How to win in today’s social world

Businesses that master real-time, mobile-driven mass-personalization will win in today’s social world.

The foundation principle of this is being where your customer is.

Consumers by nature will naturally look for the easiest way to get what they want.  For businesses to provide relevance and value, you need to make it easy for them to reach you and be there when they need you. This means making it easy for them to search, engage, assess, buy and measure in a highly personalized way.

It also requires businesses of all sizes to know more about their customers. To know what is of interest to them, what they are engaging with today, and then to personalize and serve up relevant content and offers based on each customer’s declared interests, life stages and activities.

This is much more than simplistic monitoring of social media posts, this is live insights actioning.

Those that adopt this approach to selling and marketing see significantly greater results.  And since consumers always vote either with their feet (and wallets), those who do this well will win.

This has been talked about over the past few years, but few companies do this, and those that are early adopters here tend to be large enterprises.

Small and medium businesses deserve to benefit as well, and they can more and more as real-time technology that analyses the social web and serves personalized content through social channels in real-time becomes available.

However it needs to start with the desire first to create great customer experiences and using the large amount of data on social to do what we have always wanted to do as marketers. That is to get the right message to the right person at the right time using the right channel. The wide adoption and real time sharing and engaging nature of social allows for this.

Those who harness the power of this data source for personalization and creating great experiences will win.

This article is also published on LinkedIn.

Key Speaker for Government’s “Women in Global Business” Conference

Emma is invited to speak and present a case study as to the key ingredients to achieving global success at the July

Women in Global Business Speaker Series.

Here are some of the details being shared to promote the event:

Australian women will have the opportunity to hear from prominent women who have succeeded internationally at the Women in Global Business Speaker Series in July and August.The annual event held in states and territories across the country will feature speakers from a variety of industry sectors, providing businesswomen with practical advice on venturing overseas.

Women in Global Business national program manager, Cynthia Balogh, believe the event is beneficial in helping women overcome international barriers, particularly those in the Middle East.

“The Middle East presents quite specific barriers for women; some of the Asian and South American markets can do the same,” she said.

Balogh told Dynamic Export the event offers business owners the opportunity to learn and network with like-minded people.

“It’s an opportunity to see their role models, who have often had quite tough journeys to expand their businesses into those market places, women often learn from seeing role models. It helps them overcome some confidence issues, whether it’s personal confidence or confidence in business,” Balogh said.

Digivizer CEO, Emma Lo Russo, who will be speaking at the Sydney event can relate to the personal challenges women face when growing their business.

Lo Russo believes the event will provide shared mentorship and allow women to learn from real-life experiences.  “Having real honest examples of what works, is quite empowering. Instead of feeling like you have to navigate the unknown or have a goal and do it alone”.

Details & registration for the event can be found here :

Thursday 26th July 2012

8.30am – 12.30pm

NSW Trade and Investment Centre, Level 47, MLC Centre, 19 Martin Place, Sydney

I’ll post more about my key points to achieving international success here soon.

Commonwealth Bank exploring how the social web can de-risk their decisions

Last week I spoke to 75 of CBA’s Risk, Institutional & Business Banking team to help them see how leveraging the digital footprints of people on the social web could de-risk their organization’s decisions.

I shared how insights from the social web can be used to help make better decisions around relevant targeting and personalization of offers. This is made possible when a customer base is linked to the social web (something DIGIVIZER offers).

The questions and discussions that followed regarding applications were active, positive and encouraging. They continued for a further 2 hours following the presentation and it seems for a few days following.  Feedback was positive and the discussions continue:

“Emma did a great presentation for CBA last week on “How social web can inform and de-risk your organisation decisions’. She certainly raised awareness and promoted significant debate both during and for days after her presentation. Highly informative and all delivered with an engaging and passionate approach.” Trina Edgar, General Manager, Commonwealth Bank

There is lots of discussion about Social CRM and many companies are making good in-roads into leveraging real-time insights within their marketing programs.

You can find out more about how you can use the social web to get closer to your customers and increase sales and profit here.

Hope powering change

Last night I attended the Sydney Festival event Hope 2012 with the theme “Citizens seizing the day”.

My name is HopeSocial Media was hailed as one of the agents of change.  Certainly it has made it possible even in oppressed societies for citizens to reach more people and help gain momentum and support for their plight and desired change (think recent people lead change in Egypt as well as community support generated for those affected by QLD Floods, NZ & Japan Earthquakes etc).

However social media really only represents an easy, low-cost, high reach and engagement channel.  It is not the channel that brings change but the opportunity it presents and the people who engage within it and the messages they share.

Listening to the personal stories of the great speakers last night and those across Australia, there were some common and consistent messages that suggest a blue print for bringing about change. They point to the cause of which the channel is only the conduit:

1) Hope Powers Change – you must first genuinely hope to bring about change . Hope then provides the fuel and momentum for you to continue in the face of adversity, inequity, barriers, and power imbalance. Hope also binds people together behind a common cause.

