.

Virtue signalling works best when you have an enemy

Now the brand has its tribe in a yelling match on social media and its momentum is sustained with little effort as everyone is triggered by the minutest comment online. There’s an insult for every occasion even the one’s we scratch our heads about.

Advertising agencies know tribe psychology very well. They understand the power of virtue signalling, that it appeals to group identity and how it motivates your tribe to battle.

It enables the brand and the individual to take the moral high ground, to show their superiority and self-righteousness at the expense of others.

Division and hate aren’t brand virtues

Adtivism sits on a bedrock of hate (or maybe a sand dune as we’ve seen). There is no truth in hate, just raw feelings and our feelings are often based on lies. This being the case there is little or no brand truth in adtivism and promoting division and hate is not a value any brand should see as a virtue.

Wasn’t big business the enemy?

The point we have all missed is a decade ago big business was evil. After the 2008 Global Financial Crisis protests were held because the people bailed out the banks. In 2011 people across the political spectrum were involved in the Occupy Wall Street protests and Anonymous put corporate America on notice.

In 2019 those same people have now turned on each other. And who’s fuelling the flames? The social media platforms, unelected officials and local government as well as big business and advertising agencies.

In early 2019 Chase bank closed the accounts of conservative clients. Visa are denying accounts to conservatives and YouTube are demonitising conservative channels.

It’s scary to realise if you simply think differently you can lose access to your ability to buy and sell (where have I heard that before?).

Today the enemy is no longer the corporate world but your neighbour. It’s as evil as it is excellent in its execution and corporates see the political left and their trumpets, the social media platforms, as the means to ride that tide and magnify their brand.

The decline of the advertising agency

Advertising agencies are happy to accommodate brands in taking the moral high ground.

And why wouldn’t they. The brand looks good on their CV, it breaks through the online noise and builds consumer loyalty.

But let’s be honest, companies exist only to make profit, the very thing their tribe despised about them only a decade ago.

While some companies may sincerely have a Why which is in line with their consumer base, by virtue signalling, companies may also wave the flag but not believe in the cause.

Brands, much like politicians, prefer to chose winners and if your tribe’s not winning you desert them and find another tribe. That’s business.

But what if the cause is not a company value and it’s just a campaign? What if the Board changes their mind, or they fall on tough times, will they leave the tribe to fend for themselves? Will the tribe eventually turn on them? Time will tell.

Like Reality TV, virtue signalling is lazy. You could argue it’s creative but like a parasite attaching itself to a host the relationship is flawed on many levels. What virtue signalling does well, both in the short term and in limited numbers, is break through the noise.

When you do break through the noise you become the noise, and that’s all this is about. If only for a season.

As the oldest millennials (GenY’s) are now 39 years old, they are entering new stages in their lives and have started to impact industries and make demands of them en masse.

We are seeing female millennial business owners engaging accountants, wealth advisors and non-bank lenders like never before and companies servicing this next generation must address millennial expectations or die.

Millennial 101

Millennials cover those people born between 1980 and 2000 (there is some conjecture on whether it’s 1995 – 2000). With the oldest GenY’s approaching 39 and the youngest aged 19-year-old, this generation accounts for a huge sector of your online audience.

Digging deeper, the second largest population group in Australia is the 30-34 age bracket and unlike any generation before them they come with a vast amount of languages, customs and attitudes plus they have different daily habits than prior generations.

Image1 Source

Image1 clearly shows females aged 30-34 to be the largest group since the 65-69 age bracket. While this is significant on its own, directly following this is the smaller, but still substantial 25-29-year-old followed by the 20-24-old age sector.

Female GenY business owners, as a collective, will be the largest female generation to impact the finance sector and Australia’s economy.

Our interest regarding female millennial SME’s relates to the growth in Australia in online finance enquiries over the 2018-19 financial year.

Facts matter over narrative

I think it’s important here to state we are here to focus on the facts and not the narrative. After all, if you’re going to spend your marketing dollars on moving with emerging markets the facts are the only metric that matters.

I say this because a SpotCap article was recently written for International Women’s Day titled – ‘How Fintech is Closing the Gender Gap in Business Funding’ (March 8th 2019). In the article it mentions, ‘In Australia, the number of female-run small businesses has grown by 46%, which is almost double of that to men over the same period’. Unfortunately, the article doesn’t supply the source of these numbers.

It does mention some credible people but the article does reference a seven-year-old, 2012 study compiled from 1400 US based Asian female business owners saying, ‘Approval rates for women are 15-20% lower than male-led businesses, according to international online credit resource, Biz2Credit’.

As I have said, let’s look today at the facts because who you market your services to today has changed.

The habits of millennials

As a group, Millennials exhibit a specific set of behaviours and bring with them experiences and beliefs which have not been seen in any generation prior.

As a company targeting GenY female SME’s, never have you had an opportunity to be so specific to an audience as large as this one and who are as adept to technological change on a global scale as they are.

Meeting the demands of this group over the next decade may require you to change everything you know about how to engage clients.

That’s not an easy task given the finance sector is taking fire from all sides right now.

As digital natives’ millennials have different attitudes to life, purpose and ownership. This perspective shapes their beliefs and how they interact and purchase. Millennials expect commoditisation of services which only a few years ago were out of reach to many of us.

Millennials expect maximum convenience at the lowest cost

Services like Lyft, Uber Eats and Airbnb enable us all to live the life of a millionaire at a fraction of the cost, all while being glamorous and Instaworthy. Millennials expect product transparency and price comparisons; they expect greater exposure to product information and peer reviews which support their purchase.

Unlike prior generations millennials are comfortable to test the boundaries of online convenience. Yes, millennials say quality is a key consideration, but the cost of the service is an even more important factor as compared to other generations.

