Empowered employees are the secret to success
All the research says empowered employees make a huge and positive impact on businesses but the concept scares the living daylights out of owners and managers.
That's why, smart speakers and authors like Josh Bernoff and Stan McChrystal, change the language to terms like Strategic Alignment And Customer Obsession. It's more palatable to the C Suite!
We unpack this in the Principles section of the podcast.
Meanwhile, a random playing of an old Tom Waits song gave Steve cause to pause and reflect on how rarely he stops to pause and reflect.
In the Person section, he riffs on that with David and they come up with some thoughts to share with you.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record of the same vintage as Tom Waits' Heart Attack And Vine, Steve uses the Problems segment to share a story of woe about two new clients who'd both lost control of their websites.
And for a dose of perspicacity (the sharpening of our minds), David and Steve reflect on a refreshingly different road safety ad, honey buns!
We hope you find this helpful.
Talking About Marketing podcast episode notes with timecodes
03:37 Person This segment focusses on you, the person, because we believe business is personal.
The Radio Is Off The Air
Th little bit of the Tom Waits song, Diamonds On My Windshield", has a lyric that caught Steve's attention, it goes: "The radio goes off and it gives me time to think."
Steve heard it while listening to the River Blues program on Radio 5mbs - the fine music station in Adelaide where he's a board member - and it jumped out at his consciousness.
We rarely get time to think these days, unless we're disciplined in making that time, and it's robbing us and society of depth and innovation.
13:57 Principles This segment focusses principles you can apply in your business today.
Strategic Alignment And Customer Obsession
If you want your employees to relate to your customers differently, do you ask them to change what they do first, or do you change the systems that support them first?
This is the question at the heart of this segment, as David reflects on the work of Josh Bernoff (Empowered) and Stan McChrystal (From shared consciousness and autonomous action to strategic alignment and empowered execution).
It's a nailbiting discussion if you believe you need to micromanage everybody around you, or rule by putting the fear of god into people.
If that's not you, you'll probably be applauding, as David works through the key points.
30:08 Problems This segment answers questions we've received from clients or listeners.
Control of your website
Steve reflected on two cases from recent days where an organisation has lost its web person and has ended up stranded with broken websites and one riddled with malicious code.
- Always have full administrator access to your website and web hosting and domain name.
- Always ensure updates always happen.
- Treat websites as importantly as you would your office or shopfront; looking for shortcuts can result in great pain and damage.
36:10 Perspicacity This segment is designed to sharpen our thinking by reflecting on a case stude from the past.
Keep The Bromance Alive
In 2015, a rather ear-catching TV commercial was produced, encouraging "blokes" to listen to road safety messages.
In it, rather blokey blokes spoke to each other like sweethearts, using endearing terms like, take it easy on the road, honey buns.
The juxtaposition of these characters using dialect usually reserved for cutesy lovebirds, turned heads and got attention.
Would such a campaign work today?
Hop in, and let Steve and David take you for a drive around the key points.
TRANSCRIPT This is a transcript of the episode. Please note, although checked briefly, this was crafted by an AI tool and will contain errors. For quoting purposes, always check against the original audio.
Caitlin Davis: [00:00:00] Talking About Marketing is a podcast for business owners and leaders, produced by my dad, Steve Davis, and his colleague at Talked About Marketing, David Olney, in which they explore marketing through the lens of their own four P's, person, principles, problems, and perspicacity. Yes, you heard that correctly.
Apart from their love of words, they really love helping people. So they hope this podcast will become a trusted companion on your journey in business.
Steve Davis: David, the theme for today is strategic alignment and customer obsession. As we approach each recording session, I have listener obsession. I really hope that you listening are getting something from every single segment we do. Is that good, David, or is that [00:01:00] too obsessive?
David Olney: No, I think it's very good, but I think what I would add to it is part of what we're talking about today and what we're always trying to do at Talked About Marketing is have continuity across everything we do, about how we treat people, how we approach helping them with their business. It's that if you're always looking to do the best by people and to treat people fairly and be creative, those things become perpetual everywhere, which means people have a very consistent experience of interacting with us as a company.
