More Women in Tech Could Mean a Big Boost for European GDP

Across the EU there is a lack of women in tech and ICT roles. In fact, women make up only 18% of the ICT industry in Europe, compared to 48% in non-ICT sectors. This map, very interestingly, shows the percentage of women in tech across Europe. The UK come in at a below average 17%. Bulgaria, followed by Estonia and Romania come in top and Luxembourg has the lowest percentage of women in tech at 11%.

This issue may stem from the fact that women are much less likely to choose to study a technology or ICT related course at university. The figures show that out of 1000 women in Europe with BA degrees, only 29 of them studied in the tech field. It’s also true that women who do go on to work in this sector are less likely to hold high-level positions and become managers.

This all may sound rather negative, however women are paid more fairly in the tech sector. So this may not only encourage more women into the sector, but may help towards closing the gender pay gap which we still hear so much about in the UK. There is also a huge skills gap across the EU, with an estimated gap of 800,000 jobs requiring specialist ICT skills. Taking all this into account the European Commission has stated that European GDP could be boosted by 9 billion Euros a year if more women... Continue reading

Are Brands Neglecting The Baby Boomers?

We hear a lot about marketing to millennials but new research from global loyalty marketing agency, ICLP found that retailers may be losing touch with the over 55s. 82% of baby boomers said they felt their favourite retail brand just doesn’t understand them and their needs.

Perhaps the age of Snapchat marketing is not only excluding the baby boomer generation but leaving them feeling unimportant and under-appreciated. This is likely to push away a generation who have perhaps been loyal to a brand for some time, and lead them to find an option more tailored to them.

Baby boomers are a generation who have had it pretty good, they were the first generation to go abroad on holiday rather than to fight a war, and many have already comfortably retired on generous pensions. This, of course, means that there’s disposable income there for the spending. Brands within the travel, leisure, health and home improvement industries should most probably count the over 55s as one of their most important target audiences. So according to this research, what can brands do to keep hold, or regain, the loyalty of this important consumer generation?

Create stronger rewards programmes: 73% said that they would buy more if they were rewarded better by their favourite retailer. Communication is also crucial: 60% would buy more if brands communicated with them better, demonstrating the value of retailer communications when it comes to building devoted and profitable relationships with consumers. Reliability and honesty are key: 47% of Baby Boomers said that when it comes to retailers, when things go wrong, it’s important that they get a swift apology and solution. Offer consistent and reliable products/services: 70% of Baby Boomers said that they would spend more at their favourite retailer if their products were consistent and reliable. Build respect and... Continue reading

How Close Are Small Businesses To Going Completely Cashless?

We may be closer than we think to our first ever cashless day according to Wired. Sweden is particularly close with only 20% of transactions made in cash in 2014, and with e-commerce continuing to grow strongly.

Finance Technology is a hot topic right now, not only in terms online sales, but in-store purchases too. It’s now easier than ever to be a market trader and accept cashless payments via various contactless payment devices, so perhaps small business is leading the way?

Speeding Up Service

In the US the popular salad chain Sweetgreen is soon to make the move to cashless with payment only via their app or by card. Sweetgreen co-founder Jonathan Neman told Business Insider “[going cashless] started with an imperative that we’ve always had at Sweetgreen: How do we simplify things?” The company believe going cashless will speed up service by 10% as well as reducing the threat of robbery or theft.

Plastic, Mobile and Apps

India and Canada also have cities where going completely cashless sooner rather than later look likely. Bus companies here in the UK have spoken about plans to roll out cashless systems within the next few years. Going back to the Sweden, The Guardian recently reported that “Swish, a hugely popular app developed jointly with the major banks including Nordea, Handelsbanken, SEB, Danske Bank and Swedbank, uses phone numbers to allow anyone with a smartphone to transfer money from one bank account to another in real time.”

The younger generation has grown up with card and app payments as commonplace so this is only likely to fuel the trend further. MasterCard said contactless spending in the UK had more than tripled in the past year, and The Evening Standard reported that it could be... Continue reading

What a Smartphone Needs To Be For Google Daydream Compatibility

Google Daydream is the combination of Google’s new VR headset and virtual experiences. Not locked to specific devices, all you need is a compatible Android phone. The constant development of VR is exciting and there is much discussion and review about how new technology like this could completely change certain industries.

So to begin with, some of the benefits of the Google Daydream (courtesy of a review by Digital Trends) that set the technology apart in a competitive market are;

Daydream content is high-quality Remote has a long battery life and is ergonomic Daydream View is comfortable to wear Easy to use Affordable

So if you fancy getting involved and purchasing a Google Daydream headset (it also comes with remote control) here’s what is required of your smartphone.

Now, the Google Daydream site currently recommends two phones, the Pixel obviously being one, and the Moto Z the second. There are also other Daydream ready phones on the horizon such as the Huawei Mate 9 Pro, the Asus Zenphone AR, and the ZTE Axon 7.

Essentially your phone needs to be able to “handle a pair of 60fps streams and a very low latency and persistence rate. This means the phone can display VR without jittery images, without motion blur that could potentially disorient you” –

To handle Daydream a phone needs to have the right combination of specifications. It’s not enough to have some high-spec components and not others. For example, this is why the Huawei Mate 9 is not Daydream compatible but the new Mate 9 Pro will be.

Amit Singh, the VP of Business and Operations for Google VR said; “The combination of performance needs a few things in the stack. The right GPU, Android N and above, and OLED display. There are others,... Continue reading

How Personal Assistants are Changing SEO As We Know It

In a recent video update from Distilled, a leading marketing agency and SEO, we learn about the strong link personal assistants have with SEO. The obvious link is there of course; one use for personal assistants is to ask a question and have them search the web. However, there is way more potential for these apps than simple search alone.

As Distilled explain, the main players in the intelligent personal assistant space include Apple’s Siri, Google Now, Amazon Echo, Microsoft Cortana, along with up-and-coming competitors Hound and Facebook M.

Rather than a search engine simply finding a list of possible answers to your questions, the huge potential for these apps is to anticipate your needs before you even need to ask. The advantage of Google and other big players is data. A certain amount of information can be ‘assumed’ based on demographics such as sex, age, location, occupation etc. but it takes more to really understand an individual (see our blog on retargeting for more on this.) What personal assistants like this are aiming to become is your ‘best friend’ so they truly know what you like and don’t like, what you want and when.

Google already offer advanced and personal search features – such as searching through your own private photos, your emails or appointments, and it’s likely that this will be a key part of personal assistants of the future. Google is known as a search engine, but think about their involvement in the Nest home device and driverless cars and the term ‘personal... Continue reading