Coca-Cola Targeting Ads According To Your Instagram Posts

What Happened
In an innovative twist of using social listening for targeting, Coca-Cola’s new ad campaign is targeting people the photos they shared on Facebook and Instagram, instead of the text they posted. The idea is to gauge user interests based on the images they share on social media and serve up relevant messages across other digital channels. For example, if you posted Instagram photo of the picnic you had over the weekend, and there happen to be a jug of iced tea somewhere in the mix, Gold Peak, a Coca-Cola-owned ice tea beverage brand, could target you with ads while you read an article online or checked the weather on a weather app.

What Brands Need To Do
We have entered an image-first era on social media where many people have chosen to prioritize sharing photos and videos over texts. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. And thanks to the recent advances in image recognition and machine learning technologies, this trend provides brand marketers with a new opportunity to discern the interests of their audience and get a better understanding of contexts they are in. More brands should start expanding their method of customer data acquisition to incorporate image-based data collection and leveraging it to optimize the relevance of their ads.  

For more information on how brands may tap into the transformative power that machine learning will bring to marketing, please check out the Augmented Intelligence section of our Outlook 2017.

 


Source: Digiday

Google Launches “AIY Projects” To Facilitate more AI Integrations

What Happened
Google looks to put Google Assistant in more third-party devices by launching AIY Projects, an open-source reference project that will include several do-it-yourself artificial intelligence reference kits for developers to tap into. The first one being released is a Voice Kit designed to work with a Raspberry Pi to create a voice-based virtual assistant. Google says it aims to help more people build voice command interfaces directly into products or use cloud APIs like the Google Assistant SDK released two weeks ago. The Voice Kit will be for sale at Barnes & Noble stores nationwide in the US.

What Brands Need To Do
This new initiative makes it easier for hardware makers to experiment with voice command interfaces, which, in turn, could lead to more Google Assistant integrations. As the competition between voice assistants starts to heat up, consumers will have multiple options to choose from, which means brands will need to develop voice experiences for multiple platforms in order to maximize their reach. According to ComScore, half of all searches will be voice searches by 2020, and brands need to prepare for that near future by developing conversational experiences for various platforms to make them readily accessible to customers.

 


Source: 9to5 Google

eBay Plugs Machine Learning Into Email Marketing

What Happened
eBay is supercharging its own email marketing platform with machine learning so as to send individually personalized offers to subscribers based on their browsing history on eBay’s site. By dividing deals into virtual “buckets” such as shoes, consumer electronics, or collectibles, eBay’s proprietary algorithm is able to insert the relevant deals from one of the “buckets” that a user frequently views. The new platform also monitors user actions and react in real time. For example, when the price changes on an item a customer has viewed, eBay can automatically send that customer an email alert.

What Brands Need To Do
eBay joins a growing list of companies that are experimenting with AI-powered marketing solutions. Last month, Nielsen integrated artificial intelligence into its cloud marketing platform, whereas H&R Block enlisted IBM’s Watson to help with tax filings. As cloud-based services and machine learning technologies continue to mature, brands need to explore the kind of hyper-personalized messaging and experiences that AI-powered marketing solutions can deliver.

For more information on how brands may tap into the transformative power it will bring to marketing, please check out the Augmented Intelligence section of our Outlook 2017.

 


Source: eMarketer

IBM Watson Upgrades Cloud Marketing Service By Adding Video & Behavioral Analysis

What Happened
IBM continues to expand the marketing capabilities of its cognitive computing service Watson as it announced two new features this week. First, the new Watson Marketing Insights feature can analyze customer behaviors and offer insights on how they may affect businesses. For example, this new feature can be applied to analyze the possible correlation between shopping cart abandonment and brand loyalty, according to IBM’s press release.

Moreover, IBM will also be applying Watson’s cognitive smarts to analyze video for information such as keywords, main concepts, visual imagery, tone, and emotional context. This feature, set to launch later this year, aims to help media and entertainment companies make sense of unstructured data and extrapolate audience insights so as to deliver more relevant content to viewers.

What Brands Need To Do
These upgrades for Watson’s marketing services come at a time when early-adopting companies are beginning to experiment with AI-powered solutions in their business and marketing practices. For example, H&R Block integrated Watson into its tax filing system to helping people maximize their tax returns. As AI and machine learning technologies continue to develop at a fast pace, brands need to explore the kind of personalized user experience and product recommendations that AI-powered CRM solutions enable based on data and user input.