Which means they can legitimately tell someone, oh yeah, those guys are a bit odd sometimes when they're being creative, but they're really consistent, and they always do the best they can for people, and they're up front. If something's difficult, it's going to take more time. So I think we're a very good example of everything we're talking about today, and your, I will say, fixation on the well being of people is really where the company came from, and everyone who's got on board has got on board because they like being a [00:02:00] part of that.
Steve Davis: Well, actually one of the things just sprung to my mind was that it's interesting if you are doing a podcast for your business or you are blogging. Out publicly, or you are speaking at events, it's really interesting how, if you reflect on what you're doing, it does cast a light back onto the daily operations of everything, because you're sticking your head above the turret, and so it means people have a chance to go, Oh, hang on, you say this there, but it's not like this over here, so it's actually a rally call to yourself when you do this sort of Marketing communication, which is a bonus that isn't really talked about.
Most people talk, Oh, you get better SEO, you might get a few deals, but it actually helps keep you on your toes.
David Olney: And consistency is the beginning of building trust. And without consistency, you won't get trust with other businesses or with your clients. And if [00:03:00] you don't get trust in the modern era, sort of Mark Schafer's famous comment in Marketing Rebellion.
We do business people we like, we know, and we trust. You know, it's that simple now.
Steve Davis: And in the key of consistency let's get ready for our first segment, which is all about the person.
Caitlin Davis: Our four P's. Number one, person. The aim of life is self development. To realize one's nature perfectly. That is what each of us is here for. Oscar Wilde.
Steve Davis: David, I feel like part of my life is complete because I can put a tick next to the fact that I'm a board member these days. I feel like I need greyer hair and a briefcase and a chauffeur who drives me around. I don't know where that's coming from. Where is that illusion coming from?
David Olney: I don't know, but I'm happy to have a co op being the chauffeur.[00:04:00]
Steve Davis: Ah, that could be,
David Olney: that'll end really poorly and your hair will turn grey really fast.
Steve Davis: Yes. Well, put those illusions and illusions aside for a moment 5MBS, the community radio station that does the fine music, classical, jazz, et cetera that's where I am. And not as a result of being a board member, I was already listening.
We were lucky enough to be entrusted with the role of recreating the station's website and helping with the ability to make programs available to listen to later online, which is great, expands their reach, and I do dive into. The blues and jazz programs, primarily as I drive around, I mean, often I listen to brain food podcasts, but every now and then I flick it to one of these to just have my soul massaged and enriched.
And one program I was listening to was called Jazz [00:05:00] at Four, in which the presenter played one of my favorite Tom Waits songs of all time called Diamonds on the Windshield, and. There was one lyric that came outta this song that just made me have to capture it to share Here. Let's have a listen
Diamonds on the Windsheild: song be Tom Waits: Fly nice from Riverside out. State plates running a little late, but the sailors jockey for the fast lane. So 1 0 1, don't miss it. It's rolling hills and concrete fields and the broken lines on your mind. The eights go east and the fives go north. Emerging nexus back. You see your sign cross line signaling with a blink and the radio's gone off the air and it gives you time to think.
Steve Davis: I love that line, [00:06:00] and the radio's gone off the air, and it gives me time to think. The reason I'm sharing this today is because Tom waits in this song, built up this beautiful feeling of. Going across town, traffic everywhere, there's a truckie running late, there's traffic, lights in the darkness and the, the, the diamonds on the windshield is a reference to the, the raindrops the light.
You can picture it, and the windscreen wipers going back in time and just frenetic, crazy, you have to be on guard the whole time whilst also being tired, and then it's got, he's driving, this is overnight, and back in the time when the radio would shut down, and then you just hear nothing now, just the of the wipers, the rumble of the tires, and it gives him time to think.
And what struck me about this is that it's great analogy for what it's like running a [00:07:00] small business or a medium sized business, any business really, or being a leader in a business scenario is typically there's always something going, there's chaos, there's interchanging connections, as he says, and.
