2012 – Alan Turing Year

To commemorate the life and work of British mathematical genius, Dr Alan Turing OBE FRS, 2012 has been declared The Alan Turing Year. His contributions to breaking the German Nazi Enigma code during WWII were considered critical to the Allied war effort and one of the greatest contributions to the outcome of WWII by an individual thinker. His work provided pioneering foundations to everything from AI and computer science to philosophy and cognitive science.

Here are some links for further information:

– Book: Alan Turing – His Work and Impact

– The Alan Turing Home Page

BBC HISTORY: Alan Turing

– The Telegraph: Britain’s Greatest Codebreaker

SOT White Paper #01-2012: WOMBAT Selling

EXTRACT: From WOMBAT Selling: How to sell by Word of Mouth (Hardie Grant 2006) by Michael Hewitt-Gleeson

“If you really want to multiply your business by ten then you must not only change the way you think about how you sell but you must also change the way you think about how you think.”

— For your free copy of the ebook email here and say ‘WOMBAT Selling’ .


The Big Three
Today, as I’m writing, is August 28. This is the feast day of Saint Augustine who, in my opinion, was the greatest marketing genius in history. My other two nominations are George Gallup and Tim Berners-Lee. Who would you nominate for your Big Three?

Here’s the thinking behind my three personal choices. Saint Augustine invented the first loyalty program which helped grow the most successful human organization in history. George Gallup invented market research and delivered ultimate power to the customer. Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web and the opportunity for global ecommerce, 24/7.

Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE)
If you like, you can go to the Vatican archives to this link (if it has changed try a Google search); http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/tribunals/apost_penit/documents/rc_tri b_appen_doc_20050802_decree-xx-wyd_en.htmlApostolic Penitentiary
I’ve cut and pasted here what you’ll find at the time of writing:

A Plenary Indulgence is conceded on the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion and prayers for the Supreme Pontiff’s intentions) to members of the faithful who, in a spirit of total detachment from any sin, will take part attentively and devoutly in some of the celebrations for the 20th World Youth Day in Cologne and in its solemn conclusion.

Just in case, like myself, you’re not a member of the faithful then let me explain what this means in contemporary language. It means that those members who qualify are guaranteed to get into heaven when they die. This is a very big offer for any member of the faithful. It’s called a plenary indulgence.

A plenary indulgence is a guarantee that you will receive enough frequent flyer points–divine grace–to go directly to heaven when you die. Like any other loyalty program there are rules and conditions and the Vatican lays out the rules from time to time.

In this particular case, to qualify for a plenary indulgence a member must have gone to confession, taken communion, prayed for the pope and attended the XX World Youth Day, last week (21st August, 2005) in Cologne. Those members who faithfully observed these conditions are guaranteed by the Vatican to receive a sufficient allotment of divine grace to be admitted into Civitas Dei, the City of God–aka, Heaven.

The popularity of books like The Da Vinci Code and The God Delusion reveals the fascination that the Vatican holds for many people–members and non-members alike–and I have always thought that the offer of VIP passes into Heaven is one of the cleverest offers ever invented. The evidence of history has shown how well it has worked. It continues to do so today.

The offer of a special VIP pass that guarantees entry into an exclusive domain has always been a compelling one. Many people covet them. This particular invention was created by Saint Augustine.

For any loyalty system to be successful you need several things: – currency. Some kind of points system. – rewards & punishments. Rules for getting points and for losing them. – destination. A desirable destination that motivates members to play.

Saint Augustine invented the idea of original sin which meant that all members of the faithful were born with debit points–just for being born! Prior to Augustine a newborn baby might be expected to go straight to heaven. After Augustine, babies already had debit points in their heaven account. These debit points had to be wiped out first and then further points were needed to get into heaven. This meant that playing the loyalty game was no longer an option to members. After Augustine you had to play the game because your account was already in the red. You were born with original sin.

How do you remit your sins and collect the heaven points, the grace needed to get into heaven? This is where the Vatican comes in. The Curia devised a scheme where points were awarded for a wide range of Vatican-approved activities. For example, members have been able to earn points by praying at certain times in certain formats, by attending Vatican-approved sacraments and events. By doing certain good works. By making donations, or raising an army for the pope or leaving property to the church when you die. Etc.

In 1343, Pope Clement VI confirmed that the Catholic Church can grant remission of sin through indulgences:

Upon the altar of the Cross Christ shed of His blood not merely a drop, though this would have sufficed, by reason of the union with the Word, to redeem the whole human race, but a copious torrent … thereby laying up an infinite treasure for mankind. This treasure He neither wrapped up in a napkin nor hid in a field, but entrusted to Blessed Peter, the key-bearer, and his successors, that they might, for just causes, distribute it to the faithful in full or in partial remission of the temporal punishment due to sin.

