Personalized one-to-one communication with consumers represents a new competitive advantage for brands such as chatbots in search in Bing and messaging apps on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
LiveWorld released the white paper Messaging Apps and Chatbots for Brand Marketing on Tuesday, which examines the advantages of branded conversations, the challenges companies face within messaging apps, and how conversational marketing will impact the future of brand engagement. It is based on a survey of Fortune 500 marketers.
Some 52% expressed confidence in the ability of existing two-way communications platforms and tools such as chatbots, social media networks and messaging apps to meet their needs, but 79% of marketers believe an expansion of the digital marketing category is needed to improve on two-way conversations between brands and consumers.
Not surprisingly, the study notes that experienced marketers are more likely to experiment with chatbots. But the percentages of those who have used chatbots are pretty low, considering that Bing integrated chatbots into its search engine within the past year.
Nearly 60% of marketers participating in the study said they had not used a chatbot for customer interactions, and another 20% ranked their level of interaction as a 2 on a 5-point scale. Some 5% of marketers affirmed the use of chatbots for customer interaction frequently. The study also reveals that chatbot use is on the rise. Only 6% plan to decrease their use of chatbots.
Two in five marketers participating in the study believe that chatbot use will increase for their company in 2017. Respondents with 15 or more years of experience, identified as “veteran/encyclopedic” marketers, noted the need for chatbots, with 49% saying they plan to increase their use of chatbots.
About 9% of “veteran” marketers frequently use chatbots to communicate with customers.
Engagement and customer satisfaction are leading KPIs when implementing what the white paper calls one-on-one communication tools such as messaging apps and chatbots.