AusTech

Business and Technology Articles Contributed by UWA Students

Author: Austech (page 1 of 7)

The use of technology in training

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In order for a business’s operations to run smoothly, it needs talented staff. The issue of nature vs nurture does come into play here. Aside from natural, inherent talent, how can a business ensure that their employees/team members are well-trained enough to handle their duties and function within the organization?

At times, despite someone having an impressive résumé under his/her belt, the person may not necessarily be the best suited for the role. A business has to ensure that the most suitable talents are delegated towards relevant roles and that employees/team members are confident, knowledgeable and skilled enough to correctly run the operations that they have been assigned to.

In every industry, in every aspect of work, technology has become increasingly crucial but in order to benefit from technology, employers need to keep up-to-date with the relevant developments in their field. Technology can have a significant impact on the training and development of employees. Investing in the training and development of employees should not be seen as a burden. It can have a huge impact on their productivity, their performance and their confidence. If you want to bring your organization to the next level, retain clients and gain loyal customers, the professional development of employees should not be ignored.

How can technology help in the training and development of your employees? The Purdue University website states that in 2011, The American Society for Training and Development found American businesses spent around $156 billion on employee training but it was discovered that when employees returned to their jobs, 90% of the skills they had acquired were lost. Now, through technology, there are even more ways in which you can offer corporate training. This means that many of the issues that organizations once faced can now be tackled in many different ways (such as engaging trainees through better methods and much more).

Corporate education no longer needs to be bound to lectures. Employee engagement can be heightened through interactive technologies such as the Medical Knowledge Simulator (MEKSI), which Jawahar Thomas received an innovation patent for. MEKSI is a digital tool used for educational purposes by students and doctors to roleplay consultations with hypothetical patients. Involving hands-on interaction and relevant material in training can help trainees retain information more efficiently.

There are many ways that technology can bring benefit to the training and development of employees. These can be in the form of virtual classrooms, which help learners through learning which is not bound by time and place. Virtual learning can take place through videos or video conferences.

Several businesses such as Walmart, United Rentals and Fidelity Investments also use STRIVR, which is a virtual reality tool used to improve the performance of individuals, brands, corporations and more. Walmart uses STRIVR for training employees in customer service and management. In the 360 VR environment, there are on-screen cues that will prompt the trainee to make decisions based on real situations like how to deal with customer service scenarios.

Technology can play a part in helping employees gain more of the knowledge that they require and also help them to retain knowledge. More importantly, technology can help spark a passion for continuous learning which can be vital to achieving success in today’s fast-moving world.

However, it is equally important to remember to not become a slave to technology. Training does not have to be bound to technology or any particular method. Employees should be encouraged to take initiative and to put in the effort to find out what works for them and expand their knowledge autonomously. Seeking out mentors the good old fashioned way can also provide them with a rich source of knowledge.

A day in the life of a day trader

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The world of fiction probably hasn’t done traders any favours. Outsiders probably think that it’s all exactly like the plot of The Wolf of Wall Street or one of the countless other sexed up dramas that offer up a Hollywood hyped up half-truth.

The practice of day trading probably suffers more than most. On top of the fictional stereotypes, the portrayal in the media is that this is some giant ‘get rich quick’ scheme – hardly helped by some scammers who have tried to suggest that it is just that.

Day trading, in actual fact, requires you to be blessed with a lot of knowledge and a decent amount of funds. This type of trader, as Investopedia succintly notes, ‘utilizes high amounts of leverage and short-term trading strategies to capitalize on small price movements’.

Typically this involves engaging in online share trading in highly liquid markets or, often, currency.

So, what does a day look like for a day trader?

Firstly, the planning stage is crucial. While you might be able to think about trades in advance, day traders need to be able to capitalise on the particular strategies that will work on that day. As a result, they need to know what’s new and what that means for their market.

This means learning to structure a day around the start of trading – getting up at least an hour before beginning and mulling over strategies over breakfast – regardless of whether this is an activity being doing alone or within an organisation.

The preparation required involves catching up on the main financial news from across the world, spotting key signs from trusted sources and checking out analysis from commentators whose advice can be trusted. Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Australian Financial Review and Reuters are key for this.

