Big Data – more than just a Buzzword

©KamiPhuc/Flickr.com

©KamiPhuc/Flickr.com

Big Data belongs alongside popular topics such as Smart Manufacturing, Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things, and is not just mentioned in specialized automation press. Even in newspapers and social networks, these issues are addressed and discussed.

The Encyclopedia of Business & Computer Science defines Big Data as:

“The importance of large data volumes in a variety of application areas and the challenge to be able to process this.”

The latter part of the definition is key. The amount of data being produced and used is always increasing, but by the new networked applications in the consumer sector (keyword Wearables), and of course in the industry, we are overwhelmed today by a data tsunami. According to a study by Aureus Analytics, around 90 percent of the world’s saved data has been generated in just the last two years. In 2014, 6 zettabytes of volume were produced worldwide. By 2020, the number is expected to rise to 44 zettabytes. Now is the time to take control and take advantage of these data sets. Here lies the biggest challenge of Big Data: storing data is only economically beneficial if it is analyzed quickly, comprehensively, and purposefully.

This is also important in the daily work of PR. The supplement of W&V to Dmexco 2014 presents an interesting idea, “One might think the idea of Big Data is revenge against the nerds by the creatives.” We are faced with an increasing flood of data, whether the various social media networks, which have become very important (Snapchat, Instagram, etc.), or the countless newsletters that you receive in your mailbox daily. But do not panic! We have a few tips to help you navigate your way through the jungle of data:

  1. It’s all about the numbers
    It is not so easy to find appropriate data for your work. In PR there are a few helpful tools that provide us with concrete information – particularly online statistics for example on press releases and social media metrics. We can easily find out which topics interest the audience and where there are problems or questions. From this we can take effective action. For example, if there are a lot of questions about a new product on social media, then we can write a blog post to answer the questions more fully.
  1. Know you’re people
    In addition to the analysis of your own channels, the focus is also on the analysis of the coverage. What do journalists write about the company? Are these articles positive or negative? Comprehensive media monitoring is essential in order to respond quickly to a crisis.
  1. Take Action
    Big Data can only be successful if we create a concrete plan from the data available to us. It is great if we receive two exciting new reviews for a product; however, this information alone is not what makes the campaign a success. Share the links with your followers, answer questions that arise in the article, and, if not already, advertise the tester in contact to build your production network.  Being proactive is the key to success, especially in social media areas, such as responding immediately to negative comments, trying to solve problems, and being available to users with advice and practical help.

Big Data is more than a Buzzword. With the right analyzing tools, one must not be afraid of the flood of data, but use it as an indispensable tool.

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Be prepared for IFA – 5 tips for a successful trade show

  1. ©HBI – 10 tips for a successful trade show

    ©HBI – 5 tips for a successful trade show

    You have had your IFA stand booked for some time now and have already taken care of the setup and all the details about your exhibit? Then now is the time to inform your target audience and the media representatives that you are using the latest solutions on the spot! Connect your marketing and press activities. Announce the trade show on your social media and let your fans and followers partake in the events concerning the design and construction process on the spot.

  2. You have already announced that you will be at IFA? Excellent!  Now it is time for step 2 – arrange early press interviews with key media! Make sure you understand the media landscape of the markets you want to address. Involve local bloggers and their follower communities as well as opinion leaders!  Your content should definitely have relevance for the specific markets. Are you sure you understand all the international markets you would like to be in? If not – come to us, we can support you in all major markets across the globe!
  3. How to get the maximum publicity for your products and solutions? Engage your audience with the right message! Do you have a variety of messages you want to convey? Focus your appearance at the IFA on a core message and put it into all of your marketing and PR activities! You need assistance with that? No problem, simply register with us.
  4. Your target audience is enthusiastic about your exhibit at the IFA and you can arrange the first press events? Very good! Are your speakers trained and know how to convey the corporate messages? There are no inhibitions and your speakers know that it is not a sales pitch when talking to journalists? If not, we can offer you beforehand media training with a trained radio-editor and our PR team.
  5. The IFA begins in a few days and the preparations have been completed. Time for a successful trade show to begin! Enjoy the time on site and carry out interesting conversations. We are happy to meet on site and talk about other PR activities for upcoming trade shows, events, or issues that arise. Let’s make an appointment!
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Choose pictures specifically for PR and Marketing!

