The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

50. The Ethics of AI - Customer Persuasion vs Customer Coercion w/ William Ammerman


Human domination by superintelligences is pretty much the thing to be talking about, ever since the Golden Age of Sci-Fi. Has the passage of nearly 70 years since then made us more or less susceptible to Alexa, Cortana, Siri, and others like them?

That’s what William Ammerman, author of The Invisible Brand: Marketing in the Age of Automation, Big Data, and Machine Learning and the EVP of Digital Media at Engaged Media, came onto my podcast to explain.

We got into discussion about voice, AI, and machine learning, all of which are doing their part to draw us humans into empathic relationships with our devices... even while those devices are becoming better equipped to influence and persuade us. I mean, when a 4-year-old can use voice to search millions of songs in a music library — all without being able to read — then AI has come a long, long way from world domination.

Listen to this episode of The Customer Experience to hear William talk about what he means by invisible brands and how they massively impact marketers and consumers. You’ll also hear about: 

  1. Psychotechnology and how it affects your buys
  2. “Googlenoia” (Google + Paranoia)
  3. How chain stores know whether you’re pregnant (before you tell your dad)
  4. Persuasion has become a science — but has it become an artificial intelligence yet?

We’ll also talk about what you’ll read about when you open The Invisible Brand.

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It's about persuasion, not coercion ordeception. It's a simple formula. Most consumers are willing to be persuaded.The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver abetter experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success expertscreate internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal andhuman way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, EthanButte. All Right, I'm opening this episode of the Customer Experience Podcast witha quote, and here it is. As our interactions with artificially intelligent agentsbecome more human like through natural language Algorithms, we will begin to have conversations withmachines. We will build empathic relationships with those machines in which we areeven more vulnerable to their influence. Those words come from a book that youshould read. It's called the invisible brand. Marketing in the age of automation,big data and machine learning and obviously has implications for the entire customer lifecycle, marketing, sales and customer success. But it's author, and our guesttoday, also covers its implications for finance and investing policy and politics,health and medicine, insurance, education, religion, even sex. It's abook I highly recommend and it draws on his master's work at UNC Chapel Hillabout persuasion as a science and machine learnings ability to keep our faces glued toour screens. It also draws on his work at MIT on natural language processingand humans and pathic responses to our devices. He has years of experience as aVP and EEDP and digital media and digital advertising. He's currently the ExecutiveVice President of digital media at the engaged media portfolio of brands. William Ammerman, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Great to be here. I'm gladto have the opportunity to talk about the invisible brand with you. As Isaid, I really, really enjoyed it. I recommend it to anyone who's listening. There's a great deal of tension in there, and by the tensionI mean, you know, the human experience machines, as they get smarterand they know more about us, they can leverage that against us, potentiallyin this vulnerability of this empathic response that we have an all these things justso rich. So, before we get going, let's cut right to it. is human domination by SUPERINTELLIGENCE INEVITABLE? No, I don't think so.I think a partnership between humans and machines is probably a better way of expressingwhat I view as the future. But I do think that machines get smarterand smarter and I think that machines will continue to do things that we associatewith human like intelligence and that we are just really starting to experience it,so that we we've just kind of seen the tip of the iceberg. Whatare your thoughts? When I see customer experiencing? You're preparing to come onto the customer experience podcast. What does customer experience mean to you? Idon't have a pat definition, but I think when I think of the customerexperience, I think of the interaction between brands and consumers and I think aboutwhether or not the consumer has a positive or negative impression of the brand,and I also think about whether or not the relationship feels ethical and transparent andtrusted. So when I think of, you know, kind of the customerdecision journey, which is a phrase that we use a lot in marketing,I think the customer experience is kind of informing the customer decision journey, throughoutthe relationship between the brand and the and the buyer, the consumer. Ilike that you tapped there one of those kind of tension points that I feltin reading the invisible brand, which is this the transparency element, right,like what's inside the black box? Why am I getting these particular recommendations,why am I seeing these particular ads and all of that, and we willget into that. There's one explicit reference... customer experience in the book inthose words, and it was around a negative experience with a fifty percent offsale. Do you want to tell that story just quickly? A little boy? Yeah, so my family was visiting me. I had an apartment ofin New York City and around Christmas time and my family came up and wedid some shopping in the city together and my daughter spied a coat in thewindow of a Columbia store and in the meat packing district, I guess wewere, and the kind of near Chelsea market. Anyway, the window,you know, clearly showed a fifty percent off sign with a rack of coats. We went in, my daughter tried one on. You know, retailprice on it was like three hundred and fifty dollars, which was more thanI was planning on spending on a single present. And but she she pointedout it was fifty percent off and I thought was still pretty expensive, butyou know, she needs a winner code. And okay. So we took itup to the cash register and they rang it up and it was notfifty percent off and I said it's on the rack that says fifty percent offand and the guy you know set up, sorry, it's not in the it'snot in the system. I said, you know, is your manager here? And he's you know, we went through the rigmarole. Well,I reached out to their online customer service and I took photographs of it.I said look, you know, this is a coat hanging on a rackthat's clearly marked fifty percent off, and I got to say they're their customerservice department failed utterly. You know, they were unable to help me atall and in fact they said, you know, you really need to talkto the store manager at that individual store because we're the just the online store. And I said, well, you know, I talked to him andhe wouldn't honor the sign that was in his own store. That clearly saidfifty percent off and and they said, well, you'll you really have totalk to him or his regional manager. And I said, well, who'sthe regional manager? And they said, I don't know, I don't knowthis is so it just sounded like talking to Columbia. I'm talking to theactual corporation. WHO's the regional manager? Who Do I eskalate this to?I don't know. They literally failed every step of the way, and sowhat could have been an opportunity to build a positive customer relationship. Fifty percentoff, you know, drawing a customer in. I was on the street, I wasn't planning on going into the store. They you know, luredme into the store with their sign. They could have gathered information about,you know, who I was and how I was responding to their sales andthey probably didn't even bother to figure out that I was angry about the factthat I had been snubbed and that they're advertising had been deceptive and that thestore manager operating their store was, you know, clearly using false advertising.And so it's an opportunity lost for a company like Columbia. They lost mybusiness and in fact I have three children and a wife who no longer shopat Columbia as a result. It was insulting. It was a, youknow, very poor decision on their part and the fact that they're, youknow, their organizational customer service was so bad that they couldn't even recognize thatthey'd made a mistake was humiliating for that. I mean, you know, it'sjust a blunder for any corporation to go through life blind to what it'sdoing and how it's treating consumers. So lots of opportunities missed and it endedup in a book, right and on this show, on this show allover, and I'm sure, I would guess others, all over one hundredseventy five dollars right, right, just so crazy. When you think aboutthat long term, I just think you just, you know, your familyalone could purchase x that amount over the next five years. Oh, inon ski season. Right, there you go. So anyway, as soonas I saw that word, I always read a book with a Pencil andI underline things and put things in parentheses. Periodically I'll mark things in the columns. So when I saw customer experience as like I'm going to ask himabout that. So let's let's getting into...

