How Watson Is Changing Marketing

Most people have heard of IBM's Watson artificial intelligence software. Watson has come a long way since winning Jeopardy and is being used for a variety of applications. Brands and marketers face more competition than ever before and are awash with data they are only just beginning to use. Watson can parse through that data and provide actionable insight to help brands make lasting connections with consumers.

1. More Targeted Promotions

The holy grail of advertising is being able to sell the right product to the right consumer at the right time. Traditionally, advertisers paid for spots during television shows or sporting matches to reach a particular portion of the larger viewing audience. Over time, advertisers have been able to drill down to more granular target audiences and tailor their messaging accordingly. IBM Watson takes targeted advertising a quantum leap forward. Watson can target even more specific subgroups and offer dynamic advertising based on a variety of factors. For example, IBM is partnering with personalized data marketer Jivox to craft real-time contextual ads. If the weather turns cold, customers can be presented with ads or coupons for nearby coffee chains; ads can even include animated snowflakes if it begins to snow outside. Weather is just one of many data points that can be used to power data-driven digital marketing campaigns that boost sales.

2. Live Testing Advertisements

Another area where IBM Watson can support marketers is analyzing reactions to live testing advertisements. Normally, marketers and brands test early versions of advertisements in a simulated environment and then make adjustments based on feedback. This could be focus groups or other small test environments with a small number of subjects. Live testing involves analyzing reactions to marketing messages in real time and make adjustments automatically. For example, a car brand wants to develop a marketing campaign for a specific vehicle. The brand might make dozens of versions of the advertisement highlighting specific aspects or selling points. IBM Watson can test combinations on Facebook or other platforms and zero in on the most successful combination, creating an ad that is more likely to sell cars.

3. Predictive Analytics

Collecting data doesn't mean anything without the tools to parse through that data and find relationships in the numbers. Watson's Predictive Analytics tools help marketers identify those relationships and develop actionable insights. For example, a fast food chain wants to determine the attractiveness of offering a 20% off coupon during the fall. Watson can parse through spending data from previous quarters to determine which customers are most likely to respond to a coupon. That analysis can be based on previous behavior with coupons, income levels, and the length of the customer relationship. Watson can even determine when during the fall such a coupon would be most effective. This allows companies to maximize their marketing budgets and get the most bang for their buck. Predictive Analytics is also iterative; the longer the relationship with a customer, the more accurate and effective a promotion becomes.

Marketing is increasingly becoming data-driven and marketers need the tools to parse through data and make actionable insights. Watson gives companies the ability to better understand their customers by finding those quantitative relationships. Whether it's trying to understand which customers to target or what marketing messages will best resonate, Watson is changing the face of modern marketing.

 


Top 5 Marketing Automation Tools for 2018

Top 5 Marketing Automation Tools for 2018

The right use of marketing automation can increase customer lifetime value, make your marketing processes more efficient, and even help increase your revenue. By harnessing all the data at your disposal, automation can help you execute a more comprehensive marketing strategy that cuts across channels. For instance, you can follow users around on the web, delivering relevant messages to them when they are more likely to engage with them. Granular personalization is possible with automation, and it does not come as a surprise that most marketers swear by these marketing automation tools. However, to reap the benefits of data and analytics, you need to choose the right marketing automation tool for your needs. Here are five of the best out there, right now, ranked from top to bottom.

1. Pardot

If you are looking for a tool that can handle all your marketing automation tasks, Pardot should be on your priority list. In addition to having one of the most comprehensive template libraries for workflows, Pardot also has a built-in search marketing automation tool and a social media marketing tool. The search tool can pick up data from Bing, Google, and Yahoo, and you can post real-time updates on all leading social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. Pardot even allows you to test your automated workflows so you can see all your imagined user-case scenarios in action before you make them live.