Sometimes, we are not good enough at taking a breathing space. It takes an external thing to make that happen. In this case, the radio went off and it gave me time to think. And I, whenever I hear that, I always exhale at that point of the song. A sort of sigh. Ah, I can feel the relief. Drift over me where the gods have conspired to give him that break.
Now, back in the day, when you flew, that was a little bit of time, but I used to fly to Darwin every month for about seven years to do work up there. And that three, three and a half hours in the plane was an oasis where there [00:08:00] was no contact with the outside world. Of course, now there's free wifi and all the planes.
So that's been taken away from us. So. David, it brings the challenge to our doorstep that there is value in having our brain not so much switch off, but switch gear, drink from a different pond. And I'm not sure all of us, or I know I'm terrible at that skill and I'm working on it and some people are better than others.
How do you view this situation?
David Olney: As you were talking, the first thing it reminded me of. It's the John Cleese book we spoke about in the last episode. Creativity, because his point in, you know, the book is so often, give your unconscious mind time to chew away at things. Now the unconscious doesn't chew in words, and it can't give you answers in words.
The unconscious doesn't use language. It will give. Your conscious mind, everything it can, if you give it time to mull and [00:09:00] process and play with things. And giving yourself that time every day can be remarkably important. In my case, the simple thing of having my master's thesis finished now, sitting here waiting for the mark, which only bothers me about every 30 seconds is now when I'm doing my yoga practice, I can just practice and let my brain wander.
I've got my 90 minutes a day back. of letting my brain just wander off. It's so good to have it back.
Steve Davis: Is it wandering now?
David Olney: No, because we're recording. And I'm listening to you, which is interesting. So, you know, this is... Well, first of all, except when I start getting hungry, then it might wander, but that will only be temporary.
Steve Davis: So, is there some, I'm trying to share now, what I do, is I make sure I do my mindfulness meditation every day, that's not quite the same, that's trying to hone the skill of being mindful of what's happening inside the busyness of the, of my consciousness, but forcing time to stop, one thing I have done is use the technology on [00:10:00] my mobile phone at a base level, To set my bedtime for five minutes past 10 every night and it comes on with a reminder and tells me wait and often that catches me unawares and I go, Oh, yes, okay, no, that's good.
So I'm using an external stimulus there. Here's where I fall down. I am working at quite a few weekends again and trying to get to that point of equilibrium so that I can start using the arbitrary. Delegation of Saturday and Sunday as days to down tools a little to actually do that. Haven't quite got there yet, but it's a holy grail just out of reach that I'm creeping to.
I'm undoing my own advice, aren't I? I'm just, I'm struggling on this one, but I need to conquer it because I know it pays off in the long run.
David Olney: Yeah, but the reason you're struggling is because the habit is to always be working. And what you're trying to do is build a new habit, and that is going to take time.
Like, I found that [00:11:00] the first couple of weeks after I got my thesis in, I would go to pick the guitar up at the end of the day, having done everything I needed to do, for my different jobs, and podcasting, and blog writing, and everything else. And then go... I should be working, because that had been normal for literally 20 months, since I started the Masters.
So, undoing a habit takes time. You start in a small way. Like, if you can just take two hours off on a Saturday, and two hours on a Sunday, for a planned activity, that is relaxing, And then build it up to three or four hours later. Maybe the most you'll be able to do comfortably is half of each day or one of the two days.
But that's only going to happen because you habituate that as being the normal new thing you want to do.
Steve Davis: That's a good point. Of course, I've been living like this for 20 years, so there's a quite a bit to untangle there. You just also reminded me that I shouldn't be looking to what others might project as how they embrace this [00:12:00] downtime, because that might not be achievable or even desirable for me or for anyone.
So it's about, it's everything, it's dangerous to say everything is relative. Let's not make an absolute statement about relativity, let's just say that there is going to be a sweet spot for each of us that brings into balance our needs of sustaining our energy, and as John Cleese mentions, Giving that creative stuff inside of us a chance to breathe.