...the invisible brand very specifically. Let'sstart at a high level. What are you addressing in the book from abrand or company perspective, like what's going on at a high level from amarketers or salespersons or companies or a brand's perspective? Yeah, so let's let'sfirst start with that title, the invisible brand. I was playing off ofAdam Smith's wealth of nations where he coined the phrase the invisible hand, thisfeature of the economy that operates to create wealth and in society, and Ithought, you know, we're really onto something new, we're experiencing a brandnew force in the economy and I had to give it a name and Ithought the invisible advertiser, the invisible, you know, marketer, and Ithought what rhymes with hand, and then it kind of hit me between theeyes. Invisible brand. But the reference is very much about revealing something thatis hidden and I wanted to kind of pull back the curtain and show peoplehow the technology that they're using through their phones and their laptops and even theirtelevisions and cars, is being used by marketers to gather information, personalize information, delivery back to the consumer in such a way that they build a relationshipwith you so that they can get you to be more open to their messagingand ultimately figure out how to use artificial intelligence to leverage that personal interaction topersuade you and to change the way you act and think and what you buy. And so kind of pulling back the curtain on that invisible force in ourlives was really the purpose of the book. And it's all right here. Imean you're not talking. I mean there are, there is some,you know, future look throughout, but you mean, this is all very, very present. So from a consumers point of view, or because we'reall customers as well, as you already established with your story, they're aabout your Columbia experience. Talk about this a little bit from the customers perspective. Yeah, so from from the perspective, most consumers have this kind of sensationthat they're being watched and followed. They recognize that, you know,they've got this device sitting on their counter that listens to them, that theytalked to. So consumers are kind of aware and they increasingly have this awarenessof being surveiled and and even spied upon. I often say there's a fine linebetween marketing and espionage, and so where we are today is that consumershave this kind of sneaking suspicion that they're being manipulated. But what I wastrying to do in the book is to explain exactly how that works and toequip people with kind of the knowledge that they can think both about the opportunitiesthat that this technology presents as well as the risks. And one of theexamples, I don't think I wrote it exactly this way in the book,but it's a kind of a simple explanation. Imagine your operating a pet store andsomebody comes to leave their pet with you. You have the right to, you know, ask for specific types of information. I need to knowwhere you're going, I need to know how long you're going to be there, I need to know how to reach you if, you know, fidogets sick. So there's this sharing of information where the consumer gives up certaindata that the business owner needs in order for them to have a positive relationship, and consumers for the most part, believe in that kind of information exchange. Is Transparent, it's open. They recognize that there's a value that they'regetting back and in this case it's the safety of my pet. But wherewe are, you know, ready to draw the line is when we movefrom using the information the way we expected to be used to doing something elsewith it. You know, in the extreme example here would be, youknow, you know I'm going to be out of town this weekend, soyou go rob my house. Okay,... we've crossed the creepy line.I don't want you roaming around in my house and eating my food and,you know, stealing my stuff because you've been privileged to receive information about mywhereabouts. And I think that for most consumers there they sense this intuitively,that there's this line that business shouldn't cross. But I think where we have tounderstand that, you know, the technology has taken us is that we'vegone way faster than regulatory environments have kept up with that we are in arealm where data is being transmitted about who we are, where we are,what we do, what we buy, what we think, and that ownershipover that knowledge is something that there's a an active conversation going on today about, you know, who really owns that data and knowledge, and some people, Tim Burners Lee, the father of the Internet, rather the World WideWeb has said openly you know, we need to have a Magna Carta forprivacy, for personal information, and I think that to a degree he's rightthat there needs to be a real serious rethinking of who owns our data andwho owns information about us. Yeah, and we're starting to see that rollout a little bit. Obviously, you hit on GDPR and like the Californialaw that's in flight. My understanding is that several other states are kind ofin consideration there. But you know, to your point, there's so muchthat hasn't been regulated and honestly, I'm you know, I'm a little bitskeptical. I wouldn't call myself, I had, a glass half empty typeof person, but I would say on average, I would not trust companieswith their own specific motives with my data in a completely unregulated environment. Theother interesting layer here is because, and I was happy to hear the wayyou describe the way you approach the book, because I think you really delivered onyour own hopes or expectations for it, at least the way you describe here, which is, you know, peel it back and put it incommon language. In this is how this stuff works. And so the otherthing too, is that that data can then be paired and used and resoldin all these other things and all of a sudden it's just like long gonegenies out of a bottle, the Pandora's boxes open and all this informations outthere and it's being all matched up and now people have machines, have developour developing profiles that know me as well or better than myself, and notonly, I'm getting a little bit ahead of the conversation here, not onlypredict what I'm going to do, but but prescribe it to me. Soit is something to be sensitive to. Just stay in the spirit of let'smake this all approachable and walk it down. Just give me a quick again afew terms here. Just give me some quick, lightweight definitions on them. Artificial intelligence. I started the book off with a Joke I've heard afew times, which is artificial intelligence is the art of making machines act likethey do in the movies. And of course you know the the movie makingindustry portrays, you know, robots that can easily, you know, blendinto society without being detected. I don't think we're there yet. I thinkthat you know we are beyond the turing test and that, you know,a customer Chat Bot engine can pull off being a human being, but Idon't think we've achieved, you know, what we refer to as general artificialintelligence. Most of the applications of Ai that are working today are narrow applications. They offer specific solutions to problems that we would normally think of as beingsolved by a human but they aren't general in the sense that they don't solveall problems. They just solve one narrow type. So when I think ofartificial intelligence, I think of it as the process of teaching computers to solveproblems that we would normally think of as being solved by human beings. Andright now the applications of AI are still...

