Why Conversational AI Marketing is One of This Year’s Biggest Trends
If you’re like most consumers, you’re tired of being inundated with marketing campaigns and promotions that all sound like one big sales pitch. But, unfortunately, even efforts disguised as organic and authentic content can come across as overly promotional.
Marketers are working tirelessly to steer their strategies toward more approachable and conversational platforms such as social media and text marketing.
But, conversations are a two-way street. And, small businesses with a local presence can not expect their employees to engage in an online conversation whenever the customer desires. That is not a sustainable or profitable approach to conversational marketing.
Instead, conversational AI marketing has taken the field by storm, offering exceptional benefits to consumers and brands alike.
Conversational AI Marketing: What Is It & How Can It Help Marketers?
At its core, conversational AI marketing engages with customers through highly targeted, automated messages.
Through the use of artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and natural language understanding (NLU), conversational marketing looks, sounds, and feels like a completely natural conversation between your company and the customer.
For instance, a customer can visit your website and have a conversation with a fully automated chatbot about which product meets their individual needs. Best of all, your employees are only notified of the conversation if immediate help is needed, and the bot is not programmed to respond accordingly.
How Conversational AI Works
Through natural language processing and artificial intelligence, conversational AI marketing programs get coded to learn what questions customers have, how to respond to them, and additional information it can share to provide a satisfactory customer experience.
Conversational information is then stored on the cloud and in company CRM’s to facilitate further customer interactions down the road. The AI then learns about the individual’s preferences, past purchases, and activity and uses that data to provide another high-quality experience later in the sales or customer cycle.
3 Types of Conversational AI Marketing Programs
While there are several instances of conversational AI marketing platforms, these three avenues are the most popular:
When customers need to converse with companies in real-time, they’ll turn to instant messaging opportunities on social media and a brand’s website. While brands can have employees respond to these chat requests in real-time, that can be a nonproductive use of one’s time.
Instead, chatbots are programmed to communicate with users and direct the conversation through pre-programmed responses and actions. Whether via Facebook Messenger or an instant messaging platform on an eCommerce website, chatbots can offer immediate, real-time assistance to customers—without the need for human interaction.
Have you ever called your doctor’s office or a hotel and been greeted by a voice menu? This technology leverages conversational AI technology as well.
Through voice-activated responses, customers can communicate with a pre-programmed representative and receive information or get directed to the right individual.
One of the best conversational AI marketing examples lives right on your smartphone! Siri, Alexa, and Google Home’s voice applications embody perfect representations of conversation AI functionality in action.
If you wanted to, you could have a full-fledged conversation with Siri. These applications help brands market their products, answer customer questions, and so much more.
Why Marketers Need to Leverage Conversational AI Today
There’s a reason marketers are integrating conversational AI marketing into their strategies: the wealth of benefits it provides.
- Personalization Opportunities: AI remembers data from past interactions and assigns them to a specific customer profile. The program learns from these engagements and presents personalization opportunities where possible, leading to more satisfied and engaged customers.
- Attractive to New Customers: Customers seek out personalized experiences. Brands that can provide that via conversational marketing are lightyears ahead of the competition and win more customers overall.
- Taking Customer Engagement to the Next Level: Today’s customers want to develop a connection to the brands they support. This connection stems far beyond the initial purchase. Much of what can help create that connection is through online and personalized conversations. With this in mind, marketers can gloss over vanity metrics like Facebook likes and focus on real-time engagement data such as answering questions, sales, and repeat customer activity.
- Extension of Existing Marketing Efforts: Best of all, conversational AI marketing can be an extension of existing marketing strategies and campaigns. Extend your social media advertising strategy by programming Facebook and Instagram Messenger to respond to user questions. Make email marketing feel more individualized by inviting subscribers to start a conversation with your brand via text message. The possibilities are endless.
Conversational AI marketing is far more than the year’s biggest promotional trend: it’s the new frontier.