Welcome to the Internet : the land of Marketplaces ! We all know Amazon marketplace, Asos Marketplace, or many other platforms dedicated to peer-to-peer selling. For a lot of people, the Internet is the best place to sell products (new or vintage) to other people. It’s as easy as 1,2,3 ; just find a popular platform like Craigslist or Leboncoin for our french readers, and post the most convincing image (sometimes even adding some filters to beautify it), with a short description and a price tag. And wait.. until someone makes the move. To try and boost the sale of an old couch, people share their posts on social media. Who knows, maybe one of our Facebook friends has a cousin who needs a vintage couch, right? Now Facebook, that social network we use ‘all day everyday’ is launching its own Marketplace. In this article, we’ll go through the basics of that new Facebook feature.
Cecile Demailly, a consultant in organisational change within large companies, built a survey to better understand how middle management cope with digital transformation. The latter is a phenomenon that is touching all the industries. Yes, it brings changes. That’s why disruption is also a keyword that you might have came across when looking at digital transformation. When developing her research, Demailly brings corporate knowledge, strategic consulting expertise, adaptation to new business models with the regular research practice. In order to get a complete analysis of middle management’s perception of digital transformation lived in their jobs, the questionnaire she designed covered 7 areas of questions. She made the questions as comprehensive as possible, for the managers to understand, and give accurate answers. The areas she touched on are the following: Technology adoption, mindset, status, relations, organisational environment, change and adaptability. The answers she collected and analysed are very interesting to look at. Let’s go through them briefly in this article. Feel free to dig deeper.
In the context of Cecile Demailly’s study, we are mainly talking about the digital divide that appeared with executive management.
Middle management has some positive feedback about the implementation of digital practices within their company. However, it came with some challenges and a lot of ambiguity in regards to their tasks. They were expected to stand up and take action. In other words, to be leaders. Usually, people are not unhappy with that. But, here, the problem is: the lack of recognition. Middle management “leaders” made efforts that were not really looked up to.
A shift towards leadership
Today, in a “digitally transformed” company, middle managers go through a shift in their identity and their job tasks. How? Well, by guiding, influencing and facilitating the organisation basically. Middle managers should be open minded, and work towards to development of their teams and the processes. They should not think of controlling processes and people, like in some sort of dictatorship.
By adding new ingredients, the digital transformation recipe is made more difficult. New tools and new processes add a layer of complexity and uncertainty. Middle managers should answer questions they have not come across in the past, and must step in a new area of activity. This brings us to the next part of our article: middle managers’ required skills.
The digital paradox
Obviously, when analysing the findings of a survey, we find different opinions and perceptions of the same concept (that’s the whole point of developing a survey). In Cecile’s study, she found very interesting, yet paradoxical results: 50% of the respondents think digitisation helps them grasp situations and think more creatively, versus 40% who think the exact opposite. Read more →
Real estate and digital seem so far away from each other. Buying a house online is so absurd for some of you. We buy shoes, electronics, or earphones online – and if we’re feeling too adventurous, maybe a couch. But a house? That might sound crazy to some of you. But actually it’s not. You probably read some of our articles on virtual reality, augmented reality and all the other concepts that come with that. Yes, they are impressive. Yes they are fun. They are also used in business, and especially in Real Estate. Growing up, I have always tried to understand blueprints and visualise how the house or the appartement would look like in real life. I can tell you one thing: It is very tough for some. Then again, technology made our lives easier. With virtual tours, and virtual reality, you can now walk around an appartement that is not even built yet, imagine the different floor textures and wall colours, and even check out the view from the balcony.
On the 19th of September, I was invited by Habiteo, to discover how technology and Real estate meet. I found it extremely interesting to be in the South of France, while sitting in a bus in the 9th district in Paris, thanks to VR.
The Real Estate industry is ripe for change for many different reasons. I will list and briefly explain the main reasons, that seem obvious and interesting to look at.
