In exciting news, Datisan is now partnering with innovative technology platform Fivetran to provide even better and more efficient outcomes for our clients and their technology needs.

This partnership complements Datisan’s other marketing and technical relationships, as the first full stack sales partner for Google in Australia and New Zealand across Google Cloud and Google Marketing Platform.

Matt Daniels, Chief Technology Officer of Datisan, said of the partnership,

Data integration and pipelines have always been seen as a necessary evil, but often take an inordinate amount of time to deliver. Partnering with Fivetran allows us to extremely rapidly deploy production ready pipelines for our clients. This in turn allows them to get to the real value generation from their data – insights and activation – in weeks, not months or even years!

Fivetran provides reliable access to analysis-ready data for analysts to query at any time. They currently offer over 150 fully managed, automated connectors for databases, applications, events, files and functions, allowing businesses to extract data from any source. They are known for delivering zero-maintenance pipelines and ready-to-query schemas.

Read more about Fivetran here.

Datisan CEO Chris Rozic agreed that this was an exciting addition to Datisan’s existing partnerships, stating,

Fivetran enables Datisan to help our customers meet the personalisation needs of their customers. Data freshness and the ability for marketers to rely upon an integrated, real time ecosystem is only as good as the data quality, and the speed it gets there.

If connecting multiple data sources and data freshness are important to your business, speak with our team today about how we can support your digital marketing, data or cloud objectives.

There has been a lot to update in February…

… the Media Code has been amended and passed, Google and media publishers came to the table to negotiate around News Showcase, and Facebook and the Australian government played chicken with the fate of news on social media, with Facebook banning Australians from seeing and sharing local and international news. 

Facebook news is back on now but why did it happen and what happens next?

The Code

See Datisan’s summary of the proposed code, opinions on the code and the events leading up to the Facebook Australian news ban on this page here.

Many people were more worried about Google turning off its local services than worrying about Facebook, based on communication in the market prior to February 17 2021, even though Facebook had released statements over the past six months that made it clear they didn’t think the code was workable.

But the social media company caused alarm with what was seen as a sudden decision in mid-February to block news on its platform across Australia after the House of Representatives passed the draft law. 

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Facebook News Blackout

Facebook restricted access to news in Australia the same day as the announcement, as they wanted the change in place prior to the code being passed.

They advised that news makes up less than four per cent of what people see in their feeds, but you’d likely notice a difference when logging into the social network.

Will Easton, Managing Director, Facebook ANZ said,

There is a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between Facebook and news publishers.

And mistakenly, the blackout also cut access, at least temporarily, to government pandemic, public health and emergency services, fueling outrage. Facebook’s justification for including non-news pages was that the proposed law has a broad definition of news.

Easton also said,

As the law does not provide clear guidance on the definition of news content, we have taken a broad definition in order to respect the law as drafted.

You can read more of that initial statement here.

Facebook’s victory came at the cost of a public relations disaster. Either accidentally or otherwise, its news ban had a chaotic public effect, blocking access to important information on emergency services pages in the midst of bushfires in Western Australia and flooding in Queensland.

After a week of what we suppose was furious negotiation and Google Meet or Zoom calls, Facebook advised that the platform would reinstate news pages, as it also deals with media outlets to come to agreements.

Facebook said it would continue to negotiate deals with Australian publishers, as mentioned in many media reports, like this one from The Guardian.

Easton mentions in regards to the negotiations,

We are satisfied that the Australian government has agreed to a number of changes and guarantees that address our core concerns about allowing commercial deals that recognize the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The Verge describes the outpouring of public comment rather well, saying,

Of course, many critics were apoplectic that Facebook had taken this move, calling it a vile act of censorship, unchecked greed, and destruction of the public sphere.

Certainly the execution of the ban left something to be desired. Rather than building a blacklist of news sites to restrict, Facebook tried using its machine learning systems to identify news publishers, and the systems went predictably haywire.

…..
What was negotiated?

The amendments to the code which were negotiated between Facebook and the Australian government were outlined in a release from the Australian government.

Frydenberg and Facebook confirmed that the two sides agreed to amendments to the proposed legislation. The changes would give digital platforms one month’s notice before they are formally designated under the code. That would give those involved more time to broker agreements before they are forced to enter binding arbitration arrangements.

The New York Times notes that this appears to give Facebook more time to strike deals, similar to those reached by Google in the last couple of weeks. Campbell Brown, Facebook vice president for news partnerships said,

The  government has clarified we will retain the ability to decide if news appears on Facebook so that we won’t automatically be subject to a forced negotiation.

