How Voice Tech is Innovating Marketing & The Customer Experience

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I covered Voice Summit last week at NJIT in Newark, New Jersey. Voice Summit is the largest voice tech conference that brings the conversational design ecosystem together in one place.

Last year was the first Voice Summit. It was amazing to see how the industry has advanced in the past year. This year, the conference grew to over 5,000 attendees!

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Voice Summit was a great place to network. Many Voice Startups demoed their offerings as well.

Founder Pete Erikson shares the story of Voice in the opening press conference. Pete shared the podium with Voice industry leaders and Newark Civic Leadership.

The conversation in Voice has shifted from should brands have a Voice Strategy to how to effectively incorporate voice technology across the organization. Attendees had opportunities to attend hands-on voice workshops on topics ranging from creating brand guidelines to building a voice strategy from the ground up. I took the Voice strategy workshop conducted by Brett Kinsella of VoiceBot.Ai. We received a workbook that had questions that served as building blocks to build our voice strategy.

I had was able to get a look at the Expo Floor where I was able to meet exhibitors and explore the Amazon Smart Home. It was amazing to see how voice technology has transformed the home experience. In this video, I was able to ask Alexa to play Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and to play music, etc.

Marketers have many opportunities with Voice and Audio Content according to Voices.com research. Content takes the form of short and long-form ranging from Flash Briefings up to Audiobooks.

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However, when it comes to smart speakers only, 18% of users discover skills from brand advertising according to Vixen Labs.

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Brands need to prepare to change their Marketing and Advertising for Voice. A panel shared their thoughts on how to improve how to achieve this aim.

Edison Research and NPR conducted market research on the topic of smart speaker customer behavior. The number of smart speakers in U.S. homes grew 78% from December of 2017 to December. The research packed with data you can see here.

Brett Kinsella led a panel where Marketers shared how they have developed and implemented their strategy for Voice.

Steve Keller of Pandora shared his thoughts on the topic of Sonic Branding and Sound Business.

On a side note, NJIT was nice enough to provide me with a tour of the start-up incubator and co-working space opening this September. I was able to see areas being built from the ground up just as startups are.

I also was able to see the Alexa Cup which is Amazon’s initiative to pair Marketers and developers to work on projects such as Female Empowerment and Mental Health.

What touched me on a human level was the closing keynote entitled “A journey through a deaf developer’s eyes.” In this keynote, Thomas Chappell of Prudential shared his story. Thomas is unable to speak.

After his talk, I was able to meet him. People communicate with him using Voice to speech technology and American Sign language. I was able to use the technology on a smartphone to have a full conversation with him.

Voice Summit was an amazing conference. I want to thank Pete Erikson, the Modev Team, NJIT, the City of Newark, and the State of New Jersey for having me as their guest.

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Key Insights from Digital Summit

I covered the Digital Summit Series in New York City this past Wednesday and Thursday. The Digital Summit Series provides attendees with comprehensive workshops on Digital Marketing that are conducted by speakers from leading brands along with industry through leaders. Topics ranged from Content, Email,Search, Mobile, UX Design, Social and Strategy. Attendees were also able to network with other attendees. I learned so much over these two days. Here are some of the highlights.

Stacy Minero delivered the keynote on Day One of Digital Summit entitled the Craft of Content in which she show how Brands can make an impact using Content.

1. Key takeaways were that Consumers want Brands to talk with them and not at them.

2. Consumers want Brands to take a stance on Social Issues.

3. Consumers expect Brands to solve social problems.

4. 89% of Content is not noticed at all

5. 40% of Consumers are more likely to respond to brands who respond to them

6. The old world started with Storyboards and TV now The new world starts with the customer and canvas.

7. Examples of Brands Creating Great Content include Heinz with the #MayoChup campaign and HBO with with its promotion of the digital streaming of Sopranos.

8. Before posting content Brands need to ask if the content they create is memorable or meaningful.

The keynote gave me a lot to think about.

Seth Godin gave the keynote entitled This is Marketing on Day two. In the keynote Seth covered many great points on Marketing from his book This is Marketing.