To compete for this audience and to present your brand effectively, 34% of millennials say they like a brand more when they use social media. (Source: Association of National Advertisers, Barkley, SMG, BCG)

But which social platforms should you choose? A 35-year-old may use Facebook while her 24-year-old sister could use Snapchat. To complicate your channel strategy even more what about Instagram and LinkedIn? Knowing how you can fit into the life of your audience comes back to your audience discovery and the creation of your buyer persona’s. If you haven’t complied these for the last 18 months the definition of your market audience may already be inaccurate.

If you want to understand how to create buyer personas for your client base, download our “How to create buyer personas” eBook.

Living online means they buy online

How do millennials fund their business?

An April 2018 study into female entrepreneurship defined the following.

Over the lifespan of their business millennial male entrepreneurs more active in seeking finance for their business (34% as compared to 25% of women).

In 2018-19 male entrepreneurs were more likely to obtain loans or equity financing than women (38%, versus 31% of women).

Both male and female entrepreneurs sought financing for similar reasons related to starting or growing their business, with one exception: Men were more likely to seek financing for the purpose of launching a new product (26%, as compared to 22%). This suggests the differentiating factor between male and female business owners is the level of risk they are prepared to take in the early stages of their enterprise (Image2).

Image2 (Source:

So where is the shortfall and how are females seeking start-up funding? Well, it may come back to an individual’s education level.

Female millennial entrepreneurs are more likely to have a higher education level than their male counterparts.

If the focus of a person’s education is a business-related subject, there is less likelihood of them seeking external funding. If the focus of their education was humanities the respondent is more likely to seek funding from external sources.

When female SME’s self-fund, they more readily use credit cards than men to fund their business (Image3).

Image3 (Source:

Millennials and non-bank lending

In Australia millennials have markedly changed the consumer landscape in the non-bank lending sector. The millennial generation (from age 19-39) currently make up 32% of the search and 33% of the enquiries for funding in non-bank lending (Image4).

Additionally, the percentage of male/female applicants for all ages has narrowed to 53% - 47% respectively (Image4).

Image4 (Source: DataStudio)

Specialisation matters

In 2015 non-bank lending in Australia was in its infancy, it’s fair to say much of the marketing was focused on finance of last resort. Banks had unofficially turned off the tap and ‘alternative’ finance was pitched at SME’s who exhibited high levels of anxiety.

Today, millennials seeking business funding don’t have the bias of previous generations and don’t use terms like ‘Last Resort Finance’. They simply know the bank won’t lend to them, so they educate themselves online about where to find a solution.

Will millennials expect greater differentiation between product offerings? Some think so. Prospa has recently diversified their product suite to suit different needs.

As an example of this, within the non-bank lending sector is CloudFloat an SME lender who operates on a transaction-by-transaction basis. Finder asked, ‘Is this the AfterPay of small business’? That’s an interesting comparison considering a huge audience for Afterpay is millennial females.

Aleem Habibullah, the Founder of Cloudfloat said -

“From a demand perspective, we are seeing a demographic bias towards female business owners for the service and this is considerably emphasised in the 29 to 44 age group.

Use of technology can definitely flatten a lot of the preconceptions that are currently built into business financing and we’ve taken advantage of this by removing some of the friction that causes that, such as no face to face applications required and introducing 60 second on-boarding for ease and convenience while enhancing our rigorous adherence to KYC obligations under AML.”

For millennials, the search for external funding by males and females is approximately 55% - 45% respectively. For the 44+ age groups the figures are closer to 75% - 25%. That’s a huge change in one generation and service providers need to ask themselves candidly whether they are equipped to address the needs of this audience.

Don’t assume you know millennials

Now we have some facts on female millennial SME’s, and we know they are a sizable audience who are worth pursuing, don’t assume you know them at all.

If you’re older than this age group, you may recall your own beliefs at age 25 were vastly different than when you were 35 or older.

Only 15-20 years ago the ‘maturity journey’ (the personal journey from lifestyle to security-based values), may have been established by age 25 -30. The need for security-based values was brought about by the convergence of marriage, children and a mortgage.

With millennials that same maturity journey may take place a decade or more later. If this proves to be the case, a marriage, children and a mortgage will collide with the added need for financial security.

With GenY’s reaching 40 years of age they will suddenly realise they only have so many years left to build security and stability and that’s a heavy burden for a business owner who’s also managing a household. We expect online wealth services like robo-advisors to become popular in assisting in that financial stability.

As marketers the buyer personas we use to represent your core audience may change very quickly. One day you think you’re talking to a person with lifestyle-based values, the next your talking to someone with a totally different set of needs.

If older millennials can ‘flip’ from lifestyle to security-based values in a matter of 5 years, quick on their heels will be the 25-34 age group. The better you understand the older millennials, before they flip, the greater the opportunity you’ll have to meet the younger millennial audience at their stage in life and you’ll be better prepared to manage that flip.

There is nothing new under the sun

Yes, millennials will request greater transparency, they will expect slicker online environments, you will engage them on channels you may be uncomfortable with, but at the core of your communications are the needs, pains and gains of the individual.

That is the only constant.

A recent study of B2B buyers asked 204 marketing people what turns them off about the content they see. These are the six major reasons why B2B buyers are turned off by what they see when they view your content.

The reason this subject is so very important is because 50% of B2B buyers don’t do anything.  

1 - Your B2B content is too fluffy and full of jargon – 51%

Have you ever read an article and knew it wasn’t written by someone from the company?

This is where an individual has been engaged to ‘CREATE MORE CONTENT’ by writing articles on a per word basis. While you may want to get to the point your copywriter wants to waffle on.

‘Don’t rabbit on Darl’. – Sal Kerrigan (The Castle)

In most cases long form copy works well if it has substance and is of value to the viewer. It will also boost your conversions and increase your Search ranking as well. In these situations it’s best to engage someone who is educated on your market to write the article.