So who won?

In the public forum, Facebook maybe didn’t realise how this would look and impact, you know, the users of its platform. Many went on to say that Facebook was implementing ‘bully tactics’.

The ABC noted that both sides think they won, as they both gained concessions.

Josh Frydenberg, the Liberal party’s deputy leader who spearheaded the new law, said this was a significant milestone.

This legislation will help level the playing field and see Australian news media businesses paid for generating original content.

Source: abc.net.au

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says the law will address a significant bargaining power imbalance between Australian news media businesses and Google and Facebook.

According to Frydenburg, the amendments will strengthen the hand of regional and small publishers in obtaining appropriate remuneration for the use of their content by the digital platforms.

The ABC did well promoting its news app in the wake of uncertainty about the flow of news, becoming the number one downloaded free app in the Apple Store within 48 hours of the blackout

But the ABC also noted that it might be harder for small digital players to start news websites. Gathering an audience will be more expensive and take longer without Facebook. Read more here

Jeff Jarvis, a journalism expert from the City University of New York, said media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, who owns most of Australia’s major newspapers through his U.S-based News Corp, is the biggest winner while smaller titles and new media startups would suffer most.

Murdoch’s media empire was seen as a driving force behind the Australian legislation, which he noted includes a requirement for media companies to earn at least $150,000 AUD in revenue to be eligible.

Where was Google in all of this?

Google also suggested initially that it would have to pull its search engine from the country if the law came into force, but it later walked back its plans. Instead, Google chose to ink deals with media organisations to pay them for news content via News Showcase.

Source Giphy

Read Datisan’s summary of the News Showcase launch here.

Melanie Silva, Managing Director of Google Australia published a new open letter addressing the issue, which can be viewed here.

Our consistent ask has been that we avoid legislative proposals that would break the fundamental principle of the web – that it should be free and easy to link to websites. By establishing a program to pay news publishers, News Showcase offers a constructive path forward.

Having mounted a strong PR and communication strategy about the potential withdrawal of services, Google was able to successfully negotiate with many additional publishers post-launch, while also being able to leverage and enjoy the concessions Facebook as negotiated.

Professor Leaver, Curtin University, speaking to the ABC confirms this by saying,

Google comes out of the Facebook news ban looking good.

 

What about public opinion?

The question regarding whether this will have long-term adverse impacts to Google or Facebook is yet to be seen but a number of opinions were published about this in the past two weeks, even though the issue has left the main news cycle for the moment.

Facebook’s decision to block access to pages like 1800Respect, the WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services and the Bureau of Meteorology was unnecessary, heavy-handed and will damage its reputation, according to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Michael Tibbles, digital media manager, MediaSmiths, as quoted in AdNews, said

While the move by Facebook to remove Australian news is a highly risky PR move, it is unlikely to result in a loss of significant ad revenue in the short term.

Rebecca Wilson, CEO of Starts at 60, wrote a widely-shared opinion piece for Mumbrella that highlighted her worry that the over 60s voice has been silenced by this brinkmanship between the government and the media platforms.

The Urban List founder and CEO Susannah George welcomed the news of a restored Facebook and felt that the intent from Facebook to support small and local publishers was heartening, when speaking with AdNews.

Diversity of voices is vital to Australia’s cultural fabric – diversity driven by the home-grown, digital-first publishers that champion our small businesses, events, tourism and arts scene.

Pedestrian.tv had a strong reaction to losing the opportunity to share their news on the social platform (some swearing here). But thankfully the Betoota Advocate wasn’t caught up in the chaos.

……

I still have questions…

So do we. Some of which are:

  • Do the last minute concessions mean the code may never be used?
  • Are the big end of town the real winners? Did regional and independent media organisations miss out?
  • Could the news get blocked again?
  • Should media regulation be rethought completely? 
  • Why not just increase tax requirements on international digital businesses?

As we have said in our summary of the code at the beginning of February (which you can read here) , there are a lot of moving parts to this story. Datisan is keeping tabs on it and will update our blog as more information comes to hand.

….


TLDR: Facebook bans news in response to negotiations breaking down around the News Media Bargaining Code, then turns the news back on once the code is amended. Google and Facebook negotiate with publishers and no one is sure what the code will look like in practice yet.


We are always looking and listening to current news and information with the view to share it with our clients and followers. If you don’t already, sign up for our monthly enewsletter, the Datisan Download, to be in the know.

