We’re back with a third episode of the Marketing AI Conference (MAICON) Speakers Series —recorded live onsite at the inaugural event in Cleveland, Ohio.
At the conference, Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer), founder of the Institute and creator of MAICON, sat down with seven leading AI experts to discuss future marketing trends and tips to implement AI. You can tune into these conversations by downloading the four-episode podcast series on the MAICON Speaker Series or you can simply click the links below to catch up.
If you missed episode 1: Check out the premier post featuring a podcast with insights from Karen Hao (@_KarenHao), senior AI report for MIT Technology Review, and Cal Al-Dhubaib (@caldhubaib), chief data scientist at Pandata.
And if you missed episode 2: In the second episode, Loren McDonald (@LorenMcDonald), Acoustic, and Mike Kaput (@MikeKaput), Marketing AI Institute, discussed how to get started with marketing AI for content and email. Read the episode takeaways or listen to the full show here.
For ongoing marketing AI know-how, subscribe to our Marketing AI Institute newsletter, and join us for MAICON 2020, July 14 - 16 in Cleveland.
Episode 3: How to Integrate Voice Assistance into Your Marketing
In this episode, Paul interviews Mitch Joel (@mitchjoel), founder of Six Pixels Group. He chats with Mitch about why voice is a must-have for every marketing program, plus tips to develop a strong voice strategy.
Below, get to know more about our featured guest—plus a full transcription following the recording. Please note that the transcription was compiled using AI with Otter.ai, so blame any typos on the machine :)
More about Mitch: Mitch Joel is Founder of Six Pixels Group, an advisory, investing and content producing company that is focused on commerce and innovation. His first book, Six Pixels of Separation, named after his successful blog and podcast is a business and marketing bestseller. His second book, CTRL ALT Delete, was named one of the best business books of 2013 by Amazon.
Paul: Hi, I’m Paul Roetzer, founder of Marketing AI Institute, and creator of the Marketing AI Conference (MAICON). MAICON is designed to help marketing leaders understand, pilot and scale AI in their organizations.
The inaugural event was held in Cleveland, Ohio, July 16 - 18, 2019 and drew 300 attendees from 12 countries.
There were more than 50 speakers, including presenters from Facebook, Grant Thornton, HubSpot, IBM, MIT Technology Review, Publicis Sapient, SoftBank Robotics, The Natori Company and Yext.
This (four episode) podcast series features insights from (7 of) our speakers who we interviewed onsite. The conference covers an array of topics including: what AI is, how to get started with AI in your organization, AI applications for voice, how to humanize your brand, and how AI will transform marketing moving forward.
AI is forecasted to have trillions of dollars in annual impact on businesses, and, yet, most marketers are still struggling to understand what it is and how to apply it to their businesses and careers.
You have a choice. You can sit back and wait for the marketing world to get smarter and change around you, or you can embrace AI now and be proactive in creating a competitive advantage for yourself and your company.
If you choose to take action, I hope you’ll subscribe to our Marketing AI Institute newsletter, and join us in Cleveland for MAICON 2020, from July 14 - 16.
Now, onto the podcast. Today’s episode we’ll focus on “How to Integrate Voice Assistance into your Marketing.”
Paul: Mitch Joel, Founder of Six Pixels Group, an advisory, investing and content producing company that is focused on commerce and innovation. His first book, Six Pixels of Separation, named after his successful blog and podcast is a business and marketing bestseller. Mitch told us a little about his company:
Mitch: Six pixels group right now is really more of a holding company. Prior to this I helped build and grow one of the largest independent digital marketing agencies that I then sold to WPP which is one of the largest marketing communications holding companies in the world. And it's been many years since my exit. Well it's been five years since I sold the business in one year since I exited that business and I wanted to take a space where I could start working on some projects
Paul: We talked with Mitch about the growing trend of smart speakers. He told us how he sees voice assistants and smart audio impacting businesses in the coming years:
Mitch: It feels the exact same way it felt when I saw the first Web browser. And I think it's going to be actually bigger than that. If you look at what's happening right now I would make the argument that. Voice is the best user experience... it's the best user interface that we have. Now you can go back to things like Star Trek and you know computer. And responding and we sort of realized really quickly that it really is when matched with A.I. and done well. The present and the future and I say the present because right now a lot of people when they think of things like Alexa or Siri or Google home they think about the pods those speakers those those those pellets that sort of sit randomly in desks and you use them to control things and we bark at them like we're dominatrix like Do this do that and they do these things. What we may not realize is one that market space is really exploding still Deloitte is saying two hundred and fifty million smart speakers will be in market by the end of 2019 the year we're in. But what is more powerful is that the technology that's underneath it this voice technology is currently being deployed on three point to five billion devices and it's going to expand to 8 billion within the next four or five years. So it's everything from your smartphone to your watch to whatever else has voice enabled technology. This leads me to a theory or thesis that and it's not mine alone it's sort of commonly helped trope amongst people who love this stuff is that writing really will be relegated to people who are writers and I write so I can see myself sort of typing and clicking away on a keyboard but otherwise our interaction with technology will be completely voice driven and there's a reason we're seeing the thing companies the Facebook Amazon apples Netflix and Googles of the world. Really paying a lot of attention to this space. So again we think of things like Alexa and go Wow we know Alexa and we see the echoes and the pluses and the shows and all that. Well people may not realize is that currently Alexa employs 10000 people. With like two or three thousand openings. Like that's a lot of people full time from Amazon. Pumping away at this and it's a world where even Apple with Siri while a lot of people use Siri because it's on their smartphones they haven't really even pulled the trigger on the voice assistant component of it which is going to happen really soon I think. And so it's it's a massive massive industry and really all we're going to do is talk to attack the way we talk to one another.
