Nobody knew they needed apps until apps were created.
Grandparents always say, “In my day…” They explain how they didn’t have the Internet, phones, iPods, or even CD players. We question how it was even possible to live this way, failing to realize that at the time, they didn’t feel deprived.
Today, we are in a very different place. As new information and technology are constantly being created, there is now a need to organize all of these new programs in a way that is easy to use and monitor. It has become too complicated to keep track of everything separately. This desire to streamline has created a new goal for creative minds: the attempt to unite everything into a single conversation. Companies are now working on creating a virtual assistant through the combination of human and technological elements.
An Era of Change
We are moving away from a simple search engines and are branching into technology that do some of our tasks for us. By following the evolution of the intermediary between the business and the consumer, we can understand why there is now value in a bot that can actually complete your tasks on your behalf.
When search engines first entered the market, they organized the new phenomenon of websites on the Internet. Websites originally functioned as single units, unrelated and operating in their own sectors. The creation of search engines made a central place for information on the Internet. They worked similarly to a library. This made it easy for people to find whatever they were looking for without having to try multiple sites. Search engines quickly became integral to the workplace, as people used them to find information, generate web traffic, and advertise.
After this, apps came into the market as a more mobile replacement for websites. People use them everyday with their smartphones, and many major companies are accessible through an app or use apps in daily business activities. With this new form of technology, the concept of a search engine or a library remained through the App Store. However, in practice, the App store worked more as a barrier. Each time the user wanted a new app, they would have to select the app, sign in with a username and password, and wait for it to download. Rather than decrease the effort required, the App Store was a hindrance to users and apps remained single, disconnected units. This inconvenience has opened the market for a virtual assistant.
There is a very good article at Inc.com talking about “How These Robot Assistants Are Going to Create the Next Multibillion-Dollar Market“, talking that this technology is not future anymore, it’s a real present.
The first attempt at capitalizing on this was Siri. Siri entered the market as a way to interact with services just as we interact with people. And amazingly, Siri is a 5 years old project. The product was easy to use, as people know how to hold a conversation and that was all Siri required. It is faster than having to open your phone, go to an app, sign into the app, and type in what you want. This saved time in the workplace, as innovative executives found they could make phone calls, look up directions, and communicate with their team more quickly. However, Siri still only directs, it does not do the work for you. The user cannot bypass the search engine model completely.
How can you keep up?
The market for a virtual assistant is now expanding. The bots will eventually remove the step of going to multiple apps for multiple products. This concept will become something people cannot live without. The focus is on creating a program that can actually do things for you, rather than direct you to do something yourself. For example, the founders of Siri have created a new program called Viv, through which the virtual assistant can actually purchase concert tickets or book a hotel room rather than just taking you to a website. Amy, created by a startup in New York City, works as a conversational smart bot. Amy is like a secretary, planning and rescheduling meetings through email and adding them to your calendar. Apps are no longer the future. People don’t want to download new things; they want more from the things they have.
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Marketeer takes this concept and brings it to the workplace. Marketeer is able to actually do customer service for you. It is more than just directing you as to how to do the task. It does not just show you options, it responds. The concept brings together different channels, allowing customers to use the apps they want to use and eliminating the annoyance of switching from one app to another. There is incredibly high potential for easy adoption and connection to customers through the hybrid human and machine model.
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