Commentary

Are Messaging Apps Overturning Customer-Engagement Ecosystem?

From Facebook Messenger to WhatsApp to Snapchat, businesses had better know their way around popular messaging apps. Otherwise, they’re missing out on some lucrative opportunities, according to fresh findings from Forrester.

“We expect messaging apps to play a key role throughout the customer life cycle -- but, more specifically, to enable brands to deepen conversations with their customers during the retention phases,” Forrester analyst Thomas Husson notes in a new report.

Why is that? “Because messaging apps combine the three keys to powerful relationships in any digital environment: frequency of use, emotional connection, and convenience,” Husson explains.

Worldwide, more than 3 billion consumers are now using some sort of messaging app, by Forrester's estimate.

As such, “The reach of these apps is huge, which presents a strong relationship promise for marketers,” according to Husson.

Increasingly, meanwhile, the worlds of messaging and artificial intelligence are converging to create an entirely new market for customer service.

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“Innovation in adjacent technologies … especially machine learning and artificial intelligence … will blur the lines between messaging apps, bots, and voice-based intelligent agents,” Husson predicts.

Yet, because messaging apps presently have more users engaged for more minutes, they will be a central platform through which consumers first experience AI-based tools, Husson expects.

Going forward, “Messaging apps will introduce a paradigm shift for marketers where interactive and contextual conversations will replace ad broadcasting,” Husson predicts.

No doubt, that’s a bold prediction. At the very least, however, do expect increasingly intelligent messaging apps to cut into “ad broadcasting,” as we know it.

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