Conversational AI and The Future of Marketing: How Much Can We Predict
Conversational marketing is a feedback-based promotional strategy that seeks to improve customer engagement, cultivate customer loyalty, increase customer count, and ultimately generate more revenue. The idea behind conversational marketing is that listening to what your customers are actually saying is crucial for understanding their purchase patterns.
Conversational marketing relies on one-on-one conversations with customers, so businesses had to invest significant time and resources in their customer-facing departments to utilize it effectively. But with the emergence of chatbots – affordable, user-friendly conversation programs – even smaller companies have gained the ability to leverage conversational marketing. More powerful, AI-based chatbots are being developed as well, and they are poised to change conversational marketing as a whole.
To give you a glimpse of what conversational marketing might look like in the future, we have analyzed the latest development tendencies in chatbot research. Here is what we’ve been able to piece together.
1. Next-level User Experience
One of the main advantages of using AI for conversational marketing is that it helps you provide a better user experience (UX). Brands such as Sephora are already using AI-powered chatbots to interact with customers throughout the conversion process. These bots allow customers to try out Sephora products in a virtual environment. Instead of visiting a physical store, customers can simply upload a photo of their face and let the bot apply makeup to this virtual avatar. Applications of chatbot tech such as these are becoming increasingly common, and in the future, we can expect to see even more UX-focused bots.
2. More Effective Customer Service
Customer service lies at the heart of modern commerce. If you can’t give customers the care they need, they will have little reason to pursue further interactions with your business. Chatbots represent a great way to deliver effective customer service at scale. A customer service chatbot will enable your business to provide 24/7 customer service to customers around the world. This makes it much easier to expand the size of your customer base while maintaining the same level of service. Some experts are even predicting that human-operated customer service departments will eventually get phased out in favor of AI-based systems.
3. Personalized Product Recommendations
Another way chatbots have been impacting conversational commerce is through personalized product recommendations. Chatbots of this sort are called virtual shopping assistants, and their job is to help customers find products they might be interested in. Once a customer starts a conversation with a virtual shopping assistant, the bot will ask him a couple of questions to determine their preferences, and then offer personalized product recommendations. These systems can be embedded in physical terminals in shopping centers, hosted on websites, or deployed on instant messaging platforms, making them highly versatile. And their ability to predict what the customer is after is improving as we speak.
4. Automatic Lead Segmentation
AI-powered chatbots are also being used to solve marketing-specific tasks such as lead segmentation. Once you connect a chatbot to your customer database, you can utilize its machine learning capabilities to automatically segment customers into groups that share common features. This is possible thanks to natural language processing (NLP), a process whereby AIs analyze textual content from customers to determine their characteristics, biases, and behavioral tendencies. AI-powered lead segmentation allows you to circumvent the majority of tedious busywork associated with lead segmentation, giving you more time to work on the creative aspects of conversational marketing.
A Glimpse Into the Future of Conversational Marketing
Conversational marketing represents the latest stage of customer-focused commerce that dominates our era. Customers won’t be satisfied unless you approach them on their own terms, and AI-powered chatbots give you the ability to accomplish just that. They are integral for generating a frictionless UX, providing scalable customer service, offering relevant product recommendations, and segmenting leads into segments. If you want to prepare your business for the future, your best option is to start using chatbots today.
By Michael Deane
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael's work at Qeedle.
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