Gmail Apps Configure Inbox

Google Mail (Apps for Business) not showing emails from distribution lists

So after a few weeks of scratching my head, relating to where all the emails that were sent to my “group” distribution lists in Google Apps for Business were going, following a support call to them, I’ve established three things.

1. Check that the emails are actually arriving to the gmail service through the new; Email Log Search

2. If they are arriving, and you still can’t see them in your inbox a) do a search for the email distribution alias (eg. distro@TLD.com) in the gmail search OR in the Left Hand Navigation, navigate in your “inboxes” down to all mail.

Gmail Apps Configure Inbox

3. To fix the “bug” you need to go to the settings cog (top RHS), and click “configure inbox” (above) , and uncheck “Forums”.

Configure inbox "Forums"

If you note, the default function of the inbox tabs includes “messages from mailing lists”

What, No Website?

Why would you NOT have a website as a consultant, are you mad?

So, for the last 3 months I have been contracting independently and consulting as “Louder”, but I intentionally haven’t had a fully functional website (or even a holding page). It has been against every grain of common sense that I have had in me to not put my heart, mind and time into building out a great website and the content to validate my thinking when people come a looking.

Why? I have wanted to meet people face to face, and to talk to them to actually validate my business proposition, and to understand where prospective clients heads are at. I don’t want the audience who I am trying to engage with, to simply look at my site, and to assume that that they know what I am offering, or to think “oh, our existing agencies offer this”, as the agencies that most clients have quite simply, do not.

Intrinsically, I have a slightly disruptive model, albeit consultancy. Much of it is orientated around understanding a businesses’ challenges, and assisting them in a) understanding their digital position compared to the rest of the market, b) helping them create a strategy to develop forward from here, c) measuring the success and failure in the implementation or execution of that strategy d) helping them implement that strategy, e) redevelop and start again.

I have spent quite a lot of time in this last three months being very surprised by the three client groups who I have identified as prospects; Creative Agencies, Direct Client (Brand) relationships, Others (Independent Media Agencies and Publishers). In this time, the only people who have fully understood the digital landscape have been on the technology vendor side and one client-side digital manager. Many clients are limited through time, resources, knowledge/expertise, and desire to do things differently. There is also an expectation that agencies are already implementing best practice. They may be, but not always in a manner that has the clients success at the core. I am completely aware, that there are many teams client side who have the understanding, as they are working on comprehensive data, audience and programmatic changes – Telstra, Foxtel, CommBank, Coles, Woolworths, Sensis and Qantas are just some who are publicly referenced as actively implementing in this space.

The key reasons why not

On the whole, there have been a few stand out things for me that is going to change my position on the (lack of) website front;

  1. I haven’t finalised my brand, branding, messaging, look and feel – This shouldn’t stop me from giving people some context to what I offer. I have needed to simplify much of my offering – and the website should be able to reflect this.
  2. I don’t have the money to launch a website with the functionality that I believe a website should have – IE. Adobe CQ5 / Sitecore or other tailored experience. This is an opportunity to try to prove that you don’t need to have these tools to create good Ux/Cx.
  3. On the backend, I have been working with Salesforce, Xero, MailChimp and Docusign to put in place a fully automated Contact, Account, CRM and Billing solution.
  4. I have wanted to talk to a lot of prospects, vendors, friends, influencers about what I am doing and offering to ensure that I am clearly communicating the right message to people.
  5. Content – I have wanted to refine my thinking on the effective communication of the thinking and positioning that I wish to offer to my clients – in blog / video or other form. This is requiring investment of time and money to achieve this, and I wanted to focus on getting work through the door.

So. What’s Next?

I am going to work on getting the Louder.com.au site up and running in the next week, creating initially a platform to start publishing initially – my thinking, the challenges, assessments of the market and technology, the strategy that I have helped media agencies adopt, the possibilities that the technology platforms offer clients at present, and who the responsibility sits with to drive this forward.

That is more than enough for one week.

/y0z

My iinet Connectivity History

My ongoing internet connectivity challenge with iinet & telstra

So, I have experienced challenges with my internet connectivity for the last four years – pretty much the whole time that I have been in the unit that I still live in.