Loyalty programs can backfire if they exploit members in a way that becomes too obvious. The best example of this was when Pope Leo X (born Giovanni di Lorenzo de’ Medici) used the scheme to raise money for his lavish lifestyle and vast Vatican construction projects. Martin Luther blew the whistle on the pope and the Vatican subsequently lost a big share of the market.

This became known in history as The Reformation and led to the establishment of the Protestant churches who broke away from the Vatican because of it’s loyalty scheme. Commenting on the proceeds of the scheme Martin Luther wrote :

“At the time I did not yet know who was to get the money. Then there appeared a booklet with the illustrious coat of arms of the Bishop of Magdeburg.“ Wider Hans Worst, 1541.

The Vatican still uses the scheme which has been copied by many marketing organizations worldwide, especially in the travel industry. This is not surprising since Augustine’s original invention relied on a member’s belief in the premise that the Vatican was ‘the official travel agent’ for the City of God.

For example, Virgin Blue airlines has a new loyalty program called Velocity currently being promoted in full page advertisements with headlines like ISN’T IT TIME LOYALTY PROGRAMS REDEEMED THEMSEVES? The main benefit of Velocity over other loyalty programs is being advertised as the ability to redeem your points sooner rather than later.

This benefit does draw attention to the main drawback of the Vatican’s loyalty program being that you have to die before you can redeem your points.

George Gallup (1901-1984)
Professor George Gallup developed the concept of the sample and invented market research and polling. He got into research when he was an editor of Daily Iowan at the University of Iowa and later an interviewer for D’Arcy Advertising in 1922. He began to get interested in the way people read newspapers–which stories they actually read.

Gallup adopted the startling device of confronting a reader with the whole newspaper and asking him exactly what he liked and did not like about it. This gave him the material for a Ph.D. thesis, “An objective method    for determining the reader interest in newspapers.” His thesis was based on a survey of the editorial and advertisement content of The Des Moines Register & Tribune and he found out that most readers preferred comics to the front page, feature stories to news.
He then adapted his ideas to advertising. If an advertiser could ever ask a population to feedback opinions of a product or an advertisement that would be of enormous help in evolving better offers and ads. The problem was that it would be too expensive in time and money to ask an entire population for their viewpoints.
Gallup showed that by using a statistical sample of around 1200 opinions you could reflect an accurate opinion of the entire population (plus or minus a few points) and this could be done inexpensively and regularly. Prior to Gallup marketers like Henry Ford got away with offers like, “You can have it in any colour as long as its black”. Today, no competent marketer of products, services or political candidates would go to the people without first using market research and/or polling science to find out what they think. The Gallup Poll at Princeton – http://www.gallup.com – still has the best record for
predicting the outcome of every Presidential election in the US during the past 70 years.
Gallup’s invention of market research and polling may be the single greatest act of empowerment given to customers and to electors that has ever been invented by any scientist.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee
In declaring Sir Tim Berners-Lees to be one of the most important people of the 20th century Time magazine said:

“From the thousands of interconnected threads of the Internet, he wove the World Wide Web and created a mass medium for the 21st century. Unlike so many inventions that forever changed the world, the World Wide Web–www–was the work of just one man. Edison had a lab full of people working on the light bulb for which he got the credit. And this is normally the case. The Internet itself was made by committee with its protocols and packet switching. The World Wide Web is Berners-Lee’s alone. He designed it. He loosed it on the world. And he more than anyone else has fought to keep it open, nonproprietary and free”.

Berners-Lee’s invention was based on an information retrieval program called Enquire which he wrote in 1980 as a contract programmer at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. The soft-spoken programmer founded the World Wide Web Consortium (http://www.w3.org) at MIT, which he still directs, to promote global Web standards. Many have made millions off his invention.
You, the reader, will already know from your own experience how much the world has changed with a mouse and access to the Internet. The WWW has made ecommerce a reality. It’s business heaven, 24/7.
You can point-and-click anywhere on the planet. You can search the libraries of the world, even the Vatican archives. You can get music, videos, and sex. You can buy books or sell junk. You can get education, ideas, and online help. You can have your say without persecution. You can do your banking and pay your bills. You can publish a book and sell it online and get paid without a publisher. You can book a flight and a hotel room anywhere on the planet. You can receive healthcare, create wealth, enhance your productivity and monitor your security—all on the WWW–and without ever leaving your home, or even while lying on the beach.
Today there are over 70 million websites. I was able to put the School of Thinking on the web in 1995 when it became one of the first 10,000 websites. SOT lessons are still being sent out daily to over 50 countries from http://www.schoolofthinking.org thanks to Berners-Lee’s invention.
Ecommerce has already changed media and advertising spending in the big corporate budgets. Huge chunks of traditional advertising and marketing dollars are now being spent online. In 2004, Chrysler decided to spend 10% of their US$2 billion pool of ad-dollars online. In 2005 it was 18% and in 2006 it will be more than 20%. If you do the maths that’s over $400 million in 2006 that used to be spent on ads in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today or NBC TV commercials that is now being spent on the WWW. In an interview with Fortune magazine (August 8, 2005) about ecommerce trends, Julie Roehm, Chrysler’s Director of Marketing Communications explained her decision, “I hate to sound like a marketing geek but we like to fish where the fish are”.
Thanks to ecommerce on the WWW, Google has been making big profits from selling online ads. These profits have driven its stock prices to make it the most highly prized media company in the world already capitalized at over US$85 billion. Yahoo, with its 181 million registered users online, may be poised for an even bigger success.
There will be a powerful competition in the coming years for the multibillion dollar global online marketing and communications budgets. As the advertising slogan goes: Watch this space!

