Uber focused on data

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Uber is a people logistics service that uses a matchmaking model to connect customers directly with drivers to reduce prices for customers by optimising load capacity for drivers. It is now available in 53 countries and more than 200 cities and is revolutionising logistics and service using data. .

The app automatically detects the user’s position using GPS – so ‘riders’ can book a taxi with a single press of a button. Users can get an estimate of their fare by entering their destination. This is calculated by algorithms which consider the distance, prices of similar journeys, and the current Uber price rate.

uber app

Uber uses an algorithmic approach to account for differences in supply and demand in different areas. when supply out-strips demand prices are low, when demand increases the algorithm drives up pricing to encourage more drivers out and optimise revenue. This is called ‘surge pricing’. When demand outstrips supply in a certain area, surge pricing is applied and the usual fare rate will be multiplied appropriately. Users will be notified of surge pricing on booking, and can cancel the trip if they do not want to pay the increased fare.

When a the taxi is booked, a temporary bridge is created between customer and driver data allowing them to make contact and see each other’s location. Once the journey is over and the transaction complete, the exchange of data ends.

Uber scaled rapidly through partnership, using the best experts in any one area ( eg Google Maps, or best checkout system, or best driver id check ) and focused their development on the unique pricing model that optimises pricing to reduce prices for customers, increase occupancy rate for drivers, and drive customer growth and frequency for UBER.

UBER is changing the model for transport in cities around the world, with loyal customers, drivers clamouring to become an UBER driver, and a system determined to continually drive down pricing and increase service levels.

UBER has already changed the way transport works in London, picking up an UBER for shorter and well as longer journeys. replacing the need for a car at all. The future looks good.

 

Blow Up Bedrooms….

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Data Pulse #23

When a few programmers and bloggers bought some air-beds , built a website and offered an air-bed with a coffee on their floor during a particularly busy conference season in San Francisco, they didn’t think they’d be creating a dis intermediation business to rival Marriott or Intercontinental Hotels.

Airbnb is a lodging rental platform with headquarters in San Francisco, California.

airbnb has grown staggeringly quickly over the past half-dozen years. The mind-boggling numbers show its incredible popularity; 1.5million listings in 33,000 cities in 191 countries around the world have attracted 65million guests – and counting.

 

Last June the company was priced at $25.5billion (above hotel giant Marriott’s $20.90bn), and ranked the third most valuable start-up business in the world, behind transportation network company Uber ($51billion), and Xiaomi, the world’s fourth-largest smartphone maker ($46bn).

airbnb has used data to deliver against the brand purpose, tell the brand story and build the customer experience . “Experience the world like a local” 

 

airbnb describes itself as a ‘community marketplace where guests can book spaces from hosts, connecting people who have space to spare with those who are looking for a place to stay.’ A super brand that is community led.

The hosts are business partners, and airbnb is led by what the business partners say, continually getting their opinion and gauging reaction to business challenges and opportunities. It quickly builds a sense of openness, trust and meaningful interacton to form a strong community.

Every year, some 5,000 hosts from more than 100 countries are invited to the company’s airbnb Open (the 2015 edition was held in Paris) and encouraged to talk about the nature of their work. It is a great opportunity to both connect with the hosts and understand how airbnb can help serve them better. It is also a good way to feel part of that broader global community and the local area.

airbnb ran an innovative campaign to engage not only hosts but visitors in the airbnb community. The One Less Stranger campaign – where 100,000 hosts woke up on New Year’s Day, 2015, to an email from airbnb’s founder Brian Chesky saying he had paid $10 into their bank account – was an instance when “full editorial control” was taken away from Airbnb. Brian wrote that we would like the hosts to do something to help someone else, and to meet someone new with that money, It was a $1million marketing campaign where we gave full editorial control to the hosts. Some people just pocketed the money, but the idea here is that you can allow people who are your biggest advocates to be your spokespersons, and do your marketing for you, on social media and word of mouth.

It all builds up to the goal that your brand is driven by community rather than people in a marketing department.

 ‘It’s far better to have 100 people love you than 100,000 people sort of like you.’

airbnb also use data to make a ever growing core of people love them . The platform has disrupted the traditional hotels industry by eliminating the middle man and connecting travellers directly with people who have space to offer. airbnb collects detailed data relating to how customers are using the platform and attributes much of its success to an ability to analyse and understand how to improve the service.

airbnb employs extensive A/B testing to score multiple configurations or designs of its website and apps. Different users will also be exposed to different ranking and recommendation algorithms – the variation they experience is then linked to their next actions – viewing patterns, bookings and ultimately reviews of their stay.

airbnb uses natural language processing to decipher users’ true feelings about their stay, finding this to be more accurate than simple star rankings (which, they hypothesise, are overinflated due to the personal contact between guest and host).

Must admit i was a little nervous using airbnb for the first time ,. Found a little room in deepest Shoreditch, better than the local Premier Inn and cheaper… but now i’m a convert

Have Clear Goals for Your Weekly Meeting

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Just because you have a recurring meeting on your calendar doesn’t mean you have to hold it.

Only convene the group if everyone (especially you, as the meeting leader) is clear on what the objectives are. Agreed-upon goals will keep the agenda focused and ensure you make the most of the time. Here are a few sample objectives to consider:

  •  Share updates and review progress to date, including major milestones or upcoming activities. Ask and answer: “What did I do? What will I do?”
  • Identify questions and concerns related to progress. Ask and answer: “What are the potential roadblocks?”
  • Prioritize and resolve issues and address additional questions.
  • Agree on next steps (for example, what to do if a situation escalates, and what each individual’s role is).

