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Tech

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Technology Has No Gender

As we move into an age of technological advancements, one dominant trend has taken over most industries – the replacement of human capital by robots. This is a given for the majority of today’s big companies, even more so for those who have established their presence online.

Take Amazon for example, the multinational company has strong online presence at the core of its business. Amazon has adapted to the latest online technological innovations by being one of the first companies to implement chatbots in the form of automated artificial intelligence machines onto its website. This allows for the company to provide instant assistant to customers online.

ChatbotsImage Credit: Amazon.com

Implementing chatbots can provide companies with several perks, as well as potential new challenges. However, in the age of today where consumers are constantly willing to challenge the norms, one common theme has risen when it comes to the use of artificial intelligence – Does technology need to be gender labeled?

In most cases, gender allocation of online bots helps to humanize the machine, which in turn facilitates interactions. However, it also brings up controversy and questions about sexism.

It has been argued that genderless bots are the future and that companies need to try and provide more personalization when it comes to their usage. Online companies take notes – this is an interesting thought for existing, as well as new online business to take into consideration.

Imitation Within Social Platforms

For the major social platforms out there, it’s important to know how to play the game in order to stay ahead of competitors. You want to be the first one offering a new experience to existing users. This is relevant for both social media channels, as well as instant messaging platforms. However, what happens when one player copies another?

Recently, digital giants including- Facebook and WhatsApp, have taken their own twist on spreading the trend of ‘live-visual’ newsfeed. Through the introduction off their new features – ‘Stories’ and ‘Status’ respectively. Both social platforms have made the addition of this new feature which allows users to post live videos and images online, sharing them with friends. Does this concept sound familiar to you? Well yes, it most likely does.

Instagram was the first of the leading social platforms to add this service onto their app, supposedly imitating Snapchat’s format. With Facebook and WhatsApp now doing the same, we can’t help but notice a pattern. Information sharing has become more visual than ever and social platforms are playing a greater role in our day-to-day lives.

The real question is, how does Snapchat feel about others imitating their innovation? Well, after all, they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Aston Martin Targets ‘Femennials’

The 2016 Geneva International Motor Show has been going on for the last two weeks, unveiling new models and car concepts for the year to come. Now in its 86th year, the Swiss auto show has become a who’s who in terms of car brands, ranging from Audi and Honda to Maserati and Tesla.

The crowd favourite however was the Aston Martin DB11, which CEO Andy Palmer calls “dynamically gifted” combining “exceptional design with the latest technology throughout”. Palmer elaborates that the DB11 is “not only the most important car that Aston Martin has launched in recent history, but also in its 103-year existence”. This reflection comes as no surprise due to the luxury automaker’s chequered past. In fact, Aston Martin has slid into bankruptcy seven times during its 103 years and has failed to turn a profit since 2010.

The DB series, named after onetime owner Sir David Brown, was arguably popularised due to its association with James Bond, appearing in 12 out of 24 Bond films. This love affair between two British icons positioned the DB as a bad boy’s car of choice, but has had negative connotations in the form of alienating a female demographic. It has been reported that out of an estimated 70,000 sales, over its entire history, only 3,500 Aston Martins have been sold to women. Therefore, the DB11 will mark a new era for Aston Martin as it introduces a new strategy to broaden its customer base.

Enter Charlotte, a young, attractive and wealthy female buyer-persona which the DB11 is targeting. While at the convention in Geneva, Mr. Palmer further proclaimed that “when you start on a new car, you start with your customer in mind” and thus “the DB11 has been designed for a young lady, sophisticated and rich”. This customer-focused view was ratified by Laura Schwab, President of Aston Martin’s Americas Division, who affirmed that “the car has broad appeal” and “is very approachable, regardless of your age or gender”. But how exactly does Ms. Schwab purpose to reach these ‘femennials’? With a cocktail of experiential events and personal word-of-mouth.

Even before Geneva, Schwab set her plan in motion by sending exclusive DB11 material to existing customers for a first glimpse of the female friendly supercar before the rest of the world. And, as of last week, physical DB11s are currently being hauled across America where Aston Martin teams are hosting parties for their past customers to experience the newest edition to the DB bloodline in person. These parties are being held in settings such as the country club a customer belongs to, and at times even in a customer’s home, where said customer is invited to come along with 11 guests to celebrate the DB11 in style. Not your average test drive huh?

