tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/messaging Latest Messaging content from Econsultancy 2017-12-04T09:30:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69627 2017-12-04T09:30:00+00:00 2017-12-04T09:30:00+00:00 Battle of the Christmas chatbots: Why M&S beats Lego & ASOS Nikki Gilliland <p>The basic premise is nothing new – gift guides have been around on retail websites for years. However, they’re now moving into Facebook Messenger, allowing social users to engage and interact with brands and (theoretically) find the perfect gift.</p> <p>But are they actually any good? Here’s a run-down of three new Christmas bots for 2017, from ASOS, Lego, and M&amp;S.</p> <h3>ASOS’ Gift Assistant</h3> <p>With over 80,000 brands and tonnes of new products added to the site daily, shopping on ASOS can be an overwhelming experience. The new Gift Assistant bot is designed to combat this, asking users a series of questions in order to find the perfect gift for someone without spending hours fruitlessly browsing.</p> <p>The bot begins by asking who you are buying for, i.e. your family, best mate, or Secret Santa etc. It will then ask about budget and a few more general and seemingly random questions relating to the person’s character or interests. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0816/ASOS_1.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="565"></p> <p>For example, it asked me what the name of my boyfriend’s autobiography would be, before giving me five (frankly non-applicable) answers. Of course, I had to pick one, so I ended up choosing “I run this show” because, well, he likes to go on a run every three to twenty weeks... </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0817/ASOS_2.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="537"></p> <p>I soon realised that I wasn’t going to find the perfect gift for anyone, but I went through the motions anyway.</p> <p>The rest of the experience was equally unconvincing, with the bot largely steering me towards certain products rather than actually asking intelligent questions to inform creative recommendations.</p> <p>ASOS also seems guilty of stereotyping its audience here, boxing ‘millennials’ into number of predictable personality types. And while it could have come across as clever target marketing, the limited number of options means it just feels a bit lazy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0818/ASOS_3.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="578"></p> <p>The design is a little disappointing, too. The images are large and overbearing in the messenger interface, and even when you’ve stipulated a category like womenswear, for example, the returned suggestions might show something else.</p> <p>While ASOS is clearly going for a retro vibe with its use of emoji, some icons on desktop Messenger are confusing, such as these ones which attempt to highlight how my best friend might like to spend her Friday night.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0819/ASOS_icons.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="336"></p> <p>Overall, I would have expected better from ASOS. The product recommedations I got seemed quite random, and I could easily do a much better job of finding a gift by using the main site's filtering tools.</p> <h3>Ralph by Lego</h3> <p>Lego is another <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69592-examining-lego-s-social-success-and-how-it-boosts-roi">social brand</a> that is using chatbot technology to help narrow down the gift-buying process. I was slightly baffled when I heard this, because I can understand it from the perspective of a multi-category retailer like ASOS, but just how many Lego products are there to narrow down?</p> <p>After giving the chatbot a go, it became apparent that perhaps the point of Ralph is more to help customers speed up the buying process. This is because, instead of manually researching what products are suitable for what age ranges, etc, Ralph does the leg work for you.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0820/Lego.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="533"></p> <p>The first question Ralph asked me was the age of the ‘builder’, plus whether they prefer to play with toys that create excitement, speed, are related to super-heroes etc. He also asked what kind of things the child likes to build, e.g. worlds and stories, wacky, or a ‘freestyle’ creation, before offering up a selection of four product recommendations.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0821/Lego_3.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="572"></p> <p>I was slightly disappointed that the entire process centres around just these two questions. Surely Ralph could have delved a little deeper into the personalities of our young Lego-loving companions? </p> <p>That being said, it offers a basic but functional chatbot overall, helping users perhaps unfamiliar with the brand to decipher between the dizzying array of Lego sets and figurines, and importantly, to determine what products are suitable for a specific age range.</p> <p>One stand-out incentive is the inclusion of a free-shipping code at the beginning of the conversation, which cleverly prompts users to carry out their purchase through the bot.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0822/Lego_4.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="572"></p> <h3>M&amp;S Christmas Concierge</h3> <p>Earlier this year, Facebook admitted that it had seen a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68868-facebook-scales-back-on-chatbots-what-does-it-mean-for-brands" target="_blank">70% failure rate</a> of brand chatbots on its platform. As a result, it launched the Facebook Creative Shop Christmas Hackathon – a competition for innovative use of Messenger at Christmas. Grey London’s ‘M&amp;S Christmas Concierge’ was one of the shortlisted entries – a Messenger chatbot designed to help users plan the perfect festive period. </p> <p>Unlike the ASOS example, which solely focuses on gifts, the concierge helps users find presents, plan food, and receive decorating and cooking tips.