South by Southwest Day 4: Why conversation is going to rule CX

SWSX's agenda is full of examples of how marketers will need to start factoring in the sound of their brand, not just the message

It’s the end of Day 4 at SXSW and some clear trends are emerging from the variety of sessions, keynotes and exhibitions.

It’s an exciting time for marketing as new advancements in technology are genuinely driving convergence: Convergence of media, technology, channels, experiences and business models. It feels as though we are at a breakthrough mid-point in this convergence - not quite yet mature, but definitely past the theoretical stage.

Let me illustrate how this is happening. At the foundational level is wireless connectivity. Devices are getting smaller, smarter and are communicating with each other. And when I say devices, I’m not talking about smartphones. I’m talking about sensors. Sensors so small they can be embedded in fabric.

These sensors are providing a constant stream of data available to be manipulated in real-time to provide improved outcomes for productivity, decision-making, safety, accuracy, and predictability. When this variety of data is combined, it becomes information - information that can be fed into intelligent systems whereby it is combined with other information to become more useful and valuable.

When you combine this vast volume of information with the processing power of super-computers and artificial intelligence the results can be staggering.

So how does all of this affect us marketers? On the surface it appears to be driving product innovation more than marketing. But that’s precisely the point. Successful marketers are creating innovative products to augment the customer experience of their product or service.

Think about it. Apps, wearables, social media, ecommerce – these were/are the early attempts to create digital experiences with your brand. But the future will see seamless integration between data, interface and customer experience. We won’t ‘pull out our phone’ to look something up in Google or buy online. The technology will be much closer to the body than that…you will make a product enquiry using your voice, have product information visualised in front of you, gestures will allow you to make choices and your virtual assistant will take care of the rest (ordering, paying, delivery etc). You won’t ‘go online’ to buy something, you will just buy it when you need it. Anytime, anywhere.

Conversation is the new customer experience interface

It feels weird saying that, as it’s also the original and oldest form of customer communication! But technology is going to allow us to converse with customers at scale - massive, global scale.

SXSW has featured many demonstrations of highly accurate speech recognition, combined with artificial intelligence that allows fluid conversation to be automated. There have been examples demonstrated using chatbots, robots and augmented reality. Including real-time translation and voice-synthesis (I even heard a dog talk).


One of the major considerations in creating a new brand will be the succinct sound of your brand name when pronounced, and how likely it will be recognised by machines as your unique trademark. ‘Siri' and ‘Alexa’ aren't just catchy names, they’re also very distinct audio waveforms to allow listening devices to pick them up clearly. How does your brand sound? What voice and tone will you use for your brand conversation? You better start thinking about that now. There’s a new job title I can envisage in our agency team: CX copywriter, or conversationalist.

I wonder whether those brands that have become words in our daily language might be major beneficiaries of the conversational interface?

“Please add some Band-aids to my shopping list” (or Kleenex or Chapstick etc)

“Run a Google search for me”

And if you a retailer selling lots of brands, then you need to start getting across how artificial intelligence engines rank sellers. These engines will recommend the nearest, cheapest, fastest delivered, and best rated products from every seller available, everywhere.

I’ll cover artificial intelligence more in my next post. Stay tuned.

- Jason Davey is the head of digital for Ogilvy Australia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Building a human-curated brand

If the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) sector and their measured worth are the final argument for the successful 21st Century model, then they are beyond reproach. Fine-tuning masses of algorithms to reduce human touchpoints and deliver wild returns to investors—all with workforces infinitesimally small compared to the giants of the 20th Century—has been proven out.

Will Smith

Co-founder and head of new markets, The Plum Guide

Sustainability trends brands can expect in 2020

​Marketers have made strides this year in sustainability with the number of brands rallying behind the Not Business As Usual alliance for action against climate change being a sign of the times. While sustainability efforts have gained momentum this year, 2020 is shaping up to be the year brands are really held accountable for their work in this area.

Ben King

CSR manager & sustainability expert, Finder

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing

As a Marketer, the ‘Scotty from Marketing’ meme troubles me.

Natalie Robinson

Director of marketing and communications, Melbourne Polytechnic

If you think it can benefit both consumer and seller then it would be great

Simon Bird

Why Ford is counting on the Internet of Things to drive customer engagement

Read more

It's a good idea. Customers really should control their data. Now I understand why it's important.

Elvin Huntsberry

Salesforce CMO: Modern marketers have an obligation to give customers control of their data

Read more

Instagram changes algorithms every time you get used to them. It really pisses me off. What else pisses me off? The fact that Instagram d...

Nickwood

Instagram loses the like in Australia; industry reacts positively

Read more

I tried www.analisa.io to see my Instagram Insight

Dina Rahmawati

7 marketing technology predictions for 2016

Read more

The saying is pretty tongue in cheek. It's not saying that marketers are bad people, nor that they don't take themselves seriously. There...

LYF Solutions

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing - The CMO view - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in