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February 20, 2018

Building the Agency of the Future

AMP WordMark

 

I am thrilled to share some exciting news about AMP. The AMP Agency team has joined forces with  UX focused agency BLITZ and premier experiential marketing and branding firm 206Agency. The three agencies become AMP Agency, and while the name may be the same, we have an evolved look and a national footprint, with five offices and more than 300 employees to build solutions for our partners.  

 

Also joining our team is Adlucent, an industry leader in performance media and analytics who, through their proprietary technologies and methodologies, have launched successful performance campaigns for clients, including many retailers, including Amazon, Wasserstrom, and Gardner’s Supply Company to grow their ecommerce performance. We’re excited to have Adlucent join the AMP family,  operating under their existing brand.

 

What does this mean for our clients?  

 

We believe brands that design better customer experiences lead the world in business performance. While these agencies have been collaborating behind the scenes for a few years, by more fully integrating, our teams have the ability to affect change at “every touch-point” of the customer journey, delivering exceptional brand experience systems – the Holy Grail for CMOs and modern marketers. 

 

Our brand ecosystem agency has offices in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle and Austin. Together, we use proprietary data, behavioral analysis and predictive analytics tools to better understand our clients’ audiences and drive business results through creative marketing solutions.

 

I’m humbled by the incredible team at AMP Agency. 300+ happy AMPers, digital natives and global thinkers who are passionate – and yes, maybe a bit obsessive – about the work we create every day for clients like Amazon, Facebook, Fisker Inc., Garnier Fructis, Levi’s, LinkedIn, Maybelline, Southwest Airlines and Patagonia.

 

With a rapidly changing technology landscape and connected consumers’ demands for more personalized products and services, there is no question the pressure is on modern marketers who must continually evolve. I am confident our team of number-crunchers, strategists, analysts, geeks and creatives can deliver on this mandate, building solutions across the entire brand ecosystem, connecting people and brands in more meaningful ways that grow businesses.

 

We look forward to tackling your most complicated marketing and technology problems and creating solutions that move business forward.

 

Gary Colen

CEO, AMP Agency

 

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October 18, 2017

An Easy Guide to Discovering Content Ideas

Two of my favorite things, outside of my wife and daughter (of course), are 1) beer and 2) creating content from high volume keywords. I can hear you saying, “Really, Greg?” and I would say, “Yes, really.” So, what a better blog topic that combines these two and gives some tips for creating content that people actually want to read?

You might have guessed, but I’m a beer snob. I used to be ashamed to admit that because I hate being trendy, but I can’t hide the fact that 2017 is the height of craft beer mania. Check out how the term “craft beer” has trended since 2004 according to Google Trends. Craft beer may as well be Taylor Swift, pointy fake nails, Herschel bags, or one of those undercut haircuts with a tiny ponytail on top.*

*For the record, I’m currently drinking a Lamplighter Stardust IPA brewed with Simcoe, Summit, and Amarillo hops. I love Lamplighter Brewing Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Lamplighter employees: Hit me up to coordinate my free cases).

Cool chart, huh? It's free courtesy of the Googs' Trend tool. You can get a graph on anything you want there.

Let’s imagine I came up with the really unoriginal idea to start a beer blog. For the sake of this blog, let’s assume I want to be a source of education for beer newbies. So, where do I start? I can hear you saying, “Greg, it must be really overwhelming to figure out what to write about, right?” And I would say, “Wrong.”

With the right (mostly free tools) and a little bit of SEO know-how, you can figure out exactly what you should be writing about and how to drive traffic to your site over time. The best part is - it’s all based on real data and what people really want.

I bet a lot of beer newbies see a porter and a stout as being similar. Looking at Google Keyword Planner, we can see that “porter vs stout” gets 5400 searches per month. BAM! I’ve written my first article entitled “What is the Difference Between and Porter and a Stout?” For those of you who aren’t aware, Google Keyword Planner is linked to an existing Adwords account. If an Adwords account doesn’t exist, there’s a great free keyword research tool through “The Hoth.”

