How to buy an autonomous car

Have you ever wondered? Most likely not, it’s like asking yourself how to select a new AI bot to manage your finances. Here at the end of 2016 as a technology company we need to predict the future and shoot ahead of the duck to stay relevant, that’s why we decided to launch a comparison website for electric cars. We believe that the new wave of vehicles will change the face of the automotive industry – creating opportunities for new startups, both hardware & software companies.

Signs of old industry

Car industry looks outdated and not even aware of the upcoming revolution. This creates opportunities for others, most likely the cars that will dominate the market in the future won’t come from the incumbent manufacturers, such as BMW, Mercedes or VW. It’s hard to imagine that these companies will survive the next 10 years without any significant acquisitions.

New customer

New customer buying a digital car is not the stereotypical fellow comparing engine power, acceleration or fuel economy. The new customer will be different. Most of the criteria used to select the new type of vehicles probably don’t exist, we will certainly be more concerned about data security, accident prevention systems, charging, connectivity and usability of car interface.


At whatauto we want to be first to report on the upcoming car innovation, we are interested in purchasing behaviour of the end customers. We are fascinated about the new wave of use cases for cars, to include the areas such as:

  • greater safety on roads
  • productivity
  • new services, including in-car entertainment
  • mobility and impact on public transport
  • car to car communication
  • impact on environment

So log on to to stay up to date with the car innovation from the digital perspective. Zurich, Switzerland

After moving to Zurich in Switzerland, I’ve been observing the digital services market and found that there are a lot of great specialist companies, experienced in digital services. Although the local companies excel in their respective fields of expertise, I learned that integration of these services into one offering is challenging for them and for their customers. On one hand the agencies aren’t set up to handle multiple services on the other hand customers are forced to manage multiple suppliers. This can not only lead to a lot of friction but also poor performance from digital channels because the suppliers are pulling in different directions.

This is how what. was born – at what. we combine digital services, from web development, analytics to digital marketing and offer them as one in order to solve digital problems & take advantages of opportunities for our customers.

We not only tell you what stops your business from increasing online leads or sales, but we’ll also quantify it with data, show you how the solution could look like and we can also implement the improved solution.

We are international from the start to benefit from the expertise from our network, regardless of the location. Therefore our development team in Poland, UX Design in the UK and our strategy and management office in Zurich.

Please take a look at our newly launched website at Looking forward to hearing your comments.

2015 Digital and Tech Events in Zurich and Switzerland

2015 is going to be a busy year if you are planning to attend tech meetups and digital conferences in Zurich and other parts of Switzerland. I’ve recently moved here and created this list to keep track of all the events. I am still learning about the digital scene in Switzerland, so please let me know if there are any events that should be on this list.

3rd February
Start-up & Unternehmer Konferenz 2015more info

4-6th February
The Lift Conference (Geneva)more info

6th February
Suchmaschinen Konferenzmore info
10th March
Digital Transformation & Leadership more info

13th March
Ecommerce Konferenz 2015 more info

17th March
Adobe Digital Marketing Days 2015more info

23rd March
Social Media Marketing Konferenz 2015more info

15-16th April
Swiss Online Marketing und Swiss eBusiness Expo 2015more info

25-26th August
World of digital businessmore info

11-12th November
i2 Swiss Internet und Intranet Summitmore info

Frontend Conference Zurich (date TBC) more info

Apart from the scheduled events above there are a number of professional meetups and user groups.

Pantalks – tech & non-tech talks @ Colab Zurich

Software Craftsmanship Zurich

Lean startup Zurich

ETH Entrepreneur Club

Analytics Roundtable Zurich


Please also visit Marie-Christine Schindler’s blog for more European events outside of Switzerland.

Google+ and +1 What does it mean for businesses

Google have introduced +1 in March, but the changes including Google+ were only released today. The recent development only confirmed the rumours that Google have been working on their own social network. But it’s much more than just another social networking tool and the changes will have significant implications for businesses.

Here are some of my thoughts on how these changes will impact businesses and not only those based in Jersey.

1) Businesses will need to be more social. 99% of businesses are already on Google and have their content regularly indexed by spiders, so now, like it or not, your website is part of the Google+ social network and any user can recommend your brand to their friends.