To begin with, when looking for a house or a flat, one tries to gather as much information as possible. And we all know, the Internet is the perfect place for that. Let’s put ourselves in a particular situation to better grasp this whole concept : my situation 3 years ago, when I first moved to Manchester in the United Kingdom. I looked for flats online, until I found the perfect one. How did I choose? The answer is simple: virtual tours (when available), and a lot of google maps. I had to know where the closest Sainsbury was, and the closest bus stop. I also needed to locate the flat according the the School, the gym, and the city center. Is this street residential, or is it underpopulated? I found the answer to all my questions online. Google maps, the school’s student platform and the property’s website.
Taking advantage of the disruption
I think we all agree on one thing: it is challenging to convince potential clients to buy something that is not even built yet.
In today’s environment, some people do not even have the time to go to the point of sale, or the agency due to their busy schedules. People look for flexibility: they need something that they can access whenever they have a bit of time. And again, the Internet is the answer.
I had a very interesting conversation with Jeanne Massa, the co-founder of Habiteo, who explained to me all their concept. Yes, i’ll explain it back to you. Basically, they use 3D modelling technologies, to allow potential buyers, to step inside an unbuilt home. This model follows perfectly the architect’s plans. They go even further.
Digital marketers (and marketers in general) are very cleaver. They understand our behaviours, and make the best out of it. They do this in a very tricky way. It’s always interesting to look at that in terms of strategy and creativity. You might ask what this has to do with infographics? I’ll tell you. It has been shown that 65% of us are visual learners , and that an information has 3 times more chance of being read and understood when it is presented in a visual way. I personally enjoy and understand information more easily when it is communicated with graphics, colours and attractive font. Every morning, I go through my Twitter feed- a little bit of personal community management never hurt nobody- and I see so many infographics being shared. This is mainly why I chose to write this article. Let’s discover and understand this new graphical and colourful trend together ! Ready?
Visualising Information, the power of infographics
People today do not have the time to read long posts or long articles. And of course, do not expect them to remember what they read. It is not a bad thing, it is just a fact. Today, we all read articles we find on social media, while commuting to work, to home, or to a friend’s house. That’s the pace we live in today. The more digitalised we are, the more our focus is weak. It is easy to get distracted when reading an amazingly interesting article on mobile. It is simply because we are always in a rush, multitasking different tasks and screens.
Infographics embrace this problem, and give its audience the solution: defy time by highlighting important information. How? By simply making it more attractive to readers. When someone sees a large number on a page, they are more curious to know what this 85% means, what phenomenon it is linked to and so on.
Visualising information has a very strong persuasive aspect. That is what makes infographics so powerful. Compare the following two actions, and you tell us which one is easier, in your opinion. The first one is reading a long text, and trying to find that one golden number that we are looking for. The second is looking at a poster, an infographic, and scan through the highlighted information in a few seconds.
Basically, marketers use the power of (info)graphics to communicate complex concepts, to explain them, and make it simple for people to grasp the main information that the infographic is highlighting.
A few months ago, Michael Kohen, Co-founder and COO at Wonder visited our offices in Paris, all the way from New York. Yann Gourvennec discussed with him about search and its future: is search better when don through search engines such as Google, or through the help of humans?Today, when one has a question , they simply Google it, and scroll through an infinite number of (potential) answers. But, is this really the most efficient solution when you’re a busy executive in a firm, and have one meeting after the other? That’s what the conversation was about. You can find the video below.
What is Askwonder?
Askwonder is a ‘knowledge concierge’. This is a new term for services that focus on delivering relevant information on demand to people. In fact, Michael explains that the concept of Askwonder is all about delivering answers, whether it is stats, lists, insights, discoveries, you name it. It was initially designed for busy people, like marketers who do not really have the time to get lost in a pile of search engine answers. Spending long hours looking for information online is not really efficient. This is exactly how Askwonder was born. You can ask any kind of question, and your answers are delivered to you within a few hours. According to their Website, around 88,800 hours were saved thanks to this solution. How great is that?
Individuals and professionals (real estate agencies, marketers etc.) use this service. There are two groups that get the most out of this service : consultants and marketing professionals. These two types of people always have to work on market research or profiling for example, in addition to analysing this information and so on. This is why they rely on Askwonder.
How does Askwonder work?
As illustrated in the image above, the concept is quite simple. You have question, you ask it to the research team at Askwonder, around 1,000 US based researchers who are going to give you the answer as soon as they can. The answer includes a summary of insights and research that you can look deeper into.