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This week, Travis and Stewart discuss the bizarre, weird, and wonderful world of KFC’s VR “chicken mastery program” and Google’s attempts to catch up with Amazon in conversational UI (bolstered by a partnership with Walmart).

And in an interview recorded at Unbounce’s excellent CTAConf event in Vancouver, they interview the brilliant Wil Reynolds, one of the leading digital marketing strategy experts. As well as dropping a few F-bombs, Wil reveals the secrets of how to win in today’s marketing environments.

Also, Travis and Stewart recorded this podcast live on the VentureBeat Facebook page! Tune in this Friday morning to watch the VB Engage duo rock the mics.



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By listening to this episode of VB Engage, you will hear:

  • Welcome to VB Engage episode 66! [0:10]
  • This week, we chat with Wil Reynolds, but first the news! [00:35]
  • KFC has a frightening new VR training program, where you can’t leave the room until you can successfully fry chicken! [01:35]
  • This is another example of interesting VR content, but it’s strange. [02:15]
  • VR content like this is part of KFC’s “chicken mastery” program! [02:35]
  • The conversational UI space is heating up. [03:00]
  • Google is reportedly working on a smaller smart speaker to take on Amazon’s Echo Dot. [03:55]
  • Also in Conversational UI, Walmart taps Google to challenge Amazon’s hold on voice-assisted shopping. [04:40]
  • Amazon owns, through its app, over 50% of first product searches. [05:15]
  • Echo devices account for 72.2% of the conversational UI gadgets. [05:35]
  • Bezos got the idea for Amazon Prime through chatting with Walmart VPs and talking about how they charged for a membership at Sam’s Club. [06:15]
  • Amazon has a history of releasing products in the U.S. and taking its time rolling them out internationally. [07:00]
  • Also in the news, it’s 2017, and LinkedIn FINALLY has video. [08:10]
  • Speaking of old technologies, let’s chat about email. [09:30]
  • Sigstr raises $5 million to turn email signatures into ads. [10:00]
  • This is an employee email personalization tool to promote jobs, events, webinars, and sales and marketing messages that will be auto-updated. [10:35]
  • Elon Musk leads 116 experts in calling for the outright ban of killer robots. [11:25]
  • Stewart and Travis are for banning all killing, in general. [12:05]
  • If you live long enough, life kills you. So maybe we should ban that too? [12:35]
  • Next up is Wil Reynolds, CEO of Seer Interactive. [13:45]
  • There is no quick fix in marketing. The computer doesn’t interview people. Getting inside the mind of the customer is key. [14:35]
  • SEO is all about “How can I rank better?” Content is all about “How do I solve your problems?” [15:15]
  • Wil has been interviewing customers of his clients and watching how they weave through search results. [15:45]
  • It’s crucial to not bias the research. [16:05]
  • We ask questions like, “Let’s say you started with Google, how would you search for this?” [16:35]
  • Stewart asks how conversational UI plays into search in the future. [17:05]
  • Wil is conflicted about conversational UI, right now. People from ComScore make wild statements about how 50% of search will be via voice by 2020. [17:25]
  • Ask a room full of top marketers how many voice searches they did today and they’ll say 1 or 2. But with regular text searches, that might be 300 to 400 a week. [17:40]
  • So in the next 2.5 years, are we going to make a significant shift? [17:50]
  • Seer saw bumps in two areas in their research around conversational UI. [18:20]
  • The more complicated the search phrase, the less likely people will be to use voice search. [18:30]
  • It’s more case by case and query by query. [18:50]
  • Voice recognition isn’t clear enough to gain mass adoption. It’s too frustrating today. It needs a “Did you mean?” voice feature. [19:45]
  • The smartphone is still number one. What do marketers need to think about with this right now? [21:55]
  • Locations sometimes have different intents, for example, “rims” vs. “wheels” [22:15]
  • How can I use all of the clues that Google is leaving in plain sight? [23:05]
  • If someone is searching for something on mobile, a lot of the time their intent is different than it would be on desktop. [24:25]
  • Remaining curious is so important in any marketing career. [24:50]
  • Wil is focusing more on pay-per-click advertising, as that’s where all of the money is. [25:10]
  • He uses tools like Tableau or Power BI tools and imports all of his paid search campaigns and compares that to search rankings… and does it at scale. [26:15]
  • A paid search landing page and an organic search landing page are very different. How different are they? [26:35]
  • Flag discrepancies on your landing pages versus organic pages. [27:05]
  • Google’s AI has been trained to know what people want. [27:35]
  • Why are nine out of 10 ranked pages ecommerce? [28:45]
  • This was a fantastic chat with Wil Reynolds. He killed it. [29:20]
  • Connect with him on Twitter @wilreynolds and @seerinteractive [30:00]

Next week on episode 67, we chat with the cofounder and CTO of TradingView, Stan Bokov! We discuss how they built such a dynamic community that is highly engaged.  Blockchain and crypto currencies pop up, as well.

If you missed last week’s episode, we interviewed Scott Stratten, the man behind “unmarketing.” Scott reveals some of his greatest engagement tips and tells us how AI will affect the marketer’s life.

As always, thanks for tuning into VB Engage.

If you enjoy the show, please give it a quick rating or review it on your favorite podcast platform. Just search for VB Engage and make magic happen.


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