In-Scope: Welcome To The Era Of Chatting To A Machine

Aleksia Dobrich is a Social Manager in OMD Word, navigating the world of social influence and emerging communications platforms.

The communications landscape is constantly growing and changing thanks to technology driving machine developments. One space where this is becoming more dominant is within social media marketing where brands are relying more on artificial intelligence to drive consumer conversations. Yes, that’s right, we are talking about the buzz topic of the moment, developments in chatbots and why brands should be using them in their 2018 marketing strategy.

As ADWEEK1 stated, chatbots are automated messaging machines that effectively and efficiently interact with consumers. Chatbots are the latest e-commerce tool that have been specifically developed to enable consumers to interact with the machine as though they were talking to another human. They key to this is to use natural language and break down the barriers between human and machine.

Now why should brands incorporate a chatbot within their 2018 marketing strategy? Here’s a quick checklist to answer why.

Growth of instant messaging platforms

It is no secret that instant and direct messaging is growing, all you need to do is look at the apps that are currently installed on your phone. What’s interesting is that while instant messaging is growing due to the normalisation of messaging as a primary communication method, other mediums, such as the web, are declining4. Ubisend5 summed this up perfectly by demonstrating that the big 4 messaging apps, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Viber and WhatsApp, have surpassed the big 4 social networking apps, Twitter, LinkedIn Facebook and Instagram, with their active monthly users.

Source: Facebook Study: Consumers Love to Message Businesses (Blog.Ubisend)

Always on to be your new best friend

As previously written on OMD Said2, chatbots are here to become your new best friend. They read your messages, respond straight away and actually listen to you when you ask a question. The always on nature of these tools plays into changes in consumer behaviour. The attention span of consumers has decreased as they grow more impatient and want information instantly. Why not simplify your generic community management queries with an automated messaging tool and provide your audience with answers to their questions straight away without having to use manual man hours in the process? A fantastic example of this is Qantas’ Chatbot Concierge3 which personalises travel inspiration for each user.

Source: Travel Insider: Qantas Concierge is Your new Travel Inspiration 

Easily scalable

With the right infrastructure, a chatbot can be easily scalable and engage multiple consumers simultaneously. What does this mean for your brand? It’s simple, the chatbot can interact with more people at the same time than a human community manager is able to. This means that your business can save time by running more efficiently and ensuring that your customers are replied to quickly and with the right information. A great example of this is ABC News’ Facebook Messenger chatbot which easily shares daily and breaking news updates to users. The automation of sharing news content allows multiple consumers to inquire about breaking news stories in a more timeline manner than manually sharing this content.

Source: ABC News on Facebook Messenger  

We are about to embark on the golden age of chatbots thanks to developments in machine technology. As consumers swarm to messaging apps, brands need to ensure that they have the right infrastructure in place to interact with their customers where they are in an instant manner. Why should brands incorporate a chatbot within their 2018 marketing strategy? It’s simple, they are always on and ready to interact with consumers, messaging apps are growing and are easily scalable. These automated messaging machines are an essential means for brands to provide convenience to a user and go far beyond a simple chat tool.

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