2) Alternative to business pages on Facebook – creating a business page on Facebook is a big ‘NO’ for many companies. But expanding your presence on Google will be less controversial, as most website content is already indexed by Google.

3) Website becoming even more important. Google+ and +1 fill the gap between websites and social networks. Improving users’ experience on your website could earn you personal recommendations and subsequently accelerate your marketing efforts.

4) Higher rankings on search engines (SEO implications) – Google will use +1 as social signals, just like external links in the past, but could be more important because they come from humans rather than websites. This could improve your organic search results.

5) Improved CTR and conversions from your PPC ads. Advertising on Google could earn you social points +1s, personalised annotations that appear on ads after they’ve been +1’d should increase your ad performance.

1 – Add +1 button to your website to encourage your website visitors to share your content.

2 – Create useful content. Review your website, add new pages, tools, video to encourage users to share.

3 – Advertise on Google. PPC ads could offer you a very cost effective way of earning personal recommendations, which will improve your performance on Google. As a business owner this is something you just can’t ignore.

Book Review The ZEN of Social Media Marketing Shama

Title: The ZEN of social media marketing
Author: Shama Hyder Kabani
Target: Marketers, anyone responsible for companies’ social media efforts, small business owners.

– Great book if you are new to online marketing and social media. Shama’s book gives a practical overview of social media and its role in digital marketing strategy.
– The book concentrates on four main components of the social media infrastructure i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Video. You will learn why/how to use them to make the most of your online marketing efforts.
– Even though the book is quite basic it contains plenty of tips and good advice. e.g. I enjoyed reading about social media marketing principles, etiquette, “shiny toy syndrome”, how to get more followers on Twitter, Twitter tips for writers and experts, leaders and non-profits.
– Chapter 8 “Creating a Social Media Policy” is useful and will help you create a social media policy in 10 simple steps.
– Video has become an integral part of social media and chapter 7 contains some practical tips on the basics of video production, how to monetise video content, and pros/cons of hosting on YouTube vs. own website.

– It was refreshing to hear from a social media consultant that the website is the best conversion tool and SEO is the cornerstone of any online marketing strategy: “Why a website? It’s expected! It’s efficient. It converts.” So many “gurus” are obsessed about social media and forget about the importance of having a good website.
– It’s difficult to create a strategy for something that is changing every second, but it was good to hear that a lot of companies lack a set in stone social media strategy, they only have have policies, rules and guidelines.
– It was interesting to read about Shama’s professional approach to Facebook. She looks at it as a business channel and keeps her profile, updates etc. very professional. This probably won’t work in my case – I don’t think my friends are really that interested in online marketing or my work!? But, definitely worth considering reviewing your Facebook profile and what information you are sharing with people who follow you on Facebook.
– It demonstrates how stories establish expertise, attract fresh consumers and help convert faster (e.g. testimonials, case studies, video interviews, audio interviews, pictures).
– There is a online version of the book, which is kept updated.

– “leverage” probably occurs more frequently in the book than “social”.
– Case studies at the back of the book are weak and high level. I was hoping to see statistics to back up the wonderful results the social media has contributed to.
– The book is very easy to read and written in a conversational tone, but sometimes it’s too basic e.g. I don’t see much value in giving very, very high level SEO tips such as write title and meta tags. It’s probably better to steer away from large topics that are not covered properly.

QUOTABLE 1: “The people who consistently do well using social media are the ones who were already doing well to begin with. The medium simply amplifies their success.”

QUOTABLE 2: “Don’t answer Twitter’s question (‘What are you doing?’) literally. No one really cares about the fact that you just brushed your teeth or have to go pick up the kids from school…”

QUOTABLE 3: Albert Einstein: “Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.” – In this book, the quote is used in relation to measuring the social media.

– I created my personal social media policy and now have much more disciplined approach to social media e.g. actions I will take daily/weekly/monthly.
– The book gave me some useful ideas for Twitter content and other blog posts.
– I need to experiment with LinkedIn Answers, apparently it’s great for business advice and market research.

Firstly, the book is mainly for people who don’t know where to start with social media and need some initial guidance. So, if you already have more than a basic knowledge of social media and online marketing, the book probably won’t change how you do things. You can still benefit from some practical tips and advice though.

Secondly, the book is well written and you can’t ask for a more practical introduction to social media. If you are interested in this subject you’ll probably read it in a couple evenings.