2) It starts with the first step – no matter how small, everything you contribute to bringing change no matter how small can make a difference.  The benefits of taking 1 minute of your time, showing or demonstrating your encouragement and support, donating something small (time, message, money, resources).  Just taking an action can generate, add-to or complete some great act of change in someone’s life. It has the added benefit of impacting you positively too.

3) Look for, understand & stand for basic human rights – equality, freedom, opportunity  for everyone – how can you ensure this is enjoyed by everyone. Identify how many of your rights you take for granted that are not available to others.  Identify the basic human rights that are being challenged all around the world including in our own back yard (and our legislation).

4) Connect directly with people affected – it is too easy to be disconnected from the person and people who needs help.  Listen to their story.  Listen to their hope.  It is impossible to ignore and will help you know the right action to take.

5) Have Courage – it requires courage to stand up, have a voice, be counted and more importantly to act.  It starts with the courage to ask yourself “why is this happening and what can I do to change it?”

It felt easy to applaud those making changes last night however significantly more difficult and uncomfortable to ask ourselves how much are we doing at the individual level to bring about change.

It matters not how much we have done to support required changes in the past, only how much we can do moving forward.

I reflect on the great George Bernard Shaw quote:

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

It points to the need to stand resolute and that we must first look to ourselves as the instruments of change.

May 2012 be your year.  Allow Hope to power the change you desire.

Choosing the right mentor


I was recently asked what someone should look for in a good mentor.

The first thing to do is to recognize the value in engaging a good mentor or coach to help you hold yourself accountable for developing yourself and taking your career to the next level.

The value of seeking a career mentor is in how they can help you bring clarity to your career goals over the near, medium and long term, to help you prioritize your next steps towards your goals, how to strategize and evaluate options in light of your goals and values, and to help you stay accountable to the path you wish to take.  Through formalizing this relationship with someone, it provides a regular, safe and confidential sounding board to bounce your fears, aspirations and future challenges.

Finding the right mentor is based on how inspirational they are to you, how experienced, how insightful and how good they are in facilitating the right discussions. High Emotional Intelligence would rate as the key characteristic of a great mentor and just as you would look for a great employee, you want in a great mentor someone who has demonstrated that they are smart, talented, have a history of delivering great results and have built many great relationships and people through their leadership and association.

Finding the right mentor is based on how inspirational they are to you, how experienced, how insightful and how good they are in facilitating the right discussions. High Emotional Intelligence would rate as the key characteristic of a great mentor and just as you would look for a great employee, you want in a great mentor someone who has demonstrated that they are smart, talented, have a history of delivering great results and have built many great relationships and people through their leadership and association.

In a busy working world, it is too easy to rationalize to ourselves what we do and why we do it.  Much harder to rationalize to someone else. Particularly if they are asking you the right questions and you are looking inside yourself to provide the right answers.

Both you and they will know when you are making excuses or seeing things through a narrow field of vision.

If you want to take your personal life or career to the next level, it may be time to engage a mentor. The benefits of having someone else push, question, strategize with you through mentoring can only lead to greater success.

Commonwealth Bank – Women In Focus 3 day conference 2011

logo-commonwealth-bankEmma is a keynote speaker addressing the Commonwealth Bank’s 2nd Women in Focus conference, held at the prestigious Byron, at Byron Bay 31st August – 3 September, to approximately 100 key banking clients on “How the Social Web is changing the way we do business”.

Emma will be presenting latest research, different value and view points into the social web, some case studies and will lead a workshop session on how to leverage the social web across your entire go-to-market strategy and how to link your activities to specific business outcomes.

If you would like to know more about Emma’s presentation or would like Emma to speak at your next event, contact Emma at

To find out more about DIGIVIZER’s unique capabilties in delivering the social footprint of the people you know (your customers & prospects) and the people you wish you could know (new leads & influencers), visit

To find out more about Commonwealth Bank’s Women in Focus Community, visit

Tips for leading successful negotiations

Make_me_an_offerOften in business or when supporting coaching clients, I am asked to prepare or help someone to lead a successful negotiation. Here I share my key tips for leading successful individual negotiations:

  1. Prepare in advance – understand the principles of bracketing. Plan for, and clearly know your high point, your low point and your mid point.  Your midpoint should be what you are happy to be paid, your low point is your walk away, and anything upside of your midpoint you should be delighted.  Think about your strategy in how you could move your first asking point greater then where it would otherwise be to help raise the midpoint.
  2. Try to avoid putting your price down first – no matter what.   Look to get the person you are negotiating with to state their position, their thinking, their decision-making criteria. You can look to set the agenda and ideal outcomes based on principles before a number or the details of the introduction gets introduced.
  3. Keep your cards close to you and actively listen to the other party to help you determine your approach and negotiation tactics.  To get the other person to state his or her position first assuming the status quo is fine with you and there is no pressure on you to make a move, be bold enough to say to the other side, “You approached me. The way things are, satisfies me. If you want to do this, you’ll have to make a proposal to me.”
  4. Hold to your position for as long as you can – see how far they will come to your point first without you budging or without you budging far.  Communicate all the time that you are prepared and ready to make the deal and find something that works for everyone.
  5. Understand all the influencers and decision makers – you must know  and work with the person authorized to make the deal.  Talk to the key decision maker. Spend time in researching, listening and understanding their drivers and frame of reference.
  6. Discussions should always begin with a clear understanding of the win-win-win.  How do they win, how do you win, how do you win together?  Much research has been done to support the approach of winning for everyone is a much better outcome and brings greater results (financial & emotional) then if you have win by screwing down the other party.  Negotiation is based on the foundations of inspiration and persuasion.  How can you make the other party see your point of view or vision for the future?
  7. Negotiation is not always about money – negotiation can be based on a number of factors. Think creatively and really understand your own drivers.  For instance, in salary negotiations you may be looking at any one of the following elements:  Base Salary, Added Benefits, Profit Share & other short &/or long term incentives, Working environment & flexibility in hours, Additional holiday periods, Job enrichment & satisfaction based on doing more of what you love.
  8. Avoid being the first to double bracket or to negotiate against yourself (you would be surprised at how many people do this – make an offer, then jump in with another based on the other person’s non-response).  Hold and wait until the other person makes their offer known.  Hold too on your final position and get them to talk about what they are thinking and what you can do to help them.  Reinforce their and the combined win in the win-win-win situation. Identify any potential barriers to bringing closure to the negotiations.  Think about how you can remove them or how else they could be viewed and change your tactics accordingly.
  9. There may be variables in a negotiation, understand what they are and be clear (first be clear to yourself) as to what is important to you – eg timing, breakdown, flexibility etc
  10. Consider the power of using time as a variable – what needs to be done by when and how flexible can you or the negotiating party be around that (and what is the value to you around that variability).  Gain a sense of urgency – if the other party is keen to bring closure to the negotiations you may in fact be able to use that urgency to your advantage by moving slowly and looking like you don’t care how long it takes.  However look to ensure the principles of having something that works for everyone remains a priority.
  11. Never negotiate when you are feeling emotional.  Try to keep a level head at all times.  If you need a break, request time to think about the offer until you can think straight again.  Talk out loud to someone else if you need some help in unraveling your emotions and to help reform the confidence and rationale in your approach and  position.
  12. Remember to celebrate the final result of your negotiations. It is important to ensure all parties feel good about the deal that was done.
  13. Once concluded, spend some time reflecting – could you have done things differently for next time? Any lessons learned?
  14. Finally, never let the other party know you were prepared to accept less or pay more in the negotiations.  They will feel bad, and you will lose any goodwill created by the win-win-win principle.

Each of us negotiates many things and many times in daily life and in business. By considering these simple strategies, you should obtain an outcome you are happy with.

For leading more complex negotiations, there are many resources available.  One book that I recommend reading is “Negotiation Genius – how to overcome obstacles and achieve brilliant results at the bargaining table and beyond” by Deepak Malhotra & Max H. Bazerman, Harvard Business School 2007

What have you found works for you?  Do you recommend any strategies or resources that have helped you?  What tips would you offer others who want to lead successful negotiations?

Growth in a connected world

Emma will be the key-note speaker at next week’s business conference “Growth in a connected world” where she will explore in greater detail the forces of change impacting your business, customer relationships and infrastructure.

Understand, Grow and Lead by embracing these changes.

Read Emma’s related post on Driving your own upturn



Date:  Wednesday 23 March 2011

Time:  7.30am for an 8.00am start

Location:  Sydney Masonic Centre, Corner of Goulburn and Castlereagh Streets.

NB: Ample parking available close by.


Register your interest by emailing Or

Register online at Events Or

Call (02) 9261 5111 / (02) 9248 0162

Who Should Attend:

Business Owners, CEO’s, CFO’s, CIO’s and Senior Managers.

Event hosted by:

Green and Gold People to People & Ontrack Systems (AUS) Pty Ltd.

Supported by SAP and NETFIRA.

SAP Business One, is an affordable integrated business management solution for Small and mid-size businesses, turns your existing business assets into thriving resources.

NETFIRA is a B2B supply chain software solution for small and medium businesses, allowing them to buy and sell online without a need for the website or EDI.

Driving your own upturn

Screen shot 2011-03-17 at 9.20.12 PMThere is no more normal.  No back to normal. No creation of normal.  There is only readiness and the acceptance that certainty in business has been removed.