...narrow. They're very sophisticated and they'resuper impressive, but they're still fairly narrow in scope. Super Algorithm. So, unlike a mathematical algorithm, computer algorithm is simply a set of instructions thatyou follow, and I in the book I talked about. You have analgorithm for waking up in the morning. Your alarm clock goes off, youturn the alarm off, you swing your feet out of bed and you standup and turn on the light or whatever that is. So there's a sequenceof events that you follow that you could consider an algorithm. Well, it'sinteresting about algorithms as they can be packed into other algorithms. That little getup out of bed algorithm can be paired up with a brush your teeth algorithmand an eat breakfast algorithm and to go to work algorithm, and all ofthose can be nested inside a larger algorithm called, you know, my day, and the my day algorithm could be nested inside an algorithm called by monthand my year. So you can quickly see how algorithms can pair with oneanother. They can be nested inside of one another group together to solve problem. So think of an algorithm. Start by thinking of an algorithm as aset of instructions for a computer to follow. Quick follow up there on Algorithms again. I'm offering this for the listener who doesn't understand these things, muchlike myself. Is there a final rule in a set? Basically observe,learn, optimize, so that it's self perpetuating and gets more and more effectiveefficient. Yes, when we talk about machine learning, we're really talking aboutthe ability for machines, on one hand, to detect patterns in data and useeither supervised learning or unsupervised learning to more efficiently recognize those patterns and thenultimately learn how to change outcomes from those patterns. So if you see,you know, a shopping experience and you watch the customer decision journey from thetop of the funnel all the way through the bottom of the funnel and youcan see where people drop out and you can gather tens of millions of datapoints about the customer experience and you've got sixty variables to, you know,play with, you can start to actually see how a computer would be muchmore efficient at not only detecting patterns in that data but then learning how toactually change the outcomes. If I tweak this, let me watch what happensas a consumer moves through the funnel. If I tweak this, let mesee what impact that has and ultimately bend the consumer experience towards more positive outcomes. Whatever your KPI is, whether it's a conversion or somebody making a purchaseor total dollars, that computer can look at all of those variables that gointo the customer experience and then at the end start to see, okay,if I, you know, do x, this happens. If I do why, this other thing happens, and I can start to actually bend mycampaign's, my marketing and my customer outreach and all of those touch points withthe consumer to chain the outcome. So, instead of just thinking of the moderncomputer experience as just plotting points on a graph and then drawing a lineof best fit so that you can try to figure out, you know,where the next point will fall, think of it as a bunch of pointson a graph that the computer recognizes and says, okay, if I wantthe next point to fall on this line, I have to do x, Yand Ze, and that's prescripted the computers. Starting to think about howto actually change the outcomes rather than merely predict the outcome. Really good.That was I'm so glad I asked that follow up question. Another one neuralnetwork. Well, the reference to neural is simply organizing a computer network inthe way that a human brain is organized...