Ms. Schwab believes that for a rarefied brand “to attract new customers, you start with who you know”, and in Aston Martin’s case she seems to have got it right as the DB11 already has 1,000 orders. Although it has not been released yet how many orders have come from so-called ‘femennials’, Christopher Cedergren, of consumer behaviour consultants Iceology, is optimistic. Cedergren claims that the promotional styling of “beauty and performance” is the perfect combination for capturing young and affluent consumers, particularly female.

This repositioning is supposedly just the beginning as Aston Martin hopes to move beyond sports cars and introduce crossovers and full size-size sedans over the next decade. For now however, the newly targeted DB11 has definitely left crowds at Geneva shaken and stirred.

Is UberPool the next Tinder?

UberPool was introduced by Uber UK in November 2015 and it allows you to share rides with other passengers who are going in the same direction and split the cost.

Usually you choose to take a taxi or Uber for the privacy and efficiency that public transport can simply not offer. But when you offer a service where you essentially eliminate privacy and efficiency and encourage physical interaction, the consequence may be an exciting new form of engagement.

Recently a friend of mine; an avid user of Tinder, accidently ordered an UberPool instead of a regular Uber after a big night-out in East London. As she blurrily stepped into the UberPool, she was surprised to see a man sitting in the back of the car – however, as expected at 4am on a Saturday night, they directly hit it off and chatted for most of the ride. They then exchanged numbers and went on a date the following week.

carsinlove

It made me think, could UberPool; which has dramatically changed the way we all get around, inadvertently become a more natural and less forceful blind dating app such as Tinder?

I guess UberPool is a perk of today’s sharing economy – we share communal tables at restaurants, share information about our lives with a stranger we’ve never met on Tinder and share transport to reduce costs. Arguably it can be said that speaking to someone for even just 5 to 10 minutes gives you a better sense of who they are but two people can write each other messages for a year on Tinder and never truly know each other. However, the face-to-face nature of UberPool can lead you to figure out whether that guy/girl is your type or not or if they are truly interested in a genuine way.  

Although Dating Apps provide a brief description and an image of the person, UberPool allows for a glimpse into the personality and general physical features. If you live too far away from someone then you’ve probably already filtered each other out on Tinder, but with something like UberPool, your meeting because you’re in the same neighbourhood or heading in the same direction. With geographical proximity and mutual interests out of the way, all you have to do is score high on the last and very important factor: mutual attraction. If you win on this factor then your UberPool can quickly turn into to speed dating.

It has become ordinary to be surrounded by hundreds of people everyday in a big city such as London. Yet, it is rare that anyone, even physically attracted to each other, connect. However, it seems that UberPool creates true civilization where two strangers sit in a small place, pay attention to each other and have a discussion.

Is Uber trying to revolutionise the way people meet? Could the old-fashioned way of physical and verbal interaction, very much against the current digital trends, be the new comeback?

Will you find your Valentine on UberPool?

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Special thanks to Tara MacBain.

 

Using Facebook Effectively

In today’s social media apocalypse it may seem like a no-brainer that companies should incorporate Facebook, the world’s largest social network with 1.35 billion users, into their marketing efforts. But with only 41% of U.S. small businesses using this network some of us still haven’t got the hint. Moreover, 87% of posts to a company’s Facebook Page generally go unanswered while 75% of businesses still spend money on promoting their own Facebook posts. This data alone shows that there must be some misunderstanding on how to use Facebook  effectively, and that’s where TDLY comes in.

First, let’s take a look from the customer’s perspective as to why people engage with brands on Facebook:

reasons to like a facebook page

Conversely, the graph below shows why people unlike/disengage with brands on Facebook:

reasons people unlike brands on facebook

Taking these stats into consideration TDLY offers the following to-do list for brands to use Facebook effectively:tdly facebook guide

Implementing these techniques correctly will be sure to boot your income, cut down customer service costs and strengthen the overall brand-to-customer relationship. Thereby, stimulating customer loyalty and advocacy aka the Holy Grail.