  1. Marketers make change Happen.
  2. Pick Yourself.
  3. Tell a story that resonates with the people you seek to serve.
  4. Pick the Smallest Most Viable Audience or Most Viable Market
  5. Marketing is not advertising anymore
  6. Television is about Mass Marketing and the Internet is a micro-medium

Seth also had an interactive Q & A session. He had a Poke the Box style Mic with the caption Catch the box; which he randomly tossed in the audience prompting them to to ask questions.

I really enjoyed the talk.

Other sessions that I enjoyed were on the topics of improving: Email Marketing, Marketing Workflow, B2B Marketing and Video Marketing. Pictures of these slides will be posted to Instagram.

If you want to attend in your city, click here for more information.

Did you attend Digital Summit? What are your thoughts?

Comment below.

Bonus Content

Start Ups, Shark Tank, Tech & Innovation Intersect at TechDay NY

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I covered TechDay in New York City at the Jacob Javits Center this past Friday. TechDay gives attendees the opportunity to discover the latest technologies and innovate startups.

Organizers of the event offered the opportunity to: network with Venture Capitalists, Accelerators listen to Tech Talks, Fireside chats and pitch your Start up. Attendees also can look for a job or business opportunity with exhibitors and start ups. Entrepreneurs even had the opportunity to audition for SharkTank.

I took a longer walk through at TechDay here.

Companies that pitched were from all different industries. You can watch the pitches here courtesy of TechDay

I really enjoyed the event. Did you attend? What are your thoughts on TechDay NY? Comment and share below.

If you were not in New York, TechDay is coming to Los Angeles and London later in the year.

If you were not in New York, TechDay is coming to Los Angeles and London later in the year.

I really enjoyed the event. Did you attend? What are your thoughts on TechDay NY?

Comment and share below.

A Sneak Peek of the 2019 NY Auto Show

There are amazing exhibits at the New York International Auto Show that showcased innovations in the auto industry. These innovations included an increased number of: Hybrid, Electric and Voice enabled vehicles. Mercedes-Benz showcased its Voice enabled vehicles in its Press Conference.

Porsche celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the 911 with the unveil of the 911 Speedster. This was really enjoyable to see.

Ford celebrated National Mustang Day celebrating 50 years of the Mustang.

Porsche and Ford were not alone in celebrating an anniversary. Nissan celebrated 50 years of the 370Z with a commemorative edition.

Kia had an exciting release with the release of the Stinger and Habiniro.

Mazda released the Mazda 3 and CX-5.

Exotic Cars were also at the show.

There were so many amazing vehicles on display. To showcase them, I did a live walk through of the show floor where I covered them more in-depth.

Additional Pictures can be found on Instagram.

The show is truly amazing but don’t take my word for it. See for yourself!

The New York International Auto Show is open to the public from Friday, April 19th to Sunday, April 28th, 2019. Tickets cost $17 for Adults, $7 for Children, pricing for groups and tours can be found on the website. For more information go to http://www.autoshowny.com/tickets.

What do you want to see at the show? If you have attended the show, what was your favorite exhibit?

Comment below.

New Jersey Innovation in Action at Venture Conference

I had the privilege of covering the Venture Conference in Newark, NJ this past Thursday.

James Barrood, President of the NJ Tech Council opened the conference.

The conference was held at NJIT; a school that prides itself on preparing its student for STEM careers.

NJIT is helping to innovate New Jersey. NJIT President Joel Bloom discussed this in his keynote address.

The conference was run by the NJ Tech Council.

The council’s mission is to: collectively representing tech, life science and tech-related companies and organizations as well as the professional firms that support them, the Tech Council has the unique ability to:

  1. Offer opportunities to learn, network and grow
  2. Recognize and promote member companies and their leadership
  3. Nurture the tech and STEM talent pipeline critical to growth
  4. Provide access to financing sources and additional resources
  5. Advocate and support public policy which strengthens our ecosystem

Founded in 1996, the Council is a private, nonprofit membership organization, which supports the tech, innovation, and entrepreneurial ecosystems across the state and region. It is among the largest and most respected trade organizations of its kind nationwide.

The focus of the event was to help New Jersey startups grow and raise funds. Startups pitched their businesses and asked for funding.

There were two rounds of pitches along with networking opportunities. The startups that pitched represent industries such as but not limited to: EdTech, E-Learning, Healthcare, Sports Betting and esports.