What we like about Pardot:

  • Really clean UI, which is very intuitive and easy to learn
  • Comes integrated with Salesforce, which allows seamless integration of your sales and marketing processes
  • You don't really need API integration, thanks to Pardot's form handlers. Even if you aren't using Salesforce CRM, bringing your third-party data into Pardot is a breeze.
  • Comprehensive search marketing capabilities
  • Blended lead scoring and grading, which allows you to hone in on your most interested customers, and hence, improve your conversion rates.

2. Autopilot

Right alongside Pardot, in terms of capability, is Autopilot. This cutting-edge marketing automation tool offers seamless integration with Salesforce, Slack, Zapier, and Segment. Perhaps the best part about Autopilot is its smart lists. You can combine lists, behaviors, and UTMs to create dynamic segments. These segments can then be engaged with predefined action-based workflows. Autopilot releases new integrations and features regularly, and most of them are handy for marketers.

What we like about Autopilot:

  • Clean and intuitive UI
  • Neat drag-and-drop functionality
  • A 30-day free trial for those new to marketing automation
  • Real-time activity reporting, which allows you to optimize your campaigns in real time
  • There is no cap on third-party integrations

3. Marketo

Marketo is one of the most popular marketing automation software out there. While it may not be the most intuitive automation tool, it has an extensive feature set. Marketo's in-depth reports are especially useful for marketers. The predefined templates allow you to get off the blocks quickly, and the report templates can also be customized extensively, depending on what you want to focus on.

The tool takes a modular approach to marketing. Marketing automation, customer engagement, marketing management and real-time personalization are all different modules that you need to pay for separately. This means you pay for only what you need. However, it can lead to more expensive marketing automation for companies that need all the features.

The software's landing page and newsletter builder are a bit clunky, too. If those are your primary marketing objectives, you might be better off elsewhere.

What we like about Marketo:

  • A comprehensive feature set that covers the whole gamut of modern-day digital marketing
  • Native integration with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, which allows you to integrate your sales and marketing reporting easily
  • Deep reporting, with report templates to get you started quickly
  • Fast and reliable customer support

4. HubSpot

HubSpot's marketing automation tool is meant for small businesses. The beautifully designed UI is intuitive enough that you won't need to hire an IT expert. The capabilities are limited, especially when it comes to handling complex workflows. In fact, the custom automation workflows only give you "Yes" and "No" options. However, if you are a startup or a small business, HubSpot has plenty to meet your needs. Lists are easy to make, and integration with third-party CRM is a breeze. If you want A/B testing functionality, you will need to pay for HubSpot's highest plan.

What we like about HubSpot:

  • A quick learning curve -- HubSpot is intuitive enough for someone new to marketing automation
  • Really neat landing pages, with impressive built-in SEO for fast results
  • An active community and a huge reservoir of knowledge on marketing and marketing automation -- especially useful for first-time users
  • Free trial

5. Infusionsoft

Like HubSpot, Infusionsoft is also popular among small businesses. It is one of the best-designed marketing automation tools, and its campaign builder is especially impressive. The company also allows easy integrations with over 300 third-party tools, although there is no native integration. Infusionsoft can be useful for small e-commerce stores, given its built-in inventory tracking and payment processing capabilities.

What we like about Infusionsoft:

  • Universal tracking, which allows you to track your audience across channels
  • Integration with more than 300 third-party tools in the marketplace, which cover almost everything in marketing automation
  • The intuitive campaign builder -- easy for creating complex marketing workflows
  • Decent testing capabilities

When deciding on a marketing automation tool, keep in mind your primary objectives and the size of your campaigns. For instance, if A/B testing landing pages forms a big part of your digital marketing strategy, Marketo might not be the ideal choice, given its clunky design capabilities. Take into account what you want to achieve with marketing automation. It is the best long-term strategy to fully utilize the power of data and analytics.


10 Rules to Chatbot Scripts

1. Create a flow and state your objective

 

Before you write any content, you must first understand what you're writing for. It's likely for a goal that leads to generating leads, getting sign-ups, or making the buying easier process. But once you get that out of the way, it comes down to how you're going to do it.