Google News Showcase launches in Australia.

Australia got its first look at Google News Showcase this week (4 Feb).

The release, first announced in mid-2020, has gain a lot of attention in Australia in recent weeks, as Google highlighted News Showcase as an alternative option to current format of the proposed News Media Bargaining Code.

Google News Showcase is a new news experience that launched in some global markets in late 2020. Google has previously withheld bringing the News Showcase product to Australia over disagreement about the Australian government’s proposed news media code.

Alongside a considerable investment (AU $1.3b), Google has been bringing on more and more publishers and content. There are currently over 450 publications across a dozen countries including the UK, Germany, Brazil, and Canada.

Google’s intention with this experience is to let readers dive deeper into more complex stories and stay informed on the issues and events that local, national, and global newsrooms highlight through their Google News Showcase panels. 

……

Why should I care?

If, like us, you’ve been watching the media coverage surrounding the News Media Bargaining Code with interest over the month, the launch of News Showcase in Australia could be very important.

You can read our summary of the code and the media coverage on it here.

Google has said that the initial version will have a focus on local, regional and independent publishers, given the “importance of local information and the role it will play in people’s everyday lives”.

The roll-out of News Showcase comes off the back of Senators recently advising in parliamentary hearings that they couldn’t tell if it would be a suitable solution or compromise to the News Media Bargaining Code for fairly financially supporting news publishers, as the product was not yet tested in Australia.

Source: Media Watch, Google News war

At the beginning of Febraury, Nine (the parent company for publications like the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age) initially dismissed Google’s offer to pay media organisations with the launch of Showcase – stating it wouldn’t negotiate with Google prior to the code coming into effect. Read more

But two weeks later, we were reading that it was all sorted, with Nine and Google striking a $30m news deal.

……

How does it work?

Australian publishers will be paid to provide content for News Showcase. The initial publishers featured in the February 4 launch were among the first globally to sign up, providing early feedback and input on how the product could help bring their journalism to the fore for readers.

As this early version of News Showcase rolls out, the partnerships will provide financial support for some of the country’s independent, local and regional publications including The Canberra TimesThe Illawarra MercuryThe Saturday PaperCrikeyThe New Daily,  InDaily, InQueensland and The Conversation.

Showcase is an opportunity for our 14 daily titles to curate their trusted local journalism for Google News users and we are working constructively with Google to explore the exciting potential of this product to engage mobile audiences.

– Tony Kendall, CEO of Australian Community Media

Panels on News Showcase display an enhanced view of an article or articles, giving participating publishers more ways to bring important news to readers and explain it in their own voice, along with more direct control of presentation and branding. The panels will appear across Google News on Android, iOS and the mobile web, and in Discover on iOS, bringing high-value traffic to a publisher’s site.

Where available, Google will also offer to pay for free access for users to read paywalled articles on a publisher’s site. This will let paywalled publishers grow their audiences and open an opportunity for people to read content they might not ordinarily see.

The expectation is that Google will bring more Australian media partners on board in the coming weeks and months as they further build out the experience for publishers and users, as well as use this as a compromise for some of the components of the News Media Bargaining Code. 

……

The final word

The Sydney Morning Herald has since said that the federal government has signalled that it may consider amendments to its digital media code if Google can convince large media companies to sign up, sparking a rush of last ditch negotiations.

As we have said in our summary of the code at the beginning of February(which you can read here) , there are a lot of moving parts to this story. Datisan is keeping tabs on it and will update our blog as more information comes to hand.

….

TLDR: Google has announced a new, curated news landing page that could provide the break in the stalemate around the News Media Bargaining code.

Source: Release / Google

We are always looking and listening to current news and information with the view to share it with our clients and followers. If you don’t already, why not sign up for our monthly enewsletter, the Datisan Download, to be in the know.

If you want to know more or have questions, you can talk to Datisan through our Contact page.

Our team shares their picks for marketing trends next year.

The pandemic has shaped 2020 and impacted every organisation differently. Businesses have managed to adapt to the crisis in a variety of ways and one of the biggest changes we have seen is an increased demand for digital transformation. 

Off the back of this, we asked some of the Datisan team what their thoughts are on top trends for 2021…

The price of artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions will continue to fall, driving hyper-automation and unlocking the full power of predictive analytics for marketers.

