05 Aug How has the ChatBot Trend Grown in Digital Marketing?
The way we market our business changes. From a paper pamphlet to social media, technology plays the major role in bringing in new trends every now and then. Now the digital world is chanting the mantra – CHATBOTS.
But what’s the deal ChatBots have to do with digital marketing?
There is a lot.
In the wake of the AI bots, let us take a look at how the ChatBots trend has grown in the Digital Marketing Industry.
Messaging Apps + ChatBots = A Perfect Blend
With the increased competition in business, customer retention has become a big deal, let alone getting new customers. Providing quality customer service is the need of the time for the businesses. They want to get services from the place where they spend most of their time online. Needless to say, messaging apps are the places where you need to reach your customers at.
If you observe the graph, messaging apps have surpassed even the social media networks. So the chance of reaching your customers is more on the messaging apps.
As we all know, our customers want quick responses and instant services. With the customer care agents receiving calls and processing requests, customers have to hold on the line for more time. In a way, the thing of human customer service agents is not so cost effective for businesses.
But when the ChatBots integrated with the messaging apps, that made a perfect combination for your business. In fact, ChatBots is not the trend started a year or two ago. In 2007 itself, Microsoft built a Holiday ChatBot for kids on MSN Messenger. But such bots were not so impactful on digital marketing.
But ChatBots nowadays are built with Artificial Intelligence, which can understand the requirements of the customers and give them instant services.
One of the popular publishers, TechCrunch, has its bot on the Telegram. This bot enables you to subscribe to the magazine, getting the latest or popular updates and much more.
Thus, it makes it easy for its readers to get the daily digest from the messaging app itself. So, they need not switch from apps or search on the web. Obviously, this is the kind of service our customers want.
The Game-Changing Conference
Businesses got to know the importance of the ChatBots for business. But they were thinking what the perfect platform to build the bots was. Though there were bots on Telegram and Kik,
they were not so useful for business. Then in April 2016, Facebook has announced its Messenger platform for bots at the Annual F8 Conference.
This announcement has taken the tech world and Digital Marketing Industry by storm. Just in four months since then, 23,000 developers (34,000 now) had signed up for the program and 11,000 ChatBots (now it’s 30,000 ) were developed. The reason, it was Facebook’s Messenger with 900 million active users (now it reached 1 billion). We know what Facebook means for businesses. And the trend is going on now on the Messenger platform.
These bots help you in many aspects. Especially for hospitality, E-Commerce, and publishers, these bots are so helpful. Here is an example of how bots work on Facebook. The ChatBot called Chotu is here to let you know the PNR status of trains, make Wikipedia search and jokes etc.
Such bots can be used for the business purpose, providing better services to the customers. If you want, you can see the success stories of various businesses using the bots on Messenger platform. Here is an example of NBA using ChatBots on Messengers to keep the worldwide Basketball lovers updated with the NBA Finals 2016.
Microsoft Leads the Race
On the other hand, Microsoft also announced its bots platform for developers in April 2016. As per the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, there are 45,000 developers using the Microsoft Bot Framework. So Microsoft is leading the race. With the framework, developers can develop bots for not only Skype but also other messaging apps like Messenger and Kik.
And very recently, Google has acquired a ChatBot startup, API.ai, which provides a platform to build ChatBots. As the company has around 60,000 developers signed up, the tech giant has become one of the largest ChatBot platform providers.
Adopting the New Trend for Business
Once the giants like Facebook, Microsoft and Google had launched their platforms for ChatBots, many businesses adopted the new trend for their marketing. They made their ChatBots on various messaging apps, especially on Messenger to provide better services to their customers.
From publishers to fashion brands, every business leverages ChatBots for giving updates of their news and products, delivering tips, helping their customers in finding what they want, taking orders, and giving updates of the delivered goods etc.
Here is an example of bots for business:
This is a bot developed on Messenger for the textile business Shop Spring. Unlike most of the bots on Messenger, you need not chat with the bot. It asks you some questions regarding what you want to buy. And it will show and suggest the products as per your choices and places the order for you.
Bots for Analytics
Analytics study is one of the crucial parts of business. This strengthens your decision making with clear insights of what happened so far and what will happen tomorrow. Taking a quick look on analytics every day is a bit difficult. But how about making it on the go? There are such bots giving you insights of the performance of your campaigns.
These are just examples. There are plenty of bots that businesses are using Facebook Messenger.
Setting Up of Rules
There was a proliferation of bots on Messenger and other platforms. The challenge is spammy bots. To fight with spam, Facebook has set some rules for the bots made on its platform. Here are some of them:
- The conversation with bots should be started by the user only. And the bots should give replies within 24 hours. If the time gets elapsed, the engagement should be reinitiated by the user.
- Subscription messaging should be done only in some special cases like news updates, health tips, and finance tracking reports etc.
- The Messenger bots should be approved by Facebook.
Analytics for ChatBots will be launched by Facebook to measure the performance of the ChatBots on Messenger. So, we can control the bots and make sure they are not making spam.
Payments through Bots on Messenger
So far, bots are offering great convenience for users with their quick responses. Facebook is taking it forward. Recently at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016, David Marcus, Head of Messenger, has stated that Bots were going to accept payments on the Messenger platform itself. As per Mr. Marcus, users across 200 countries have started using the ChatBots on Messenger. He said that they had been working with Payment Gateways like PayPal and Visa for this purpose.
So if this comes to life, Messenger users can book their flight tickets, buy their favorite music albums and games, and do much more.
This is the way the ChatBots trend has grown in the Digital Marketing World. Today, every business has its own ChatBots on various messaging platforms and many are expected to launch very soon.
The Future of Bots
ChatBots are helping out businesses with the crucial customer relation management. And still, businesses and their customers want a lot more from the bots. So, we can clearly see the future of ChatBots in the Digital Marketing Industry.
As the tech giants are taking proper measurements to ensure the quality of the bots on their platforms, we can say that bot marketing has been reliable just as like any other digital marketing trend. So, marketers should act smart and adopt the trend for their business to maintain good customer relations causing a good growth of their business.