PART ONE WOMBAT MARKETING: Why WOMBATs always win in the end.

‘Take Home’ Value
The YPO, the Young Presidents Organisation, is an international body of Chief Executive Officers of established companies who become members by the age of 40. Through local chapter meetings, regular regional conferences, and their international ‘universities’, they provide themselves with a world class structure for personal and professional development. They also enjoy a mutual support network for the unique problems faced by the chief executive of a modern corporation.
I’ve had the pleasure (they really are a pretty wild, fun-loving bunch) of lecturing at many or their conferences. YPO headquarters asked me to consult, a few years ago in Texas, to a special conference of about 45 YPOers responsible for planning their regional conferences around the world for the coming year. Inevitably, the YPOers at the conference raised the question “What about ‘take home’ value?” This is something for which YPOers are famous for demanding from their guest lecturers.
‘Take home’value is a specifc, useable idea or tip or ploy or tactic that they can take home from the conference and put to use immediately in their own business. They wisely don’t want to waste their time with fuzzy, esoteric, nonsense of an impractical nature.
So, I said to the group (who were by now familiar with CVSTOBVS) “If your current view of the situation (CVS) is ‘take home’ value, let’s now go beyond that and look for a better view of the situation (BVS)”. In the discussion that followed the BVS that they moved up to was ‘pass on’ value.
‘Pass On’ Value
‘Pass On’ Value is when you not only have an idea that is good enough for you to take home and use yourself but one that is so simple, elegant and robust an idea that you can also pass-it-on to your family, colleagues, employees, customers or friends. From ‘take home’ value’ to ‘pass on’ value, from CVSTOBVS.
‘Pass on’ value is all about replication. It’s that quality of an information package that makes it very likely to be passed-on by recipients and so to replicate itself again and again, many times over. This, compared to information that is simply consumed by a recipient and that’s it.
Example: Let’s take a joke. You’ll have heard some jokes, most of them in fact, that as soon as they’re told to you you may laugh a little but that’s it. You forget them. Then there is the joke that is so funny, so to- the-point, so timely that you just can’t wait to tell someone = ‘pass on’ value.
The same applies to gossip. All good gossip has, by definition, pass-on-value. Most juicy gossip with great pass-on-value usually begins with the phrase, “Promise you won’t tell anyone but you’ll die when you hear what happened to … etc etc.”
Replication The quintessence of a BVS is pass-on-value. When I am designing a BVS I try to ensure that it has pass-on-value, an arrangement of information so powerful that it replicates itself. When one human brain so influences another human brain that it reaches the point of changing its CVS to a new BVS. This brain-to-brain messaging, in business, is called Word-of-Mouth advertising.

Oxford Professor Richard Dawkins, who has called this pass-on effect ‘replicator power’, says that it is the genetic effect of certain information to replicate itself:
As part of their equipment, bodies evolved on-board computers – brains. Brains evolved the capacity to communicate with other brains by means of language which opens up new possibilities for self-replicating entities. The new replicators are not DNA. They are patterns of information that can thrive only in brains or in the artificially manufactured products of brains – books, computers and so on. But, given that brains, books and computers exist, these new replicators, which I call ‘memes’ to distinguish them from genes, can propagate themselves from brain to brain, from brain to book, from book to brain, from brain to computer, from computer to brain. – The Blind Watchmaker.

Memes (see Part Two on Memes, Memetic Thinking & the X10 Memeplex) Dawkins’ ‘Meme’ meme has itself caught on and is widely discussed on the internet. There are newsgroups and others who are interested and a whole area called ‘memetics’ has sprung up. Much of the discussion seems to misunderstand Dawkins’ idea but it is fun to check it out. If you are interested you can do a Yahoo search for ‘memes’ and ‘memetics’.

