Marketing Tool: Chatbots

80% of marketers are expected to be using chatbots by 2020. Personalized marketing is becoming an expectation for consumers, and chatbots are another tool to bring personalization to your audience. It is certainly fair to say that not every company will need a chatbot, and that some customers will not utilize or like the option of using a chatbot, but for ever-evolving times, it is important to understand this trend as it is, as it can be, and to fully acknowledge the pros and cons of using chatbots within a marketing strategy.

What is a Chatbot?

NBC defines a chatbot simply as: “simple artificial intelligence systems that you interact with via text. Those interactions can be straightforward, like asking a bot to give you a weather report, or more complex, like having one troubleshoot a problem with your internet service.”

How do Chatbots work?

A chatbot responds to a message just as a customer support employee would, but is available at all times. Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa are all examples of widely used chatbots. Chatbots are programmed with specifically coded responses to questions or can be built with AI and can, therefore, expand their knowledge base with machine learning.  When your customer asks a question or interacts with your bot, the responses that it gives are modeled to act like a real human response. Sometimes, a question will be impossible for the bot to answer, either because it has no prior experience with that question or because it is phrased in a way too complicated for the bot to understand. If that is holding you back, there are ways to program your bot to have prompts that might be able to get the bot and your customers back on track.

Why use a Chatbot for marketing?

Chatbots do more than just answering questions, they can also effectively drive engagement, make sales and nurture leads. Because chatbots built to use AI can learn, they can also remember details and have a more personalized and human interaction with your customers, something that is important as “nine out of ten consumers say personalization has an impact on their buying decisions, “ says research from LeadsCon. The evolution of social media and technology has played into the need to utilize big data in order to provide a more targeted and engaging approach to customer support and marketing.  Check out Hubspot’s list of seven brands using chatbots and get inspired!

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