...and I think that that term isoften a little maybe misleading and it's a you know, we're not actually buildinghuman brains, but what we're trying to do is we're trying to suggest thatthe interaction of the data through the network is not following a single linear path, that there's lots of processes that are happening simultaneously and it is the culminationof lots of simultaneous processes that is generating answers or outcomes, which makes itmore of a neural network. And when we start stacking neural networks, youknow, we can start to create what we think of as deep learning.We start to recognize new benefits from the complexity of the systems that we're leveragingand that gives us some really powerful outcomes. Good. Last one, and thisis a term I believe you created in constructing the book. It capturesthe personalized, persuasive ability to learn, the anthropomorphic nature of our the waythe machines interface with us, and that is psychotechnology. Feel free to tokind of run with this one a little bit talk about the elements of itand how you arrived at that term. Yeah, in the book I definefor key trends that you just mentioned and I'll try to illuminate them just briefly. The first that you mentioned and I previously mentioned, is how the personalizationof information if you and I were sitting next to each other at the airportand we both had our laptop so open and we went to the New YorkTimescom we might see different ads. You might see ads that are tailored toyou, I might see ads tailored to me. So we're seeing you know, different information. Your facebook feed is different than my facebook feed. Thenews you consume is tailored to you, customized to your you know wants,and increasingly we are seeing information reflect back to us, almost like an echochamber, of what we have previously demonstrated an interest in, and that's areal important. Fundamental idea is that the machine is now equipped to address youethan a you bill in different terms. That's the personalization of information and that'sdistinct from the world I grew up in, where a broadcast tower delivered a messageto everyone at the same time. Now computers are developing one on onerelationships with individuals. We are even able to write news copy headlines on thefly, tailored to you and how you are motivated and what things you liketo read. A second is that persuasion has become a science. We areno longer six people in a room with a wet finger in the air tryingto feel out which way the wind blows. You know, it's no longer kindof that, that simple focus group testing of messages. We are nowat a point where we can ab test messaging across thousands and even tens ofthousands, and if you consider Google, of giant Focus Group, billions ofpeople and and the ability to persuade really comes down to defining in key performanceindicators that can be tracked, watching what messaging people are exposed to and howthey behave, and then seeing can I change those behaviors by changing the messaging? And the answer is yes, we can. You know, at somethingas simple as on your facebook APP on your phone, a little number onethat pops up that causes you to think, hope, somebody liked my picture,somebody liked my post. Well, guess what? We tend to gravitatetoward those things and compulsively click to open that up and see, well,who liked my who like my facebook post? That's a form of persuasion. Youare being manipulated, you're being changed by that little number one that popsup and the reward you get is that little drip of dopamine in your brainthat makes you feel like, ah, somebody loves me. Well, thatkind of persuasion is being deployed in marketing, it's being deployed in video games.You know, we can keep your... glued to their video game forseventy hours without going to the bathroom just to, you know, earn thethe last piece of armor in there, you know, for their night intheir medieval war game. So you know, we were really good at persuasion.The next is that natural language processing is being deployed with machine learning sothat we can now talk to machines that learn how to persuade US using personalizedinformation. So I kind of blended the last two together. There's the Personalizasianof information, persuasion as a science. Natural language processing and machine learning alltaken together create technology that we're talking to and we have to be aware thatthe machine that we're talking to is listening, it's learning about us in order topersuade US using our own personalized information, and I thought we need a namefor that. We got to what do we call that? And Ithought about it really hard. That's technology that is operating on US psychologically.What would you call psychological technology? You'd call it psychotechnology, or you couldeven shorten that if you wanted to Psychotech, and I am committed to that ideathat this is truly something new and unique and I need to be outthere explaining to everybody how it works, because they deserve to know and understandhow it is impacting them already. It's already at work changing you and me. It is, and you've already cited a couple examples of it just inthat explanation, which is really, really good. I think the way foldedthose together made a lot of sense to me and I think it'll resonate withfolks that kind of observe these bits and pieces. But you did is sucha nice job pulling it all together into something that we can got to wrapour heads around a little bit. So let's go just for the sake oftime, let's let's do a little bit of a go on kind of theethical considerations. You already touched on it a little bit. Trust, transparency. Companies need to be open, but the you know, their whole Mis, how can I use AI to get people to buy more stuff?Right? And on the other side you have the customers, who you've alreadyyou've already kind of hinted at. This is like, I'm comfortable giving youthis information in this context because it's an appropriate exchange of, you know,value my valuable information in an exchange for your valuable service or access to thisdocument or whatever the case may be. I'm comfortable there, but when Iget that little further peek behind the curtain, I get very uncomfortable. I'm creepedout, you know, I'm turned off, I'm kind of shocked.And so there's this expectation management function that I think is around opening up theblack box and being more transparent about what's going on and why. From thecompany perspective, at the same time, their motivation is to sell more stuffusing AI. And then at a certain point, I'm getting a little bitfarther ahead. Here is, you know, you discussed it at couple different pointsin the book, this idea that we won't be able to recognize themachine or even the data. Scientists don't totally understand what's going on inside theblack box at times, and so even that is a little bit beyond thecompany's control at some level. And so just talk about that give and takeand the creepiness factor. But the you know, we like more targeted ads. Maybe just talk about that given take. Yeah, so, without getting toofar down the kind of the Sci Fi side of this, let's justtalk about the the consumer experience. If you are in customer service or ifyou're a business owner, if you're a marketer, I strongly, strongly encourageyou to write this down. It's about persuasion, not coercion or deception.The simple formula. Most consumers are willing to be persuaded. We are allwilling to be convinced. Convinced me,...