The School of Thinking also offers training in memetic thinking as part of the Diploma of Darwinian Marketing (www.schoolofthinking/diploma).
Selling as Replication
The time may have come when we can look at a salesperson as the part s/he plays in the ‘replication of the product meme’. The product meme is the special information package, the business BVS, entrusted to the salesperson by his company. The salesperson acts as the replicator, who passes a BVS on to A who passes it on to B who passes it on to C.
For some, this discussion on memes may seem tangential, others will see the opportunity this link gives for marketing to harvest some exciting scientific work that is forging ahead in this field.
When this kind of approach to selling is properly understood and structured, it is the most efficient, profitable and powerful selling strategy that has yet been devised – word-of-mouth.    Regis McKenna at http://www.mckenna-group.com who helped put the Macintosh computer on the map says, “Word-of-mouth is probably the most powerful form of communication in the business world”.
No doubt you are familiar with this scenario. A friend told you about a movie that she really liked and encouraged you to go see it. You saw the movie and liked it so much that you told another friend and he went to the movie and so on. This, of course, isn’t new. It’s every marketing director’s dream and word- of-mouth advertising is the oldest and still considered to be the most effective of all advertising strategies.
Three of the most common WOM (word-of-mouth) applications are: 1. COI – Centre of Influence, 2. MLM – Multi-Level-Marketing, and 3. Affiliate Marketing.

Centre of Influence
In any population sub-group like a target audience or a market niche, the 10% lead the 90%. There is usually a small group of heavy-hitters who call the shots and are called a COI (centre of influence). COIs may be a handful of trade journalists, a few market-leaders, some early-innovators, an industry spokesperson, a recognised guru or a high profile customer. When these people talk the rest of the target audience listens.

Every marketing plan or personal sales plan should give deliberate thought to who should be on the COI list. Who are the influential top ten VIPs that you have on your COI list?
WOM + Money = MLM
One of the most controversial marketing phenomena of the past 20 years is multi-level marketing. Starting out as pyramid-schemes, like Holiday Magic, in the late sixties they soon attracted the attention of the legislators. Pyramids are now illegal and most schemes have evolved into network or multi-level marketing known as MLM.
The MLM twist to traditional WOM adds the reward of money. It can be a very interesting idea because it means that the customer also becomes the marketer and has the potential of harnessing the most powerful trick in the universe.
Long ago and far away (millions of light years) a molecule happened that was different to all other molecules that had ever existed. The unique difference was that this molecule could reproduce itself. It could replicate. And so, from this special molecule evolved DNA and genes and everything that has ever lived on the planet!
If genes couldn’t replicate, then you wouldn’t be reading this now because neither you nor I nor this paper would ever have existed. Genetic replication is a very clever trick and is certainly the most powerful fact of life that we know of in all the universe.
The mathematics of replication produce staggering numbers. If we hop from genetics back to marketing we can see the enormous potential of the idea of the customer also becoming the marketer. This would mean that customers could self-replicate. 5 customers could soon become 25 then 125, 625, 3125, 15625, 78125, 390625, 1953125, 9765625. That’s around 10 million customers from 5 after just 10 generations. And indeed, this is what can happen, in theory, when customers self-replicate, creating new customers, who also self-replicate and so on.
One of the reasons that it doesn’t happen, in reality, is because most people are reluctant to sell to their mates. Due to this, the replication ceases. Anyone in MLM knows this from their own experience. The more successful MLMers are those who go beyond their friends.
In the last two decades, MLM became one of the fastest growing marketing models in the world but is now in decline. Unfortunately, due to oldsell, the potential has been spoiled. Some MLM programs have a strong, oldsell, quasi- religious spin on them which has caused a negative reaction amongst customers in the marketplace.
For example, a notorious American soap MLM organisation was successfully sued by the large conventional soap company, Procter & Gamble. It appears these crusading MLMers claimed that P&G was the work of ‘the devil’.
Most people tell me they have been subjected to high pressure, misrepresentation, even lying to customers in what is called ‘the curiosity approach’ by these oldsell operations.
This type of oldsell behaviour spoils the marketplace and only demonstrates how little these MLM practitioners really understand WOM and replication systems. Even the punitive court actions against them have done little to change their oldsell behaviour or to win back the respect of the marketplace.
On the other hand, there are many quality direct-selling and MLM organisations who are widely respected by their distributors and customers alike. Some provide realistic business platforms for their distributors with no capital required. These companies offer a clever product mix with a sensible, long term, marketing plan. These can also be maximised using NewSell.
The Clever MLMer
For over 20 years I have been interested in MLM systems. There are two varieties: get-rich-quick and build-your-business. The vast majority of people have failed to meet their expectations. This is mostly due to the hyped-up, unrealistic oldsell expectations that are widely proclaimed by greedy get- rich-quick merchants. Caveat emptor!
Yet I have known a small minority of people who have met and even surpassed all their expectations. By using the build-your-business attitude and servicing a retail network of satisfied customers these people receive healthy monthly incomes which steadily increase as each satisfied customer WOMs the product and evolves into a downline sub-distributor.
The most successful and clever MLMers seem to have one Golden Rule:
Never accept a new distributor downline unless they are already a satisfied retail customer. No exceptions!
A satisfied customer is one who is WOM-qualified. Evidence of this is a customer who has bought and used the product at retail and then wants to re-order. Such a customer is genuinely qualified to WOM. Only then, at the earliest, does a clever MLMer allow such a customer to become a sub- distributor. Those who understand replication systems can use this policy to build a strong and deep MLM business in 12 to 36 months.
Devils and Wombats
In working with MLM organisations I try to help them choose a NewSell style. There are two basic styles which I call: devils and wombats.
The devil-style is oldsell and DEVIL stands for Daily Enthusiastic Victories & Inspirational Leadership. Few people have escaped contact with these Rah! Rah! Rah! sect-like schemes of the follow-the-leader variety. They are famous for their exaggerated claims, their intimidation and high-pressure, oldsell sales tricks.
Devils often begin their new customer relationship with a lie like “Come over to my place for a coffee”. When you get there it’s a sales pitch for an MLM company. Some devil-style organisations encourage this and call it the ‘curiosity approach’. I call it the stupidity approach. It’s hard to see how you could abuse a customer more than to begin the relationship with a lie!
By contrast there is the wombat-style of MLM system. This is a NewSell style and W.O.M.B.A.T. stands for Word-Of-Mouth Buy And Tell. This is a pure system which is simple to replicate because most ten-year-olds can do it. It sticks to the Golden Rule mentioned above and is built only on a rock-solid base of satisfied customers who:

