Bots and Artificial Intelligence are the marketing equivalent of drones, just a couple of years behind. Ten or fifteen years ago, you can only hear of these things in sci-fi movies. If there’s a concept similar to it, it did not work very well (except for military grade ones). But in today’s world, even fifteen years old know how to operate a drone. People are very excited about how they can use and how drones can transform industries.
All the big players in the industry have the same thing in mind, and they all agree that artificial intelligence will be the next big thing when it comes to marketing. According to the MIT technology review, bots are starting to gain traction, while social media giants like Facebook are now opening its messenger platform for users to build bots.
Is AI really the thing of the future, or a one-hit-wonder that is not mature enough for an average marketer to worry about? The answer is yes; they are the future. But when they affect your marketing efforts will depend on the type of company you are in and what kind of marketing technique you operate. To better understand how they can change the verticals you are performing, you will need to know more about AI and how they can disrupt things.
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What are bots?
It is a piece of software that is impersonating a real user. The actual definition is any software that will automate tasks over the internet. The explanation is so broad that it includes all types of apps that will not concern all marketers. The original bots are not tools for marketers. Instead, they are things that got on every marketer’s nerve.
Think about spamming Facebook accounts that are not run by real humans, or browsing pages that are not managed by people to inflate website views or ad impressions, making it more of scam advertisers. The good news is, the new wave of artificial intelligence is designed to help all marketers achieve their goals, not misled or annoy them.
The software can act as a helper but without the cost and the risk of hiring an actual human. Because of this, it can open a lot of opportunities. For example, an AI on travel sites could ask users about their preferences. It provides customers with personalized hotel options, compares all the prices and books the one that customers like.
Everyone in the industry knows that this technology is still in its infancy stage, and they are not there yet. Recently, one of the biggest company in the world, Microsoft, designed a chatbot which acts like a five-year-old kid that does not know what to say. The technology is spouting some nonsense that is why it was taken offline after one day. It just shows how far the technology needs to go until they can build chatbots that are capable of real and relevant conversations.
How can this technology be used?
Messaging services applications like WhatsApp, Viber or Facebook Messenger is prevalent and starting if not already have a considerable following, but it is proven that it is very hard to monetize them because advertising using these apps would minimize the customer experience and it can cause users to move to another messaging application. The way the companies see earning money by using these apps is via proving services using intelligent chatbots.
Why are social media platform chatbots considered as the future of communication?
It is not just these messaging applications that can earn from this technology. E-commerce websites like Alibaba, e-Bay or Amazon could also start using this technology to help customer experience a smoother journey with their site. A perfect example of this is Amazon.
The company has a wide variety of products on their website; if a customer entered the site and starts looking for shoes, they need to browse through hundreds of pages and filtered results until they find the right product that they want.
But if the website is using bots and it knew all the shoes that are posted on the website, the customer can simply ask the AI about the product that they are looking for, the size and the color. The AI can search the inventory for that particular shoe and display the product in a matter of seconds. The bot can also offer different delivery or payment options. The more you think about all the possibilities that this technology can present for customer service as well as for personalization, you start to understand how important, influential and necessary they could be.
For more information about Artificial Intelligence, click here.
So, this technology is something we need to keep an eye on in the future. If you are handling a big company, especially if they are in the e-commerce industry, then it might be worth it starts building teams that are capable of building chatbots and help your company attend to customers.
For a lot of business, creating your system will be very difficult unless you have a team that knows what they are doing. But you need to understand that it is worth thinking about how your company can capitalize on these technologies.
AT this moment, there is a whole Search Engine Optimization industry designed around ranking on search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing, because that can drive a lot of revenue. Perhaps, people will see the appearance of “Bot Appearance” specialists that create websites that help AI find it easy to understand and use, so they can recommend services and products or buy things for people using the technology.
That is why the AI feature needs to be in every business’ long-term planning zone. Make sure that all your marketing plans will include this technology to ensure that you will not be left out by your competitors who are using chatbots. This technology will be the next big thing in the marketing industry.