When should I write this article? In the chart below, it looks like search interest around the term “stout” peaks in the cool/cold weather months - not surprising since a stout is a hearty beer. It’s also not a surprise that searches peak around St. Patrick’s Day. Guinness is a stout and it’s one of the most famous Irish beers. With this knowledge, I’ll likely publish my article in the fall, and then maybe I’ll do another feature on stouts around St. Patrick’s Day. BAM! Who am I? Emeril Lagasse? Punch me…

Ok, so now my mind is working. What about summer beers? I see a lot of people drinking shandy-style beers in the summer. Since I actually have no idea what a shandy is, I’m going to Google “shandy” now. Based on Google’s “Auto Complete,” many other people have the same curiosity as I do:

 

Based on this tip, I confirm that many people are curious to know what a shandy is. After doing some keyword research, I see that 1600 people per month type in the exact query “what is a shandy?” Sweet.  Check out the shandy search trends below. There’s no surprise that queries around “shandy” peak in the summer since it is a light, fruity, and refreshing beer.

Search data is great and all, but what is actually resonating with the public? What have people been sharing over the past year? Using BuzzSumo (which just got acquired by Brandwatch), we can see the most shared content pieces pertaining to a given topic over a preselected period of time. I love using this tool to understand the types of content that actually resonates with the public. Check out the results below for the query “craft beer.”

An article entitled “IPAs Are Giving You Man Boobs” was shared over 93K times. This list has some great inspirations for fun and lifestyle content that I can add to my blog. Most importantly, I’m currently rubbing my chest and thinking that I might need to go to the gym.

TLDR: Use keyword data to discover and create awesome content.

  1. Google Trends to see popular searches
  2. Google Keyword Planner to see the volume of searches for particular keywords
  3. BuzzSumo to see what’s being shared in social
October 2, 2017

Pin It To Win It

Advertising on social platforms can be a great way to get your message out, but as many of us know, creating compelling content that doesn’t necessarily feel like an ad is a really tough balance to strike. Enter Pinterest’s new Pin Collective, a team of creatives that you can hire to create ads in less than 10 days.

Pinterest’s paid adoptions have been around for several years under Promoted Pins. What makes them unique is that they have designed Promoted Pins to flow in with organic content smoothly, making the viewing experience for the consumer much more pleasurable. How many times have you been scrolling through your feed and come across a jarring image that is clearly an ad? I don’t know about you, but I find that really annoying. Pinterest solves that by making the separation between organic and paid content much more subtle.

This approach is paying off. According to Pinterest, advertisers who use Promoted Pins receive an average of 20% more clicks in a month after launching a Promoted Pin.

And now, with their Pin Collective self-serve platform, marketers can use a team of content creators to make super appealing Pin ad imagery in as little as 10 days. Easy, breezy, lemon squeezy.

Let’s take a peek at some pristine pinners who are doing a great job using promoted pins. (Are these puns too much or am I pinning at this pun game?)

  1. Target

 

Not only does Target do a stand-up job at promoting its merchandise, it also showcases its products in a lifestyle setting.

2. Chobani

 

So, maybe Chobani doesn’t have a catalog of ‘perfectly pinnable products’ like Target, but they do have a cool Pinterest page packed with wellness tips, recipes, general information and inspirational quotes. Chobani is a perfect example of a brand that understands their customer base and plans their pins accordingly.

3. L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean’s Pinterest board does a fantastic job highlighting their ‘nature enthusiast’ brand with their outdoor, dog and flannel packed board.  Their paid product ads flow seamlessly into the other lifestyle imagery, inspiring viewers to get into nature wearing L.L. Bean clothes

The message is clear: Pinterest paid posts are a great tool for marketers to promote their content in a subtle and effective manner.

