An event of a different kind

On the networking events circuit, sometimes things can get a bit monotonous. The same people attending the same events, listening to the same speeches, at the same venues.
On Tuesday morning however, I experienced something fresh, exciting and inspiring – The League of Extraordinary Women!

What greeted me was a room of innovative, passionate women, all eager to take advantage of an opportunity to learn and share amongst the diverse group present. The venue was new, the speaker I had never heard of, and the number of attendees was just right.

What started with four young women struggling to find women’s events that met their needs, has quickly grown into one of the most exciting and largest groups for young female entrepreneurs in Australia since their first Melbourne event in September 2011.

What struck me the most was the lack of bull**** in the room – just genuine individuals keen to hear about interesting things happening in the industry. As well as ways to share, support, encourage and inspire each other in these endeavours.

Guest speaker, Dr Louise Greenstock PhD, gave a frank account of her career journey that has led her to develop Mind and Motive – her business that focuses professional coaching, mentoring and events for emerging female leaders.
Maybe I have been out of the loop, but prior to this I had thought people with life coaches were a bit loopy and a certain ‘type’. Apparently I have been misinformed! The amount of relatable things that she spoke about the different challenges women experience in their career aspirations was astounding.

It is rarity to attend an event where you want to swap cards with every person on your table, so it was to my surprise to chat to all those surrounding and have a genuine connection and interest into what they were doing! Another win for the morning!

I look forward to attending future The League of Extraordinary Women events, and encourage you to do the same 
Check out their website for more info.

-Posted by Lucy

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A day in the life: Managing an eBay Store

A part of my role at DGM is to manage Salvos Stores eBay store.
Now, this isn’t your average shop. The eBay store acts as an online outlet for second-hand items varying from knick-knacks to thingymabobs.

Imagine for a moment, the most convenient op-shop.
You simply have to click to get there and when you arrive you don’t have to shuffle through boxes of scarves or decipher what fragrance the previous owner wore while you sneeze politely by the coat rack. All of the items are presented to you in list form, they feature a range of photos from an array of different (sometimes, panoramic) angles and they are priced in your favour; auction form.
There’s no human interaction required and best of all, once the item is yours, it gets delivered to your doorstep!

The majority of the time, the items on the online store are one of a kind, or definitely one-off if you’re looking at earthenware. But, something that attracts me to the store is the sense of the unexpected that awaits the customer (and me) each week.

Every Monday, we are greeted by a friendly delivery man who carries over boxes of assorted items that are rearing to go up on the page. Then comes the unveiling and evaluating of items, before dolling them up (dressing our mannequins), and photographing them.

Sometimes the unwrapping and unboxing of the items is exciting enough to warrant a glib and glamorous description, though my brief time in this role has taught me that not all items that arrive fall into the ‘fabulous’ category.

Some items that arrive are just plain strange. We’ve received everything from Samurai swords to a taxidermy stole, not everything can be uploaded. Some items have been subjected to workplace pranks (namely, the fox fur stole) and others get scoffed at and placed into the returns box.

90% of items that are just right, get pictured, described and uploaded and then we wait. Counting down the days, watching the watchers and answering every possible question.

“How tall does that clown stand?”
“How filigree is filigree?”
And “Please, oh please, do you post overseas?!”

Then the day comes. The auctions ends, we award our items to our successful bidders and carefully package them for the post. Not all items fit into the convenient little parcels assigned to them, so we improvise by making custom cardboard cases and bubble wrap buffers.
A highlight of my eBay experiences at DGM was the illustrious ‘McHugh Tasmanian Kelpie statue’.
This ceramic dog arrived one morning, wrapped in butcher paper and bubble wrap, like most of our delicate items. However, this was no ordinary dog. This particular statue was worth over $1500.
With all due respect to Mchugh, I thought this puppie was secondary school Ceramics project that needed a new home. However, the customer who managed to find it through all of the antiquities inhabiting cyberspace, treasured it beyond belief. The man bought the item outright after toying with the idea of bidding, then flew into town and met us to pick it up. The item shocked us all, not only was it a home to a small family of spiders, it was a rare and valuable piece of art, which just goes to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover, or a dog by his jowl.
Somewhere across this great southern land, someone has precisely wanted this exact item, and somehow they have found it in the vast marketplace that is eBay.