Matt Forman, Group Managing Director & Founder, Xpon Technologies

2021 will be one of the most exciting years yet for marketers that have invested in getting their data in order and ready to take advantage of the tsunami of change and automation that modern cloud based artificial intelligence and machine learning will deliver.

Due to the flywheel effect of AI and ML, time is running out for those marketers yet to act, and they need move swiftly to avoid being left behind.

The pandemic has impacted many aspects of how we do business, but it hasn’t diminished the impact AI is having on our lives. In fact, it’s become apparent that self-teaching algorithms and smart machines will play a big part in the ongoing fight against this outbreak as well as others we may face in the future.

“AI undoubtedly remains a key trend when it comes to picking the technologies that will change how we live, work, and play in the near future.” – Bernard Marr, Forbes.com

Companies who aren’t heavily invested in analytics in 2020 and 2021 probably won’t be in business by 2022.

Chris Rozic, CEO & Co-Founder, Datisan

COVID-19 has only brought the deadline closer. 2020 has shown everyone just how important it is to have confidence in your data and analytics, and demonstrated the consequences of not investing in business critical foundations that drive your business reporting and customer activations. 

Using big data and analytics has always been on a growth trajectory and has made the need for data even greater. I anticipate that continued investment from companies into data and analytics capabilities that power faster, leaner and smarter organizations.

An interesting prediction globally from Gartner on this topic is that 25% of organisations will amalgamate marketing, sales and CX into a single function. 31% of corporate boards of directors and CEOS are considering complete digitally-driven transformations of their business models, with 27% of CEOs saying multiple business functions are already being redefined or merging based on business data. 

Organisations that feel confident about their data are able to rely upon it to make decisions, highlight opportunities and identify and manage risks. They will be more agile, as they are comfortable that their data is fit for their business needs.

Remote and flexible work is here to stay

The need to improve the digital resiliency of the workforce during and after the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically accelerated trends in digital workplace technology.

Rachel Ellison, Marketing Support Manager, Datisan

When employees were sent home from their offices en masse amid the global onset of COVID-19, many businesses scrambled to adopt technology solutions to enable their teams to work remotely. 

The pandemic rapidly elevated many digital workplace technologies from nice-to-have to must-have status.  The future of flexible work  will be a blend between home, offsite and work spaces as new ways of designing workflows are designed.

Revelian’s 2020 Hiring Benchmark Report stated that of the organisations that did transition to remote work this year, 54% view remote work more positively now; 42% say their view is unchanged, and just 4% view remote work more negatively.

Trend-leader Google this week announced that they were delaying returning to the office until September 2021.

Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said the company was testing the idea of a ‘flexible work week’ once it is safe to return to the office. Under the pilot plan, employees would be expected to work at least three days a week in the office for ‘collaboration days’ while working from home the other days. Other companies may take their cues from Google, which has been a pioneer for many aspects of work life, especially at technology companies.

Microsoft similarly offered all of its employees the chance to work from home less than 50% of the time without advanced approval. Uber, American Express and Airbnb have all extended their remote work policies. 

Source

What other digital marketing and data analytics trends do you think will be a priority in 2021? Drop the Datisan team an email to have a chat about strategy and trends in the new year.

Consolidating back-to-back wins from 2018 & 2019.

We’re excited to announce that Datisan has been named Google’s Emerging Star as well as the Maturity Megastar Partner of 2020 at this year’s Google Marketing Platform Partner Awards for Australia and New Zealand.

In a virtual event for 2020, the Datisan team gathered and celebrated together while engaging with Google Partner Managers and other Partners, while enjoying some excellent catering from Google to replicate the experience in other years.

The Emerging Star award is new to the awards for 2020 and one that was awarded at the discretion of the GMP judges. 

Emerging Star highlights Datisan’s ability to connect marketing and IT stakeholders on projects we work on. It also touched on our ability to facilitate connection and foster conversations and relationships across Google and particularly called out the strong growth in clients, projects and individual and team certifications we have experienced in the past 12 months.

Maturity Megastar is awarded to the Partner who submitted the best customer user case that highlights progression up the digital marketing maturity scale with positive client results.

GMP judges noted that as well as providing an excellent use case, Datisan’s winning submission highlighted the work and efforts that had gone into Digital Maturity as a business and how it underpins every Datisan engagement.

It highlighted our proactive work leveraging past maturity studies to build our own Annual Digital Marketing Growth Report . It also mentioned the expertise we were building as a result of the industry benchmarking we’ve been able to present to the market off the back of three years worth of data from the region.

xxx

Head of Business Development, Mike Cornwell says of the work that Datisan has done in digital marketing maturity:

Maturity plays a key role in all of Datisan’s engagements with our clients. We want to help clients to understand what it means to move up the maturity scale, and help them do so. 