 

September 28, 2017

Toys R Us Is Bankrupt. Have Toys Lost Their Magic?

“Kids these days,” they say. Television viewership is declining, iPads are tethered to their grip, and Toys R Us just filed for bankruptcy. What happened to strolling through aisles of baby dolls, or turning on the TV immediately after school to see the hottest Nerf blaster during commercial breaks? Both the shopping and media consumption landscapes are shifting – and toy manufacturers have to act fast. With the rise of kids’ digital obsession, imagine trying to sell both classic and innovative toys, when the actual purchaser is mom and dad (who likely only found entertainment out of Tonka trucks growing up).

As suave digital marketers, we need to stay ahead of the game to prepare for these sorts of shifts in digital consumption by challenging current media investment – getting in-front of both kids and parents alike. Toys R Us’ bankruptcy doesn’t actually signal lower toy sales – toy sales were up last holiday season – and are expected to increase this year. With our toy-manufacturing client, AMP acted on evolving consumer purchase behavior and kept an eye on developing ad-tech, as consumers became more reliant on e-commerce sites to research, price compare, and purchase toys year-round. AMP’s Media team has transitioned from a purely Paid Search capability to one extending to managing product display ads on retail e-commerce websites.

The reality is that there’s a substantial decline in foot-traffic to stores during the holidays, which is where a lot of shopping inspiration used to take place. Why rely on the perspective of an 18-year-old sales clerk, when you can read 25+ reviews across any retail site at your fingertips? To capitalize on the growing reliance on e-commerce sites, we partnered with Criteo and Amazon Marketing Services to push inventory for specific products and gain visibility on retail sites throughout the consumer’s online journey. Best of all, we’re then able to analyze and attribute data at the product level, and pinpoint trends in both research and purchase behavior.

Through these e-Commerce vessels, we’ve been able think fast for toys and games seeing the most success with real-time data – proactively shifting investment throughout the holidays to result in the strongest return during the most competitive season. Due to the success of this investment, budget has doubled YoY and driven over $30M in Sales last holiday season. This kind of success doesn’t happen overnight – it’s a constantly evolving test and learn process. We’ve conquested viral trends (think fidget spinners), tested any and every beta to get our client(s) first to market, and cranked up investment during Thanksgiving week resulting in 70% more Sales YoY.

Although it seems like toy retail giants are struggling and 5-year-olds will one day digitally outsmart you, one thing remains the same: the magic of toys will always be in demand.

 

July 24, 2017

Content Marketing: Being Honest and Keeping Your Friends

I just read a Content Marketing article which discussed whether Content Marketing needs to be rebranded now that it’s been a buzz term in the industry for a handful of years. For those of you that know me, I absolutely loathe forced marketing lingo. I’d like to think that many people see right through it, but maybe I’m overestimating the “BS” meter than people are born with.

With that said, imagine ourselves in a professional situation. Let’s assume we're colleagues and we’ve come across one another at various events and we have a cordial professional relationship. At an industry event, I turn to you and say,“What are your thoughts on leveraging a synergistic approach to acquiring palliative hydration?” Translation: “Do you want to go grab a beer with me?” Of course, you wouldn’t want to get a beer with me, because I’ve just outed myself as a giant arse.

For some reason, I feel that marketers are constantly trying to reinvent the wheel. I get it. Our job is trying to sell things, but whether we’re trying to sell something to fellow marketers or the general public, a certain level of honesty needs to be involved. This notion is especially true in the case of content marketing.

Content marketing is pretty simple. Employ a value based entity with the desired outcome of positive absorption (Non- jargon translation: Write stuff that people want to read that provides them with value). Google has figured this out. Organic rankings are no longer filled with fluff results from SEO’s overstuffing keywords and manipulating the latest algorithms. Sure, there is still an art to SEO, but organic rankings are now based on Google’s machine-based algorithms, aka robots, who ignore all the cheesy jargon.