©Vasile Cotovanu/Picture in picture/flickr.com

©Vasile Cotovanu/Picture in picture/flickr.com

Images offer meaningful support to a text. However, be aware that text and image elements don’t automatically complement each other. It’s the complete opposite: Images can compromise the meaning of the text, or even impede it. As the psychology of perception proves, due to evolution, we perceive images or image like elements before the text. They support the text depending on how the images are arranged and designed. This has to do with the interaction between our left and right hemispheres. Whilst our speech and analysis centre is located on the left, image processing is dedicated to the right. In this age of information overload, the left side of the brain is constantly burdened. When you target the reader specifically with picture elements on the right side of the brain, this offers enormous potential. Well-designed and arranged image elements increase the chances that one text stands out from the others in a magazine. They also support the central message of the text, making understanding clearer.

With regards to mailings, there is a lot of unsolicited reading material for the recipient, which should, however, not miss its aim intended by the sender. On average only 2% of the words which we read are actually perceived. It takes a maximum of 20 seconds of the reader’s time to decide whether the mail should be moved to junk. Therefore, if you believe in just a few seconds that the mail is beneficial, you will read on. The first eye-catching element helps to influence what will be perceived next. In the interaction between text and image, it is important to indicate the benefits to the reader in the first few seconds. The reader only lingers over an A4 page for just a few seconds and focuses only on 10 stopping points. The brain receives just partial information from the whole mailing. These fragments, however, are enough to form chains of information. After this extremely brief time of consideration, the reader already believes that they know the complete content of the mailing. On this basis, the reader decides to read on. Within the first 20 seconds, only about 50% of all mailings survive the first wave of being thrown into the junk.

If you want to increase the success rate of your marketing and PR text, you should always choose simple and topic related picture elements. Diagrams, sketches, tables, headlines, etc. serve as images or image like elements, which the reader perceives well ahead of the text itself. With the help of pictures you should point out the benefits of your products and services to the reader at an early stage. Even content of complex passages of text is conveyed extremely efficiently through info graphics. These types of picture elements support the text in a clear, precise, and vivid way.

Even if in principle a picture is worth a thousand words, the key to success doesn’t lie simply in using an image. It always depends on the significance of the content, the appealing design, and the strategic positioning of the picture in the text.

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Bring your Dog to Work Day! How Lala made our work days sweeter

More and more professionals are starting to bring their dogs to the office, which has started a whole new trend. As the number of companies that allow dogs at the office rises, so does the level of productivity. The inclusion of dogs has also reduced stress, which means that there are lesser chances of Burnout Syndrome amongst the colleagues.

Of course there are a couple ground rules that have to be taken into consideration before letting the dog into the office. For example, we must get permission from our manager and rest of the team (there is always the possibility of someone having an allergy or an acute fear of dogs), also the dog has to be properly trained and obedient. The German Association for the inclusion of the office dog has provided us with detailed information on this topic through the use of leaflets and posters. Such knowledge helps educate our managers and colleagues to better understand the benefits that dogs bring to the office space. Also, during the international ‘Bring Your Dog To Work Day,’ co-workers can get a first hands glimpse with what it’s like to have a four-legged friend next to you, while you work. This is far better than a flyer.

Here at HBI we’ve had an office dog for quite some time now. The dog in question is my Lala. She’s a five year old Whippet-Mix that I adopted from a shelter four years ago. For about a year now Lala has accompanied me in the office and she has brought happiness to rest of my co-workers.

How Lala became our office dog

When my parent’s, my dog sitters of choice, decided to go and enjoy La Dolce Vita in the warm south, I had to find an alternative.  Sadly I realized that my social circle was dominated by professionals and students, which meant that I couldn’t find a temporary dog sitter. So I carefully approached one of my co-workers, who has been working at HBI for quite some time now, and asked her if it would be alright to bring my dog.

She took a moment to think about it (each millisecond felt like an eternity) and in the end, her response was, to my great relief, positive! The rest of my colleagues and the management staff had no problem with Lala and that is how her life as an office dog began.

