Using Artificial Intelligence to Engage Consumers

January 26, 2017

2016 was the year we saw Artificial Intelligence (AI) progress from a concept everyone associated with I, Robot to a technology we have begun to use on a daily basis. AI, the development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, is being integrated into every aspect of our lives.

This past year, we have seen the rise in popularity of many products that incorporate AI. There’s Alexa, the voice of Amazon’s Echo, that provides customers with an intuitive interaction without ever having to press a button or even use a screen. Amy Ingram, the virtual personal assistant for busy executives that sets up meetings by sending amazingly human-like emails. And of course, Facebook integrated chatbots into their Messenger app, allowing businesses to deliver targeted conversations with consumers.

Now that we have begun to see the mainstreaming of Artificial Intelligence, get ready for the technology to be used at almost every level of the business sphere.

The Rise of Direct Customer Engagement

Chatbots especially, are the kind of AI being quickly implemented since they are cost-effective and they help businesses increase their one-on-one consumer interaction. Chatbots are programmed to engage in focused conversation and, when programmed properly, can provide answers to move potential and existing customers quickly through the sales funnel. Chatbots can be expertly developed in any field and provide conversational answers to consumers, presenting a much smoother interaction than that of 1-800 robots.

Facebook’s integration of chatbots within their Messenger app allowed developers to build their own bots within the app. This provided a direct line of communication with consumers. Messenger bots are now able to respond structured messages that include images, links, and even call-to-action buttons. Customers can now order apparel, make restaurant reservations, call a Lyft, review an e-commerce order, and so much more without ever having to talk with a human.

In the near future, chatbots may become the primary way a consumer finds, buys, or peruses a potential item or service. By cutting down the amount of content needed to sift through before finding the product they want, and being able to do it all through a mobile device, consumers will quickly integrate this kind of streamlined business into their purchasing timeline.

This kind of direct customer engagement should not be underestimated. For consumer-facing business, you should take time in 2017 to develop a strategy around incorporating chatbots into an app, Messenger, or your website.

The Screen-less Internet of Things

Just as AI may make call centers obsolete, it also may make our obsession with, and constant use of, screens a thing of the past as companies continue exploring with screen-less devices that can connect to the internet and carry out services that we require of them.

These devices go beyond just our phones and computers to include cars, TVs, even washing machines, and refrigerators! AI allows for technology to adapt to us: learning our preferences and even the way we talk to be able to not only complete the action we ask but also give human-like suggestions for future actions.

Moving forward, brands will continue to make advancements using AI to better handle customer interactions, recommendations, and requests – all while gathering valuable information about customer behaviors and needs. It is difficult to quantify exactly how helpful and cost effective this kind of technology and data leveraging will be, but it’s big, and it’s going to change the way the consumer finds, buys, and uses products on nearly every level.


UberAds: Targeting Smartphone Users Through Social Media

May 20, 2013

As the amount of smartphone users skyrocketed over the past few years, advertisers saw this as an advantage. With internet usage on the go, ads out in the world on billboards, posters and subways are ignored as people have constantly been staring down at their phones and tablets. This is a disadvantage to brands that haven’t transitioned into mobile ads but for those who have, users are bound to come across their ads as they can be anywhere on any application, social media network or the mobile browser itself.


Mobile ad firm UberAds is launching a new ad product coming this summer of 2013, which targets app users based on their social media data and location. By having ads that are relevant and useful to users, people see them as helpful prompts rather than annoying  ads. This tactic allows better performance and effectiveness.

“So if you follow Tom Cruise on Twitter and are near a theater, you could see an ad for movie tickets,” explained Bill Gross, UberAds CEO.

NBC Universal tested this app recently on Tom Cruise’s new science-fiction movie “Oblivion” by creating 2 million mobile impressions specifically targeting audiences including Cruise’s 3.9 million Twitter followers. The positive feedback increased significantly with a 4% mobile click-through rate compared to the average 1% click-through rate of mobile ads. With the successful trial run, NBC Universal will continue to use this method on Cruise’s new movie “Purge,” which is coming out this summer. They will also use expand to other social media networks including Instagram and Pinterest to pull interest from users.

As other advertisers saw the increasing effectiveness of these targeted mobile ads, they too have decided to join in.

“We see long-weekend types of trips in the summer months,” said Elizabeth Dorrance, director of media and analytics at Expedia. “So people‚ while driving, are more likely to book hotels last minute on their phones.”