Come Monday morning, we’ll do it all again.

-Posted by Souha

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Lucy’s first week at DGM

I felt revived and energised as I walked into the DGM Advertising office for my first day. Was this coincidental, or a result of my week off basking in the glorious Perth sunshine?

Greeted by a gorgeous open plan office popping with the signature orange DGM tones, overlooking the river, and in arms reach of the infamous Skipping Girl on Victoria Street, it was hard not to be excited!

My new role as Business Relations Manager was one I had been looking forward to for some time, accepting the role over eight weeks prior. With a background predominantly in local and state government, and more recently the sporting industry, I would be diving head first into my first ‘agency’ role.

Like any new role, the first few days were spent listening, observing and digesting all the great things happening in and around DGM – getting to know the staff, learning the procedures that make the office run so smoothly, meeting with key clients, looking at current projects, attending pitches and, of course, getting out to some fantastic industry networking events.

I am both eager and excited to take this next step in my career. I think the key reason for taking on the role was around the fantastic culture I had seen at DGM. Really great people who are passionate about what they do, with a creative edge and an approach which isn’t reflective of a typical agency.

Already, I feel that my background and skill set will complement the diversity of the DGM team really well, and look forward to updating you on my journey. One which I believe will be full of fun, diversity and challenge!

Connect with me via Linkedin, and follow on Twitter.

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Semi Permanent 2012

I was lucky to attend the Semi Permanent last month. It was a two–day session of talks from leading national and international creatives. They invited speakers from all areas of the art world, from designers, illustrators, photographers, creative agencies, publishers, architecture firm to even a tattooist!

As a creative, it is more than just a day off, it is a fantastic event to explore new ideas, get inspired and involved in the industry. It was an amazing experience to gain direct insight into what the speakers are doing, both their thoughts and processes.

This event has left me feeling lucky to work in such an exciting industry (so much good work flying around). It allowed me to look at the bigger picture, motivating me to produce better work and keep trying new things.

Posted by Cecily.

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Brand Identity…Important for the Average Joe

Brand identity has never been bigger. I’m not just talking about house hold names and billion dollar companies.
Some don’t realise the importance of branding at your local fish and chip shop, favourite bar, blog, music artist and even your own personal brand!

Picture your favourite café. What does the menu look like? What type of chair do you sit on? Why do you like the staff? What pattern does the barista put on your latte? All these small elements contribute to the café’s brand and why you like it.

Once a company has a concrete brand identity established, nothing can stop them. As long as the company continues to do the great things people expect from them, they can only get more successful.
It’s a major concern when organizations are confused about their brand and identity. They will struggle to capture their desired target market if brand personality is unclear. This often happens when individuals within management disagree about what the company should be and how it should be perceived.

This got me thinking, what brand do I have ultimate control over? My own personal brand was the only thing I could come up with.

It may seem ridiculous. You may not like the idea. But whether you like it or not, everyone has their own brand. Your brand is a combination of the way you act, how you talk and listen to people, the ideas you come up with, what you look like and what you’re interested in.

To further enforce the importance of self-branding I thought to myself why do I like Kanye West?
1. His music’s good and he knows his music’s good
2. The man knows how to dress
3. He always does songs with Jay-Z- I love Jay-Z
4. He’s dating Kim Kardashian – Great for entertainment purposes

In nearly any industry, it’s the people who are most aware of their personal brand, and use it to their advantage that are the most successful. It’s not necessarily the people that are the best at the job, but ones who can project they are. These geniuses know why people like working with them, and use that to their full advantage.

There is a whole industry based around self improvement from how to dress, talk and act successful. I’m still mastering the whole self-branding bit myself, but the more experienced I get, the more I realize how important it is.

