Looking After Your Skin

These days I’m starting to use more skin care products. Partly because I’m getting older, partly because I’m still not getting much sleep (due to a combination of my work hours and having a young child), and partly because I’m doing more film-based projects, and nobody wants to see those dark circles under my eyes.

What I’ve learned is that if you’re interested in looking after your skin, you need to invest some time exploring the difference between different skin care brands – what ingredients they put into their products, and what the overall philosophy of the company is.

Lately I’ve started doing some work for Bohemian Skin, an Australian manufacturer of 100% organic, natural and ethical skincare for men and women. They got started when their founders, Morgan and Keenan, were expecting their first child, and Morgan was struggling to find skin care products that were suitable for pregnancy. Like all good entrepreneurs, they finally decided “hey – I can just make my own damn product, then I know exactly what’s going into it”. And that’s what they did. Fast forward a few years, and they have a thriving business. It’s quite a good story. They hired some scientists to design their products and then manufactured them in Australia.

The research I did for their marketing strategy suggests that a growing number of Australians are starting to pay more attention to the ingredients of the products they are using on their skin. I stopped using deodorants that contain aluminium many years ago, due to studies that connect aluminium and cancer.

Ten Enduring Lessons from the Challenger Explosion

I recently co-wrote the first blog post / newsletter for my client Enable Advisory. They are a boutique consulting firm made up of senior executives from the coal mining and resource sector who provide mine planning and mine project management services (among other things).

Here’s the opening of the blog post, which tries to distill some lessons from the Challenger explosion and apply them to mine planning.

When the Challenger space shuttle exploded off the coast of Florida on January 28, 1986, Wayne Hale was head of the Propulsion Systems Section, Systems Division, Mission Operations, NASA. If you think you’ve experienced systems failure in your job, imagine if the entire event was being televised live around the world to hundreds of millions of people. Hale went on to become NASA Flight Director and Space Shuttle Program Manager and has recorded ten enduring lessons from his experience on how to avoid another Challenger-type incident. One of those lessons is that “a preoccupation with failure results in high reliability organizations.” He believes that dissension during the decision making process has tremendous value and that no dissension means the issue hasn’t been examined enough. Appoint devil’s advocates, he advises, and don’t let people remain silent – draw them out.

You can read the whole thing here.

Is Evernote Selling My Data?

Is Evernote being evil? Or is Meko just really clever? Or is it just a strange coincidence?

Here’s my story.

A couple of weeks ago, my lovely wife brought me home a can of Meko coconut water. It’s really great stuff. Like… seriously. I had a foodgasm.

meko evernote evil

A week later I was in the supermarket and wanted to buy more. But I couldn’t remember what brand it was. Nothing in the coconut water section looked familiar, so I bought one can of two separate brands – neither was Meko. Both tasted AWFUL.

The next day, my lovely wife bought me another can of Meko. This time I snapped a picture of it into Evernote so I’d remember the next time I was doing the shopping.

A couple of days later, I’m in Facebook and I am presented with an ad for the Meko Facebook group.

meko facebook ad

Coincidence? Or did Evernote let Meko know that I snapped a photo of their product?

I brought up this issue this morning on Laurel Papworth’s hangout, and a few of the viewers pointed me to Evernote’s privacy policy.

It states (in part):

Does Evernote Share My Personal Information or Content?
Evernote is not in the business of selling or renting user information, and we only disclose information when:

  • We have your explicit consent to share the information.

  • We need to share your information with service providers who process data on our behalf in order to operate the Service and/or complete your payment transactions; and these providers are subject to strict data protection requirements.

  • We need to share your information with service providers to fulfill your product or service requests, including sales, delivery and support for certain products from the Evernote Market.

  • We need to share your information with resellers of a Premium Service or product in order to ensure accuracy in the payment for such Premium Service or product, the management of your account and the delivery of your purchase and related support services.

  • We believe it is necessary to investigate potential violations of our Terms of Service, to enforce those Terms of Service, or where we believe it is necessary to investigate, prevent or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud or potential threats against persons, property or the systems on which we operate the Service.

  • We determine that the access, preservation or disclosure of information is required or permitted by law to protect the rights, property or personal safety of Evernote and users of the Service, or is required to comply with applicable laws, including compliance with warrants, court orders or other legal process.

  • We do so in connection with the sale or reorganization of all or part of our business, as permitted by applicable law.

So I don’t think they have a policy of sharing the content of my notes with advertisers.

Was this all a coincidence? Or am I Meko’s target audience? Did their Facebook targeting work?

I’m a 43 year-old cigar-smoking father of three. I doubt I’m their target audience. Now, if it was my little sister (okay, she’s 35, but she’s still little IMHO) who does yoga, works for a circus and lives in Byron Bay – sure. She’s the target. Me? Not so much.

I live in Evernote. It’s perhaps my favourite technology brand (or competes for number one with Apple). I’m an (unoffficial) Evernote evangelist and have been since I started using it in 2008. I’ve got ~10,000 notes in it. I’d be very upset and concerned if they are being evil.

Laurel’s opinion seemed to be that I’m just naïve if I don’t think they are selling my data.

What do you think?

My New Project – Motherlode

My New Project – Motherlode

My latest project is Motherlode (Brisbane’s hardest working marketing agency).

 

 Motherlode (Brisbane’s hardest working marketing agency)

The two main guys behind Motherlode are myself and an old mate of mine from Melbourne who worked with me at Ozemail and Microsoft in the 90s and 2000s, then worked as the Marketing Director at Data#3 (one of the largest IT companies in QLD) for years. Between the two of us, we have decades of experience in marketing, sales and digital strategy.

What makes Motherlode different from your typical agency, though, is that we are virtual. We have a team of specialists that we have worked with over the years – graphic designers, database admins, web designers, copywriters, SEO specialists, etc – some are based in Brisbane, some are in other parts of Australia and some are global. It shouldn’t matter where people live. We all have Skype, email, FaceTime and Dropbox. Why be limited by your geography or by the talent in your office? We want to work with the best people around the world.

We also want to work with global clients who are looking for help with their marketing strategy – digital and traditional. You may not have a full-time marketing team working with you or perhaps you do have one but they need some external firepower.

If you want a chat, email me cameron@motherlode.com.au. I’ll be blogging lots of stuff about marketing and digital strategy, so you can follow the new Twitter feed or blog feed.