...tell me that your product is better, but don't trick me into it, don't deceive me and don't do anythingthat is coercive, and I think that keeps you on the right side ofthe creepy line. I'll define the creepy line a little bit more for you. As you're as you're thinking about this, there was a terrific example of whatI consider the invisible brand at work a number of years ago, targethad a lead scientist who is asked, can you tell us when a womanis pregnant? Because at a when a woman is pregnant she makes lots ofdecisions about brands and things that she will purchase that last for decades. Shewill be you know, she raises her babies with the same kind of dishwashingdetergent, at the same kind of toothpaste, the same kind of laundry to tergon. And in the process of making those decisions she makes a lot ofnew decisions. He tries a lot of new products during the point where she'spregnant and then soon after when she has young children. And so for marketersit's a very strategically important part of a woman's life is to figure out howdo I know when a woman is pregnant? Well, it turns out that targethas a lot of data in their system and from your basket of goods, of what you're purchasing, they can actually do a pretty good job ofdetermining when your pregnant. Surprisingly so. And the story goes, and thisis now a famous kind of marketing, oneonone story. They sent out amailer to women who were pregnant and one of those mailers went to a youngwoman who was sixteen years old and her father received it and was incensed thetarget would have the nerve to send his sixteen year old daughter information about pregnancy. She's too young of course, and you know, surprise, it turnedout that she was actually in fact pregnant and the algorithms that target knew itbefore dad did. And that's not the end of the story. The endof the story is the fact that target recognized that for that consumer they hadcrossed the creepy line. That consumer didn't need to know that his daughter waspregnant before he did, and the fact that a, you know, corporationcould deduce from the basket of goods that you were purchasing that your daughter waspregnant was something very startling to that particular individual. And the learning from thatthat that target took away is don't be so obvious. So right learning thatthey gathered from it was, okay, we're going to put gas grills andgolf clubs into the into the mailer, so that it's not all just babystuff. And oh by the way, if you're happening to look past thegas grills and golf clubs and there's some you know, some pregnancy stuff inthere, that's nice, but but please don't think that we sent you apregnancy mailer or a baby mailer. So there was this degree of obfuscation thatthey started crafting into their marketing so that it wasn't so obvious to consumers whenthey were crossing the creepy line. I think where that leaves us today isthat, as consumers, we are suspicious that we are being stocked and preyedupon, but we are also suspicious that the corporations are hiding and masking whatthey do. It's something I called Google noia, which is kind of acombination of Google and paranoid, and this creeping Google noia that we experience suggestto US somehow that, you know, all of these search engines and allof these recommendation engines and the ads and everything is really ganging up on usand and stocking us and persuading us in ways that we don't understand. Andin fact a lot of that is actually happening. That is the case,and for consumers the trick is you better not let me know it, andand so for for marketers, the simple rule is persuasion, not coercion ordeception, and I think that if you stay on that side, if youknow and recognize the persuasion is fair,...

