Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Share, Stream, Pin, Post, Tweet - Repeat

We recently pondered zero rating and how it almost forces start-ups to use social media as a means of marketing here. Sure, freedom of choice is vital, but would it not be in the best interest of B2B start-ups to get on the bandwagon and do their thing through social media? Probably, here is why.

It is booming

brand awareness - Frederick Achom Blog
more budgets target social media
In the past few years, social media has become colossal. Most of the largest industry players in the world have started implementing special teams and budgets targeted at social media marketing. Although LinkedIn is generally considered as the more professional social media stream, other platforms are not lagging far behind in usefulness when it comes to social media marketing. Campaigns these days include Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and more.

Brand awareness

Before the Internet became the megalithic machine it is today, brand awareness was usually achieved through saturating the market with advertising material showing off your brand. Nowadays the market is a lot bigger but luckily it is also faster, easier and often cheaper to get your name out there. Re-tweets and re-shares travel globally every day; why not make your name one of its passengers? An easy place to start is with friends and employees - excellent brand ambassadors, free of charge. There is no trick to it, just get your message out there and ask for it to be shared.

The personal touch

Besides the personal aspect of friends helping your business along, the Internet's social media platforms can add a surprisingly personal element to marketing campaigns. In the days of direct mail companies and marketers relied solely on what can fit into an envelope and through a mail slot. By being active on social media platforms, potential clients can become intimately acquainted with company culture, ideals and objectives. For an even more personal touch there is one of the most powerful marketing tools around: video.

Investors love social media

Angel investors and mentors carefully select the brands they choose to back before opening their pockets. Wouldn't it be ideal if you could try before you buy anything? This is exactly what these intrepid investors do with online research. A large portion of the vetting process happens through investors signing up to follow potential investments' social media streams. If a business uses its social presence to show progress and positive client interaction, it immediately increases interest. The Internet is also often where initial interest is sparked.

It is big, very big

Incredibly, this is just the tip of the immense iceberg known as social media marketing. Without even looking at how useful groups, forums, SEO and other aspects of social media can be it is clear that this is a powerful tool for start-ups, not to be missed out on.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Going Green Takes a lot of Green, Unless you Lighten up

Going green is a great idea - Frederick Achom Blog
Going green is a great idea
Going green is a great idea but many companies are finding it impossible to start implementing green policies because of cash constraints or budget allocation issues. Despite the long-term savings to be made with putting sustainable practices into place, the initial outlay comes at a high cost. For the average cash-strapped start-up that has all it takes but has not quite made enough of a mark to afford the luxury-essentials, going green has to wait. The same applies to companies that are capital constrained or have firm policies about how money can be spent. This is not the case when it comes to the innovative tech start-up Enlighted.

Are you enlighted?

Enlighted is on a mission to make buildings as energy efficient and comfortable as possible. The company provides people-smart technology that automatically responds to environmental factors and makes the required adjustments. This means installing sensors and state-of-the-art gadgets on fixtures that figure out exactly how much or how little heating, cooling or light is needed and turning it on, off, up or down based on findings. Think: intelligent lighting and temperature control, lower bills and you have it. What's more, it gathers and analyzes all the data collected to give occupants detailed feedback - ideal for future planning. Surely such a clever gizmo is also very expensive? The most impressive part of it is that it really is not - no catch.

Light up my life

It is possible that Enlighted was once one of those cash-strapped tech start-ups because these guys really get how hard it can be for companies to go green. By collaborating with a global finance firm this company came up with an incredibly sensible market offer. Selected companies are offered a comprehensive solution with zero initial capital outlay. How it works is that Enlighted takes out a loan on behalf of the customer for the equipment and installation cost. Monthly repayments are calculated as a percentage of the actual savings made by installing the tech so customers immediately start seeing a reduction in bills. This means that savings are being made, even while the system is being paid off. What a bright idea.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wearable tech - What's Next?

Sci-fi fans out there will be able to tell you all about trans-humanism, tech implants and cyborgs. These themes are all richly featured in popular science fiction. This is where the implausible ideas from the recesses of author's imaginations take flight on screen and in novels. The newest trends in wearable tech do make one wonder just how closely fiction is to fact lately. Let's have a look at what is on offer these days.

Mobile tech on the Move 

FitBit certainly not a fashion accessory
certainly not a fashion accessory
Just the other day the FitBit was a mind boggling bit of kit. Albeit useful, it was nondescript and certainly not a fashion accessory. FitBit has not only become an everyday item but the company has also taken a progressive leap and joined up with fashion designer Tory Burch to create a range of fitness monitors camouflaging as designer jewelry. This immediately brings to mind mobile phones masquerading as earrings. Could that be the next best thing? We are already not far off with Bluetooth headsets and other Bluetooth products.
When the first wireless Bluetooth headsets arrived on the market it was an instant hit for motorists and mobile phone users on the move. The Amazon wearable technology trading area now offers Bluetooth gloves. Sure it is a gimmick, but it is a fun one and has a dual purpose in keeping you warm while you are chatting away. The newfangled Amazon hub also offers a Bluetooth Beanie and other wearable tech items like the WiFi video camera snow goggles and a selection of Smart Watches.

Smart Fabrics, Also Known as E-textiles

Incorporating electronic and digital technology into clothing has a variety of uses. Pilots and truck driver's fatigue levels can be monitored, as can the heart and respiration rates, temperature and posture of sports people. Governments can keep track of soldiers in battle and parents can keep track of children. Even more futuristically fantastic is the NASA developed memory-storing e-textile. This nano-engineered material hopes to make objects made with it remember useful information. For example a chair would retain the memory of its last occupant and reshape itself when the same person comes into contact with it again. Now this certainly sounds like science fiction and not fact, but restive memory is a patented reality.

The Future is Right Now

Other wearable products include the iSwimBand which prevents children from drowning, Edison's Smart Turtle baby monitoring device and of course Google Glass. According to Wearable Technology Conference director John Weir, experts are predicting that the industry will be worth over $8 billion by 2018. With astounding forecasts and an increasingly exciting product line-up, the 2015 Wearable Tech Show promises to bring more jaw-dropping developments than ever before.