I used to get connectivity like this, that I was delighted with (after a long fiasco)…

fixed-iinet-line

 

 

 

 

 

Since then, every 9-12 months, we had an internet outage, and then we get an awful connection thereafter. I now, and have for the last 12 months, got connectivity like this – 4MB/s, that I cannot get resolved;

My iinet Connectivity History
My iinet Connectivity History – 4MB/s

 

 

 

 

 

Frustratingly, the problem that I have is that, other people in my block get between 9MB/s and 12 MB/s. I can’t even stream video from YouTube or Vimeo with this kind of speed, Skype quality is really poor, and we get random drop outs.

My router connectivity states 9MB/s, as do any other routers that I put on the line – regardless of what router I put to the line, if I run a wired (not wireless) speedtest, I don’t exceed 4.0M/s Download. The line tests from Telstra and iinet claim that the line is fine, however, when an engineer came out last week, he stated that there was indeed a fault, and he was seeing the same issue that I was experiencing. I was then told that the fault was fixed, with no improvement in speed.

I am at the end of my tether, and am close to buying Telstra cable, as much as I don’t want to buy in to another contract.

HELP is most welcome!

40 Days To Change

After approaching 5 years working at IPG Mediabrands, I decided in its current form, it was not for me, and that the things that meant most to me, were not at hand, and nor were they likely to be in the immediate future. I also decided that I wasn’t very happy with the current state of my health and fitness – something that in the 5 years that I have been in Australia has been on a slippery slope, probably been down to insanely long hours, plenty of late nights, and an aversion to salad and, not playing rugby as often as I would like.

I made the initial decision five months ago when I committed to change my work life, that I would start to change the fitness bit, joining the swimming pool at Alfred Park, and swimming most days over the Australian winter, but also lining up re-attending at yoga at Body Mind Life sometime in September.

Yoga’s been something I’ve dipped my toe in and out of – generally during the summer when I was able to do it on a rooftop in Kirribilli with a beautiful harbour view, outside in the sun, rather than inside, sweating furiously. However, having booked a twenty pass ticket, I was talking to the reception at Body Mind Life (my studio of choice) and got talked into (willingly) doing a 40 day Yoga revolution.

The program is based around a book by Baron Baptiste 40 Days to personal revolution, who appears to be quite an influential yogi, and founder of his own institute in the US – website. The book can be found on Amazon. I thought that I would share some of my experiences in the last 40 days, and maybe it will give someone else the impetus to try it.

I guess as with anywhere, there are a few Surry Hills posers/hipsters there, who are a little bit “look at me” at the classes, but it’s all part of the awesome, that is Surry Hills, and one doesn’t really care – it adds to the atmosphere, and gives you a few stories to share. I think my funniest one was turning up to a class where “Jesus” and “Eric Idle” were doing a double session on a Saturday morning when I had a hangover, and all I could hear was their “whispering breath” from the other side of the room – not what I needed.

Revolution Start Day minus1 - I decided to go to a Sunday class to limber up in anticipation of starting the 40 days. Typical luck, I was attempting/undertaking a stretch with the strap, and managed to pull/tear/wrench my shoulder. I debated for a number of weeks what to do, as it just wasn’t getting better – no worse, but I am sure it hasn’t helped. Anyway – on day 39 I have an ultra sound to try to work out what’s wrong.

Week 1 – Without exaggerating, week one was pretty horrific; I was exhausted after every session, I was surrounded by these perfectly lithe people, who were effortlessly gliding around the mat, while I was crashing about, not able to get into some of the poses, and having to take alternative positions, feeling quite self conscious and pouring sweating. I was aching in places that I didn’t know I had places, but, I knew that in theory, the training effect would ultimately kick in, and it should get better.

The meditation was the hardest thing – how do I, a reasonably hyper-active 33 year old sit still for 10 minutes each day? Well I found Calm.com a number of months ago, and they now have an app for both persuasions – apple / android!