...that consumers are willing to be persuadedand that you offer a transparent value exchange your data in exchange for these benefits, that you, as a company, will be more often than not,on the right side of the creepy line. I like it. It's it's,you know, golden rule obviously applies here. Or could you justify thisdecision or this behavior to someone you love and respect, like a family memberor close friend? You know, it's easy to sit around and make decisionsin the company's interests inside a closed setting, but to be able to justify itexternally and explain it to people. If you're willing to do that,then you're probably on the safe side of it. I really love to anotherthat that that target pregnancy story would like kind of broke into the mainstream,as did that Google duplex, the AI assistant scheduling a haircut appointment in theinteresting resolve of getting you did a drive by on that in the book.The interesting resolve there is that Google ended up based on customer feedback or orpeep, you know, consumer feedback, this idea that the machine will presentitself as a machine acting on behalf of a human. Again, like thistransparent step, so as not to act as if like acting as if it'sa human, but it's not a human. It's funny. I had a conversationabout live chat and chat bots here on the show and and what thegentleman observed was that so often the people will ask directly into the chat exchange. Are you a person? You know like where are you? You knoware it? Because people want to know that too. So it's interesting evenin the interactions we want to have that level of transparency. What are themarketing jobs of the future, and I asked this with you know, youtalked about you already mentioned new stories that right themselves, email copy that isgoing to optimize itself, adds that create run and optimize themselves. Where doesthis leave the marketer when we go more strategic and less tactical, because alot of the tactics are knocked down by the machines, which is sensible,again putting humans in position to do their best work in partnership. Where doesthat leave the human marketer in x number of years? Yeah, so thedefinition I typically apply to marketing is anticipating consumer demand and then finding products thatcan deliver on that demand profitably, and I think when you start to unpackthat, that's a pretty sound definition of marketing. That isn't going to change. What's changing are the tools, as you said, the tactics. I'llgive you one very clear example. That's happening today and I would extol encouragemarketers to take this very seriously. You might remember twenty years ago, youknow, the infancy, the dawn of kind of search and search engine optimization. Businesses were really face for the challenge and that was, do I divertresources into search engine optimization? Is this important? Is this a fad oris this something that's going to affect my business for the next, you know, multi decades? Then, as we know, you know that the endof that story is that search engine optimization has been critical and those businesses thatchose to invest succeeded in those that chose to ignore it did so at theirown peril. I think we are at a similar inflection point with voice basedinterfaces. We are now talking to our cars, we're talking to our televisionas, we're talking to our cell phones, we're talking to, you know,Alexa and Siri, and for businesses today, they're facing a similar challengethat they did twenty years ago. Is this something worth investing in? DoI make my business visible for audible, if you will, through voice basedinterfaces. And so I would ask you, if you're a marketer and you're listeningto this, ask this simple question. Can My products and services be purchasedtoday through voice? Go over to Alexa and try to find your productthrough Alexa. See if Ciri can locate...