1. first buy the product at retail. Then, 2. when they are satisfied, they tell others about it.

This is the true WOMBAT: Word of mouth through buy and tell.
In my experience the wombats outlast the devils 100 to 1. I only wish I had been taught about it when I was ten years old. With compound interest I would have been a millionaire by the time I was called up for Viet Nam!
Ten Year Old – Clever MLMers
In writing this I am suddenly struck by the scale of the unfair advantage that any MLMer has who is also 10 years old. In any replication system compound interest is the big kicker. The key to compound interest is time. Of course, the time advantage of a ten year old is way superior to that of a 20 year old. It would be an interesting experiment to teach NewSell to a group of 10 year old clever MLMers. Then measure their progress at age 20.
Affiliate Marketing
One facet of internet marketing is called ‘affiliate marketing’.    Amazon.com is the best known example. There are an ever-increasing number of affiliate marketing schemes. Many of these schemes are oldsell and are copies of the direct-mail schemes of the 1980s which are simply exported to the online environment. These are characterized by using email to spam prospective customers on a large scale. Spam, in email, is what used to be called ‘junk mail’.
Customer complaints have caused the legislative environment to crack down on spammers with many countries introducing Privacy Laws. Many others affiliate programs, like Amazon, use opt-in/opt-out or permission marketing to differentiate themselves from the spammers. This situation is an online arms race that will continue.
Think Pink!
In addition to the MLM companies there are also the direct-sellers. One of my favourite direct-selling organisations is Mary Kay http://www.marykay.com the cosmetics company. In my opinion Mary Kay should get a Nobel Prize for the number of women who have found a haven of emotional support, personal development, training, companionship and a monthly income over many years (not to mention the pink cars).
Gossip, Pass-on and WOM
Of all the animals of the world, humans are the greatest gossips. Gossip is a by-product of the unusually large human brain with its high-order faculty of language. The new millenium finds the human species with an extended global network backed by technology which makes for the ultimate pass-on- gossip system. Gossip, with satisfied customers, is called WOM. But always remember, unsatisfied customers gossip too!
More on Word of Mouth