It's like taking a dog to the dog park and taking off the leash and letting it run around. Maybe that's the analogy. I've got to find the dog park for my creative spirit.
David Olney: A safe place, a contained amount of time, an idea what you're going to do with the time. Because there's nothing worse than just saying, I'm going to do nothing.
Because if you're so used to being busy, doing nothing is an impossibility, unless you're unconscious. So better to plan to do something that [00:13:00] allows you to be playful, allows you to relax, allows you to catch up with people you haven't seen or want to spend more time with. Yeah, the more positives you can see in what you're going to do with this bit of time that's different.
The more likely you are to do it and repeat it.
Steve Davis: Yeah, and to continue the analogy of the doggie park for the creative spirit, is that I will also take along a little doggie bag with me and any of the stuff that's deposited from this creative time that isn't worthy of the light of day will be neatly put in that little bag and left in the receptacle provided.
David Olney: Take your nuggets home.
Caitlin Davis: Our four Ps. Number two, Principles. You can never be over dressed or over educated. Oscar Wilde.
Steve Davis: For the principles discussion in this episode, we're looking at some things to be [00:14:00] gleaned from Josh Bernoff's book, Empowered. In particular, dealing with a conundrum in which many of us in business will mouth the fact that we want employees to be empowered, but recoil from actually doing it.
Josh Bernoff's book: Empowered: I'm Josh Bernoff. I'm the author of Groundswell and the new book, Empowered. Empowered is really about how to manage your company in the age of the empowered customer. So in this world where we've got mobile, video, social, and cloud technologies giving people ultimate power, the only way your company can survive...
It's if you empower your own employees to actually create solutions to solve their problems.
Steve Davis: This is where David Olney will pick up the story.
David Olney: I will pick up the story here and I'll jump [00:15:00] back to 2007 with the launch of the iPhone and the beginning of people being able to do their own research. And it's the beginning of the era, of the shift from buyer beware to seller beware. Because suddenly, your customer's done their own research on their phone, and their laptop, and they've read review websites, and they've looked on social media about your company and your product, and they've changed their mind.
As a consequence of this period, business also began to change, and more and more companies made noises about the fact we need employees who are more empowered, who can deal with these really aware customers, and can deal with customers who know how much they're willing to pay, know what the characteristics of the product are, know exactly what the pitfalls are, know when we're telling them a story.
And people kind of demanded that their employees would become empowered. [00:16:00] Strangely, businesses didn't work much better. So Josh Bernhoff at Forrester got really interested in this idea of what does empowered really mean? And Josh Bernhoff's conclusion after a lot of research was, if you want your employees to be empowered and do more for your customers, which is an absolute necessity, In the post 2007 world, you've got to improve your system so that your employees have everything they need, and they feel genuinely supported, not just by your words, but by the system you've created.
Because, why would they trust your words, when it's the same old tired system that wasn't delivering yesterday? So he asked some very difficult questions about how serious about change are companies. Do they just want better outcomes, or are they willing to make the systemic changes that legitimately and deliberately empower their employees to deliver a [00:17:00] better and more consistent service and experience for customers?
Steve Davis: Wow. There's a lot of momentum within most organizations. That's going in a certain direction and hard to change. It needs more than just mouthing that we want things to change. And it does have to start and be led and modeled at the top. Otherwise it's a do as I say, not as I do.
David Olney: And hypocrisy is the kiss of death.
Steve Davis: So if we're running a small to medium enterprise, and we think, okay, I think empowered employees. Is the answer for our sustainability and working well with our customers, what's entailed to get the courage and the foresight to do it? Because we know. That it is the people in the front line [00:18:00] upon whom the reputation of every business hangs.
It can be built up or undone by the daily, inverted commas, mundane interactions. So it is important. The stakes are very high. Is it that realization that should be enough as the catalyst to push us forward and say, Oi, get real. It's going to be painful, perhaps you're going to have to change things and you're going to have to be a little bit scared on the inside that your employees might run away with things, but.