-Posted by Bridge

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Laura and Bridge Guest Speakers at AMI Emerging Marketers Event


After being invited by Emerging Marketers VIC (a part of the AMI) to speak along with Bridge about our mentor / mentee relationship I was quite excited. I think to go and speak about something that is genuine and very much specific to you as an individual (rather than an expert topic) is always fun. The room was quite full, with lots of eager faces ready to break into their marketing career, or take the next step. I don’t have to remember all that long ago to when I was in that exact same position, looking for any piece of advice or info that could help get me on my way!

Bridge and I simply shared how we approach working together. It’s been 2 years so you do get to know someone professionally and personally during that time. The biggest point I wanted to stress as a mentor was not to expect your mentee to be a mini version of you. No two individuals are the same, and Bridge and I are quite different personalities. What has been the trick for us is like any good relationship – listening, mutual respect and encouragement. Being labelled as someone’s mentor is a huge honour, I just hope I get to continue to work with Bridge for the next 2 years – in whatever capacity.


I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous before speaking at my first event, but when I got up to speak it was encouraging to have 100 or so smiling young faces looking back at me!

During the speech I shared my experience as an emerging marketer and what I have learnt during my time at DGM. I also explained my expectations of the advertising industry and how they were challenged during a filming of A Current Affair story at a landfill site.

I gave the audience an insight to what it was like working at DGM and one of Australia’s largest not-for-profits and the variety of work I get to do as Salvos Stores Marketing Department.

It was great to talk about Laura and my relationship over a two year period. Between herself and DGM’s previous Marketing Manager, they have taught me everything I know! I enjoy watching Laura talk to clients, suppliers and colleagues and admire the way she can build up relationships with anyone and find the best way of working with some very different personalities.

Laura has been an outstanding mentor because she takes the time to teach you things and encourage you to push yourself further. She is also a good listener and open to new ideas I bring to the table. I am looking forward to working together on cool projects in the future.

Thanks EMV and AMI for having us along on Tuesday night.

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The Not For Profit/ Profit Hybrid Model

Here at DGM, we consider ourselves not-for-profit marketing specialists. Over the years we have worked with a variety of not-for-profit organizations from Melbourne CityMission, Salvos Stores and Leukemia Foundation.

I recently attended a not-for-profit breakfast talking about how to engage people using social media. When talking to staff at not-for-profit organizations, they expressed they can’t undertake new projects or strategies due to the lack of funding and resources.

This challenge has been dealt with by the emergence of the not-for-profit/profit hybrid model. This occurs when a charity forms a separate organisation to raise funds for them. In some cases, one is subsidized by the other, or some are bound by contracts.

“It is virtually impossible to grow a social enterprise in any significant way relying wholly on donated money, earned revenue and debt financing, which are the only sources of financing available to non-profits,” said Allen Bromberger, a lawyer with extensive experience in non-profit financing. “These hybrid structures allow social enterprises to tap conventional investors interested in making profits while continuing to pursue their social missions.”

A perfect example of the hybrid model is our client Salvos Stores. The Salvation Army created Salvos Stores to raise funds for its community programs. Salvos Stores is run independently to The Salvation Army. Salvos Stores has its own head office and team of staff and sets its own budgets and sales strategies. However, it must meet benchmarks set by The Salvation Army in order to continue running its programs. The Salvos Stores brand must reflect the Christian values of The Salvation Army.

It is difficult to build a successful hybrid model. On occasion, the need to generate returns for investors overwhelms the social mission. In other cases, the business falters altogether and cannot support the non‐profit.

However, when the hybrid model works, it really works. Did you know Girl Scout Cookies turns over $760M annually? Could be a good indication of why America is experiencing an obesity crisis! Salvos Stores Southern Territory operates 215 stores, employs 2000 people and has 3000 volunteers. They give approximately $16M to The Salvation Army every year.

As an advertising agency, we love hybrid model organisations. They generally set their own budgets and have sufficient resources to cover the essentials. The for-profit’s main goal is to generate funds for the non-profit, which allows us to create specific and creative campaigns.

-Posted by Bridget

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