Category Archives: Learning

Understanding your Demographic and what business can learn from the iGaming

Probably the two most hotly contested spaces on the internet right now are Dating and on-line gaming and gambling. Tapping into the strongest of human emotions is clearly a winner especially where money comes into the equation.

What can other businesses learn from the experience of the successful on-line gaming businesses and their drive to win new clients and steal those of their peers?

Developing strong brand identities

Strong brand identities and the ability to have that brands URL stick in the minds of the potential new user are one, admittedly very important, thing, but it’s the way that iGaming companies target their specific demographic that is usually the key strength of the most successful players in the space. The top brands employ teams of data scientists who live and breathe the data coming from their sites. They aren’t just looking at age, gender and the usual residential address factors. They are analysing spending patterns, which slots games the players are wagering upon the most and the frequency of visits to each area of the site.

Developing a precise marketing plan with the data

With the magnitude and quality of that data, they are able to coalesce the perfect marketing plan for users in a specific demographic. Scott Manford the CEO of Wizard Slots, a leading UK based online casino, says “It’s imperative that we understand not only what slot and table games each of our players prefer to use, but also the time of day, and indeed days of the week they like to play and what interests them in new games and concepts”.

Indeed, getting into the players head and understanding what they like, and don’t like about a site is critical in a successful online gaming operation. “We assess heatmaps for a broad section of our player base and analyse what areas of our sites are causing blockages or bounces for different groups of players and in turn which promotions or new features draw the attention of players. Allied to significant A/B testing we then trial new concepts across wide demographic groups before we fully roll out any new games or promotions”.

These operators also analyse the retention of players, understating the motivation to either leave the site, or where a boredom threshold is reached.

Ultimately their plan is to never lose a player, as Manford goes on to say “The cost of acquisition for us is very significant, so we always adopt a philosophy of your best customers being your existing customers, and hence we strive to retain players for as long as possible, by giving them the utmost in customer care and attention and gifting them with free spins, promotions and even things like claiming special bonuses on their birthday etcetera” . So more than just understanding what slots games their players like – it seems the casino operators ty to understand the life cycle of a player and the motivations to play, wager, and indeed grow bored with each and every aspect of the interface.

Deciding on your marketing channels with this data

This depth of understanding means that new promotions might only be marketed on targeted social media for instance, or on TV adverts at a specific time on a specific channel, all with the objective of getting the maximum exposure to the precise demographic who have already demonstrated a receptivity to the messaging of that promotion in a controlled environment.

The ultimate goal is to try and ensure that not a single cent of marketing budget is spent on speculative or “brand building” exercises – but rather delivers a targeted, attributable and maximised Return On Investment for the Online Casino operator. Whilst some brands do combine some overall brand messaging in their marketing messaging you can be assured that they are also measuring the efficacy of this.

So what can businesses in other sectors learn from some of this behaviour and experience. Well aside from the usual platitudes of “know your customer” and “your best customer is your current customer” possibly the biggest take away is that you need to try and target your marketing message to the groups who you most want to attract, and more importantly knowing who those people are by analysing the current profile and conversion of your existing customer base. Once you understand what parts of your offering appeal to the subtle variations in your customer demographic you will be much better placed to target your marketing spend to the areas where you will get the best ROI.

How to stay motivated while working remotely

Working from home is great, but it can come with its challenges. One of the biggest hurdles that you can face is making sure that you stay motivated and work productively despite not being in an office environment.

For some people this comes relatively easily, although for others they may need a bit of an extra push to get going.

If you are the type of person who needs some extra motivation, then it may be a good idea to take a look at some of the following ideas and gadgets that can really help boost your productivity. They may sound simple, but they are often things that are overlooked, and if put in place can really give you that push you need.

WiFi Baby Camera

Do you cram in your work whilst your little one sleeps? This is common for a lot of people who are running their own business. The trouble is that you may then be tempted to run backwards and forwards to their room checking on them. Having a WiFi Baby Camera means that you can be comfortably sat in another room, working away, whilst still being able to keep an eye on them and make sure that they are okay. It really does offer the best of both worlds.