Finally, Shama puts the theory into practice, which is rare even for social media gurus! She not only responds to emails, tweets, but also knows how to respond to negative reviews on Amazon:


MyFAQ: MacBook Pro Mac OS useful keyboard shortcuts for PC users

I’m not a big fan of Apple. But, sometimes you don’t have a choice – (Thanks J!), so now trying to make it work like my good old PC.

Here is a selection of keyboard shortucts (FYI – Mac users call them Quick-keys) that I use on a daily basis and allow me to be efficient on my MacBook Pro, almost as good as PC and Windows combo. Hopefully you will find it useful if you are migrating from PC to MacBook Pro.

1) Creating a folder in current view list-view not root directory without touching the mouse.

Step 1: With enclosing folder highlighted, type command-O. (The Finder view changes.)
Step 2: Type command-shift-N to create a new folder.
Step 3: Type the name of the folder followed by Enter or Return.
Step 4: Type command-[ to return to the previous Finder view.

Source: MAC OS X Hints.

2) Show desktop: fn + F11

3) Edit the web adress in any internet browser: cmd + l
works in Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

4) Navigate/switch between the windows of the same application (e.g. when you have more than one Firefox windows opened): cmd+~

5) Select screen grab and save on desktop: cmd+shift+4

6) Select screen grab and copy to clipboard: cmd+shift++ctrl+4

7) Excel – add new line within a cell: alt+cmd+enter

8) Excel – cell format properties: cmd+1

9) Excel – edit cell: ctrl+u

10) Excel – toggle between Excel worksheets: haven’t found it yet!

11) Internet browser – toggle between tabs: alt+cmd+arrows (L or R)

12) Where’s the hashtag character? alt + 3

13) Where’s Page up/Page Down FN + Down/Up Arrow

14) useful screen capture shortcuts:

screen shot + crop CMD + Shift + 4
screen shot no crop CMD + Shift + 3

15) how to move to the menu bar (same as Alt +F on PC: Fn-Control-F2

16) how to disable horizontal scrolling (used to drive me nuts!)
Run this command in the terminal window and reconnect the mouse
defaults write MouseHorizontalScroll -bool NO

10 things Big Brands can learn from Small Business Marketing

I always believed it was difficult to manage complex online campaigns with national or global reach and relatively big budget. I’ve gained most of my digital marketing experience working with blue-chip, established companies with strong brand awareness.

I joined E-scape in Sept 2010 and since then I have been managing a number of successful online campaigns on Google, Facebook, Twitter for local businesses in Jersey. I have to admit that the journey from large brand to small business marketing has been much more difficult then I thought it would be. I’ve learned an awful lot in since I joined and still learn something new every day.

Some of the things I discovered small businesses do extremely well and have been doing them for ages! I’ve tried to group these findings under logical headings and share the ones that could benefit those who manage big marketing budgets or marketing for blue-chip clients brands.

1) Scrutiny
Every business owner I met loves to get involved in marketing planning. No surprise there as it is their business and their own cash. They understand their business better than anyone else. As such all elements of the plan are questioned and scrutinised. There is no sign-off or multi-layered approval process. But, believe me their due diligence is extremely effective and not a single penny is wasted.

2) Micro optimisation and targeting
When it comes to local marketing activity all campaigns are extremely well targeted. As such the lead/sale conversion rates are higher when compared to large, nationals campaigns. A conversion rate lower than 5% is just not good enough. Try convincing any business owner to invest in online marketing when less than 1 in 20 clicks generate sales.

3) Naturally social
The strength of small businesses come from relationships and a large proportion of new business can be attributed to word of mouth. It is very natural for small business owners to directly connect with their customers, suppliers and potential customers. As such small businesses didn’t take long to embrace social media marketing. A lot of these businesses have been effectively using Twitter or Facebook without any complex policies or expensive strategies. It isn’t that difficult! If you want to know how to do it just have a word with one of them!

4) Multi channel tracking and attribution
Whilst working for a large bank I was very proud when we implemented a sophisticated multi-channel click to sale tracking system. As it was very innovative and new it has taken quite a long time to get it right. A couple of months later I moved to E-scape and had to design and deliver a PPC campaign for a small insurance company in Jersey. We quickly created a tracking solution, which links Google Analytics with the client’s back office platform so then they can match campaign clicks with leads, sales and even work out life time customer value. The implementation cost was tiny and seemed to be the only way forward for our client. Now, think how many big brands can accurately track and attribute clicks to sales?