For more information on how brands may tap into the transformative power it will bring to marketing, please check out the Augmented Intelligence section of our Outlook 2017.

 


Source: PressWire & NewsFactor  

 

Google Aids Fashion Discovery With New “Style Ideas” In Image Search

What Happened
Following the addition of “Similar Items” in image search earlier this week, Google is doubling down on surfacing related fashion products with a new “Style Ideas” feature. For fashion search results in the Google Android app and on mobile browsers, this feature will present a set of visually similar items, outfit montages, as well as real-life images featuring that item. The end result is somewhat akin to a Pinterest board created around that specific fashion products. Google says the “Style Idea” images are algorithmically selected without human involvement, using Google’s machine learning capabilities to identify the images featuring the product in question.

What Brands Need To Do
As the follow-up to “Similar Items,” this new feature indicates Google’s ambition in turning image search into a fashion shopping tool. While “Similar Items” only covers fashion accessories and shoes, “Style Ideas” will show up in the image search results for apparels. Together, these two features revitalize image search as a viable product discovery channel that fashion brands will need to pay attention to. While this feature currently runs on machine learning algorithms and is not monetized in any way, it is not hard to imagine how this could easily become a new ad product where fashion retailers selling the same items can bid to appear first.

 


Source: The Verge

 

Facebook Rolls Out M Assistant To All Messenger Users

What Happened
Facebook’s AI-powered chat assistant M is finally ready to meet the public, just in time for its upcoming annual F8 developer conference. M will analyze your messages in the Facebook Messenger app to understand your intent and, when applicable, will pop up into chats to make suggestions or complete tasks on your behalf, such as calling an Uber or setting a reminder, based on the context of the conversations. Facebook has started rolling out M to iOS and Android users in the US, with a broader expansion around the globe in the coming months. Facebook first announced the AI assistant service in September 2015 but only started testing it in a limited capacity since last December.

What Brands Need To Do
The arrival of M on Messenger marks an important milestone in Facebook’s development of a conversational assistant service that can help it stay in competition with rivals such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri.  Having a contextually aware smart assistant on standby would certainly bares huge potential in making Facebook’s messaging apps more brand-friendly, but for now, Facebook is taking a decidedly neutral approach to designing M with little room for brand integrations as of now. Nevertheless, the deployment of M still marks Facebook’s determination of building Messenger as a platform that brands of all types could benefit greatly from. And it is time to start expanding your customer service from phone call-based to include text-based messaging, reaching consumers on the platforms they already use.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive knowledge about reaching consumers on mobile messaging apps and building branded chatbots. The new NiroBot we build in collaboration with Ansible for Kia delivers comprehensive product information about the all-new Niro model via friendly chats. We’ve also built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue to help brands build a conversational customer experience, supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.

If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related client opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Barrett (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: The Verge

Twitter Releases New APIs To Boost DM-Based Customer Services

What Happened
On Thursday, Twitter released several Direct Message (DM) APIs and announced plans to unify its API platform as it aims to make it easier for businesses “to deliver faster, richer and more engaging human- and bot-powered customer service, marketing and engagement experiences.”

The new APIs released include a beta Account Activity API for subscribing to real-time activities related to an account, a new DM POST endpoint for sending DMs with supporting features like quick replies and shared media, as well as a welcome message endpoints for creating and managing welcome messages in DMs.

What Brands Need To Know
Twitter has been steadily adding customer service tools to its platform, and this introduction of chatbot services is a natural step for Twitter as it builds out its DM as a customer service platform to appeal to the growing needs of brands. A study by Twilio found that most consumers now prefer to use messaging to interact with businesses rather than calling. As Twitter continues to make its platform more brand-friendly with new messaging features, we expect to see more brands utilize the tools to provide better customer service.

To learn more about how brands can reach and engage with customers and deliver hyper-personalized experiences with AI-powered chatbots, check out the Augmented Intelligence section of our Outlook 2017.

 


Source: AdWeek

Nielsen Plugs AI Into Marketing Cloud Service

What Happened
TV ad measurement firm Nielsen has become the latest company to plug artificial intelligence into its Marketing Cloud platform. The company created Nielsen Artificial Intelligence capable of processing multiple external circumstances simultaneously, making it possible for brands and publisher clients using its platform to create dynamic audience segments for real-time targeting. Right now, Nielsen says it is mostly applying the AI internally, but about a half dozen Marketing Cloud clients have started using it.