Amazon Echo

Find that you are sometimes distracted by looking at the news or finding out about the weather, what you need is Amazon Echo. This amazing little gadget is entirely voice activated and can give you all the info that you need. Best of all, you don’t even have to lift a finger.

Roomba

A gadget that you can link to your Echo, the Roomba is a robot hoover. It is ideal for those remote workers who find that they become more than just a little bit distracted by the idea of hoovering and cleaning their home. Best of all, you can use your Echo to plan in when Roomba needs to get busy cleaning!

A coffee machine

We all need coffee or tea to get us through the day, but the trouble is that getting up to make endless cups can take a toll on your working time. Rather than having to head to the kitchen when you need a top up, why not invest in a coffee machine? It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or flash, just a way to whip up a brew quickly when you are really focused on your work.

A comfy chair

There is nothing worse for your motivation then being uncomfortable, as this is going to make it much more likely that you will get out of your chair and talk a walk. Taking a break, of course, is good for you, but if you are finding that an uncomfortable chair is causing you to want to go for a wander more, then you might need to rethink your seating arrangements.

Headphones

Working from home when the rest of the family are around? This comes with its own set of hurdles. Noise distraction has to be the biggest though, particularly if your kids (or your partner for that matter) find it hard to be quiet. A good pair of headphones are ideal, they will not only cancel out the noise around you, but can also play you some soothing (or not so soothing) music which will make sure that you are focused on the work you need to do.

RingSmart Doorbell

Do you find that during the day you are interrupted by people knocking on your door? If you do, then it might be time to invest in this RingSmart Doorbell. It allows you to see who is actually at your door without you even having to leave your desk. Which is ideal if you are expecting a delivery or have clients that visit you at home.

Equil Smartpen

Taking down notes or jotting down ideas is great for those who work in creative jobs or who need to attend lots of conference calls or virtual meetings. The thing is, these scribbles may then need to be typed up or can get lost. This is where the Equil Smartpen is going to be a gadget that you just have to have. It allows you to take down notes in the old fashioned way, but then these notes can be transferred from the pen to your smartphone, ready for you to save. Pretty impressive!

A good old fashioned to do list

Now this last top tip may not be packing a techy punch or be a newcomer to the block, but a lot can be said for simply having a to do list. It is a place whereby you can write down all those things that you need to get down, as well as have the satisfying feeling of being able to cross off or put a tick against the things that you have finished. The great things about to do lists is that they don’t have to cost the Earth and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are also fully portable, which means that you can take them with you when you head to the coffee shop to work or perhaps back to your office to get things done.

As you can see, there are a huge number of gadgets and accessories that you can have in your home office to help you to work better and faster. That said, the best tool to make sure that you get your work done is you, so make sure that you are aware how important it is to be motivated and you will soon feel the benefit. 

9 alternative ways to boost professional development

Sick of seeing the same regurgitated tips on how you can get ahead at work? – We’ve got just the thing for you.

If you’ve claimed to be an ‘outside the box thinker’ on your CV – then it’s time to set yourself apart for them rest by picking up some of these tips and becoming the most interesting and useful person in the office… 

  1. Find a mentor

There’s a lot to be said for being a trailblazer – but don’t forget, there were people trailblazing long before you came along. Smart people are often quite humble, so you might not find them shouting, blogging or consulting about what they know – often, you’ve got to bring the info out of them yourself.

You’ll only find these people by talking. Chat with the people who’ve been with your company a long time, you’ll pick up some incredible knowledge about the business and ways of working that’ll bolster your professional toolkit. Download Microsoft Office and use Word to take notes and build a list on excel to keep track of the mentors you are connecting with.

  1. Read a book

There’s no end of knowledge out there on subjects that directly impact your role. Truth be told – it doesn’t have to be a book, start picking up professional journals, studies and research papers that are relevant to your industry and prepare to absorb a LOT of priceless info.

Bulking out your knowledge in different areas can be really useful too. If you’re in a marketing role – why not look for psychology info that might inform your decisions? If you’re in sales – brush up on the latest financial info to stay ahead of the curve and understand the right markets to go at.

  1. Learn sign language

There are around 150,000 people in the UK who use British Sign Language – so why not look at picking it up as an additional language and immediately expand the ability and accessibility of your workforce?