At this point, it also means:

  • Checking a trading account balance to set a ‘budget’. Beginners shouldn’t be risking more than 1% on each trade while experienced traders will stretch this to 2%.
  • Looking at an economic calendar to assess major events that might occur. While not all news is planned – natural disasters and tweets from Presidents are difficult to predict after all – key economic statements, elections and financial results can be placed in a calendar so that traders can brace themselves to react quickly.

Then it’s time to access a series of charts and graphs before finally deciding on the day’s strategy.

It’s likely, depending on the market in question, that there might be a flurry of activity at the start of the day followed by a lot of waiting.

As The Balance stresses: “Day trading isn’t always exciting; many days are actually quite boring. Most day traders will admit that they love what they do, though. If you know your strategies well, not much will surprise you or get your adrenaline pumping…although the outcome of each trade is unknown when you take it. That does make it fun, but it should never be viewed as gambling.

“Most day traders have brief days, working two to five hours per day. Five hours is high. Add on a few minutes each day for preparation, and review at the end of the day and week, and day trading still isn’t very time consuming.”

However, such short days are only possible after day traders have picked up a decent level of experience.

Timings also depend on the market you’re involved in. Australian currency strategist Gregory McKenna, for example, notes that currency markets open at 5am Monday, Sydney time and are open 24 hours a day, until 5pm Friday New York time, which is around 9am Saturday morning in Sydney.

This means he has to pay attention to a potential peak time in the afternoon. He explained: “Depending on whether we’re in daylight savings mode or not, I’ll either get ready for some action between 3 and 5pm, or if it’s summer, a little while after that. The action comes from the UK/European open and those traders sometimes like to play odd moves when they paddle in, which can trigger or set up trades. It can also stop you out, so be careful.”

Day traders will then typically end their day by taking a snapshot of the success of their trades in pips, points and cents. This log of activity is crucial to help expand a day trader’s knowledge bank – helping them to pinpoint key losses and gains in order to learn lessons for future days – feeding back into the preparation stage for the next day.

A day trader, therefore, is a skilled, quick-thinking individual who engages in a flurry of high value trading decisions within the first few hours of the day – as well as key peak times relevant for their chosen asset. Beyond that, there’s more waiting around – and time for other pursuits – than the stereotypical image might have you believe.

Sports Experience in the Technological Age

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We are at the cusp of a new era in sports viewership and experiences. Sports has become a 24/7 activity and sportspersons have become an extension of our lives, thanks to the power of mobile devices and the universe of social media respectively.

Watching live sports has become a far more interactive experience today than it ever was. Just as television changed the manner in which families in the 1950s interacted with sports, the internet has transformed sports experiences in contemporary times. The internet provides virtual access to sports in real time and on demand, allowing spectators to remain connected with the sports events. The major leagues are also deploying technology to stream content to fans and keep them engaged. Live streaming is becoming increasingly available across all platforms, with fans watching content on their mobile devices on the move just as easily as they could be sitting at home. With internet-enabled real time video streaming, people are watching their favorite teams playing a game in another time zone. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs are connecting sport fans with each other and with the sports professional themselves. Thanks to the internet, people are visiting the websites and Facebook pages of their favorite teams, browsing for stories, reading sport blogs and betting on the probability of winning a tennis match or any other sports for that matter.

The conventional sports stadiums are embracing technology in order to attract and retain fans in the face of a rapid increase in remote sports viewing experiences. Ticketing has gone high-tech, with sports fans being able to purchase tickets online in a matter of minutes. Online platforms such as Eventbrite have simplified the entire ticketing process, Facebook and Craigslist are allowing fans to purchase and sell tickets without having to navigate through ticketing websites, and apps are bringing tickets into people’s hands. Parking has become simplified, with a smart phone app revealing the closest available parking slot and guiding fans to their seats. In addition to big screen replays and highlights, stadiums are making it possible for fans to watch the sports-related content on their smart phones and share it with other enthusiasts at the venue. Laser light shows and projection mapping are taking the concept of pre-game entertainment higher by a few notches.

We are staring at a future in which our tablets, smart phones and laptops will recognize the game that we are watching on TV and give us a personalized experience on a second screen. The entire world of sports will be available in the palm of the hand and will be personalized on the basis of individual needs and conveniences. The arrival of new technologies will further blur the lines between the athlete and fan. The sportsmen will find innovative means of reaching new heights, while the sports lovers will discover novel modes of relating with their beloved team on and off the playing field.