They're doing it every day. They're in front of your customers every single day. This is more an act of taking the hands off the eyes and actually looking at things properly, rather than living in some fantasy model land.
David Olney: Yeah, the fantasy model just doesn't work. And I found it really interesting when I found Josh Bernoff's book, Empowered, because similar literature came out of you know, the sort of defense [00:19:00] and military world about the same time that Josh Bernoff was writing.
And it was in response to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq where a famous special forces general, Stan McChrystal, literally said to his command, the most elite people in the U. S. military, We are not winning, which is a euphemism. We are losing. And that is unacceptable, and this was a more hierarchical world, where change was even harder, and yet Stan got tens of thousands of elite people to understand the idea that we have to have shared consciousness.
We all need to understand what we're doing, so that each of us can do our bit without having to ask for, what do I do, or how do I understand it, and we need to be able to act on our own, you know, he initially called this smart autonomy. So what he talked about initially in the military was shared consciousness and smart autonomy.
And then when he retired, he opened a [00:20:00] consultancy, because the corporate world in America realized this guy was a superstar and had moved management and leadership 20 years in about four. And the interesting thing was when he started working with Fortune 500 companies, he had to change his language from shared consciousness and smart autonomy, because it scared business owners.
And it scared CEOs. The language was too confronting. Yes, they knew their businesses needed to change a little bit. He knew their businesses needed to change a lot. And he softened the language for what he was suggesting to what we need is strategic alignment. We all need to be on the same page and understand what we're doing in the same way.
And we need empowered action, which means bosses make sure you have what you need to do your job well, and trust you to do it well, because they've made sure that we've got strategic alignment amongst us, and [00:21:00] we all know what's going on and our roles in it. And it was interesting how the more hierarchical world of the military spawned the more powerful ideas for transforming organizations.
And Stan moved faster in the military, and faster with business, than anything Josh Bernoff could suggest. Because Josh was used to the entropy of large organizations with personal fiefdoms, where, unless we're very close to going bankrupt, most people don't really feel that much need for change.
Steve Davis: So what are the spanners in the works at the bottom end?
I think we've, we've shone the light at the top end where you keep the five terms in, in place. And it's nice to have the corner office with the view over the city, et cetera, which is a big business analogy here on a small business podcast. But at the ground level I know Michael who worked with us for a long time.
Had some experiences in, [00:22:00] in roles in the past of terrible bosses who would come up with things and, and just all he and his colleagues could muster was nothing more than cynicism towards their motivations and whether anything was going to.
How redeemable is buying in 2022, the time of recording, when we've had this contract of trust, some of us still hold on to that of the, the benefactor mindset, leading an organization to one that just doesn't Drops us the moment anything gets too hard.
David Olney: I think that's the key thing, trust. Lots of people have argued that you run business on the complexity of the system and the sophistication of the hierarchy.
And I think if we've seen anything corroded and destroyed since 2007, [00:23:00] it's the idea that hierarchy, or the complexity of the system, will get people through the day. Or will get people through the day. is believing they're trusted to do the job well, believing they've been given the resources they need.
And even if their manager is not a superstar, their manager makes sure their team has what they need to do a decent job. Because at the end of the day, if the customers can see that the company isn't truthful, isn't consistent. The employees can't make up for that. And employees can't work around a boss who doesn't see the big picture.
And that is that we are now in the world of seller beware. If a manager isn't going to manage well, isn't going to empower their team well, it's not just customers who are going to be impressed. Employees will be unimpressed. And the public debate, even if it's a private public debate. Or a private debate in public about the state of the company is going to be the kiss of the death for the [00:24:00] company's reputation and ability to sell product effectively.
So, whatever kind of manager you are, if you're empowering your team, and your team believe that and look after customers well, that is going to affect back on you beautifully, and your life as a manager is only going to get better. But if you're trying to maintain a personal fiefdom that is no good for your employees and no good for your customers, every side is going to be telling the story of how it's not worth doing business with your company.
We're at the point now where this is not negotiable. It's get on board or suffer the consequences of not catching up to the changes that are now everywhere.