The name of a customer is the basic unit of business measurement. One of your most valuable assets is your list of names–your database. A most desirable way of adding names to your list is by Word of Mouth or WOM. This is sometimes called Buzz Marketing. WOM is when your existing customers tell someone on their own database about you and your offer.
The psychology of buying is the psychology of trust. If your existing customer has a database of names and if what she say about you is credible, then this is WOM of marketing.
Example: Suppose you have 10 customers. Suppose each of your customers has 10 customers. If your customers were to tell their own databases about your offer then you are experiencing the benefits of WOM.
This kind of replication is very powerful and is the basis of WOMBAT marketing or referral selling. A WOMBAT is a customer who becomes a virtual salesperson for your offer. They bought, they are happy, they tell others. This works best when the customer is very satisfied.
Many marketers use a reward or incentive to encourage a customer to WOM their offer but sometimes this backfires. Why? Because the new customer may not trust the referral. They may consider the referral is due more to the incentive and not to the quality of the offer.
WOMBAT marketing is a sensitive area which deals with customer trust. It requires clever thinking, expertise and experience.
WOMBAT and Viral Marketing
There is a distinction between WOM and WOMBAT which is well worth mentioning here. The difference is: satisfaction. From a commercial business point-of-view, satisfaction is critical for profit.
Is it possible to be involved in WOM without being a satisfied customer? The answer is: Yes. For example, viral marketing can be an example of WOM where you don’t need to be a satisfied customer to participate.
Most readers will have received an email from a friend with an audio or video attachment. Usually an attention-getting, clever ad specifically made for spreading via email. They are often funny or shocking in some way and therefore have enough pass-on value to get themselves replicated from database to database like a virus. I’ve received some really amusing ones and passed them on to appropriate friends. But, I was never a satisfied customer. I never bought the product and therefore I never told my friends about my satisfaction. The bottom line is that shareholders received no profit benefit from my participation.
Viral marketing is a very interesting development in darwinian marketing and the WWW is an ideal haven for attention-getting viruses to be passed-on from brain to brain via email. Clever creative people in ad agencies can make a name for themselves as viral marketers. However, that is not the same as WOMBAT marketing.
For an ad agency to become successful WOMBAT marketers they need to go beyond viral marketing and produce campaigns that create WOMBATS. This is a much more valuable skill because a WOMBAT has the added commercial advantage of being a paid-up and satisfied customer who is replicating other WOMBATS.
Viral, or WOM marketing may be useful for spreading brand recognition from database to database. WOMBAT marketing is useful for creating profit from database to database.
Brief your agency
I always encourage my clients with big advertising budgets to include in their briefs to their agency a request for a WOMBAT marketing campaign. Agencies that are competent at WOMBAT marketing have a big advantage over those who can only do WOM campaigns.
Example: Nudie, the Australian fruit juice company (even without the deep pockets of a Coke or Pepsi behind them) was voted one of the top 10 brands in Australia.. Tim Pethick, CEO, worked on a strategy of building a satisfying customer experience around Nudie. This experience helped create passionate customers, evangelists. Nudie uses events, sampling and word of mouth to create awareness. It’s worth a visit to Nudie at http://www.nudie.com.au to see what they’re doing.

Explore, with your agency, questions like:
– How can we create a WOMBAT marketing campaign? – How can we measure the results of our WOMBAT campaign? – How can we grow our WOMBAT database by ten times? – How can we use customer feedback in our product design? – How can we get daily customer feedback online?
– How can we work with bloggers and passion groups? – How can we measure the ROI on our WOMBAT campaign? – How can we get women talking about our product? – How can we develop a B2B campaign for WOMBATs. – What do we need to do to get started on a WOMBAT strategy?

Stealth marketing
There will always be tricksters, cheats, and the oldsell whatever-I-can-get- away-with merchants. For a strong example of what WOMBAT marketing is NOT, contrast it with stealth marketing.
Where WOMBAT marketing relies on satisfied customers, stealth marketing relies on tricksters. Stealth marketing relies on paying people to say things that are not true or to misrepresent who they really are. This kind of espionage may have a place in 007 movies but don’t entrust your precious brand to stealth marketers and don’t let them get anywhere near your future customers.
Using attractive but fake customers to prey on teenagers in bars to get them to buy the latest drink brand has recently made the headlines as an example of stealth marketing. Stupid.
The infamous ‘curiosity approach’ used by stealth MLMers is another sad example of stealth marketing which has so backfired that the brand has become known as ‘the company that dare not speak its name’.
Business is about making a profit. The most profitable customers are those that are satisfied, repeat, long-term buyers who then replicate. Short term stealth marketers who start off their relationship with a lie, just don’t get it!


What do two genetic scientists, a football coach, an artificial intelligence guru, a major-general and a famous philosopher all have in common?

The Australian Thinker of the Year Award.

This unique award was created in 2005 by the School of Thinking (SOT) to recognise the contribution Australian thinkers make both nationally and globally. Six awards were given from 2005 to 2011.

The award was a gift of appreciation and carries with it no responsibilities, commitments or obligations of any kind. The award was formally presented at a reception of Australian leaders in science, art, business, education and media. It is in recognition of individual Australian thinkers and thought-leaders.

Guests at the 2009 Reception enjoy the fine hospitality of the Melbourne Convention Centre.


– 2005 – Professor Michael Georgeff

– 2006 – Professor German Spangenberg

– 2007 – Professor Jenny Graves

– 2008 – Coach Kevin Sheedy

– 2009 – Maj Gen Jim Molan

– 2011 – Professor Peter Singer

What is Australia?

Australia is a constitutional monarchy created by the Majority of Electors of 1900. The Governor-General is Head of State and Elizabeth II is Sovereign.

Since the creation of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1900 the Crown of Australia has been worn by six monarchs: Victoria, Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI and Elizabeth II.