5) No buzz words
Big brands love big agencies. There must be a degree of business BS and buzz words whenever big agencies are involved. These type of large agencies prove to be costly, I was always surprised how much some of these people are paid. They have the gift of smoothly incorporating all important buzzwords into conversations. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with the actual results. Small business owners can’t afford to employ schmoozers. Not suprisingly, they are better off employing hard-working people & agencies with actual skills and desire to work.

6) Improvise, adapt, overcome
Small companies have the ability to change and adapt to changing marketing conditions at an incredible pace. No lengthy sign offs, no process obstacles and very little or no legal barriers. In large companies the process from the moment when the problem is identified to the implementation phase could take months sometimes longer. As such, it’s sometimes easier not to do it! In the meantime small businesses benefit from the most recent technology, available tools, specialised niche agencies and more!

7) Creativity? Just do it
New ideas? Small businesses are not limited by the process, compliance or approvals. Many good ideas in a corporate environment end up in the drawer. This is mainly due to the necessity for the innovators to provide a business case, go through lengthy approval process or/and convince many clueless people that it’s a good idea. This isn’t the case when speaking to small business owners. They tend to have more common sense and generally have eyes wide open to new ideas and give you full ownership of driving these ideas forward.

8) Cost per click counts
When your budget is £15 per day NOT £15k then your Cost Per Click suddenly has a more tangible impact on the actual click volume and sales. Once again, micro targeting and micro optimisation leads to finely targeted campaigns and excellent results.

9) Feedback and pressure
The easiest way to improve the efficiency of your marketing spend is to get the marketing managers to chip in with their own money to the marketing budget or at least pay for their mistakes. Small businesses put an enormous amount of pressure on campaign managers and give constant feedback on the results. There isn’t much room for mistakes or wastage.

10) Power in simplicity
No schmoozing, no buzz words, pure skill and hard work generally leads to cost effective solutions. Small businesses have a lot of common sense and agencies don’t need to waste time trying to impress them. If you can’t put your idea in simple terms and present in less than 30 seconds it is unlikely to work and even less likely to get the client excited.

Not a great surprise that small companies are more efficient, nimble and innovative. Of course there are things they can learn from big brands too, particularly in relation to applying best practice and generally “doing things properly”.

I strongly believe that small and swift changes are the key to achieving high efficiency in any form of digital activity. This is how small businesses operate, add social media marketing to the mix and you will have a very successful marketing campaign. Big brands with their multi million marketing budgets can only dream of similar results.

What do you think? Agree/disagree? Any observations that I missed? Look forward to your comments.

How to search in Jersey Local search tips

Searching Google from Jersey, Channel Islands could be frustrating. Take a look at the examples below:

Even on Google struggles to differentiate between New Jersey, US and Jersey, CI. As you can see in the screenshot below Google thinks that Papa John’s or Domino’s are available in Jersey, Channel Islands. Island’s local restaurants such as Pizza Quarter or La cantina don’t even appear on page 1. There are things these businesses could do to improve their visibility on Google to ensure search engine users could find them. But, let’s just concentrate on user experience for a while and see what searchers could do to find local results on Google.

Similar situation when searching ‘pizza delivery’ on, Google returns lots of irrelevant results.

Let’s see what happens if we add Jersey and search The number one result is correct, but position number two is occupied by a New Jersey restaurant.

This issue isn’t only related to local restaurants, similar problems occur when searching for hotels, jobs, real estate agents, plumbers etc.

Although you can’t change or improve Google’s algorithm to make the search results more relevant you can refine your search queries to filter out irrelevant results. Here’re 6 simple tricks I’ve been using since I arrived in Jersey and they will definitely make your search results more accurate.

1) Add -NJ to your search query, Americans often add New Jersey acronym to the address, -NJ will get rid of everything with NJ.

2) Add -city, quite a lot of results return businesses based in Jersey City.

3) Add -new this is another negative search term, will effectively remove everything including -new i.e. New Jersey etc. Of course keep in mind that if you are looking for a new car you shouldn’t use -new as a negative keyword.

