Even though chatbots are the latest marketing buzzwords and there’s a lot of talk about them, in some ways, chatbots aren’t that new. They began as automated customer service bots guiding you through a series of steps when you called an 800 number. Those chatbots are certainly still in use. However, the advances in AI technology and deep learning have made chatbots more intelligent and sophisticated than ever.
“Chatbots will get smarter as more people keep using them, and as developers perfect what it is that people want and need,”according to CNET.
This makes chatbots appealing to marketers and brands looking to streamline sales and support. Chatbots are versatile, performing top of the buyer funnel tasks from sales to customer service.
The improvements in AI and chatbot technologies makes them something digital marketers need to bring into their sales and support strategies.
What are AI Chatbots?
Chatbots are simply a form of artificial intelligence that makes employee tasks more efficient, deliver data and information to customers, and drive more conversions through deep learning processes.
By combining scripts and neural networks, chatbots can engage and hold conversations just like a human. And through deep learning, AI chatbots build layers of information in the neural network to become faster and more efficient over time.
“They can store, synthesize, and recall lots of information, like your credit card number or home address, to help make your life easier,” Biz Carson ofBusiness Insider explained. “They can even anticipate what you want before you ask.”
This enhances the customer experience and maximizes marketing efforts. This is achieved via branded chatbots, like those found on Facebook Messenger.
Branded Chatbots and Facebook Messenger
The impact and popularity of branded chatbots can be attributed to Facebook Messenger.
“The bot revival is also taking place at a time when people are growing tired of individual apps,” Mike Isaac ofThe New York Times explained. “As a result, brands in search of the best way to talk to consumers are now pairing off with some the world’s dominant messaging platforms — and their chatbots.”
For instance, Facebook Messenger hasmore than 11,000 AI chatbots, David Marcus, VP of Facebook messaging products said. These branded chatbots are reaching over 900 million users, and brands are taking notice.
Major Brands Using Facebook Messenger Branded Chatbots To Drive Conversions
Marketers and brands are joining the bot revolution, but not in a “Sky Net” machines versus humans way. For instance, Facebook is letting brands and media outlets use their army of AI chatbots to connect and interact with their target audiences.
Brands like Expedia, Uber, Sure, Hi Poncho, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal have all brought AI into their digital marketing strategies via Facebook Messenger chatbots. This is a direct response to the lack of interest in apps.
“Powered by Uber’s API, Messenger now enables its millions of users to sign up for Uber with one tap and request a ride, all without having to leave Messenger or download the Uber app,”announced Uber in 2015.
Getting an Uber, or the latest stock reports isn’t all chatbots are being used for. Here are a few other important aspects behind the shift to AI chatbot technology for marketers:
Enhance Customer Service And Support
The consumer demand for information at lightning speed can be met by employing chatbots. Since the majority of customer service and support calls are easy to resolve, brands are letting chatbots do the work.
Instead of customers calling and waiting for an unknown length of time, they can message the support chat and get the answer via chatbot in a flash. This will boost brand satisfaction and loyalty while liberating human personnel to address high profile customer needs.
Conversion Driving Data Analysis
Using chatbots to analyze customer data can impact sales and marketing strategies significantly. Instead of having a human analyze countless amounts of data over a year, AI chatbots can do it faster, and with more accuracy.
“Chatbots can be programmed to track purchasing patterns and monitor data from consumers. This tells a company which products to market differently, which to market more and which to redevelop for relaunch,”according to Forbes.
More Personalized Ads
Bringing AI chatbots into your digital marketing strategy can also help create and target more personalized ads to consumers. When a customer connects to your chatbot, the chatbot will gather information and develop a personalized buyer profile for that customer. This can have a big impact on sales.
Savvy marketers are seeing the true potential of AI chatbots as apps become less attractive to consumers. The speed at which they want information is also increasing, making effective and efficient sales and support channels more important than ever before. How will you make AI part of your digital strategy?