Connectivity In 2017: Will Alexa Plan Your Next Trip?

Following an appearance at CES, Kinetic's David Krupp talked about how in-home, mobile, and in-car integration is changing to game for consumers and marketers.

It’s fun to fly a toy drone, but on a day-to-day basis, consumers adopt technology that truly simplifies or enhances their lives. In 2017, it appears we’ve reached that tipping point with smart assistants.

“The integration of [technology like] Alexa into the car definitely changes the realm of possibilities,” said David Krupp, CEO, U.S. at Kinetic. “What does it look like when you have the device at home, on your phone, and in your car?”

GeoMarketing: We’ve covered a variety of the trends from this year’s CES, from Amazon’s Alexa to fit-tech from Walgreens. Which resonated with you? 

David Krupp: What has resonated with me is the concept of integrated automobiles. Less about the self-driving car — I think that’s here, but it’s going to be a while before it truly changes the way in which we commute.

But the integration of Alexa into the car now definitely changes the realm of possibilities: What does it look like when you have the device at home, on your phone, and in your car? Does [the device] start programming navigation on your behalf because it knows that you’ve got an appointment scheduled at so-and-so place at 2 PM? Like, you’re getting into your car, Alexa takes a look at your calendar, and now Alexa is telling you, “here are the directions and the fastest route,” because we’ve connected it to ways to get you to your son’s baseball practice.

That, to me, starts to fundamentally change the way that we interact in the world. It starts to make the world your world. Technology is going to continue to be much more unique and more time efficient in managing our lives. That, to me, is fascinating.

Then there are the media applications: I want to figure out, how do we take this to digital boards? I can envision someone going up to a link station [in Times Square] and saying, “Hey, what show can I get into tonight,” and not only is the answer available to you, but you can then actually purchase tickets, and it sends them directly to your device so that you can then go right to the theater and walk into Hamilton, or something similar.

That, to me, is media making your life better. It’s not just about broadcasting an ad out to you, it’s actually that one-to-one communication.

Kinetic’s Mauricio Sabogal also spoke about creating that one-to-one connection with out-of-home, especially when it comes to connected cars. But what are the challenges there — and the challenges Kinetic and others are facing in 2017 in general?

I think there are a couple things. Firstly, [in terms of] innovation, I can say that innovation is a very broad word. It’s also very much, for us, a spectrum as it relates to our clients.

[There’s a] big divide. Some clients never want to see the same thing again; it’s not going to get approved unless it’s absolutely as cutting edge as they want it to be. On the other hand, for some of our clients, putting an extension on a billboard is most innovative thing they’ve done yet, and for them, it’s a big leap.

I think we’ve got to be very cognizant about not trying to take that client — for whom an extension is going to be groundbreaking — and push them too fast.

I also think we haven’t completely figured out practical applications for AR and VR as it relates to the space en masse, and how do you scale it, and how do you actually create a commercial and consumer benefit out of it. And then, as I said, I think it’s about not thinking about innovation as an absolute, and instead thinking about innovation in terms of what it means to each client — and each person.

How does the attribution piece come into play when building these experiences with each client? How are you measuring whether or not these ads — out-of-home, on mobile, or both — are leading to physical or digital purchases?

I think we look at mobile in a few different ways. We look at it for targeting on the front end, and then I think we look at it, as you’re suggesting, for attribution on the back end. We’ve developed a product that we launched earlier in the year called the Social Amplification Score. Its sole intention was to quantify the earned media value of [what] we put in market. Could we isolate that through geolocation, whether people were posting our messages or talking about the media that we had put into market, based on proximity to that actual unit?

That’s been very, very successful for us in the fact that we are actually able to, A. quantify, and B., it actually gets us into examining the aggregate audience that’s posting about this; is it actually the 25 to 34 range that the client wanted to target?

That’s one way that we look at attribution. We also look at and partner with companies like Placed and Dstillery to understand store lift and where people actually went because of the out-of-home that they have seen relative to control markets where the out-of-home isn’t there — and have [measured] an overall store lift because of the media that’s in market.

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.