Blog

Get Digital

Over the years it has become more and more important for business to make the leap into the digital world. It is vital for both the survival and development of any modern business. Creating a digital connection allows for better customer service, more avenues for innovation and expansion and an overall more competitive business. The conference we attended gave us insight into the effect of a digital connection on a business as illustrated by the presenters, Alistair Croll, David Erixon and Dr. Johnny Walker.

Dr. Johnny Walker

Dr. Johnny Walkey is an interventional radiologist and a nuclear physician based here in Dublin. Dr. Walker spoke to us about his experiences overs many years as a doctor and the impact he was able to make on the lives of the people around him. one particular thing Johnny discussed was the work he did with the aboriginal people in the bush in his native land of Australia. Johnny had found that there were a high number of cases of mothers dying due to complications while in labour. Johnny realised he was able to help these people by setting up an ultrasound kit in the back of a van and driving out into the bush to perform ultrasound tests on the mothers, thus being able to identify any complications that may arise in labour before it was too late. Johnny was able to find these women who were in danger of facing serious complications while in labour and fly them to the nearest hospital where they could receive the care they needed.

dr walker

 

It soon became abundantly clear that a more economical solution was needed. This is when he came up with the idea for a telemedicine network. A system of doctors around the world who were available at all times to offer advice to people who were in need of help but were too far from a real doctor to receive it in time. This is how Global brandingDiagnostics was born. This digital connection has helped thousands of people who were in desperate need of it, and without it people in remote areas of the world would still be suffering today.

 

 

Alistair Croll

 

Alistair Croll is another presenter who spoke to us at the get digital conference. Alistair spoke to us about how different things in life reconnected in ways we don’t even realise, but I took a different view of the presentation. I was fascinated by what Alistair spoke about, in terms of how there is more and more of a digital connection in our world and we dot even realise. One thing Alistair Alistair spoke about is automated farming. One hundred years ago 70% of americans lived on a farm, now less than 1% do. It is a shocking statistic but when you think about it, its not shocking at all. Farming moves towards total automation each year, it is not a job of the future due to automated harvesters and milk pumps for cows. In less than a hundred years time there will be no more farmers left in America.

croll

 

It is this digital innovation that fuels the modern world that will slowly cream us closer and closer to total automation. A world without work is a concept believed by many to be an inevitability. With robots being able to perform more efficiently and constantly it only makes sense that in the next 100 years that most of the jobs that we know today will be taken over by a machine. Nigel Cameron goes into detail about this in his TED talk:

 

David Erixon

erixon

David Erixon is head of digital and customer innovation for Ulster Bank. Davids presentation focused on the the future of banking, but more specifically in the area of things like cloud integration for the modern consumer. I found Davids presentation to be incredibly interesting bad on what he believes to be the future of banking. There has been a surge in innovation in online banking over the last few years, all with the aim of digitally connecting a customers various banking accounts. According to David less than 2% of all transactions are made with physical money, which makes it clear that in the coming years online banking will become more present in our modern lives.

David spoke about a new banking service called 22Seven, a company with the goal of digitally linking all of your banking accounts in order to make online banking more convenient for its users.

 

 

This is a big leap forward in online banking in todays market. A service that gives you constant access to all your accounts is incredibly handy for both consumers and businesses. It will also allow for increased security the sense consumers and businesses will be able to see previous transactions across accounts and thus quickly identify any irregularities.

 

Conclusion 

Digital connectivity has become a part four modern lives without us even realising it. It controls the food we harvest, the care we receive and the security of our money. But in the future it will become even more integrated than it is today. GPs will reduce in numbers when easy to treat ailments will be handled by a system which has built up knowledge over time provided by GPs in the past. Farmers will be replaced with automated equipment and organisations managing the worlds food supply. Physical banks will become no more as we make the final transition to complete digital banking. The truth is we are on a road to a new world run by automated technology. A truth some may not accept but weather like it or not it is the inevitable.