 

This is the tricky part, because this is where scriptwriting comes into play. For copywriters like myself, it's not a daily occurrence where we're writing conversations between characters. In fact, it's even more difficult in this scenario because you have to completely guess on one side of the conversation, seeing as that's going to be the user:

 

"Think of the chatbot script as writing one side of an entire conversation before the other person has said a word. You need to think through how the other person might respond or interact with you and come up with responses to these hypothetical conversations."

 

Plus, not every user is going to be the same. Say for example you're creating a chatbot for a retail site that sells every type of clothing. Obviously people are going to be visiting for different reasons; some for shoes, some for tops, some for socks.

 

Scripts would need to be created for each of those. You want to create a personal experience that caters to your audience. Not some stock-y generic message that's easy to see through. If someone wants to look at your skirt collection, then mention something about skirts and present them with a bunch of skirt options.

 

Just consider your experience on the phone talking with a robot. Wouldn't you rather be talking to a human? Of course you would. On social media, or a website, if you can make the process that much more personable, it can make a huge difference.

 

2. Use personalization (but not too much)

 

Every statistic in social media involving personalization points to it being beneficial...

 

  • "Marketers see an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalized web experiences."
  • "Leads who are nurtured with personalized content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities."
  • "Personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates."
  • "74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized."
  • "63% of respondents are highly annoyed by the way brands continue to rely on the old-fashioned strategy of blasting generic ad messages repeatedly."

 

Chatbots are already a personal experience, seeing as you're delivering tailored content based on the user's answers, but you can go further.

 

Adding the user's name, or even giving your chatbot its own name, to disrupt the idea that your user is talking to an automated robot can help. However, you don't want to go overboard with this. Addressing them at the beginning with a simple 'Hey, John!' and at the end with a 'Thanks, John!' is more than enough.

 

3. Be as human and conversational as possible

 

Impersonating a human can be hard work when scriptwriting. It's not like a normal social media post. It's not a sales-pitch nor is an engaging question for the sake of boosting your engagement rate.

 

You have to consider how a conversation works. Again, this is a lot easier for those that write dialogue on the regular. But copywriters really don't, unless we have dreams of writing that book we've always wanted after work. So our lone practice is with writing a script for chatbots, right?

 

Well, not exactly. Because we're writing out scripts everyday just by speaking! You say something and a response is made in kind. When writing a script, you have to determine not only how to speak like a human, but to have the tone, voice, and sentence structure of a human as well.

 

You need perspective to decide what type of statement or question is going to bring about a response that will convince the actual human on the other side of the screen you're human. So before you even begin to write, consider what type of personal your bot is going to have. You want them to be personable, naturally, but how they're going to speak depends on the brand.

 

Check out how H&M's Chatbot speaks:

 

 

 

Do you think most chatbots are going to use terms like 'Perf' or 'Inspo'? Of course not! They're appealing to a younger milennial audience, so they use terminology that will most relate to them.

 

4. Be sparing, direct, and concise in your messaging

 

Consider how long a message is on Facebook Messenger. If you make a wall of text, nobody is going to read it. You can even send a wall of text to a friend and they'll hit you with a Tl;dr. It's unappealing to look at and few people, especially those talking to a retail store on Facebook, are going to want to read through all of it.

 

Like most things concerning social media, being concise and direct is the way to go. Don't overwhelm your user with a bunch of statements and questions. Get to the point immediately.

 

If you have a message that's unavoidably wordy, break it up into three separate messages, instead of just one long message. You could be saying the exact same thing in those messages that you can in one. It's just far more aesthetically pleasing to the eye to see a little bit of a breakup in your messaging.

 

5. Pace your messaging

 

Remember: you're trying to mimic a human not just in your messaging, but in the overall experience. That means not responding as soon as you receive a message or response from your user. People want immediate results, sure, but you also want to give them some time to mull things over and think them through.

