Definition🎁: “Bots” – Digital Marketing Advent Calendar

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It’s the last week before Christmas and we can’t be more excited to bring you our last roundup of 2017’s key marketing definitions. This Monday, Zeno Group Singapore’s Managing Director, Matt Collette fills us in on Bots. 

🎈 What are “Bots”? 

Bots are simple applications that can be deployed on social messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Slack, Skype and the like.  They aren’t new and were used to some degree back in the early 2000s on MSN Messenger and other desktop messaging platforms.  

However, back then, they were very simple and used to fulfill basic requests such as allowing users to check sports results or the weather.  Since those early bots, we have seen some significant progress in AI and Natural Language Processing which allows bots to interact in a more intuitive manner and understand/respond to people very naturally. Gone are the days of using specific sets of commands and having to remember them all. Today’s bots can also be used to engage and facilitate a whole raft of new use cases including E-commerce, customer support, and more.

🔎 What does the rise of bots mean for marketers, and what should they look out for in 2017? 

Consumers have also shown a greater openness to leveraging bots to help facilitate regular or repeated tasks.  A recent study by DigitasLBi showed that nearly six in 10 (59%) of consumers have or would be willing to communicate with chatbots to either receive offers and coupons, receive recommendations or advice (37%), and/or conduct online banking (14%).

  •      Bots are still new and consumer need to be educated about what they are and where to find them and how to use them
  •      However, while there’s been a lot of experimentation in North America, the bot space in APAC is ripe for brands
  •      Be clear on the use case for your bot – what problem does it help solve and what utility does it deliver
  •      While functionally there are lots of opportunities for bots, creative/entertainment bots that drive conversation are also a great way to drive brand affinity
  •      Context is very important, one of my favourite bots is Singapore’s own Bus Uncle.  It is locally relevant, delivers on a consumer need, and is fun and engaging to use.

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