I established reasonably quickly that undertaking the classes was taking between 2.5 and 3 hours a day including shower/travel and whatnot – a big ask in most circumstances.

Week 2 – Having started with Essentials Classes in Week One (28 Degrees length from 60-90 minutes varying) I decided to do try a few things – to take very early classes – 6 and 6.30 am, so that it didn’t really disrupt my day. On the day that I couldn’t, I attended an open class (30 degrees and 75 or 90 minutes) wow, I nearly passed out. I reverted to childs pose several times just to get through. I don’t think that this is down to anything other than my body being very poor at regulating my temperature generally – I had the same thing when I rode my bike wearing a camelbak. I guess it must be one of my genetic dead end traits. In short for me, week 2 was as hard as the first one, but, I went out hard, and knew that to keep my motivation up, that I would need to keep at it if I had any chance of getting through week 3.

Week 3 – I had my first of two “experiences” that I’ve encountered in this program in week 3. I had been attending the classes religiously for 6 days a week for about 15 days, and I was seeing everyone doing all the fancy inversions, and had been observing a little sceptically – anyhow, the focus of the week in the yoga studio was inversions, and I learnt how to get myself into a shoulder stand – something relatively simple, but quite impressive. Anyhow, the following day in class, I can only describe as an experience – at the very end of the class, right before the relaxation, I did my all new shoulder stand, and I had some strange elation, or as I described to friends, a non-sexual orgasm. A feeling of immense pleasure, and release – apparently upside down is when some of your glands release toxins (I haven’t verified this) – maybe it was a chemical endorphin release or adrenaline, I don’t know, but it was an exceptionally good feeling.

I also went to a different studio – there are two Body Mind Life’s in Sydney – I had been attending the Surry Hills one, at the weekends, for a change of scenery, I tried their Bondi studio, and then hit the beach after for a swim and a relax – it was a nice amplifier for the feelings post yoga.

Week 4 – The shine was wearing off the early mornings by week 4, it was a huge commitment to spend 2.5-3 hours a day doing this, with the meditation, the travel, and then the classes – however, every time I walked out of the building after a class – I was feeling good, positive, happy to start or close off the day.

Week 4 included a three day juice de-tox diet, that I was not “enthusiastic” about – however, it went pretty well, I made my own juices – Carrot, Parsnip and Sweet Potato, then a fruit mix – Banana, Strawberry, Apple or something like that. I also drank lots of cranberry lite. I felt a bit dodgy after the classes, but had early nights, and it went off ok in the end.

I was also feeling pretty confident in the poses, and was re-visiting some of the positions that were too hard, or that I was taking variations with. Unfortunately, my shoulder has been giving my quite a lot of grief, so downward dogging, and planking has been getting a bit harder – hopefully a few days rest will sort it out.

Week 5 – Yin is where it is at… I was completely over the normal classes by week 4.5 and this week, with 4 days to go, I am not sure if I can hack another full blown class. I have got to stay motivated, and think about how good I feel after, and that in the middle of it, I really enjoy it.

I had my second moment in my first Yin class, and came out and was waxing lyrical about how amazing it is to anyone who would listen. Just a really deep relaxation, that I felt incredible after. Maybe it was because I was expecting to do an ultra hard class, and it was entirely the opposite, and it was just what I needed at that point.

I think that I have to do an extra day, as I need to make up a day this week – I had a double rest day, to give the shoulder a breather.

The End? Well, it’s this coming Friday, so I will let you know the grand finale. It’s apparently a “disco”. I’m trying to work out if it is alcohol free with tea and carrot sticks, but I’m sure that Yogi’s are allowed one day a week off the beans and seeds. (that’s a joke).