4) Include Jersey – adding the location name is always a good idea when searching for a local business.

5) Include St Helier or another parish if you know where the business is based.

6) And finally for local results avoid using always start from or they are more likely to return local results.

Any other tips? If you have any other clever ways of refining search results on Google please let me know and we’ll add it to the list.

Book Review Marketing in The Age of Google Fox

Title: Marketing in the Age of Google: Your Online Strategy IS Your Business Strategy
Author: Vannessa Fox
Target: corporate executives, organic search for non-search audience

– Useful overview of Google Trends and Google Insights for Search.
– Keyword categorisation e.g. brand, product reference, other etc. e.g. San Diego B&B could have three main keyword groups brand, wine reference, things to do.
– Checklist for Hiring an In-House SEO and Hiring an Organic Search Agency.
– Search acquisition strategy process, loving the framework.
– Understanding query types and their part in the content strategy.

– Jupiter Research: 36% of those surveyed felt that “…seeing a company listed among the top results on a search engine makes me think that the company is a top one within its field…”.
– iProspect Search Engine User Behavior white paper : 62% of searchers click a result on the first page of results and 90% click within the first three pages.
– Enquiro Research: when searchers were asked if they remembered seeing brands in the search results, fewer than 30% did if the brand was only in a paid search ad, but nearly 60% did when the brand appeared on top of both paid and organic.

– Personas – the concept of providing snapshots of your potential customers at different phases of the buying cycle, including demographic data, different search query categories and different journeys (called conversion workflows). In other words, searcher goal, searcher queries, task completion, business goals, searcher motivated to convert by [e.g. price].
– Of course it’s not the focus of this book but still I thought Vanessa gave some tips for getting started with social media.
– Honest and authentic perspective on search from a experienced ex-Googler.

– Perhaps Vanessa is too passionate about search and sometimes I thought she doesn’t recognise the importance of other marketing channels or doesn’t provide the reader with an alternative, non-search perspective. As a result some of the case studies or tips are not very practical.
– Some of the messages are inconsistent e.g. one paragraph is tells you ‘not to focus too much on SEO but on what the search engines are trying to achieve’. I think I understand what Vanessa is trying to say, but equally it could be confusing.
– Generalisation, e.g. in the Preface Vanessa attempts to put all businesses into three categories: 1) don’t know where to start with SEM 2) don’t think SEM is important 3) obsessed with positions and rankings and don’t have strategy. What about businesses that have been doing SEM for years?
– Internationalization of search is mentioned briefly and it’s disappointing that not more information was provided.

“not participating in the conversation is a loud statement of its own to your customer base. You can’t control your branding message in any case because your customers are already talking about you online. The best you can do its to participate.”

“…unrealistic to think commercial content to rank well for information research queries.”

– I now follow Vanessa Fox and would recommend her book to my clients, some of her definitions and tips could help when speaking to non-technical audience
– take a look at the Google leaked quality guidelines doc
– note to myself!…new blog ideas: involving Jersey, universal search, personas, how to search tips.

Great book demonstrates that SEO is not only about positions and rankings. If only all senior executives and business owners read the book our lives as search consultants would have been so much easier! I certainly found it useful, learned something new and would definitely recommend this book to everyone working in sales, pr, marketing & research.


You can get it on Amazon:Marketing in the Age of Google: Your Online Strategy IS Your Business Strategy

MyFAQ: Google Analytics Top Tips

I got into the habit of creating my personal FAQs, things that aren’t complicated but sometimes difficult to find. Thought might be worth sharing with others. I started my Google Analytics FAQ page for this purpose, will keep updating it, here’s a selection of my FAQs so far:

Q: How to export more than 500 rows in Google Analytics?
A: Open the report, which you want to export and add &limit=50000 to the end of your URL. You will still see the number of rows that you selected at the bottom of the page. But, when you export it to CSV you will see up to 50,000 lines. Important: Make sure you select CSV, this simple trick doesn’t work with other formats.

Q: How to use filters to include data only from one subfolder?
A: Go to Analytics Settings then Filters, type in filter name and select “Predefined Filter”-> “Include only” -> “traffic to the subdirectories” -> “match” and put the name of the subdirectory e.g. ^/Blog/. Then all you need to do is apply the filter to the profile that you would like to use to analyse the data for that subdirectory (i.e. Blog)