Humans spent more than 85 billion hours in messaging apps in the past 3 months and messaging apps are now being used by more than half the planet, if you are not using messaging channels in your marketing, the time is now.
Enter conversational advertising.
Conversational advertising also known as ‘bot advertising’ or ‘conversational ads’ manifest as an automated conversation held within Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Users are driven to the messaging channel through standard display, PPC or an offline code where they begin a conversation, just like any other back and forth conversation you currently hold with your friends or family. However, in this instance the other part is played by a bot, an automated program designed specifically to deliver a conversation that leads to an action.
The excitement behind conversational advertising is not new, even back in 2010 the benefits were clear to some who believed it would grow to a $2.04 Billion market by 2015. Those estimations were a little ahead of the mark, driven by the hype cycle that didn’t see the technology required to deliver on this promise mature until 2016. Natural Language Processing (NLP) Technology maturity, which has also given us smart speakers, and customer habits are now aligned so messaging channels now deliver engagement at vast scale.
“Marketing leaders need to deliver more personalized customer experiences that rely on increased automation.” Gartner Predicts 2019
So what’s changed? The cadence and variety of these chat bot conversations are now delivered to a level that pleases and engages (rather than frustrates) users, as could have been the case in the past. The first chatbots were built on a ‘decision tree’ model architecture which had very sharp drop off points if the system didn’t have the exact phrase you had typed in its library. This architecture has now been replaced by heavy hitting AI from the Amazon, Google and IBM. These AI powered chatbots can deliver far more wide ranging and compelling conversations and are far less likely to end in a “I’m sorry I don’t know the answer to that” response.
The chatbots are designed to be both engaging and laser focused with a core intention to drive the user towards a specific action, if the engagement drops off the bot can return a day later and spark up the conversation again. Once the channel is open it can be used to engage the user with a different campaign or offer, in several months time, much like a long lost friend might pop back up on your WhatsApp. See the example below:
The benefits of using a messenger channel are shown in the below table:
At Say It Now we are we’re passionate about the Natural Language revolution and are keen to support brands leverage these channels to better communicate with their customers, our conversational advertising product is specifically designed to support brands onto that journey. Find out some more about us by chatting to our company and services info bot here.
About the author:
Charles Cadbury believes that everyone should be able to communicate seamlessly with the brands they love and is CEO and Co-Founder of Say It Now, a specialist technology company that helps brands take advantage of opportunities created by consumers shifting to conversational channels www.sayitnow.ai