Dell Set to Make a Comeback

pexels-photo-811587.jpegFormer tech giant, Dell, is set to make a comeback to the industry. Dell Technologies Inc. will buy out its tracking stock to obtain stronger control over VMware, Inc, giving Dell an easier avenue to obtain the rest of the software in the future. The current value of the stock is about $17 billion with the total market value of VMWare at around $60 billion. The stock has almost doubled since it was issued, with the current closing value around $84.58. Currently, over 80% of VMWare is controlled by Dell stockholders and Dell’s DHI shareholders, Michael Dell and Silver Lake.

Dell used to be a top personal computer brand. They have since expanded further into the tech atmosphere, with products including servers, storage hardware, and networking gear; with the EMC acquisition last year in 2016 for $67 billion, Dell now also has software tools being developed, helping them brand themselves further as a software development company.

The current business venture comes five years after Dell dropped from the stock markets. When Michael Dell made Dell private in 2013, $4 billion of his own Dell shares and $750 million in cash were used to complete the $25 billion deal. In 2015, a $67 billion cash and stock merger with EMC was completed. VMWare had over $11 billion in cash at the end of 2017. It had generated $8.1 billion on sales and $3.3 billion in cash flow in one year. Dell has offered to pay $21.7 billion for the shares.

If this is the case, Michael Dell will own 54% of Dell Technologies. This implies that Dell now has $33 billion or so in Dell Shares. VMWare’s New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) value is marketed at $65.8 billion. He will lay claim to around 40% of VMWare, which leads his stake at somewhere around $30 billion. He was ranked at #39 on the 2018 Forbes Billionaires List, with a net work of $22.7 billion. After this merger, his rank and net worth will likely climb.

The purchase was approved by the boards of both Dell and VMWare. This not only simplifies the current confusing structure of Dell but allows Dell to become involved in public stocks again.

“Like our customers, we had to transform for a new digital era, the world of business and technology is merging in a fourth industrial revolution enabled by a perfect storm of technology tipping points,” Dell said to investors and analysis in a conference call, “It’s computing and the Internet of Things, ubiquitous computing through broadband and 5G, along with AI, machine learning have come together to transform the way we use data.”

“In 2012, people were saying the PC was dead. It wasn’t. Three years ago, people were saying that everything’s going to the public cloud. Turns out that was completely wrong, too. I believe we’ve accomplished what we set out to do in evolving the business. But the work of evolving a company is never done,” Mr. Dell said in an interview.

 

Artificial Intelligence: Re-imagining Travel Technology

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With the emergence of big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence, travel companies are witnessing a radical change across the globe. It has enabled the emergence of newer business models, a string of successful startups, and higher visibility for existing players through micro-targeted campaigns. To meet the growing demands of the modern consumer, travel companies have embraced new technologies that have the potential to generate a greater return on investment for the firms. With the new changes, travelers have only been willing to adopt them to make their travel easier and enjoyable. Reports revealed that 80% travelers would prefer to self-book their trip online than rely on offline processes.

The latest technology has given rise to a flurry of shared economy companies such as Airbnb and Uber, online travel agents, chatbots for customer support and supported many other business models. In today’s data driven world, clients can make hotel reservations through app-based platforms and apply for visas online. One such example is where online travel agents process Malaysia visa for Indians simply by filling in a form that takes less than a minute. With an increasing number of travelers relying on technology to take care of a wide spectrum of their travel needs, here are some key areas where innovative technology and artificial intelligence can impact the travel industry:

  1. Personalized interactions powered by chatbots:

Be it the myriad options to compare travel packages, budgets, or make bookings online, there’s ample research that needs to be done by the traveler. This requires spending time sifting through terms and conditions, travel guides and reviews before narrowing down on one option. With AI comes a quicker alternative. The traveler can use an interactive app that will factor in their requirements and provide a finite set of options.

The benefits are plenty and the scope for scaling it is infinite. Chatbots can help non-native travelers navigate through a foreign land effortlessly. If there arises weather conditions that require travelers to be constantly updated, travel companies can use assistance from AI to handle queries efficiently. This can remove large pain points for travelers.

  1. Facial recognition technology:

Travelers are scrutinized for travel documents and oftentimes deal with complex and lengthy paper-based processes. This can be replaced with facial recognition technology, which will enable a seamless process for migration and airport check-in and check-out. If data and blockchain are used, it makes the process much simpler for travelers, only demanding a simple facial scan to process transactions.

