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Intelligent Personal AssistantAs an Android person, I missed the Siri boat. I constantly forget Cortona exists, but it's a thing. Then when Alexa came around, I held out because it wasn't Google. Okay so maybe I'm a Google snob. But now I've had a chance to play with all four as well as develop apps for both Alexa and Google Home (aka Google Assistant). Although Google Assistant is the clear winner for me going into 2017, I'm going to keep this post about Intelligent Personal Assistants (IPAs) in general and the opportunities they present to both marketers and consumers.

Two trends I've continued to follow throughout the years are the need for deeper connections and control without confusion. I believe these two needs have driven technology to this point. The move from text chat, to video chat to VR/AR, is logical in this context. With more technology comes more things and with more things more confusion. I think we're still in the beginning phases of an IoT revolution but the technology to properly manage and control these experiences was not ready, until now.

What Is An Intelligent Personal Assistant?

Right now I'm focusing on the big 4; Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana, and Siri. IPAs are conversational bots that help you complete tasks. The bots offered by each of the big 4 have slight differences between them, however, I think they compliment each other well. We're also slowly starting to reach a point of stabilization where functionality is relatively similar across each platform.

IPAs at the most basic level allow you to get answers to questions very fast.

"How cold is it outside?"

"Who is the oldest person in the world?"

"Why do people still use QR codes?"

Now give your assistant access to things like your phone and calendar, and it becomes a powerful tool to keep yourself organized. Add your credit card, and you can buy toilet paper in fewer words than a haiku. The more it knows about you, the more helpful if becomes.

How Should Marketers Approach Intelligent Personal Assistants

There is a lot of movement in the space right now, so the most important thing you can do is pay attention. Privacy concerns are still top of mind with reports of IPAs ordering things because the TV told them too. The IPAs are also getting new features daily with services popping up to do everything from order Ubers to Pizza. You may have heard a lot about Alexa coming off CES this past year but did you know Google just automatically enabled Google Assistant across all Android phones running the most recent version of the operating system? This is a huge move and instantly brings Google Assistant up to Alexa's level although Alexa has had a huge head start to get up and running.

But in case you missed the boat, I'll do my best to get you up to speed on the things Marketers should be paying attention to.

Being First To Market

The most obvious one is the massive opportunity this new marketplace presents. First, to market services will enjoy the luxury of claiming their turf for premium user queries related to their industry. Getting a ride and ordering pizza were two of the first services created by Uber and Dominos on Google Home when it finally added the option for third party integrations.

Although at this point, Domino's can't claim "pizza" as the keyword trigger for the app and instead has to use the more direct "Domino's", It won't be long before your Intelligent Personal Assistant remembers that Domino's is your favorite place to order from and allows you to use "Order me a pizza" as your trigger phrase. This is why being first to the marketplace is incredibly important as your Intelligent Personal Assistants learn more about you and your needs.

Deeper Connections

Another great thing about Intelligent Personal Assistants is the fact that they are conversational. Some are better at this than others, like Google Home for example. As artificial intelligence and machine learning become more ubiquitous, IPAs are starting to set new standards for what consumer facing AI might look like in the future. IPAs remember your habits and your interaction history which make it possible to ask contextual and follow-up questions in a very casual manner.

Now imagine in the case of conversational commerce, an IPA that helps you do your grocery shopping. This could be core functionality of the IPA or a third party service you can install. Based on previous interactions with your brands, the IPA could favor your products over the competition.

Furthermore, IPA's become their own channel with unique opportunities to engage users and create memorable experiences. Maybe the pizza brand also helps you make your own pizzas with step by step recipes and alternative ingredients recommendations. Because the platforms are truly mobile and circumstantial its possible to create some of the best contextually relevant experiences we've seen to date. Now instead of catching them before or after they've done the task you'd like to associate your brand with, you can catch them in the act. Doing laundry and can't get that annoying stain out? Just say out loud "How do I get pumpkin spice soy latte stains out of white t-shirts" and your favorite detergent company might respond with answers in that moment.

The lines will continue to blur as brands become companions in our lives instead of just packaged goods.

Control Without Confusion

As technology continues to evolve there is a lot more to keep track of in our lives. Navigating the mess is a huge barrier to entry for a lot of people. IPAs, however, solve a lot of the problems traditional tech has created. You no longer have to remember the "right" way to do something but just that you can do it. Your assistant is smart enough to figure out what you want to do and guide you along the way. This is an incredibly powerful tool for brands to help consumers navigate their complex digital web. IPAs serve both as their own channels but also as a one-stop access points to more traditional channels.

I've already seen this trend on websites using Intelligent Personal Assistants as customer support tools. It's certainly a balancing act as we advise clients to carefully approach automated personalized communication but when done right it can streamline incredibly complex user journeys. This makes things like identifying more qualified leads before connecting to sales and getting quick answers to common questions painless and easy. More importantly, you can do this all in your brand's voice. API.AI, which is what I used to create my own Google Home app, allows you to give your custom IPA personality right out of the box. It can even have a favorite color.