‘Monarchy to Republic’:  Whether or not to change the Australian Constitution from monarchy to republic is currently being thought through and discussed by Australian Electors.

Peoplepower: the Majority of Electors

200 years ago Napoleon’s master, Prince Talleyrand, said, “There is someone more intelligent than Voltaire, more powerful than the emperor–and that is the people.”

100 years later in 1900, this became true in Australia. Today, it is still one of the enduring truths of our Commonwealth.

The Majority of Electors was the original power in 1900 that created The Constitution and is still, the only power in Australia that can change The Constitution.

In contrast to other political realities like in Iraq, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Fiji or even the Vatican, the USA, India and China, the fact is that the Electors of Australia have been able to hold, without interruption, the ultimate constitutional power in Australia for over a hundred years!

This continuous record of peoplepower and political stability is unprecedented in modern world history.



Australia is the name given to an agreement between The Majority of Electors of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, and Western Australia to unite in one federation under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia.

So who really created what we now know as ‘Australia’?

On July 5, 1900, Australia was legally created by an Act of the Westminster Parliament known as the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act. The Act was proclaimed to commence on January 1, 1901.

At that time, the population of Australia was under four million and consisted of a number of colonies which regarded themselves as British. This Act was the product of a vision which began fifty years earlier in the self-governing colonies. The Constitution of Australia is also internationally regarded as one of the cleverest agreements ever designed.

It was crafted in Australia by our own people. It was a product, not of war nor of revolution, but of many years of business discussion, political debate, legal argument and peaceful referendum.

The First Convention

Two Conventions were held in 1891 and in 1897-98. Delegates to the 1891 Convention were appointed by the colonial parliaments and met in Sydney.

The Convention President was the Premier of New South Wales, Sir Henry Parkes whose image is still on today’s five dollar bill.

The draft of a Bill for a Constitution was approved by the Convention.

This Bill was drafted with the help of Sir Samuel Griffith, Premier of Queensland, who later became the First Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.

The Second Convention

The second Convention was held in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne in 1897 and 1898. Delegates to this Convention were elected by the Majority of Electors.


Barriers between brothers: shall they remain?’  -  The Argus (Melbourne), 1 June 1898
Barriers between brothers: shall they remain?’ – The Argus (Melbourne), 1 June 1898

The document produced at this Convention became the new Constitution and many features coming from the first Convention were included.

In 1899, the draft of the Constitution was approved by the Majority of Electors in a state by state referendum–each held in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland. New Zealand which was represented at the first Convention did not join the Federation.

Western Australia voted to join in 1900. Thus, the Constitution was designed, not at Westminster but in Australia and by our own electors.

In the words of the Eleventh Chief Justice of the High Court, The Honourable Murray Gleeson AC: “The Commonwealth Constitution was not drafted by civil servants in London, and presented to the colonies on the basis that they could take it or leave it. Its terms were hammered out in Australia in a process of public debate, and political and legal negotiation, by the leading figures of the day.”

The Senate of the Parliament of Australia offers an online copy of The Constitution here and a picture of the founding document can be seen here.


The Third Convention

One hundred years later, in 1998, a third Convention was held. From 2-13 February 1998, 152 delegates from all over Australia met at Old Parliament House in Canberra to discuss whether Australia should become a republic.

Seventy-six of the delegates were elected by the Majority of Electors in a voluntary postal ballot. The other seventy-six were appointed by the parliament whose members were also chosen by the Majority of Electors.

The delegates come from every State and Territory and had a wide diversity of backgrounds and interests. The Convention was chaired by the Rt Hon Ian Sinclair MP, with the Hon Barry Jones AO MP as Deputy Chairman.


It was finally resolved at the third Convention that a republican model of an appointed president be put to the people in a constitutional referendum.



On 5 November 1999, the Electors of Australia were asked:

“Do you agree with A proposed law to alter the constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a Republic with the Queen and Governor General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of members of the Commonwealth Parliament?”

The result of the constitutional referendum, as decided by the Majority of Electors, was: NO.

You can visit the Electors of Australia here …

You can visit the Governor General of Australia here …

You can visit the Queen of Australia here …

You can visit the Prime Minister of Australia here …


The Flag of Australia

What brand of English Thinking?

As there are many brands of English Thinking in both hemispheres of the globe it’s a fair question for you to ask, “What particular brand of English Thinking will you be teaching?” The answer is, of course, the Australian English brand of English Thinking. Here’s why.

First, I’m the world authority in Australian English Thinking. Second, I’m the most experienced teacher of Australian English Thinking in all of human history. So there. Third and most practically, it’s working very, very well, so far. In fact, it’s working ten times better than America or even England itself when you are willing to take into consideration  the economy of Australia.


… the unfair advantage

Coming January 31, 2012

2012 – Bring it on!!

