According to Scott Brinker’s MarTech Landscape 2019, Video Conferencing platforms are placed in the primary Marketing Technology category of “Social and Relationships”. The same category is further broken down into company logos providing Call Analytics, ABM, Webinars and Meetings, CRM, CX Platforms, and Loyalty and Customer Acquisition platforms. CRM, Advocacy and ABMs are posturing a dynamic transformation in 2019. In the era of smart marketing that is driven by innovations in Big Data Analytics, Automation, Computer Vision and NLP, we are already witnessing a paradigm shift in the plug-and-play systems such as Video Conferencing.
With over 75 companies in the VC ecosystem, it’s hard to ignore their influence in making CMO’s MarTech Stack more effective. Filtering out best from the rest, we decided to choose AI and Automation as top features that CMO’s should check before buying the VC platform for Marketing, Sales and Customer Support.
Why it Makes Sense to Use AI in Video Conferencing?
Video Conferencing systems are proving to be very effective for Marketing, Sales, and Customer Support teams. Technology decision-makers are attracted to the latest AI-based tech platforms and features but still prefer to choose the ones that are simplest to work with. With AI and Automation features penetrating a majority of Marketing and Sales tech solutions, how could Video Conferencing systems stay behind.
AI has become the ubiquitous solution for a majority of technology platform providers and users. The rise of AI in Marketing, Sales and Customer Support has been rather dramatic. In 2016, AI did not feature among the top 100 search terms on the internet. However, by 2018-end, AI has not only broken the search volume in the technology space but also made it to the list of “must-haves for 2020” for any digital business. With MarTech giants (like Adobe, Salesforce, IBM, Zendesk, Genesys, Oracle, and SAP) investing heavily into AI and related technologies, we find their customers who are using Automation, Email Marketing, CRM, Social Media, Customer Data and Analytics‘ platform as the obvious beneficiaries.
What about the Video Conferencing platforms?
We referred to some of the leading players names in the VCaaS industry that we have identified for MarTech RADAR. These are:
- Zoom Video Conferencing
- Skype for Business
- Cisco Webex
- Zoho Meeting
- Free Conference Call
Here are a few user case scenarios that prove how AI is shaping the course of adoption for Video Conferencing tools and platforms:
Adding Context and Intelligence to Every Meeting
Recently, Cisco announced its AI-powered Video Conferencing platform. Designed by its Webex team, Cisco’s Cognitive Collaboration makes meetings more interaction and hyper-intelligent. This Video Conferencing platform is built on the foundations of Contextual Interaction, Intelligence, and Computer Vision. Users can tap the Cisco Webex Assistant to simply walk into a virtual meeting and peek into schedules and meeting calendars at the drop of a hat. Powered by Facial Recognition and Computer Vision technology, AI-based Video Conferencing can help meeting organizers manage a large number of attendees at the same time without losing touch with relevance, and personalization.
Slack users provide a detailed narrative on how Video Conferencing can save back-and-forth on tons of email conversations and manage projects from derailing due to confusion. Every guest in the meeting gets their share of fair attention, without crowding the bandwidth.
Advancing Ahead with AI Trackers for BYOD and Employee Mobility
Companies that leverage BYOD and Employee mobility find a measurable increase in employee responsiveness and decision-making. According to a PwC report, nearly 20% of the global businesses have identified AI as their next-stage growth catalyst. BYOD and Employee mobility platforms fit in well with the AI-based automated Video Conferencing platforms, enabling users in Marketing and Sales companies to attend calls and video meetings on the go.
According to Forbes, BYOD positively impacts employee productivity. While security issues linger on BYOD platforms, the use of AI-based Video Conferencing and Mobility technologies can greatly overhaul IT bottlenecks.
Also, this infographic from VMware is helpful in understanding how is BYOD in an AI-driven era marching ahead.
Replacing Cumbersome Customer Support Workflows with Automated Chatbots
Virtual Assistants for Video Conferencing and live chats provide a simple and effective option to manage cumbersome customer support workflows. AI-powered chatbots can provide a consistent on-brand user experience in addition to intersecting your Email Marketing and CRM for easy follow-up workflow.
For example, Intercom’s AI-powered chatbots could be integrated with its CDP and Behavioral Data Management platforms for improved chat performance. If a similar technology is available for Video Conferencing, it will solve all the perennial challenges meeting organizers face in communicating with guests and peers.
Enriching Web Meetings with Automated AI-Based API Syncing
API integrations continue to haunt Marketing and Sales professionals who use top-end VC platforms. However, we can see AI coming to rescue for VCaaS providers in the coming months. VCaaS provider, Zoom, already provides a useful API Partner Plan to its customers. According to Zoom, using AI for Web Meetings could free up to a month’s time every year for professionals who use Video Conferencing more often than others. 26% of the professionals agree about the benefits of using AI-based Video Communication tools and systems in meetings and live chat.
Would Skype, Google Duo, and other Voice Apps Evolve in AI-driven VCaaS Ecosystem?
It’s nearly impossible to think of a Video Conferencing blog without the mention of Skype, and Google Duo. Tech titans at Microsoft and Google are continuously working on their AI and ML capabilities for Marketing and Customer Experience. Take Skype for example. Skype has 300 million active monthly users who spend three billion minutes every day. This opens up an ample experimenting database for Microsoft engineers. And, that’s exactly what they are doing.
Only recently, Microsoft’s flagship AI assistant platform Cortana was integrated with other SDKs and Skype video chat, showcasing the future roadmap for Video and Audio Conferencing platforms. Then, it also provides HoloLens to bring in AR/VR and mixed reality to augment Video Conferencing experience.
Similarly, Google Duo. At a recently concluded Google I/O 2019, the company was heard briefly discussing the role of AI, ML in Google Assistant. But, we would still refer to Google CEO’s 2018 address. If Duo and Duplex join hands, technically speaking, AI could make further inroads into the future of Video Conferencing.
We expect Video Conferencing tools for B2B and Social Media interactions to stay ahead in the hyper-dynamic Customer Experience era, powered by Cloud Computing, AI, Deep Science, and Mobility. What’s next – 5G for Video Conferencing? Well, let’s take out some time for the role of 5G in Video Conferencing later this month.
We speak to 100+ CMOs and Marketing leaders every month. What did we come to know from them? These modern CMOs are always eager to try collaborative meetings and event planning platforms for their various processes, physically and virtually. With AI and Automation-based Video Conferencing platforms, any Marketing team can invent a totally new and profitable way of smartly engaging with their team members, employees, partners, customers, and attendees. Have some thoughts-? Share with us!
Next on our RADAR, On-Demand Webinar Marketing platforms.
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