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MaxWalker140Max Walker – crack cricketer, digital doyen and Founding Director of bhive GROUP – shares his thoughts on the magic of mobile with IABC Victoria.

Today, three in every four Australians own a smart phone.

Everyone needs to understand how important these devices are in people’s lives, otherwise they’re missing out on a wonderful opportunity to better engage with each other.

Before we leave the home we go through the “three part” ritual – keys, wallet and phone.

The mobile phone is an extension of our personality. Who we are? What do we stand for? So much information is accessible through this mobile device. So much information shared and captured in the hand.

Nevertheless, in successfully using this tool we should consider the “how”!

It is not about advertising. The mobile phone is very personal. Blatant advertising, trying to sell, will be seen to be intrusive and irritating.

It is also in a business sense not about social media. We call it social media because it is actually that, “social media”!

So how can we best use the smart phone and tablet to better engage with shareholders, customers, clients and our sphere of influence?

In today’s world, the old rules of communication won’t help you very much. We need to cross the bridge from bricks and mortar, papers … to the virtual world. For many people this transition has been uncomfortable. But ignore it at your peril. Embrace the changes that mobile smart technology provides.


Imagination + Association = Possibility

The possibility of lifting the bar and stretching our capabilities are exciting. If we do nothing our competitors will get a massive advantage.

Yes, it is a new media and marketing landscape.

The future will be dominated by businesses that best harness and embrace the mobile world. It is all about content and clear delivery. Being relevant and tailored to the individual. Adding real value and interest, not junk mail spamming.

Here the trend is for video to be king. Much more powerful than text alone.

Our old communication experience is being replaced with new ways of engagement and connecting to clients.

Quick response codes have taken a while to be accepted, but they are now commonplace. Many businesses use them. If you don’t, you should.

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 1.20.55 pm

From business cards and brochures to billboards, they provide a gateway to a digital experience. The important thing however, is to ensure that what people go to after they scan the code is relevant and tailored for viewing on the mobile screen. All too often companies simply send people to their website which is to be viewed on the desktop and not the smart phone.

QR Codes are very effective forms of communication when there is an optimum user experience, such as connecting people to a video.

The pixilated chessboard becomes a television screen … walking, talking video.

So much more powerful than a 2 dimensional text and image on a product or brochure.

Mobile messaging or SMS is another edgy way to connect to a mobile phone number. A personalized text message to your client with a hyper-link connected to a Steven Spielberg like video clip! And now with the ability for your customer to communicate back to you.

The application of customer engagement through smart phone or tablet is not exclusive to any industry. If you want to better engage with your customers and stay connected, then you are missing out if you don’t embrace the opportunity that mobile can bring to your business.

As a founding director of bhive GROUP, I’ve spent the last 5 years researching and creating specifically for the mobile phone/smart tablet space. The first 3 years were somewhat quiet. Businesses feared making a mistake and were unsure of whether or not this new digital technology would work, would be successful.

But today it is an area every business must invest in. The potential is exciting. To be able to re-imagine your communication and engagement strategies is paramount to staying ahead and being visible, understood and heard. Truth, honesty, trust and transparency are the DNA or currency of this new corporate environment. Embrace it and the possibilities and you’ll see a return on investment.

We live and work in an environment of computers and smart mobile technology, but the bottom line is still people.

Our ability to communicate with one another will be directly proportional to the sort of success we can achieve. So believe in yourself and the wonderful people around you and in your community, and provide the creative energy to make strategies, ideas, concepts and possibilities a reality … using the potential of smart phone technology.

Good luck. You create your own future. Make it compelling, fun, relevant, educational and value-add. Make it a conversation with your community on a multi-dimensional platform. Take advantage of the different gateways.

Concepts to reality.


Max Walker  AM

Founding Director, bhiveGROUP


About Max Walker AM. FRMIT Dip. ARCH, CPS

Max began his transition from elite sportsman (Test cricketer and AFL footballer) to the corporate world as an architect. He practiced for 10 years; architecture provided the building blocks to a high profile multi-media career.

A master communicator, he worked at the sharp end of the highly competitive television and radio industries. Along the way he became the voice and face of numerous successful national marketing campaigns. Today he has one of the most recognisable faces and voices in Australia.

He has written fourteen books (7 were No.1 best sellers) with sales of over 1 million copies. He consistently speaks at conferences nationally and internationally about communication change and leadership and is now a Certified Professional Speaker (international accreditation). In 2011 he was awarded an AM for his philanthropic contribution to underprivileged children and to cricket both in Australia and abroad.

Max was recently described as a silver cyber-surfer because of his understanding of the potential of embracing the exciting new world of multimedia mobile web platforms and QR Codes. Max is a founding director and shareholder of bhive GROUP.