SOT wishes you a very Happy New Year in 2012.

Thank you for your contributions to SOT in 2011 through your DFQs and posted comments. Your thoughts and feedback are a critical part of the success of the school because at SOT the students–as individuals and as a body–are also part of the faculty.

In response to the SOT daily feedback questions (DFQs) students around the world voluntarily contributed many thousands of comments on the SOT lessons and articles in 2011. Many insights, edits, suggestions, corrections and improvements result from this ongoing interactive and daily collaborative effort.

SOT students range widely from farmers, truck-drivers and retirees to young school students, teachers, parents, scholars and Nobel scientists to knowledge-workers in media, business, sport, politics and the arts, and from more than 50 countries worldwide.

Wherever you are now …


Can you think in English?

Extract from ENGLISH THINKING: Learn-To-Think in English, Lessons One to One Hundred by Michael Hewitt-Gleeson:

Modern English is the first global decision language because it is the most widely spoken language across the world. The boardrooms of the world think in English. English is the premium language of decision-making in communications, science, information technology, business, seafaring, aviation, radio and diplomacy. English thinkers are the brains behind the global entertainment industry, gaming and the social networking phenomenon. The world wide web is dominated by English thinking.

Are you an English thinker? A working knowledge of how to think in English is critical for advancement in a number of professions and occupations from medicine to IT to fashion. In today’s world more than a billion people can think in English to at least a basic level. The world is now divided into two groups: those who can think in English and those who cannot. The former has an unfair advantage over the latter. When it comes to thinking in English my advice is: catch up or miss out!

Why English Thinking? Looking back we can see how English became the lingua franca of today’s world. English thinking spread beyond the British Isles with the growth of the British Empire, and by the late 19th century its reach was truly global. Following British colonisation from the 16th to 19th centuries, English became the dominant language in the United States, Canada, Australia and India.

In the latter half of the 20th century widespread use of English was much reinforced by the global economic, financial, scientific, military, and cultural pre-eminence of the English-speaking countries. Most profoundly, the economic and cultural influence of America and its might as a global superpower since World War II have significantly accelerated the language’s spread across the planet.

Today, more than half of all scientific journals are published in English, while in France, almost one third of all natural science research appears in English. English has replaced German as the dominant language of science Nobel Prize laureates. It is now the lingua franca of international Air Traffic Control communications. In international diplomacy during the 20th century and at the United Nations, English has surpassed French as the dominant language.

What is English Thinking? There are two main facets to the term ‘English Thinking’. The first is the language and the second is the methodology. English Thinking not only requires a working knowledge of both the language and idiom of English but it also means the ability to understand and operate the historical cognitive techniques of English Thinking: logical/critical thinking; the scientific method and enlightenment/evolutionary thinking; and the more recent innovation/creative thinking tools of cognitive science.

Many English speakers are not English Thinkers.


On the Beach. Happy Holidays :-)

To all SOT members in 52 countries around the world may I wish you a Happy New Year. 2012 looks set to be an even more interesting year than 2011! To our Australian members have a relaxing and happy break over the January summer holidays.

In Australia, we are beach-lovers. This is our summer break so we mostly head off to our beaches and favourite holiday destinations with our family and friends. Traditionally, it’s a time for Aussies to relax together, to renew friendships and to have some fun.

We also have time to do a lot of reading and thinking. We meditate alone on our past year and our plans for the coming year. We have many shared discussions while sitting on the beach with friends or over a family barbecue. (Here’s a picture of St Kilda Beach where I was born and where I live today.)

Of course, I realise that SOT members in other countries do not live on the beach but in an amazingly diverse range of locations and picturesque settings. So whatever situation you find yourself in January, I do hope you will have time to meditate and think and to renew your life as you embark on a new year.

Very best wishes to you and your family and friends, and I hope we will continue our journey into thinking … together in 2012.


New for China: Learn-To-Think in Englishâ„¢

In the decade since September 11, 2001 the world has witnessed a dramatic and inexorable shift in the geo-political tectonic plates that are Europe, the USA and Asia.

In big global terms the world has watched as the post WWII position of USA dominance has shifted from growth to decline. We have all looked on as the Euro experiment has come to a shuddering, stalling halt. We have observed the rapid rise of Asia.

In particular the world has seen India assert itself as a rising global power. And, nothing has captured the imagination of the wired global audience more than the phenomenon of the growth of China.

During the past decade School of Thinking China has been researching the Chinese market and conducting projects for private corporate clients in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing.

Learn-To-Think in Englishâ„¢

Since 1995, SOT has developed the biggest program in the world for teaching ‘How To Think in English’. Now SOT has designed a special program for China called ENGLISH THINKING: Learn-To-Think in English, Lessons One to One Hundred. This innovative program for China will be launched nationwide in 2012.