My Top Tips (mostly serious)

  • Absolutely mix it up – don’t just do Vinyasa – I wish I had done a Yin Yoga class earlier
  • Use the class mats, or buy a decent mat – I got one that for some reason when my hands get sweaty, I can’t grip, causing me to slide
  • Use the variations that the teachers offer – it made it a lot more enjoyable
  • Drink lots and lots of water in the first couple of weeks – I was drinking about 2L more per day – I even dropped a couple of Hydralyte or Rehydration salts into it
  • Get the Calm.com app to help with your meditation – variable lengths, backgrounds etc – absolutely amazing
  • Get some early nights and early starts – I was trying the 6 am classes to try and start the day off to a positive – was really enjoyable
  • Get a yoga block (like $5 from ebay), to sit on while you meditate at home
  • It’s not just about the yoga, it’s about trying to be more relaxed generally.
  • Get a tighter fitting tee-shirt or top, as if you have a baggy one, it hangs about your mouth and nose, resulting in you breathing in and out of your sweaty chest. Plenty of the guys in the classes go just in shorts, but I think that’s a bit excessive, and might be part of the yoga courtship ritual
  • Get an overlay mat for your yoga mat – I still haven’t got one, but it is a cloth or fibre cover for your mat to stop you from sliding about when you’re sweaty
  • Hangovers and Yoga don’t mix
  • Washing – there is lots of it – get a few extra outfits
  • Moisturise? Really… sweating that much, if you moisturise, it locks a little bit of it in meaning that you don’t drip everywhere quite as much.
  • Tights are not leggings – there is a tumblr to tell you that. There needs to be a sign at yoga to remind some people!
  • Get to class early – to either avoid the hottest places in the room, or to get 10 minutes relaxing on your mat before the class starts
  • In the middle of the day, the classes are a lot quieter (obviously), so you can enjoy a lot more, and you get a bit more one on one
  • Chat – ultimately I think yoga is about your own experience, and sharing it with others – even the funny or bad stuff makes a good story, but also shares the unique and personal aspect of your body and its ability not to make the shapes that are in the books
  • Take it for what it is, or make of it what you will – there was some funny pseudo-science in one of my classes, that I disregarded, but ultimately it’s about you, and take from “the mat” and “the practice” what means something to you.

The Body Mind Life Studio in Surry Hills is where I did my practicing – the whole team are very pleasant there, they have been very helpful and kind to me during the time I have been going, and know me by name. They arranged Facebook groups, regular meet ups, and workshops during the period of the 40 days, and the set up that they have there is pretty awesome. Had I not had some of the encouragement, it would have been a lot harder – they even have an app that you can book all your classes through – which helps.

So, what’s next? Well, I am debating doing 6 weeks of swimming and 100 push ups, but I’m still trying to get my knee fixed, so swimming might be a challenge. I definitely want to carry on with Yoga, but might just do it a couple of times a week. I also need to do something with my yoga mat – I need to get it home to wash it free of 40 days of blood, sweat and a tear.

Keep the faith.

What does the future really bring for the Australian digital media industry?

The Realisation of the Full Digital Technology Stack Capability
The utopia for digital marketers is almost at hand, with a single suite of digital media ad-publication, optimisation and measurement tools being within grasping distance.

As regular readers (colleagues-who-get-an-email-from-me-every-time-I-post) know, I spend most of my time working within the media, digital media and technology space. Some of my time is spent identifying emerging technologies, testing them, and then driving media agency and client adoption of the appropriate tools. As with my other post on broader digital change, I have included a few examples that may be a little far reaching, but, I anticipate that these are not unreachable, for a focused or a digitally native organisation. So, what’s the go (in order of importance)

These posts include opinions  on what I am anticipating being big change points, and adoption areas throughout 2014 for Australian digital marketing professionals. Some countries are ahead of us in terms of adoption, but not by much – Australia, and its leading brands are very much in the challenger space with many media and creative agencies working hard with clients to push creative executions and the underlying technology to the extreme, and I anticipate that by the end of this year, we will see a lot more Australian marketers realising the potential of these tools and adopting the principles that I am sharing below.

The AdTech Stacks

The reality is for marketers, the more different technology and solutions providers you use, in many cases (almost all) the less accurate your data is. Piggybacked tags, disparity of platform, different counting methodologies – there are many excuses, but they aren’t far from being dispelled.

The Utopian solution is; Either adopt a single ad:technology stack as the backbone to your media measurement OR mix and match reliable tools ensuring that measurement accuracy is the focus of your output.