These UberAds will revolutionize the mobile advertising industry using this social signal targeting system. The real-time data will deliver increasing positive feedback rates for advertisers as people will be more inclined to respond to the helpful notifications. With the usage of intent, location and time, the mobile ads made for the right audience will be presented and both advertisers and the people will be satisfied with the outcome.

Content Marketing for the People

May 10, 2013

It’s a competitive world out there and everyone is pitching the same crap. From keywords to broad technical pitches, customers are left with little to no information that they are genuinely interested in. In a marketing standpoint, it looks great on paper but from a customer’s standpoint, it’s like “Why do I even care about this?”

People are much more inclined to participate in things worthy of their attention. it’s important to know your audience and understand what they want. Your pitch shouldn’t be for search engines like Google or Bing, but rather for the people and what they want is something of value. Something that says “if you don’t have participate now, you’re going to regret it.”

So what creates value? Certainly not keyword-focused garbage, but rather things like limited call-to-action offers that benefit the people. Think about it. If you always offer this, why would they jump at this opportunity right now? People like feeling special. I know I do. It’s like getting a limited-edition Rebecca Minkoff bag and having someone come up to you asking where you got it from and you going “Oh, it’s a limited-edition and they don’t make these anymore” with a smug look on your face. It makes you feel good knowing you have what others can’t have. That’s what your pitch should be like.

What else makes people jump to opportunities? Simplicity. People in this day and age rely on technology and want things instantly. In a dream fantasy world, people don’t need to do anything but receive everything they’d like to have. That’s not reality but if you can make it close to that dream, people are inclined to take you up on that offer. By doing the strenuous work for people and giving them the chance to sit back and watch all the magic happen is like a dream come true. If you say “I’m going to create a beautifully-designed, responsive website for your store so people can shop on any device and do all the necessary edits for you when asked while you go and have afternoon tea and watch the money roll in,” people will think “Wow, this is an amazing opportunity!” All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but it also makes him a very successful boy.

Think about what you can do for the people that your competitors can’t. Think about what you can do better than anyone else can and start making those substantial pitches. When you think like a customer, you’re bound to relate to the customers more. You aren’t marketing to technology but to actual people. It’s important to understand that while others are still lost in technology limbo. I’m not saying to eliminate things like keyword-marketing because yes, those things do help in a professional marketing standpoint but the most important people to affect are the people themselves.

Advertising: Creativity vs. Data

April 19, 2013

What makes for great advertising? Is it the number of outreach and statistics or is it a unique approach of expression? Advertisers constantly struggle with what brings more value to their marketing approach. By analyzing numbers of followers and likes, you may grow a larger fan base but does quantity really compensate for quality? DBB’s creative director Amir Kassaei gives his thoughts on the situation.

Click here to watch the video!

In the “Data Alone Will Not Help You Improve the Creative Product” video, Kassaei explains how the beauty and craft of print advertising is being hindered by the multimedia technology of today. He also explains how advertisers need to bring new ideas to the table rather than depend on social media and technology to enhance it. As an artist, Kassaei emphasizes this need for strengthened creativity as art is changing over the decades. As technology and media shift ideas of art, it is important to preserve the essence and beauty of simple art itself and to translate it through the new works we have today.

Online Video Marketing

January 28, 2013

A picture’s worth a thousand words but can you imagine how much a video is worth? Video marketing is making an impact in the business world as people react to the the action right in front of them. As YouTube is ranked as the number two search engine, it’s clear that people are getting tired of reading text.

Human connections make a difference with video marketing. We are attached to videos as they present humans and reflect upon ourselves. By watching other people participate in using the product or service, people feel drawn to do so as well. The voice of others also bring us in to use the product or service as we feel a connection to the source. The body language and reactions to using what’s advertised in the video help us to visually see what we would be like if we participated. People are very visual and when they physically see what it’s like, they will be more inclined to take an interest.

Not only do these personal associations make a difference with video marketing, but your product or service is more likely to be remembered through this method. The audience can put a face to the name and it’s easier to share video advertisements and engage others. Advertising can be spread to a larger audience this way as well through social media. People are more likely to click the play button rather than read because of what little effort is needed to learn about a product or service in this manner.

Technology is turning the new generation into an audience that wants everything easily handed to them. What better to do that then just send them a video to watch rather than a bunch of articles to read! With this generation, information needs to correlate with the new technology that’s used today. Through laptops, tablets and smartphones, people can access the internet almost anywhere to watch a video and through social media, that video can easily be spread throughout. It’s important to take advantage of this opportunity! Don’t let it just slip by or you’ll lose so many valuable customers! Get started with online video marketing today!