Sure, it might not be something you use very often – but in that moment that you’re needed to help support a customer, meeting or business associate, you’re immediately priceless to the business.

  1. Volunteer

Volunteering is often penned as an entirely selfless act – and while giving your time and energy to a cause with no financial recompense might seem that way, the truth is that you can get a lot from it too.

If you’re part of a medium or large size business, you’ll find there are lots of opportunities to get involved with community projects and initiatives – sometimes even in work time. Getting involved will connect you with great people, inspire conversations and pick you out as someone with good intentions.

  1. Go networking

If you’re thinking to yourself you just don’t have the time for networking – fear not – most of the big networking organisations are a step ahead of you. Whether it’s breakfast, evenings or weekends – you can join up with likeminded (or totally different!) professionals and talk.

There’s usually some format to how a networking event pans out – you might have to make a small presentation to a group or select individuals about you, your business or your products – and in return, they’ll give you similar info about themselves. Whatever’s involved – you’re going to build a professional network that then opens doors to different roles, experiences and knowledge.

  1. Write a blog

Writing a blog can be a brilliant route to exploring your own professional development. It’s creative, so there are no rules – and frankly, even if no one’s reading what you’re writing is going to develop you in ways you might not expect. Its also very easy to setup, you can use platforms such as wordpress.com which is great for getting started.

It’s an often-cited fact that journaling can be an incredible catalyst for creativity – and blogging is really just that – public journaling – and because it’s done in a place anyone can see, you’re likely to get some productive comments and feedback too. Be prepared to be honest and be challenged – but in return you’ll have a lot to think about!

  1. Experiment on yourself

Don’t worry this is a painless experiment! There’s no question that the body and mind are connected – therefore, mixing up your eating, sleeping and exercising habits can have some profound effects on your work life.

They key is taking a measured approach – don’t suddenly start running marathons, being a vegan and sleeping 3 hours a night! Introduce little changes and chart the impact it has on your ability to work. Does exercising before work improve your focus? Perhaps getting an extra hour of sleep means your productivity is up during work hours?

There’s no certain paths or results – do what feels right and see how your professional development follows…

  1. Put yourself with another department

If you’ve got an hour, an afternoon or a day a week that you’d like to invest in development, then look at spending some time with a department that you don’t fully understand or work with often.

Clearly, it’s important to go through the right channels to do so, but if you want a better picture of how the business works as an overall machine – you won’t go far wrong seeing what happens behind the scenes elsewhere.

As an added bonus – you make the company a smaller place when you do this. Your department gets a friendly face that other people can approach – and you make some connections with people elsewhere. From a selfish point of view – it’s always nice to know you’ve got someone on your side should you ever need to take a plan or request over to another part of the building!

  1. Try a foreign language

The internet has made the other side of the world just a few clicks away. If your business has its sights set on expansion – you knowing a different language could put you at the forefront of the company’s plans on how that’s executed.

From a day-to-day point of view too, there’s no harm in being the person who everyone else turns to on the odd instance a non-English speaker wants to interact with the business. There are audiobooks aplenty on learning new languages – and it’s a great way to kill some time in an otherwise tedious commute…

Workplace dyslexia and the law

Workplace dyslexia and the law

Workplace dyslexia and the law

Although individual adaptability makes it is difficult to be exact, experts suggest that around 10% of the general population are dyslexic which has led to many schools from investing in Dyslexia support from companies such as CPD Bytes. What’s more, dyslexia is a ‘hidden’ condition, meaning there may not be obvious indications or adjustments that can be made to make the workplace that reflect employee need.

Where a workplace or employment arrangement puts someone with a disability at a disadvantage – the 2010 Equality Act requires employers make reasonable adjustments. Because there are a wide range of issues that can relate to dyslexia – getting a full understanding of a person’s requirements is important when it comes to following the law.

Whether you’re an employer, employee or prospective candidate we’ll walk you through some of the law surrounding dyslexia and employment.

What does the law actually say?

Since the Equality Act is a weighty document some 250 pages in length – it’s useful to cut it down to size when you’re looking at one specific issue. Essentially the message is this – an organisation cannot refuse employment simply because an individual has dyslexia. Not only that – but an employer must think of ways of working that could enable a dyslexic person to fulfil any role.