Steve Davis: You use the phrase telling the story, and so to bring this segment home with something practical and applicable, apart from maybe reading through Josh's book, Empowered, or referencing some Stan McChrystal, if you can find some, is the staff training days that you and I Thank you.[00:25:00]
Put together for companies starts with in many ways, looking for how the person in charge can create meaningful communication with the team. So the team can see as much as they want to into the workings and the concerns and the operations at the top, which I think is the first step towards. Building that house of trust.
Would you agree?
David Olney: Absolutely. Until everyone can start having some degree of strategic alignment. And it doesn't have to be, you know, total. There is always some stuff that is commercial in confidence and is only understood at a certain level. But in the main, most people will do a better job of their work if they have a better understanding of what they're engaged in and the concerns and pain points.
of their managers and leaders. So sharing information is the first step for, you know, building trust, you know, and genuine trust, [00:26:00] rather than that, you know, you remunerate me at the end of the week. Well, if you remunerate me, we trust each other, how much better is the week going to be for everyone?
Steve Davis: Hmm, so to get a foothold on that, one of the examples we mentioned to a particular person we're working with given her particular situation of business was it fit for her to just grab the phone once a month.
And do a very short piece to camera a minute or two with the updates on some of the things she'd been doing behind the scenes of some big deals that she's working on to keep publicity and promotion focused on their business for everyone's benefit and maybe mentioned there her ruminations over any particular questions or comments that a particular staff person might have raised would have been a very simple way to start this process of trust building.
David Olney: Yeah, and also in that video could have very easily been little reminders about, guys, remember how we treat everyone. [00:27:00] We treat the clients the same way we treat each other, with care and respect. Remember if you see something, say something. Because if you see something that's not right, someone's gonna see the same thing next week, and they're gonna go, why hasn't that been fixed?
And I don't know who to talk to. So, you know, setting the culture of we're in it together, and we fix it together. Is enough to really change outcomes dramatically.
Steve Davis: And I think a barometric reading on the state of the culture is one that I'm dealing with at home with my young emerging teenagers and jobs around the house, things around the house.
Maybe get a inspiration to make some brownies, but you don't really wash up the rack and a few other extra things. I'm trying to instill the message that every task you leave unfinished is a job you're making for someone else. And you don't really want to be that person, like, [00:28:00] I don't think anyone deliberately wants to make more work for others.
It's just the being inattentive to the repercussions of every little act. So to me, whether it's home or in a small business, it's that awareness that. Of having responsibility to see something through, I think where people are empowered to care about that and note that it feels bad if we've let someone else down who has to mop up after us, I think there's the, there's the sign that something's healthy within an organization or At the other end of the spectrum,
David Olney: Classic example of this, you know, when I was at Adelaide University, that the tea room by Friday afternoon would look like a bomb site.
'cause people hadn't realized that, you know, there was no magic fairy that, you know, popped out of, you know, the drawer and cleaned the, you know, tea room on a Friday afternoon. It turned out it was one of the associate professors with a huge workload, just couldn't bear to go home with it. Still being a [00:29:00] disgusting mess.
And people's behavior only got better when they realized one of the kindest and most hardworking people in the department was the one who every Friday was cleaning the tea room. Did people then start, you know, washing their own cup, washing their own dish, wiping the counter down, wiping out the microwave if their food exploded.
It didn't take shame, but it did take people having the recognition that there is no magic fairy that makes the world go round. If we don't all do it, some poor person has to do all of it.
Steve Davis: On that note, let's pause for some reflection and come back in a moment to open the mailbag, which I'll do. I won't leave that for you to do, David.
David Olney: I'm happy to open them, but I'm just gonna open them randomly looking for candy.
Caitlin Davis: R4P's number three, Problems. I asked the question for the best reason possible, simple curiosity, Oscar Wilde.[00:30:00]
Steve Davis: For the problem segment this time around, I just wanted to briefly touch base on something that can be considered an evergreen scenario, and it is I had two in the one week. Of the preceding week leading up to this recording where organizations had lost their web person and ended up stranded with broken websites and one of those websites was actually riddled with malicious code.
