Got a blogpost to write for work? (Make Google do it!)

 

Once upon a time, robots were the stuff of sc-fi movies and graphic novels. For most, this conjures up an image of a dalek-like helper with an automated voice who, in our imagination, could one day help with the washing up. Nowadays, this has evolved into a more virtual and smarter concept. 

As technology advances so does AI, its capabilities and our expectations of it. Developers at Google have created a device that can understand orders, perform tasks intelligently and professionally, understand complex language of the ordinary human and know how to respond to it. To date, we have seen examples of this through technologies such as Siri VI and Google Home.

On May 8, 2018 Google levelled up and launched Google Duplex, a smart assistant, the likes of which have never been seen before.

What is Google Assistant?

Google Assistant is Google’s voice-controlled smart assistant. The technology is marketed as an application that can save you time and make your life easier, by assisting with day-to-day tasks. Google Duplex makes the conversational experience as natural as possible, allowing people to speak normally like they would to another person, without having to adapt to a machine.

What Makes it Different?

Google Assistant has the below differentiators setting it aside from existing voice-controlled AI technologies:

  1. Google Assistant Multiple Actions means that it can handle multiple requests at once, something that other AI-powered assistants have yet to master
  2. The assistant can understand when you are speaking to it or when you are speaking to someone else around you due to its ability to understand the nuances of the conversation

This doesn’t mean to say that there is no competition. While Google’s AI-powered, conversational capabilities such as these have never been seen before, Amazon Alexa (released in 2014) is compatible with over 12,000 devices while Google Assistant only 5000.

google assistant

Image Credit: Google.com

The Future of Smart Technology

At Bravo, technology is a passion of ours and we love learning about new smart solutions. We asked the team to share their thoughts on Google Assistant and while some of the team like the idea of a smart assistant to help with their life admin, there was some apprehension around privacy.

Gamze says, “The main aim of Google Assistant is to enter your private life in order to help make your life much easier, which for me raises privacy concerns. The assistant will need to grab as much information as possible from my personal data, day-to-day activities, documents and much more to become more powerful, faster and ultimately “smarter”. It is simply not useful without me sharing my personal information with it. Hence, this raises a lot of concerns; To what extent does Google Assistant have access to my stored information? What if my information is used for advertising purposes? Is it heavily secured or could it be hacked? Will my data be sold?”

Mer echo’s these sentiments with concerns around data management and the need for full disclosure, “There is an early indicator however that transparency is not a priority and that concerns the subject of DISCLOSURE. The fact is that you don’t know whether you’re speaking to a human or robot, Google Assistant does not disclose itself to you. And that, in my opinion, is really dangerous – there are likely to be a range of use cases for bad players. Couple this with the AI-infused natural language processing, whereby you have Google Assistant reflecting human intonation and speech, the “umms,” “eerrrs” and “ahhhs” for example and the end user is even more readily deceived”.

 

This is more true than ever now, in the wake of GDPR, where consent means offering users choice and control. With regards to data, as we mentioned on our previous blogpost, the GDPR defines consent as “any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her”.

However, Google is claiming to care about clarity and transparency and a Google spokesperson was quoted in the Financial Express saying, “We understand and value the discussion around Google Duplex, as we have said from the beginning, transparency in the technology is important”.

“We are designing this feature with disclosure built-in, and we will make sure the system is appropriately identified. What we showed at I/O was an early technology demo, and we look forward to incorporating feedback as we develop this into a product,” the spokesperson added.

So What’s Next ?

At the moment, Google can follow instructions but what if Google got smarter than this and started to make decisions for us?  For now, we can book hair appointments and get simple tasks done but will we be able to send Google Assistant to work for us in the future?

As Katie said, ”For me to actually bother to use Google Assistant it would have to be smart enough to carry out tasks that I see as a real hardship. For example, my car registration is currently three weeks overdue, if Google could take care of that? Absolutely – sign me up! My DEWA bill is the bane of my life – can Google pay it? Yes please! I also could really do with finding the cheapest way to get from Dubai to Scotland over the summer but I can’t face trawling through all the compare websites – can I make Google do it?”

And so, we’ve reached a crossroads…on one hand we have technology advancing at an exponential pace and on the other, we have a more aware, discerning audience with real concerns about data-privacy and cyber security. Do regulations such as GDPR make it harder for companies to be free to invent new technologies by imposing all these regulations? If Google can find the careful balance between creating a smart, truly useful product and at the same time genuinely addressing its users concerns, we believe that will be the key to success. What do you think? Send us your thoughts on hello@bravoromeobyaj.com

Featured Image Credit: 9to5google.com

GDPR: A New Era of Data Regulation

What does it mean for businesses in the Middle East?

Last September we penned an article on the upcoming GDPR laws  (General Data and Protection Regulation) and the potential implications for the MENA region. At the time of writing, information was scarce and the impact for the region was unclear. 25th May is “G-Day” – so if you’re late to the party and need a cheat-sheet, we’re here to help.

To recap, the GDRP is a set of regulations being brought in by the European Union this month to tackle data and specifically consent. Described as the most comprehensive data privacy law in history, it comprises of 99 articles that define how companies must approach data collection and its management.

What is Consent?

In a nutshell, consent means offering users choice and control. With regards to data, the GDPR defines consent as “any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her.” 

In layman’s terms, this means that individuals will have the power to demand that a company reveals or deletes the personal data they hold. In addition, it changes the rules of engagement from an marketers point of view, for example; sending out mass marketing emails to people who have not opted-in will be illegal.