...your business, see if Ciri canidentify the products that you have available for sale and, more importantly, canyou actually make the purchase using voice? Because there are a lot of productsthat are already being sold using voice. I can sit down in my livingroom and I can say, you know, recommend a scary movie in My TVwill pull up scary movies and I can select when. All using voice. That's changing things. You're driving in your car and you say in adirections to the nearest Thai restaurant. That's using voice to purchase things. Increasingly, we are spending money with our mouths. It's easier to spend money with ourmouths than our fingers at this point, and for businesses who are really thinkinghard about where things are going, you've got to recognize that this isan opportunity for you to either capture market share or get left behind. Andwhy do I bring a voice? Voice is the consumer facing edge of artificialintelligence at some of our world's largest and most valuable companies. Think about thecompanies that you think of as the world's most valuable brands. Probably on thatlist, you're going to say, is apple, it's Microsoft, it's certainlyAmazon. Well, when you think about those and Google, you're naming companiesthat have voice based ecosystems. The most valuable brands in the world have Siriand Alexa and Google assistant and Cortana. These are voice based systems that humanbeings are interacting with at increasing ease. You know what I think about?A story that I tell in the book. My neighbor's four year old son wasable to get Alex to play music for him and I was thinking,you know, this is really truly amazing, because a four year old hasn't necessarilynerd learned how to read. They can't navigate graphical user interface, buthere he is easily using a voice based interface to navigate a complex environment,in this case Alexa, and I thought, you know, that's really impressive.Voice is something more innate, it's something deeper in us than reading.We learned to speak when we're a year, year and a half, whereas wedon't learn to read until we're maybe four, five six years old.And so that interface, that voice interface, is something that marketers today have tostart grappling with. What does it mean to your business to have consumersshifting their attention to an interface which is all voice based? So these aresome of the challenges that marketers face. To bring it back to your questionagain, the strategic role of marketing hasn't changed, but the tools and tacticsthat are available as changing extremely rapidly and marketers need to be on top ofthose changes and learn to adapt. Excellent. I have a several more questions thatI will not be asking you. I again I found the invisible brandto be fun, easy and very interesting and informative and again I recommend ithighly to to anyone that's made it this far into the interview. You knowthere's so much more in there that we can't pack into this conversation. Sowill end here where I always end, which is on our number one corevalue at bombomb in here on the show, which is human relationships. So Iwould love to give you the chance to think or mentioned someone who's hada positive impact on your life or your career. And counter to where westarted with that retail story, you had maybe give a mention to a companythat you really appreciate a respect for the type of experience they're delivering for youas a customer. Well, I would be a fool not to thank thefolks that helped me write the book. You know, one of the thingsabout writing a book is that it is not a solitary experience. When Igot started, I thought this is just me and a typewriter and I thoughtI had to like lock myself in a room and not, you know,peek out. But in the acknowledge roots... the book I listed a wholeBunch of folks, but very specifically I got bogged down in the writing processand I recognize that I don't have the temperament personality to be somebody who canjust, you know, knock out eight hours of writing every day until abook is finished. That I'm you know, I find moments, flashes of inspirationwhere I'll write you three, four, five pages and then it might bea week or two before I get involved with it again. And Iended up working with a researcher fell in in Daren, who helped me ata level that I you know, really it unlocked my ability to get thebook done because, instead of dreading digesting a, you know, a thirtypage study, I could hand it to him and say, you know what, I think this is in Horton, I think this is something that weshould include, but I don't want to, you know, spend a whole chapteron it. Maybe if you could give me two paragraphs and he woulddo the drudgery of digesting that thing and feeding me back to two paragraphs thatI could easily staple in or, you know, kind of mortar into thebricks of this larger structure. And at first I thought this is cheating,this is too easy, but then I realized it doesn't you know, you'vegot to figure out what your own faults are, what your own weaknesses are, and you've got to be willing to reach out and get help, andso I owe a debt of gratitude to everybody who helped me with the book. To the second part of your question, who's doing it, my default answerhere is Amazon, and I say that admiringly but also with a degreeof caution. And the admiring is that Amazon has figured out how to connectthe top of the funnel and the bottom of the funnel in a unique waythat facebook and Google can't, and that is that they plant the seeds atthe top of the funnel. They, you know, have that ability toplant the ideas and to see the market with people who bought this also boughtthis. You know you might like this. And in fact they've made tremendous inroads in digital marketing in terms of the dollars that they're bringing in,which is very impressive. But they also have something that Google and facebook don't, which is the cash register. Of course, facebook and Google have torely on third party data, but it here we have a company, Amazon, that is the cash registry. You can actually make the purchase right there, and so what Amazon is doing is their leveraging artificial intelligence to connect,to create attribution between what you bought and what you experience through the customer experience, by understanding algorithmically the steps you took along your customer experience. Through theirtechnology, they're getting better at changing and and molding your purchase behavior, andthat's what's making them so successful, is their application of artificial intelligence to theproblem of attribution. And when I say that the attribution problem is by definitionit's figuring out to what do I attribute this purchase? You know, youbought a radio ad, you bout a TV ad, you bought a newspaperAd, and I have no idea which one of those caused you to walkin today and buy dog food. But Amazon can watch that entire experience throughtheir portal, and I'm talking about through their movies and through their music andthrough all of the things that you're doing when you interact with the range ofyou know, Amazon prime and all of the you know, all the productsthat they're selling. You know they are a market place that includes a lotof things that you wouldn't traditionally think of as custom more experiences, and they'reable to weave all that together algorithmically to make observations about your behaviors what youwill buy next that companies like facebook and Google can't see. So they've reallyapplied artificial intelligence to better understanding the customer experience and I would have to citethem as kind of my you know,...