My personal view is that Google is leading the charge with their  Doubleclick Stack and Analytics Product. How I see things sitting right now;

  • Google are not far from a conceptually perfect, and phenomenally powerful Digital Ad-Stack Platform
  • SizMek (Formerly Mediamind) are not far behind them, but haven’t yet brought their consolidated stack together yet
  • There are so many niche technology providers that you can mix and match to get your desired outcome, in many instances on whatever ad-stack (Google/Mediamind/Other) you want
  • Social buy platforms and social community management integration isn’t there yet
  • Agnosticism should drive technology selection – Most relevant and accurate tool for the job ongoing
  • You need to be doing this now…

What are the important bits I need to know?

You will likely be able to manage and measure the whole spectrum of your digital advertising through one technology stack – Display, Social, Search, Mobile, DSP – the whole lot. If you wish to do this over multiple technology providers, the accuracy will decrease, but you may find specific search technology platforms, or DSP vendors are more appropriate to your business – essentially, you can and should be planning for consolidation.

What are the components of the new technology stack?

  • Content Publication (Content Management System, including mobile and Social, likely responsive)
  • Ad Server Platform (the technology that allows you to display advertising on third party sites and measure impressions and clicks)
  • DSP (Demand Side Platform that deals with programmatic digital media buying)
  • Video DSP (the same, but for video)
  • Mobile Buy Technology
  • DMP (Data Management Platform – allows you to store your reached audience, and re-market or tailor activity around their previous interactions with your brand or activity)
  • Ad-Visibility (was my ad seen by human eyes)
  • Rich Media (Tailored Digital Ad Executions)
  • Paid Search Bid Technology
  • Organic Search Reporting
  • Conversion and Content Optimisation (including elements of Cx, Ux and CRO)
  • Social Media Buy Technology
  • Social Community Management platform
  • Post Click Web, Mobile and App Analytics (extending to Universal Analytics)
  • Path to Conversion (PTC) and Multi-Channel Attribution Reporting

There continue to be challenges with the existing technology stacks, as for each layer of capability you add, there is often an increased decline in accuracy and matching of data, and an incremental cost, however, with DMP’s and DSP’s being the focus for much of the broader paid media activity, there is less wastage on low relevance audiences. Viewability add a different dimension yet again to this in that CPM’s will increase for premium spots, to increase reach and frequency, but at the same time, one would expect “prospecting inventory” to start to be leveraged to understand the importance of placements and formats that increase goal attainment.

Current limitations include;

  • Cost, the compounding costs, of the different tools and layers  are considerable, however, those technologies  commanding the majority of spend are the areas where the greatest savings and efficiencies can be gained validating the investment.
  • Integration – numbers matching over different platforms
  • Tag Load/Management – piggybacked tracking tags are not reliable to measure or to optimise against
  • Cross technology integration – everyone is trying to sell their own flavour of tag management, attribution resulting in only Google offering full digital media stack measurement
  • A click does not equal a visit in web analytics tools
  • Click fraud is evolving so quickly that everyone is playing catch-up against the fraudsters
  • Limited DMP 3rd party data sources in AU

What To Do Right Now?

  • Establish the reporting requirements that will allow you to better invest your media
  • Establish your measurement framework and plan a tagging and conversion matrix for both your media and website/click stream analytics over all platforms
  • Identify what ad stack and technology delivers on; your current media allocation, your expected new media channels; your measurement framework requirements
  • Ensure that your digital media is consolidated onto as few technology stacks as possible
  • Establish your DMP
  • Ensure tagging and conversion is implemented appropriately
  • Create dashboards that accurately visualise the required output from your measurement framework and requirements
  • Utilise Path to Conversion reports and attribution reporting to comprehensively understand the conversion path and touchpoints
  • Use visibility reporting to inform (and drive top level strategy) to optimise your viewable ad impressions and pre-bid fraud detection
  • Utilise your audience segments to build efficiency of all of your media investments.

More to come in the next few days.

 /Yoz

Analytics, Digital, Creative and Innovation