What Brands Need To Do
Nielsen joins a growing list of marketing and ad tech companies that have incorporated AI-powered solutions into their platforms. Last Friday, marketing personalization company Monetate announced an Intelligent Personalization Engine that uses machine learning to help B2C brands provide individually customized experiences to consumers. As cloud-based services and machine learning technologies continue to mature, brands need to explore the kind of hyper-personalized messaging and experiences that AI-powered marketing solutions can deliver.

For more information on how brands can get ready for the rise of A.I. and tap into the transformative power it brings to marketing, check out the Augmented Intelligence section of our brand new Outlook 2017.

 


Source: AdExchange

Mode.ai’s Messenger Bot Can Suggest Similar-Looking Fashion Items That You Can Buy

What Happened
On Friday, retail recommendation engine and chatbot maker Mode.ai launches a bot on Facebook Messenger that can find similar-looking fashion apparel items for users based on photos they submit. Mode.ai trained the bot’s AI engine with millions of pictures of products from online retailers, and if you like what it suggests, the bot also lets you shop directly from a number of fashion retailers like Levi’s, Louis Vuitton, Ann Taylor, as well as Amazon. In addition to its own bot, Mode.ai plans to offer computer vision services to several retailers and fashion publishers to be announced during F8, the upcoming annual conference for Facebook developers.

What Brands Need To Do
This new Mode.ai bot is a good example of how product discovery may work in the near future where AI-powered smart assistants are able to use the camera of your mobile devices to see what you are seeing. The surging prominence of visual input is set to bring a new set of opportunities and challenges that brands will need to learn to navigate in order to adapt to the shifting consumer behaviors. As computer vision technology continues to mature, it opens up new use cases for brands to create new user experiences supercharged by cognitive ecommerce engines like Mode.ai.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience in building Alexa Skills and chatbots to reach consumers on conversational interfaces. So much so that we’ve built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The NiroBot we built in collaboration with Ansible for Kia is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a conversational customer experience, supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.

If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related client opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Barrett (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: VentureBeat

 

Samsung’s Bixby Assistant Comes With A Cool Image Search Feature

What Happened
Samsung officially unveiled its digital assistant service Bixby on Wednesday with the launch of the Galaxy S8 flagship handsets at its Unpacked 2017 event (check out this VentureBeat article on all Samsung’s announcements today). Positioned as the Siri for Samsung phones, Bixby is designed to facilitate hands-free interactions in Samsung apps via voice command. At launch, Bixby only supports a handful of apps, including Samsung’s native services, but Samsung plans to release an SDK soon for developers to integrate Bixby into their apps.

That said, Bixby does come with a cool feature that few other digital assistants in market is capable of – the ability to recognize objects via the phone’s camera and surface similar images via search. When users are taking a picture with a new Galaxy S8 phone, they can tap on a small button on the camera app to evoke Bixby’s visual search feature, which leverages image recognition technology developed by Pinterest to discern the physical objects in sight and presents either similar images of the objects or information about those objects found via search. Samsung is also planning to add a shopping angle to this feature, allowing Bixby to present search results of the objects among online retail sites. This feature essentially creates a mobile-based augmented reality experience where users can point their camera at certain things to learn more about them.

What Brands Need To Do
As digital assistant get smarter, they become a gateway to introduce mainstream consumers to some advanced AI-powered solutions such as visual search and computer vision. Earlier this year, Pinterest launched a similar computer vision feature that allows users to use their phone to identify objects and search for similar images. It will also present promoted Pins in the results if the object matches with what users are looking for.

This visual search feature of Bixby enables Samsung users to quickly access digital information about physical objects in front of them via an AR-like experience, which unlocks a new way for brand marketers to serve mobile customers with tailored messages. Imagine pointing your phone’s camera at a restaurant sign and immediately find out its Yelp rating, business hours, and signature dishes. Or pointing your camera at a snack bar and let Bixby tell you about its nutrition facts and where you can buy more of it. The possibilities to bridge the physical and the digital world are endless. Therefore, brand seeking to stay ahead of the innovational curve will need to pay attention to the development of artificial intelligence and experiment with the new marketing solutions it enables.

 


Source: The Verge

Header image courtesy of Samsung