 

Test out different speeds until you find a sweet spot. In our experience, we've found that about a second-long delay helps with engagement. Different industries are going to have different audiences and a number of factors may come into play.

 

Age, for one, could be one of those factors. If you're appealing to an older audience, a longer delay may be more helpful, seeing as you want to give them more time to respond and think.

 

6. Drop CTAs throughout

 

No matter what your ultimate goal is at the end of a session, there's nothing stopping you from dropping additional CTAs throughout the chat. Don't limit yourself to that one CTA, either. If you have an opportunity to upsell, take advantage.

 

For example, say you're writing for a retail bot. The user is eventually going to funnel their way into finding the one thing they're looking for, but suggestions can be dropped along the way of things that might also be interested in and sales.

 

7. Condense information

 

As stated earlier, you don't want to inundate your user with information. Keep it succinct, pithy, and concise; not just to use as few characters as possible and avoiding a brick wall of words, but to be direct and clear in your.

 

8. Clicking is easier than writing

 

If you provide people with the option of doing more work or less work, which are they going to choose?

 

It's not a trick question. Now consider that same approach with chatbots. If you're presenting your user with a number of options to choose from, do you think it'd be easier for them to click on the option they want, or to write it out?

 

 

It also looks a lot more organized and saves on that much-needed space I keep on reiterating throughout.

 

9. Give them options

 

As you can see with the image above, presenting the user with options can greatly assist them in making a quicker decision. It also opens up avenues for other funnels they might go through that they might not have had without those options being presented for them.

 

10. Keep it simple!

 

And with all things social media, it always ends on the same message: keep it simple. There's no need, especially here, to go into exorbitant detail about a particular product or service. If they're using the chatbot in the first place, it's likely they've already made up their mind about what they're specifically looking for.

 

If they were just shopping and wanted greater details, they'd go to the website or contact a representative to get more information. Chabots are just a method of eschewing all the unnecessary details that go along with a user knowing exactly what they're looking for.


6 Digital Marketing Trends for 2017 and Beyond

1. Snapchat is only gaining in popularity among milennials (But Facebook is still king)

Among milennials, no social media platform is matching Snapchat in a short-term popularity contest:

"According to research by student loans company LendEDU, 58 percent of the 9,381 milennials it polled said they typically open up a Snapchat before Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn."

It's rise to social media supremacy has been unprecedented. Not only has it overtaken Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn as America's second-favorite social network (It was fifth last year), it "grew as much in one year as Twitter had in four years combined!"

Don't give them the crown just yet, however. Facebook still sits on the throne and doesn't appear to be giving up its title anytime soon. In the same survey where Snapchat had become the second-favorite social network of Americans, Facebook blew it out of the water; "8% of Americans cited Snapchat as the place they visit most. It's still far behind Facebook, a place that 61% of social media using Americans say is their favorite."

But that doesn't indicate a shift could be gradually approaching...

"Facebook (including Messenger) remains the most popular social platform among Americans 12-24 years old, with 21% saying they use Facebook most. Snapchat is second with 26%, far outpacing Instagram at 17%.

"[In the past year], 10% of the entire nation's population of social media using 12-24 year-olds moved from Facebook to Snapchat as their platform of choice."

Only time will tell if Snapchat's popularity is a constantly ascending staircase or a bubble just waiting to burst. Seeing as it only appeals to the younger generation, whereas Facebook is still appealing to all ages, I'd side with the latter (Don't bring this up to me in 2032 when Snapchat is running the world).

2. Yes, More Social Media Advertising Spending

As social media expands its capabilities as an advertising platform, advertisers are fully committing to either standing pat on their current marketing budgets, or investing even more:

"61% of advertisers plan to spend more on Facebook, said ClickZ Intelligence. And the web publisher found that investment in Twitter is expected to increase by more than 25%."

