These days, Machine learning and AI  have become buzzwords and have become quite overused.  But despite their overuse, they’re also real technologies that are having and will continue an impact on marketing over time.

The next business to bring some of the capabilities to business listings and local data management is Yext.  The company is adding three new features to its “Knowledge Manager” portfolio of services for multilocation enterprises and SMBs:

  • Structured markup for events and event data syndication.
  • A “knowledge assistant” that allows listings updates via SMS and Facebook Messenger.
  • WeChat integration for customers doing business in China.

Utilizing schema for events, Yext will now be able to manage and distribute events-related content for its customers in search results.  The company provided a screen shot, which was provided by the company.

Yext’s chief strategy officer, Marc Ferrentino, said that just as many multilocation brands have to outsource location data management  They even wanted a “single repository and source of truth for events.”  Yext will syndicate events information beyond Google to Facebook, Eventbrite, Eventful and other relevant sites.

Something else that is interesting is Yext’s new “Knowledge Assistant,” which allows authorized personnel within organizations to use text messaging or Facebook Messenger to update business listings and related data without logging into the Yext site or app.  It was also explained by Ferrentino that the system will also proactively reach out to stimulate updates.  As an example, if the holidays are coming up, and your company will have holiday hours, the Knowledge Assistant will prompt you to update hours.

This capability can even be used to capture enhanced information and to do a range of other things, which will make locations data management much more “conversational.”  This can be great for small business customers, which are primarily serviced by Yet’s third-party partners.

Finally, the company added what’s called WeChat Mini-Programs integration.  Basically, this is a store-finder information for WeChat Yext retail customers that do business in China or seek to attract Mandarin language speakers.

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