Chatbots in Marketing: A Playbook for Conversational Advertising
It would scarcely be an exaggeration to say that chatbots are the ‘in thing’ right now, across sectors. Conversational AI has been on the rise for years now, with no less than the likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Jio announcing their intent to dive deeper into this fast-evolving technology.
But, as with any new technology being adopted by enterprises, there is a million-dollar question to be addressed – How do you monetize chatbots?
At Haptik, we’ve found that the first step towards the successful monetization of Conversational AI is to, quite simply, build great bots! Our platform has to date processed over 2 billion interactions – a testament to the appeal of our bots among end-users. This has enabled us to bring on board partners from a wide range of sectors, who use our Conversational AI solutions to fulfill a number of key functions – one of those functions being marketing.
The appeal of conversational advertising
The use of chatbots for marketing is increasingly becoming common. Brands find chatbots to be particularly effective as an advertising tool. One of the major issues with conventional advertising techniques is that they tend to be inherently intrusive and ‘in your face’. While they might succeed in grabbing a consumer’s attention, they fail to truly engage them.
But while it’s easy to assume that people just dislike all advertising, that isn’t true, strictly speaking. On the contrary, people appreciate surprising, innovative and well-timed ads. The phenomenon of ads going viral, and high watch times for successful YouTube ads, prove that.
The use of chatbots allows for a conversational advertising approach that can prove highly engaging to potential customers. An AI-powered bot can interact with users and showcase products/services that might be of interest to them, ultimately guiding them towards a purchase.
Haptik has, over the years, partnered with a number of brands who have leveraged our Conversational AI to effectively engage with users and market their products/services. Drawing upon that experience, I will be examining a number of innovative approaches to using chatbots in marketing.
Broadly speaking, there are two ways one can use chatbots for marketing – Branded content bundled natively as bots and Advertising via programmatic channels. We will delve deeper into each of these in turn:
Branded content bundled natively as bots
One of the limitations of traditional branded content is that there is no way to effectively calculate the ROI on spends. This makes brands hesitant to make the investments necessary to leverage branded content in a big way.
The metrics that are usually available when it comes to measuring the performance of branded content include reach, unique page views, or readers – none of which can be translated into tangible returns on ad spends.
If a bot can be natively bundled with content, metrics such as unique engagements and unique conversations can be tracked by brands – giving them a much better idea of ROI.
Here are a few examples of Branded content being distributed through chatbots, across sectors and formats:
Hospitality Advisor chatbot, by Haptik
The Hospitality Advisor chatbot, pictured above, was bundled natively with an article on the Economic Times website about the Taj offering a 15% discount on a range of experiences, in celebration of Mother’s Day. Complementing the branded content, the chatbot allowed users who interacted with it to learn about the discounted services being offered and even let them easily make bookings!
Investment Advisor chatbot, by Haptik
The Investment Advisor chatbot, pictured above, was bundled natively with an article on the Economic Times website about unit-linked insurance plans (ULIP). The bot asked users questions to assess their risk profile and their requirements, recommended the most suitable plan based on their responses, and offered a Call-to-Action for those users who were interested in opting for a ULIP.
Content Microsites on Publishers
Chatbot deployed on a brand’s content microsite.
An advertising chatbot can be deployed on a brand’s content microsite on a publisher’s website to engage users and offer them information about product and service offerings. For instance, in the example pictured above, a chatbot was deployed on the content microsite of one of our enterprise partners, an insurance services provider. The bot would engage users reading insurance-related content on the microsite, and explain to them the various forms of health insurance being offered by the brand.