Paul: Voice is becoming a must have in every marketing program. Mitch, can you tell us about how marketers can integrate voice into their existing program plus why it matters?
Mitch: I've been in marketing for a long time three decades and I've done it from traditional magazine publishing all the way to the latest and most cutting edge of digital technologies. And when I think about. Marketing we talk a lot about understanding what your brand voices. You know what is your what how does it resonate how does it feel in the marketplace and one of the things I'm going to be presenting for the first time today here at marketing artificial intelligence is this idea that we are going to shift from brand voice which will still need to voice brand. Like every brand will need to have a voice brand and that's going to happen in a myriad of marketing ways. Inbound voice brand will be someone is proactively looking for an insurance policy. You know Alexa who couldn't give you the best insurance so suddenly now whatever comes back is going to be on the brand to figure out whether it's a paid or earned moment for them. With these walled gardens of Alexis and Amazons and Googles to be their outbound. What what is our voice brand like. What does it sound like. Is it a celebrity is it female is it male is it androgynous what's the tone of it is it happy is it very positive is it we are going to have to figure out now not just our brand voice which is that sort of feeling but our voice brand like what does it what does our brand actually sound like. And that's going to be a massive shift. And if you see again some of the interesting data that I'm going to be showing today is 30 percent of all searches on Google are going to be done without a screen by the end of this year. So imagine what does that mean. It means that people are using their voice assistant technology on their smartphones or on their smart speakers to ask Google questions that they would have traditionally typed in. So now if you think about that from a marketing perspective you're suddenly in a double world of a voice. Search optimization you're in a space a voice search marketing because if you can't optimize to be the first result. If someone asks for it you have to be optimized on the media paid side to to get there. So the impact on brands is going to be massive. I think it's going to be as massive if not bigger than the impact of the web was like suddenly brands had to have a face and build a website and then they had to be social and be mobile then they needed e-commerce. That's going to be a whole new world when it comes to interacting in this voice based world. I should also say that it's not just voice because the truth is that there is screens like in the voice space. They have this thing called multi-modal and multi-modal would be things like B if you've ever seen the echo show which is sort of like a screen or it looks almost like an alarm clock. But that technology again is going to be persistent and pervasive where you you won't really look at a television and go that's a television it's going to be a fully interactive screen with voice. So now imagine you're in the kitchen and you could literally cook along with a celebrity chef. And and it's so intelligent because the power of A.I. it's not like this is how you make a brownie it's like you could input the entire meal. And it'll tell you like it'll take the whole meal probably show you everything and so that you know like Oh when you're making your entree that's when you're going to start getting ready for your main dish whatever it might be. So that the impact of it from that side is going to be just massive.
Paul: He also shared some tips for developing a strong voice strategy.
Mitch: Yes so. Voice brand because that's the sort of platform that I'm going with. Any tips. I mean ultimately you have to make some very difficult decisions about what are the type of so keyword searches and traditional search engines and voice we call them invocations. Use your voice to invoke something. So understanding what our consumers currently invoking in terms of what's related to your space figuring out again what type of voice you want. Figuring out what type of content you have. Figuring out how to make that content work cross platform because they're not they are walled garden.
So if you're working in Google you're not working in Google and Amazon if you're working at Amazon you have to figure out how all those work. And then it's just a general marketing play of how you're gonna pull it all together. But I think just having a strategy and thinking about it would be a great first place to start. What are the invocations people may be using that might be related to your brand.
Paul: To conclude our conversations, Mitch shared some tips for marketers who are just getting started exploring AI. He emphasized the need to learn.
Mitch: Keep getting started. I mean it's very early days and I think the vast majority of stuff that's being positioned is artificial intelligence isn't necessarily true artificial intelligence. I think there are a lot of really smart people that you should be following people like Christopher S. Penn who's here today and others who are really passionate about this base. I mean I literally was having some drinks last night with Chris Penn and he said five things that I had no idea what he was talking about and not in terms of like complex ideas but platforms and API is that that that are there and you just really realize I am not there I am not there. I wish I could sit here and tell you here's five things you should do the answer is I would literally be starting with Wikipedia searches to understand what what what we're talking about what is the difference between artificial intelligence and machine learning. How do they work together who are the players. What are they doing. I'd taken a bit more of a proactive role personally in terms of both advising and investing in some of these companies. And look I'd probably you know putting my money in a little pile and lighting it on fire for all I know. But I'm learning. And it's this sort of cost of education that I prefer to venture down which is invest in people who are doing it and try and get some actionable items and knowledge out of it. And that's always the best place to start is learn be what I would call an info for you know just be really you know hungry and ravenous for more information about the space.
Paul: Voice is exciting, and we hope you learned a few ways to keep the humanity in your in smart speakers.
I’m Paul Roetzer, owner and CEO of PR2020 and founder of MAICON. Thanks for listening to the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s discussion with Mitch Joel from this year’s MAICON event, I’d encourage you to check out our 2020 event at MAICON.ai. This annual conference is held in Cleveland, and brings together the leading experts of the marketing and artificial intelligence communities. We hope to see you there.
This podcast is a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to:
Producers: Brigid Coyne & Dave Douglas
Audio Engineers: Sean Rule-Hoffman, Dave Douglas, and Eric Koltnow
Thanks for listening – we’ll see you next time!
Sandie Young was formerly the Director of Marketing at Ready North. She started at the agency during the summer of 2012, with experience in magazine journalism and a passion for content marketing. Sandie is a graduate of Ohio University, with a Bachelor of Science from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.