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4MAT Insights: Phil Jones

Written by Warren Davidson on 03 Nov 15
4MAT Insights: Phil Jones


As part of our 4MAT Insights series on the Management Team, we speak to our Technical Director, Phil Jones. Here we find out what #LifeAt4MAT is like for him, his thoughts on ad-blocking and the impact that tech will have on businesses and recruiting. 

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a dad of two kids (six and nine) and live in Hackney Central. When not moving my children around Hackney, to their myriad of events and activities, I enjoy playing lots of sport, listening to music and reading. I’m not a big on using social media, because my machines talk to me too much as it is! 

What's an average day like in the 4MAT office for you?

In the mornings (sometimes very early) I check things, fix things and help people out with any tech or software issues that they might be experiencing. In the afternoons, I push forward my projects, which might involve research, coding, testing or a mix of all three! Some evenings I have to work on infrastructure so that it doesn’t impact staff or services.

There's been a lot of technical developments recently, with Apple introducing ad-blockers and Facebook users being given an opt-out choice to not have their data tracked. This will stop them from receiving targeted adverts based on the things that they like, share and comment on. What impact do you think this will have on marketers in general?

From a marketers' perspective, the Apple decision only affects 15% of the market (albeit a lucrative segment based on those who can afford iPhones). In addition, it only affects mobile websites and not apps (research currently suggests that around 90% of people use apps). Users also currently have to install the blocker on anything other than the latest model, so there's a chance that these ad-blockers may not get installed!

Out of the two, I'd say that the Facebook decision was probably more significant! However, they're continuously coming up with other ways of generating income such as using the 'like' and 'share' buttons. This method allows third party sites to send browsing data back to Facebook which is then used to create targeted adverts to users via Instagram, based on their 'liking' and 'sharing' activity online.

However, marketers are now moving towards the creation and implementation of interactive adverts which offer immediate rewards to users. While the current discussion around ad-blockers seems to have generated a seemingly negative reaction it could, in fact, lead to a overall improvement in the quality of digital advertising and how it targets specific segments and users. 

In the past few years, let alone decade, we have seen huge advances in how technology has fundamentally changed our lives both personally and professionally. Do think that we can expect to see this surge continue or could we reach a point where technological advances might not be seen as innovative?

I think it still largely depends on how widely you regard the term 'technology.' At this moment in time, we're obviously still getting used to the web, the positive and negative effects, as well as its potential.

Right now, we're probably not too fascinated by what happens from a human interactive perspective, but it's important to remember that the 'Internet of Things' is only just taking off.

With regards to technological developments, we're already beginning to see the potential in internal medical sensors, smart homes, energy savings, driver-less cars in our households and everyday lives. I still think that there's still more room for us all to be wowed.

What future tech trends can we expect to have a significant impact on how businesses operate?

The 'Internet of Things' is already, and will continue to have a significant impact on the way that business operate both now and in the coming future - that's inevitable.

Other impacts are quite varied and include businesses not having to own/manage physical assets (e.g Uber), agile logistics processes (e.g drones – although they do cause their own legal issues!), smart supply chains (e.g things can tell you when they’re nearly empty), masses of data to store and analyse. The latter is definitely an opportunity, that will count as a cost that businesses will have to put on their balance sheets.

All of the above will definitely be opportunities for new types of businesses who use new models (such as Uber). In addition, it gives way to the rise of virtual businesses who solely operate online and work as agencies. 

These will present challenges, so it won't be straight forward. Where there are challenges, there will be opportunities to learn new skills and scope for new ideas to be had. 

How can we help?

At 4MAT, we create experience rich, fully functional and mobile optimised websites for employers and agencies, which are designed to provide candidates with a great user experience.

To find out how 4MAT can help create a bespoke website that will drive traffic and increase conversions, please contact our Client Development Team


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