The Entry Point to IoT

Consumer based IoT is still in its infancy with products like Hue and WeMo currently dominating the space. Managing an app for each device becomes too much to manage once you get beyond 2 or 3 apps. The IPA eliminates the need to ever open those apps again. "Hey Google, turn the lights on and lock the front door". What would previously take the opening and closing two separate apps becomes a seamless phrase you might have yelled out to a family member anyways. In my opinion, besides privacy concerns, managing your IoT infrastructure had previously been too cumbersome a task to warrant the investment. Why pay for light bulbs that add an extra step to use when the switch on the wall is much easier? That's an oversimplification but for your average consumer, it is not far from the truth.

Brand's should be jumping at the opportunity to integrate their IoT tech with Intelligent Personal Assistants. We're still in the beginning phases and similar to how first to market services are going to win, first to integrate tech will also have a huge leg up.

This Is Just The Beginning

I've only glazed the surface here. We've gone from keyword search with website results to conversational search with immediate answers. This affects every facet of the digital agency from Search to Creative. UX will start to encompass voice design while our Ecomm team is developing out conversational commerce experiences. Your website will start to act more like an API and developers will need to make sure information is structured in ways that play nice with our new artificially intelligent friends.

Artificial intelligence in its current form is very cool. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon are making big investments in this space and alongside the IoT revolution, there is a big opportunity to create a deeper connection and more engaging experiences. It feels like the pinnacle of the inbound marketing movement where search is literally sitting on the mantle above my fireplace. Not only are Intelligent Personal Assistants incredibly fun but they are incredibly useful, and they're just getting started.