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0823/M_S_1.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="582"></p> <p>So, does it do as promised?</p> <p>Right from the get-go, I was impressed with the amount of choice presented to me. Do I want food tips or other Christmas inspiration? Going for food first, I was asked a few cooking-related questions, such as whether I want to be a top-chef or go for canapes or classics. The bot then returned a menu suited to my tastes, e.g ‘relaxing on Christmas Eve’ before the option to see all products or order from the M&amp;S site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0825/M_S_5.JPG" alt=""></p> <p>The decision-process feels more natural here than on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68636-pizza-express-channel-4-and-tfl-three-examples-of-brand-chatbots/" target="_blank">other chatbot examples</a>, as there is no shoehorning users into specific (and often mis-judged) categories. You don't need to be either a novice or a top chef - there are suggestions to suit everyone. It also helps that if you’re given a menu or a tip that you don’t think is relevant, you can easily choose another or move on.</p> <p>One aspect I particularly like is the integration of video, which is not something I’ve often seen from chatbots before. When I asked for general Christmas tips, for instance, I was shown a video on how to create a festive wreath.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0826/M_S_7.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="567"></p> <p>Another good feature is that the concierge regularly reminds users to subscribe for the tips they are interested in, clearly hoping to open up regular communication with customers rather than offer a one-time only interaction. What’s more, it allows users to choose what time of day they’ll receive these messages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0827/M_S_6.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="568"></p> <p>All in all, the concierge feels much more customer-centric than other chatbots I've tried. Instead of pushing consumers down a purchase funnel, it is much more geared around providing inspiration, and increasing the amount of time people interact with the brand.</p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>While Lego offers a slightly better chatbot experience than ASOS, I can’t help but think both might be in danger of falling into the 70% of failed Messenger bots. </p> <p>In contrast, with a focus on what users really want from this kind of brand interaction (rather than merely jumping on the bandwagon) M&amp;S has managed to create a far more engaging example. </p> <p>By widening it out to provide general Christmas inspiration, and also integrating video, it feels like a valuable and natural extension of the brand’s content strategy – not just a flimsy experiment. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading: </strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69146-five-things-we-learned-from-launching-a-facebook-messenger-chatbot"><em>Five things we learned from launching a Facebook Messenger chatbot</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68732-what-makes-a-good-chatbot-ux/"><em>What makes a good chatbot UX?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68934-how-chatbots-and-ai-might-impact-the-b2c-financial-services-industry/"><em>How chatbots and AI might impact the B2C financial services industry</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69569 2017-11-13T15:00:00+00:00 2017-11-13T15:00:00+00:00 Messaging platforms could even boost NPS – businesses should get on-board now Blake Cahill <p>With 1.2 billion people using the Messenger app today and a staggering 2 billion messages <a href="https://en-gb.facebook.com/business/products/messenger-for-business">sent between people and businesses each month</a>, this bet has well and truly paid off. </p> <p>And he wasn’t the only one. Tencent’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67490-10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-wechat">WeChat</a>, launched in 2011, was an early adopter of the integrated model, partnering with businesses and restaurants to provide users an extended offering before even the likes of Facebook. Although its user base isn’t as broad as the social media site or Whatsapp, in its native China it is expected to have a staggering <a href="https://www.emarketer.com/Article/WeChat-Users-China-Will-Surpass-490-Million-This-Year/1016125">84.5% market capitalisation</a> on all mobile messaging apps this year. </p> <h3>The move to Messenger</h3> <p>As such a large proportion of communication traffic between businesses and consumers now plays out across messaging channels, companies need to recognise and act on the fact that today’s consumers often prefer to use messaging apps to get in touch with them.</p> <p>Research into our own consumer base here at Philips underscored this preference, revealing that our customers want their brand interactions with us to be low effort and humanised. These criteria are instantly met by messaging channels which are easy to use and enable a business to communicate in an empathetic, human manner with their customers.</p> <p>It therefore made complete business sense for us to incorporate messaging channels into our customer care strategy as such channels map directly into the needs of our customers; facilitating ease of conversation with our customer care team, all at the tap of a touch screen.