And I've been in this game a long time i've built more than a thousand websites myself since i began and so i've seen the ins and outs and i've also dealt with the dynamics of people's attitudes towards websites and the way that many many people in business feel like it's gibberish the whole website thing they don't understand it nor do they value it there is a risk.
That some people consider it as just a bit of lolly [00:31:00] water and not like an actual tangible asset for your business the way that you would treat an office or a factory. And it is, it is the virtual version of bricks and mortar. Everything. Is seen publicly that happens on your website and so all I wanted to say without being too much of a broken record But because this is so hot and fresh in my mind is two things And thought by the way Thank you to Richard Pascoe the Adelaide tech guy from five double a for connecting me with one of these people who've been in this situation But please make sure no matter who you're working with on your website that you have Absolute full administration control and access of your website.
Of your web hosting and of your domain name registration, you need to not only have that access, but have that captured somewhere. We [00:32:00] need it safely secured so that if you do get into trouble and things have gone to hell in a hand basket, as they say, and you know, someone like us, we get called in to help you, we've got direct access to all that information straight away.
I just think it mitigates a whole lot of business risk. One of the businesses we're talking about was in a scenario where this other company is controlling all the updates of their website. Now that's fine if it works well, but this company is really atrocious at their response time. So imagine discovering something, which they did on their website, that is.
Actually wrong. The big Facebook icon at the top of their website, when you click it, takes you to a competitor's Facebook page. I can see you falling off your chair, David.
David Olney: This is the point where I have to say, oh my dog, how does that even happen?
Steve Davis: And so it is a business [00:33:00] risk that I was sitting there, I could have, if I had their admin access, made that change in five seconds flat.
Blindfolded, David. Blindfolded, I could have done that. And so he, this business, imagine worse. Imagine if there was a particular typo that made them responsible for offering something at a much lower price than they could afford to offer it. They have to honor it. It's in the public space. It's just horrible.
So please. Admin access to everything and the other thing is, we've got to get to this point of taking the updating of a website of in a wordpress environment. It's wordpress itself. It's the plugins. It's the theme we must. Put our grown up pants on on this and take it seriously, because yes, the rolling nature of updates coming through can add extra functionality to the site, but by and large, they, when the developers have discovered there's a [00:34:00] vulnerability in the code or the crooks have learned a new trick and that they Safeguard us against that, and one particular case, it's a community organization too, I had David Murren, our lead web tech IT person, have a look at their site for them, that site is riddled, riddled with malicious code, there are links to dating sites and porn sites, there is Chinese script on some hidden pages that are polluting their references on Google, and this is because They, A, don't have access to the site and the person they trusted has now disappeared, and B, no updates were being done.
It's hideous, so I will pause at this point. I think I've made my point, make sure you've got that full access and make sure updates are happening. And yes, we do have a service where we can do that for you and we've got a couple of different tiers of that, [00:35:00] but I'm not here to push that. I just need someone to take responsibility within the organization.
Not a huge task. But it's crucial because the damage of having a compromised website, imagine a customer or a visitor to your website now having malicious code imparted to their browsing experience or computer because of your. Being the weak link in the chain. There we are a reminder. I'll sew my lips up, David.
And you can add another tally to the I'm sure you keep tally on how many times I refer to this same evergreen insight. And I don't care. It's going to keep going until I'm blue in the face.
David Olney: You gotta be like Sheldon. You gotta wear your bus pants and be safe.
Caitlin Davis: Our four Ps. Number four. Perspicacity. The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it. Oscar Wilde.[00:36:00]
Steve Davis: For our dalliance with Persepocasity, to finish off this episode, to sharpen our minds, give us a run for our money, we're going to play an ad that I think harkens back to about 2015. And it's referred to as the Drive Safely Honey Buns ad. And the first voice you hear, by the way, is that of a local actor in South Australia, Patrick Frost, who I'll just mention from a level of trivia is the uncle of a dear friend and long term client of mine, Alexandra Frost.