What does GDPR mean for businesses in the UAE?

With the new laws coming into effect on the 25th of May, companies in the UAE are trying to determine what the business implications will be for them. In the past week we’ve seen a significant spike in the number of searches for information surrounding GDPR, as indicated below:     

Trends.png

Source: GoogleTrends

The EU has made GDRP and its implications very clear; it applies to companies within the EU, as well as any companies that offer goods or services to, or monitor behavior of, people within the EU. Now, obviously this affects a great deal of companies operating out of the MENA region who have audiences, marketshare and even employees within the EU.

Getting it wrong is costly – beyond reputation damage, businesses may face substantial fines. Infringements of the basic principles for processing personal data, including conditions for consent, are subject to the highest tier of administrative fines. It could mean a fine of up to 20 million euros or 4% of your total worldwide annual turnover, whichever is higher.

GDPR

Image Credit: Mysolomon

However, what is not yet clear is how the EU will enforce these regulations, particularly in the region, as the Middle East is not bound by the European Court of Human Rights.

Data Laws and best practice in Dubai

Now, while how the EU regulations will be policed may not be completely clear, Dubai’s stance on the issue of data privacy, management and protection is unequivocal. In February 2018, Smart Dubai launched the Dubai Data Policies to regulate the classification, publication, sharing, storage, use and re-use of open data.

What’s the benefit of GDPR for companies?

Legalities aside, here at Bravo Romeo we believe that stricter regulations surrounding data are a welcome change. Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, data privacy made headlines worldwide, resulting in people making an effort to become more aware of how their data is managed and be more discerning about giving consent for companies to use it. Realistically, almost every business today is data-driven and digital. The threat of cyber-security is real and it is imperative to both personal and commercial safety, as well as to business continuity, that data is managed securely. It’s not just about compliance, it’s about best practice and ensuring that we, as an industry, support GDPR as a catalyst for positive change in regards to cybersecurity, both globally and in the region.

Don’t get us wrong, it’s not all doom and gloom! Ultimately, the correct management of data means that companies are better placed to manage it as a strategic business asset. Data is arguably set to becomes the most valuable currency so by complying organizations will ensure they reap the benefits of it.

 

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock. Image ID: 731051713

Ramadan Kareem from all of us at Bravo Romeo

It’s been a busy few months here at Bravo Romeo HQ and we’re sorry we’ve been quiet but we have a good excuse – promise! We’ve been growing our team and hiring some awesome new people! Today we’d like to introduce one of our newcomers, Diala AbuDamis, who joins us as Communications Specialist. In this latest blogpost she shares her thoughts on the holy month of Ramadan. Over to you Diala!

I’ve been waiting eagerly for the holy month, to once again observe fasting, reflection and spiritual discipline. I love it. It brings fond memories of the large, joyful family gatherings, that occur in our house during Iftar. It is also an exciting time for me to experience this Ramadan being a new family member at Bravo Romeo! During our gathering today, it was pleasing to hear what Ramadan means to each one of us as we all come from different backgrounds and cultures.

“It’s a time of beautiful unity and healing” — Meredith Carson

What I love and admire about the holy month of Ramadan is the sense of community it inspires, both within the Islamic community and beyond. My Muslim friends invoke such a sense of inclusivity and it’s a joy to share Iftar with them and learn more about their culture and beliefs. In my community in the Springs there are sharing fridges that are filled daily with food by people from all backgrounds and religions who are all getting into the spirit of generosity, kindness and sharing in the holy month” — Katie Rose Cuthbert

“To me, the holy month of Ramadan is the time where we all experience patience, kindness, generosity, respect and unity. Ramadan strengthens my faith. It gives me the courage to step back from doing any sin. It brings me closer to God. We better understand the poor. We become better muslims by practicing our religion at its best way. It detoxifies not only our body, but our soul. With Ramadan, you can feel the complete change in a country. It is simply B E A U T I F U L” — Gamze Dogan

“Ramadan means a lot to me, starting from the feeling of unity and how everyone is being kind and generous, it allows me to reevaluate my behaviour, encourages me to do more good deeds, and changes for the better,  I love the sense of spirituality and connecting, I really can’t wait for Taraweeh prayers and the Duaa each day. Let’s not forget the warm gatherings and the delicious Iftar, especially having my favourite dessert Kunafa. Ramadan is such a blessing!” — Najat Idris

Ramadan is observed by muslims around the globe during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, taking place this year on May 17, 2018. The Prophet Mohammed – peace be upon him – reportedly said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.” 

During the holy month of Ramadan, practicing members of Islam, experience a profound relationship with God, performing extra prayers, increased charitable giving, and intense study of the Quran. Also, as muslims deal with hunger and thirst while fasting, they are reminded of those who are less fortunate and suffering, hence, reflecting back with appreciation for the blessings in their life. 

The entire month of Ramadan is also a time of celebration and festivities. Nights are full of activities where families gather for Iftar and socialize. The shared experience of fasting provides unity and creates a community where muslims gather together at homes or mosques to break their fast together. Families also distribute food to neighbors and to mosques to be distributed to the poor and needy.

This Ramadan is certainly an exciting and happy occasion for all. It is an exciting new platform for my new beginning. On the behalf of myself and the Bravo Romeo family, I wish you a blessed Ramadan.

Ramadan Kareem!

