Category Archives: Technology

7 things brands need to know about the Internet of Things

Internet of things by Steve Jurvetson FlickrA tectonic technology shift is underway as the physical world becomes part of the web. Our real and virtual lives are merging, powered by smart net-connected chips and mobile devices. As the Internet of Things becomes a mainstream reality, this creates tremendous opportunities for brands: how they form direct, ongoing digital connections with customers, and how they make their business and marketing operations smarter by gaining real-time analytics about every product interaction.

Products are inherently more useful and desirable when they come packaged with personalised digital services to enhance the experience of buying, owning, using and sharing them. When a physical thing – from our clothes, groceries and medical devices to objects in our home and workplaces – becomes connected, programmable, trackable and interactive, and uses data to learn and improve over time, this profoundly changes how it works.

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Tech entrepreneurs and agencies: how do you build a lasting relationship?

Chairs by Bes Z FlickrI recently spoke at the third Tech Entrepreneurs Week (TEW) – a highly influential event for the UK’s booming tech sector.

Representing one of only a few agency-side commentators, a major factor that struck me was the huge opportunity for tech entrepreneurs to be working more closely with digital agencies and vice versa. If we were to align our activities, and work better and smarter together the opportunities are huge. Read More »

Driverless cars are great, but do we really want them?

traffic lights by @Doug88888 FlickrDriverless cars: Can we trust them? Will they work here? Do we want them? Last week’s announcement that the government is throwing its weight behind piloting driverless automotive technology in the UK has sparked a bit of public debate.

The benefits to the general public once this technology reaches critical mass are straightforward: it’s safer and it’s greener. There is a death toll that we must pay to continue our love affair with the internal combustion engine and the sleek machines that house it. Thus, it’s inevitable that driverless cars are going to become a big part of our transport mix.

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Is creativity being replaced?

Creativity by JD Hancock FlickrMuch has been made about increasing prominence of technology vendors in the media sphere, with the Wall Street Journal being one among many to suggest that creativity has taken a back seat. This has been an industry-wide debate for some time, with marketers, creatives, agencies and vendors alike coming forward to defend human input within the marketing process.

In reality, we all know that machines cannot replace imagination, but could technology in fact be encouraging creative thought?

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Eagles swoop in to aid the digitally disengaged

KeyboardFor most of us, going online is such an everyday activity that we barely even notice it. Online and offline worlds are fused such that it’s impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins. While it’s easy to assume that such connectivity is universal, this is far from the case. 86% of British adults have access to the internet [Q2 Tech Tracker Data 2014] but this leaves a significant minority who do not.

Furthermore, there are many that have access but are reluctant to go online. As we suggested in our report The Forgotten Digital Generation, fostering the capability and confidence of less digitally literate consumers could give brands that do so an invaluable competitive edge.
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The other side of tech: The Wall meets Dan Wagner

Comptoir des Cotonniers powatag“The impact of Powatag is as significant as the introduction of television to advertising, and of the internet on communications.” It’s a pretty bold opening gambit from Powa Technologies founder and chief executive Dan Wagner, but one the tech entrepreneur delivers resolutely.

His unfaltering manner is reflected in every element of Powa’s slick office, which – on the 35th floor of Heron Tower – is not what we’ve come to expect from a tech start-up. Glass and mahogany dominate an expanse of elegant desks and dapper suits. The space is professional and deliberate. Everything shines, and there’s not a bare brick in sight.

It’s the home of Powatag. An e-commerce app and mobile wallet that consumers can use to scan a code or advert and be able to purchase whatever item it is promoting in one tap. It has more than 500 global brands signed as partners, such as Carrefour and Comptoir des Cotonniers. In June, Powa agreed deals with five media agencies, including Carat and Mediacom, and this week announced a partnership with marketing agency Haygarth to help create campaigns for its digital retail client portfolio. Wagner claims to have no competitors, and wouldn’t back anyone that isn’t him. So does the technology match up to the man?  Read More »

Ninjas don’t need instruction manuals. Neither do shoppers.

ninjaYou are an expert. An expert in shopping.

A natural. So good, you don’t even realise how good you are.

To coin some pseudo-marketing-psychology, you have moved to the fourth stage of learning when it comes to making purchase decisions: you have an ‘Unconscious Competence’ in shopping. You are a Shopping Ninja. Read More »

Fitbit and Google Glass are wearable winners

Google glassThe latest research on wearable technologies shows Fitbit, Nike Fuelband and Google Glass are leading the way within the UK market.

Social media monitoring platform Brandwatch partnered with Brilliant Noise to analyse more than eight million online conversations about wearable technology from Jan 2013 – Jul 2014. It found that year on year the conversation around wearables has exploded – increasing a staggering 190% when you compare the first quarter of last year (973,300 mentions) to that of this year (2,816,814 mentions). Read More »

Generation create: Their rise and what they can teach us

Girls texting millenials“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.”

William James

Back in 1991, Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland captured a moment and hit a nerve with his novel, Generation X. He borrowed the label. Generation X was first coined by Hungarian war photographer Robert Capa. In 1953, Capa’s photo essay portraying “this unknown generation, The Generation X” related to the youngsters growing up after the Second World War. Generation X, at the hands of both Capa and Coupland was catchy, caught on, felt right and right on the pulse. Read More »

A Lingua Franca for the digital age

face by Adrew Morrell PhotographyAccording to the bible story, The Tower of Babel, once upon a time we all spoke the same language.

Which was a huge advantage.

It allowed the peoples of the world to work together and build their famous tower – which would have reached right up to heaven if God hadn’t taken offense. To punish our insolence he scattered us to the corners of the earth and condemned us to speak multiple tongues, fated to misunderstand each other forever. Read More »