Datisan’s maturity assessments and roadmaps are the starting point for all business engagements as they provide the strongest indication of where an organisation is starting their digital journey and also highlights where they need to develop in order to best support their key objectives.

We wouldn’t have been able to be awarded these honours without the support of our Google Marketing Platform Partner Managers, as well as our exceptional clients whose projects allow us to provide work like what has been recognised here.

More to come as well as team pictures once the awards are delivered.

Grow together is one of Datisan’s core value statements and this guiding principle has been applied to our approach to industry certification and advancement.

As well as our recently announced full stack certifications with Google Marketing Platform, we have been busily showcasing our client success and technical know-how as a Google Cloud Platform Partner, and have been awarded five expertises by Google Cloud. 

Google Cloud Platform Partner Expertise allow partners like Datisan to highlight success in product/technology, solution/workload, and industry specific work, and is evaluated based on unique requirements for each Expertise. As well as customer examples, the awarding of Expertise requires individual team member technical certification or credentials.

Datisan’s Head of Cloud & MarTech, Tom Sowerby, states

It’s satisfying to see that the strong work Datisan has delivered for our clients being recognised by our partners at Google Cloud. Partner Expertise is a great way for us to validate the work we have been doing day-to-day with customers as they directly reflect our engagements with them.

Expertise also promotes Datisan’s capabilities to potential businesses, helping them identify a partner that would be the most relevant for their technical and business needs.


Datisan has been recognised across the following five Expertises in 2020:

Datisan’s Head of Business Development Mike Cornwell adds, 

It’s great to see our expertise broaden across Google’s Cloud platform. The FSI certification is particularly pleasing – we’ve done some really innovative work in that space this year so it’s great to be recognised for it by GCP.

So if you’re looking for advanced solutions and services in a particular area, look for a Google Cloud partner with an Expertise – look for Datisan

Speak with our team today about how we can support your digital marketing and cloud objectives.

______________________________________

Streaming Data Analytics Workload Expertise

Partners who demonstrate customer success by helping companies ingest, process, and analyze event streams in real time. Built on the autoscaling infrastructure of its core components—Cloud Pub/Sub, Cloud Dataflow, and BigQuery—Google’s streaming solution reduces complexity by provisioning the exact resources needed to ingest, process, and analyze fluctuating volumes of real-time data.

Data Warehouse Modernization Workload Expertise

Partners who demonstrate customer success by leveraging Google BigQuery to streamline the data warehouse modernization path with a comprehensive migration offer, easy-to-use tools, and ecosystem that manages your complete migration so customers can get started with ease.

Google Cloud Analytics Product/Technology Expertise

Partners who demonstrate customer success in the following areas: BigQuery, Google Cloud Data Studio, Cloud Composer, Cloud Dataflow, Cloud Datalab, Cloud Dataprep, Cloud Dataproc, Cloud Data Fusion, Cloud Pub/Sub, Cloud Spanner, Cloud IoT Core, Data Catalog, Cloud Life Sciences, Genomics, Google Marketing Platform, Looker, Cloud Dataprep

Google Cloud ML & ML APIs Product/Technology Expertise

Partners who demonstrate customer success in the following areas: Cloud AutoML / AutoML Tables, Cloud Natural Language API, Cloud Jobs API, Cloud Translation API, Cloud TPU, Cloud Video Intelligence API, Cloud Vision API, Places API, Cloud Speech-to-Text API, Cloud ML Engine, TensorFlow, Dialogflow

Financial Services Industry Expertise

Partners who demonstrate customer success and leverage GCP to help deliver competitive and compliant solutions in rapidly changing global markets with powerful, scalable technology, including secured multi-cloud and hybrid solutions for the Financial services industry.

Our three values – Own it, Brave Enough and Grow Together – inspire and inform our interactions with each other, our clients, partners and suppliers.

Since our DATA (Datisan Annual Team Adventure) Day in December 2019, we’ve been working away at creating an updated, collaborative set of values with our culture consultant, Belinda Forman. After many workshops and revisions, we’re excited to finally announce them! 

We wanted to share some of the process to get to this point, so our Marketing Support Manager, Rachel Ellison, sat down with Belinda to discuss the project and how she feels about the outcomes.

Rachel: Firstly, can you tell me what a culture consultant does?

