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5 Pioneering Women Who’ve Changed the Tech Industry

In today's busy and connected culture, it’s arguably impossible to live a day without using something developed from the tech industry. It's also evolving every day (every minute!) to improve our human experience, our processes, our efficiency and even our fun!


Although the technology sector is still dominated by men, did you know that some of the first programmers were not men, but women?


That's right, women have given great contributions in the technology industry since its inception and have been a substantial part of its development.


There are hundreds of women who’ve influenced technological advances, and sadly many of them have seen little or no fame. To honor these brilliant women throughout the IT and Tech history, here are a few of the extraordinary women who’ve left their permanent mark on the tech sector.


Ada Lovelace 1815 - 1852

A brilliant British woman was considered the very first programmers. Her innovative vision of computers and what could be done with them helped to forge the path of programming that know today. Lovelace's work is one of the few that have been recognized in the history of technology and have even been named prizes in his honor.


Karen Spärck Jones 1935 - 2007

Have you ever wondered at the way we can easily "Google" whatever we’d like to know? We owe to this a British computer scientist and her pioneering work that combined statistics and linguistics, who also happened to be a brilliant advocate for women in the technology field. She specialized in computational linguistics and the processing of everyday language that laid the groundwork for the giant internet search engines that we use almost every minute of every day!


Donna Dubinsky 1955 -

From this list, Donna Dubinsky is the only woman without scientific or computational training. However, she is still a powerful business leader in tech that helped forge the path for today’s smartphones. While studying at Harvard Business School, Dubinsky introduced the world to the first prototypes of personal digital assistants, known as the "Palm". You may remember these small personal digital assistants.


Annie Easley 1933 - 2011

Have you owned a hybrid car? Did you know it was a woman who developed the batteries for the first hybrid cars? Annie Easley was the computer scientist, mathematician, rocket scientist and pioneering woman who worked at NASA from the 50s to the 70s. Easley was also notably one of the first African-American women to work at NASA.


Adele Goldberg 1945 -

Adele Goldberg's work at the Xerox Research Center changed the way Steve Jobs was doing things at Apple. Goldberg is a computer scientist who was part of the developing team of the Smalltalk-80 programming language, and helped create and design what is now known as the "Graphical User Interface" (GUI), of which Steve Jobs was completely impressed.

Here at AXOVIA Marketing & Technologies, we appreciate each and every woman in the tech industry and even more our very own female programmers, designers, copywriters, SEO experts and administrative co-workers - ¡Feliz Día de la Mujer!

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Simplicity

How do you define the finer things in life?

What is the difference between the off-brand and the name brand?

Why pay more for anything?

The difference is hidden in the details. The casual subtleties and the slight variations that a discerning buyer will immediately recognize. For example, I’ve held enough writing pens over my lifetime that I can tell when a pen is high quality. I know it when I hold it, when I write with it. I can tell by the feel and the weight distribution. The design resonates with me.

You can’t trick me when it comes to selling me a high quality pen. This is because I’m an insider in this industry. I bring with me a lifelong pursuit of knowledge about the product and I understand the intricacies that differentiate each brand.

This natural feel is what is important when writing for the luxury market. They know what they are looking for - and as the copywriter, you must make yourself the insider as well. You must place yourself in their shoes, speak their language, and recognize what sets them apart.

Take it slow and revise often

Writing for luxury cannot happen quickly.

I would argue that any good writing cannot be done quickly, but writing for luxury takes extra thought, consideration and research that other copywriting may not require.

Remove all Over-the-Top, Vague Descriptors

This is an emerging trend for 2019 in the field of luxury copywriting. GONE (so far gone) are the days of lavish, obscure adjectives dripping from every other word of the run-on sentences. No more. In 2019, this writing style looks cheap. It’s easy, it’s not creative and it doesn’t describe the intricate differences and it’s overused.

OLD Luxury Copywriting:

A mesmerizing pear-shaped diamond drop of over 11 total carats is suspended from a scintillating diamond and platinum necklace. Composed of 86 round brilliant diamonds and weighing over 31 total carats, this necklace is a striking display of light.

Ugh, seriously?

I start to read this and I’m immediately bored -- scanning for the information I want. This writing style doesn’t place an image in my head of the product. This could be describing one of 100 different necklace designs.

...Why is it mesmerizing?

...Define scintillating - how is it so?

