The Internet changed the world for marketers 20 years ago and smartphone applications changed it again 10 years ago. Now that conversational marketing is here, it’s set to change again. This term refers to driving customer engagement by encouraging them to share feedback while building brand loyalty at the same time. Early results indicate this has been a positive change for company profits.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the engine that drives conversational marketing. It’s in a good position to disrupt companies from the smallest mom and pop shop to the largest multi-million dollar company. Although AI comes in many forms, marketers tend to focus the most on the conversational chatbots. You may also know them as virtual assistants, digital employees, intelligent assistants, or conversational assistants. Chatbots have grown so quickly in popularity that industry insiders predict these virtual agents will be involved in most commercial transactions between businesses and people within the next three years.
What Will the Future Bring?
Can you imagine what your business might look like in the future? In all likelihood, the next version of your website or application will be driven by intelligent conversational assistants. You can look forward to improved opportunities to engage with customers, glean value from their conversation, and monitor the tone as well as the expressed need of your customers. This information enables you to suggest products or services to customers as well as solve problems for them and discover new ways to engage them with your business.
Working with AI in this manner is just like having constant access to a specialized focus group. Unlike real focus groups that allow marketers to speak to no more than a few dozen people for a few hours at a time, this virtual focus group is available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This opportunity provides you with opportunity that marketers of generations past could not have dreamed of having. You have a knowledge network at your fingertips as well as the ability to position your company as a leader in the new digital economy while also redefining your brand.
What Type of Customer Data Will You Have?
Some people view bots as a simplified version of customer support, but their value goes beyond that. They can provide you with a first-person view of customer insight. In the past, customer service professionals have relied on a formula of questions and answers that doesn’t really solve the problem and leaves customers feeling dissatisfied. Conversational AI makes it possible to redefine the customer engagement process from the most basic tasks to solving complex problems.
AI can also help to change future customer interactions. For example, a customer who needs to change travel arrangements might also see suggestions for car rental, lodging, and tourist activities. Collecting targeted voice-drive data will help marketers build loyalty while also expanding the customer base they already have.
Building Your Knowledge Network
A common misconception about bots is that they work in silos. The reality is that working in a knowledge network enables smart assistants the ability to connect with other AI-powered assistants to find the right information at the right time. This type of combined wisdom is superior to what you can find among humans, especially related to the speed of information recall. AI bots learn from every experience, something humans can’t always claim.
Future marketers can use AI to access large knowledge bases within seconds for any type of interaction with customers. This will provide many new personalization opportunities for customers. When bots connect with each other, they share experience and knowledge that marketers can draw in real time. Instead of feeling intrusive and unwanted, these interactions will provide real value to users.
Building Brand Awareness with AI
Building brand awareness is a major undertaking for any company. AI enables you to add a unique type of personification to your brand by using its conversational tactics. You can now speak to all of your customers in an intelligent, conversational, and human-like manner while providing an automated service.
The companies who come out on top are those that can provide exceptional support and care on every customer interaction. Utilizing AI makes it possible to maintain a consistent brand message while still offering the ability to personalize it to each customer. The individual approach wins over the mass-produced approach every time.
You can expect AI-based conversational systems to identify your brand in the future. Bots will operate across various marketing channels to provide customers with a seamless experience. This will provide your company with rich data that makes it possible to redefine your brand. The question is no longer whether marketers should use AI. What you should focus on now is getting ready to make the transition.