Belinda: “I bring together the idea and ideal a business has, help make them tangible and help embed them into the day to day.”

Why was the project undertaken?

“Datisan had been its own business since January 2018 and as it was spun out of Traffika, they had taken the core values of Traffika with them.  At the end of 2019, Chris and the team decided it was time for the core values to reflect the new business and team at Datisan. This process began during a planning session at DATA Day 2019.”

Belinda Forman facilitating Datisan’s brainstorming / Halfway through refining top values

How did you find the early stages of the process with the Datisan team?

“We started the process at a group level with the XPON Technologies values and from there we took the opportunity to expand on how these values come to life, every day with the team at Datisan.

The interesting thing about this process was that we found that everyone was on the same path and cared about creating a set of values that they could really be proud of.”

Culture is the glue that holds the team together, the common value set that you all want to be a part of.

What did you find interesting when brainstorming or discussing with the team?

“We had started the off-site day with personal values and there was this light bulb moment, when the brainstorming really connected them with their personal sets of values. It empowered the team to align with what they stood for personally – this made the brainstorming flow so easily.”

Some of the Datisan team reviewing personal and business values at DATA Day

What did you feel was the most challenging part of this process?

“Probably settling on the imagery to express the values. All of the team came with different images in mind for the final values and images can be subjective – we all see different things when we think of certain words. It was important that whatever we decided on reflected the brand, the business and the team.”

What has made you the most excited?

“Seeing how everyone has taken on the values as they were all a part of the creation. I hear the team using them in their conversations, checking in each other with them and giving kudos to each other for how they are living them.”

Now that the values are set, what comes next?

“I think it’s to spread the word… to let our community know who we are and what we stand for, so others who feel the same are drawn to work with our team.”

You mention the everyday – how do you intend to have the team embrace and utilise these values?

“We use them in our weekly value nominations and shout-outs to our fellow team members. I know that each individual will leverage the values in different ways, whether it is to check themselves and others, to help guide decision making, to help clients understand who we are and how we act as a business, to add value to someone’s day or just to connect with their why.”

Outside of brainstorming and setting values, what else would you recommend to drive engagement?

“Engagement is an intrinsic thing. You can do all the cool things in the world but if they mean nothing to the person, they will never be engaged. Treating everyone as an individual and helping them achieve their goals and dreams to drive meaning to the work they do with you everyday.” 

Do you have a favourite value?

Grow together is my favourite as I believe our team is at its best when we are giving of each other, sharing our knowledge to help each other grow. Imagine what our world would be like if everyone put this lens on how they move through the world! What a world we would live in.”

Rachel then asked Chris Rozic, Co-founder and CEO of Datisan, about the role of culture and values.

What part do you think culture plays in Datisan’s everyday?

Chris: “Our culture is the fibre of our business identity. Whether it’s in a daily stand up, the way we interact with each other, or deliver experiences for our customers – we mindfully live out our values in every interaction. Plus we’re not a precious bunch and enjoy a laugh, which is important to keep energy high, and mindsets positive.”

Why was outlining values important to our business?

“We were able to hit the pause button and come up for air, to see what were the things that really drove us as people, and professionals.”

What value do you see from having someone focused on promoting culture within a business?

“Two things here. To get quality results, you need to engage an expert. You get what you focus on. And having someone focused on culture, we can achieve the outcomes we need (as opposed to it being something ‘we’ll get to’).”

You can read a little more about each value on our Culture page.

USC Australia has launched first interactive virtual Open Day on Sunday 19 July.

As USC’s technology & digital marketing partner, Datisan is excited to announce this new virtual and interactive open day environment.

USC Australia faced a challenge over the past couple of months – how to to provide their usual personable and approachable Open Day experience in July 2020, with all of the restrictions around social distancing and the need to balance community health. USC has pivoted from a traditional face-to-face campus event to designing an engaging and online open day experience that is able to convey a lot of information about study options, virtually.

USC’s Open Day, launched on Sunday 19 July 2020, allows each user to have a personalised virtual experience, with the freedom to plan your visit to suit your needs and study interests while also providing connected guided tours of USC’s varied campuses and facilities. As a virtual environment it is available 24/7 on all devices, so that you can explore USC in your own time, catering to audiences of all ages from high school students to mature ages and parents.

As USC Australia’s digital marketing agency, we have scoped ideas around immersive student experiences and connected USC with leading web-VR and interactive 360-degree technology company, Holoscribe.

