Thinking fast and slow is good for business

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Trudi Sampola from talks about the power of reflection in marketing

The dm Forum is now in its 17th year. Its success is testament to the simplicity of the format and the value of the contributions from those who present their marketing stories.

The February event was no exception. There were the regulars who’ve been coming for years, as well as some new faces. And of course, two interesting presenters.

Trudi Sampola, Marketing Transformation Director at was first up. The accomplished brand and communications strategist told the audience about her new-found appreciation for balancing “fast and agile” with “slow and considered”.

Trudi says the two speeds are complementary and that it is possible to embrace both. But it takes the right type of organisational culture where there is a preparedness to invest in “reflection and making time to celebrate the small wins”.

“The agility of my workplace is driven by our passion for customer satisfaction, face-to-face conversations, and everyone – including the Exec team – being ‘on the tools’ and working as a team,” she said.

“But we also take the time to slow down and reflect. Our internal ‘hackathons’ bring everyone together for three days to stimulate our creativity. It’s a big commitment from the business, but up to 50% of the ideas generated go into production,” she said.

The ‘Cyclops’ image recognition tool was a prototype idea that came out of a hackathon. Twenty thousand images are uploaded to every day. The Cyclops invention saves the organisation 55 hours of handling time in that process. It has also won ‘IT project of the year’ in the iTnews Benchmark Awards.

Not a bad outcome from a few days tinkering out of the office!

Following Trudi’s thoughtful presentation, we heard from Grant Arnott, founder of Click Frenzy. Grant talked about the build-up to the 2012 launch of the first ever 24-hour online shopping event in Australia.

Grant successfully tapped into the psyche of his FOMO target audience. The online clock was counting down and launch time was set for 7pm to capture the maximum volume of couch commerce.

Grant thought the first Click Frenzy might attract around 250k visitors. If things went really well, maybe 500k? Not for a second did he expect the traffic that wiped out the site shortly after launch.

Tragic at the time, he’s able to laugh about it now. And while he may have been knocked down, he got up again to build a bigger, better and more robust Click Frenzy that now serves 2 million happy shoppers.

They were two very different presentations, but both fascinating for their insights.

Thank you Trudi and Grant. You were the 95th and 96th speakers who’ve shared a marketing tale at the dm Forum. We're grateful to all our speakers who have generously given their time over the years. Thank you all. And if you have a marketing adventure to share, please contact Frank Chamberlin.