Had the pleasure last week to spend 30-mins with David Bellerive and Kevin Hayes of the Phoenix Group chatting about local business challenges and the transformation that Yellow Pages Canada has been under going.
If you want to listen to the podcast, head over the Phoenix Group website and check it out.
Today I published my first post using LinkedIn.com Articles. Its all about my usage of the AI Assistant Amy Ingram from a NYC based company called X.ai.
Here is a snippet of that article:
Let me explain. I started using Amy Ingram (X.ai) in the summer of 2016. I have found Amy to be an incredible product; having saved countless hours of human time to focus on higher value activities as opposed to scheduling meetings. In fact, I loved the service so much, my entire team is using Amy and I even made a point to meet with the Dennis Mortensen and his team when I was in New York City last fall. Amy is not perfect, she still has work do, but for 8 out of 10 use cases she is incredible.
You can read the full article on LinkedIn: Should You Treat Your AI Assistant With the Same Respect as a Human?.
Chat Bots are back, good bots anyway and have started to gain some traction in the marketplace with more and more people speaking about the business implications. With Facebook’s announcement at F8 the spotlight has risen and over the course of the next year I am sure we will see lots of activity in this space.
The full list of FB 2016 Messenger Partners shows an interesting mix of use cases. I believe the applications that offer commerce and/or customer service elements are actually the most useful. The news based feeds are interesting and important for publishers to test out as another means to get in front of eyeballs but if they don’t add anymore value than simply a feed of content – not sure this will be as useful.
If you look at the list of Bots available on the Kik Platform, I think there are some interesting applications. For example, Wirkin to find a job, H&M for clothing inspiration, and of course the Weather Channel (because we need more ways to know the forecast).
Another interest space to watch is the Bot Platforms that allows you to build and host bots to integrate with the various end-user applications. For example, Meya.io is a platform player based in Waterloo, Ontario who is doing some interesting work on creating a platform for any company to quickly deploy bots for a variety of use cases. Another interesting platform is Pandorabots who are really helping businesses open up a new way to communicate with their customers.
An exciting space for sure. To the title of my post, back in 2006, I was involved in a product to launch Canada’s first MSN Message Bot for finding location. Yellow Pages Group partnered with a company called Illumicell (which became Poynt) who had a partnership with Microsoft and we launched YellowBuddy in 2006. It was a very interesting use case for us to understand how many people would use a Messenger platform in order to retrieve local information. We had a future plan of eventually being able to book, buy and deliver but our ambitions at the time where larger than the market was ready.
I think we where a little too far ahead of the curve. The big game changer today is smartphones and mobile adoption. For those of you interesting, I have including some screenshots below of the original application. If you want to see all the screenshots, click on MORE tab. Hope you enjoy a little walk down history.
In another landmark study published by Mediative, we have released our long-awaited paper on how users use mobile search. This in-depth eye-tracking and research study is important for any brand or direct response advertiser to maximize their digital marketing efforts.
You can download your free copy at Mediative.com. CLICK HERE
Mediative – Mobile Search Info Graphic
You can download the above infographic here.
During my 10-years with Yellow Pages Canada, I have had the opportunity to be involved with many acquisitions, ranging from SuperPages, AutoTrader, RedFlagdeals to name just a few. Having identified this opportunity and being part of the core team leading this acquisition, I am very excited to see that we have completed the transaction to acquire Juice Mobile. See official press release.
As stated by Julien Billot, this acquisition is very complimentary to our existing business units and will further help us transform ourselves into Canada’s leading “Canadian owned” digital company servicing both small and medium sized business as well as our agency partners and their national brand advertisers.
Here are some online writings from various sources about this acquisition.
MarketingMag – Yellow Pages Acquires Juice Mobile
ITBusiness – Yellow Pages acquires Toronto-based Mobile Advertising firm Juice Mobile
MediaPost – Yellow Pages in Canada acquires Juice Mobile for Programmatic Technology
MobyAffiliates – Yellow Pages acquires Juice Mobile for $35M
Financial Post – Yellow pages deal applauded, but stock downgraded on valuation
Media in Canada – Yellow Pages snaps up Juice Mobile
BIA Kelsey – Juice Mobile Drives Yellow Pages Canada Deeper into Programmatic
Happy to welcome Meya.ai to my small portfolio of start-up investments. I am looking forward to the coming iterations of this product. Check them out.
Meya.ai – an easy way to build and host bots on any platform. Works with Messenger, Twitter, Slack, Intercom, Telegram, Kik, Twilio, Webhooks, Luis.ai, Wit.ai, Zapier & IFTTT.