  1. Machine Learning:

Machine learning enables firms to track data and gauge the client’s needs based on patterns and trends. Travel companies can leverage this information to provide customized services to travelers and extend recommendations that are tailored to the client’s requirements.

  1. Social media:

With the surge in social media analytics tools, travel companies can avail their features to track feedback on services or products across social media channels. This will help the companies better understand what clicks and what has failed. It will also help them track if a customer is unhappy with the service and reach out to the client real-time to fix the issue.

With the deluge of options available in today’s market, artificial intelligence and other advanced technology stand to revolutionize the travel industry. They enable greater efficiency and reduces the heavy consumption of time.

The Future of Smart Cars

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Technology is such a powerful element in our lives that there exists no field of our lives it did not infiltrate into: we are guided, supported and led by technology in every second of our lives. At home, the modern day citizen has smart home appliances which make it easier for them to cook, clean and relax, while on the street, the same person utilizes GPS to find their way to the office. Upon reaching the office, the same person uses their smartphone for various purposes, ranging from e-mailing clients to creating a
timesheet app for the next business meeting for more efficiency and success. One specific field where technology did not necessarily infiltrate into the way it did into humans’ home and office lives is the car business, which showed significant progress recently to integrate fundamental technologies into its vehicles but regardless left some more empty room for further innovation. As cars get faster, their fans expect more on the technological side of things and hopefully soon the world will begin to experience the true joy of driving with extremely smart and versatile vehicles if the companies pay attention to such customer demand.

One of the most important aspects of “smart living” is assistance and unfortunately many cars lack such assistance which has created significant demand for such services in the industry. David Kiley for Forbes Magazine reports on Amazon’s Alexa as the new superstar in this field as the company seeks to integrate the software into more cars produced by different brands to aid the drivers in enjoying their ride with the safety of a smart co-pilot. Kiley speaks of the latest deal with Toyota which will make it possible for drivers and passengers to “get directions, control in-car infotainment services and perform all the other ask-and-answer functions Alexa delivers in the home application” while enjoying their ride  to the fullest extent. By connecting their home and car versions of Alexa together, users can enjoy a seamless and integrated living experience and the idea is so good that Amazon managed to strike a deal with other car producers such as Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan as well. Once Alexa begins to dominate the office life too, its users will be living in a world of their own creation and choices to be able to elevate their life standards to higher security and technical complexity to reserve more time to enjoy their time at home, in the office or while driving.

The safety of riding a self-driving car is an unquestionable advantage the vehicle provides to its users but it comes with a couple of glitches along the way. Brian Fung for The Washington Post reports on Ford Motor Company’s new project in collaboration with Stanford University and Yahoo.com founder Jerry Yang, namely Civil Maps for Waze, which is a database of detailed maps for such cars. The problem is that these cars require human input for the first trial which is a big hassle for those interested in time and effort efficiency. By utilizing real life drivers and their contributions, the system intends on creating a database of valuable information including maps, traffic information, images and videos to help self-driving cars optimize their passengers’ ride. So far, the project has received 6.6 million dollars of investment but considering Ford Motor Company’s position in it, it is understood that in the future when it becomes more popularized, the numbers will increase as well. The system allows real-time input from its users that makes it possible to resolve real-time problems through intelligent solutions brought in by its users which means that the system depends on its users as much as the users depend on it which promotes trust and fidelity between the two camps.   

Naturally, car producers are not falling behind in this pursuit either and Mercedes-Benz is one of the leading car producers in the world that has stepped into the game. Darrel Etherington for The Huffington Global reports on the company’s latest innovation, MBUX smart multimedia system and in-car voice assistant which the company is directly installing in its newest models. The system utilizes the world’s pioneer video card producer Nvidia’s latest GPU technology to provide excellent visuals of the road, the maps or any other information demanded by the user while also providing services such as internet connectivity, social media and weather forecasts. The system also has a great user interface with interactive animations which is compatible with both Google’s Android and Iphone’s iOs and is also quite simplistic to make itself accessible to all of its users. As a result of this innovation, Mercedes-Benz gained significant respect in the eyes of its fans along with the tech geeks who are closely following the developments in the smart cars industry daily and hopefully the company will continue to innovate in this field to provide even smarter and more utile systems to help its drivers with their needs as they are driving their state-of-the-art cars.    

