Mar-Tech Roundup: Alexa, Cortana virtual assistants team up to battle Apple, Google

A bi-weekly summary of the most exciting recent news in marketing technology and trends. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • You can now speak to Alexa on your Amazon Echo by talking to Cortana on your Samsung smartphone. Amazon and Microsoft are making their virtual assistants compatible in the US as they take on Alphabet’s Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri. How well this new marriage of voice recognition technologies works will be open to users’ feedback.

 

  • Email has the highest ROI (59 percent) when communicating with customers and prospects, according to a study by Campaign Monitor. While 53 percent of the marketers and experts surveyed said they use automated email campaigns, only 5 percent said they plan to manage their campaigns with artificial intelligence.

 

  • Ready for your close-up? Mediapost reports that L’Oréal and Facebook are planning to deploy augmented reality using Facebook’s camera apps to help consumers choose their makeup. L’Oréal has bought the AR firm ModiFace. Consumers will be able to test lipstick shades and other makeup brands in real time using the AR technology on Facebook.

 

  • The popular website cars.com plans to use machine learning to make the car purchasing experience even easier. Deploying AI, the website will match vehicle features with consumers’ answers to a series of lifestyle questions, offering up to 20 different recommended vehicle options. The app gets smarter as users give a thumbs up or down to the different options offered.

 

  • The Singapore startup WhereIsWhere has launched a location-based mobile app that lets retailers send promotions to mobile phone users conducting searches within a kilometer of a brick-and-mortar store. The app, dubbed “WhereIsWhere,” is downloadable on Apple and Android and will include push notifications and live updates from stores based on the mobile phone user’s location.

 

  • The geofencing market is expected to grow to US $1.7B by 2024, according to a Global Market Insights study. The technology that allows retailers, restaurants, and many other businesses to send push notifications and other types of messages to nearby mobile phone users is expanding rapidly, with the fastest growth predicted in the Asia Pacific region, including Australia and India.

Mark A. Browne

Mark A. Browne

Mark A. Browne is Portada's Marketing Innovation Editor. He is a bilingual (English-Spanish) writer, media relations manager, and content creation professional with an established record providing journalism, copywriting and analytical content services to major publishers, PR agencies and businesses in the United States, Latin America and Europe. His award-winning career as a reporter and editor includes daily and weekly newspaper experience and free-lance writing for major print and online publications.

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