Then there are articles written by a machine. If you’ve ever tried to find a news update on a stock, these searches are full of fake news articles written by machines.

In either situation, if you had a potential client standing directly in front of you, would you say, ’I’m sure your query is important, so let me hand you off to one of my staff who I pay to promote our company by the word’. No…I thought not.

The overuse of acronym’s also adds to the jargon in your content and increases the BS factor. And while the formerly mentioned BS is technically an acronym, it’s neither a technical term nor is it shortened for simplicity but for politeness. I think you get the picture.

2 - It’s not relevant to my pain points and challenges – 48%

This issue arises because companies do not have a content strategy. It’s so simple to get a few people in the boardroom and ask them what the common questions they receive from clients through the day. Yes, it’s really that simple.

So many of your competitors sell a product/service without realising the issues they solve have a currency.

They look at the issue from the perspective of how much can I charge but they rarely view it from the perspective of the needs, pains and gains of the consumer, prior to the engagement. 

3 - It’s not relevant to my company – 41%

This response invariably happens when you create content which is too broad. There is no benefit in specialising in everything. If you’re targeting a type of buyer or an industry, speak about the specific challenges of that sector. By not doing this the response can be, ‘SO WHAT’ and you alienate an entire industry because they believe you don’t service them.

In your content strategy identify the key industries you are well versed in as well as those which you’d like to have a deeper understanding of.

4 - It’s not personalised to where I’m at in the buying process – 35%

This follows on from the previous point on the lack of relevance to the company. Here we’re neglecting the actual buyer which is far worse than having no relevance to the company. Why? Company’s don’t buy from you, people do.

Your content strategy should identify the various buyers within each category and each industry may be slightly different. One industry may bring together many people in the consideration phase of purchase while another may only involve the business owner.

When you create content like this, not only will you look like an expert, you’ll also look like you care as well.

5 - It doesn’t make sense – 29%

Wow. If your committing this crime your way out of step with your buyers. It’s probably more relevant a comment if you’re approaching smaller businesses who don’t understand the terminology.

In saying this it’s probably best we don’t get carried away with the BS we all tend to spin. The use of acronyms being a good example, and while the formerly mentioned BS is technically an acronym it’s neither a technical term nor is it shortened for simplicity but for politeness. I think you get the picture.

6 - You want me to fill in a form for it???? – 28%

We’ve all been guilty of this, and fair enough, we want to know where the boundary is.

At the heart of this is the belief it’s all about what we want. The reality is it’s got nothing to do with you, and if no one ever downloads your content, it never will be.

This being the case simply ask for an email address and a name on your gated content. At least someone’s viewing it.

Does it matter if the email address is a Gmail and not the company’s URL? No, that’s what they’re comfortable with.

There is no need for a user journey if people won’t take the first step

If you force people to fill in their full name, their email and phone number you’ll more likely get fh5, fvdfwe, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 049874309776. The only real piece of data you have is the email.

If you reduce a 5-6 field contact form back to 1 or 2 fields, (email and first name) you’re more likely to receive more accurate data from more people more often.

If you want to start quality conversations with B2B buyers the information in this article is a good start.



In two previous articles we discussed the 14 ways you can build trust on a landing page or a website page. As a part of the 14 trust centres, two were focused on consumer reviews and client testimonials.

While we found some good examples of consumer reviews and testimonials, we also saw some plainly poor and even outright misleading ones. 

The regulators can heavily fine you for posting fake reviews and writing misleading testimonials.

What raised an eyebrow for us was a recent ruling against a weight-loss company, who commissioned a marketing company to write fake reviews on Amazon. In Q2 2019 they were fined $12.8M (US) for doing so.

As well as the bad press, the loss of trade, the investigations by regulators plus the substantial fines incurred you would think it’s not worth the hassle. Here is Australia, the ACCC now has 500 odd staff and with this only comes more power to cast a wider net for the perpetrators.

What’s really being affected is consumer ambivalence. On a global scale the effect of distrust is incalculable. From multinational scandals to the local restaurant review, everyone is trying to get an advantage, even if it means disgracing yourself.

You may say, why not? People have very short memories…right?

You don’t think so? Let me ask, have you bought a VW recently? So, you’ve forgotten about Dieselgate? Did you buy Gillette razors last week…even though their ‘The Best Men Can Be’ campaign put you offside? Do you still buy pizza from Dominos or shop at 7-Eleven, even though they both underpaid their employees?

Did you vote for the same political party again, even though they didn’t deliver on what they promised…again?

Did you buy Uber Eats from the same restaurant even though they messed up your order twice already?

If it suits our needs, we’re happy to settle for compromise every day of the week.

Fake news

Another gaping hole of compromise we interact with every day is our ultra-narrow cast view of the world served to us by the media. Rather than reading a newspaper with differing opinions, we’re served snippets via algorithms which feed our intolerance to consider differing perspectives.

Today, the 11th June 2019, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee held it’s first hearing on ‘Online Platforms and Market Power – The Free and Diverse Speech’. These hearings will question the power of the social platforms. What is to come out of it remains to be seen.

What we do know is our growing reliance on both the mainstream media and social giants has eroded our capacity to both empathise and socialise.

Only recently the social platforms of Facebook, Twitter and Google have quashed conservative voices on social media, extinguishing them for reasons they describe as ‘Hate Speech’.

Hate Speech is a speech the intolerant hate to hear.

Similarly, in the business community, honest online reviews seem to be the speech companies would hate you to hear, hence why they manipulate them at will.

Let’s be honest, if you’re sporting a 4.9 rating or higher no one believes it. You’d be better to be a 3.9 and learn by the failing’s consumers are pointing out to you.

The erosion of trust

Deloitte’s have been monitoring how consumers are influenced in their buying decisions since 2013. Image1 clearly shows with every passing year consumers are losing their willingness to trust what they see and read.



When compared to a recommendation from a friend or family member an online review is less effective.