 

In Arabic: 2018 Media and Marketing Trends across Content, Technology and Data. PART 3: DATA

Data is the flavor of the month

توجهات الإعلام والتسويق على صعيد المحتوى والبيانات والتكنولوجيا في عام 2018. الموضوع الثالث: البيانات

 لقد بات مجال البيانات والإحصائيات أمراً في غاية الأهمية بما يتعلق بمجال التسويق والذي لطالما اتسّم بالتطور الدائم. إذ شهد مجالنا علاقة غير معروفة ومحددة مع علم البيانات خلال السنين القليلة الماضية، فقد كانت البيانات الحل الأمثل لتحديد وقياس الأشياء دون معرفة المعنى الحقيقي حولها. وبالتأكيد فإنّ مجال البيانات يشهد عدداً من التطورات التي تجعلنا نتنبّأ بالعديد من الابتكارات الفريدة التي سيعرّفنا عليها هذا العلم. وقبل الحديث المفصل عما يحمله مستقبل هذا المجال، دعونا نتعرّف على أبرز ما يلوح في أفق علم البيانات في عام 2018.

القياس في مجال غير معروف.

لطالما كان تعريف مسألة قياس نجاح المحتوى أمراً عُضال. إذ تُثبت البحوث الرقمية أهمية الفيديو كأهم عناصر المحتوى الحالي والمستقبلي، ولكن ما نزال نشهد صراعاً وجدلاً كبيراً من مختلف الرائدين في هذا المجال بالنسبة لتحديد معايير قياس ونجاح ذلك. وقد تمّ بالتأكيد اتخاذ عدداً من الإجراءات لتحسين هذا المجال كتشكيل المجالس المحلية والحصول على حلول متكاملة من شركات خارجية والقيام بإحصاءات خاصة مستقلة حول هذا القطاع. وعلى الرغم من كل تلك الجهود، إلا أنّها لم تتمكن من حل المشكلات التي تعاني منها العلامات التجارية. كما وحاولت العديد من الهيئات الخاصة بهذا المجال في نقاش وإيجاد حلول تلك المشاكل، ولكن يكفي الاطلاع على كتيب إرشادات قياس مرات الظهور للفيديو الرقمي، والذي سيُثبت بأنّنا لا نقوم بالتطوير والتسارع بالشكل الكافي. ولا بدّ من أخذ ذلك الموضوع بعين الاعتبار في ظل غياب أهم رواد هذا المجال كفيس بوك وأومنيكوم. وقد بات المجال مفتوحاً لبعض مؤثري ذلك المجال كنستله وإتش بي، ونتوقع بأنّ العلامات التجارية الأخرى ومختلف شركات الذكاء الإعلامي والرقمي سيلحقون بذلك الركب، عوضاً عن المنصات الرقمية بحد ذاتها. وذلك بغية تحديد معايير قياس تهم القطاعات المختلفة على حدى عوضاً عن المعايير القديمة والغير مجدية.

ارتفاع تأثير المعلومات المحددة والمقيدة.

لقد بات موضوع الحصول على البيانات بالمجان للعلامات التجارية أمراً في غاية الصعوبة مؤخراً، إذ أصبح مجال استحواذ البيانات أمراً في غاية الأهمية للناشرين. إذ يشدد قانون هيئة حماية البيانات الأوروبية على خصوصية معلومات المستهليكن. ويبدو الأمر في غاية الأهمية نتيجة لغفلة وتجاهل العلامات التجارية والمؤسسات والمطورين لهذا الموضوع والذي يمس بالسمعة، كما ويتعلق بمسائل قانونية ومالية. وحسب نصائح إحدى مستشاري الإعلام القانونيين في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا، فيونا روبيرتسون، لقد بدأ ظهور وتقييد المنصات الرقمية كنتيجة غير مباشرة لجهود قانون هيئة حماية البيانات. فعلى المنصات الرقمية مضاعفة جهودها لتقديم خدمات مجانية ومميزة للمستخدمين مقابل السماح باستخدام معلوماتهم وبياناتهم الشخصية من قبل تلك المنصات. إذ أصبح توفير بيانات ومعلومات مستخدمي تلك المنصات بالمجان أمراً أشبه بالمستحيل. إذ يسعى قانون هيئة حماية البيانات إلى حماية معلومات المستخدمين، مما يحفز العلامات التجارية لشراء تلك البيانات بشكل رسمي من المنصات الرقمية مباشرةً. كما ونتوقع بأنّ العلامات التجارية ستكون أكثر تميزاً في الإنفاق الإعلامي مع تزايد طلبها على نوعية بيانات مميزة، والتي يصعب الحصول عليها من قبل الناشرين المغمورين.

وفي حديث مع السيد بوجا بانوم، المدير التنفيذي للموقع التكنولوجي، بليس، أوضح بأنّه يمكن اعتبار فهم واستيعاب الجمهور ومعرفة كيفية الوصول إليهم كالأهمية الكبرى للمسوقين قبل البدء بالصرف الإعلامي. ويجب استهداف الجمهور بشكل عميق يعتمد على مؤشرات وبيانات دقيقة. ووضّح على الرغم من أهمية الحصول على بيانات المستخدمين، إلا أنه يجب التمتع بالشفافية والصراحة مع العلامات التجارية حول تلك البيانات والعائد على الاستثمار. ويجب على العلامات التجارية أن تزيد من مصداقيتها حول مصادر بيانات المسخدمين وأهمية ذلك في تحقيق العائد على الاستثمار، وهذا هو الأمر الذي يجب أن تعمل عليه العلامات التجارية والمسوقين في عام 2018. وسيكون لمشاركة تلك البيانات بين العلامات التجارية وشركائها أهمية كبرى في التسويق والحملات الرقمية في عام 2018، مما يساهم في معرفة وتحديد أهمية نوعية البيانات المختلفة.

