There are many approaches to social media marketing, but most rely on one-way communication, with brands and businesses blasting out messages, promoted or otherwise, hoping to reach their target audience. However, chat bots could provide a more interactive and personalized experience. A study from Retale, a provider of location-based mobile advertising, examines how consumers are already reacting to the use of chat bots.
Retale polled 500 millennials aged 18 through 34 last December, and the results seem quite positive for chat bots. 58 percent of those polled had interacted with a chat bot on social; among the group who had not interacted with a chat bot, 53 percent were interested.
Almost everyone who had encountered a chat bot on social reported having positive or very positive experiences. But there are some challenges that need addressing. “Accuracy in understanding” was the biggest area of recommended improvement. Nearly 30 percent of the respondents who had interacted with chat bots wished conversations were more natural; and 12 percent wished that chat bots could get human customer-service representatives involved when appropriate.
Even with the hurdles, the social media users surveyed had a positive view of chat bots. Dan Cripe, chief technology officer at Retale, noted in a press release that this is a golden opportunity for marketers and brands, but only if the technology can match the desires of the customer:
Chat bots create a new form of one-on-one conversations between brands and consumers. They reflect a more conversational and personal approach to commerce and engagement that millennials seem to crave more than ever. At the same time, given the fact that chat bots and similarly, voice assistants, are still relatively nascent, developers and brands will need to figure out in which contexts these technologies are beneficial in order for them to reach their maximum potential.
Chat bots and other automation tools provide the opportunity for personalization and real-time engagement, but the software involved needs to be handled carefully. If marketers can get it right, chat bots could be integral to a proactive marketing strategy moving forward.
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