What’s interesting is there is not much advantage between an online review from someone you do not know and someone you may know of within your social circle.

In another study from BrightLocal in December 2018 most indicators show people have less trust of online reviews (Image2).



The younger you are the more trust you have of online reviews (Image3).

The same study found the older you are the less likely you are to care to write a review, even when asked.


The younger you are the more likely you have read a fake review (Image4) and therefore it’s more probable you can identify a fake review. The interesting point is even though this is the case the 18-34 audience still trust online reviews more than other age groups.

To overcome mistrust in a product/service, people expect to see 40+ reviews and will read 10 reviews to make their own conclusion on the offer. They will also discard older reviews as irrelevant.

Going even further, in more sophisticated environments, people believe they need to review five information sources to feel like they know the truth about you.

If our opinion doesn't suit the narrative of the publisher, whether that be the media outlet, social platform or company, we are at risk of not being heard. In contrast, the narrative seems more like a square peg in a round hole, and one forced to be in line with our beliefs. But, the more things change the more they stay the same. 

In Part 1 of how to build trust on your landing page we discussed 7 ways you can build trust. You can view Part 1 here.

In Part 2 of how to build trust on your landing page (or any page for that matter) we’ll look at a variety of ways to give consumer’s confidence when they are on your page.

In no particular order we’ll discuss the other 7 key points to building trust on your landing page. First up…the sexy stuff.

Use SSL certificates

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It keeps any information sent between the viewer and the website owner secure and prevents criminals from reading and modifying any information which has been transferred.

If you have a contact form where people leave their contact details, you’ll need an SSL certificate.

To help you identify what an SSL certificate looks like, in the following two images Image1’s website address is unsecure while Image2 has the SSL certificate. This is identified by the https: at the beginning of the page URL.





The must have - The Privacy Policy

As a matter of course you should always have a privacy policy on your landing page.

The easiest way to do this is take the policy from your website and repurpose the information for your landing page or microsite.

At the bottom of the landing page create a link to the privacy page so they can view your privacy policy.

About 1 in 200 people will click the link. Why? I have no idea.

Include customer reviews

There’s a growing distrust of customer reviews because they can be gamed. This is where some review platforms allow the client to vet reviews in their favour.

This is simply a dishonest representation of the journey consumers will experience.

In Q2 2019 a weight-loss company was fined (US) $12.8M for making false claims and writing fake reviews on Amazon. Ironically the company used the services of a company called Amazon Verified Reviews.



In our experience and given the inner circle features of the platform, the best review site for most categories is TrustPilot (Image3).

The full range of Trustpilot features can be seen here. Here are some Trustpilot reviews.

If you’re selling SaaS Capterra is the go.


Until a couple of years ago we liked Product Review as an alternative, but we were surprised at how companies could select the reviews they wanted to publish and discard the one’s they didn’t. While the mortgage broker in Image4 seems honest in its 4.2 rating, other companies who should really be a 3.9 can easily become a 4.9 through a simple vetting process.

In a world full of haters no one believes you’re nearly a 5-star rating. It just looks suss, and you immediately lose the trust of the consumer.

Push for testimonials

Now if you want to talk porky pies and losing trust using testimonials is a great way to do it.

This is how a testimonial should be done.


In Image5 we see Brigid Edey, she’s a real person in her store called Cherie in Sale, Victoria. I know because I looked her up. This is from Prospa’s website and they took a snippet from her review to inform us what the business loan meant to her.

Excellent work (slow clap).

What Prospa did was keep the abbreviated comment tight with no waffle like, ‘I would highly recommend….’. That’s like starting a letter with, ‘I’m writing this letter to you because...’. Sorry, that was nearly a rant.


Now let’s look at another company in the same category as Prospa and at everything you shouldn’t do in Image6. Why?

  1. Because you can get heavily fined by the ACCC for doing so.
  2. If you lie to yourself, you have no power to make improvements.
  3. Your first engagement with your consumer is a lie.

The lessons to learn here are NEVER –

  • Use iStock imagery
  • Speak on the consumers behalf (which is writing their review for them)
  • Include a Christian name without the Surname
  • Just state the industry or state/city they come from

As you can see when it comes to reviews and testimonials what is deemed acceptable for one is unacceptable for another. The focus of the review should be what is acceptable for the consumer.

It’s a shame that so many companies are willing to lie with testimonials. It makes it easier, and dare I say it, acceptable for others to do the same.

As seen on …works

If you’ve done some PR in the past, it’s wise to include those associated badges.

If you’ve been on Sky Business tell people about it. It’s a way to anchor your audience and build credibility and trust.

If your product has been on a TV show like The Block, it’s a way to inform the consumer your product has credibility. Just be mindful anyone can claim their product was on The Block.

Mention your clients and associations


Trust can be built by association and by informing people where you fit in the world. People want to know who your clients are and what products you provide?

Just be mindful to use companies who are credible in your market. Even though Tom is a great guy, if the consumer sees the logo of Tom’s Electricians, you just may see no conversions.

Trust seal validatation 


Trust seals are great for anchoring credibility in the mind of the consumer and building trust. In Image8 we see the use of three gold coloured trust seals and two Mozo awards on a car insurance page.

Two points on using Awards, don’t make them the focus of the page by placing them front and centre.

The other interesting point is the Anchor Effect can work in your favour. Because the brain takes shortcuts it tends to group things together. So, if there are five awards (Image8) the brain may read the first Award and if it ticks the box mentally for the viewer, they will neglect to read the others.

You don’t have to overcome acceptance

That’s maybe the whole point about building trust on landing pages. It’s very much the same as setting an appointment to meet a prospective client, all you need to say is enough to get the appointment. All you need to do is enough.

You may not need to incorporate all 14 ways of building trust on the page. You simply need the consumer to fill in a contact form or pick up the phone.

