Intelligent Chat Bots and a Look Back At Canada’s First

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, 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.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 11.31.51 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 11.33.59 AM

Continue reading

How do users conduct searches on mobile devices?

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 CLICK HERE


Mediative – Mobile Search Info Graphic

You can download the above infographic here.

Yellow Pages Acquires Juice Mobile


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

Art of Marketing, Montreal, November 25

This coming Tuesday is the latest installment of Art of Marketing. Keynote speaker is Malcolm Gladwell along with some other marketing power hitters such as Marc Ecko and Jackie Hubba to name a few.

Get your ticket today.

Art of Marketing, Montreal, November 25, 2014

I have the distinctive honour of speaking on the Executive Panel with Cheri Chevalier, CMO Microsoft Canada and John Boynton, CMO AIMIA. I am very much looking forward to sharing the stage with both of them as we discuss the state of marketing in Canada.

Executive Panel of Art of Marketing, Montreal

See you on Tuesday.

Pics from my Speaking Engagement at Mesh Marketing in Toronto, Nov 6

I was invited to speak at the November 6 Mesh Marketing conference in Toronto. I had a great discussion with Martin Waxman about the state of digital marketing in Canada where we covered many subjects ranging from programmatic, online fraud, and future of content.

Here are some of the pics from the event.

On stage at Mesh Marketing,
On Stage at Mesh Marketing

A view of the conference attendees,
A view of the Mesh Marketing Attendees

Some of my team members, from furtherest to closest John Fanous, Ian Everdell, and Sajad Semsar.
Mediative Employees at Mesh Marketing