WTF is blockchain? An explainer
It’s a word that keeps cropping up, and it’s supposedly set to transform a number of different industries in the very near future – so why can so few people seem to explain what blockchain is?
Just the name of the technology and the way the word is used generate confusion. Some argue that the word ‘blockchain’ is not a noun, others that it is a noun, but a concrete one and not an abstract one.
And when it comes to the actual tech itself, we have a whole new problem. According to one TechCrunch writer, understanding the technology is “level 10,000 on the nerd scale”. So to help clear up the confusion, here’s Clarity’s guide to blockchain.
Adtech goes to DMEXCO to prove its worth
Rarely has an industry segment endured such a reversal in sentiment.
Just a couple of short years ago, advertising technology was hot. After all, new-wave platforms, programmatic tools, measurement systems and attribution suppliers help publishers, advertisers and agencies achieve greater efficiency and better results.
Then came the transparency troubles. P&G’s marketing chief gave voice to concerns that, previously, were only whispered, when he made a speech this January decrying shady agency practices, a tangle of unseen rebates, poor results and supposedly excess fees levied by those platforms.
Now the adtech industry goes to DMEXCO in Cologne in September, urgently needing to get its customer perception back on track.
Five key consumer electronics trends that will own the rest of 2017
September and October are arguably the two busiest month in the year for consumer electronics. The new products begin to roll out at the IFA exhibition held in Berlin and keep going through until November. Along the way there are likely to be high profile new launches from Apple, Samsung and LG plus a raft of exciting new innovative gadgets that will land on crowdfunding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Here then are five key consumer electronics that we think are likely to shape the rest of the year.
How to make the most of August in PR and comms
Unbelievably, August is nearly upon us. Traditionally August is seen as the quiet month – everyone is on holiday, or so it seems, so projects get paused and things get put on hold, making for a busy September.
Well, this might not all be quite true – as we’ll explain in a post later this week – but if you do find yourself with a bit of quiet time in August, you’d do well to use it wisely. There are jobs that always get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list and things that never get done that you can tidy up, for instance, and you can also make sure you’re prepared for the run-up to Christmas.
So, how can PR agencies and comms departments make sure that they are making hay while the sun shines? Here’s our five-point guide to help you out.
The fintech firms flying the flag for London
As it’s London Fintech Week, we’ve taken a quick look at some of the fintech companies that are flying the flag for London right now.
London’s status as the world’s premier fintech hub is by no means assured, with strong challenges coming from Silicon Valley, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. And with some doubt as to whether Brexit could lead to an exodus of financial companies from the capital, these are tense times for London.
However, there are many reasons to be optimistic, as fintech companies in London continue to keep themselves in the spotlight. While there are many fintech success stories in London – Currency Cloud, Funding Circle and RateSetter to name but a few – we’ve highlighted some of the companies that are currently grabbing the headlines.
The best fintech blogs and newsletters: Our top 8 picks
It’s London Fintech Week this week, a series of conferences, exhibitions and parties where delegates from around the world gather to learn, network and promote this burgeoning industry.
While Silicon Valley, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore can all put forward a strong claim, London is very keen to flaunt its credentials and declare itself the global capital of fintech. London still very much leads the way in Europe, though it’s still uncertain what the consequences of Brexit will be for the city’s fintech scene.
However, to characterise fintech as a battle between regional hubs isn’t necessarily that helpful when it comes to understanding the industry as a whole. The plethora of different sub-categories – payments, remittances, peer-to-peer, digital banking, cryptocurrencies and so on – make it a very complex ecosystem to understand. Then there are the different startups, financial service companies, established banks and technology providers all competing for attention.
Five underestimated PR metrics that spell success
It used to be that PR was measured according to advertising metrics called AVEs (advertising value equivalent). Things have since moved on, and AVEs have been deemed no longer an accurate way of measuring PR efforts – certainly by us here at Clarity, even if it could prove tough to phase them out altogether.
After all, as the old saying goes, “Advertising is what you pay for; publicity [or public relations] is what you pray for.” So why would you measure advertising and PR the same way? And since AVEs are so misleading, how can you gauge the progress and success of your PR campaigns and keep your client happy?
Here is a list of five underrated and useful PR metrics to help tell if you’re on the right track with your campaigns.
AI in advertising: Brand bots and cognitive computers make their pitch
It is billed as the festival of creativity – so why were the meeting rooms and beachfront cafes at last month’s Cannes Lions buzzing with talk of machine learning, probabilistic modelling and blockchain transaction dispersal?
None of these things sound especially creative, but the hand of artificial intelligence is now beginning to touch every industry – and marketing is no different.
In recent years, the world of advertising has seen a wave of new technology tools enter the market, helping to automate the planning, trading and measurement of campaigns.
Many Clarity clients on Startups.co.uk’s list of most heavily backed VC-funded UK companies
This week, we were thrilled to see so many companies that we have worked with in this analysis from Startups.co.uk, which rounds up the biggest VC funding rounds in UK businesses over the last 18 months. Companies such as Billfront, Azimo, Transferwise and Culture Trip.
It makes for interesting reading, and concludes that it is the businesses disrupting an established industry that are likely to win investors over, but rightly points out that you don’t necessarily have to have a ‘sexy’ USP.
Five Insurtech companies to watch
Over the last 12 months Insurtech has become one of the most overused words in the British startup universe. It seems everyone wants a slice of the action in an industry which looks ripe for disruption. More recently, the bigger companies have been getting their act together and embracing all kinds of technology from AI to Blockchain.
For the time being, it is the startups leading the way. A host of companies have emerged on both sides of the Atlantic that are looking to harness technology to make insurance easier to manage and predict on one hand, and simpler for consumers on the other. Here are five innovators worth keeping an eye on:
One of the most hyped of all the new Insurtech startups, Lemonade bills itself as offering insurance the way it is supposed to be. Put simply, it takes a fee from the insurance premium consumers pay – not the whole premium – and at the end of the period invests some of that cash back into the community. It also prides itself in being super quick in assessing and paying claims.