Web Design Trends of 2013

January 23, 2013

wireframes2013 comes with a new year and new technology that our industry needs to adapt to. With this in mind, everything from touch screens to retina display makes a critical difference to how customers view our designs. Here are several things to be aware of:

1. Responsive Design isn’t only for mobile devices anymore. There are now tablets and touch-screen laptops that are included in this fluid design technique. In 2012, responsive design flourished and expanded as THE way to design. Mashable‘s website redesign has taken advantage of this technique to neatly distribute its content throughout a vast array of devices.

2. Retina Display causes sites with heavy images to have a “grainy” effect. It’s important to have clear high-resolution images to make sure the high-definition display doesn’t hinder the site. For coding, web developers and designers have also adapted with retina.js and pixel query solutions. Retina.js checks images on the page when a user visits to see if there is a high-resolution version of that image on your server. If a high-resolution variant exists, the script will swap in that image in-place. Pixel query solutions involve multiplying standard pixels by 4 to show more pixels on the same surface area, making the image clearer.

3. Fluid Yet Definitive Framework such as Bootstrap is necessary for the future of your designs as its is sleek and minimal with great navigational design. It is the perfect framework for any device as it can adjust to any dimensions. It has simple yet advanced javascript and customizable components. These features make up the crucial parts of a site in the modern world that can easily adapt to the new technology of 2013.

4. Traffic depends on content quality over quantity. This is a major change and people always embed keywords and a lot of text to take up a page. Minimalism in the layout is similar to the minimalist sense of writing as well. People enjoy going to a site and finding exactly what they came for rather than having to search between all the useless information. Only valuable, useful and helpful content should be included. Everything else is unnecessary. 

With these ideas in mind, a site can achieve success or at least keep up with the top sites in this economy and state of technology. The world of technology and the minds of customers adapt over time and without analyzing the changes, a business can move from the top to the bottom easily. It is important for one to understand that knowing and keeping up with customers is how a business can run and stay successful.

Influence Marketing

January 18, 2013

Social Media. Ego. Trends. Popularity. These things influence the market and determine product sales to mass audiences. Most people purchase things they want more than things that things they need. The “want” is driven by how an individual feels with a product and how they feel when others see them with such product.

Did the person who sampled the new Doritos chip flavor end up buying the full bag? Did she buy that book that was featured on Oprah’s book club list? Did the T-Mobile customer change services when all her friends said that Verizon was better? Did people continue to eat Chik-Fil-A when they donated money to anti-gay organizations? It isn’t enough to just see if people buy a product is what salespeople and marketeers mainly check. Analyzing WHY people purchase a product is the main concern as it’s what drives sales.

Marketeers should focus on customers talking about their new product after they buy it. When customers rave about how great things are, their friends and family are more likely  willing to purchase it as well. Through social media, people can get positive feedback, pictures, videos and examples of how to use their products. This influential marketing tactic will be sure to drive sales as the business can see how others feel about their product and what they need to change to make it better as well.

Online Marketing & Design: The Source to Success

January 16, 2013

Great communication is the main reason for a successful business but how is this achieved? Online marketing and design is what brings audiences and businesses together to give both groups what they strive to accomplish.

Why Online Marketing?
Many believe marketing in general to be dead when on the contrary, it has evolved more than ever today. Online marketing should be the most implemented when it comes to businesses these days. In this generation, people look towards the internet for almost everything as it gives almost instant gratification when it comes to research. Because the world is so fast-paced nowadays with technology people are impatient to wait on the phone for answers or feel the need to travel for services without looking them up first. By being invisible online, the business may as well be invisible to audiences as a whole. As technology is advancing, old-fashioned ways including phone calls, letters and e-mails just won’t cut it. It is important for businesses to understand that in order to make it in this industry, they must keep up with the market and in today’s economy online marketing is the way to go.

To Crowdsource a Design or Not?
Anyone can crowdsource a design but what are your benefits? Does it give value to your business? The designs may seem appealing at first, giving it the “glam” appeal. However, investing in these designs isn’t smart as they aren’t demographically based or as appealing to designs that are created by your market for your audience. These wouldn’t work well in the long run and don’t communicate effective as the creativity would be lacking for this marketing strategy. This hurts your business as creativity is a vital part to your message to your audience.

