Last Updated on November 12, 2020 by Sean B
Unless you have gone MIA for the past year, you must have heard about everyone’s favorite buzzword in the marketing industry: ‘conversational marketing’. Using chatbots for marketing has been getting a considerable amount of attention during the past few years due to their amazing performance.
The idea of chatbot marketing can be a little confusing and intimidating. After all, robots freak many of us out. But chatbots are not here to conquer the world. Instead, they are here to make our life easier.
What is Chatbot Marketing?
Chatbot marketing refers to promoting services and products using a conversational bot. Think of it as a software or application that carries conversations with customers with the help of artificial intelligence or pre-determined scenarios.
Brands who look forward to providing seamless customer service to their customers create a virtual assistant or a chatbot and then connect it to their websites, applications and even to popular messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, Kik, Telegram, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.
The first chatbot, Eliza was developed in the year 1967. It was designed to simply carry on a conversation between a human and a machine. Today, chatbots are used in marketing to achieve a higher level of customer engagement and to solve a user’s problem. This approach leads to growth in the profits but at the same time, requires investment and responsibility.
Using Chatbots for Marketing is the Future of E-commerce
Many brands have integrated their websites with conversational bots for seamless customer service, effective team communication, and better marketing and sales. For most of these organizations, the results of using chatbots for marketing have been fruitful and it is safe to stay that marketing conversational bots are here to stay for a long time.
Different industrialists and investors have great faith in marketing chatbots. They know the true potential of these machines and they are contributing greatly to the growth and advancements of marketing chatbots with their investments.
With the inclusion of artificial intelligence and machine language, the chatbots have come a long way. From a simple bot like Eliza to AI-powered chatbots that we interact with every day like Siri and Alexa, we have the freedom to use it in marketing, sales, and customer service as we like.
How Marketing Chatbots are Revolutionizing E-commerce
Using AI-powered chatbots is not hard. Their easy integration with applications makes them the top choice for many marketers.
Along with all the other marketing industries in the world, e-commerce is making use of marketing chatbots.
Online stores and brands from across the globe consider conversational bot as an ultimate solution to many of their marketing problems.
How Does Using Chatbots for Marketing Enhance the Online Marketing Game
The biggest advantage of integrating your website with a conversational bot is to simplify and improve the user experience. Marketing chatbots can do this by directing customers to the right product and providing those customers with unique offers worth remembering. The best chatbots do this while representing the core brand in the right way.
Better User Experience Speaking for the Brand Itself
Now let’s take a look at an example and see how using chatbots for marketing is helping brands grow:
One of the popular make-up brands, Sephora launched its assistant bot that integrates seamlessly with apps like Facebook and Kik.
The standout feature of this bot is that it helps the users to try out a new look using newly launched products by Sephora. This way, users get a clear idea of how a mascara or a lipstick looks on them. The user only has to give his/her picture and the bot takes care of other things.
At the end of the conversation, it also recommends products suitable for your face. Even though it does not replace the natural shopping experience, the bot takes the user experience to a whole new level.
The bot also takes an appointment for a make-over if any user wishes to come to the physical store.
Improved Customer Service, Leading to Sales
Henry Ford said, ‘A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business’. Your business won’t last long if you do not have a marketing strategy to make a loyal customer base.
That being said, providing exceptional customer service is a part of marketing. You are creating an image of your brand that will be remembered by the customers.
A lot of corporates use chatbots for customer assistance. The biggest challenge for any corporate’s customer service team is to be available 24*7. However, chatbots solve this problem for good.
People consider brands that have good customer service, available at any time of the day. The idea of seeking help at any time of the day creates a good brand image. Therefore, leading to sales and large profit margins.
Great customer service leaves a positive mark on a customer’s mind. They get ensured that they dealt with a good company. Consequently, spreading positive word-of-mouth.
Data-driven product recommendations as a part of marketing strategy 3
The rise of voice-smart mobile devices has exceeded the expectations of customers as well as marketers. More and more people are starting to invest in smart solutions like Google Home, Amazon Echo, for their comfort.
The combination of AI-powered chatbots and voice-smart devices is changing the way people shop online.
For instance, the integration of Alexa with LG’s smartThinQ Home automation hub allows you to control your appliances. For instance, it will estimate the amount of detergent and left and will re-order if needed.
The possibilities of end-uses are endless when two technologies collide. The same is the case with e-commerce and marketing chatbots.
Automated Lead Qualification and Generation
Every e-commerce business had a medium to large inventory. Sometimes, the item that you want gets lost in the long list. However, chatbots can lead users to the items they are looking for.
The scalability of AI-powered marketing chatbots allows them to initiate a conversation with a website visitor. When we add the essence of natural processing language and artificial intelligence to marketing chatbots, they perform better and enhance the lead generation and qualification rate.
Using chatbots for lead generation is proving to be very fruitful for marketers as it drives tons of leads from across the globe.