It’s easy to think about equality in terms of just initial employment – but equality laws must be observed in other situations too:

  • Employee retention
  • Internal promotion and transfers
  • Training and development
  • Performance management and dismissal

Is dyslexia a disability?

In health terms, there’s a distinction between a ‘disability’ and a ‘difficulty’. Essentially a disability puts a permanent cap on a person’s ability to perform a certain task, however, a difficulty can normally be overcome with the right support.

Despite being distinct in the health professions, government legislation refers to dyslexia as a disability and is therefore covered by all disability and equality law.

As a candidate or employee

Whether you are a candidate for a role or an existing employee it’s entirely up to you whether or not you disclose your dyslexia to your employer. You might decide that it is important for you to disclose this information from the very start – and you might have no choice if you feel it would otherwise hinder your ability to apply.

Although legally you have no obligation to disclose your dyslexia, you might choose to do so in your CV, application form or covering letter, during or preceding your interview, at the point of being offered the role, upon commencement of the role or even later when you’re in employment. It doesn’t matter when you do this – the law says your employment should not be affected.

The benefits of disclosing dyslexia

For many people dyslexia can be a tough subject to discuss – especially if your experience throughout education was difficult as a result of your condition. There are benefits to disclosing your condition though – think about it this way:

You and your colleague are both candidates for a promotion. Your performance reviews have both been good and there’s little that would help an interview panel to decide between you both.

You might think that declaring your dyslexia at this stage would swing the decision toward your colleague – but why? If you’re both performing well an awareness of your condition and some adaptations to your working environment could very well bolster your productivity and performance to levels that set you head and shoulders above any other applicant.

What if you’re struggling?

Maybe your workplace performance is lagging behind others? Without declaring your dyslexia your reasons for diminished performance might be put down to other factors – if they include “a lack of focus” or being perceived as “lacking dedication” it’s possible you’re being judged without all the information. Don’t forget, the law protects you against unfair treatment – but if your employer doesn’t know about your condition, they also don’t know that they should be doing more to support you.

Ultimately the decision is yours, but being supported around dyslexia can mean your energy can be focused on letting your talents shine.

Are you an employer?

As well as ensuring your recruitment and training policies fit with the Equality Act there’s a big emphasis on occupational health requirements also being fit for purpose. Making ‘reasonable adjustments’ for people with dyslexia can often be done cheaply and with little impact on resources.

Although this list isn’t exhaustive, adjustments can include:

For issues with reading and writing

  • Providing information in a more suitable format – i.e. video, diagrams, examples.
  • Using specialist spelling and grammar checking tools

For memory issues relating to dyslexia

  • Ensuring objectives are provided individually
  • Setting up the office and workspace in an intuitive and easy to use manner

For commination issues

  • Making sure messages are clear and nothing is assumed or implied
  • Observing turn taking and adhering to agendas in meetings
  • Clear lines of communication that mean tangents are

Supporting around the lesser-known effects of dyslexia

In some instances, a lack of in-depth understanding of their own condition means dyslexic people are missing out on either the adaptations needed to perform their role effectively – or the recompense that they could be due for not being provided the right working adjustments.

The term dyslexia is almost entirely attributed to reading and writing – where in fact it should be considered a ‘processing’ impairment. Imagine the brain to have a measurable and finite amount processing power – now take up a large chunk of that power with attempts to handle reading and writing tasks – leaving a diminished amount of processing ability for ‘working memory’ tasks or the ability to cope with a busy working environment. This is how many other dyslexia related issues occur.

Employer and employee awareness

It takes an incredible amount of awareness for an individual to go to an employer with a deep understanding of their struggles. Instead – they are more likely to complain of headaches – or go to the doctor and present you with a sick note citing stress.

Abiding by the law shouldn’t be the only driving factor for an employer to effectively work with dyslexia – when you begin to understand the range of issues that can occur for dyslexic people, you come closer to unlocking their true working potential – at the same time as bolstering productivity and reducing sickness and staff turnover. If a management consultancy company offered these same results it’s likely you’d employ their services – the reality is, you can positively impact all of these factors by just understanding you’re a condition that affects around 1 in 10 people in a little more depth.