And while we are on the topic of cheese, let’s talk about a real life example. If you’re a brand that wants to sell more cheese, try positioning yourself as the ultimate authority on cheese. Answer all of the questions people have about cheese in a useful and valuable manner. Google will see you as being a purveyor of valuable content. People will start thinking of you as an authority on cheese and they’ll trust your brand more than the brand that just tells you that their cheese is the best, and then talks about how great their founders are. If you don’t tell them which kind of cheese pairs best with Pinot Noir, somebody else will.

What it comes down to, is that agency folks need to be honest with brands. Content about mission statements or awards is not what converts. People are generally not interested in anything aside from what they’re typing into a search engine at that specific moment. Be their buddy and give them an answer they’ll feel good about. Do your research to figure out what people are looking for. You just might be rewarded with free organic traffic for years to come.

July 19, 2017

Video Killed More Than the Radio Star

RIP, 'How To' Manual 

This Sunday, like many before, I spent the majority of my morning endlessly scrolling through Facebook videos. Among the clutter of makeup tutorials, dogs playing musical instruments and babies eating lemons, I came across a video titled ‘How to do a Backflip in 5 minutes’. ‘Why?’ I thought to myself. Surely, no one wants to learn how to do a backflip from someone on the internet and risk being paralyzed. Turns out, the video had over 7MM views and tons of positive comments. While I’m sure many of these viewers were social content trolls like myself, many of these viewers were actually searching ‘how to do a backflip’ and, creator, Pigmie, apparently delivered.

This got me thinking. First, of why so many people want to learn how to do a backflip, and in what situation they would perform such a stunt? Second, how anyone with access to the internet can virtually learn how to anything online.

For example, some of YouTube’s all-time favorite ‘How to Videos’ consist of ‘How To: Dance, make a paper airplane, curl your hair, make cake, get six pack abs in 3 minutes, draw, tie a tie, do makeup.

(Prepopulated YouTube search on July 17th)

Clearly, people are searching for a wide range of videos on how to do virtually everything and anything.

According to Cisco, in 2017, 69% of internet traffic will be video. And, it’s no surprise that people are using this video content as a mean to satisfy their information and entertainment needs.

Don’t take it from me… check out this nifty infographic created by our friends over at HubSpot - https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/video-marketing-statistics

So, let's get down to it. How exactly can businesses benefit from shareable, social videos?  Regardless of product, industry or offering, companies can create impactful, informational and helpful videos to create an engaged audience and generate earned viewership for your company.

For example, these ‘how to life hacks’ are great opportunities for brands to create video content or sponsor an influencer to incorporate their product into their videos.

Take it from this awesome campaign by Ziplock ‘Life Needs Ziplock’:

https://ziploc.com/

Let’s bring it back to our backflipping friend. Unless you have a gymnastics company, this video would likely not impact your company, right? Wrong. Your company has the opportunity to, when the opportunity is right, earn a ton of viewership. Pigmie’s video, for example, could be a great space for a medical or insurance company to engage with consumers or sponsor a ‘follow up video’ on how to file an insurance claim after you injure yourself.

People are constantly searching for ‘how to’s’ relating to hundreds of other fields; medical, travel, insurance, automotive and much more. Questions like “how do I get a car insurance quote,” “how do I get a new passport”, “how do I change a tire”… and, you got it, guess who should be showing up in response to these searches with helpful tips? You. Exactly.

It is inevitable that video will soon be the main source of information share between companies and consumers. So, don’t get left behind. Let us help you. We are experts in social, social video, influencer marketing, video production and online marketing. To learn more about how we can get you more shares, views and buyer conversion rates, click here.