الإنسان والآلة…ظهور لتوأم رقمي جديد.

يُعتبر التوأم الرقمي إحدى أهم النتائج المتوقعة لاندماج انترنت الأشياء وتطور الآلة. إذ يمكننا اعتبار التوأم الرقمي كنسخة افتراضية عن الأشياء الملموسة والعمليات والأنظمة التي تعتمد على البيانات للفهم والتعلم والمنطق والنتبؤ. ولعلّ مجالي الطيران والسيارات هما السباقين عند حديثنا حول هذا الموضوع، وهذا ما يتمثل في الحصول على الإحصائيات والمعلومات بشكل مباشر كضغط الإطارات والحرارة والسرعة وذلك بغية تحسين الكفاءة.

ومع الظهور الواضح لمفهوم التوأم الرقمي في مجال البيانات والمعلومات، فإنّنا سنرى قريباً ما يُدعى بالخيط أو السلك الرقمي. إذ سيسهم ذلك المفهوم في تعريفنا بسياق وترابط البيانات ببعضها البعض. كما وسيوضح تسلسل البيانات وتاريخها، مما سيساهم في توفير خطط ونقاط عملية للاستخدام الجاد والبناء لتلك البيانات. وحسب توقعات موقع غارتنر، فإنّ ما يقارب نصف الشركات الصناعية ستقوم باستخدام التوأم الرقمي مع حلول عام 2021.

كما ولا بدّ من الإشارة إلى تواجد تقنية التوأم الرقمي منذ عقود، وذلك من خلال بعثة أبولو 13. وقد أدى استخدام تقنية التوأم الرقمي إلى إنقاذ البعثة آنذاك.

 

 

نشكركم على قراءتكم لمقالاتنا حول توجهات الإعلام والتسويق في عام 2018، ونتطلع لآرائكم واقتراحاتكم حول هذا الموضوع في موقعنا .

In Arabic: 2018 Media and Marketing Trends across Content, Technology and Data. PART 2: TECHNOLOGY

التكنولوجيا: الموضوع الثاني من توجهات 2018

تحفز التكنولوجيا وتدعم الجيل الصانع…

ستكون التكنولوجيا محور موضوعنا الثاني لتوجهات 2018، إذ سنتحدث عن توجهات اجتماعية قامت على التكنولوجيا، عوضاً من الحديث عن التقنيات بحد ذاتها. فهنالك العديد من المقالات حول الواقع الافتراضي والعديد من الصيحات التكنولوجية. ولكننا سنتناول في حديثنا، التأثيرات الاجتماعية الناتجة عن التكنولوجيا، خصوصاً حول جيل زد والمعروف باسم الجيل الصانع.

إذ يمكننا اعتبار هذا الجيل بالمذهل والفريد نتيجةً للعديد من الأسباب المختلفة. حيث يشكل هذا الجيل ما يقارب نصف سكان منطقة الشرق الأوسط، ما يعتبر ضعف الرقم الموجود في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية والمملكة المتحدة. ويمكننا اعتبار هذه الشريحة بأنها أول جيل وُلدَ وترعرع في ظل التكنولوجيا ومع والدين مثقفين تكونولوجياً، من خلال سهولة استخدام الهواتف الذكية وشبكات التواصل الاجتماعي منذ الولادة. وسيكون لهذا الجيل تأثير كبير على المجتمع والأخلاق والاقتصاد والوضع السياسي. ويٌعتبر جيل زد مختلفاً بشكل كامل عن أي جيل آخر شهده العالم من قبل.

وفي البداية، دعونا نلقي نظرة على التوجهات والوضع في عام 2018.

في مجال العمل..

في وقتنا الحالي، فإنّ الجيل زد مختلف بشكلِ كامل عما سبق (جيل الألفية). إذ يُعتبر جيل زد أكثر واقعية وعملية بالنسبة لوجهته حول العالم. فقد نشأ هذا الجيل في ظل فترة عدم الاستقرار الاقتصادي، ما ساعد في جعله أفراده يعتمدون على أنفسهم في استحقاق الفرص عن جدارة بدلاً من الحصول عليها ببساطة تامة. ويتمتع هذا الجيل بعدد من الصفات منها تعدد المهام والتعاون والريادة. حيث تعتمد محطات العمل بالنسبة له على التمويل الجماعي والتعاون، تماماً كالمشروع الجميل الذي قام به بيير 9 والذي يعتبر مثالاً واضحاً حول العمل الجماعي.

وقد أدى استخدام التكنولوجيا بشكلٍ متزايد إلى تضاؤل مستوى انتباه واستيعاب الجيل الحالي، بينما يناشد بعض المعلمين بتغيير المنهج التعليمي بالكامل لمواكبة الجيل الحالي. فقد أصبح بإمكان هذا الجيل صياغة الرموز وفك الشيفرات وحل الواجبات المدرسية على الانترنت، بالإضافة إلى معرفته الكاملة بمختلف أنواع المرئيات نتيجةً لطبيعة أفراده الناشئة على التكنولوجيا. فقد نشأ جيل زد على التقنيات ثلاثية ورباعية الأبعاد وصور ذات أبعاد بـ 360 درجة والعديد من التطورات القنية الأخرى.

في مجال اللعب..

