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If chatbots are the next big thing, chatbot marketing is right around the corner.

Whether you are a marketer, a CEO, or an innovator, chatbot marketing is about to become a priority. I would go as far as saying it is important for you to catch up as a consumer.

In this article, I will go over this new marketing discipline, why it is about to get big, and what you can do to prepare.

 

What is chatbot marketing?

An obvious starting point.

Chatbot marketing is the discipline of marketing a service or a product via a chatbot.

We are familiar with other marketing disciplines such as email marketing, social media marketing, and more. Chatbot marketing is a new 'subset' of our work.

Chatbots provide a new channel of interaction and influence between businesses and their customers. They bring a fantastic new opportunity for communication and delight. Marketers should, thus, jump at the bits to dive in.

 

Practically, what does chatbot marketing look like?

At the moment, chatbots are still in their infancy. Businesses and consumers are becoming aware of the technology, but there is still a long way to go. Our latest research showed only 25% of UK consumers have spoken to a chatbot.

As I said at the start of this article, chatbot marketing will follow chatbot adoption. This means, of course, that chatbot marketing is also in its infancy.

Most of the chatbots we have developed have had some degree of marketing within them. A sales chatbot, for instance, would capture user details to allow remarketing. A customer service chatbot could upsell training sessions on how to use a product.

Practically, chatbot marketing is using your marketing skills to leverage this new medium. What do teams come up with?

  • Drip feeding content through a Facebook Messenger chatbot. This is a popular one. Messaging apps have insane open & click rates, so marketers have jumped on this opportunity early.
  • Lead capturing through an on-site chatbot. An on-site chatbot is always there, always available, and always conversational. It is the perfect tool to prompt a visitor about their visit and capture lead details.
  • Educating and upselling. Ever tried to use a brand new product you know nothing about? A chatbot can help you get there. Some of the companies we have worked with have turned their onboarding sequence into a conversational chatbot. Not only does it deliver the content, it also answers questions and upsells at appropriate times.

And many more. The examples above are fairly standard ways of using chatbots to market products/services. Some teams get more creative than others. It's all about using chatbots' most unique advantages: available, instant, and conversational.

 

Why is this discipline going to take off?

I think it's very simple.

Businesses are starting to see the light when it comes to chatbots. They are starting to see the advantages a chatbot can bring to their organisation, whether internally or externally.

I believe once customer-facing chatbots become more common, the next step will be to optimise and increase the ROI of these machines. Bring in the marketers!

It has been amazing for us to step into meetings with the entire C-suite of a company to talk about their chatbot. The CEO is usually vocal about innovation and profitability. The CTO gets excited about the new technology, learning and chatting with our own geeks.

The CMO, though. Ha, the CMO.

The CMO gets excited about the whole thing changing her life, forever. She's excited about a new channel. She's excited about a brand new way to be creative. She's already picturing the whiteboard sessions, the language, the conversations; the whole shebang.

 

How marketers should prepare for the chatbot revolution

Right, now we know what's coming. How do we prepare?

Step one is to catch up on some reading. It's important to know what the current state of the chatbot industry is. This will help you spot the important changes.

Read these:

Step two is to stay up to date. I recently wrote about keeping up with the chatbot news, so please have a read and follow my instructions in there.

Step three is to get involved. If you have a company and a chatbot use case, bring it up to your team. See if this is something they would be excited to bring to life. If you don't have a company or want to have a play, get involved with a DIY platform (but not too much, read here).

This should do the trick for now! Chatbot marketing is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for us marketers. Don't pass on it.