This has less to do with brands suddenly discovering Facebook and Twitter, and more to do with different avenues through which people can be reached and engaged with. We're beyond link and image posts. On Facebook, for example, you can create videos, versatile Canvas ads, 360 videos, and video slideshows. It's all indicative of a new availability of advertising to pounce on and use to distinguish your brand.

In another survey by PointVisible, they found that over the next 12 months 39% of B2C and B2B content marketers plan to increase their spending, while only 2% planned to decrease it. 42% said spending will likely remain the same.

In content creation overall, 70% of B2B marketers and 73% of B2C marketers said they will be spending more in 2017 compared to 2016. Content marketing will be a "$300 billion industry by 2019 -- this means it will double in under four years."

And speaking of content...

3. There's going to be a lot more of it

Since we're on the topic of more spending, we can distinguish where that spending is going towards.

There's a perception that users are just overexposed to traditional advertisements and inundated by how ubiquitous it is. Think about it. There's no escape, unless you completely disconnect from technology.

New approaches need to be taken to reach out to users without overwhelming and irritating them to the point of exhaustion, and studies have been conducted to find them.

One of the more revelations from PointVisible's study was that "70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles rather than an advertisement" and "4X as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it."

Content is getting more versatile as users have grown weary of seeing the same ads over and over again on a loop. Something new has to be offered to keep them interested. It's why we're expecting an increase in blogs as an advertising tool, and why "69% of companies report their video marketing budget is increasing."

4. But also, More Newsletters

Are you starting to pick up on this trend of more? There's going to be more of everything digital marketing-wise in 2017 and further on.

As mentioned before, there's a need for newness from our advertising efforts. It's become a life component that's unavoidable and needs readjusting, in order to provide users with a memorable experience once again. Just like with any technology, if there's a newer, more efficient, more convenient, and more stimulating competitor, users will gravitate to that.

So what if we try to find new ways to not only reach our audience, but to help it grow, as well. Aside from videos, "in 2017, more brands will launch targeted e-newsletters as the key method to grow audiences."

E-Newsletters are an excellent way of developing an audience without investing too much money and investing too many hours. But they have to be done right, because an E-Newsletter could be composed for nothing if its design isn't engaging enough or if its content isn't interesting enough.

It has to appeal to your audience, which you can find and add to your email list through lead generation ads and visits to your website asking for their email, with content that provides value. You want your newsletter to be informative, feature headlines that grab your attention, and be laden with designs and appealing images that keep the reader interested and their eyes darting from end-to-end of the email.

5. Mobile is still everything 

It goes without saying that if you're still not optimizing for mobile, you're selling your business short. As of early 2016, "mobile represented 65% of digital media time, while the desktop is becoming a 'secondary touch point' for an increasing number of digital users."

Basically, why go through the process of loading up your desktop or laptop when you have a computer within your pocket? It's all about convenience. Just give me the information and stimulation I need at the moment, without me having to get up and get it.

Life just keeps getting easier in terms of instant gratification. It's probably why "mobile will account for 72% of US digital ad spend by 2019" since that's where all the eyes are, as indicated by studies, mobile vs. desktop usage, and, you know, just looking around you at any given time while you're in public.

Go ahead and try it next time. When you're out in the city, and hopefully not peering into your phone, look around and notice how many people are buried in their phones. Then you'll realize just how important mobile optimization is. You're potentially missing out on the sales or awareness you could be generating when those users aren't home and need a distraction.

Think we're missing out on a trend? Drop us a message on our Facebook or call us!


The Art of a Successful Mobile App Push Notification

Locating the fine line between being helpful and being a nuisance is critical to cultivating a healthy relationship between buyer and seller. Unlike in the past when the most annoying part of advertising was seeing or hearing a commercial too much, now it's reaching your potential buyer through too many outlets.

 

Just consider how many avenues a marketer can go to reach their audience. They can reach them via social media, their email inbox, their search engines, websites they frequent, text message, and now even their mobile apps, through push notifications.

 

Now this is where the fine line is truly tested. Because push notifications can either be an extremely helpful tool that can maximize conversions when used correctly, or a reminder to that app's users to never buy anything from that company again.