 

 

July 12, 2017

Creating a Connected Data Ecosystem

The number of marketing technology tools is rising at a staggering rate, having nearly doubled YOY in 2016. On average, 51% of organizations use 21 or more digital marketing solutions. While having the ability to access all this new information provides unprecedented insight, it frequently results in an overload of data siloed in disparate systems. Marketers are buried under a landslide of fragmented campaign metrics, products, customers, purchases, and more. And there’s seemingly no end in sight; Gartner reports that 50-65% of marketing executives plan to spend more on marketing technology in the coming year.

To make meaningful use of all this data, metrics need to be reviewed cohesively. Without a full holistic view, it’s impossible to get a complete understanding of the real story. Only analyze existing customer behavior and you may miss out on opportunities to attract new audiences. Only review site traffic from media placements, and you lack an understanding of why your customers are loyal to your brand, or how to create more of them.

The problem is that most marketing teams don’t operate with systems that talk to each other. They end up trying to manually analyze disparate data points to uncover insights, a practice that is neither scalable nor responsive in real-time. This data fragmentation is costing marketers real dollars as they lose the ability to effectively optimize campaigns and fold learnings into future plans.

An example of how some marketing departments utilize data today:

The solution begins with creating a connected data ecosystem. The concept is simple—collect all data points into a centralized system able to analyze them en masse and surface actionable insights in real-time. Using those insights, marketers can then start to roll out personalized content, translate strategies across all channels, and efficiently improve customers’ experiences.  While the initial creation of the connected data ecosystem can be time-consuming, it pays off. One example: Annuitas Group reports that businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects report a 451% increase in qualified leads.

 

Based on our experience with building ecosystems for clients, we have created a four-step process that we follow:

  • Discovery: we assess all the various systems that are collecting data around your organization. We also identify areas where the data returned may be less than perfect in quality–a very common occurrence. During this period we also outline the shared objectives and definitions of success across all the stakeholders.
  • Solution design: using our learnings from the Discovery period, we design a customized solution that aligns to your business objectives. We build a roadmap using multiple analytic approaches across our four service categories: Performance analytics, marketing sciences, research, and business intelligence.
  • Analyze: This is where the magic happens. Now that we’ve designed your ideal system, we begin to collect the data and review the outputs using our team of data analysts, statisticians, and social scientists to uncover those insights that will truly give your business the competitive edge.
  • Insights: This is when our team works with marketers and other members of your organization to communicate our findings and share recommended actions to meet your KPIs. Once the initial foundation is built, this process can be repeated multiple times over the course of the year, ensuring your teams are always up to date on the latest findings and fully able to use fresh data to inform future plans.

The creation of a connected data ecosystem takes some effort but pays off almost immediately by making teams run more efficiently with a full understanding of the current state of their business and what levers they have to achieve their goals.

June 26, 2017

Attracting Affluent Audiences

In a recent article with Glossy, FarFetch CMO John Veichmanis discussed the challenges and opportunities in marketing luxury brands to affluent audiences. They have invested a tremendous amount in data scientists and technology to get their message in front of the right people. Unfortunately, many brands aren't as lucky as FarFetch to have access to those resources, but still want to target affluent audiences. Reaching higher income earners requires more planning and a more creative approach than when targeting other audiences. Not only do the habits of the ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) differ a bit from the rest of ours, but there is tremendous competition for their attention. Reaching the UHNW requires a little ingenuity, a robust audience profile, and some great tools to get in front of them with messages that convert.

One of our luxury beauty brands reached out to us to help with targeting audiences who hadn’t yet tried their product. Although they enjoy tremendous name recognition, the whole culture in the beauty industry is centered around “try before you buy.” To attract the attention of potential customers, we wanted to break out of the typical media buy targeted at women who were between the ages of 30-55 in UHNW households. To ensure that we were targeting the exact audiences that actually would be interested in purchasing their product, we took a more innovative approach to their media strategy.

First, we reviewed the client’s data on customers who had purchased previously and their audience personas, comprised of profiles ranging from the married middle age woman to young college students who are supported by their parents. We were able to pair that data with Google Analytics and other profiling tools to start to create a database of attributes of what our ideal audience would look like.

