This is an image of an ear symbolising the telling of a secret related to the Blog post on innovation and slides on

As a speaker I am fortunate to address audiences all over the world from various backgrounds on innovation and the impact of disruptive technology.

One of my favourite verticals is travel, and a subset of travel is airport retail and catering. I was fortunate to be invited to speak at the #FAB2014 (Food & Beverage Conference) when over 100 of the world’s top airport management teams, travel food & beverage operators and service suppliers converged in Copenhagen, Denmark. No only were there awards to be given at a distinguished gala dinner hosted by SSP – The Food Travel Experts, but two jam-packed days of thought leadership on the changing landscape of travel food & beverage with this debate curated by Martin Moodie of The Moodie Report and his brilliant team.

My presentation followed the very articulate and knowledgeable industry journalist, Matt Wiley (The Moodie Report). He articulated the fundamentals of social media and its business implications with rich statistics and figures that had a few mouthes agape at the sheer volume of conversations taking place online. Completely unrehearsed, I tag-teamed Matt with the following presentation:



The quick list of my digital, mobile and social secrets is as follows:


One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is developing three to five year plans with rigid inflexibility.  These are a complete waste of time. Digital and the internet of things is giving rise to innovations as speeds we human can’t mentally process. As hacking becomes a thing of beauty and a skill worth hiring, nothing is safe or sacred. Instead, plan for innovation. Apply part of your budget to funding innovation studies and get external eyes to hack your marketing ideas and programs. Ask yourself the questions, where will our audience be in three to five years? What will be disrupting them? If you don’t know the answer to this, find someone who does and brave enough to tell you.


One of the key mistakes I see marketers making is that they spend all of their time staring down at their marketing plans, owned media assets and their social media brand pages. A real missed opportunity occurs when you fail to actively and carefully review off-page comments and interest, especially on peer and review websites like Yelp and Trip Advisor. Consumers will post and talk about you and its a true opportunity to respond in earnest and thank customers for their feedback. For travel retail and related services like airport catering, good news travels fast, but bad news travels faster and further.


It is astonishing the number of loyalty programs in food service today that have not innovated. If you are not spending your retention dollars trying to build an influencer army, you are not managing your company’s investment wisely and I hope your boss reads this blog and calls you in his office tomorrow. The fundamental difference between advocates and loyal customer is the size of their mouths and the power of personal endorsements at the ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth). A loyalty card that lives in the dark recesses of my wallet and is not associated with behaviour data is archaic and a waste of a piece of plastic but that’s not what the real problem with most loyalty card programs, read on.

Here’s an exercise in the loyalty vs advocacy thinking. Which is likely to yield more customers, social signal, and real time customer feedback — a customer who swipes their loyalty card and gets the 10th coffee free anonymously, or the person who buys a coffee every day, Instagram’s a picture of the cup, checks in on Facebook and Swarm and talks about their coffee moments daily on Twitter? If you guessed the second, you’re right.

Find those people who are sharing and talking about your product on social channels. Invite them to celebrate their brand passion with you. This is “earned media” and for ROI, it is pure gold and returns exponentially. Think deeper into the social graph beyond that “1” that your loyalty cardholder represents on your CRM database and expand your marketing creativity. Design content so good that sharing its a knee-jerk to the true brand fan. Create unique friend-of-fan offers like the Uber model. Social outreach and influencer programs take time, but they are worth the investment.



When your business was created, if social media  and mobile was not where it is today and you haven’t created a new project that is developed to be delivered on these platforms and as a result of disruptive tech, there are gold bricks in your floorboards — you just don’t know it.

As a consultant and reviewing travel and related businesses, this is one of my favourite tasks. It does take some creative thinking and tedious introspection, however, there are probably certain digital products your customer would buy from you but is not because you are not yet creating the content to sate their digital intake and appetite. Quality of information, delivery medium and immediacy all play a significant part in pricing digital goods, but Apple’s 800,000,000 iTunes account holders are spending money inside applications and on tablets and smart phones every day. Ask yourself what portion of the $38b digital goods purse is to be yours in 2015 and beyond and start developing products. If your business is not employing an expert to review and identify these needs, do a cost benefit analysis and think about what your customer is searching as it relates to information and leverage what you do, make and sell.  The book REWORK is a prime example of a bi-product of a service and software company. Without spoiling why you should read it, you can explore the content here.


