In our last Great Marketing Minds post, we asked several experts from across the field of Digital Knowledge Management to share their thoughts on chatbots. Today we asked them to talk about some of their favorite trends in consumer engagement.
Looking ahead, what advancements in consumer engagement are you most excited for?
Our team is excited to leverage all these new types of technologies! Whether it be voice search optimization, video production, building chatbots, or developing apps, new technologies give us a greater ability to think innovatively about how our clients' unique service offerings can be adapted in a multi-platform, multi-device world. For each of our clients, we are now brainstorming different approaches to serving our customers best-in-class interactive experiences, beyond traditional on-page content creation and optimization tactics that have formed the basis of our SEO strategies for the past 10 years. Being good at SEO requires evolving your strategies alongside new developments in the search landscape, and our team is excited to tackle these challenges head-on.
The easy answer is voice, but let's take a moment and think about the true future of this technology. Currently, both chatbots and personal assistants still have navigation hierarchies in them. The intelligent assistant will talk you through a multi-step process to get you what you want. The assistant requires all the steps because of the difficulty it has in processing natural language, and it therefore needs to confirm each element of a request one piece at a time.
But as AI gets better at processing natural language, the need for a navigation hierarchy will go away. You will be able to make what I call a directed request (or directed command). Imagine that I could make a request to my personal assistant as follows:
"Send a dozen red roses to my wife at our home address. Have them arrive tomorrow. Um, let's see, no vase needed. Please use the usual credit card and add a note. Hmm, what do I want in the note? I got it. The note should say 'Happy birthday, honey! See you for dinner at 6:30 PM'. That should be good for the note."
Then the system could respond: "Got it, consider it done. Anything else?"
Then I might say: "Yes, thanks for asking. Book the dinner for me at the Comedor restaurant. Let me know if you can't get a 6:30 reservation. Adjust the time in the note with the flowers to what time we actually get the reservation for. Also, if we can't get a reservation until after 7:30 let me know. You know she hates to eat dinner late."
Unpack what I did there and you'll see that my personal assistant has to follow some pretty complicated logic to do everything I asked for. You can see how compelling a difference that directed request model will offer us. And it's coming our way in the next few years.
I'm excited for brands to rethink engagement — and instead focus on the consumer experience, and rethink marketing as a conversational, instead of a push, mechanism.
There are a lot of exciting elements with voice search, chatbots, and AI, but looking forward, I am most excited about what augmented and virtual realities will do to consumer engagement in the future.
Although I should clarify that for these mixed realities to really disrupt our current standards of customer engagement, they will likely incorporate a lot of voice chat and search technologies, as well as a lot of AI.
In the end, we experience things best with all of our senses. Augmented and virtual realities are what I view as the closest to facilitating a lifelike experience that companies and users can control and engage with.
Read more from Great Marketing Minds here.