 

For those who don't know, push notifications are those little messages that  pop up on your phone promoting something from an app. For example, I have an app that encourages me to write every day, so I set a reminder within the app to send at a certain time that pops up on my phone at that time.

 

But when used by a brand, it can be a promotional selling point. Those who opt-in to push notifications with your app can receive exclusive deals or sneak previews of products offered solely to the people who receive those notifications.

 

Unfortunately, push notifications have received a bad rap, often justified, because of how misused they are by those who ultimately decide its content, frequency and timing. According to Marketingland.com, "a whopping 52% of consumers view push messages and in-app messages as an annoying distraction."

 

Just like with all things marketing, you have to know and understand your audience before you develop a strategy to reach out to them. Find out what they like, what they don't like, what they'll be receptive to, when they're awake, when they're sleeping, and when they're most likely to buy. However, few things may be more important when it comes to sending a push notification that works than literally knowing who they are:

 

 

Take a look at this example from Business2community.com:

 

 

Success through personalizing push notifications is no different from social media or email marketing campaigns. Users are far more receptive to ads when it's directed to them, rather than a generic message that's blasted out to thousands of people connected through the same interests.

 

But don't think simply personalizing a message is everything you need. A strategy, naturally, still needs to be implemented:

 

"Personalization depends on a solid segmentation strategy. You can start by segmenting users based on their in-app behaviors or known information about them from your CRM (Customer Relationship Management)."

 

Your users aren't a monolith. They're all special in their own little way and want to be treated as such. We're here to make conversions and if that means coddling each and every individual to nurture them into following through, then do so.

 

Also consider the frequency and timing of your notifications. Once again, it's time to step into the shoes of your audience to understand their tendencies and behaviors. Consider local time zones and the time of the day.

 

Is your audience going to be interested in buying your product at 7AM when they first wake up, or at 7PM when they're unwinding from a day at work? Also, if you send a notification at 7PM to your eastern time zone audience, consider that your west coast audience receives it at 4PM, when they'll still likely be working. It's up to you to develop a method to stagger the timing of the deliveries to fully optimize your notifications.

 

The benefits of a successful notification strategy can be extremely rewarding, with "users who enable push notifications [being] far more engaged than users who don't. The study found that push-enabled app users logged 53% more monthly sessions compared with users who had not engaged with a push message."

 

They're also more likely to use your app over a longer period of time:

 

"Push-enabled users have higher longevity rates. After three months, 41% of push-enabled users were still using the app, far exceeding the 18% of push-disabled users who were still using the app."

 

Of course, you have to first entice your users into receiving push notifications. There has to be an added incentive other than the occasional offer or reminder. A solution to this could be making the app's experience worthwhile only if the user accepts push notifications:

 

"Companies often think of push notifications only as a means to re-engage inactive users. What if you changed your perception to seeing push as not just an integrated part of your communication strategy, but an integrated part of a user's mobile experience with your brand?"

 

There has to be value to your notification if you want people to stay interested. Make it engaging by including a product image, the product's name, the price info, and a CTA that are deeply linked with product views within your app.

 

Even better, be unique and spontaneous:

 

"Identify niche mobile use cases and channel them through push. Some examples include location-based offers, price drop alerts, time-sensitive offers. Think of push notifications only when you you want to tell your users about something that's useful in their NOW."

What do you think of push notifications? Let us know on our Facebook or give us a call!


Part 4: Messaging as a Commercial Medium

The vehicle of messaging you use to communicate with your customers can make or break your product’s success.

 

Everyone checks their notifications and sending texts is cheap. So if you send out mass texts, then you are bound to receive decent results, right?

 

Much to the chagrin of marketers, the FCC also thought so and found a way to limit what they deemed as spam. They created the TCPA, which requires written consent for a business to message customers for marketing purposes.

 

But can I text my customers anyway, without worrying about the repercussions?

