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Alexa Is Getting Even Smarter

Alexa Is Getting Even Smarter

The Facts

Amazon is close to rolling out new features for its Alexa virtual assistant, including the ability to remember information at a user’s request, to engage in more natural conversations, and launch skills automatically in response to relevant questions rather than waiting for the user to request a specific skill. Wow, most live personal assistants can’t or won’t do that.

Spiker Insights

These improvements will soon be available in features that are just the next phase in the evolution of Alexa. As these upgrades become available, it just makes sense that we as users will become more comfortable with them and rely on Alexa to handle more tasks. It’s going to end up that we feel so comfortable with Alexa that we will talk to it like we would to another person in our business or home. Alexa is taking the lead among these voice-activated assistant devices, which will mean only more revenue for Amazon and a stronger relationship between Amazon and their customers.

It would be our recommendation to get on board with Alexa and get comfortable with talking to a machine. Your customers will be relying on it for recommendations in the very near future.

Busy, Schmizzy

Busy, Schmizzy

The Facts

I get it, we are all busy. I hear it constantly from clients, supplier partners and even my work associates. But there is a difference between busy and meaningful.

In America, research shows that Americans in particular perceive busyness as a status symbol. The key word here is “perceive.” That’s because the findings have everything to do with the image of being busy and nothing to do with the results of their efforts.

Spiker Insights

Busy work and attitudes happen when people do not have clear goals. Eliminate the waste by giving work a meaningful purpose. Is meaningful work being pushed aside in favor of easy-to-do work with no real impact? We have to prioritize our team’s workflow so they are focused on what will deliver the most value to the team. And as leaders, we cannot be afraid to set aggressive deadlines for that work. We need to keep everyone zeroed in on meaningful achievement and results for our labors.

In dealing with other leaders, it can be frustrating because some of them are distracted. Those are the most frustrating ones to work with. It’s our job to help others grow, to create a work environment that is buzzing with purpose. Busyness is not a badge of honor in today’s world.

 

Get Social Now!

Get Social Now!

The Facts

You never know when a potential buyer or customer may be scrolling through your feeds, and you can’t afford to miss them. In this technology-driven age, it’s crucial for you to remain active on all forms of social media in order to nurture interest in your properties, your products, or your services.

Spiker Insights

There are four social media channels that you must have an updated presence on, it is more important than breathing if you want to be successful:

  • FacebookYour ability to target custom content posts and ads to your core demographics are invaluable because it works. Even if it doesn’t work for some unknown reason, it has top-of-the-line analytics that will help you understand what went wrong so you can go fix it.
  • YouTube Roughly half of your prospects claim that video content has the best return on investment as it catches their eye. With over 300 hours of video content uploaded to YouTube every minute, you are already behind the eight ball if you do have a professional video that differentiates you from the rest of your competition.
  • InstagramCurrently, Instagram is considered the fastest-growing social media platform, with over 800 million monthly users worldwide. What is so unique about Instagram is its ability for you to receive instant feedback on your photos, captions and hashtags.
  • Snapchat They don’t offer much in the analytics area, but with 178 million daily users, they are a force to be reckoned with.

Don’t forget the golden rule, only create content that you would want to read and view. If it’s amateur hour with your content and production, then forget it until you get serious about marketing in today’s modern age.

Don’t Act Like a Commodity!

Don’t Act Like a Commodity!

The Facts

Harvard’s legendary professor of marketing, Theodore Leavitt, taught his students that there’s no such thing as a commodity; only people who act and think like commodities. He taught that absolutely everything can be differentiated. You wouldn’t know that by looking out at our local resorts, hotels, communities, and even apples and banks. It’s sad to see how the majority of today’s marketers and clients want to be just like somebody else – it’s safer, it doesn’t take any imagination, and the board of directors will no doubt like it.

Spiker Insights

Water covers 74% of the earth’s surface and is available from faucets in your home almost for free, that is a sure definition of a commodity if there ever was one. Yet, when branded and differentiated, water commands premium pricing and generates strong brand loyalty. I grew up drinking out of a garden hose during the summer months, so they all taste somewhat alike to me, although I do think that VOSS and Fuji do taste slightly better. Not that I would buy a bottle, I’m a little too cheap to purchase bottled water. But when it’s offered in offices around the world, I ask for it by brand name.

The problem that many marketers face is they focus exclusively on getting better instead of also getting different. Reframing an existing offering can be exceptionally powerful just as we have seen with water, coffee, automobiles and many other products and services just by changing the way a product or service is presented.

Starbucks Gets Sensitive On Us

Starbucks Gets Sensitive On Us

The Facts

Starbucks will be closing its 8,000 U.S. stores and its corporate office for half a day on May 29 to conduct racial-bias training for all of its employees. Starbucks? One of our most progressive companies of this political-correct era stubbed its toe in one store in Philadelphia a few weeks ago. Didn’t they realize that blacks make up 43.3% of the Philadelphia population as compared to whites at 36.6% of the population.

Spiker Insights

Starbucks is certainly setting a positive example of accountability when everyone from the Federal Government, to various activists who will no doubt file legal action and call for boycotts of all Starbucks. Starbucks could have opted to offer the training in phases on off hours, but they apparently felt they needed to send the message that they were taking this one employee screw-up seriously. Some have calculated it will result in $12 million in lost revenues, just for the day. Who knows how much more it will cost when the protests and boycotts play out over the spring.

This sad situation illustrates the importance of a robust and thorough training program, where every little detail now needs to be covered. I don’t know anybody that could have foreseen this situation of two lingering, non-paying store visitors taking up badly needed seating spaces for paying customers, and stalling the staff with promises of another guest to join them sometime “this morning.”

It’s at this time in Starbucks’ training of their staff, to remind each and every employee what would Howard Schultz, the Chairman of the Board, do in this situation?