Is a landing page enough?

So, as we come to the 14th and last point on building trust on landing pages, you can place all 13 of the points we’ve discussed over the two articles, on a landing page and it still may not be enough.

Why? If the product/service is a more sophisticated purchase, or if the sales cycle is long, you may have chosen the wrong platform to promote on.

You may need to consider a microsite or your website as the platform to promote.

A way to get around a sophisticated offering while still using the landing page is to direct the consumer into a soft purchase like a download or a webinar.

Now, go and knock yourself out and have some fun.

Oh….and remember to get some data so you can optimise the landing page environment.

We recently created the ultimate landing page checklist and spoke briefly about the various components of a landing page which are important for its success.

Now we’re going to breakdown some of those components even further.

The first subject we’re going to delve into is trust, and how to build it in the mind of the consumer when they’re on your landing page, microsite or even on your webpage.

The first point is never use the word trust. Not under any circumstances.

What does your brain tell you when someone says, ‘trust me’? You know they can’t be trusted, right?


In the mind of the consumer you are not a trusted source. You have an agenda, you’re biased, and you’re trying to sell them stuff they don’t want.

Once you accept this, we can move on to how you should be implying trust.

Building trust is based more on what you don’t say, and what you don’t say speaks volumes.

So, let’s start at the top.

The Logo

Your logo should be in the top left-hand corner of the page…period. Don’t get smart by placing it in the middle or right side of the page. Your consumer expects to see it in the same place every time so don’t disappoint them. There’s plenty of room for your creative urges on the rest of the page.

You don’t need to make the logo BIGGER either. By doing so people will…well, I’ll leave it for Shrek to explain.


The last point I’ll say about the logo is you don’t want it to look pixelated. Get a professional to create one and save the sizes and versions of it in JPG and PNG formats.

Colour palette

An easy way to lose or build trust is with the use of too many colours.

The page should use colour which aligns with or complements the colours within the brand palette.

In contrast the overuse of colours can make your page look like a teenager’s bedroom with lots of disjointed colours plastered everywhere. So, unless you’re selling cigar humidors and mahogany man caves don’t be too strong on deep colours.

Use the white space on the page to your advantage and balance out the visual elements.

Font selection

If a font is hard to read people won’t continue reading. Choose a font which suits the product/service. If you’re confused by this stay with Arial, Open Sans, Helvetica and Calibri and don’t make them too fat or thin, make them just right.

Once again, if you want to be creative there are far better avenues for this on a landing page.

Page speed

Wow does everyone forget this or what.

I’m not going to go into this in detail here because your developer should know better. What the viewer wants is to see what they’ve clicked straight away. This means you need to aim for a load time of around 1 second or less if possible.

Just be careful to consider the mobile version as well as the desktop of your landing page. For every second past 6 seconds the page fails to load on mobile you lose around 10% of your audience. If the page takes 10 seconds to load, which is not uncommon on mobile devices, you’re effectively lost 41% of the audience. Ouch.

How fast does my page load?

Here’s a simple way to find out how fast your page is.

  1. Load the page you want to check the speed of.
  2. Right click Ctrl+shift+I
  3. Click the Network Tab at the top of the page.
  4. Click Function +F5

You should see the following information.

Keeping this simple, (don’t ask a developer for a simple answer, in their mind there are none) the DOM Content load is what you want to take note of. This is the information the consumer needs to see what’s on the page. This is the information seen above the fold (without scrolling). The full-page load took 2.07 seconds.

If you’re in Sydney and the consumer views the page in Melbourne it’s nonsensical for the page to be hosted halfway around the globe in Silicon Valley. If speed is critical, consider looking for a local provider with local servers. Check out Cloudflare which have local data centres.

Clean design

When considering page design, think of a modern and newly renovated home and how the colours in the bedrooms reflect the tones in the main living area and kitchen. This consistency is both tasteful and pleasing to the eye.

Spacing elements out over the page rather than cramming them together will increase conversion outcomes. It may make some people anxious because spacing elements out means you’ll need to eliminate some things.

A landing page is about the consumer,

not about how much you can tell them

When people go on holiday, they cram everything into a suitcase. When they can’t close the bag, they unload everything and start again. Through a series of eliminations, they finally get the suitcase closed and under the weight limit. It’s the same process with a clean looking landing page.

Simple copy

This can be a hard one for people, so I’ll say it this way, don’t baffle people with BS. Meet people where they’re at and write copy so a 14-year-old can read it.

This means you should stay away from using words with too many syllables and refrain from the use of acronyms or overly technical language.

The exception to this rule is if you’re in a technical sector and your buyers know what a certain acronym stands for. In this situation write the long version with the acronym in brackets so you can continue to do so.

Example – When writing copy Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S.) 

No bold claims or exaggerations

Here we come back to the use of the word trusted on a landing page. Don’t say ‘The best…’ or ‘We’re No.1’. You are what people say you are and if you sound like a bit of a dick you probably are and you’ve lost your window of opportunity.

Other claims which will hurt your reputation are the use of terms which cannot be defined. Words like flexible and fast and terms like ‘better service’ or ‘we work harder’. If you can’t quantify the claim in benefits to the consumer just leave it alone.

You only have one opportunity to put your best foot forward, make it your best one.

If you want to build an awesome and cost-effective landing page get in touch. Call 03 8866 5551

Imagine you’re at a business function and you see a potential client everyone in your industry is currently chasing. Landing this client would propel you to the next stage in your business. You would be a major player in your industry and win business simply by association.

What you do next is critical. You know that now is the opportunity, so in your wisdom you call over your new recruit, a clerk in despatch, fresh out of school. You say to the clerk, ‘that’s the biggest client in the room and I want you to go over there and sell them on how awesome we are’.

The clerk looks very nervous, retorting, ‘but I just started on Tuesday’! ‘I don’t know anything about our company, and I know nothing about what this person needs from us’.