 

Unless you’re a fan of hefty fines, the answer is a resounding no.

 

You can be sued for as much as $1,500 per text message, if it was proven that you willfully and knowingly violated the law! This even applies if you just texted your potential customer for permission to text them again in the future.

 

So, how can marketers circumvent these distressing thoughts without having to pay?

 

  • Provide customers with discounts at the checkout if they submit their phone number and sign off on receiving future texts
  • Advertise that you send discounts and info on sales via text
  • Message what customers want to receive, such as fraud alerts, reminders for payments or appointments, and try to limit what they wouldn’t want, like taking surveys.

 

graph1

 

Once you get permission from customers to send them texts, it becomes an extremely effective form of marketing. See for yourself:

 

  • 77% said they were open to receiving text messages from a company they have done business with
  • 50% of internet users were open to receiving info about sales
  • 90% of internet users were open to Short Message Service (SMS) in the first 90 seconds

 

Domino’s Pizza has embraced SMS marketing by allowing customers to order by texting them “easy order” or a pizza emoji slice to their 6-digit code.

 

However, most companies have yet to adopt this form of communication with their client base. Only 22% of retailers send their customers SMS messages, compared to 84% of retailers sending them emails.

 

graph2

 

Besides ordering, SMS has also been a valuable customer service tool.

 

While the majority of consumers say they prefer a phone call, the current system is clearly not working:

 

  • 57% of consumers place ‘Reducing hold times’ among their top choices for improving service
  • More than half of consumers will hang up after being on hold for 6-15 minutes
  • 25% of consumers will hang up in 0-5 minutes

 

Wouldn’t it be easier to simply have customer service text a response to your inquiry? The idea of waiting 20 minutes for a text, rather than being on hold for 20 minutes, does have its appeal.

 

However, the issue here lies in ameliorating your customers’ satisfaction. The reason they call goes beyond the issue they have. They also have a lot to vent and get off their chest.

 

Just think of customer service as a fortified wall protecting the company from an onslaught of complaints and concerns catapulted their way. Plus, texting is not as efficient, nor does it appeal to everyone.

 

A solution to this dilemma would be talking to an operator, and having them give you instructions on what to do next, via text.

 

Whatsapp is a useful platform to use for text marketing, boasting 1 billion users worldwide and 30 billion sent messages every day.

 

It’s easy to see how it got so popular, especially when you consider:

 

  • Texting is free
  • It notifies customers as soon as they receive the message
  • There’s a 70% chance of them opening your text
  • You can chat with multiple people at once

 

These are among the critical decisions you have to make when setting up your campaign.

 

You must decide whether to use humans or ‘chatbots’ (think Siri) when creating a back-and-forth messaging campaign.

 

Both have their benefits, but a human being is always going to be better at identifying your questions and replying with answers you want to hear. Those who want to be cost-effective, however, would likely go with chatbots.

 

Let’s take a look at two successful Whatsapp campaigns; one is a 1-on-1 with a human, the other uses chatbots:

 

Hellman’s mayonnaise took the 1-on-1 human approach, encouraging people to take a picture of what ‘was in their fridge’, featuring their Hellman’s. The customers were then connected with chefs that recommended custom meals, depending on what was available in their refrigerator, and coaching them through the process.

 

 

Absolute Vodka launched a chatbot campaign when they arrived in Argentina with an exclusive party open to two lucky winners. Users would try convincing “Sven” the chatbot why they were deserving of one of those two spots.

 

 

SMS marketing is a growing, cost-effective method of communicating with your customers and bringing your brand directly to your users. It’s just further evidence of our evolving reliance on convenience brought about by new technology.

 

Want further evidence of how technology can improve your life? Join us at One Twelfth as we employ innovative, unique methods to help you achieve your brand’s goals.

 

Reach us at: https://one12th.io//#contact-us


Part 3: Chatbot & Artificial Intelligence

As history has proven to us time and time again, humans have an insatiable appetite for making life easier for themselves, often to the point where we harness the intelligence and brawn of others for our benefit.