Adapted from HBR Guide to Making Every Meeting Matter

Tech City Coffee

starbucks shop

Understanding customers better has always been critical. Identifying the heart of the commercial challenge and developing customer led solutions to solve them is critical.

Meeting customers needs and simplifying the customer experience using data and digital is a key skill of the new Chief Marketing Officer and delivering the most relevant, inspirational messaging and experiences through advanced segmentation and targeting is a skill every CMO must ensure is delivered.

Starbucks do that

Starbucks carries only 200SKUs but has managed to meet the needs of customers with relevant offers and communications whoever or wherever you are. 

How?

Starbucks Influencing Wheel

Starbucks created a segmentation for customers by day of week, time of day and purchasing details, creating the Starbuck’s Influencing Wheel: which helps frame the problem in terms of what they know about a customer.  Transaction data allows Starbucks to know what behaviours can be observed at purchase time. External f

  1. ENTERPRISE Influences / Transaction data allow Starbucks to know what behaviours can be observed at purchase time ( Food, Beverage, in-store experience etc.)
  2. EXTERNAL Influences ( Weather, Competitors, Events, Community) may impact the way customers behave so Starbucks collected data to simulate local conditions that may affect purchase behaviour.
  3. CUSTOMER Characteristics ( occupation, demographic, need state, day part, media channel preferences etc.)  Not all behaviours can be observed in a transaction so Starbucks deploy .a social listening strategy in order to capture some aspects of a customers lifestyle and how products& services may fit into that lifestyle

starbucks influencing wheel

Customer needs for coffee on way into work, is different to lunchtime or afternoon during the week, and again different to weekend morning coffee. This data is combined with open data to give highly tailored and timely communications with live triggers- offers in the right place at the right time. Arriving at Manchester Piccadilly rail station for early (5-55am)  train to London I get an alert on my phone to pick up a Starbucks coffee for the train. and it really does taste sweet that early in the morning…..

Starbucks also improved the customer experience by being one of the first retailers using a digital app that allows payment through Apple pay or creating a Starbucks wallet that is automatically topped up.

Starbucks are leading the way in delivering the power of value based customer delivery, leveraging data driven analytics and digital technology to drive L4L growth.

Rework bad ideas instead of dismissing them

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Leadership Tip of Week

adapted from HBR

Successful entrepreneurs rarely dismiss bad ideas outright: They rework them in the hope that there’s a gem yet to be discovered.

After all, the best opportunities aren’t always self-evident. Instead of killing ideas and initiatives when they seem problematic, challenge yourself or your team to push further, reframe the problem and solution, or explore adjacencies.

By bringing new thinking to seemingly bad ideas, you may end up with a breakthrough. Listen to all stakeholders regularly, and don’t stop, even once you’ve decided on a course of action. Pay special attention to new information and edge cases as you go — they often hold clues to move you toward better versions of your idea.

Adapted from “Embracing Bad Ideas to Get to Good Ideas,” by John Geraci

TfL adds cycling routes to Open API

cycling London highways

Latest addition to portal provides potential for app development to support cyclists

Transport for London (TfL) has opened up a new open data source for mapping information on cycling in the city.

The organisation, which has been one of the leaders in making its data freely available for re-use, said that app developers will be able to use the information on its Cycle Superhighways and Quietway through its open data portal. Data on new routes will be added as they open.

This should enable developers to map out the existing networks within apps and on websites, and can be combined with previously released data, such as the location of cycle parking and availability of bikes from docking stations for London’s hire bikes, to help cyclists plan their routes.

TfL have continued to develop against their mission to keep London moving and innovating by providing data in Open Format for experts to develop into Customer Experience CX friendly Apps. Londoners already use apps to navigate around London every day, and by ensuring this cycling data is available to developers, they make a big difference to the way journeys are planned.n Cyclists can then plan the best route for them rather than simply following the way they would go by car or bus and find quieter more friendly routes

There are now more than 600 apps powered by TfL data including Citymapper. It has been very active in adding feeds to its open data portal, with initiatives last year including the provision of data on the London Trams network, historical crowding at Underground stations and road closures for the London Marathon. It also extended its APIs to include data on the Night Tube service.

A truly innovative way of using data to deliver against TfL mission, it’s commercial imperatives through delivering improved CX via data.

Keep Encouraging Colleagues to Learn

change reality

HBR Management Tip of the Week

The best way for organizations to drive the business forward is to make sure that employees are continually learning. Building a LEARNING culture is better than building a KNOWLEDGE culture, because you create an organisation that can continually adapt to the changing world.

What can managers do to encourage learning?

When you’re hiring, look for people who have demonstrated that they’re lifelong learners. Then look for services that provide up-to-date, relevant content on a wide variety of topics.

Don’t worry if your employees want to learn something that’s not directly related to their job.

By learning something new, no matter what it is, they’re practising the skill of learning, which is invaluable. Plus, you never know how learning an unrelated skill can help down the road. But do take an active role in partnering with your employees to figure out the skills they need to develop based on business goals.

And don’t forget to encourage and reward people who demonstrate quick adaptive learning.

Adapted from “To Stay Relevant, Your Company and Employees Must Keep Learning,” by Pat Wadors