Your reply is, ‘that’s ok, just say the first thing that comes out of your mouth, now tuck your shirt in and off you go’.

For companies writing content, which is meant to impress their clients, this is exactly what’s happening.

This scenario used to the remit of the Managing Director or the Head of Sales. Today you’re entrusting your most critical engagement (their first interaction with you) to someone who has no understanding of you or your clients.

If you’re letting others represent your company, they must know two things. Your brand and your buyers.

The crux of the above issue comes back to the lack of focus on the brand. If you use this as your foundation you can then got to the next step and incorporate the needs of the client.

When discussing brand we’re specifically referring to -

  • Brand positioning – Why you are here?
  • Brand essence – What is it you want to be known for?
  • Brand identity – Who you are to the world?
  • Brand personality – How you will communicate to the world?

In a world of digital noise many companies feel pressured to produce content for the sake of gaining recognition, but without the foundation of the brand much of it has no real value.

What suffers is the reputation of the brand. If you can’t answer the above questions it may be better to say nothing at all.

Set a marketing standard

A business which understands their financials acutely will not compromise their position, similarly, having an acute awareness of who you or your clients are won’t let you step out of line with content which compromises your standards and the reputation you’re building with potential clients.

For marketing departments who lack the acute understanding of what their brand stands for they have little or no clarity on defined brand boundaries. This being the case content may be produced simply for content’s sake. This dilutes the voice of the brand.

In a world of marketing noise this is marketing suicide, and as you plummet the brand to its death no one will hear you above the marketing noise below.

A diluted brand is not a transparent one

Clearly defined brand parameters help everyone understand why you’re here, this is what you want to be known for and how you communicate this to your audience. Knowing this means you won’t do stupid stuff.

This pressure to create content means we herald stuff which is not newsworthy.

For example, cupcakes in the office is not newsworthy. It’s morning tea.

But if the idea of what we perceive as news is based on celebrity and reality TV, it’s no wonder we just blurt out the first thing which comes into our heads.

Is ‘We signed someone’ newsworthy?

If you sign a client and do a PR piece on simply signing the client that’s a bit of, so what, you’ve not done anything yet. Come back to us when you’ve accomplished something of note.

From a reader’s perspective it appears the article was created to satisfy the ego of the company who signed the deal rather than giving recognition to the client, or in fact any value to the viewer.

It’s even worse when the client’s name is not mentioned in the article. This tells the reader the client was ashamed of their need to engage us.

Sometimes it’s better to say nothing, and this is one such instance.

So, let’s address this specific article where you signed a company and they won’t let you use their name.

By saying ‘a company we signed…which we can’t disclose due to commercial agreements’, you’re openly embarrassing yourself. How it reads is, ‘our client is ashamed to have the need for our product/service’.

You’re effectively focusing the entire article on your inadequacies. You’ve compromised your brand and neglected the needs of the reader. If you’re recently signed client reads the article you’ve also lost credibility with them.

How to structure ‘We signed someone’ articles

If you’re dead set on making the signing of a client (who won’t be named) newsworthy there are other ways you can structure the article. There are many ways to do this but the following formats are the more well known.

  • Industry – Challenge - Recommendation
  • Industry – Recommendation – Generic outcomes
  • Challenge – Recommendation – Result
  • Industry – Trend - Recommendation

NOTE: Don't refer to a client (which doesn't want to be named), talk in general terms about the industry and the challenges they experience.

Before you write these articles, you need to know your brand in terms of why you’re here, what you want to be known for and by what standards you will communicate with your audience.

From the readers perspective you need to ask what the takeaway from this interaction will be and what challenges do they have which drives them to search for and read your article?

If you need clarity on defining your brand this branding eBook will help.

If you’re concern is understanding the needs of your clients download this eBook.

There have been two recent surveys which address details of the preferences of the B2B buyer and we’ll bring them together in this article. It won’t be pretty and in fact it may be downright discouraging, however I promise you by the end you’ll know -

  • How B2B buyers consume content and where?
  • Why half of B2B buyers simply do nothing?

Our B2B buyers article on how to start conversations with B2B buyers discusses the latter point.

It won’t be a surprise to you in 2019 less and less B2B buyers are willing to take phone calls from salespeople and more and more of people tell you they’re busy, busy, busy.

If they don’t pick up the phone what do you have to do to make them aware of you so you can be a consideration in their buying process?

One of the most effective ways is to place content out there so they can find you at their leisure.

Sounds like a plan?

Well for most it isn’t.

How B2B buyers choose to consume content

In the first B2B survey B2B buyers want more than glossy brochures which simply sell. They want more objective and useful content which is specific to their needs.

If you believe your content is not worth creating then that’s ok, because 7.8% of your potential buyers believe the same thing. That’s a good size of the market if every one of those buyers only even calls you.

But for the rest of us who want to put our best foot forward every time, 92.2% of B2B buyers say a vendor’s content plays a critical role in their decision-making process. If only to eliminate you from being considered.

While most of us, if we’re the buyer, place value on content, when buyers investigate us much of what they see is lacking. Our content endeavours to cover too much ground and be applicable for too large an audience. As such what is said has little relevance and lacks the encouragement needed for the buyer to pursue the vendor.

Decision makers of all levels in the organisation say irrelevant content is a huge issue, with 48% of buyers saying the content they viewed was somewhat relevant to them. But it gets worse with 14.2% of buyers saying the content they received was not relevant at all.

Of those B2B buyers who say a vendor’s content plays an important role in their decision-making process only 1 in 3 said the content was relevant. Ouch.

Even though buyers believe the content they read is largely irrelevant they still see it as valuable to assisting them in their decision-making process. If only to put you to one side.

So, what kind of content do marketing leaders prefer?