Social, digital and mobile technology and platforms are end points to enable the strategic approach to becoming a social business. In many instances we have observed how apps, digital magazines and games are driving employee engagement, reducing the cost of consumer feedback, and helping to improve customer experience. Whether it is to create public FAQs based on social media mentions and questions, or become currators of brand discussions, the implications of investing in time, talent and technology to reach out to consumers will pay off in call deflection, improved intimacy with customers, and offer the ability to respond in real time.



Finally, once your brand has launched in social and digital, know that it is not a one hit wonder, and your social customer expects you to show up, entertain and be consistent. Your online brand and store never sleep or close. Your customer will get frustrated and feel ignored if you are inconsistent in your approach to messaging. To not say “Thank you” or “Nice to Tweet You” as a brand is amongst the rudest blows a brand can deliver. You have basically ignored a brand-aware individual at an especially vulnerable time — when they are saying your name. Make it someone’s daily job to thank social fans and respond to their questions. Your fans and followers know a brand cannot get sick, have a bad hair day or have sore feet and social media channels. Don’t let them down.

Got another innovation insight I should have listed? Tell me your dirty, pretty secrets of digital, mobile and social in the comments area below.

About the Author

Stephenie Rodriguezstephenie rodriguez is the CEO of the Mighty Media Group a digital agency specialising in digital marketing strategy in Australia founded Mighty Media Group, a leading data-driven digital, mobile and social marketing strategy and solutions firm, in 2004 and is currently the company’s Chief Enabling Officer. She is also the former publisher of Ocean Drive Magazine (Australia), a speaker and futurist on all aspects of social technology, an evangelist of engagement, and has advised companies including SSP – The Food Travel Experts, Club Med Asia Pacific,  Austereo, JR/DutyFree, Radar Group of Companies, Transfield, Allied Mills, Mavi Jeans, Camilla, and many more. You’re likely to find her Tweeting here @digitalgodess or present at events such as #SXSWi, #TFWA, #TedxSydney and #SocialBiz.








This is a quote of the saying You Cannot Build a New Future on Old Technology by Stephenie Rodriguez CEO of

This is a quote of the saying You Cannot Build a New Future on Old Technology by Stephenie Rodriguez  CEO of

Innovation strategy dictates that a good idea is not merely enough to succeed in today’s fast moving world. Innovation is defined as “the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will reward either commercially or in their loyalty. More and more I see companies resourcing the role of Chief Innovation Officer and from the top down, insisting their business continually improve yet the ability to get an idea off the ground is still sandbagged and stifled within the onion layers of organisations. It’s time to review your approach to innovation strategy planning and execution if you want to champion transformational change in your business.

In 2006, I devoured Curtis R. Carlson and William W. Wilmot’s business bestseller Innovation – The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want. I highly recommend this book because despite its age, the fundamental concepts are evergreen.

Whilst it might be easy to blame the business for it’s inability to recognise a brilliant idea (yours), you’ll have a greater degree of success if your innovation pitch covers the following four areas of strategy questioning.

For all those who are clock-changers (coined beautifully by Jeffrey Hayzlett), you’ll need to equip yourself and your innovation strategy pitch with a rock-solid value proposition. Ensure that yours is water tight in order to avoid confusion, wasted time, and a creativity fumble. Demonstrating obvious and sustainable customer value will not only impress your boss or board of directors, it will also position you as the go-to person to mentor others who also might have a great idea but not know how to take it forward.


According to Carlson & Wilmont an innovation strategy pitch’s success is as simple as NABC. Here are the four questions your case for innovation needs to answer to arrive at a positive outcome.

  • Have you clearly identified the NEED?

Make certain that whatever you are contemplating doing is assigned to something that your company, customer or market require. Find something that is broken, ugly, disparate or slow. Articulate all those whose lives would positively be impacted if this were improved or changed. Make a list of actual customer statements that articulate the need. If your project relates to a digital aspect of your business, review the digital compass created by Altimeter to determine what levers need to be moved to reach your off line business goals.


  • How will you go about making this happen? Map the APPROACH.

When preparing your innovation pitch and value proposition piece step out how you will bring your idea to life. What will the journey look like? Who needs to go with you? What are the stops along the way (milestones or mile markers)? Show versus Tell is always more effective so use visuals like an infographic, flow chart or diagram whenever possible.


  • What are the BENEFITS TO CONSUMERS of doing relative to the expense of the undertaking?

