Chatbot technology isn’t new, but the fascination with it is new.

In this infamous clip of Kramer from Seinfeld, he pretends that he is Moviephone once he discovers his line has been crossed with the movie theater. He attempts to act as, you guessed it, a service oriented bot providing movie times.

Yes, that’s right. Those phone services where you pressed 1 for (the movie of your choice) or the companies that had you pressing numbers to get to a specific person on the other end were the very first iterations of messaging automation technology.

What’s really interesting is that, like Kramer, some companies who were early adopters of chatbots might have had a similar experience where it didn’t work very well at guessing the end user’s needs with available response messages. So it seems as though the platforms on which we are able to conduct these messages are evolving, but the actual technology isn’t that much more sophisticated….in a sense.

Technically speaking, the chatbots that are out in the market available for companies today are pretty amazing, but what we might still have a problem with are our expectations of what these platforms and technology can do for marketing.

In Episode 20 of While You Were Working (LIVE) we welcomed two guests. Our first guest is the CEO of Catalyst S + F, a digital marketing firm with locations in San Francisco, Mexico City and London, John Durham. John is also a professor at the University of San Francisco and has amassed an impressive group of work developing strategic solutions for consumer brands including Time Warner Cable, Verizon, Del Monte Foods, and Fiat Motors.

Our second guest is Managing Partner of Rogue Marketing, James Loomstein. Aside from running Rogue’s strategic digital efforts, he serves as an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University.

What Do Marketers Think of Chatbots

In this week’s While You Were Working (LIVE) episode, we touched on a lot of different aspects of what the chatbot boom means to marketers today. Each guest was asked to describe this new fascination with chatbots in one word. Here’s what James and John had to say:

What Marketers Need To Consider Before Adding a Chatbot

There were 2 key things that businesses should consider as they investigate Chatbots or new technology in general. It’s that you must consider your end-user and how adding this technology will enhance their experience, as well as the the cost of implementation and the prioritization of your tactics. Here’s what John and James had to say:

Chatbot Platform Recommendations

  1. Chatfuel: Currently Rogue Marketing is working to implement a chatbot through Chatfuel. Chatfuel is one of the first-to-market chatbot platforms that don’t require a developer. The interface is fairly user-friendly and the drag and drop ability makes editing easy. Though, as we discussed in the episode, you must have a very clear understanding of what your end-user is looking to gain from interacting with your bot. If this isn’t something you know, then it isn’t time to set up a bot of your own.
  2. ManyChat: John from Catalyst suggested ManyChat as his platform of choice. The interface is very user-friendly and your ability to edit messaging flows may be preferred over the complexity of Chatfuel or other bot platforms.

You can catch the full episode over on our Facebook Page: HERE

Additional Resources on Chatbots:

Capital One rolled out virtual card numbers via chatbot as a way to make online shopping safer and easier for the end user. CapitalOne Makes Purchases Easier Through Chatbot Technology

The healthcare industry takes on chatbots with a companion bot for Alzheimer’s patients. It not only helps the patient but provides logs of conversations that can show potential issues with additional deterioration and other more in-depth data collection for doctors. 10 Innovative Uses of Chatbots

Instant gratification is one of the key characteristics of the millennial generation. As this generation continues to take over more and more of the brand’s core consumer base, technologies like this will be that much more important for businesses to embrace. In fact, 28% of consumers surveyed have engaged with a brand via social media in the last year. How Chatbots Add Value To Consumers

Marketers are so far hesitant in jumping into the chatbot technology stating that it won’t work, but is it the fault of the technology or our expectations are out of order? Chatbots are an ‘and strategy’ as mentioned in today’s WYWW(LIVE) episode, and shouldn’t be expected to replace the human element. Set The Correct Expectations For Chatbot Capabilities

How can chatbots fit into your marketing system: Chatbots for Conversions