Not only can an AI chatbot gather information but it can crunch data to help understand the buyer’s journey better than ever. Here’s what one can do for you.
Automation is coming to marketing. In many ways, it’s already here, as in the case of an AI chatbot. For most marketers, it couldn’t come at a more suitable time.
In 2013, Adobe conducted the Digital Distress survey to find out what digital marketers were struggling with. This in-depth study of 2000 digital marketers revealed some shocking results.
According To Adobe’s Digital Distress Survey:
Only 40% of marketers feel that their marketing is effective
76% of marketers feel that measurement is integral for actionable marketing.
Only 29% of marketers feel that they are able to measure digital marketing’s effectiveness.
Only 9% of marketers feel that they know how to market effectively.
Let’s take a look at what an AI chatbot is, how they can help your digital marketing, and see where the field is headed.
What Is an AI chatbot?
When people think of AI, they might picture an advanced shiny humanoid robot like the T1000 from Terminator 2 minus the motorcycle jacket. AI chatbots might not be as advanced or as dramatic as these replicants, but they still have profound implications for eCommerce and digital marketing. The most common usage for an AI chatbot is handling certain customer requests on a website. These queries are usually organized by keyword. The AI works as a rudimentary file-retrieval system based on those keywords.
These basic AI don’t take context into consideration, however. This greatly reduces their effectiveness as far as dealing with actual humans. Natural language processing and machine learning is changing all of that, however, and rapidly.
Benefits of AI chatbots
Although it will be a while until AI is able to replicate a well-trained customer service representative, there are numerous other business benefits of an AI chatbot. With 22% of digital marketers reporting customer experience as their #1 priority, we should look for every possible way to deliver the ultimate customer service.
AI never sleeps
Business never sleeps in today’s globalized digital economy. Companies that do business online are expected to offer 24/7 service or suffer the consequences. AI chatbots are a way to offer rudimentary customer service duties at times when there’s no dedicated customer service representative on duty. To train an AI chatbot, researchers are processing scripts from former customer interactions to teach basic keywords and how to field basic customer requests. There have been major in-roads in textual analysis for basic emotions like fear or anger. When the AI detects a customer getting upset, it can transfer the customer to a human customer service representative. AI chatbots can seamlessly integrate with our existing customer service operations to help customer service agents rather than replace them.
You’ll never wait
The days of being put on hold are over with AI chatbots on the scene. Companies have found AI chatbots to process 5x greater volume than human customer service representatives.
Deliver A personalized experience
AI chatbots are exceptional at gathering data. After all, they are essentially a talking text-input box. An AI chatbot isn’t as effective at integrating this data into actionable insights. Instead, the AI work as virtual assistants in tandem with human sales agents and customer service reps to deliver world-classic customer service. AI chatbots are able to deliver this information in real-time, as well, making sure the data they provide is up-to-date and useful.
AI builds relationships
Effective marketing is about building real connections with each potential customer or client. AI can take care of some of this relationship-building, again like virtual assistants. AI can send automated birthday greetings or follow-up requests for feedback or promotional offers.
Unlike human agents, AI doesn’t get tired. It doesn’t have an “off” day. Its attention never flags or wavers. In certain respects, AI is able to be more human than human customer service representatives.
How to incorporate an AI chatbot into your digital marketing
Now that we’ve examined what AI chatbots are and why you should be using them, let’s take a look at how to artfully employ AI in your digital marketing strategies.
AI chatbots on social media
Social media is one of the most powerful tools at a digital marketer’s disposal. Currently, there are 2.8 billion social media users. Of these, 95% of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are likely to follow a brand on social media. To adopt AI chatbots in your social media strategy, have your AI monitor for certain keywords or phrases. Set the AI to respond with certain set actions, like sending an introductory message or offer. AI and social media work together to create a 24-hour promotional campaign for your brand.
AI makes marketing fun
Interacting with customer service agents is not usually thought of as a good time. AI chatbots can make arduous tasks entertaining, however, making them a serious boon for digital marketers. Consider Whole Foods’ AI. Customers are able to search for recipes using Facebook Messenger and emojis. This leaves a lasting impression with the customer who not only looks forward to interacting with your chatbot but shopping at your stores and receiving your marketing messages as well.
Lead your customers through the sales funnel
There are more steps in the buyer’s journey than any other time in history. It’s also more difficult to goad customers from one stage to the next. It takes time, patience, and resources. Use your AI to identify certain keywords that a customer is moving from the ‘Research’ stage to the ‘Purchase’ stage. Help lead them to the appropriate landing pages with pop-ups and incentives.
As eCommerce gets more competitive and more focused, AI is only going to become more important. AI will play an important role in gathering the data that fuels machine learning and Big Data. It will also play a role in making sure that information is valid, which is continuing to be a hot topic in both business and politics.