The inclusion of XR into the Open Day campaign engagement is an exciting first for both USC and Datisan.

The primary aim of the Open Day project was to build an environment for USC to connect with prospective students and their parents when it wasn’t possible to be on campus. However, in the back of our mind, longevity of such an environment was also critical for the university and return on investment both in resources and audience solutions.

Chris Rozic, CEO and Co-Founder of Datisan.

Holoscribe, also a part of Xpon Technologies, powers this immersive experience that enables engagement and increases the ability of USC to connect with prospective students beyond Open Day.

Extended Reality (or XR) is an umbrella term to cover various forms of computer-alerted reality including virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. The technology is exciting in itself but to really make this web-VR experience stand out, we and Holoscribe have also incorporated XR analytics. 

Where typical digital behaviour analytics is limited to tracking clicks and page views, XR analytics enables true behavioural insight by capturing not only how people move through an XR experience, but also what they look at and how they choose to interact with content and brand in an platform that is far closer to real life than a typical website or app.

The XR analytics from the virtual event will give USC greater understanding of its visitors and will allow the university to adjust and optimise their experiences for greater engagement.

The initial marketing message for an online Open Day was implemented by Datisan through paid digital channels, utilising audiences and data from Google Marketing Platform and social channels for USC’s targeted audiences across South East Queensland. The creative concept and executions were produced by Brisbane creative agency, RedSuit.

The ability for the virtual open day platform to be available longer than just one day means that Datisan and USC will continue to drive audiences through to this virtual environment to connect people to information and experiences about USC and study.

To experience USC’s online Open Day for yourself, visit www.usc.edu.au/open-day

About Holoscribe:

Holoscribe was founded in 2015 to provide digital publishers and content creators the ability to craft and share VR and AR experiences in minutes, without developers. Holoscribe now powers immersive customer experiences that enable brands to drive industry leading engagement rates and increase customer engagement and monetisation by providing solutions that are bespoke, easy-to-use and require no other external applications. For more information, please visit https://holoscribe.com/

We all know that exercise is important for our physical wellbeing.

But with gyms and classes being shut down due to lockdown laws, what has happened to the fitness industry? Are people still working out? And how much does it help your mental wellbeing?

BeyondBlue says that by moving our bodies we are positively influencing mental health in the following ways.

With this in mind, the data on fitness and wellbeing since the COVID-19 pandemic is pretty promising – with huge numbers of people adopting new technologies and adapting their routines to include digital workout options.

Google Play Store recorded that in March 2020, “Home Workout – No Equipment” was downloaded approximately 2.6 million times to mobile devices worldwide. (Statista.com)

During the month of March the search terms “home gym” and “home workouts” rose 66% and 55% respectively. (Forbes)

Home Fitness app downloads have risen 288% in 2020.(marketwatch.com)

Luckily, some premium sites and apps have recently either reduced fees or have extended free trial periods for those who are looking for new ways to exercise our bodies and minds. We’ve compiled a handy list below:

Traditional fitness

Peloton – Is offering access to online classes for cycling, walking, running, bootcamp, strength and outdoor activities with this free 30 day trial.

Adidas’ Runtastic is offering free access for 90 days and includes 180+ workouts and lots of 7 minute home workouts https://www.runtastic.com/

Closer to home, The Robards Method (our The Bachelor friend Tim Robbards) is offering a six week program called 12 Minute Abs Challenge for free with the code, FREEABS and download here.

Nike has waived its usual monthly fee for its premium service indefinitely. The app grants people access to more than 185 free workouts across a variety of styles, as well as nutrition and wellness guides.

For less traditional workouts

Queensland Ballet is offering free online classes – take them for a twirl!  https://www.queenslandballet.com.au/classes/dance-classes

There are also some terrific resources that you can access through NSW Government’s Office of Sport with a variety of activities and suggestions for a range of ages and abilities. https://sport.nsw.gov.au/stayingactive

Gamified Activities

My Virtual Mission allows you to use a gamified fitness tracker for teams, families, friends or colleagues. It can be done while running, walking, cycling or swimming. You can access well-known routes like the Great Wall of China, Route 66 and even share your progress with others to arrange for donations to charity.  https://www.myvirtualmission.com/

With Zombies, Run! you can walk, jog or run anywhere in the world. Hear your mission and music through your headphones. If you’re chased by zombies, you’ll have to speed up and you can collect supplies as well.