 

Get Social

On February 14th 2017 I attended a seminar called ‘Get Social’. The purpose of this seminar was to teach the audience about the importance of effective marketing through social media in todays modern market.

 

Paul Hayes 

paul

Our first speakers was Paul Hayes, founder of Beachhut PR. After years of working in the marketing industry Paul shared with us some of his best tips for companies to follow while first tackling digital marketing. One mistake many companies make in their online marketing strategy is talking about themselves too much. According to Paul the key to sending an effective message about your company is not talking about the company itself, but the effect that said company has on the market. Its much more impressive for a company to be able to talk about how they have changed the market around them as oppose to how they adapted their product to the market. This shows the product strength when marketing through social media.

Another tip Paul had for us was to make sure that we remind our customers of how make them feel when using our product. A company should focus on a customers experience while using the product and reenforcing that feeling should be the company goal when marketing their product. For example, perfume ads don’t advertise their product as good value or even nice smelling. It’s all about the lifestyle thats associated with the product.

Matthew Weil 

matthew-weil1

Matthew Weil is the head of product for Voicesage. Matthew had a very clear message for the audience, the key to engagement requires all forms of communication, voice, email, social media, video, the internet of things and chat-bots. All of these mediums must be used equally and effectively if a company wishes to successfully communicate with customers. I will discuss the benefits of two of these communications to any business

In the modern market video is one of the most important mediums of communication. According to Expandedrambelings.com , Youtube users collectively watch 46,000 years worth of content annually and anyone familiar with youtube will know that it is rife with advertising from companies, both small and big. With this much video content being consumed each year companies need to be able to to communicate their products message on a video platform and in an engaging manner.

Social media is important for companies to utilise as it acts as a direct link between the company and the consumer. It is a medium for feedback from customers on existing products and advertising to customers on new products. If customers see that a company is easily contactable through social medium they won’t hesitate to give said company feedback on their products or ask questions when they need to. Also having a page on Facebook allows customers to communicate together in a forum style, helping each other and giving unbiased opinions of a companies product.

“Consumers like to network with people who have interests and desires that are similar to their own. Organizations can leverage this desire by creating communities of like-minded individuals.” Faults,Glynn (2009). A platform for communication between customers is clearly beneficial to a company as it provides a place for customers to share their experiences of the products with each other, which is effectively free advertising.

 

Anne Marie Boyhan

Anne Marie is head of social at Bank of Ireland, a position which is becoming more and more important everyday with the widespread growth of social media. Bank of Ireland are incredibly active in the social media community, be it on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube. Anne Marie spoke about creating, collaborating and curating your social media advertising. Creating is how a business tells its story through social media, Bank of Ireland have done this through their video strategy. They have produced various videos on their Facebook and Youtube pages advertising their  products such as there mortgage saver programme.

 

As I have already discussed, advertising through sites like Youtube is incredibly beneficial to companies like Bank of Ireland as it reaches thousands of people across the country every day. Bank of Irelands short comedic sketch is perfect as it is quick to the point and engaging for their target audience.

Collaborating means that companies look to work with larger companies who have a wider reach than themselves in order to send a message which is beneficial to both parties. Recently Bank of Ireland has teamed up with Ikea in order to promote each brand. Bank of Ireland recently released this promo video on their Youtube page promoting their competition in partnership with Ikea to win €5000 worth of Ikea vouchers.

 

Finally, curating means that a company enables their audience to amplify their message. By setting up competitions on Facebook where contestants must like and share a post in order to be in with a chance of winning Bank of Ireland receive free publicity from their audience who are sharing the Bank of Ireland Facebook page with all of their friends who then see it and decide to enter the competition themselves, sharing the page further.

 

Aisling Tobin

jamie

Aisling Tobin is the Brand Manager for Jameson and she had a few tips for us when it came to social media engagement. Firstly we must listen, customers are on social media 24 hours a day. They are constantly connected, talking about the things they like and more often than not, the things they don’t. For a company to be successful in their social media marketing campaigns they must listen to what their customers are saying about the product, what they like about it and what they want changed. This allows a company to develop a product that their customers will enjoy and tell their friends about .