To give our media the most impact, we also geo-fenced high-end retailers and paired the anonymous mobile IDs with the persona attributes to start building a list of those who would be the most interested in learning more about the client’s products. Using personalized messaging that aligned to our personas, we were able to tailor the ad messages to align to their interests and needs. In addition to our programmatic media buy, we also included branded and non-branded search keywords that matched how our personas were looking for solutions to their beauty needs, not just specific products.

The results have produced increased online sales for the client. Through our innovative approach, the client was able to maximize the efficiency of their media buy, targeting their ads only to people who would have the most interest in hearing from them.  

March 13, 2017

The Year of Intelligent Personal Assistants

Intelligent Personal AssistantAs an Android person, I missed the Siri boat. I constantly forget Cortona exists, but it's a thing. Then when Alexa came around, I held out because it wasn't Google. Okay so maybe I'm a Google snob. But now I've had a chance to play with all four as well as develop apps for both Alexa and Google Home (aka Google Assistant). Although Google Assistant is the clear winner for me going into 2017, I'm going to keep this post about Intelligent Personal Assistants (IPAs) in general and the opportunities they present to both marketers and consumers.

Two trends I've continued to follow throughout the years are the need for deeper connections and control without confusion. I believe these two needs have driven technology to this point. The move from text chat, to video chat to VR/AR, is logical in this context. With more technology comes more things and with more things more confusion. I think we're still in the beginning phases of an IoT revolution but the technology to properly manage and control these experiences was not ready, until now.

What Is An Intelligent Personal Assistant?

Right now I'm focusing on the big 4; Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana, and Siri. IPAs are conversational bots that help you complete tasks. The bots offered by each of the big 4 have slight differences between them, however, I think they compliment each other well. We're also slowly starting to reach a point of stabilization where functionality is relatively similar across each platform.

IPAs at the most basic level allow you to get answers to questions very fast.

"How cold is it outside?"

"Who is the oldest person in the world?"

"Why do people still use QR codes?"

Now give your assistant access to things like your phone and calendar, and it becomes a powerful tool to keep yourself organized. Add your credit card, and you can buy toilet paper in fewer words than a haiku. The more it knows about you, the more helpful if becomes.

How Should Marketers Approach Intelligent Personal Assistants

There is a lot of movement in the space right now, so the most important thing you can do is pay attention. Privacy concerns are still top of mind with reports of IPAs ordering things because the TV told them too. The IPAs are also getting new features daily with services popping up to do everything from order Ubers to Pizza. You may have heard a lot about Alexa coming off CES this past year but did you know Google just automatically enabled Google Assistant across all Android phones running the most recent version of the operating system? This is a huge move and instantly brings Google Assistant up to Alexa's level although Alexa has had a huge head start to get up and running.

But in case you missed the boat, I'll do my best to get you up to speed on the things Marketers should be paying attention to.

Being First To Market

The most obvious one is the massive opportunity this new marketplace presents. First, to market services will enjoy the luxury of claiming their turf for premium user queries related to their industry. Getting a ride and ordering pizza were two of the first services created by Uber and Dominos on Google Home when it finally added the option for third party integrations.

Although at this point, Domino's can't claim "pizza" as the keyword trigger for the app and instead has to use the more direct "Domino's", It won't be long before your Intelligent Personal Assistant remembers that Domino's is your favorite place to order from and allows you to use "Order me a pizza" as your trigger phrase. This is why being first to the marketplace is incredibly important as your Intelligent Personal Assistants learn more about you and your needs.

Deeper Connections

Another great thing about Intelligent Personal Assistants is the fact that they are conversational. Some are better at this than others, like Google Home for example. As artificial intelligence and machine learning become more ubiquitous, IPAs are starting to set new standards for what consumer facing AI might look like in the future. IPAs remember your habits and your interaction history which make it possible to ask contextual and follow-up questions in a very casual manner.