NEW Luxury Copywriting:

Striking, mixed-cut diamonds breathe fire and life into this platinum necklace. Weighing over 36 total carats, this design features both princess-cut and round brilliant diamonds. The pièce de résistance? A cushion-cut diamond drop of over 5 carats.

Can you see the difference? Can you feel it?

The 2nd example is ablaze with unique and illustrious copy that brings the necklace to life. You’ll also notice there is only one adjective in the 2nd sentence: round. A basic, concise adjective to describe the diamond.

Luxury is in the Simplicity

Luxury copy is clear, it’s concise, it’s simple, and it understands the market. The copywriting makes you feel something. When I read that the diamonds “breath fire and life into the necklace,” the creative part of my brain sighs a breath of relief. I’m brought into a story of a gorgeous necklace. The copy isn’t just using random and subjective adjectives that I may or may not really agree with when when I see it.

But how do you get here?

How can you transform your average copy to bring it off the page like those 80’s pop-up storybooks?

1. See it, hold it, touch it, feel it.

Experience the product you’re writing about as much as you can so that you can come to recognize the importance of the subtleties. You can become the connoisseur that speaks the language of the clients.

I used to think that all hotels were the same and that certain brands simply had a few fancier perks … until I stayed in some of the nicest hotels in the world. Until I experience the attention to the finest details. Until I had a turndown service with my name printed on the thank you card, with slippers beside the bed that were my size and a refrigerator stocked with the specific healthy foods and snacks that I preferred.

2. Read. Read. Read.

Read all the luxury content you can. Read luxury lifestyle from all different sectors (hint: 99% of the time, luxury products do not actually need to say “luxury” - the details speak for themselves. I try not to read publications that throw around the word “luxury” too much).

You can find inspiration in any market sector. Research the competition. Read the competitors’ copywriting but also read copy from other luxury publications, both inside and outside the industry. Once you begin reading true luxury copywriting - you’ll begin to see it everywhere.

You’ll start to know how the luxury copy feels on your tongue. How it massages your brain. How it lights up the page, and gives life to the pieces it sells.

You’ll begin to see how it draws you in to read more and how you savor every word.

3. Balance the Abstract and the Descriptive

Find the artful balance between the simple and the descriptive. Explain the piece in simple detail, then begin to notice the finer things -- the way the light reflects off of the diamond or the soft glow of the turn down service lighting with the ocean waves playing softly on the TV.

In conclusion: just practice.

If you still can’t wrap your head around what makes luxury copy, you’re not alone!

Many of us have walked through a museum of modern art and wondered what makes The Black Square by Kazimir Malevich a work of art. What sets it apart from my own black squares?

My recommendation to you is to continue to pursue the subtleties. Continue to read, to feel and to experience the differences, and one day - hopefully in the near future - you, too, will see the differences and it may change you!

Writing by: Liz Perry - Marketing Director

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Exclusivity

Did you know that there is a handbag that ranges from $11,900 USD to $300,000 USD - and not only that - if you have the pocketbook to foot that bill, you may still be on a waiting list for a few years before showing off your new Birkin bag?!

Also, what makes the Lure nightclub in L.A. so fabulous when there’s a line down the street in front of its diamond-faceted façade, but the nightclub just one block away is not even half full?

Or what about E at Equinox Fitness Club in New York City, arguably the swankiest fitness gym in the United States, boasting a $26,000 membership fee that actually only covers two personal training sessions per week - yet there’s still a waiting list!

What do all three have in common?

→ Exclusivity

1. One of a Kind

Imagine that you had all the money in the world to use however you liked. After you purchased everything you could possibly think of, and that becomes utterly boring, what comes next?

Collecting.

Wealthy people are collectors of fine art, fine cars, fine jewelry, one-of-a-kind items, private planes, and much more. People who bring in the money to pay upwards of $105,000 USD per night for a luxury villa holiday in The Bahamas abroad want to know that they are not only getting the crème de la crème, but that they are also getting something exclusive that sets them apart from their friends and cohorts who can also afford the world.

Exclusivity matters.

These clients yearn for unique experiences. One-of-a-kind adventures and products that cannot be duplicated, cookie cuttered and sold to the masses.

When writing luxury copywriting, look at what sets your product apart from the rest. Find the exclusivity and focus your copy on the unique, one-of-a-kind service or standards, quality or personalization that your client won’t find anywhere else in the world.