Content preferences

Around half of decision-makers prefer a mix of physical and digital content. But digital far outweighs the physical content, and maybe due to its animality, 41% of marketing leaders prefer to engage with content digitally.

With everyone being busy, busy, busy it’s also the better way to engage buyers 24/7 as digital content is easier to share with other members in the decision-making process.

So, what kinds of content are they most likely to engage with?

Content formats

When asked about content formats, nearly 56% of B2B buyers say a client’s opinion of you and your offer is more valuable to them than what you say about yourself.

A total of 52% of people value video and 50% value research reports. A good mix for creative and analytical minds to digest.

The high value placed on third-party analysis speaks to a marketing leader’s need for added validation from a resource external to the organisation.

Given the importance of your client’s opinions and how you make this content available, it should be no surprise that 63.2% of buyers prefer detailed reports to find the information they need to form their decision.

As well as this, 50% of those investigating your offer refer to third-party review sites for added validation.

Other supporting sources of content include Research reports (55.4%) and Vendor websites (52%).

Marketing leaders have many sources of content formats and sources available to them, but which channels do they turn to most often to consume information?

Content channels

As we move further into the digital divide only 34.3% of B2B marketing departments take phone calls as a preferred point of contact. The C-Suite are even less likely to do so at 26.6%.

If we park that which channels do B2B buyers use to consume information and research vendor solutions? It won’t be surprising to see Google or Bing Search accounts for 87.7%. So you need to be creating articles, eBooks, video content and detailed reports.

Half of your buyers go to LinkedIn to find information about you while 71% of people engage through email marketing is you’ve downloaded a report in the past.

How prevalent is indecision for B2B buyers?

But it’s not over yet because this is where we link this survey to another on B2B buyer indecision.

Half of B2B buyers won’t do anything. That’s right, they will be a total waste of your time.

This survey found 50% of buyers had poorly defined criteria.

Due to this confusion 53% of B2B buyers were likely to postpone their decisions.

The two major reasons people postponed their purchase decision was –

66% of people saw no differentiation between suppliers

57% didn’t want to be sold an off the shelf product/service

The solution

The way to keep yourself in consideration with your potential buyers is to –

  • Create unique content
  • Make it available earlier
  • Be specific to each buyer type

And remember if they’re just not that into you it may just be about them.

If you're deciding on a way to win ground back in this coming year and you're looking for an agency, then chose a focused B2B digital agency.

If you want to create some great content, we’re a phone call away on 03 8866 5551.

Meet Charlie, the new B2B buyer

The digital landscape is ever changing and the audiences we influence and need to target are just as dynamic.

We recently went in-depth to our data to identify the new emerging buyers in the non-bank lending sector.

This is interesting for the two options (in general terms) in the non-bank sector; the Fintech’s and the invoice finance sector.

For the fintech’s like Prospa or OnDeck the challenge is, even though they were the Once Great Disruptors, they’ve now, like a litter of cuddly puppies, settled into a big cosy pillow. (everyone loves a puppy analogy). And if you’ve ever chosen a puppy out of a litter, you’ll note the irony because they pretty much all look the same at this early age.

For the invoice finance sector their challenge is different. The category has been around for decades. Their strength has been their dependence on the broker channel. Handshakes and long lunches are comfortable for them.

Until only recently their traditional buyer was 45 years old plus.

But look who recently turned up to buy in the category….

Charlie (above image) is the new disruptor to many B2B categories. She’s now buying business insurance, renting offices, looking for bookkeeping and accounting and considering wealth advisors and/or robo-advice.

If you now have the thought, like some, that you are not prepared for this emerging buyer, then you’ve not alone.

If Charlie is your new buyer, you will need to lift your game because she’s educated and digitally demanding.

How do you identify and influence her purchase?

Charlies known information

The good news is Charlie’s personality is constant. Her known attributes, (Image1) are constant across all purchase environments. Regardless of which category she buys in she is still 26 years of age and living in Prahran. She still works 12-hour days and spends too much money on convenience like Uber and Uber eats.

Charlies unknown attributes

This is the hidden Charlie and the underlying reason she will purchase from you. The basis of knowing Charlies unknown attributes come from the fact she exhibits common behavioural patterns based on her needs (not yours). Her upbringing and education have influenced her to see the world in a profound way, she may dislike salespeople, she may hold her judgement of potential suppliers close to her, and she will educate herself sufficiently before asking questions.

Her overarching needs, pains and gains have determined her journey and her goals are fulfilling her emotional needs and these considerations are evident, but hidden from you, across the many categories she buys in.

In each category she buys in, she looks for specific points which align with her expectation of the product/service and these align with her emotional needs and goals.

Finding Charlie - The channel strategy

You can make Charlie aware of your product/service and be considered as an option only when you fit into her daily routine.

Does Charlie have the radio playing in the background in the morning or does she listen to business related podcasts at the gym?

On the tram to work which websites might she frequent? When she’s at work which social networks does she engage with, and who asks questions of her where she may need clarity which drives her to search Google or Bing. Finally, at night does she relax in front of MasterChef or have you lost her on Netflix?

The Go-To-Market strategy considers these channel placements.

Psychology and tactics

Knowing how to engage Charlie is the most important aspect of her interaction with you. This is where the ‘Aha’ moment happens. If you get this right, you’ll go a long way to winning customers in Charlies demographic on a frequent basis.

Knowing how to influence her emotionally comes off the previously discussed unknown attributes and in order to do this you must know her needs, pains and gains.

The hidden treasure in marketing

Most companies can define the –

Known information – Who she is, age, living situation, work situation

Channel strategy – Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram

But they lack the following –

Unknown attributes – Her needs, pains and gains

Psychology and tactics – How to motivate Charlie to action by triggering her needs, pains and gains

How do you discover the missing pieces of the puzzle?

To discover your buyers unknown attributes download our “How to create buyer personas” eBook here.

