Getting Digital just got a whole lot more interesting!



Once again, I got the pleasure of attending a conference in the Helix on the 11th of April of this year. This time the theme of the conference was ‘Get Digital’, which in my opinion I think was very different to the ones I have attended already. Having grown up alongside the fast-moving pace of technology I was intrigued to find out how these speakers expect technology to take us and where we are at already.


Dr Johnny Walker, CEO and founder of Health Founders, was the first speaker. He informed me about a concept that I had never heard of and it fascinated me that technology has allowed us to do so much more. Dr walker talked about ‘’Jinga Life’’. The initial offering is “Jinga Life” a cloud-hosted, 24/7 home-based personalised Family Electronic Health Record and integrated 30 second Video Messaging Tool aimed at engaging, empowering and enabling the Female Warrior at the centre of Her Family’s Healthcare Team. Their aim is to create a tsunami wave of disruption driven by the Female gatekeepers. The app is a digital family tree that includes all allergies, immunisation, online videos, advice and e-prescriptions. It allows families to be provided with the tools and knowledge needed to protect their family. This growth in technology for me is fascinating, that 3.3 million people now has this access to this beneficial information that could change their life as well as their families. ‘’ From womb to tomb’’ we can now have a better relationship with our health. This is a cost-efficient method of trying to improve the health and wellness of people today.


Not only did I find what Dr Walker had to say fascinating because of the technology side but also on a personal level as I think this app is the perfect example of how getting digital can improve our lifestyles. Dr Walker then had to return to the scrubs as he is a very busy man in high demand, but having listened to DR walker it did encourage me to look up other way in which technology can improve our health, and I found the results fascinating. There is now technology for every daily problem we face, for example the ‘’SleepBot’’. This is an app that allows you that tracks sleep by having users check in when they hit the hay and check out when they wake up. Activating the app automatically silences the phone and shuts off WiFi, eliminating potential disruptions. SleepBot also doubles as an alarm clock, synchronizes to a website where sleep data is stored, and allows users to analyze trends and write notes about their night’s sleep. Apps like this, although seem simple can really change the health of a person, especially with the help of ‘’Jinga Life’’.


The second speaker, David Erixon, Head of Digital and Customer Innovation at Ulster bank, took a different approach to getting digital. David talked about getting digital in terms of Banking. Online banking is becoming a very popular method for performing banking activity instead of going into the shop. Online banking is the way forward because of its convenience and availability. David mentioned something which I found most intricate but amazing how, eventually this will become the norm. He stated that money is already becoming digital, we use our cards, online banking etc. and paper money will ultimately die out and be replaced by a cleaner more efficient way of spending. There is now an app that allows you to do everything that you need to do in terms of banking, investing, budgeting. This app is called 22seven and is the future of money. 22seven is a very futuristic app. Tech report gave this app an excellent review stating it is one of the best app around for budgeting and is an easy way of having an overview of your spending and future spending that is categorized.


There’s no industry more susceptible to disruption than banking. In the space of 60 years we’ve gone from tangible, suit-and-tie meetings in stuffy banks to credit cards, debit cards and ATMs on every street corner, and it’s unknown where it might take us next. But from this conference it is clear to stay that newer and better ways are always around the corner in terms of banking and I look forward to being a part of it!


Finally, was Alistair Croll ,Author of ‘’Lean Analytics’’, discussed 4 very different things that all have a common link, they were Horses, Tea, Steam and Perfume. Croll had me confused at first by these 4 very random things that are not associated with ‘getting digital’, but by the end of his talk it made total sense. The horse was once the main forms of transport but due to technology we now have the car. The horse is no longer used for transportation because technology took over its job, making the life of the horse a lot easier. Next came tea. Now tea did not evolve into some modern technology that changed the world but it is however linked to being on demand. Us Irish are constantly demanding tea but now it’s not the only thing we want on demand! It is estimated that the age group 18-24-year-old go one their phones 82 times a day and 30% of this age group spend the 5 minutes they have before bed on their phone. If a video doesn’t load within 4 seconds we will more than likely scroll on because our brains are now channelled to be on demand. That is why ‘’Netflix and chill’’ has become so popular with the younger age, we want to watch whatever and whenever we want. Netflix spends more than $150 million on improving their recommendation system every year, trying to arrange selections based on what they think you might like. That kind of personalized menu is necessary: The company estimates that users spend only two minutes browsing for a title before choosing one or opting for another diversion entirely. This is a prime example of how we need everything on-demand. We once had a demand for steam engines all those years ago but due to technology we have now have trains that allow us to access all our desired places within the island! Technology has allowed most things to be instantaneously, like perfume. We can now online shop, track our orders and so much more. We take advantage of how technology has developed but it does however benefit us daily. Alistair’s point of view was fascinating but it did also make me realise how dependent we have become on getting digital which is also frightful!


