The last few years have seen chatbot use become much more prevalent. It’s safe to assume chatbot marketing will be commonplace soon (if not already) –especially after Covid quickly forced the digital evolution of so many companies.
Earlier iterations of chatbots were clunky–they rarely met consumer expectations or provided a positive experience. Interaction was fairly limited because they were only capable of simple conversations–most early versions went unused or ignored.
But this is no longer the case for advanced chatbots and other forms of direct to consumer messaging. They’ve evolved into smart and responsive communication tools that engage in ways their predecessors couldn’t. That’s why we see them deployed almost everywhere, from the most common communication channels and contact points to the most obscure, all in service of making the customer journey friction-free. And because consumers put a premium on personalization, they’re willing to share data in exchange for a more positive and personalized experience.
Just how big have chatbots grown? We are looking at a projected growth from $2.7 billion in 2020 to $9.05 billion by the end of 2025.
The last few years have seen huge progress in artificial intelligence, including conversational AI, machine learning, and natural language processing. Chatbots today are extremely intelligent and can offer users dynamic experiences.
If executed correctly and optimized enough, chatbot marketing and marketing through the use of AI-powered chatbots will drive conversations and fuel engagement. Whereas previous iterations of chatbots were limited to answering simple queries, AI-powered chatbots engage consumers in human-like discussions. They drive customers to perform desired actions from subscribing to a service, to answering survey questions, to making a purchase and more. But how can chatbot marketing impact your organization? Some quick examples include:
Companies need to meet consumers where they are in order to earn their loyalty. But, why?
Because brand communication has a critical role in building and continuing brand loyalty and engagement. Leveraging the right channel to deliver the right message matters. Also, the level of personalization of these branding messages have a direct impact on long-term customer loyalty and engagement.
Beyond meeting them in their preferred channels, the context of these encounters also matter. Marketers have learned FANG’s (Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet Netflix, Google) lessons well – consumers want personalized service and recommendations when they’re online. Asynchronous communication gives consumers the freedom to manage their time according to their schedule while staying engaged with the company. This promotes an affinity for the company based on a service experience that doesn’t get in the way.
Chatbots provide this experience by surfacing relevant information, content, and products quickly, and providing one-on-one engagement. More importantly, chatbots can simulate human agents via AI and natural language processing. Each interaction and additional piece of customer data collected improves their ability to understand a user’s intent.
Chatbot marketing efforts, when properly executed, are able to drive future engagements with more personalized and targeted marketing messages. Ultimately, this leads to delightful and positive experiences for customers.
But are consumers okay with how enterprises leverage consumer data to fuel their chatbot marketing strategies? Yes.
Through AI technology, chatbots learn from prior customer interactions and act more rapidly and effectively on the collected consumer data. Analytics enable chatbots to predict customer intentions and provide recommendations and answers to drive engagement and increase conversion.
Chatbots driven by AI provide more customer-focused media or product recommendations. By looking and analyzing customers’ data, smart chatbots engage customers through their most preferred channels and personalize every interaction in terms of message, content, and time.
According to a Merkle study, 76% of customers are willing to share their data for personalization, 91% also say they are likely to purchase from brands that meet their expectations and fulfill their needs.
Most consumers have decided it’s okay to trade some of their personal information to get better, more targeted recommendations from companies. It’s a price we’ve all decided to pay to make the web experience more personalized and convenient.
Recent studies validate this view:
So how do AI chatbots fit in this picture?
A majority of companies deploy chatbots at the earliest points of the customer journey. This is where redundant questions and requests are asked and where customer issues are common.
Leveraging smart, data-driven chatbots helps streamline engagement with clients, customers, and prospects through personalizing the conversations in real-time.
Another appeal of AI chatbots include the ability to personalize chat sessions at every encounter. This helps businesses enable meaningful and relevant conversations at every point in the customer lifecycle, and not just at the beginning.
The growing demand for smart chatbots not only fuels the chatbot marketing trend, but also the rise of its voice-enabled counterparts. The world is increasingly becoming voice-enabled, including web searches. This means that brands have to adapt to engage with people from their phones, cars, and from Alexa and Siri-enabled devices at scale.
Consumer awareness around voice assistance and its adoption is still in its infancy stage. It is still far from reaching maturity considering the existing technologies we have at the moment. However, the impact of voice-based search to the future of marketing is going to be massive.
As voice-based conversations feel more natural and relaxed, experts anticipate an increasing trend in voice-based search. Already, 40% of adult consumers use voice to power their online searches, this can only mean that its usage will increase in the near future.
As enterprises move forward, business leaders realize that to get ahead means embracing new marketing models, and chatbots are an important part of their mix. People are conversational creatures, making the use of chatbot logical and ideal. But these chatbots have to be data-driven as much as conversational in tone if companies want to derive great value from them.
Modern enterprises need to capitalize on chatbots regardless of the size of their organization business or the industry they operate in. Intelligent chatbots provide businesses sophisticated and effective ways to immediately optimize customer communication, enhance engagement, and increase conversions. Chatbots interacting effectively with customers not only optimizes the overall experience, but also help customers make critical decisions at every point of their journey.