Starting a university blog

5-Best-Content-Writing-Tools-to-Write-Killer-Blog-Post.pngEntrepreneurs have been the heart and soul of the business industry for years now, but as the industry changes, so do the kinds of entrepreneurs that make up the industry. In a world where technology reigns supreme, traditional methods of entrepreneurship are either forced to modernise or be completely reshaped to remain relevant. As technologies continue to further envelope the world, new and emboldened forms of entrepreneurship are being introduced and utilised now more than ever. Running a successful, thriving business no longer requires entrepreneurs to sit in an office, being stuck behind a desk. These days, businesses can become empires regardless of if their leader sits in an office in a sky rise building, or leads the project from the comfort of their own home. The introduction of the technology behind the internet has ignited a thirst for a more convenient, easily accessible way for the masses to embrace brands and businesses. Entrepreneurs are using this general thirst for convenience to their advantage, creating and running blogs and websites that make their business stand out among the masses of competition. While it is true that blogging can prove to be an incredibly powerful tool for entrepreneurs, it can also evolve from a useful tool into a full-time job, the heart of an empire.

There is a preconceived notion in entrepreneurship that once someone has a steadfast idea, it just takes a little hard work and then the business will flourish unattended. Brands are now finding themselves temporarily shaken when the traditional business models and methods no longer work for them. In this tech era where the entire world is seemingly grasping to stay connected, brands that focus primarily on community-powered generation take the lead as modern titans of industry. It is a time consuming, rocky process, but the individuals that put in the work often find that their hard work is brought back to them tenfold in the form of a consumer base that is strong and a business that is powerful. One of the most surprising – and arguably the most successful – kinds of entrepreneur is a blogger. Bloggers can turn their side project blogs into a full-time (and then some) career, now more than ever, by using their natural talents to develop and nurture a virtual brand that turns into something with unprecedented value.

Writing naturally is where some bloggers can go wrong is focusing too much on what they think is necessary. Writing naturally can be daunting when one begins (as is any new job) but once the process begins and individuals get a concrete understanding of what the blog means to them and to their prospective audience, it quite often flows naturally. Using a blog to demonstrate one’s brand concepts, inspiration, and ideas can mean the difference between lagging behind the pack and sprinting miles in front of it. Blogs – like most modern concepts – create opportunities that traditional means cannot offer, giving those that run blogs an edge over the expected. While creating original content can be time-consuming, it also allows entrepreneurs to solidify their business but using tools and skills that give their online spaces a unique voice that none of their potential competitors have.

And it is not just older, more seasoned entrepreneurs that are giving blogging a go. Students are using virtual platforms to reach out to and engage with wider audiences that can further and excel their personal brand. This experience helps them to further shape their ideals about the industry while simultaneously giving them first-hand experience that can kick-start their address book of professional connections for later in their careers. Universities and colleges are making it their mission to encourage entrepreneurship in their students, and one way of doing so in an organic way is by emboldening students to consider starting a university blog. Being a successful entrepreneur used to mean clocking in hours upon hours from behind a desk, being forced to commit gruelling time to a project that perhaps felt like more effort than it ended up being worth. Now, even students still practicing their fields can break into the entrepreneurship club early, giving them an edge for the future. Being a game changer in any industry is tough, and that has not changed – what has changed is methods and tools that individuals are using to become titans of industry.

In a world that is constantly becoming more and more digitized, online platforms are becoming one of the front runners in business innovation. Gone are the days that being an entrepreneur meant years of long, hard, on-site effort. The hard work has not changed, but the geographical aspect has. Entrepreneurs no longer must use the typical, traditional means to build a brand and a name for themselves. Bloggers are the new face of entrepreneurship, and they are proving to be a force to be reckoned with…in a world that functions to reliantly on convenient access to content, bloggers hold the perfect cards to come out on top.

How ImmVRse Will Change the Virtual Reality World

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The advent of technology has led to a lot of transformations in the world. Virtual Reality (VR) is one of these transformations that consumers continue to enjoy today. Virtual reality is a general term for all computer-generated situations to simulate certain experiences. It is a technology that is quite profitable for its many uses. VR can be used in entertainment, tourism, business, and healthcare, as well as in the education sector.

Through this technology, many other platforms have been created. ImmVRse is one of these platforms and a breakthrough of several talented professionals from the virtual reality sector. These experts used their advertising, digital marketing, blockchain skills and resources to uplift the existing VR industry.