 

But even the Universe has its limitations. Not allowing that to stop our progress, however, we created a new one: A digital one, where the possibilities have no limit. You’ve seen it in factories, with humans being replaced by far more efficient machines. Now we're experiencing it in the era of making customer service more efficient.

 

Welcome to the Future, narrated and coordinated by Artificial Intelligence.

 

Since Deep Blue, a supercomputer with surely no intention of world domination, defeated Garry Kasparov, the world Chess champion at the time, humanity has marveled at A.I.'s extraordinary potential. As a result, humans couldn't help but develop and advance it more, pushing its capabilities further and further.

 

 

This trend of A.I. puffing its motherboard out at the intelligence of lowly humans was featured for all to see on Jeopardy!. The streak of human victories was snapped when ‘Watson’ entered the fray and destroyed the likes of noted Alex Trebek foil, Ken Jennings.

 

 

Deep Blue and Watson are examples of artificial intelligence's capabilities. They act as humans, but only at specific subjects; Deep Blue’s sole purpose knowing how to win at Chess, while Watson’s was knowledge aggregation.

 

The small-scale A.I. we experience daily has a sole purpose of aggregating customer info and assisting them with orders. Thankfully, they're not sentient so we can avoid embarrassing scenarios like these:

 

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The previous objective of artificial intelligence improvement was to get it to the point where it would pass the Turing Test. It should respond and act like a human would. The result of these goals has led to breakthroughs in A.I. practicality, where it needs to be just human enough to carry on a simple conversation.

 

These useful breakthroughs come in the form of a ‘Chatbot’, an artificial intelligence program mainly used for commercial purposes. The logic is that online customers will have an improved shopping experience if they have a salesperson accompanying them, rather than if they explore the store on their own.

 

Facebook has already taken advantage, with over 11,000 companies using Chatbots on its Messenger service. Companies such as 1-800 Flowers, as well as the Weatherman app ‘Poncho’, are among them.

 

1-800-flowers-com-messenger

1-800 Flowers offers customers the opportunity to place an order. The Chatbot will interact with you, asking for your name, card message, recipient destination, and billing info, all under the illusion of speaking with an actual representative.

 

Ask ‘Poncho’ how the weather is and you’ll be greeted with a timely response of whether there’s sun or showers in the present or near future. You’ll never have to momentarily look out a window again! Welcome to the world of modern day convenience.

 

As if Chatbot apps couldn’t be more helpful, there is one currently in development that’s designed to help make you richer. BOND acts as your personal financial advisor, instructing you on better money management and budgeting. Advice on refinancing your loan, stock tips and finding a credit card with less interest are dispersed at will, all without the meddling and fallibility of a human being.

 

But not everyone agrees that Chatbots are as useful and reliable as they may seem. They can be taken advantage of. IKEA had to abandon its website Chatbot after 10 years, simply because they made it too human. Customers were excited, but for all the wrong reasons.

do-you-enjoy-reading-the-bible-2As the Chatbot’s responses became more human, the more vulgar the questions became. Around 50% of the questions asked were sex related, because we're humans and we can't have anything nice.

 

Chatbots, for better or worse, are the way of the future, and we’ve already experienced an early offshoot of it for years on the phone. Simply yelling ‘REPRESENTATIVE’ at your computer may not work (Perhaps that’s in Beta stage), but benefits, such as accessibility and convenience, still outweigh the drawbacks.

 

Plus, as noted at the beginning, technology has a way of evolving to further convenience and lessen frustration. There is a beneficial purpose behind this innovation, and with roots firmly dug into the dirt, we should expect this massive industry to only grow.

 

Here at One Twelfth, we enjoy looking into the future and being on top of new technologies and mastering them. We do this because of the intrigue, but, more importantly, because we want to provide the best possible service to our clients. You can reach us at https://one12th.io//#contact-us.