social@Ogilvy has one of the best 2017 trends reports I've read so far. And by "best" I mean that it neatly says all the things I've been thinking about for the last 6 months. Here's the link:
Need the TL;DR version? Here's my take.
Ads and algorithms are driving people crazy and spoiling the social media experience so people are seeking out private channels like Facebook Messenger, WeChat and Slack. Display ads are faltering so marketers are turning to chatbots and heralding AI and machine learning as the next best thing in marketing, which it will be, until advertisers muck it up. Do experiment with chatbots, but when it comes to humans talking to computers, my bet is on Alexa.
Dig Deeper version
Mary Meeker's 2016 Internet Trends report highlighted the growing use of adblockers. And she called out advertisers and their lame display ads.
Mitch Joel articulates the problematic state of programmatic advertising creative in this Medium post.
In short, advertising is not the problem. Crappy advertising is the problem.
My take: Sometimes advertisers are simply targeting the wrong people. Sometimes the copy needs to better resonate with the intended audience.
Those are easy things to address. Chatbots are trickier.
The Chatbot Gold Rush
As Mary Meeker notes people are driven away from their newsfeeds on social platforms and to the "deep web". Not the dirty underbelly of the dark web and use of proxy services for nefarious activities but messager apps. Small groups. Private chat. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat continue to grow rapidly.
No analytics, no audience insights: we're talking about the non-indexed part of the Internet. No ads. But here come the marketers in the form of chatbots. The next best thing--until they screw that up too.
The Bookseller has something to say about this in Watch out publishers: the chatbots are coming.
AuthorBot is a chat bot for voice-activated book discovery and messaging.
Want to experiment writing a chatbot yourself? Think about it as writing the ultimate choose-your-own adventure. Get some pointers in this Quora thread on the best way to learn and write an AI chatbot.
Alexa Owns It
While you're re-imagining human-computer interaction, keep in mind Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa. Alexa won big at CES and the announcements continue to come.
Publishers don't need reminding that Amazon has tricks up its sleeve. As the owner of an Amazon Echo, here's what I see. Alexa fits seamlessly into my daily routine. I talk to the machine. She's nice.
- Alexa, play [title] on Audible / Kindle
- Alexa, read [title]
- Alexa, resume my book
- Alexa, next chapter
- Alexa, add [title] to my shopping list / add to cart
- Alexa, what is your cunning plan?
What trend is on your radar for 2017?