You’ve heard about chatbots – are they a good investment?

Around 1.4 billion people around the world use messaging apps to communicate. More than 35 million Americans use voice-activated personal assistans at least once a month. It may be time to start thinking about what chatbots can do for your business.

Throughout 2018 Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant have been entering even more homes. For brands, this means that we are moving from where chatbots may be a cool marketing gimmick, into something that can provide value for both customers and companies.

One of our customers, WPP, already built their own chatbot called RoZie who answers questions about brands from their BrandZ reports via text or voice.

Here’s my friend David at WPP showing off RoZie:

The key to create value with a chatbot is placing yourself in the shoes of your consumers. Chatbots will always appeal as a time- and money-saver. That’s not enough for consumers. As artificial intelligence (AI) gets better, chatbots can create direct value too, such as:

  • Generating leads and revenue.
  • Acting as first line support, guiding users conveniently to find answers for their questions.
  • Providing after hours support where engagement is too low to warrant support staff.

Looking ahead within the next 3-5 years, this is where we are heading:

  • Conversational bots will available to assist consumers with simpler, unqualified tasks, freeing up staff for value-added work.
  • National language and advancement in AI will allow users and machines to interact more naturally.
  • Virtual assistants (both text and voice) take on many roles that apps have today.

Is it time to invest in chatbots already? Yes.

Identify some good starting areas for where a chatbot can provide value to your customers and business. Let your chatbot grow as the technology advances. That way you can reap some of the marketing gimmick rewards, while getting true value as well.

This post originally was sent as the december edition of our insights newsletter to our clients. Sent once a month, it gives our clients the condensed, key insights that they need in digital marketing.