Now imagine in the case of conversational commerce, an IPA that helps you do your grocery shopping. This could be core functionality of the IPA or a third party service you can install. Based on previous interactions with your brands, the IPA could favor your products over the competition.

Furthermore, IPA's become their own channel with unique opportunities to engage users and create memorable experiences. Maybe the pizza brand also helps you make your own pizzas with step by step recipes and alternative ingredients recommendations. Because the platforms are truly mobile and circumstantial its possible to create some of the best contextually relevant experiences we've seen to date. Now instead of catching them before or after they've done the task you'd like to associate your brand with, you can catch them in the act. Doing laundry and can't get that annoying stain out? Just say out loud "How do I get pumpkin spice soy latte stains out of white t-shirts" and your favorite detergent company might respond with answers in that moment.

The lines will continue to blur as brands become companions in our lives instead of just packaged goods.

Control Without Confusion

As technology continues to evolve there is a lot more to keep track of in our lives. Navigating the mess is a huge barrier to entry for a lot of people. IPAs, however, solve a lot of the problems traditional tech has created. You no longer have to remember the "right" way to do something but just that you can do it. Your assistant is smart enough to figure out what you want to do and guide you along the way. This is an incredibly powerful tool for brands to help consumers navigate their complex digital web. IPAs serve both as their own channels but also as a one-stop access points to more traditional channels.

I've already seen this trend on websites using Intelligent Personal Assistants as customer support tools. It's certainly a balancing act as we advise clients to carefully approach automated personalized communication but when done right it can streamline incredibly complex user journeys. This makes things like identifying more qualified leads before connecting to sales and getting quick answers to common questions painless and easy. More importantly, you can do this all in your brand's voice. API.AI, which is what I used to create my own Google Home app, allows you to give your custom IPA personality right out of the box. It can even have a favorite color.

The Entry Point to IoT

Consumer based IoT is still in its infancy with products like Hue and WeMo currently dominating the space. Managing an app for each device becomes too much to manage once you get beyond 2 or 3 apps. The IPA eliminates the need to ever open those apps again. "Hey Google, turn the lights on and lock the front door". What would previously take the opening and closing two separate apps becomes a seamless phrase you might have yelled out to a family member anyways. In my opinion, besides privacy concerns, managing your IoT infrastructure had previously been too cumbersome a task to warrant the investment. Why pay for light bulbs that add an extra step to use when the switch on the wall is much easier? That's an oversimplification but for your average consumer, it is not far from the truth.

Brand's should be jumping at the opportunity to integrate their IoT tech with Intelligent Personal Assistants. We're still in the beginning phases and similar to how first to market services are going to win, first to integrate tech will also have a huge leg up.

This Is Just The Beginning

I've only glazed the surface here. We've gone from keyword search with website results to conversational search with immediate answers. This affects every facet of the digital agency from Search to Creative. UX will start to encompass voice design while our Ecomm team is developing out conversational commerce experiences. Your website will start to act more like an API and developers will need to make sure information is structured in ways that play nice with our new artificially intelligent friends.

Artificial intelligence in its current form is very cool. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon are making big investments in this space and alongside the IoT revolution, there is a big opportunity to create a deeper connection and more engaging experiences. It feels like the pinnacle of the inbound marketing movement where search is literally sitting on the mantle above my fireplace. Not only are Intelligent Personal Assistants incredibly fun but they are incredibly useful, and they're just getting started.

January 19, 2017

Talking Is The New Interface To Everything

why-talking.jpegChatbots are nothing new, but there have been some significant changes to make chatbots the hot new marketing platform like mobile messaging apps, artificial intelligence, and voice tech. Bot-enabled conversation will quickly become the new digital interface. Not the browser. Not smartphone apps. Bots. And voice will become the dominant input method.

 

Welcome to the conversation frontier.

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