Another tip given to us by Aisling is the importance of high quality content. Businesses want to send their customers a message through social media and the best way to do this is by producing high quality content in order to convey this message. Content that is current and promotes the brand is key for getting the brands name in the heads of their target audience.  For example,  with the St.Patricks day coming up Jameson posted the following video in order to promote the driving of their product this St.Patricks day.

 

Aisling also spoke about the importance of being disruptive but relevant. This means tats you must promote your brand by being outrageous and trying new ways to get your brand recognised and shared, but at the same time you have to keep true to your brand. This means not doing things that will get you noticed for the wrong reasons.

 

Hugh Curran 

hugh-curran-150x150

Hugh Curran is a digital transformation consultant. This entails assisting business in their digital marketing endeavours. Through Hughs years of experience he was able to provide us with advice on digital marketing that are vital for any company to take in order to be successful. Creating new and original content is vital for any business, it gets you noticed and ensures that your product is made memorable among competitors.

For example, in 2012  Dollar Shave Club was a relatively small company and needed to break onto the market.  CEO Michael Dubin  decided to make their own comedic ad in order to launch their company into a social spotlight . Michael thought he could put his stand up background to work and created the ad that would become a viral video, which has now been viewed over 24 million times. (Watch the video its very funny)

 

Security is also of big importance when it comes to digital marketing. Companies must keep their social media accounts monitored in order to ensure that no posts are made which could be harmful to a company reputation. All posts should be scheduled in advance and verified before they are posted to allow for maximum security and control of the social media activity.

 

Paul Berney

paul-berney

Paul Berney is CEO and founder of mCordis and believes that connectivity is the future of digital marketing. According to Paul, connected devices are the key to fully maximising the effectivity of digital marketing. This is because the more connected our devices are, the more connected we are to the internet at any given time.

We must merge our physical world with the digital world in order to advance further in our digital marketing capabilities. A perfect example of this was the craze of Pokemon GO. The app engrossed people in the digital world of Pokemon training while forcing them to interact in the physical world. Through nostalgia and an excellent product concept the app was a huge success, this is as a result of the merging of the physical and digital worlds.

Google glass is also an excellent example of the merging of the physical and digital world. The idea was to allow people instant access to the internet at any given time, without even taking their phones out of their pockets. The  Google Glass would’ve been perfect for companies to advertise online as it would allow companies to advertise their products as their customers see them in the real world.

 

Conclusion

Overall I found the Get Social to be very beneficial to anyone looking for information on social marketing which can be applied to any business, old or new. The seminar showed us the importance of things like content, engagement, originality and connectivity through real world examples and experience. I believe that anyone looking to enter into social marketing could easily apply the information given to us at this seminar to their business and use it to develop a strong social media presence with their customers.

 

References

 

Get Started

Introduction

event_nov_2016

Entrepreneurship is defined as “The capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit.”Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/entrepreneurship.html

At our recent seminar, Get Started, it became abundantly clear to me that there is a lot more to being an entrepreneur than developing, organizing and managing a business while facing the odd risk along the way. From the presentations given at this conference I can tell you it’s a lot more complicated than that.

Get Started is a free seminar for people who are looking to start their own business and need advice from entrepreneurs on the dos and don’ts of business start-ups. At the seminar, entrepreneurs who have found success told their stories and gave advice on starting up a business based on the experiences they have had in the past. Some of the guest speakers who attended were Phillipe Bordeur, CEO of Overcast HQ, Brian O’Rourke, CEO of CitySwifter, Elva Carri, founder of Girlcrew, Gavan Walsh, CEO of iCabbi and Iseult Ward, CEO of FoodCloud.

 

Overcast HQ   

aaeaaqaaaaaaaajqaaaajdlknjiwotc4ltqyzwetngm3zs1hzmm4lwrmowmwyjq0mtvjyg

“Helping teams manage video files as easily as word documents”.

