MarketingMobile AppsSEOSocial Media

 

At the end of your work day, you flop on to your couch, grab your phone, click on your Facebook application and prepare yourself for all the memes you are about to discover. What a great way to end your day. You are scrolling past the argumentative political posts and the millions of pictures of your cousin’s children when you notice an eye catching ad from Netflix. “Its World Emoji Day!” You read on to find out that Netflix can now give you suggestions on what to watch, based on your emotions! Netflix can read my emotions, cool!

 

You click the link and it takes you to the Messenger app. There are instructions to send an emoji based on your feelings. You take a moment to consider your emotions. How are you feeling right this moment? After some consideration you come to the conclusion that the starry eyed, amazed emoji sums you up best. You hit send and see that Netflix is going to respond to you right away! Wow, Netflix sure knows how to make a guy feel special. A message from Netflix appears and it reads: “I love a good blockbuster!” Then a link to the movie Jurassic Park III shows up. You are not disappointed. The Jurassic movies are your FAVORITE! How did Netflix know?? You smile as you click the Watch Now button.

Pretty cool right? Who knew our technology would have advanced this much to give such accurate movie suggestions by 2018? I sure didn’t.

Maybe that’s because it hasn’t…

 

The story I shared with you isn’t the whole truth. While I did actually send Netflix the starry eyed, amazed emoji and I was given the suggestion to watch Jurassic Park III. I am 

actually not interested in watching that movie. I couldn’t tell you what movie I was expecting, or even what type of movie I was expecting, but Jurassic Park III wasn’t that movie.

 

So yes, I was slightly disappointed by the Netflix “emotion reader”. Notice, I only said slightly.

I realize I had the wrong understanding of what the messaging bot would offer me from the start.   

So if you find yourself confused like I was, allow me to enlighten you on the subject.

 

There are a few reasons why Netflix created this messaging bot.

First off, a messaging bot closes a relationship gap between the consumer and the company. The quick and simple communication between the two parties makes the consumers feel heard, connected, important and can make the relationship feel real. This will grow the trust the consumer has for the company.

 

Second, the bot allows for the consumer to be exposed to movies or a series that they otherwise never would have heard of. This way Netflix can show a user with strict genre preferences which restrict their personal accounts to limited type of shows, a variety of movies the user otherwise never would have looked into.

 

And third, Netflix is standing out! Netflix isn’t the only popular movie and TV show streaming platform but they are the only one with a messaging bot connected to your Facebook!

 

However I know that the bot has room for improvement.

 

I sent Netflix the dancing girl emoji and I was expecting a movie with a female lead or something along the lines of Pitch Perfect, Wonder Woman or The Crown. Instead the suggestion I received was an animated children’s Christmas sing-a-long. A movie I have zero interest in watching.

 

I love what Netflix was going for. But I don’t think the messaging bot was much more than a marketing scheme. Which is fine, actually smart on their part, every company needs to stand out some way.

 

But creating a well running suggestion messaging bot was not their goal. If it was they undoubtedly failed.

 

Maybe someday they will be able to release a bot that can actually communicate with us and give accurate show suggestions. Until then, I will enjoy this bot by sending in all of the emojis and seeing all of the diverse suggestions Netflix has for me. Who knows maybe I will find a new series I  love!

 

What marketing strategy would you try?

 

Tess Houcher

FutureMobile AppsSocial MediaTechnology

As futuristic as it sounds, the idea of a robot taking your every request and helping you with daily tasks around your home, the office and on the go, does not sound far off from reality. We are not at the point in technology when these luxuries are available to all of us but I do not doubt we are on our way to such a life. Our phones are already smart enough to text people for us, order takeout or groceries from our couches, replace a wallet, and can be used to make other devices function without that device even being in sight.

The next steps for our phone automated functions, start with bots. If you’re like me, when you hear the word bot, you imagine a small, friendly, helpful robot ready to help you as it would be their pleasure. Bots today, do happen to be those small, friendly, helpful individuals made to provide you with your requested assistance. Even though not long ago we would have considered such technology to be fictional. They may not look exactly as they do in the movies, but we do have bots at our very fingertips.

The bots that we have today are created for two main uses. Search bots are designed for searching information from a specific website or search the whole Internet. The utility bot accommodates you by fulfilling an assignment you give it.

We use search bots to see when the next showings of that new movie is in theaters or to find the latest news stories by simply speaking the request. The utility bot is used when you need to make a grocery purchase and the bot already has the groceries picked out for you as it has remembered your orders from last time. If you think about it, you use bots just like these all the time, we may just not think of them as bots.

Facebook has been working on bots of their own, they call them chatbots. They are creating these with hopes of providing a wide variety of services that could all be reached through their own app. During the development of these bots they noted that the bots were capable of conversing with humans intelligently. Which is a definite breakthrough as we all know how frustrating certain bots can be when they cannot follow the conversation needed in order to fulfill their tasks.

Some people I talk to about bots and the potential they have, are afraid of what will become of the human race if we create these robots to function better than our own species. For the time being, that is not at all a concern of the bot developers. These bots still need hands on development and constant upgrading to keep up with tasks required of them in order to become useful, let alone take over the planet.

When bots do fail while operational, it causes the same negative appearance that a poor website or unqualified sales rep gives the face of the company they work for. That situation is avoided at any cost, meaning highly intelligent bots are not normally released for our use until they really are highly intelligent. Though some of us would argue that we have already been in contact with these less than intelligent bots. But I guess that is all part of the learning and growing process for the bot builders.

 

Bots are capable of possessing the reliability and knowledge needed for great customer service or the ability to complete an assignment requested by just a text. This will make it possible to avoid human error and will allow for much less struggle for you! I am quite excited thinking about all the ways these bots will assist me as they start replacing the very applications that started them.

Tess Houcher 

26 views