A glimpse into ImmVRse-What to know

ImmVRse promises to provide an environment where virtual reality content creators and developers will easily and successfully distribute their content online with a more dedicated platform. Individuals using this VR platform will be able to showcase their content regardless of their geographical location and restrictions.

The VR ImmVRse technology is widely used in the gaming sector. However, its implementation can also be effective in many other sectors. For instance, this technology can be used in the healthcare sector by creating images of human anatomy. In addition, it can be used to show how health treatments can be administered in different ways. When it comes to tourism, ImmVRse can be used to advertise remote areas and make them more appealing to tourists from different walks of life. It may even be employed by a digital marketing agency to help market a start up through interactive simulations.

How ImmVRse Will Impact Virtual Reality Technology

ImmVRse is designed to help solve a number of problems experienced by Virtual Reality technology consumers. They include:

  • Lack of creativity

ImmVRse is a great technology platform for content creators, developers and advertisers and it will help solve many creativity issues. These individuals will get a chance to come together and interact with one another whilst coming up with solutions to problems they have been facing. Consumers can learn new things and share with other shareholders in different sectors. This will improve creativity and capabilities of everyone involved.

  • Control issues

This Virtual Reality platform offers consumers an opportunity to enjoy full control when running things. This is a core advantage that many content creators will enjoy. Consumers of this platform will be free to do anything they wish and develop any kind of content they fancy. As ImmVRse is a decentralized system, there will be no third party control.

  • Transaction issues

Many consumers have problems when it comes to making payments online. Through ImmVRse platform, it will be easy and effective to make payment. This can be attributed to the cryptocurrency application. If one is using the platform in a country with restricted banking application, he or she can take advantage of this cryptocurrency. One does not also have to deal with high charges in the field of interest.

Content creators and advertisers will enjoy flexibility and versatility using this platform. In fact, they can go on and invest money using ICO (Initial Coin Offering) system. Token distribution is a key facet of this Virtual Reality platform and all that one needs to do is buy the tokens before the platform opens up doors for consumers worldwide. There is a lot to learn about ImmVRse as it continues to revolutionize the VR content industry. Don’t be left behind.

Automobiles and their correlation with adulthood

pexels-photo-787472.jpegPurchasing your first car can be a daunting experience, especially if you do not know what to look out for. Here are some factors you will need to consider when buying your first car, so you can feel confident and reassured that you are making the right decision.

Talk with Parents

Once you have made the decision to purchase your first car, it is best that you let your parents know so you are able to get first-hand advice on what to look out for. There are a variety of options that will be available to you, so speaking with your parents on how you are going to finance the car, as well as maintain it, will help put you on the right track.

Planning

If your parents need you to pay for a portion of the vehicle as well as the insurance or gas, you will need to have a plan in place that can help you identify what car insurance company is best for you, as well as all the expenses that will need to be added on. Every parent is different, so you may find yours may be able to help fund a lot of the cost, however, if you are struggling to find the money needed, there are a variety of routes you can go down to help raise funds such as by babysitting, tutoring, or dog walking.

Thorough Research

Before you decide on whether you want a new or used car, it is important that you conduct as much research as possible to help you make the right decision. Looking online can give you access to dozens of car companies that will have lots of the popular brands you know such as Holden, Ford, and Toyota.

Visiting Dealerships

Once you have done your research and you have a clearer idea of what you want in your first car, you will need to visit a dealership, so you can see the car in real life. Seeing the car in person can help you make up your mind on whether it is right for you. It is best to bring along your parents, who can offer a second opinion. If you have any questions or worries, make sure that you write them down before you visit, so you can feel prepared and ready when engaging with the dealership.

Car History

If you have decided on buying a used car, make sure you ask the dealership for the car history. It is important that you know how many owners the car has had, the number of miles it’s done, as well as if there is any damage to the vehicle. If they cannot provide you with the car’s history, it is best to walk away. While it may be considerably cheaper, you will not know whether the car is reliable and safe to use.

There are other factors that you will need to consider when purchasing your first car. Make sure that you take as much time as you need so you can be assured that you are getting good value for money.

The buyer mentality of Millennials

finder.com.au.jpgIt is the time of handing over the baton from one generation to another. The Baby boomers, the most influential generation in history so far, is retiring from active economic life and receding into the background. According to Goldman Sachs, the largest generation today are the Millennials, with 92 million people.

