We’re surely moving in the direction of voice input to bots, but unless microphones advance — allowing you to request things with a near-silent whisper (or perhaps with thoughts) — people will continue to let their fingers do the talking.
“Facebook has long been a force in post-sale retention and Messenger can really play a huge part as a CRM tool,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm. “I see it as the “real” social network… the one where folks communicate with those closest to them.”
Similar to the shift from desktop to mobile, local marketers need to consider how the shift to voice-activated devices will impact their strategy. The smart home hub offers a new device on which consumers will interact with local businesses.
This AI-centric battle is being waged by heavier contenders than any before it, including Apple (Siri), Amazon (Alexa), and Google (Assistant). They’re each basing battle plans on their current positioning and biggest assets, and the winner will sway the next era of local commerce.
The type of ultra-personal service that was once offered by waiters at mom-and-pop diners is now being duplicated by highly-sophisticated computer algorithms, as many of the country’s largest restaurant chains start investing more in artificial intelligence technology.
As voice search becomes more prevalent, Apple will “retain an advantage over Amazon in ‘on-the-go’ searches, since our phones are always with us,” David Mihm tells Mike Blumenthal. “Unfortunately for Apple, people overwhelmingly conduct voice searches at home. “
Clearly Amazon is positioning itself in the sales funnel aggressively, Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm. “And unlike Google their presale efforts lead directly to sales that they control. ”
With the right data, a brand can keep the relationship with the customer warm while they’re off-property, out-of-town or on a budget. Offering the right deals and communications that are relevant to real interests means that the relationship between man and machine is getting better all the time.
At least for now, Alexa and Google are thinking of AI-powered local search in the traditional sense of providing the user with a range of relevant options — even when organic search is trending toward the single best answer.
In the local space, 2016 brought both consolidation and renewal. Major players were acquired, while other companies experimented with innovations in bots and AI, VR/AR and a new generation of voice search. Here’s a look back at the top Street Fight stories (at least in terms of traffic) this year.