Articulate how your idea will deliver significant customer value or benefits per costs. What is the ROI of your suggested innovation?

An example of what this answer might look like is a personal case study. I once observed a company was spending four million British pounds on consumer insights through mystery shoppers per annum. Their business was in airport retail. One of their problems was the latency of receiving information their mystery shoppers collected. If their stores or services were wrong, it took 30 days and millions of customers to lose before key decision makers became informed in monthly net promoter reports. During the boom of social check-ins, I recommended a game-ified application that allowed customers to check-in. It was an innovation for gathering consumer feedback in real time at a lesser cost. Customers would provide on the spot reviews for loyalty points aligned with purchase data, status levels, and fun. The “game” would provide the business with the same quality of data more frequently and connect the dots between what customers were purchasing with sentiment. Development costs for the application, platform; support and cloud were a component of a $250k interlinked series of applications connecting loyalty behaviour, alerts, management dashboards and employee training. Benefit-mapping made my business care bulletproof.


  • What is the cost of inaction as it directly relates to the COMPETITION?


Be specific on how the benefits per cost will outplay the company next store that is aggressively pursuing your customers. List what the direct impact of status quo and doing nothing and don’t be afraid to tell the ugly truths. Ask others what the ecosystem will look like around that object of innovation in five years if nothing changes. Answering this 4th question is probably the most confronting part of the innovation pitch journey, but once addressed will spark the ah-ha moment and reaction you so seek. Innovation strategy will require you to articulate how your change will position your business to your competition.

To avoid the frustration associated with being a change agent, be sure and formulate a winning value proposition that is easy to read, understand and subscribe to. When you’ve answered or addressed these four key questions you’ll not only have clarity of thinking and structure to your innovation pitch, you’ll also have the confidence to iterate it elegantly and win the support of others. Preparation, patience and persistence will pay off.

Need help with your Innovation Strategy? We can help. Inquire here.


About the Author

Stephenie Rodriguezstephenie rodriguez is the CEO of the Mighty Media Group a digital agency specialising in digital marketing strategy in Australia founded Mighty Media Group, a leading data-driven digital, mobile and social marketing strategy and solutions firm, in 2004 and is currently the company’s Chief Enabling Officer. She is also the former publisher of Ocean Drive Magazine (Australia), a speaker and futurist on all aspects of social technology, an evangelist of engagement, and has advised companies including SSP – The Food Travel Experts, Cebu Pacific Air, Club Med Asia Pacific,  Austereo, JR/DutyFree, Radar Group of Companies, Transfield, Allied Mills, Income Solutions, and Bayer (Berocca), Toyota, Mercedes Benz, and the UN FAO. You’re likely to find her Tweeting here @digitalgodess or meet her at events such as #SXSWi, #TFWA, #TedxSydney and #SocialBiz.


This film will no doubt create some controversy about the future of AI. Who else is intrigued? Introducing the single greatest scientific event in the history of man. Watch the first trailer for Ex Machina.
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Caerus Property Logo

Caerus Property Logo
Sydney, Australia – February 1, 2015


Mighty Media Group Pty Ltd today revealed their latest web development project for Australian property development group Caerus Property Pty Ltd. The website is built on the WordPress open sourced platform and incorporates modern simplicity with easy-to-navigate functionality to provide an effortless user experience. Fully responsive in design, the Caerus Property website renders elegantly on mobile devices and tablets with no loss of quality.

Caerus Property Pty Ltd are a newly formed partnership consisting of two sophisticated investment development leaders. The website will serve to inform potential investors and partners on new projects, the firm’s credentials and opportunities.

Mighty Media Group was responsible for the development of the Caerus Property brand and corporate imaging, enhancing the corporate identity of the Canberra Early Learning centre and the tree iconography to demonstrate maturity, sobriety and professionalism. The development of corporate assets including web development, digital publishing and stationary are demonstrative of the full suite of digital services we now offer.

“The Caerus Property website is one we are particularly proud of. The client gave us the creative latitude to develop the brand from a white board to what is now a trading entity that presents with confidence. Our ability to turn this project around in a very short timeframe is one aspect of the project that we are particularly proud of.”  – Stephenie Rodriuez, CEO

Our ability to provide high quality affordable web development services as well as corporate identity packages for property developers and other professional service business is something that sets us apart. For a free quote on a web development or a responsive designed website for your business, connect with us here.