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Chatbots. Everyone is talking about them, but what do they mean for the future of the human race, and will we forget how to talk to each other twenty years from now?

Before we dig into how brands and marketers can remain human — with Bryan Kramer — Travis and Stewart break down the week’s big news. That means working out what Apple launched at its WWDC event, as well as taking a shot at why the heck Microsoft acquired LinkedIn.


Of course, Apple stoked the chatbot fire a little during WWDC. With news of an improved Siri and the release of an API that will enable third-party developers to tightly integrate their applications (finally), it seems the Cupertino giant is paving the way for a voice-controlled, A.I.-fueled future.

iMessages will soon be evolving, as well, with Apple’s announcement of iMessage apps, which will work on iOS, macOS, and watchOS. Apple may not be allowing chatbots at first, as Travis mentions in the podcast, but the company is certainly aware that it needs to do something to make iMessages more extensible. There will soon be a plethora of iMessage apps that integrate within the app.

Apple also announced the end of life for OS X and introduced “macOS Sierra,” keeping with the mountain theme. The previous OS was Yosemite, but Stewart is convinced that Apple is now naming its operating systems after poorly performing cars. The next macOS will most likely be “macOS Pinto.” For full coverage of the WWDC event and all the announcements made, the rest of the VentureBeat team have you covered.

Our special guest this week is Bryan Kramer. Bryan is the CEO of PureMatter, a TED Fellow (not the same as a Ted Fellow, which is being a member of a talking bear fan club), and author of “Shareology: How Sharing Powers the Human Economy” and “There is no B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human #H2H.”

Bryan shares why it’s important to keep in mind that we’re marketing to people, not B2C or B2B. He reminds us that chatbots may be on the rise, but human interactions will always be needed.

He also tells us how #H2H came about. In fact, it was during one of his speaking events that #H2H went viral. It created so much activity that he did what anyone would do: He wrote a book.

The buying process is as it has always been — it’s about relationships and emotion. And everyone has access to the customer within your organization, on a multitude of channels. The customer? They are more informed than ever before, more difficult to satisfy than ever, and constantly mobile.

With all of the available channels for sales, marketing, and customer service, Bryan suggests there is a trend toward “social fatigue.” That’s why you need to always be relevant and add value for the people you are trying to reach. By making your activities — or your automated messages — more human, you get much better results. Bryan gives some real examples in the podcast, showing us how it’s done.

Bryan also insists that traditional “celebrity marketing” is losing footing and talks about value of influencer marketing. Most people are influential about something, and Bryan suggests that influencers are trusted more than brands or than people who are constantly in the spotlight.

If you missed last week’s episode with Aunkur Arya, listen here. We discussed mobile commerce, payments, and what the future of retail looks like.

And don’t miss next week’s episode, as we chat with Talia Wolf, CEO of Conversioner. We discuss conversion tactics, engagement, and how to increase sales in a mobile-first world, as well as jumping out of a perfectly good plane. Repeatedly.


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