Did you know that by the end of the year, 28.2 trillion messages will have been sent and received through SMS and mobile messaging applications?

With a significant amount of consumers conversing through text messaging, it is understandable why chat bots have become the digital marketing phenomenon for 2017. With the prediction that by 2020, 85% of consumer interactions will be managed without a human, it is time to stop twiddling your thumbs and embrace the chat bot era.

Digital marketing is a fast-paced and rapidly evolving industry that has resulted in immense value for brands. Digital platforms and social mediums are increasingly used as apart of a consumer experience strategy, as it allows for interactive and personalised experiences that marketers can capitalise. Increased access to data and technology has allowed for highly personalised messages that resonate and engage the consumer.

However, every marketing channel eventually matures and declines in popularity, and therefore effectiveness. This is particularly true for the constantly adaptive digital marketing channels, which decline just as quickly as they gain momentum. Mobile apps are a great example of this, which has seen a plateau in downloads, despite it once being highly engaging and interactive.

Despite the rapid nature and unpredictability of digital marketing platforms, there is great value on brands that are early adopters and incorporate innovative industry trends into their online advertising strategy. For example, retailers that embraced Amazon during it’s early arrival have seen huge rewards with studies showing that 38% of buyers beginning the buying journey on the platform. While adopting new platforms and embracing innovation such as chat bots may be a risky challenge as the technology is still relatively infantile, the artificial intelligence software and it’s machine learning capabilities provide real value for marketers to improve and personalise the user experience, provide exceptional customer service, gather real-time consumer insights and personify the brand to achieve multiple marketing goals.

Facebook Messenger, with its 1.2 billion users who engage in messaging every day currently have the ability to access over 34,000 brands through their customised, one on one chat bots. Qantas is one of Australia’s first companies to embrace the immersive marketing technology through their chat bot labelled “Qantas Concierge” which provides professional travel information and exceptional customer service in a space in which consumers are heavily active. The platform also fosters a more natural language interface through its numerous amounts of data, providing authentic brand experiences and genuine customer service. Personalised conversations are highly effective to inspire purchases and create a sense of being assisted rather than being sold too through advertising messages, leaving the customer with a positive emotional feeling.

The bots AI capabilities, machine learning techniques and exposure to expansive data can help establish patterns in consumer behaviours such as conversation length, sentiment analysis, response rates and click-through rates. These can be analysed to determine an overall brand strategy and can inform what to advertise, ultimately increasing engagement through an active conversation and streamlined customer service.

Personalisation and engagement is also further promoted through the interactivity and innovative technology that chat bots facilitate. For example, Disney used consumer experience technology such as Facebook Messenger chat bots, which was designed to excite and tease the audience before the movie’s release. Rather than passively watching the trailer, users were guided through an interactive story. This immersive brand experience led to favourable results for Disney who saw high engagement rates and repeat users. Furthermore, Cover Girl cosmetics used their Facebook Messenger chat bot in conjunction with influencer advertising. This successful consumer engagement strategy resulted in a 91% positive sentiment among users and generated 14 times more conversions compared to a regular influencer social media update. Many brands are also using chat bots to offer location-based assistance at sporting and music events, making a consumer’s overall experience more integrated and interactive.

As chat bots become the norm for digital marketing practices, it is essential to look at the opportunities it provides. By combining creativity and technology, chat bots and the use of conversational interfaces can be utilised in innovative ways to reach customers at scale. The up to date technology provides personalised data which can be utilised to create immense engagement.

At RGC Digital Marketing, we are a full-service digital marketing agency based in Sydney, that are the forefront of the trends within the industry and committed to innovation. To find out more, please contact Richard on (02) 8883 2988 or email richard@rgcadvertising.com.au