What is required is a nimbleness and a feeling of empowerment to quickly synthesize and work out the emerging opportunities and the dangers that can be found in the ever-changing markets, changing technology, and changing pressures that surround us.

An organization’s readiness to make decisions, to take risks, to learn along the way, to adjust, becomes the new standard. An organizational culture that supports, encourages, embraces and celebrates new information and innovation. One that equates change with opportunity and an exciting future.

Competition has never been greater.  Competition for talent, competition for resources, competition for your customers, competition to be heard and valued by the people who matter to you – your customers.

Choosing to compete on price is no win for anyone – you lose profits and someone, somewhere is likely to do it cheaper, followed by someone else offering it cheaper again.

Competing on first to market is also time-limited.  Someone will follow and offer the same, maybe more, maybe better and certainly followed by a number of others.

Competing with the product and services you serve today will not serve you tomorrow. They will be substituted by new, better, sexier and more personalized or smarter versions or something that supersedes them entirely.

To remain relevant and of interest to your customers, you can compete on one thing only – your ability to consistently evolve and differentiate and to create the best possible customer experience.

You need to implement a model that supports sustainable and continuous innovation.  To build an organization that supports innovation that supports the improvement of your customer’s lives in a way that is valued and meaningful to them.

And critically, an organization that allows your people to be free to innovate, to think, to create, to build, to serve, to deliver growth.

Who is going to be the hero?  The leader of change? The leader of innovation? The leader of your success and future? The leader of growth and upturn?

The answer is You. Yes, You.

You need to create the space in your organization to shine. You need to create space to allow your team to shine and enough to allow all your people to shine.

You need to get every non-differentiating system and innovation-roadblock, innovation-killer and time-wasting activity out of the way so you can spend time on:

  • Finding ways to introduce new products and services to existing customers.
  • Identifying new customer segments to target new, innovative, personalized and relevant offers.
  • Capitalizing on opportunities in emerging markets and enhancing your performance in existing markets.
  • Delighting your customer through their unique experience dealing with you

If you are not already finding this time, thinking or operating this way, then your time is already limited.  Either you will be replaced by others who are, or your organization’s ability to compete will be time-limited.

Tic toc tic toc.

Time is ticking.  Time for change. Time to do things differently. To think differently.

If you want growth and are under pressure to deliver numbers, then take ownership within your organization to drive your own upturn and success.

Working for pressure or pleasure?

Piggy BankSocrates said “The Life which is unexamined is not worth living”.  Just as you empty your piggy bank to count the coins to determine how much value you have created, it is a good thing to tip your life upside down and shake it around to allow you to view it from a few more angles and evaluate the sum of your life value.

However unlike the coins that have a predetermined value, the value we place on all the individual and collective “life” experiences can be viewed very differently and uniquely by each person.  The most important evaluation is the one you place on it.  How do you measure the value of your total life experiences against all aspects of your life:  Family, Professional, Health, Financial, Spiritual, Social, Intimacy and Community?

The sum of where you are today, and how you got here, is not measured by time and does not predetermine the course of the total life balance and value.  What got you here, might not get you to where you would like to end up. Time is not measured in minutes, hours and days in a life value, but rather by what you do with your time.

Which comes to the question, what are we working to generate?  Are we working with clear purpose?  Towards something that will give us a great sense of peace, happiness and satisfaction?  Have we truly evaluated the value we are looking to generate? The legacy we would like to leave? And importantly, how to get there?

Many executives and people I know talk of the “treadmill” they are on.  Even more so at the start of a calendar year when there seems to be a lot more “getting started” meetings, new activities, education and sporting schedules to be slotted in.  People feel just as they are getting into the swing of things, planning for the new financial year begins, and before you know it you are working hard to deliver a number of things with hard deadlines and pressure to deliver on multiple goals, commitments and resolutions.

Since I often feel the weight of the number of balls I choose to juggle, I recently asked myself this question “am I working for pressure or pleasure”?  This shifted things for me.  Although I set out (in a pretty determined way) to work for pleasure both personally and professionally, doing what I love, with people I love, for people I love; I can get hooked on the pressure and use that to drive outcomes.  Before I know it I realize I am working to the rhythm of pressure, and forget that I want to work for pleasure.  My experience tells me I can achieve far more and enjoy it far more along the way, when I work for pleasure.

There is no right or wrong answers or evaluations when examining your own life.  The key is to evaluate it regularly and to make it meaningful to you.  To consciously maximize the value you are looking to generate.  To gain pleasure in what you do so that you can achieve more of what it is you want to do.

If you see your life as a piggy bank made up of multiple experiences, against each aspect of your life, with each holding a personalized value, how are you going against the total value you are looking to generate?  What will you change?