Information overload is real. If you hope to break through the noise and earn your market’s attention, you need a plan. This robot can help!
Before you panic, the robots aren’t actually doing any marketing… yet…
Give it time. There’s already algorithms out there tapping away at the virtual keys.
But for now, it’s up to us meatbags to make the real content. Albeit, slightly slower than our future overlords.
That doesn’t mean that looking at robots and how they’re designed can’t help us all learn about branding and marketing.
If you need an example, check out Aldebaran’s Pepper.
So what can you learn from Pepper? We’ve rounded up six important points to consider when analyzing your marketing and branding efforts.
While Pepper has human-like characteristics and behaviors, it doesn’t try to hide that it’s a robot. The voice is ever so slightly digitized, the eyes are brightly lit and the body is like no human I’ve ever seen.
Pepper is Pepper. Take it or leave it.
Two of the biggest mistakes many businesses make when developing marketing strategies is over personalization and a lack of personality.
While it’s important to consider that what you might say as a person might not line up with what you would say as a business, overly sanitizing things or sticking to a list of regurgitated facts is far from engaging.
By trying to make your brand perfect for the masses, you’ve failed to give it any chance of attracting those buyer’s who the product was truly for. The rabid followers and brand zealots that will shout your praises to everyone they know.
You’ve clipped your own wings.
Even worse, while it might give your audience a point-perfect list of the benefits of your service or features in your latest product, it’s also going to give them the urge to take a nap.
People already have enough urges to take naps without our help.
Give them something to enjoy, to experience, to latch on to. Give them a personality.
When you imbue your marketing with a personality, you create a connection. You give them a reason to come back and check in. You sell them on more than a product or service–you sell them on you.
That’s more powerful than any single sale or product will ever be.
Acknowledge Your Market and Loyal Fans
One of the most noted features in many articles about Pepper is its eyes. These big anime-inspired lights comprise the bulk of Pepper’s face.
And for an important reason.
Pepper lets you know when it senses your presence through changing eye colors.
It’s a subtle change, but it speaks volumes. When Pepper knows you’re there, you know it.
In the quest to grow audiences and attract the next customer, its easy to overlook the audience you’ve already earned.
Don’t make this mistake.
You’ve already put in the effort and completed the hard part. You’ve earned trust. You’ve proven your worth. You’ve provided value. You’ve gained a fan.
Recognize your existing audience from time to time. You don’t have to give out free cruises or spend all day sending thank yous on Twitter. But let them know you’re listening. Remind them you’re there.
A quick email, a social share, an update to an existing product or service–the options are endless.
Just don’t lose them. Re-gaining a lost customer is much harder than earning one from scratch.
Speak Your Market's Language
If you’ve ever paid a bill over the phone or called in for customer service, you’ve probably experienced the joy of interactive voice response systems.
Please press 6 if you’re about to throw your phone out the window… I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. Let’s try again…
Interacting with Pepper is a lot like interacting with a human. There’s no fancy catch phrases or stiff commands. Walk up and ask it a question. It responds.
Ask Pepper to pound it and it balls up its tiny little fist and extends its arm.
Instead of having to talk to Pepper like a robot, Pepper listens like a human.
When developing your marketing strategies and content marketing campaigns, take the time to research your audience. Find out how they speak, how they relate to their problems and how they define value.
Unless you’ve found an amazing niche, your audience has no reason to deal with your marketing IVR. They’ll just press the button that transfers their money to your competitors.
Give them the Pepper experience.
Speak to them on their level. Talk to them, not at them. Sell them solutions to their problems in their words.
Above all, listen and respond. Don’t just shove an endless stream of options at them.
While each robot is unique, they each share similar characteristics and styling that make it obvious that they’re related.
This was an intentional move from Aldebaran.
While not necessarily iterative designs for the sake of improvement, each new project built on the information gathered in previous projects. Most of this involved not just how the robots functioned, but how people related to the robots.
When you’re offering a product or service–be it mind-blowing robots or snarky screen printed t-shirts–brand recognition can go a long way toward earning a sale and building a following.
This is especially powerful in visual content, such as videos, infographics and site designs. But little elements, such as the header on your newsletters or the way you open your podcast, play a role as well.
Find something to set your brand apart. Make your brand recognizable.
When you only have a few seconds to capture the attention of your audience, recognition is a powerful way to tip the scales in your favor.
Stay Active to Stay Relevant
Unlike the cool toys that will dance to the tracks bumping out your iPod or the robotic dogs that you buy your kids to avoid cleaning up after the real ones, Pepper is designed to be always on.
Pepper’s not just a cool thing. It’s a companion, an assistant and a robot friend.
To encourage people to interact with Pepper, Albedaran gave it a sort of life of its own.
Pepper doesn’t just sit in the corner and wait for you to yell out a command about pizza pockets or for the kids to ask it for help with homework. It roams the house, it looks around and it moves.
Pepper makes its presence known.
With the non-stop barrage of marketing and advertising out there, your audience is facing serious information overload.
The best way to tackle this? Make your presence known. It doesn’t have to be non-stop hard sells or video ads. It doesn’t even have to be promotional.
Share relevant content. Spotlight brands that compliment your product or service. Ask questions. Fire off goodies in newsletters.
If you can keep your brand at the front of your market’s minds, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition when they need something.
Fail to do so and you’ll just be that awesome robot collecting dust in the corner waiting for your next command.
Have we mentioned that Pepper is a genius? Well, I mean as close as a robot gets at least.
Pepper’s actions and decisions are powered by IBM’s Watson.
It’s not just responding to a list of pre-set triggers. It’s actively analyzing everything around it using its huge array of sensors, cameras and other equipment.
This means it can sense mood, context, intention and so many of the little nuances that make us human.
While you probably can’t run your marketing plan through Watson, you CAN tap into the resources available to optimize your campaigns, analyze potential actions and make decisions.
This is the age of analytics and big data. Collect everything, study everything and constantly update your methods to reflect what you’ve learned.
When the playing field spans the entire world, you can’t afford to do anything less if you hope to rise to the top.
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Content Marketer/Web Content Creator
When Jon isn't busy coming up with content ideas or building new projects, he's usually busy drinking way too much coffee and enjoying time with his kids. He's also a fan of writing about himself in the third-person. Jon Stone thinks that's fun. Other things Jon Stone thinks are fun include MMOs, cooking and reading fantasy novels.