How the Combination Works Effectively
Marketing and design go hand-in-hand as they fulfill each other’s needs. Marketing creates the plan for sending a business’s message to its audience as design delivers the message to the right demographic effectively.  Marketing involves taking into account who is using the product/service, how audiences will interact with it and where to place it. The design aspect shows audiences what there is to offer, why it would appeal to audiences and why people should invest in it. Through this combination, audiences will receive your message clearly and hopefully, invest in what your business has to offer.

Common Mistakes in Web Design

January 9, 2013

Marketing your business through web design can either enhance or hinder your relationship with your audience. It’s important to keep certain factors in mind while designing your site. Many flawed designs are seen throughout the web and these mistakes are detrimental to the success of these businesses. There are numerous errors that are seen across the web and here are some of the biggest ones that make a difference.

1. Throwing registration in their faces is a one of the most common mistakes found in business websites. Don’t force consumers to sign up for your e-mails or enter their personal information. Think of your business like an online store: You find what you want and then you enter your information when you pay for it. This method can reel in gives you the upper hand and you have the services or product the consumers want and then take their information.

2. Remember the purpose of your site. The reason for the site is to sell your product or services. If you don’t explain the who, what, where, when, why and hows of what you can give people, they won’t know either. Don’t expect everything to be so self-explanatory but don’t state the truly obvious either. Make your purpose and reasonings clear and your customers will respond confidently, knowing they are getting what’s expected.

3. Don’t leave out the important details as it can be used to reel in customers. Sometimes companies leave out a lot of crucial features of their product or service in an effort to keep a “clean” page. Don’t be afraid of content. The more content there is, the more informed customers are about your product. However, don’t burden your viewer with pages of text. Negative space is a nice touch as it looks very sleek and modern, but if you have a lot of information, include some places to rest their eyes with images, videos, etc. This will help your consumer continue to read and stick with the information as well as let their eyes and minds flow with visuals.

4. Legibility seems like an obvious necessity but sometimes businesses get too caught up in the design concept visually that they forget to make sure the information is readable. Everything from font size, type, style, placement and color make a difference. Make important text stand out with bold font, italics, or color. Have informational text be large enough to read. If the text seems too small or compressed, think of a wider layout such as horizontal columns rather than vertical ones. Choose a color scheme that doesn’t hinder the viewer such as darker or muted colors. Neon colors may seem appealing but think about how long a viewer can stand staring at that for more than a few seconds. Everything makes a difference.

5. Flash may seem cool to look at but think about the functionality. This is a big one, especially for companies that just want a “pretty” site rather than one that is practical. People may get frustrated having to waiting for the next image to appear or for the animation to finish to get to where they want to go. Don’t trap your site into following the trend of new technology. A site with simple navigation and functional graphics is all it really needs. The extras may be overkill sometimes. This method also helps your site go on several platforms with different screen sizes including mobile ones.

6. Don’t be outdated either. There is a balance between choosing what is acceptable without being dated and overdoing the technology. Steer away from the stereotypical HTML colors including bright yellow, cyan and magenta. Choose more unique colors such as mustard yellow, navy and maroon. These colors give more of a serious or calming tone and is easier on the eyes. Also, stay away from flashing text and huge banners. As the years go on, everyone is heading towards a minimal outlook with less jumble and messages that are straight to the point.

7. Targeting your audience is important. If you have an older audience, think about making a larger font as their sight isn’t as good as younger crowds. If you have an audience from Wall Street, don’t worry about the edgyness of the design as much as the information conveyed. Tone down on the colors in this case as well. If you have children as your audience, add more colors and interactivity as they like to feel involved. These are just some of the many decisions that can be influenced by the demographic.

8. Call to Action should be on every page of your site. Whether it is to sign up for news, buy a product or receive information, people need to see that chance on any page of your site. They can decide at any minute and if they need to go to another page in order to join, they may not find the opportunity or change their mind. It’s important to get people involved once they decide to. A popular marketing strategy is AIDA which involves these steps: Awareness, Intention, Desire, Action. it is very effective and should be on every marketeer’s list.

9. Badges and certification are cool and all but sometimes, you just need to relax with them. Put the important ones up and leave the rest for your office or meeting. Having a few big awards already attracts customers for reliability. They don’t need it all up in their faces. Plus, having too many badges on a site causes clutter making it hard to create a clean site. It also shows that you’re trying to hard to impress people. If you know you’re good and can convey it with a few accomplishments, customers will see that and will respond accordingly.

Although these are not all of the mistakes seen on the web, these are probably the biggest  and most common ones. It would probably take an entire book to explain all of the mistakes. Hopefully this post helps you achieve success with your site and if not, just contact us to do it for you as we love getting new customers everyday.