إنّ جيل زد يختلف بشكلٍ كامل عن أي جيل سبقه من ناحية اللعب والاستمتاع بالحياة. وحسب دراسة لجوجل، فإنّ 15% من جيل زد يفضلون التواصل بشكل شخصي، في حين 56% منهم يفضلون التواصل عن طريق الرسائل النصية وبرامج المحادثة. وحسب الدراسة ذاتها، فإنّ 3 من كل 10 أشخاص يتواصلون عبر الرسائل النصية مع الأشخاص المتواجدين معهم في المكان ذاته.

وماذا يعني هذا كله؟

فعندما ندمج هذه البيانات مع البيانات الأخرى حول السلوك والاتجاهات، يتوضح لنا رؤية ووجهة نظر أكبر حول هذا الجيل. فإنّه جيل يعتمد على العمل الجماعي ويعتبر نفسه مجموعة ستقوم باختراق النظام الكوني للأفضل. وعلى الرغم من انطوائية هذا الجيل، إلا أنّه يعتمد على المجتمع الافتراضي للتواصل والاحتفال واستمتاع الحياة. وحسب نظرية واسلو حول التسلسل الهرمي للحاجات، فإنّ التكنولوجيا تؤثر بشكل كبير على أكبر عاملين وهما تحقيق الذات والحاجات النفسية.

في مجال رؤية العالم..

وكما نشاهد فإنّ العديد من المؤسسات تقوم بالبحوث والدراسات حول هذا الجيل. فحسب دراسة لمركز جيل كينيتيكس، فالسلامة الشخصية هامة جداً بالنسبة لجيل زد. إذ تلعب شبكات التواصل الاجتماعي دوراً كبيراً بشعور أهمية الذات بالنسبة لهم، حيث يعاني ما يقارب 42% من هذا الجيل من التنمّر الالكتروني. وبكونه جيل نشأ على الإيجابية والجماعية، فإنّ جيل زد لن يقف مكتوف الأيدي حول هذه الأعمال وسيجد طرق بالتأكيد لحل تلك المشاكل.

 

وبالتالي فإنّنا نشهد ظهور جيل مبدع ومفعم بالمصادر ومتواصل بشكل كبير، والذي يختلف بشتى الأشكال عن جيل الألفية. ويجب على العلامات التجارية إيجاد طرق لتنشئة وتحفيز هذا الجيل، للتفاعل مع هذه الشريحة بأكبر شكلٍ ممكن. ويجب الاستماع والتعاون والتفاعل مع هذا الجيل وإطلاق العنان لإبداعاته وأفكاره.

In Arabic: 2018 Media and Marketing Trends across Content, Data and Technology: Part 1

توجهات الإعلام والتسويق على صعيد المحتوى والبيانات والتكنولوجيا في عام 2018 من منظور شركة برافو روميو. الموضوع الأول: المحتوى

التركيز على النوعية والتأثير بدلاً من الكمية

لقد تميّز عام 2017 بجرأة المسوقين لتجربة أنواع جديدة من أشكال التسويق بمبالغ باهظة لم يسبق لهم معرفة الكثير عنها من قبل. ومن وجهة نظرنا، فإنّ 2018 سيكون عام التأثير والأداء الإعلامي بشكلِ كبير. إذ سيتزايد طلب صناع القرار في الشفافية والمسؤولية بالنسبة للأموال المنفقة في وسائل الإعلام والتقنية وتأثير المحتوى.

وسيكون هناك طلب متزايد على كل ما يتعلق بتأثير المحتوى التسويقي وعمق علاقته بالوضع والمنطقة الراهنة.

وفي البداية، دعونا نعرّف لكم مفهوم تسويق المحتوى!

تسويق المحتوى هو وسيلة تسويقية لتطوير وتوزيع محتوىً قيم ومتناسق ومتصل بشريحة جمهور معينة، لجذبها واستحواذها من قبل الجهة المسوقة. وعلى الرغم من صلة مفهوم تسويق المحتوى بالإعلام الرقمي بشكلِ كبير، إلا أنه يعتمد على أفكار تقليدية وهي توفير الرسالة المناسبة للجمهور المناسب في الوقت المناسب على مدار فترة زمنية محددة. ويؤدي تطبيق مفهوم تسويق المحتوى بالشكل الصحيح إلى توحيد أهداف التسويق والاتصال الجماهيري من خلال استراتيجية واضحة. والتي تساهم في وضع معايير محددة بالنسبة للعوائد على الاستثمار، والتأكد من مدى نجاح الأنشطة والمحتوى في تحقيق تلك الأهداف.

أهمية تسويق المحتوى…

في ظل تزايد المحتوى المتوافر، فقد أصبح الوصول إلى الجمهور أمراً  في غاية الصعوبة. ويجب أخذ الحذر والدراية الكاملة من قبل المؤسسات بالنسبة للمحتوى المتوافر والمنشور بغية وصول الجمهور بفعالية أكبر.

وفي ظل الازدهار الكبير لوسائل التواصل الاجتماعي والرقمي مؤخراً، فقد أصبح عدداً كبيراً من المسوقين غير مهتمين بطرق تواصلهم عبر تلك المنصات واعتبارها مجرد تكملة لوسائل الإعلان التقليدية. ولقد بات المسوقون على معرفة كاملة بمدى تأثير تلك المنصات، ولكن لم يتمكن معظمهم من تحديد النهج الصحيح لتحقيق ذلك التأثير المرجو. وكما نرى، فإنّ العديد من الرسائل الإعلانية قد باتت مزعجةً لشريحة غير مهتمة من الجمهور، على الرغم من طرق الوصول المتعددة لمختلف شرائح المجتمع. فمن الضروري تحديد توقيت وصول شريحة الجمهور المعينة لجذب الانتباه وللتفاعل بشكلٍ أكبر. فالفرصة متواجدة، وما على المسوقين سوى البحث والدراسة لمعرفة المزيد حول مختلف شرائح الجمهور المستهدفة.