Millennials are growing up and focusing on entering the workforce at a time of major technological change, economic disruption at home and globalization at an unprecedented rate. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Millennials will comprise 75% of the country’s workforce by 2030.  Millennial expert Crystal Kadakia said, “People who have been there forever, left to their own devices, are rarely in the best position to design the future. It’s those who consciously listen to the constituents of the future who can understand which direction to move in.” 

Many major industries have had to re-think their marketing strategies because of the total break the Millennials are taking from the way earlier generations lived their lives. Millennials are the first generation to grow up with technology, and their intimate bond with technology is affecting the way they function day-to-day. They are in the habit of spending 18 hours per day using some sort of digital media. Furthermore, 90% of teenagers are heavily into social media, up from 12% in 2005, according to studies by Pew Research Center. Millennials use their smartphones to compare prices of products and services in real time, even as they look up information on products and scan peer reviews to check if the product is what they are looking for.

In parallel behavior, Millennials are influencing significant change in the way the insurance industry sells its products. For instance, having been swamped by advertisements from childhood, Millennials, are skeptical of advertisements, particularly because it is one-way communication and does not include conversation. They are more inclined to believe the opinion of someone they trust, like family, friends or social media connections. At the same time they tend to be disengaged with insurers, and are not into forming long-term relationships with insurance representatives, let alone recommend the company to friends and family. This was something earlier generations engaged in with enthusiasm.

Insurance companies, thus, have to engage with potential Millennial customers in ways different to what they have done all these years. A Gallup study found significant trends of how Millennials look at insurance. Building strong relationships with Baby Boomers and Generation X helps insurance companies to initiate a relationship with Millennials because they will go with whoever family recommends. They have stronger inclination toward family recommendation more than their parents’ generation did.

On the other hand, as a generation that turns to the Internet for confirmation and reassurance, Millennials are twice as likely as previous generations, to purchase insurance policies online. Large insurance companies have launched mobile and Alexa apps to get through to millennials’ who have smartphones and tablets as their purchasing motivators.

Many Millennials are delaying buying houses and are living with their parents, or are renting. A significant reason for this trend is overwhelming student debt. Nevertheless, with homeownership on the decline, the demand for home insurance is stagnant as well. However, renter’s insurance has seen a rise in recent years. According to renters’ insurance expert, Brian Richards, the rise in demand for renters’ insurance is because of decline in homeownership due to delayed marriage, college enrollment and shifts in labor force participation. Reduction in buying houses, though, does not mean there is a decline in demand for insuring the content of houses. And insurance companies are alert to that fact. Also, as insurance companies observe, millennial preoccupation in good jobs has fueled demand for income insurance providers.

Insurance companies, studying the behavior of Millennials have realized the need for different kinds of insurance which were not needed by their parents’ generation. For instance, many Millennials are not into buying a car or driving – which marked the rite of passage in their parents’ generation. Today, with increased cost of car insurance and the cost of buying a car, many Millennials are delaying buying cars or have simply decided not to buy at all. They use mobility services like Uber and Lyft, and when going out with friends in the evening, use ridesharing services 70% of the time. Therefore, insurance companies have launched products like rideshare insurance, which provides coverage for people who decide to offset the cost of owning a car by using their vehicle to transport passengers.  There is also bike insurance and pay-as-you-go car coverage to suit different millennial needs.

The insurance industry, worth over $1.2 trillion dollars is undeniably one of the most lucrative businesses in the world. However, dealing with the millennial generation is posing a lot of challenges. Some companies are still continuing with the strategies of an age gone by, such as telemarking, and direct mail to potential customers. These gestures leave Millennials cold.  On the other hand, there are smart companies who have understood the millennial psyche and have begun marketing not products, but lifestyles. They have rightly understood that millennials value experience more than material things. They want to travel and see the world and be able to use products without the hassle of ownership. Thus, the insurance industry is gradually coming to terms it has to provide, not tried and tested products like homeowners’ and auto insurance, but the kind of product that the current generation wants, with their tech-driven mindset. And along with customized products, Millennials demand exceptional customer service. So, “delighting” the customer has become the pivotal concept twirling the insurance and other industries around the marketing landscape.

As Crystal Kadakia said, “We thrive when we are pulled by the future, not pushed by the past.”                                  

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