...kind of top company to watch inthis space. Great Call and a great breakdown there, I mean just foldingand I didn't think about it this way, but folding in what music I'm listeningto and how often, what movies and TV shows I'm watching through prime, what I'm buying at whole foods market, through the APP, you know,all the like. Just a personal profile they can build on me isreally, really interesting. Besides obviously going to order this, that or theother thing, you know, books and whatever else, through the website directly, there's so much of a profile they can build. I'm going to addone shout out. The gentleman who brought the two of us together today isDouglas Burdette, Marketing Artillery and the marketing book podcast. We were both guestson his show as authors of books that are relevant to marketers and marketing.So shout out to Douglas. Thanks for bringing us together. Thank you somuch for your time here on the show today. I enjoyed it very much, and continued success to you with folks who want to follow up on thisif they want to obviously order the book or connect with you. What aresome ways that people can take this conversation step farther? The simplest thing todo is say, Alexa, order the invisible brand by William Ammerman and itwill arrive at their doorstep tomorrow morning. But if they're not willing to dothat, they can simply go to my website, which is w for WilliamAmmerman, ammerm Ancom, and there they can find out more about me andabout the book. Excellent. Thank you again so much for your time.Well done on the book and I just really appreciate we shared here. Thankyou so much, Eathan. Great work. Clear Communication, human connection, higherconversion. These are just some of the benefits of adding video to themessages you're sending every day. It's easy to do, which is a littleguidance. So pick up the official book. Rehumanize Your Business. How personal videosaccelerate sales and improve customer experience. Learn more in order today at BombombcomBook. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember, the single most important thing you can do today is to createand deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tacticsby subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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