2. Connections

Another key selling point for your luxury copywriting about these high ticket items is to connect with people like your clients. If you’re not a billionaire, you can still relate - we do this on a small scale as well, we pay slightly more or maybe slightly less for our gym membership, or our night out restaurant based on the people who we will see there.

As humans, we want to be surrounded by people who are like us.

These clients are the same. They don’t want to surround themselves with people who look up to them as wealthy or who look down on them as poor - but who see them as equals.

So, if you are a billionaire, it makes sense that you will want to surround yourself with other people who make the same money as you, have the same values as you and also the same disposable income as you have.

Enter: the luxury sales market.

When writing luxury copywriting to an elevated market, you want to keep it simple (see my blog on Simplicity in Luxury Copywriting) and second: emphasize the exclusivity.

When you product has something that no other product has, it creates talking points - and selling points - for your copywriting.

3. Who’s Wallet?

We’ve heard the cliche so many times - don’t sell from your own pocketbook. Of course, if you’re like me, copywriters in general are not raking in the big bucks, we most likely cannot afford the things that we write about, but that should not deter us from selling the luxury lifestyle without problems.


Whichever market segment you are targeting your copywriting toward, you should always focus on the reader and the end user, and remember that the values of each different market group are unique and important.

Writing by: Liz Perry - Marketing Director

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GIFs in Marketing

We all know what a GIF is, either because we’ve seen one or used one at some point in time. But what you might not know is the interesting history behind the GIF or even how to create one yourself.

The GIF is a essential part of digital culture and in recent years, it’s become an increasingly important tool in digital marketing strategies.

The History of the GIF

The GIF, (acronym for Graphics Interchange Format) emerged on the scene more than 30 years ago while the internet was still in its infancy. Known as the rebellious son of digital images, it was developed by a team of computer scientists from the American company CompuServe, led by Steve Wilhite. The compression format came to life in 1987 with the aim of sharing large color images (limited to 256 colors) which could be downloaded in a reasonably short time even on very slow modems.

As if this wasn’t enough, where a sequence of still images in rapid succession that creates the illusion of a moving image, the GIF introduced the possibility of generating bold animations with a message, in just a few bytes. The first ever GIF was a perfect metaphor for the endless growth that this new format would maintain.

Prodigy Child

In the early 1990’s, after the crusade of Tenn Berns Lee’s investment into the World Wide Web and the popularization of web browsers, the GIF went viral. In those early years, web designers could bring their web pages to life, with modest 56k modems, in a relatively short time.

However, GIFs remained strictly as an aesthetic function rather than the commercial, advertising banners or animated buttons that we know of today.

GIF patents expired between 1997 and 1998, which allowed their indiscriminate worldwide use. A new litter of digital artists began to use them, since, as synthesized by the Russian artist Olia Lialina, it was "the only way to put an image in motion on a web browser."

Black sheep

The initial rise of the GIFs came to an end as the new millennium approached. New forms of professional design such as flash animations and later HTML5, relegated the prodigy son of the 90’s. Everything seemed to indicate that the GIF was headed for an inevitable demise.

I will survive!

However, the GIF resisted and found refuge in the works of experimental artists and in various niches of the web such as forums, where an unnamed group of creators discovered the GIFs true potential.

They discovered that the GIF, aside from the technical characteristics, founded a new way of visual communication, one that told significant, meaningful stories.

Different portals such as 4chan, Reddit and, above all, Tumblr, were creative spaces where the GIF was reborn and began to move in a new direction.

The cybernauts quickly grasped the full potential of expressing an idea with an animated loop image. In a time where homo videns reign, or children who were raised in front of the screen who thrive on the immediate, adapted to this new form of expression without hesitation.

Today

Various web platforms, such as Giphy formalized this rebirth, allowing users to publish GIFs practically anywhere on the Internet.

Currently, GIFs are an essential part of digital marketing for more than just a few reasons: lower cost implementations, ease of insertion, distribution and freshness, especially when compared to other types of content, make GIFs an indisputable option.

The rebellious prodigy child of technology refuses to die in the progressive maelstrom. Other style formats compete to dethrone it (such as "webp" developed by Google), however its legacy, having established a new form of visual communication, is already a world heritage.

The plane, created in 1987, still continues its ascent to the skies.

Writing by: Francisco Nuñez - Director of Communications

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