(لتسويق المحتوى أهمية أكبر من المال)

يعتبر تسويق المحتوى بشكل مرن وذكي ومعتمد على الواقع أمراً في بالغ الأهمية حسب مؤشرات تقرير معهد تسويق المحتوى لعام 2017. وبالتالي فإنّ تسويق المحتوى لا يحدث في ليلةٍ وضحاها، ولكنه يتطلب جهد ووقت كبير للوصول إلى الهدف المرجو.

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و يعتبر تسويق المحتوى وسيلةً فعّالة للوصول إلى العملاء بشكلٍ أكبر، لأنّه يحاكي حاجاتهم واهتماماتهم. وبالتالي فإن تسويق المحتوى بات أمراً محتوماً للعلامات التجارية التي تسعى للوصول إلى الجمهور. وهذا ما دفع 40% من المسوقين سواءً للأفراد أو الشركات إلى الاستثمار في مجال تسويق المحتوى خلال عام 2017.

ولا بد من السعي بشكل كبير وبذل بالغ الجهود لجذب انتباه الجمهور واستحواذ العملاء في ظل تزايد المحتوى الرقمي. فالأمر في غاية البساطة، من خلال تفكير عميق ومبدع وصياغة استراتيجية ذات صلة كبيرة بالجمهور المستهدف.

الموضوع الثاني من توجهات الإعلام والتسويق على صعيد المحتوى والبيانات والتكنولوجيا في عام 2018 من منظور شركة برافو روميو – البيانات

 

2018 Media and Marketing Trends across Content, Data and Technology. PART 3: DATA

Data is the flavor of the month

Skidding around the door like a late, naughty school-kid, comes our third post on Data Trends for 2018. Get in here, you scallywag!

Data science and its marketing is a subject that is here to stay, which to us, is refreshing in an industry too often full of whimsy and subjectivity. Over the past few years, however, our industry has developed a twisted relationship with data. At times we’ve seen it as a silver bullet, overplaying our hand, measuring “things” just because they can be measured without objectively interpreting the meaning or impact of what we’re doing; hello, fan count! Then there’s the bright, new shiny stuff in the world of emerging data trends that is cooooool. But first, we need to wind our way through the woods of regulation to get there. So let’s talk first about what’s around the corner and then reward ourselves with the awesome shiny toys of the future.

Measurement in a mire

It’s well known that we have an ongoing issue in terms of measurement; for example, while research says that online video is the present and the future, the major players can’t align on industry-wide benchmarks as they relate to it. Sure, action is being taken – internal councils are being formed, third-party integration solutions and independent industry audits are being conducted… but a lot of it is simply sound and fury, given that the actions aren’t necessarily solving the brand owner’s problem. Industry bodies such as the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Media Ratings Council (MRC) have been active in trying to progress discussion but you only have to look at their recent Digital Video Impression Measurement Guidelines, released in October 2017 for public discussion, to see that we’re not making progress fast enough. When you don’t have major media players such as Facebook and Omnicom at the table, there’s a telling sign. Also – notice the narrowing of the title? Now, major players, such as Nestle and HP are going out on their own; we predict that others will follow and that solutions will come from the brands and media intelligence firms this time, rather than the platform players, establishing metrics that matter to their business rather than industry-agnostic measures of old.

Walled gardens rise as a butterfly effect takes hold

There’s no way of putting this mildly: the free ride for brands on digital media – particularly as it relates to data acquisition is well and truly over and the stakes are rising for publishers.  The EU’s General Data Protection Law (GDPR) brings consumer protection firmly into the limelight. What’s worrying is how many brands, agencies and developers have their eyes closed to it but to do so is dangerous from a reputation, legal and financial POV. Why? Read our previous post for background, with advice from MENA media legal eagle, Fiona Robertson.

A perhaps unintended consequence of the GDPR laws is the rise of the walled garden, aka closed platforms. Platforms will now have to work harder at providing truly compelling, free services in exchange for audiences to provide them with personal data. No way will they be giving customer data away for free anymore. While GDPR is designed to protect its audience, it means an increase in advertising investment from brands seeking personalized customer interaction and validated audience data from platforms. Expect brands to be a lot more discerning about their media spends, a lot more demanding when it comes to data quality and unfortunately… for the smaller publishers to suffer they don’t get their ducks in a row. Throw in the universal uptake of ad-blockers and the repeal of net neutrality (which we are still in denial about) and you can see just how well-protected these walled gardens will be.

We asked location tech firm, Blis’, Managing Director Puja Pannum to weigh in. “Understanding audiences and where to reach them is a marketer’s number one priority before their first dollar is spent, and with more and richer data, targeting capabilities naturally improve. While it’s an absolute priority to protect consumer data, it is also beneficial [for vendors] to be transparent with brands about ROI and footfall data. But to do that, it needs to go both ways,” said Puja. “Brands need to be as transparent and open about their analytics and data sources, like loyalty card data and Google analytics, as vendors are about ROI. Currently, this is the only missing element in end-to-end transparency, something players on both sides should be striving for. In 2018, promoting the sharing of these kinds of data will help brands and their chosen partners build campaigns on more data sources and benefit from a holistic view of what’s working versus what’s not.”

