Irish SME TinderPoint is an agency that supports its clients to make the most out of digital marketing possibilities. Managing Director John Ring shares three ideas on how to encourage innovation in Europe.
Tinderpoint - Key facts
|Date of creation||2005|
|Number of employees in Europe||15|
|Active in||Ireland, UK, Brazil, USA|
|Funding||Self-funded through organic growth (no funds received)|
|Blog in English||www.tinderpoint.com/blog/|
TinderPoint is a digital marketing agency that fosters innovation by advising start-ups, Fortune 250 and FTSE 100 organizations on how to use the Internet’s complex digital environment to achieve their business objectives. It can provide support in areas such as digital advertising, digital strategy, banner ad design, search engine optimisation, social media and web analytics.
TinderPoint was founded in 2005 in Ireland. Today, the company is also active in the UK, Brazil and the USA, and employs 15 people in Europe.
Using data to achieve business objectives
In order to give the right marketing advice to its clients, TinderPoint relies on data as a point of reference to develop concrete recommendations.
In the field of digital advertising for example, data helps the company measure the success of its online advertising campaigns. This enables its clients to judge whether their investment has brought back the desired results.
In the context of web analytics, TinderPoint recommends specific changes that could be made on a given website based on audience data, which gives indications about visiting trends.
Given the importance of data for digital marketers, John Ring, Managing Director at Tinderpoint, believes that the new EU data protection regulation could do more harm than good.
“Proceeding with the new data protection rules will likely encourage the growth of “walled gardens” within countries or even industries online where attempts are made to keep people within strict confines – not dissimilar to the “Great Firewall of China” where it’s practically impossible for Chinese people to access unofficial internet sites. That’s not in most citizen’s best interest”, he explains.
3 proposals to encourage innovation in Europe
Aside from applying necessary adaptations to the proposed EU data protection regulation, John Ring proposes three ideas to encourage innovation in Europe.
An EU-wide VAT online verification tool
John Ring explains that inter-company VAT is a real problem and represents a barrier to innovation.
“When two trading companies have registered for VAT, the impact on fluctuating cash flows in growing companies can be horrendous and therefore a major barrier to taking on key staff needed for innovation.
Why should VAT-registered companies have to pay governments significant sums first and then wait possibly months to get paid by their customers?
The solution would appear to be simple: no VAT should have to be charged by a company who has verified that its customer’s VAT number is genuine via an EU-wide online verification tool. Due to the recent January 2015 EU-wide VAT changes, progress has been made here with this now being less of a cross-border issue but it still remains a serious issue within the same country”
An online platform where creative thinkers could meet companies
John also has a proposal to facilitate the job creation and innovation at the same time.
“Governments don’t create jobs. They can only create and support the right conditions for jobs. Very few government schemes (in Ireland at least) provide support for unemployed people with ideas.
Often the best way to go for them is not to start their own business but to partner with an existing company who can bring experience to bear. A scheme whereby such people could securely detail their innovative ideas online and reach out to local companies who may be interested in helping them implement them would be useful.”
Support young innovators EU-wide
Encouraging youth innovation is key as they have less chance to succeed says John Ring.
“Few innovators are like Mark Zuckerberg. In fact, in general the older an innovator is, the more likely he is to succeed as he has lots of valuable experience and most importantly, the ability to focus. What schemes are in place to help them?”
Events like the “Young Scientists” exhibition need to be promoted and supported EU-wide. Encouraging the growth of these events is the single best way to encourage innovation in young people and businesses.
Are the ideas presented at those events across Europe stored in a central repository? If not, why not? An idea that was not feasible 5 years ago may well be possible now due to technology changes. One only has to look at the whole area of DNA sequencing to see how fast some sectors are changing”