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For millennials and teens around the world, messaging platforms like Kik, WhatsApp. Wechat and Line have become the preferred media.
Brands first thought about emojis and stickers for their cellular communications with millennials, and now it's the turn of the chatbots, what can have profound consequences on the way brands interact with their consumers. Mattel, Uber and Sephora are already offering their customers ways to interact and communicate with bots.
What are chatbots?
These are interfaces that allow you to send information and services on demand, such as the weather forecast breaking news and its main functionality is to chat simulate a human conversation through the use of Artificial Intelligence and machine studying.
Numerous startups around the world are developing ChatBots automated messaging apps to help customers do everything, from calling a cab to paying bills. There are different technologies such as , DigitalGenius and Assist for social customer providers for commercial communication and other technologies such as BetterBrand , that focus more on Chat Advertising" through interactive content and engaging.
Messaging apps like Kik, WeChat. Telegram and Viber already allow integrations that support chatbots. They are mainly used for content distribution and interaction. With billions of messages sent via cell phones (only WhatsApp records 30 billion messages daily) Chatbots offer a unique opportunity to interact directly with customers in a personalized way and on an unprecedented scale.
Chat mobile apps are already considered by some specialists as the new Web, and chatbots like new websites.
At the F8 conference, last April, Facebook announced the launch of a ChatBot platform for Messenger, aiming to turn your Messenger app into a tool for brand interaction and communication with your customers. Fb's tool includes an API that allows developers to build a chatbot for Messenger and a chat widget to incorporate into each company's websites. During the F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg showed how CNN could send personalized stories and news to its followers via Messenger. While Facebook's chatbot retailer was not the first (Telegram and other platforms had already developed it) what sets it apart is the scale, as more than 900 million people use and communicate via Messenger every day, 60 billion messages are sent daily (if you add Fb Messenger and WhatsApp), of which more than 1 billion are business messages from different brands.
What uses are they artificial intelligence can give?
Chatbots could represent one of the biggest future opportunities for advertising and the basic relationship of brands with their customers:
Customer service: it's certainly the most obvious feature to chatbots, that would automate customer service, answering typical queries and solving basic problems.
Recommendations: giving product tips can improve engagement with a brand and it's something chatbots can easily do. For example, for a person who wants to start running and needs recommendations about which shoe is most suitable, places to run, groups of runners, and so forth and the Nike chatbot for example, you can easily answer these questions.
Research: feedback on new products released to market, that can influence advertising communication. And the most valuable thing is that that information can be processed in current time.
Content distribution: chatbots can become a new PUBLIC Relations channel for brands, a means to spread news about the company and automatically send ads to users and/or other audiences. Also some media outlets like CNN tested to send personalized breaking news to their readers, via the Facebook Messenger chatbot.
Point of sale: the chatbot could become a seller, counting the characteristics of the product and offering the ultimate of the conversation a Buy button send a link to make the purchase online.
entertainment: brands can use this technology to play with their customers and entertain them. From generating conversations on topics they're interested in, like the ultimate Copa Libertadores. give them even Games, Trivia, and so on.
Content material Advertising and marketing: send sponsored content material through Fb Messenger customized to each user's tastes
Like email advertising SMS, the chatbot requires a choice-in by customers. Users have the ability to block messages, so it's advisable to avoid too many messages that can be considered spam.
What are brands doing
Mattel created for the iconic Barbie doll a chatbot that uses Artificial Intelligence to interact with children. And Uber announced an alliance with Fb, to allow users to order a car via Fb Messanger.
On WhatsApp, the Clarks shoe brand created three virtual characters to promote their new Desert Boots product", allowing users to chat with them and receive messages, videos and music lists.
Passengers on the German airline Airlines KLM can get their airfare directly through Fb Messenger.
However, this tool has its limitations, mainly when bots try to mimic human behavior, can get into trouble. Microsoft went through a disaster that was generated by tat's development, a bot designed to communicate like a millennial, that brought complications to the company, as he was denounced for posting racist tweets, misoginos and anti-Semites.
In some contexts, chatbots work very well, how can it be when a customer wants to order food book an airfare, but in other more sensitive scenarios industries, intervention of the human standard will continue to be necessary.
We're in a moment of testing and learning until brands can finally understand what really works when interacting with users in one-on-one conversations.
To learn more about how chatbots work, you can get into these notes: AdWeek , DigiDay , Edelman Mashable