Human + machine gives birth to Digital Twins

One of the more interesting aspects to come from the fusion of Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning is the Digital Twin. A Digital Twin is a virtual replica of physical assets, processes and systems which uses data to enable understanding, learning, reasoning and prediction. The aviation, aerospace and automotive sectors are the leaders in this field, whereby real-time analytics of critical aspects (such as tyre pressure, temperature, distance and speed) have been used to optimize efficiencies.

Where Digital Twin technology starts to get really interesting is in the area of predictive modeling and future-proofing, where we’ll start to see not just the what but the why, generated by the emergence of the “Digital Thread”. The Digital Thread is the contextualization or connectedness of data, informed by the integration of large and multiple data flows, both real time and historical, leading to actionable information – such as establishment of digital twins being able to accurately predict a range of outcomes at scale.

Gartner predicts that by 2021 around half of large industrialized companies will be using Digital Twins. All this said, Digital Twin technology has been around for decades – were it not for Digital Twins, the Apollo 13 mission may well have been doomed – it was this practice that enabled them to mirror how they could rescue the mission when it ran into trouble. Without Digital Twin technology, there would be no Mars rover Curiosity! Take a look at the video below, to see how curiosity, technology, ingenuity and data join forces to make miracles!

Thanks for reading our 2018 trends across content, technology and data. Please feel to drop us a line and let us know what you’re thinking about in this realm and of course, we welcome your feedback too!

 

2018 Media and Marketing Trends across Content, Technology and Data. PART 2: TECHNOLOGY

Technology Empowers the Maker Generation

In the second of our three part series on 2018 trends, we now turn our gaze to technology. In this piece, we’re going to look at social trends produced by technology, rather than tech trends in and of themselves – there’s already squillions of posts out there on AR before VR, blockchain, mobile first approaches, addressable media, voice and mood recognition, data driven content and video content, just to name a few “trends”. Instead, we’ll be looking at social and cultural nuances directly influenced by technology, specifically as they relate to Generation Z, otherwise known as The Maker Generation.

Generation Z is fascinating and of great importance for a number of reasons. Firstly, in the Middle East Gen Z comprises half of the regional population – double that of the US or UK. Gen Z are our first true digital natives, born to digital-savvy parents – namely GenX –  into a world of advanced technological accessibility on a personal scale, with smartphones and social media for example prevalent in their lives since birth. This is the generation that will deal with “the singularity” and will need to assume the lead in addressing the social, moral, economic, ethical and political questions that the advent of such advances necessarily demand. Then there’s the small issue of looming environmental catastrophe that they must address. The reality and viewpoint of this generation will be so different to any other generation the world has seen – and we are already seeing signs of this emerging.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at where things heading today, in 2018.

On Work.

Today’s young adult is different. Unlike their millennial counterparts, a hallmark of Gen Z is a realistic and practical worldview; young adults of today don’t have experience of a life before economic instability and certainly don’t expect opportunities to be handed to them, rather they know that they have to make their own opportunities and be financially responsible. Industriousness, the ability to multi-task, resourcefulness, collaboration and entrepreneurship are hallmarks of this generation. Accessible, crowdfunded tech and collaborative workspaces are emerging symbols of this new way of working: check out the beautiful work being produced by Pier 9, as one example, where one exhibition required that each piece be made available via Instructables and a Creative Commons license, inviting anyone to collaborate.

While some educators lament that, as a result of technology, the attention span of this generation has dwindled, others recognize that the education system itself must necessarily change to become more collaborative. This is the generation that can code, does schoolwork on the cloud and is highly visual due the digital nature of work and interaction.  “Gen Z have always known how to pinch and swipe. They have grown up with hi-def, surround sound, 3D and now 4D – 360 degree photography and film is their normal. Ultra slow motion and hi-speed video is their standard.” (Sparks & Honey, Pew Research, 2012).

On Play.

Where are our young rebels, our wild-eyed-yet-wet-behind-the-ears individuals demanding a brighter future and showing us the way through music, art and culture? They’re not hanging out, partying or protesting the way generations before have done. But that doesn’t mean for a second that this generation is apathetic, far from it. This generation is different.

According to a recent “Think With Google” study, only 15% of Gen Z prefer to connect in person versus 56% who would rather connect through SMS or messaging apps. According to the same study, nearly 3 in 10 teens say they text with people who they’re physically with at the time.

What does this say?

When you overlay this data with other behavioral and attitudinal data, we start to see a clearer picture; this generation sees themselves as collaborative change-agents, a group that will hack the world for the better. And while potentially more physically reclusive than generations that have come before them, in this region, they still want to stand out and online is where their party’s at. In fact, I would argue that online is where GenZ’s “id” – the part of the personality that demands gratification of needs and pleasures – finds its outlet. Looking at this through the theory of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you can begin to see how technology, particularly social technology is impacting the two top tiers – those being self-fulfillment and psychological needs.

On World View.

As you can see, interesting research is beginning to emerge on this generation. According to a study conducted by the Center of Generational Kinetics, personal safety is high on Gen Z’s agenda. They can articulate the impact that social media has on their sense of self worth. Nearly half (42%) report they’ve been bullied online. Being a generation focused on positive and inclusive social movement Gen Z won’t tolerate these actions and it will be interesting to see how they find ways to solve this issue. Youth research consultancy Sparks & Honey found that Gen Z’s outlook is about togetherness; they’re more mature and have greater humility as realists compared to Millennials. Other research indicates a keen sense of financial responsibility.

A creative, resourceful and hyper-connected generation is emerging; one which is vastly different to millennials. For brands to meaningfully engage with The Maker Generation, they must find ways to nurture and empower their ambitions, to listen, collaborate, engage in real-time and ultimately have the confidence to stand back and watch them fly.