Overcast is a platform that allows companies to easily share archive and edit videos and ensuring that all files are under constant protection. This means that if a company like amazon wanted to produce a video for their customers or shareholders, the video file could be transferred onto Overcast HQs cloud based storage system so that it can be accessed by editors who need to work on it and managers who need to approve it without downloading it and resending it, thus saving time and storage space. As one hour of 4K video can take up as much memory as 200 GB it is a very useful tool for any company who wises to us evades as a form of information transfer.

A brief summary of Overcast HQ in their own words:

overcast.mp4

However, CEO Philippe Bordeur had a lot more to say than just a summary of his business. According to him, one of the most important part of any business is differentiating yourself from your competitors, giving yourself an edge on everyone else. You need that something special that sets you apart from the rest of the pack or else you’ll never get traction, The traction necessary for your businesses growth and development.

Here’s an article from Entrepreneur.com on how to identify your businesses USP (Unique Selling Point), the key to differentiation: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/190942.

CitySwifter 

cityswifter_images_2016

“CitySwifter is a crowd-sourced commuter shuttle bus that picks you up near your home and drops you off at work”-CitySwifter

In essence, CitySwifter is designed for people who need cheap transport when public transport isn’t a viable option. You can find people in your area who are doing similar journeys and book a shuttle bus to pick you up and take you to your desired location. CitySwifter is excellent for people who are looking for affordable, comfortable and quick transport around the city.

CEO Brian O’Rourke also had advice for any future entrepreneurs. He told us that the key to success in business is networking and having the courage to make an effort. Networking is incredibly important part of success in business. It is an essential skill to have in order to find people with different skill sets who can help you to develop your business and open new doors which were previously unavailable to you. In the case of CitySwifter, CEO Brian O’Rourke was able to find someone with experience in software development through his networking skills who could help him in designing an app which will be available soon.

For more information on networking, here’s an article by localenterprise.ie on a guide to networking in business: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Fingal/Start-or-Grow-your-Business/Start-a-Business/Business-Networking-Guide/

Courage to pursue your business idea was another big part of Brian’s presentation. He said that if he hadn’t of put the pressure on himself to make CitySwifter an operational business during the recent bus strikes, he may have never launched CitySwifter. Just going for it and figuring out the kinks along the way was what made his business possible. His experiences from mistakes in the past he had made with previous business ventures and his belief in his business model were the two keys in his current success with CitySwifter.

Girlcrew

girlcrew-zuckerberg

“Don’t just share experiences, create them.”-Girlcrew

Girlcrew is a company set up by Elva Carri where women can find other women who are looking to make friends and attend events that they would have otherwise had to go to alone. The business was founded by Elva when she was feeling lonely and needed someone to go dancing with. The business idea is incredibly practical, thousands of people who live their lives on “social” media suffer from loneliness. Elva suffered from the same problem and after talking to hundreds of other girls  who felt as she did it soon became apparent to her that she had an opportunity to turn this into a profitable business.

Elva explained that her business was perfect for four main reasons. Firstly there was a need for it, Elva saw that other girls needed a platform where they could meet new people and experience new things. This need is what made it possible for Elvas idea to become a profitable business. Secondly it appeared to be scalable, meaning that Elva knew that she would be able to expand her business in the future and that she could pursue this as a career, dedicating her full time to her new business.