In response to the conference, I have learned a lot of about the new technology that we can use that makes our future look brighter and robotic. Each speaker had a unique way of getting digital and I found these ways most interesting and glad I got the opportunity to attend such a conference. I’d love to hear your opinions on getting digital, so stay in contact, and stay digital!



Trends you need to know about getting social!

The Helix

Get Social, The helix – February 14th 2017

Unfortunately, not everyone can attend the helix for the ’get social’, which is held annually so I am here to give the 411 on what happened. As always, it’s crammed with eager listeners wanting to get every bit of knowledge out of the speakers that they can. Having a basic knowledge of marketing skills and social media from school and growing up alongside technology, I expected to come across no surprises when the speakers came on to talk about how their business uses social media. But I was pleasantly wrong! Although there was overlap between speakers there was also a lot of different approaches. I will now discuss the common grounds between the speakers and then i will discuss the different approaches the speakers had from each other. The unique approaches made the conference entertaining while also giving a quirky way to create good attention for your business.

One statement that was said by all the speakers was ‘’ Be creative, don’t copy’’. Although this might be a given, it is one of the key focus’, as once the material is special then the audience will begin to believe that the product or service is special too. Paul Berney declared that ‘’We must create value for, not from individuals’’. Paul Berney is the MD of mCordis. He, like the other speakers, understood that we are in the age of distraction and in a state of constant connectivity. Paul’s material about creativity is backed up by the following statement, for me personally.  A very wise person once said that ‘’Content is king and engagement is queen’’, and for me that was emphasised by all the speakers on the day of the event. It shows the importance of not only content but also how important it is to get feedback and to listen to the audience. Although I heard statements like this throughout the conference, I found that it emphasised the significance of it rather than being repetitive. For me Hugh Curran, digital transformation consultant, endorsed these comments by stating that if the material is crap then so will the feedback, their reputation and will in return be a waste of money. This shows that although the speakers had a common ground they still approached it with an open and creative mind. As content was the key element of the conference, it has since then stuck in my mind and made me more aware of the creative approaches I can have towards projects, and it has even made me more aware of businesses in advertising.


If there was anyone to understand of social media, it would be Anne Marie Boyhan. A past DCU student and now the head of social media in Bank of Ireland. BOI is known for its sponsorship, social media accounts and its support of local businesses, clubs, and groups. Anne Marie made me aware of the 3 important C’s when it comes to advertising which are as follows: Create, Collaborate, Curate. Because of the horizontal revolution, businesses must be very careful when sending information because it could eventually go global. That is why i think the 3C’s approach is very helpful. Anne Marie uses creative aspects such as Snapchat and virtual reality to attract young people. BOI try to get young people in so that they will stay for life and therefore making them more successful. Collaborate means that they should get well known people to recognise the business and help them along with their success. I think BOI always has good backing from famous people such as Louis Walsh, Paul O’Connell, Katie Taylor and many more. The information must be amplified then and spread so that there is a purpose to all this effort. Anne Marie left a last impression on me and gave me a lot of information to consider.

The aim of marketing is to convince people what you need them to know, it’s important not to lie but businesses must talk openly and early to make a lasting effect. Paul Berney, as previously mentioned, discussed this topic in detail. Paul made some interesting points that will bring rise to connected marketers. We are in the world of micro-moments, of instant gratification, of external brains we call mobiles, yet businesses are still getting their social media wrong. Paul discusses the basic steps to success. There are 3 parts to this success, which is as follows: The Physical Product, the digital aspect and the sensual element of it. Although all 3 elements are important, the sensual element makes a person come back, which is what businesses thrive for. Paul mentioned a great example, Starbucks has created an app that allows you to order your coffee before even entering the shop so that you don’t have to queue. Not only does this have the digital and physical element, it also has a personalized touch which is the instant smell of coffee as you enter the shop and then hear your name being called out for your order. this is a very efficient example of Paul’s idea. He also stated that this reduces friction which is very important for customers because if there is less friction and tension then they will have a better experience. I found Paul’s research fascinating, so much so that it led me to doing my own research to get more information on it. In recent surveys in the digital marketing trends 2017, it stated that 86% of buyers are willing to pay a higher cost if they receive a  better experience. It is estimated that by 2020, 89% of businesses are expected to be compete mainly on customer experience. Paul’s 3 element plan will allow businesses to head towards this direction.


