September 21, 2017

Personalization Goes Worldwide & Questions from Maps

VM Weekly Roundup #thisweekineverything

Welcome to our industry news roundup, where the rubber meets the roadmap.

Web Personalization

Startup Raises 6.4M to Bring Website Personalization to the Rest of the Internet

Startups and their investors continue to pour cash into furthering machine learning algorithms for web personalization, and LiftIgniter’s mission adds to the future-web evangelist chorus: their mission to create a Personalization API that will customize content on any web page for any specific user may automate a process that currently requires intensive custom web design.

10 Second Tip:The software doesn’t exist yet, but excitement for the project is a harbinger of the next iteration of the web: a space where every website you visit curates your personal browsing experience as comprehensively as Amazon or Google.

Test Drive: We’re not so sure complete personalization is a good thing everywhere on the web–an internet where the content you see is similar no matter where you look sounds like a more boring, isolating internet to us. That said, small-scale website personalization can make a huge difference for businesses. Your sales team has a different approach for wooing past clients, returning prospects, and new prospects–how much higher would sales conversion rate be if your website used different tactics for each web prospect as well?

Social Media

Salesforce AI Helps Brands Track Images on Social Media

Salesforce Social Studio users now have a new toy to play with: a new AI tool they call “Einstein Vision” which can scan social media networks for images that may feature their logo, product, or just a more specific category of object. The idea is to empower brands to expand their engagement reach by identifying users who are already interacting with their products, but who may not be @-ing or hashtagging their posts.

10 Second Tip: The Salesforce tool will grow over time, but for now it recognizes 2 million company logos, 60 “scenes” (i.e., setting images of restaurants, airports, living rooms, etc.), 200 foods, and 1,000 objects. The tool could be a social media game-changer for some product-oriented or visual-oriented businesses.

Test Drive: The new AI capability is only available for Salesforce Social Studio users, and it may be a while before it learns to recognize the logos and items important to some smaller brands, but if you’re already using Salesforce Social Studio, you have nothing to lose giving this a spin. For everyone else, don’t despair: engagement is one area where many, many brands struggle, and for most the issue is simply a lack of priority. You don’t need a bot to check your mentions on social media platforms, keep up with your branded hashtags, and make sure your accounts are active in social content categories relevant to your business.

Google Maps

Google Questions and Answers for Local Businesses Now Available For Android

If you’re an android user with a Google Business listing on Google Maps, a new feature is about to give you a customer service advantage: users can now ask questions about your business right from your listing on the Google Maps app. Businesses will be able to get notifications for these questions in Google Maps, with the option to some questions and answers always visible, essentially creating a custom FAQ over time.

10 Second Tip: This feature should be boon for retailers, restaurants, and any business that relies on physical visits. The FAQ feature in particular may help cut back on actual calls while still getting the right information out to your customers, saving you the interruption over redundant questions.

Test Drive: If you have a Google Business listing (and you should) but not an Android, be aware that customers may begin sending questions you might not be aware of in time to be helpful. Get ahead of this customer expectation by designating someone on your team with an Android to monitor notifications and make sure you can answer in a timely manner. Eventually, this feature will go cross-platform–but by then, your customers may already expect you to be responsive.