The key to marketing is finding out where your customers are, and then delivering useful information to them there. Here's a hint, your customers are on messaging applications. As KIK describes the digital space “First there were websites, then there were apps. Now, there are bots.”
When email marketing was introduced it was a break through, email got your message directly into the hands of your customer. However times have changed, with increased marketing fatigue when it comes to email, spam filters are getting more efficient and aggressive, and customers can deliberately enter a fake email address, or indeed just make a mistake. Only 20% of your emails are getting read by your customers, while less than 5% are following your Call To Action. That app you developed, if people downloaded it, they usually turn off notifications or delete it from their phone after months of inactivity. Apps are perceived as an impersonal piece of software, only a machine.
Bots are different. People interact with them like they are a friend, even though they know it's a bot, they read messages immediately and respond to call to actions. There is low friction to engaging with a bot, and you are capitalising on the sticky messaging habit that is now well ingrained into people.
1) BOTS ARE ALWAYS ACCESSIBLE
For your customer using a Messenger Bot is easy, they open Messenger and speak to the bot, immediately accessing the information they need. People use messenger daily. Unlike the apps you may have developed there is very low resistance to engaging with a bot. There is no need to find and download an app, while having to create an account or remember your app store/google play login details and then learn to use it.
2) HIGH PERSONALISATION
It's important to look at the customer experience, bots allow for high customisation of your customer interaction. This personalisation improves customer engagement, having a beneficial effect on click through rates. It also means that you can deliver highly personalised content appropriate to the people you are sending it to, preventing the service becoming overloaded and exacerbating any marketing fatigue. This personalisation also ensures that you are accumulating data to create fuller customer profiles, helping inform brand strategic and tactical decisions.
3) INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE
Bots create an interactive experience that can't be replicated through other marketing mediums, newsletters, blogs or apps. Created using a conversational interface this builds a good customer relationship and a sense of warmth towards your brand. Bots can also use visual content like videos and images to keep customers interested. A character driven experience to the customers helps in better engagement, so bots can be given distinctive personalities.
4) THEY ARE CHEAP
Developing, maintaining, and updating your own app is an expensive business, it takes a lot of time and resources, often with relatively low return. Bot development is a cost effective way to develop a product that offers the same effectiveness as most apps, while being easier to use for the customer, and a lower cost to develop and maintain.
5) THEY DON'T FILL UP A PHONES MEMORY
While new smart phones seem to have infinite memory, once all the required apps are installed space starts to become a premium. Users regularly delete apps from their phones, some estimates suggest that users keep approximately 10% of the apps they download for the life of their phone, with 83% being deleted within a month of being downloaded (30% are deleted within 10 minutes of download). Can you rely on your app being so important to your customers that they don't delete it? Messenger comes pre-installed on most phones and has 1.7 Billion monthly users. Bots don't require your customer to install a new app to access your services.
6) CAPITALISE ON SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
Bots help turn social media from a passive to a proactive marketing tool. Companies invest significantly in their social media presence, but they rely on customers to see their messages. Newsfeeds are becoming much more crowded as more companies move into this space. A bot allows you to benefit from the social media presence you have already developed and move the focus to messenger where there is far more room to be seen, offering the ability to send messages to your customer in a developing marketing arena.
7) BOTS WORK 24/7/365
Bots don't finish work at 5, arrive late or call in sick. Bots work constantly dealing with large numbers of customers giving you the ability to scale. While live agents can handle up to three customers at once, bots can operate without an upper limit. It may sound counter intuitive but bots provide a more human experience, they don't get frustrated answering the same questions over and over again, they don't have bad days, but are always polite, respectful and engaging for the customer. Furthermore we are living in an age of immediacy, 33% of customers are only willing to wait for 1 to 3 minutes to get a response to queries. With a chatbot customers don’t have to wait to talk to customer service reps anymore.