Intuitive Technology: That Amstrad 464 feeling all over again…


THU, 22 MAY 2014

As a 32 year old family man I can confess unashamedly to having three loves: my son, my wife and my homage to Apple.

I’ve grown up in a generation where the pace of technological advancement continues to proliferate and change the very way we live. And that fact solicits the kind of excitement of future promise not felt since the morning of Christmas 1986 when the prospect of an Amstrad 464 under the tree had me out of bed before 5am.

That captivation has never left me. As technology advances it creates scope for innovation in how we use digital to engage and interact with one another; breaking down the barriers between providers of services and the people who use them.

You may have seen British Airways recent launch of digital billboards that interact with their aircrafts as they fly over. Genius! You can see as well how they have made use of Twitter with the #lookup. As the man responsible for James Hay Partnership’s web presence, it had me at hashtag. Why? Because as we tweet and share information about a company, we are endorsing those marketing messages to friends, connections or followers which is proven to be far more effective than any traditional marketing methods and serves to penetrate like-minded social groups.

It also got me thinking about the lessons we all could learn from other sectors about engagement and usability.

In 2012, I had to produce an award submission for marketing excellence in financial services. Being a techy, my thoughts turned to digital and a niche (and in my opinion, an underutilised) area of online marketing known as advergaming. Simple games designed to reinforce marketing messages while encouraging repetitive gaming and peer recommendation in pursuit of the Holy Grail of ‘going viral’. I had the good fortune to stumble across and submit this rather good example from Smile Bank. The Smile advergame is as captivating a call to action that I can recall as every aspect of the advergame continually projects the prospect of liberation from the frustrations of traditional high street banking.

In short, it’s an exciting time and the digital influence on investment platforms is growing. The battle for market share will be won or lost on online capability, through technology that takes pride in delivering an optimum online customer experience, making transacting intuitive and simple with the most ardent technophobe in mind. After all, financial advisers need platforms to drive out costs and drive up efficiencies in order to free up valuable face time with clients.

Just as important is the fact that direct investors, like me, will have more enjoyable things to focus their energy on than labouring over sorting out their financial affairs.

Whether you agree or disagree, let me know by posting a comment below and I promise to respond. I’ve written this in the hope that you might point me in the direction of amazing stuff I haven’t yet heard of, but which could spark an idea for how we could capture the benefits and apply them to what we do.

Any opinions given are those of the individual writing this blog and not necessarily those of James Hay Partnership