So it's nice when... Worlds collide just we're connected to everything. It seems. Anyway, it's a safety road safety campaign to get to blokes who are in the category of taking risks and not listening to the advice of others with a little twist on the use of language.[00:37:00]
What do you think of that ad, sweetheart?
David Olney: Well done, sweet cheeks.
Steve Davis: What's going on in this ad? There's, I love it. I love the fact, and I think it's the, the fish out of water element of it, that we... Hear the sort of language we normally associate with a committed pair bonding, romantic relationship, but juxtaposed into what is typically she'll be right, tough as nails, mateship environment.
It's, it's wonderful. It makes you go, Oh, hang on a minute. What?
David Olney: Yep, the juxtaposition of blokey blokes doing this really flowery, caring language. And the thing is, they get the tone so right. They make the tone sound so caring. They don't do it in a facetious way. They, they, you know, they say it like it matters.
It's, it's a good example of good actors [00:38:00] playing the juxtaposition up to get us all to think differently.
Steve Davis: And what do you think they were aiming for in this ad in 2015, before we start reflecting on whether it would work today?
David Olney: My feeling is that it was, they knew exactly what group tended to ignore ads, because they didn't feel the ad was talking to them.
So by deliberately going the blokey bloke kind of thing, who has the cool car, or the big ute, or whatever else, it really was a great way to tap in to a community who historically probably just rolled their eyes and went, I drive well, and I'm gonna drive how I like. So I think it was very good targeted advertising and my guess is if we were going to do another version of it We would need to go Are we still trying to target the same group of people or do we need to identify a specific group and go?
Well, what language is going to be the perfect juxtaposition for them?
Steve Davis: Hmm because I do like the scene towards the end, and we've got the video embedded in the show notes [00:39:00] too, of the group of them in the car, and they put an ultimatum to the driver, look, if you don't do this, we're going to hop out and walk now, at which point the driver apologizes, honey, and You're just going to walk away from this.
3 And corrects their ways, what I, what I think is clever about this 2015 version is that yes, it's the juxtaposition of the, the way the communication happens, but it actually elaborates on the real, if you like, love language or the real sentiment of the communication that's happening. It's just because there is a care between mates talking, but it's just not dressed up in this flowery.
Makeup written language typically so there's a truth. So it's not just funny. There's a truth.
David Olney: Truth is still there and the truth is perhaps even more powerful because it's being expressed in an unconventional way that initially you're like, Oh, this is a bit odd. And then you start smiling and [00:40:00] go, this is really cool.
And then you go, it's also truthful. So you go, what a wonderful combination of things piled on it on top of each other. Novelty, truthfulness, care, yeah. That's a powerful combination of things.
Steve Davis: And I'm going to go on the record. I think this is the first time here we are episode eight. This is the first Perspicacity segment where I'm looking at the ad that we're highlighting. And I would say if that ad was made in 2022, the time of recording, it would be as relevant today as it was back then. And I think it's because. Yes, it's got all the elements of laughter and messaging, but because it really has carefully honed in on universal timeless truths, I think this is, and should be regarded as a timeless classic campaign.
This is something people in our industry of [00:41:00] communicating should feel proud about, assuming That it did actually move the needle in the right way, and... Get us an uptick in safer behavior on the roads.
David Olney: I totally agree. It's an ad that just seems to stand up and hold up so well. And as long as it did have a positive impact, and the number of people who talked about it in 2015, I'd be really surprised if it didn't have a positive impact.
Steve Davis: Yeah, you're dead right, cutesy pie. I agree.
David Olney: Thanks, honey buns.
Caitlin Davis: Thank you for listening to Talking About Marketing. If you enjoyed it, please leave a rating or a review in your favourite podcast app. And if you found it helpful, please share it with others. Steve and David always welcome your comments and questions, so send them to podcast at talkedaboutmarketing.
com. And finally, the last word to Oscar Wilde. There's only one thing worse than being talked about, and that's not being talked about.[00:42:00]