How to Use AI in Conversational Marketing to Your Advantage
AI in conversational marketing, where it is now and what’s in store for the future? Find out how to use it to your advantage.
Social media and the rise of AI has opened up new avenues for customer interaction. Communication with customers has taken on a whole new level of importance, where feedback generated from customers is conveyed to the company in a one-on-one manner. This approach has driven the conversational marketing concept, which basically revolves around increasing customer loyalty, growing the user base, and ultimately growing revenue by using a feedback-oriented model.
The extent of conversational marketing is not limited to social media or chatbots, however, the role of AI in this domain is majorly seen in the aforementioned. Nevertheless, it makes sense to discuss the present position of conversational marketing, the impact of AI, and the future possibilities, in that order.
Conversational marketing: where is it now?
Limiting yourself to social media when talking about conversational marketing would be folly. When you read on, you may find out that you have been employing some form of conversational marketing already.
- Email marketing. Arguably not the most obvious example of conversational marketing, because of its “flood your consumers’ email boxes with messages” approach, email marketing can certainly be evolved to introduce more of a conversational aspect. Efficient approaches to do so include surveys and questionnaires, which form the most basic concepts of conversational marketing.
Let’s take it a step further.
- Live support. All customer facing roles are marketing-oriented, acting as advocates for your brand. Live support in today’s world is, as opposed to email marketing, one of the more conversation-oriented phases of marketing. 24 hour helplines, live chat support, and social media accounts are the soup and nuts of live support for brands today.
We have seen AI venture into this section of conversational marketing with chatbots, however, more on that in the subsequent sections.
- Success programs. Customer success basically means making sure that your consumers draw out the fullest of usage from your product. Leaving your customers to fend for themselves after you convert a sale can make your product struggle in terms of mass adoption. Taking customer success seriously, for example, employing customer success managers to make sure that your customers can squeeze out every bit of potential from your product can help drive up adoption and renewal rates, especially if you are in the subscription service business.
Here comes the messiah (read: AI)
AI possesses the power to push brands towards humanity. Interactions with brands no longer feel like you’re talking to a robot, even if you actually are- that is what AI is capable of. Combine this with conversational marketing, which itself lends the human aspect to marketing, and you have with yourself a recipe that enables both marketers and consumers.
90% of customers want to interact with businesses through messages or chat.
Conversational marketing, sprinkled with AI, helps businesses achieve 24X7, 365 connections to customers, participating in 1-on-1 conversations, on whatever terms they may want to. The proof is in the pudding- AI is being extensively used by marketers to incorporate the perfect conversational aspect to their marketing strategy.
Email assistants using AI
The first type of conversational marketing that we discussed was email marketing, therefore, it makes sense to discuss the AI influence in email marketing first.
As the name suggests, AI email assistants are not meant to replace your sales or marketing team, rather act as an addition to amplify the effect of your conversational marketing efforts. AI email or sales assistants are meant to act as humans to engage in prompt and swift conversations.
The best part? These AI assistants will behave exactly like a human, and even have human email addresses and names. That’s what AI is all about at the roots, isn’t it?
What do these email assistants enable companies to do, you may ask?
First of all, AI sales assistants help you engage leads that have been cold for quite some time. Most businesses have an entire database of cold leads that they just haven’t had the time to follow up on. AI assistants do the hard work for you!
Once an AI assistant pursues meaningful conversation with a lead, there comes a time when actual human interaction is needed. Assistants then pass off these meaningful leads to sales teams, when the need for a call or meeting arrives.
The power of automation is real with AI. Don’t believe us? Here are a few numbers.
- Conversational email marketing has an average read rate of 54%, compared to a 16% read rate for typical email marketing.
- Response rates are even better, with 26% response rates for AI assistants and conversational marketing compared to email marketing with a meagre 3% response rate. The potential to stretch this response rate as far up as 35% has already been shown, according to tests run by Automat.ai.
- Conversational marketing also increases the time of engagement, with AI assistant conversations averaging 9 minutes of engagement per conversation with 11 messages sent. Email marketing clocks in at 3 minutes of engagement, and only 4 page views (no interaction).
The proof is in the pudding- combine the power of AI with email, and you have the perfect conversational marketing recipe for email marketing ready.
Messengers- covering the social media aspect
Many of us must have interacted with businesses on their Facebook pages, through Facebook Messenger. Most of these businesses have begun using AI and bots to power their Messenger conversations, as we see with Dominos’ bot named Dom, which helps customers place and track orders right from their messaging app of choice.
Messenger bots even help businesses to know more about customers, and then make personalized recommendations based on what they’ve learned over the course of the interaction. AI enables businesses to achieve such a large scale of personalization for customers, with a fraction of the cost and manpower. Think about having a human support team for all these personalized or customized recommendations- that would require a massive team to do.
Thankfully, AI comes to the rescue.
A perfect segue into our next section…
AI chatbots- the future of AI in conversational marketing
Perhaps the first concept that springs to mind when we talk about AI in marketing is chatbots. We’ve delayed the discussion of this concept for the last section, because it aligns perfectly with what we sought out to discuss- the present and future of AI in conversational marketing.
We’ve seen websites and businesses employ chatbots for both interaction and customer support. They can automatically answer common customer questions in real time, and can even eliminate the need for the customer to fill out forms for lead generation. This is where chatbots and AI constitute the present of conversational marketing.
Buyers want the most direct line of communication between themselves and the business. They want to go from problem to solution as fast as possible. Chatbots are the most direct line between the problem and the solution, and no wonder the future of AI in conversational marketing will be dominated by bots.
Why is this so?
Messaging apps have become the most popular platforms for users, by a country mile. 5 billion monthly active users comprise the user base of messaging apps, which is no mean feat. The future is expected to help grow this number, as internet access and technological knowledge reaches more and more people.
Incorporating chatbots right into the realms of these messaging apps is what the next step is all about. People want information as quickly as possible, and for businesses, a huge role of conversational marketing is to provide accurate and reliable information. Thus, chatbots become the future for AI in conversational marketing, since businesses tend to provide value to customers in places where they already spend most of their time. Would you rather make users download an app that they never use again after that one conversation, or would you reach out to them on a regular basis on the platforms that they’ve already made their homes on?
The next 5-10 years will be very significant for conversational marketing and the venture of AI into this domain. Empowering existing solutions, and creating further innovations is where the game lies as of now. How many of the marketers all over the world are excited to see how AI shapes conversational marketing?
Do let us know.