A rough start…

I had everything perfectly prepared for her; she had a long walk before going to work. She also had her own spot in the office, her own non-squeaky toys, and treats as a reward for good behavior. The first hour went flawlessly, but right after that something happened that made me question if bringing her to work is a good idea. At the moment one of my colleagues stood up from his seat and walked past Lala, she immediately began to bark for no apparent reason. If she kept doing that every time someone stood up from their seat, I would have stopped bringing her with me – that would be too much stress for man and dog. In the end we finally figured out what was wrong with my dog. Lala had developed a fear from men back when she was still in the shelter and she just took precautions when they were around. But she still liked the colleague in question; he just had to remain in his seat. So what was the problem? It was because of his size: he is about 1.80 meters tall and that intimidated her. After a short time, and some treats she quickly got used to him and the rest of the colleagues. Now she greets everyone while we enter the office in the morning. Everyone finds this to be particularly pleasing when their work day begins with a cheery greeting.

So what has changed?

The overall office experience hasn’t become any different. While the computer is booting up, I throw her toy down the long corridor and she goes to fetch it until she gets tired. Other times she is sleeping in her basket and doesn’t interrupt the work flow at all. But when someone is eating anything, then she is wide awake and watches as the food crumbs fall to the floor. This also happens during lunchbreaks. Now begging for food is the worst case scenario that one can have at the office. Of course there is also her sitting under the work desk, waiting to be taken out for a walk. The work itself hasn’t changed very much either. We have a park close to the office building, so we would take walks there after lunch even before the dog came along. She is also a very quiet dog, which means that she doesn’t disturb meetings and conference calls. She doesn’t bark loudly anymore.

The only significant change is the inclusion of a new habit amongst me and the rest of the co-workers. Before we leave our desks to get a coffee for example, we go over to Lala and pat her on the back or we play with her for a moment. With her around, she allows us to clear our head and better our working potential.

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Hyper Reality – the future is here

vimeo.deConnected world, smart factories, wearables – these were mostly unfamiliar terms just a few years ago, but today new technologies have conquered not only the workplace, but our everyday lives as well.  In my previous blog post I acquainted myself with smart watches and the rise of a new era and I realized that we are already in the middle of the upheaval, without knowing it.

Because of society’s fast pace and the constant technological advancements, we have become unaware of the changes that our world is undergoing. The difference between the real and the virtual world has become thin and blurred already. Today we communicate almost solely via WhatsApp or other similar chats, we post our “adjusted” lives on social media, skype with our colleagues, advise clients via connected platforms, we ask Dr. Google for diagnosis and look up the best rated physician in radius of 5km. These are but a few examples. Are we going to lose ourselves within the virtual world?

I recently stumbled upon a video on LinkedIn which demonstrated the future of hyper-reality. It made me think about how our world would be, determined from these computer programs and machines. Would be? We are already amongst it. The scene in the video seems totally futuristic, though I’m sure, some of the technologies has been already developed and might be announced at CES 2017.  Ten years ago we would have never thought about being able to capture our whole lives on a single device that fits in our palms, or even a miniature display on our wrists. What we are capable of today with new technologies such as voice commands and gestures which were also unthinkable some time ago, will soon be possible just by the use of our mere thoughts. Some of these features have already been successfully implemented and are helping people with disabilities to have a better everyday life. Even the development of humanlike intelligence has already progressed a lot and now there are more robots than we think. From self-operating vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers to smart applications that regulate the temperature in our homes, water our plants and even monitor our personal health up to automated production sites.

Most of our free time and working hours are spent within the virtual world which makes it quite clear that it is the perfect platform to reach us as consumer. Many companies are well aware of it and make use of that and those who have yet to realize this hidden business potential should know that competition never sleeps. We still remember how some companies never managed to undergo the leap into e-commerce and thus were eliminated from the market by young competitors. Digital marketing, social marketing and storytelling are the new tools which are changing the marketing industry. Today, our world is heavily intensive when it comes to information and this has led people possessing a very short attention span. Accordingly, the industry is utilizing colorful, shrill, creative and emotional marketing concepts to capture people’s interests. As consumers we are strongly selective and demanding, because of the large flood of advertising images. Therefore, agencies and marketing branches are using the brightest minds in order to devise campaigns capable of competing towards grasping our attention. And at some point, which I believe is to be very soon, virtual reality will obtain a permanent spot in our everyday lives and will replace our reality to a certain extent.

I don’t want to stir up any creepy conspiracy theories which are probably being prepared to be the next big Hollywood blockbuster either way! 😉 I would rather prefer our society to learn to grasp these opportunities. The fact is, the development is unstoppable, and that is a good thing since the original concept behind all the technology is to help people and make their lives more comfortable and less stressful. Now the true challenge is, to learn how to use all types of technology in a proper way that won’t put us under social and personal pressure.

 

Merken

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