What Apple’s Acquisition Of Workflow Means For Future Conversational Platforms

What Happened
Apple announced on Thursday that it has acquired Workflow, an iOS automation app that lets you sync up apps to create quick shortcuts and automated actions, such as uploading the pictures you posted on Instagram to your Dropbox, or sending an automated message to someone when you crossed something off your to-do list. Apple is not shutting down the app for now, and is instead making it free to download. But it seems safe to assume that sooner or later Apple will be integrating Workflow’s cloud-based app automation capabilities into IOS, therefore opening up a lot of new possibilities for users to set up customized automation integrated with the core iOS features such as Siri and screenshot.

What Brands Need To Do
Beyond improving the accessibility and user experience of iOS devices, this acquisition also hints at what the future of Apple’s strategy for Siri and home automation might be. By adding Siri support, Apple could vastly expand Siri’s capabilities and make it easier for users to customize their experiences. As major tech players rush to build out AI-powered, voice-enabled platforms, as Amazon is doing with Alexa, Google with Google Assistant, and Microsoft with Cortana, Workflow will give Apple a much-needed boost in creating a user-friendly entryway for customizable voice experiences.

For brands, this means two things. One, there are opportunities in creating automation recipes that help integrate your branded app or web-based services into the iOS ecosystem so as to expand your reach and provide users with extra value. In addition, brands also need to prepare for the rise of conversational interfaces and figure out an authentic brand voice to reach customers.

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 “Miller Time” Alexa Skill we developed with Drizly for Miller Lite 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 Holland ([email protected]) to schedule a visit to the Lab.


Source: The Next Web


How Deep-Link-Enabled Partnerships Are Changing The Mobile Ecosystem

What Happened
StubHub has teamed up with Uber to generate some cross-app synergy. Now event-goers will be able to book an Uber ride directly from StubHub’s mobile apps after purchasing tickets. Moreover, StubHub will also send out a timely notification two hours prior to the event to offer users a chance to conveniently request a ride. A similar partnership between Uber and Live Nation was also forged back in May to integrate the on-demand car service into the event-going experience by using Uber’s open API. Earlier this year, Uber announced a similar deal with Foursquare with the help of mobile deep-linking startup Button.

What Brands Should Do
Either through open API or third-party deep-linking solution, Uber is clearly working to put its service conveniently anywhere people may need it. Such an approach has certainly helped expand Uber’s reach, and it is something that most brands can learn from. The key here, though, is to figure out where your product or services are needed, whom your brand should be partnered with, and how to create a deep-linking solution that is user-friendly and efficient – all of which the Lab are happy to help you with. Come visit us if you need help understanding the ever-evolving mobile ecosystem and finding the suitable partnerships.


Source: Tech Times

How IFTTT Just Made App Automation Simpler

Read original story on: TechCrunch

IFTTT, the leading platform for app automation, has been quite popular with developers and early adopters, and now the company is trying to make the tech more accessible to more consumers by rebranding.

Along with its original IFTTT (short for “IF This, Then That”) app being renamed to a simple “IF”, it’s also launching three free new apps — Do Button, Do Camera and Do Note — that will respectively let users trigger up to three actions each to make connected things work. If successful, this move could speed up the automation of our online and mobile actions in and between different apps and services.


Standards Stand-off Over Online Ads

standoffEarlier this year, MSNBC .com President Charles Tillinghast said that while high end video, custom brand units, and low end contextually targeted text links maintained steady sales volume, the trouble was in the middle of the market: Traditional display ads. These original online ad units were standardized by the IAB and helped drive the explosive growth of the online ad industry. Tillinghast says the proliferation of ad networks has created over supply of inventory and commoditized publisher’s display ads. To counter this, he said MSNBC.com would create additional nonstandard ads with more sophisticated interactivity and targeting that would not be made available to ad networks. To that end, the Online Publishers Association has announced a month later standards for new, large ad formats that have started to appear on member sites. Saul Hansell of The New York Times conveniently summed this up: “When the going gets tough, the ads get bigger.” Continue reading “Standards Stand-off Over Online Ads”