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In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for August 2022. Every day, we capture the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google Trends (US Only). Each term has an estimated query volume attached to it, which we also record. The number scale tops out at 10,000,000+ with a lower limit of 200,000+ (sometimes 100,000+). After the conclusion of the month, we look at the phrases we collected along with their volumes to get an understanding of what drove queries for the month. August 2022 - A Summary Looking through the top queried phrases by day last month, there were a few topics that surfaced as macro trends. As primary elections happened across different states, candidates and ballot questions landed in the top 3 daily queries.  The NFL preseason stoked interest in fans as they searched for their favorite team in Google results. The other big sports topic was Champions League soccer and we’ll present the sheer number of queries related to that European-centric subject. Lastly, there were TV and films that people wanted to learn more about and we’ll examine which ones were the most popular.   A Doodle and a Travolta Curiosity These two phrases were the only two that made the elusive 10 million plus club last month. Anna Mani - 8/22/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries Google changed their logo on August 23rd to celebrate “the 104th birthday of Indian physicist and meteorologist Anna Mani, one of the country’s first female scientists.”  You can read more about her on their post. We tend to see interesting Doodles get top query status as the logo is hyperlinked to a result page tied to a keyword - in this case, “Anna Mani”.  The second phrase is a bit of a head scratcher but it’s not unprecedented.  John Travolta - 8/8/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries On August 8th, Olivia Newton-John passed away and the news sent people to Google to search. When we first looked at Google's Daily Search Trends, it was her name that was the top query. From our experience, it takes 24 hours for the report to finalize.  We have seen queries shift or change completely when we revisit the report after that 24 hour period. When we looked back at the daily top 3 for August 8th on August 10th, the phrase above replaced the Olivia Newton-John query and it was the top queried phrase of the day.  The other surprising thing was there were no Olivia Newton-John related phrases in the top 3 at all.   SInce we have been collecting this data for years now, we recalled this same sort of phenomena happening when Kelly Preston, John Travolta's wife, died in 2020.  Here’s the top phrase from July 12th of that year: John Travolta - 7/12/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries Again, there are no queries related to Kelly Preston in the daily top three of that day.  The phrase that was reported was John Travolta’s name.  The AMP team is not sure what to make of this reporting shift. It doesn’t make sense that his name would be a higher queried phrase than either Olivia’s or Kelly’s.  It does make us wonder what kind of query consolidation is happening as the Daily Search Trends report gets finalized.  Is there a knowledge graph consideration? Does the weight of the John Travolta entity make the report combine related terms underneath it?  It’s odd, for sure, and for it to happen twice in the last two years is odder.  Pet Holidays Did you know that August has two days that celebrate two of the most popular household pets?  We didn’t either. CAT - 8/7/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries National Dog Day - 8/26/2022 - 200,000+ queries On International Cat Day, Google implemented a search result “Easter Egg” where the result page for the query “cat”  was altered with animation.   Although dogs are certainly more popular than cats nationwide, the enhanced result page helped to drive more search queries for cats on their special day this year.   Martin vs. Tolkien and Other Entertainment Every month, TV show and movie queries make the daily top 3.  AMP likes looking for these phrases to figure out how large the audience is for each.  Here are the top movie related keywords from August 2022: Batgirl - 8/2/2022 - 200,000+ queries Prey - 8/3/2022 - 200,000+ queries Prey - 8/5/2022 - 500,000+ queries Orphan: First Kill - 8/18/2022 - 200,000+ queries So, the Batgirl query is a bit of an anomaly since the volume behind it is related to the decision to never release this movie by Warner Bros. People really wanted to know where they could see the latest installment of the Predator franchise, Prey (Hint: Hulu & Disney+) Lastly, the horror film, Orphan: First Kill also received a top 3 query phrase placement on the 18th a day before its release date. A couple of non-epic fantasy TV shows made our collection. They include a new series about an established character and an awards show:   Wednesday Netflix - 8/17/2022 - 100,000+ queries VMAs 2022 - 8/28/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Netflix is producing a TV series about Wednesday Addams, a character from the fictional Addams Family.  A trailer for the show was released on the 17th.  Also, The MTV Video Music Awards still stir a buzz and search interest in this year’s show drove more than a million queries on the day it aired. As we alluded to in the previous section, the biggest news for the TV audience was the release of 2 anticipated fantasy shows last month: House of Dragon - 8/21/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Rings of Power - 8/31/2022 - 200,000+ queries From the query volume, it appears that the Game of Thrones prequel series is more popular than the Lord of the Rings prequel series. We’ll keep monitoring to see which show’s season finale makes the daily top 3.  Elections and Federal Acts With the first wave of elections this year, we saw some queries related to US politics with high volumes last month, if only for a day.  Liz Cheney - 8/15/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Harriet Hageman - 8/16/2022 - 500,000+ queries Alaska primary 2022 Results - 8/16/2022 - 200,000+ queries Mary Peltola - 8/31/2022 - 500,000+ queries On the 16th, U.S. representative for Wyoming Liz Cheney lost in the Republican primary to Harriet Hageman.The Alaska primary results were also popular as it led to Sarah Palin loss to Mary Petola in the special election to replace the late Rep. Don Young.  The other topics in this category were related to the Kansas special election and two measures moving forward in the Federal government. Kansas abortion amendment - 8/2/2022 - 500,000+ queries Inflation Reduction Act - 8/7/2022 - 200,000+ queries Student loans - 8/23/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Voters in Kansas decided to keep abortion legal in the state.  The Inflation Reduction Act getting voted into law and details of the student loan forgiveness program drove people to search.    August 2022’s Sports-Related Queries Do you know what gets keywords related to the NFL back into Google’s daily search trends?  The preseason. Raiders - 8/4/2022 - 500,000+ queries NFL - 8/4/2022 - 500,000+ queries Patriots - 8/11/2022 - 200,000+ queries 49ers - 8/12/2022 - 500,000+ queries Zach Wilson - 8/12/2022 - 500,000+ queries Steelers - 8/13/2022 - 500,000+ queries Dallas Cowboys - 8/13/2022 - 500,000+ queries Patriots - 8/19/2022 - 200,000+ queries 49ers - 8/20/2022 - 200,000+ queries 49ers - 8/25/2022 - 200,000+ queries Packers - 8/25/2022 - 200,000+ queries Dallas Cowboys - 8/26/2022 - 200,000+ queries Chicago Bears - 8/27/2022 - 200,000+ queries Steelers - 8/28/2022 - 500,000+ queries Did your favorite team make the list?  If so, you’re in good (large) company.  Major League Baseball’s season is still going on and a couple of phrases were  Juan Soto - 8/1/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Field of Dreams Game 2022 - 8/11/2022 - 500,000+ queries Juan Soto was included in a major trade between the Washington Nationals and the San Diego Padres.  The new featured game that takes place near a corn field also drove people to search for more information about it. 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Finally, Serena Williams’s progress in her last U.S. Open drove people to learn more.  She announced her retirement earlier last month.  Serena Williams - 8/29/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Other Topics Worthy of Mention Working with CPG brands, we monitor search queries for them to keep check on negative sentiment.  You hate to see it, but recalls can wreak havoc for a brand.  August 2022 was not a good month for Capri Sun Group Holding: Capri Sun recall - 8/15/2022 - 200,000+ queries People were looking to the skies with the full moon and the Aurora Borealis on their minds last month: Full moon August 2022 - 8/9/2022 - 200,000+ queries Northern Lights - 8/17/2022 - 200,000+ queries They kept thinking about those skies in anticipation of our continuing mission to the moon Artemis launch - 8/28/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Maybe someday that rocket will blast off. Thanks for reading. 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AMP Agency’s Top Trends of Fall 2022 Predictions Report   AMP Agency has published another report as a part of their Search Insights service. This report is available for download and provides consumer and audience insights to help inform your marketing and business decisions for the Autumn season. AMP Agency’s SEO Supervisor Kevin Davis dug deep into search query data to gather useful insights for this report. “We learned a lot from producing the Summer Trends report.  Using the tools available to us, we were able to not only find products, events, and activities relevant to this time of year but also predict the ones that will be very popular this year. Looking back at query data for the past 4 years, you can see increases in volume that we feel is a good indicator of interest in the future.  I am excited to share our findings in this report.”  The Top Trends of Fall 2022 report has insights on 40 topics across 8 different categories including holidays, home decor, and food & drink.  The data presented in the report is pulled straight from Google’s Keyword Planner (US only) and is paired with our analysis of why we think the topic will increase in popularity this Autumn. Download our 2022 Fall Trends report and learn more about our seasonable predictions for this coming season.

  • 2 min read
  • September 8, 2022