 

 

Bravo Romeo’s 2018 Media and Marketing Trends across Content, Data and Technology. PART 1: CONTENT

Quality over Quantity. Effectiveness over Effusiveness.

If 2017 was the year of marketers pulling budgets and challenging the value of activities previously taken for granted, such as award participation and ad fraud; we think 2018 will be the year of media effectiveness.  Decision-makers will demand greater and more granular accountability in media spend, technology investments and content effectiveness.

Given the push for content effectiveness, thoughtful and well-researched content marketing initiatives will find their time in the sun, this year.

So first of all, for the uninitiated, what’s content marketing?

Content marketing is a strategic marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. While digital by provenance, content marketing is by its nature a practice which is media agnostic, taking the case of that old adage: right message, right time, right audience extremely literally and granularly. When applied correctly, content marketing should unify all marketing and communications efforts behind a unified content strategy, with realistic and relevant ROI measurement frameworks in place to analyze success and augment activity.

Why is it important?

Content is booming yet the audience attention is finite. In order to be heard, organizations need to be very careful about how they communicate.

As social and digital media has matured over the years, numerous (and often, major-player) marketers have become lazy about how they communicate, seeing social and digital channels as extensions of their traditional advertising approach. They’ve realized the potential reach of digital however have not necessarily respected the nuanced approach that’s required in order to achieve impact. Consequently, customers are bombarded with ads and messages which offer them little or no value. Given the suite of techniques and tools advertisers have at their disposal, such as super-refined audience segmentation techniques and location-based addressable media, customers can be engaged meaningfully when they’re in a certain mindset. It’s here the opportunity lies – but it’s on marketers to do their homework and have the right team that can bring such initiatives to fruition.

Where does success and failure lie?

(Clue: It’s much more more precious than money)

An agile and flexible content marketing strategy that is grounded in reality is key to success, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 benchmark report. Understanding that content marketing is not a quick-fix “silver bullet” but rather requires the all-too-precious investment of time and internal alignment is also clear.

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Organizations fail where there’s a lack of strategy, time and internal alignment. 

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Content marketing has the capacity to resonate more powerfully with customers because it’s carefully tailored to their needs and interests. For brands that want to be heard, an investment in content is almost inevitable, with more than 40% of B2C and B2B marketers increasing their investment in the practice in 2017.

As is often the case in life, the greatest rewards are hard-fought for. So too with gaining the attention and desired action of your intended customer; a well-thought out, creative and resonant content marketing program is your best means of success.

Next up? Bravo Romeo’s 2018 Media and Marketing Trends across Content, Data and Technology. PART 2: DATA

Bravo Romeo: On a High at The Dubai Airshow!

Event of the year? For me it was the Dubai Airshow, hands down.

Having recently worked within a leading global airline’s corporate communications team I have been in the wings (pardon the pun) of organization of an airshow but this was my first experience as a delegate.

And it was nothing short of wonderous.

If I thought I was an #avgeek before, this experienced confirmed it. The big, beautiful draw of the open skies, the roar of an immensely powerful engine and the smell of jet fuel burning as each bird ascends from the runway up into the vast horizon. The romance, the thrill, the exhilaration. I can only wax lyrical! 

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As a former event manager however, I can’t help but wear my old hat and notice details, large and small. For example, the trap which companies fall into with their designated 3m x 3m white box. Sure, it “ticks the box” but from a delegate’s POV there is often nothing memorable about it; it makes me question the ROI measures that companies apply to their participation. Which is why I was absolutely delighted when we happened across the Boom Supersonic stand. Conceptualized by a Dublin-based company called Catapult, it completely disregarded everything typical about exhibition stand layout and created an experience that delegates were automatically drawn to. Minimalist yet compelling. Below is a snap of the finished product and not a rollup banner in sight!

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Image Credits: thisiscatapult.com 

Now I shall retire my events hat for the moment and swap it for my communications hat.

We went to the airshow with very little agenda, seeking instead to ensure we remained up to date with what’s going on in the industry. One thing that we were so pleasantly reminded of is that there really is nothing like a good old fashioned conversation. In fact, the conversations – and hospitality – that we enjoyed with various people  and companies across the two days was such a highlight. CAE, Boeing and Alsalam, we’re looking at you!

Now this may be quite un-millenial of me to admit; but I often feel that, in this hyper-connected world we live in, we forget the value of face-to-face interaction with people. In this age of screen-time overload, people are genuinely so refreshed by face-to-face conversations. And somewhere like the airshow, in an out-of-office setting, you don’t feel like you’re encroaching on people’s time or burdening them by just dropping by. It was really refreshing to meet new people (Meredith even got to meet her hero Sir Tim Clark!) and share stories. It should come as no surprise that at Bravo Romeo we love a good chat, we are after all storytellers by trade.

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Bravo Romeo’s CEO Meredith Carson (pictured on the right) and Communications Manager Katie Rose Cuthbert

Lastly, there’s a reason it’s on for a week. It is vast! If you’ve only blocked a day to go, believe me when I say it is not enough. The expo is absolutely huge and that’s before you even make it outside to the incredible static display. Organize meetings in the morning and make sure your 2pm is open so you can catch the magnificent air display. I considered trying to describe the full wonder of the display, but as I type I’m reminded of a quote from screenwriter Micheal Parfit who once said, “Can the magic of flight ever be carried by words? I think not”. So I’ll leave it to your imagination, and see you on the tarmac in 2019.