As a next step to this you’ll need to know where you will find Charlie, both online and offline. To uncover this process, download this Go-To-Market Strategy eBook.

And if you need help Contact Us.

In this article we’re going to get naked and vulnerable. We’re going to show you a digital lead generation campaign in the mortgage broking industry and how it was repositioned twice before it succeeded.

This happened back in 2015 and we worked late into the nights to turn the campaign around. Today we avoid these issues and if you’re a marketing manager in the industry and launching your own campaign you’ll be able to avoid the same potholes.

This campaign was one of the most important lessens we learnt and today we’re much wiser for it. It’s the sole reason that today, we never take a campaign online without going through the strategy phase first.

Below are links to eBooks identifying the process we now take to define –

the buyers we’re wanting to engage

how you should go to market

brand positioning

In Showtime’s history we have never had as much repositioning of a campaign in such a short period of time as this one. Generally, a phase would simply be analysing the data and making improvements to the existing landing pages or microsites. Through this exercise and out of respect for the client we’ll protect their identity.

So, let’s get ugly.

The campaign background

It was early 2015 (over four years ago) and I’ve since had a healthy round of therapy sessions to get over this comedy of errors.

It wasn’t one individual activity which went wrong. Have you ever seen airplane disaster TV shows where after the crash they analyse the forensics to find the reason for the crash is never one individual mistake or problem, it’s a series of little issues which made it go south quickly?

That’s what happened with us in the digital marketing campaign in the mortgage broking industry many years ago.

The campaign overview

The following timeline (Graph1) indicates how the structure of the campaign looked over a 4-5-month period.


As represented by the gold nuggets there was little if any conversions in the initial 60 days. When we repositioned the campaign in Phase2 we still didn’t see much improvement. But this gave us the confidence to move to Phase3 of the campaign where we found success.

Mortgage broking campaign – Phase1

This is how the landing page of the initial campaign looked (Image1).


This was based on an initial pitch and the client agreed to move forward on this concept.

Why did Phase1 fail?

When we conducted a brand positioning workshop to define the unique selling proposition (USP) of the company, this proved to be a difficult exercise and there was no concluding outcome.

Somewhere in the conversation (this was 4 years ago and some of the details skip my memory) it was decided to avoid competing directly with competitors on rates by focusing on the engagement consumers woul dhave with local representatives.

In the initial conversations the focus should be the needs of the client, it wasn’t. So, without understanding the consumer or the client USP we went straight to the build phase.

Mortgage broking campaign – Phase2

After the failure of Phase1 a full strategy session was actioned. Based on this exercise, four in-depth buyer personas were built to understand the needs, pains and gains of each buyer type.

We then repositioned the campaign to include landing pages environments, two of which are represented in Image2 and Image3.



Why did Phase2 succeed?

What Phase2 did successfully was align itself with the emotional desires of the four buyer types.

These pages were more in line with the emotional needs of improving their situation and on the comfort and achievement experienced by each buyer profile.

None of these pages included rates and that’s why the campaign experienced only a modest uplift in conversion outcomes.

Why did Phase2 fail?

The logical context was still missing from the page. Further down the page the consumer could tick boxes like social proof and testimonials but without the logic in the equation being addressed consumers were still asking what it means to them.

Mortgage broking campaign – Phase3


Why did Phase3 succeed?

Phase3 was the most successful within the campaign. Here we see the emotional and logical elements coming together (Image4).

On the right side of the page the logical part of the equation is represented. Above and beneath the variable and comparison rates are the two ways to make contact.

We identified that when people move home, they do so with consideration to their friends and family.

Young people may choose inner city living because their friends are local to them. Couples in their mid-30’s want the kids to be near the grandparents. Similarly, empty nesters consider their proximity to their adult children and grandchildren.

Regardless of their situation they all see lifestyle as important.

People want to live near friends and family who support them. When they go through the process of looking for and buying a home and refinancing that asset, they see themselves enjoying this time with those people close to them.

The key ingredient

We used imagery of family and friends sitting around a table having a BBQ. Here we’re future pacing the consumer and placing them on the other side of the transaction.

In a very real sense by being the bridge to their desired outcome and supporting them in their journey, we are their friends, if only on a subconscious level.

Why didn’t the campaign focus on great rates?

Let’s look deeper into this. The following landing pages and websites pages (Image5) are some of the competitor pages which consumers could have clicked on during the 2015 period.


Most of what you see from competitors of the day is very logical with little or no emotional connection for the consumer.

Our research found most people didn’t know the interest rate they are currently on. We concluded if this was the case then focusing solely on rates would be a swing and a miss. Simply because consumers were not comparing their own interest rate with what they saw on the page. They were comparing the rate on the client’s page with the direct competition and all the consumer needed to do to discover this, was open a competitor’s page to find a better option.

By resting on rates we’re enabling the downfall of our own campaign.

When you’re a mid-tier brand and you don’t have the implied trust of a household slogan like, ‘We’ll save you’, you need to focus on something else of value. This campaign did just that.

In hindsight the logical component should have been included earlier. Phase3 was not activated until 75 days into the campaign. However, the strength of Phase3 came from the constant development of the emotional aspect without the ability to fall back on the logic.

What lessons can you take away?

If you want to avoid the mistakes of this campaign remember these key points -

  1. The agency’s ego should never supersede the client’s needs.
  2. The client’s ego should never supersede the consumer’s needs.
  3. Build your lead generation campaign from a consumer first perspective.
  4. If you can’t define the USP, focus on the needs of the consumer.
  5. Strategy first. Know who you’re talking to and why they care about it.

Did you notice everything comes back to the consumer?

If you’re interested in further analysis of how the mortgage broking industry promoted themselves online, this article goes into detail regarding Mortgage Choice, Rams and Aussie.

And if you’d like to engage us for discussion on your mortgage broking or finance campaign you can call or contact us here.

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