Collecting Customer Data to be Used in Marketing
It all comes down to accumulating customer data for better sales, customer interactions, and marketing. Mining customer data is the biggest use case of marketing chatbots.
As humans, we tend to share information in a conversation, whether with a bot or a human. Conversational marketing bots have the feature to learn consumer habits and put them to good use in the marketing sector.
Marketing chatbots store a lot of customer data including their email addresses, purchase history, phone numbers, and even buying habits.
The rich data collected by chatbots can be used to advertise to potential consumers. Knowing a customer’s buying habits is like predicting his next step. With the help of chatbots, you can show the advertisements at the right time to increase sales.
Rewarding Customer Loyalty
Businesses and brands spend a substantial amount of capital on brand/customer loyalty programs. Building loyal customers and turning them into advocates is one of the best marketing tricks.
Chatbots for marketing have found a seamless way to reward consumers for their loyalty. Leading brands are using conversational bots to reward customers.
For instance, a leading fashion brand, Burberry has a bot that allows users to do a plethora of things.
Examples of Using Chatbots for Marketing in the Real World
There’s a huge difference between using chatbots for marketing and using a chatbot to answer simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions. Marketing chatbots are evolving and many leading corporates are relying on them for strengthening their marketing strategies.
We have compiled a list of real-world marketing chatbots. Keep moving forward to read how these businesses are killing it with their bots!
Hello Fresh’s marketing chatbot is one of our favorites because it does everything a bot should do. to begin with, this chatbot is self-aware. It starts the conversation in a very friendly way rather than trying to play off as a rude customer representative. Hello, Fresh introduces its bot in the chat from the world, ‘go’.
Other than answering frequently asked questions, Hello Fresh’s marketing bot is open to open-ended queries.
In addition to that, the bot has a built-in marketing/selling feature that offers exclusive discount codes to the customers.
Hello, Fresh has pre-determined the bot-specified discount codes to measure the bot’s ROI.
Universal Studio’s marketing chatbot is selling an experience rather than a service or a product. Like Hello Fresh’s bot, Universal studio’s chatbot recognizes its power and works as a human customer representative for 24 hours a day.
Apart from buying tickets and making reservations from the chatbot, users rely on the chatbot for accessing practical information while being at the Universal parks.
For instance, the chatbot can guide you to the nearest restaurant or a restroom.
The most notable feature of Universal’s bot is its ability to provide information about rides wait times. Rather than relying on messaging apps, they can coordinate with the bot and plan their day ahead of time.
The deliverance of real-time information is what makes the chatbots valuable.
Plum’s customer onboarding process is exceptional, thanks to its marketing chatbot integrated with Facebook messenger. The conversation with plum is pre-directed, giving the user a choice to look for more information or to sign up right away.
We won’t call it a great user experience but it is one of the best marketing strategies out there. The interactive marketing chatbot of Plum is better than a boring window of FAQs.
The Plum’s bot uses emoticons, a casual tone, and call-to-actions to keep the conversation interactive. This is a prime example of how your marketing strategy should lead the customer to take action.
With the rise of online marketing, brands are looking for ways to increase sales online. And, marketing chatbot is the easiest way to grow your business online.
For instance, the chatbot by Domino’s Pizza allows the users to customize their orders. The chatbot has the ability to re-order the previous one. Ordering through Domino’s bot requires no application or sign-up. All you have to do is order through the Facebook messenger and wait while your order arrives.
Chatbots have proved to be a fair game for all kinds of businesses. But did you know that Arsenal FC, the leading sports team in soccer is using a marketing chatbot?
English soccer team, Arsenal FC shows us how chatbots can be used for delivering timely content and spreading the news about the players. For instance, their chatbot sends a summary or game report to people who are not watching the game for some apparent reason.
The chatbot also provides Arsenal fans with news articles, team line-ups, and upcoming fixtures. This tells us that a chatbot can be much more than a digital customer representative.
Chatbots for Marketing: 5 Mistakes to Avoid
Here are some mistakes to avoid if you are jumping in the bandwagon of using a chatbot for marketing
- Do not confuse sales with marketing
- Integrating chatbots to website pages you want users to read
- Initiating a conversation with every user even though they do not want to
- Assuming chatbots to solve all your marketing problems
- Comparing marketing chatbots with unrelated channels like Google Ads
Are You on Board with Marketing Chatbots?
Using chatbots for marketing was looked at as intimidating in the past few years but this concept is quickly changing. The customers are changing. Instead of interacting with a human rep, they want speedy service that can be offered well by the chatbots.
If your potential sales are falling because of unanswered consumer concerns, marketing chatbots pick up the slack, drive traffic to your website/store and increase sales while keeping your business ‘open’ for the customers around the clock.
Although chatbots won’t replace your sales and marketing team. However, with proper pre-defined processes, set-ups and integration, they will help to improve the conversion rate. The main purpose of using a chatbot for marketing is to generate quality leads. If you are ready to advance with a marketing conversational bot, be ready to test and refine first. What might work for others might not work for you.