Round 1 included

Scriptertainment
Wapanda
LifeCuff Technologies Inc.
QwikScript
Boxcar
Upside Health
teliapp
SiLAS
eCare21, Inc
VibeGather, LLC
TrueConnect Systems, Inc
Krow Network
WearWorks
MARCo Technologies LLC
Lambent Data
Life Skill Software
OculoMotor Technologies
Sporttrade
TLCengine
SRL Group
Ribbit.io
Nutrivide
MedifVu, LLC
Totally Pregnant

Round 2 Included

PeerChecked, Inc.
Datafy
Medality Medical
Smirta Innovations Inc.
Vikar Technologies
Malbek
Verstill
Commerce Blitz, LLC.
PlayDate
XPEED Turbine Technology
Pochette, LLC
Genomic Prediction
Pullup Technologies
ROAR for Good
Indie Art World
Elemeno Health
Bloqcube
Caregiver Smart Solutions
MYXR Events Corp.
Paratrees
Speak2 Software
Gamefuly
Entractiv
Quintrix

More information can be found here.

You could feel the energy and excitement in the air as I was able to speak with 48 innovate startups.

I really enjoyed the keynote speech by the FanDuel EVP & Head of Strategy David Van Egmond.

In the speech, he discussed how he helped FanDuel grow and succeed. He also discussed the industry of online sports betting and esports; both are growth industries. These industries are legal in New Jersey and serve as a great source of revenue for the state.

It was a great event. I want to thank the NJ Tech Council for allowing me to cover the conference.

Standing Tall in the Face of Rejection

Dealing with rejection in Sales, Marketing, Business, Job Search and Life is rough. I have experienced rejection in various aspects of life. It is important to not take rejection personally. When you are rejected in job search and career; remember that it applies to the specific situation, position, promotion, transfer but not you as a person. This also applies in Marketing when your ideas, products and services are not accepted by the market. When facing rejection, it important to learn from the experience, pivot and not quit. The only way you are defeated is if you quit and stop trying.

Here is a poem entitled Don’t Quit that I have turned to for inspiration.

How to Conquer Rejection in Sales

To achieve Sales, success, the seller needs to be willing to persevere, through rejection. I remember my time in outside sales in New York City. I would make a lot of cold calls or try to up-sell or cross-sell products to existing customers. I remember days in the field when the answer I received was some form of no. Sometimes no matter how perfectly we execute the sales process, the answer is going to be no.

Many people would think to themselves I can’t take this rejection I should just quit. Well their right at least in the short-term. After you have made five or six sales calls with no results, take a short break. Take a walk and do some deep breathing. Try to remember that it is your offering that is being turned down and not you! Unless the prospect says “I hate this guy”. This happened to me on one occasion.

You should take a short break after being rejected for the following reasons:

1. At this point in your call plan you are probably frustrated and are not thinking clearly. This will ruin any chances of making sales for the rest of the day.

2. Taking a break allows you to vent and refocus.

3. Reflect on past successes you’ve had. Remember, you have made sales before and you can do it again!

After you have cooled off, try to think over the last calls that you have made. Reflect on what went well and what did not. Take this information and go on to your next calls with a positive attitude as if nothing has happened. Remember, your prospect does not care about how your day is going.

During my time in Outside Sales, I would have to call on certain prospects as many as 10 or 12 times before I could make a sale. In terms of cross-selling and up-selling, you have to build relationships with your customers. It is not going to happen over-night. This is true when you are selling items that require a large investment from your customers or prospects.

Some of my biggest sales successes have come during my last few calls of the day. When you feel spent, take a short break and then keep going. You never know when you are going to get a yes. If you quit; the answer is always no. Remember, always ask for the order. I was cursed at and thrown out of buildings; if I could keep going so can you!

How have you have you persevered when you were rejected in Sales, Marketing, Business, Job Search and life?

Share your story below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign and a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales and Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing and Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to 24,000+ followers on LinkedIn and 21,000+ on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time role in Marketing. He is willing to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

 

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Why I Share

 

I write to share my ideas with the world and to showcase what I have done and my potential.

My objective is to use my expertise to help business and the individual produce better results in Sales, Marketing and Social Media.

I write about the three topics that I am most passionate about; Sales, Marketing and Social Media. These topics are covered from my experiences in Outside Sales and Marketing. Feel free to send me your questions.

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