Hugh Curran, a digital transformation consultant, focused his talk on brands and how to make the brand benefit the business. He did a systematic basis that will lead you to success. Firstly, It is important to plan your content, base it around dates events and activities. This content must be unique and creative, as mentioned before. Videos are the modern-day attraction so, it is also important to pick the correct medium for your target market. 75% of adults watch videos, and 60% of these adults watch them on demand on a device. It is also important to get the advert right, because you have 2 seconds to impress or else the person will continue to scroll by. 90%of people will skip ads that they can skip, so the first 2 seconds of your ad must be eye catching to keep the person on social media. Managing your content and communities is very important as it insures that you have a good relationship with the customers which will give the brand a good reputation. A key point that Hugh also mentioned is that you must spend money to get a good feedback, being realistic and understanding your limitations is also essential. I think that Hugh then finished with a few humorous pointers. He said leave the kids alone and not to invest them into your business but rather train a professional and manage the business properly. Curran made a serious discussion light hearted and entertaining. His last piece of advice was ‘’one size doesn’t fit all, create content to fit your channel’’ It is clear to say that Hugh is a very intelligent person who knows a lot about social media, that’s why i think it is important to take his information on board. I have enclosed a link to a YouTube video that is based on social media and brands. I found this informative and helpful, so I said I should pass this information on.

Aisling Tobin, the Jameson brand manager, was a young and enthusiastic woman with a great passion for what she does and how she does it. Aisling explored the rules of engagement while also showing how Jameson use these rules successfully. The first rule is to listen, to listen you must also watch, which also results in learning. To learn from your target market is one of the most important elements as then you can fulfil their desires. Secondly, as stated previously the content must be king. The content must be user generated because their target market (the lads) spend at least 2 hours a day watching videos, that is why Jameson have created many accounts such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, where they have huge backing. The third rule is to value exchange, this means that they reward loyal customers and try to keep them one of the ‘lads’. Location is key also, but once it is right then everything else falls into play. The last rule that must be fulfilled is using a Key Performance Indicator, KPI, to analyse the progress of the business. It is important to have a balance between cost and brand. Jameson is a very successful brand name that thrives off their marketing skills. A prime example of this is that they sponsor college events and charity events such as DCU’s Beg Borrow Steal. While this shows their generosity, it is also advertising to their target market. Their logo is Sine Metu, which tells the story of Jameson and how it had been passed on from generation to generation. It shows the meaning of Jameson. I think Aishling kept her talk energetic, young and interesting. It got me considering the history of Jameson and their brand.

The last speaker, Eric Weaver, for me brought everything all together and gave a general overview of what everyone had already said and then added a tip for all of us that said will get any person a job. He stated that you should remind your boss that you know how to get them their bonus and how you will help them get it. This will impress the manager as well as maintaining your title. Eric Weaver is the VP communication and marketing solutions of Xerox. He also preached that we must become ‘’open minded’’ not digital. Although being digital is very important, you must first be open minded than digital. It is equally important to foster a culture where ‘’change isn’t a dirty word ‘’. What Eric meant by this is, he believes that people should rethink their tools and can deal with the changing word as it is constantly happening. While these changes occur, we must also encourage fearlessness. This will help tie people to brands as well as improving businesses social media and marketing because people will be more liking to take risks and to be non-judgmental. Eric gave very useful tips that made the end worth waiting for.

Although the speakers cleared up a of questions, I still have some that have not been totally cleared up. Like how should a business react if after all these tips something goes wrong in front of the public eye? Is investing all this money into social media worth the risk? If anyone else can answer these questions for me that would be fantastic. I hope you have enjoyed reading my experience at the helix, and I’m hoping it will encourage you and your business to get social!!