Fitness RPG maps your progress more directly. You’re training a team of heroes, and every step you take gains you energy you can use to level up your heroes. The app uses the hardware in your smartphone to track your steps, serving as both a pedometer and a fun game. Download Fitness RPG on the Apple App Store or Google Play

And don’t discount games like Pokemon Go either – it can be great for long walks or runs as restrictions start to ease, download here.

One thing though – don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Make sure whatever you do is manageable and achievable within the schedule of your new routine. This isn’t a competition. Enjoy!

If you have any questions about how we might help your business or just want to get in touch, hit us up by emailing us here. 

In social distancing, many apps and sites have become increasingly popular ways to connect with loved ones, take our minds off restrictions and have a bit of fun at the same time.

At Datisan, we have a variety of gamer types within our ranks, from those that don’t have a gaming system in their house, casual gamers to those that build their own. We thought we’d share our list of ways we have connected through gaming as an example of our way to retain social connection with you.

Headspace.org.au says “Games are an integral part of human behaviour. Its is normal and healthy…to engage in play as part of their daily lives, including playing games online.” “At healthy levels, gaming can increase self-esteem and social acceptance.”

But first, what does the data say?

Steam, the main digital storefront for personal computer video games saw over 23 million concurrent players during March 2020, surpassing all previous records.

Twitch saw over three billion hours of content watched over the first quarter in 2020 (a 20% increase year on year).

Microsoft reported a substantial increase in users of its Xbox Game Pass service in the months of March and April 2020 bringing it to over 10 million subscribers.

Millions of people are searching for social distancing-friendly activities to stay entertained during home quarantines. There is a campaign dubbed #PlayApartTogether, where 18 video game companies including Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Zynga and Activision Blizzard are banding together to encourage players to resort to video games as a means to maintain physical distance and is being encouraged by the World Health Organisation.

“It’s never been more critical to ensure people stay safely connected to one another. Games are the perfect platform because they connect people through the lens of joy, purpose and meaning.” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick

So with that in mind, here are some tips on how to set up a games night without going to one another’s houses.

Find a Game

Think about how many people you want to play with and the type of games that you think they would enjoy. Some examples from the Datisan crew include:

If you’re into trivia and don’t mind building out your own quizzes, Datisan has tried the free versions of Kahoot, Crowdpurr and QuizUp as platforms on desktop and mobile and really enjoyed them. If you need help with quiz questions, try Random Trivia Generator

Other games or platforms that are generally paid subscriptions have also offered free access during this time, like:

Life, The Game – because we need to see social distancing in a game

Something a little different is this free escape room experience online.

If you don’t mind splurging and paying for content, some great games we’ve tried includeJackbox Games which is a set of games that can be played remotely via many different platforms.

Choose a video hangout platform

It depends what is the easiest to access for your family or friends. Our team have used Google Meet, the new Facebook Messenger Rooms, HouseParty. Skype, Face Time, WhatsApp and Jitsi are other options we’re aware of.

Be aware that there are some reports on privacy breaches on these platforms in recent months, so use something you’re comfortable with.

HouseParty also has built in games within its platform to use with friends, like Heads Up, Trivia: Finish the Song Lyric, Quick Draw, Chips and Guac.

Set up screen arrangements

In order to set up the call so that you can see your friends and the board at the same time, consider the rules and views of the game. If everyone sees the same information at the same time, then one person can share their screen on the call so everyone sees the same “board”.

However, many games require that different players see different information. Playing poker, for example, everyone has a view of their own cards. Many online games allow each user to join a particular room with a code — you can join on your phone if you want to keep your laptop screen full of friends.

Otherwise, set up your browser in one window and the video call in a second window placed side-by-side.

You may want to do a test round for the game that you are playing to make sure the setup makes sense.

Manage your game

If it was your invite to get everyone together, treat it like you would a normal party at your house. Give the group a specific time to attend and leave some time for everyone to settle in and connect at the beginning of the call. Even if everyone’s names are on the screen, make introductions so everyone feels more comfortable with each other, particularly if there are people on the call who don’t know each other. Show something from their house, a pet, tell a story…make sure everyone gets a change to speak before the main activity starts.

We could go on and share many more ideas and ways to game and connect…let us know if there are other games that you have loved during this time that should have made our list.

While we’re keeping socially distant, technology is allowing us to keep connected. Each week we’re hosting Friday Virtual Beers on Google Hangouts, with a new theme for every catch up.

If you’re keen to get involved or have any questions about how we might help your business hit us up by emailing us here.