5 Predictions For The Future Of Chatbot Marketing Brands Will Benefit From – Fast Company | Region & Cash

Marketing is constantly evolving. But the old ways of flooding your ads into your channels and hoping customers will engage probably don’t work anymore — especially in such a noisy world. Why constantly chase customers when you can pick them up where they are?

Chatbot marketing enables brands to do just that: engage customers through personalized, one-to-one interactions on the apps and platforms like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram, where they already spend most of their time. Chatbots learn customer behavior and personalize interactions, which can contribute to lead generation, brand awareness, and sales. With privacy changes, businesses need to rely on the data they get from customers first-hand, and chatbots are enabling data collection in a privacy-focused way.

I believe that chatbot marketing that focuses on messaging, privacy and customers first is the future of your marketing strategy. Here’s why you should pay attention.

THE EVOLUTION OF CHATBOT MARKETING

Chatbots have quickly evolved from a passive website complement to an active way of engaging customers. Part of this evolution is due to built-in natural language processing and AI capabilities that allow chatbots to learn behavior patterns and customer preferences. This leads to guided conversations and personalized offers, and lets chatbots keep up when customers “fall off the script”. AI-powered chatbots can also help brands recognize customer intent, allowing the chatbot to respond immediately with relevant and helpful information. All of this helps create a positive, enjoyable experience for your customers.

USE CASES AND CHANNELS HAVE EVOLVED

Chatbots have evolved from those clunky, cumbersome, and annoying customer service bots on websites to highly interactive, media-rich experiences on messaging channels focused on marketing use cases. Traditionally, chatbots have been confined to websites, passively waiting for your customers to arrive and interact with them. But customers don’t actively visit websites. They spend over four hours a day on their mobile devices and 44% of that time is spent on social media or messaging apps. So, your marketing efforts should go where your customers are and proactively engage them in relevant use cases like guided shopping, personalized product recommendations, or even a conversation during a live shopping event.

SEAMLESS CONNECTIONS TO SOCIAL, SEARCH AND DISPLAY AD PLATFORMS

Another development is the shift of chatbots from your website to the channels where customers spend most of their time. Today we see chatbots integrated with key marketing channels across search, social, and display advertising platforms. There is also a lot of demand for it as we see platforms like Google and Meta investing in conversational channels based on user demand. The odds for brands are great too, considering that 81% of consumers say social media helps them discover new products or services.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF CHATBOT MARKETING?

As chatbots become more efficient and relevant, they offer a powerful new channel for brands looking to connect with customers. Here are my predictions for how the future of chatbot marketing will have these positive impacts.

1. Top Marketing Channel

I believe messaging will soon become one of the top four marketing channels for customer acquisition and retention. This is due to the increasing adoption of these channels by both consumers and brands due to the opportunities offered by messaging. This includes face-to-face one-to-one conversations and the ability to talk to brands as easily as chatting with friends. This also includes messaging’s privacy-centric nature of interaction, its ability to collect declared data, and its higher conversion rates. Adoption is also fueled by declining performance in tracking and digital ads on legacy digital channels.

2. Primary way to get involved

Messaging via chatbots could also become the dominant way customers engage with brands online. In fact, our State of Social Conversational Commerce report found that the primary way customers want to interact with a brand is through messaging. This is being driven by consumer demand for convenience and the increase in entry points to chat from search, social and viewing channels.

3. Omnichannel Messaging

I believe omnichannel messaging capabilities will be a necessity for consumer brands that want to compete internationally in crowded markets. The pioneers in the chatbot space who develop brand-specific conversational AI will carve out competitive moats. And this differentiation will be self-perpetuating. First movers provide better experiences that attract audiences, that deliver zero and first-party data, that improve their conversational AI, which attracts larger audiences, and so on.

4. The value of the audience will increase

I believe the value of directly reachable audiences on messaging channels will increase—especially as integrations with CRM, CDP, ad platforms, and more unify the customer journey. This increase in data will also allow brands to use both in-chat and off-chat triggers to send the right message to the right person at the right time. Platforms that build layers of information between systems of record like CRMs and systems of interaction like messaging channels will bring the most value.

5. Increased sales

I believe that brands that focus on proactively interacting with customers at all points of the journey will increase their sales, especially before they make a purchase. But brands that only use messaging channels for customer service will increase their costs. Building on a ticket or service fundamentally limits the ability to monetize messaging as a channel. It will also result in additional costs and complexity for service teams, rather than additional sales.

However, by combining the two approaches, marketing chatbots can engage prospects and increase sales while also providing support when a live agent is needed. This can improve the overall experience and build brand loyalty.

Keep evolving

Chatbot marketing is not only a unique and engaging way for customers to interact with the brands they love, but also to find new brands that stand out from their competitors. It also provides a way to collect data directly from your customers, providing an opportunity to increase sales and value while serving customers at scale. Marketing is always evolving, so meet your customers where they are.


Max Koziolek is co-founder and CEO of Spectrm.

Leave a Comment