Thirdly, Elva was not required to organise each event. Users were able to organise events amongst themselves without Elva. This made the business very easy to run for Elva as she was then able to focus on the larger sponsored events where she was able to make the majority of her profit. Finally, the business would scale for free. Elva didnt have to invest large quantities of money to expand her business. Word of mouth and a software developer to improve the user interface were all that would be required in order to expand her business. These ingredients are the keys at Elvas success and can be used by other entrepreneurs to develop their ow business ideas.

iCabbi 

unknown

“Customer-driven innovation in Dispatch Technology”-iCabbi

iCabbi, founded by Gavan Walsh, is a cloud based dispatch system that allows companies with a fleet of vehicles to track the whereabouts of their driers eat all times. This means companies like taxi companies or delivery companies can track their drivers and let their customers know how long until arrival. This creates a more reliable service and cuts costs across the board. Gavin hopes to expand his cloud based tracking system into amazon, food delivery and truck delivery companies across Europe. He believes that his system will dramatically reduce the delivery time and increase the consistency of their deliveries.

Gavan Walsh has had many attempts at running his own business in the past, some attempts more successful than others. Gavan stressed the importance of learning from mistakes in business. He says that literally every mistake has made in the past has helped him to develop iCabbi into a successful business. His message to us and any other potential entrepreneurs was that when you fail in business you must learn from it and don’t be afraid to try. Believe in your business and if it does fail, figure out what went wrong and you can avoid it the next time.

Here’s another article from entrepreneur.com on 10 things to learn from failing startups:https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/235250

 

FoodCloud

FoodCloud is a company, co-founded by Iseult Ward, which aims to reduce food waste by food companies and also tries to combat the problem of poverty in Ireland. FoodCloud links supermarkets to local charities, the supermarket posts their leftover food on the FooCloud app, the app then notifies the local charity who can then collect the food and redistribute it to the people who need it. This reduces food waste on the part of the supermarket which otherwise would be 30% of all food stock. It also means that the charities can provide food for local families who otherwise would have to go another night without food.

FoodCloud Hubs work with food companies such as farms, suppliers and manufacturers to store exceed food that the companies may have. The Hubs then log all their stored food on their IT system, take orders from local charities and then deliver it to the charities for a nominal contribution to help with storage and transport. Heres a video explaining the FoodCloud Hubs in more detail: https://vimeo.com/188539918

FoodCloud is a company that has had to overcome many difficulties. In the beginning supermarkets would not even allow them access to their premises to evaluate their food wastage. It took a lot of time and persuasion in order to develop FoodCloud into a charity that would be able to help people and still function in a financial sense. That is the message that Iseult had for us, determination and a will to go on is vital in business. Iseult said that when trying to develop FoodCloud she kept in mind a famous quote from Samuel Beckett.

coz44yaxaaamhjb

Conclusion 

I believe that this seminar was highly beneficial to all who attended. We were able to hear stories of both success and failure from entrepreneurs who even today are working hard to make their businesses succeed. We were taught that you must differentiate yourself from your competitors if you want to find any kind of success. This differentiation is what will help us to be seen by investors, its what give us the edge over everyone else, its the traction that we need to move forward as a business.

 

We learnt the importance of networking in order to meet new people. These are the people that will help our business when we need it. They have skills and knowledge that we may not have, but need in order to succeed. People with experience in software design or accountancy skills can be very resourceful for any business and networking is the key to finding these people with skills that differ from your own.

 

We found out that making mistakes isn’t something to be ashamed of. As proven by Gavan Walsh, mistakes can be used as learning experiences. Every time you make a mistake you can analyse it, see what went wrong and avoid it in the future. It also means that you don’t have to fear making mistakes in business. Entrepreneurs are so afraid of making any kind of mistake that they stop taking risks, but if you know that making mistakes can actually help you in the long run then you can have the courage to take a few risks with your business venture.

 

Finally we learnt that with just pure determination you can make anything happen. Any difficulty that you may have to face in business can be overcome if you just keep trying to overcome it. In the car of FoodCloud no supermarket chain would even listen to their idea, but after many attempts they finally listened. Now FoodCloud is liked with many supermarkets and other food companies across the country. This is the determination that lets businesses move forward.

 

Overall this seminar provided us with the knowledge and tools necessary to develop our business ideas int reality. The stories told and messages delivered were all key in informing us on how businesses function in their early stages and the pitfalls to avoid along the way. We are now fully equipped to Get Started.