</p> <h3>Impact of messenger channels on Net Promoter Scores</h3> <p>For businesses looking to satisfy their customer base and interact with them in the way they want, while achieving high Net Promoter Scores (NPS) at the same time, messaging channels are the way forward.</p> <p>Testament to this, we have seen that across markets, NPS scores are consistently high for consumers using instant messaging applications to communicate with us; in many cases higher than when using traditional channels like email. This stands to reason as messenger apps can be used from any device at any given moment, giving consumers the instantaneous, human interaction they are looking for.</p> <p>Messenger apps are, after all, the way that we interact with our friends and family, so it’s an easy and natural transition to use these as a means to communicate with businesses too.</p> <h3>Frictionless customer-to-business interaction</h3> <p>Despite all the best intentions, barriers to successful customer interaction remain, such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Menus or difficulties finding relevant information on websites. To combat this, we found that messaging channels enable consistent, frictionless interactions.</p> <p>One benefit of is that customers can easily share photos or videos with our customer care agents – just like sharing photos with their friends. This enables our teams to best respond to questions in real-time, with increased accuracy.</p> <p>Additionally, by using messaging apps, conversations are digitally documented, meaning that consumers can leave a conversation and come back to it as they wish, without losing any of the information they previously shared with us.</p> <h3>Making the most of messenger: Things to keep in mind</h3> <p>Our experience to date has provided some valuable insights and lessons in addition to the obvious benefits. Firstly, we have seen that to truly derive value from instant messaging apps, you need to have a centrally aligned consumer care team. Put simply, it’s vital to work closely together with all marketing teams as many questions are the result of wider company activities such as product offers, or campaigns. If this doesn’t happen, you will be unable to respond as rapidly to inbound enquiries on new campaigns or products.</p> <p>We have also seen the importance of being ready for the volume of messages and inbound requests that opening a messaging channel permits. At Philips, instant messages now exceed the volume of inbound messages from some other channels, and this shift has happened very rapidly. Therefore, other businesses considering messaging apps need to be ready and have the resources in place to manage this new conversation flow.</p> <p>Recently, Nielsen found that <a href="https://messenger.fb.com/blog/messenger-highlights-from-f8-2017/">53% of people surveyed</a> stated that they are more likely to do business with an enterprise they can message, highlighting the importance of messenger apps like Facebook and WhatsApp to remain competitive in today’s digital age.</p> <p>For those businesses yet to launch a channel, the message from the Nielsen study comes across loud and clear. Get on board now and reap the rewards that interacting with your consumers via messenger affords or risk falling behind. </p> <p><em><strong>Further reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67697-does-the-rise-of-messaging-apps-mean-brands-need-a-bot-strategy/">Does the rise of messagign apps mean brands need a bot strategy?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68363-will-messaging-apps-be-the-next-walled-gardens/">Will messaging apps be the next walled gardens?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69580 2017-11-10T14:30:52+00:00 2017-11-10T14:30:52+00:00 10 fascinating digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>The roundup includes news about social media ads, ecommerce page speeds, Cyber Monday predictions and lots more. You can also check out the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for further facts and figures.</p> <h3>58% of marketers don’t see chatbots as a priority</h3> <p>According to a study by LiveWorld, marketers are failing to invest resources into chatbot and messaging app technology, with 58% saying that it isn’t a top priority.</p> <p>56% of marketers cited lack of expertise or bandwidth as a reason not to invest in chatbots, while 43% said a lack of strategy and 32% cited budget limitations.</p> <p>Despite the potential for improved customer service, the study also found a lack of enthusiasm for the tech in future. Only 40% of marketers expect their chatbot usage to increase, compared to 81% of marketers planning to increase their use of social media platforms.</p> <h3>63% of shoppers will buy from Amazon this Christmas</h3> <p>Astound Commerce’s <a href="https://astoundcommerce.com/us/holidays_us/" target="_blank">Holiday report</a> has revealed that seven in 10 consumers (of 2,000 surveyed in the US and Europe) plan to do at least a quarter of their Christmas shopping on Amazon this year, while more than 40% will make half of their purchases on the site.</p> <p>To highlight this level of consumer favour, over 50% of shoppers rank Amazon number one for the lowest prices, speed of shipping, and broad assortment, while less than 25% of consumers rank brands and large stores number one for the same categories.</p> <p>Elsewhere, the report suggests that a quality mobile app or web experience will cause four in 10 consumers to make a purchase from a retailer, highlighting the increasing growth of mobile commerce.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0426/amazon__2_.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="432"></p> <h3>Personable language most effective for social media ads</h3> <p>In a study on the effectiveness of social media ads, Kantar Millward Brown has <a href="http://www.millwardbrown.com/global-navigation/news/press-releases/full-release/2017/11/09/social-media-drives-brand-impact-for-advertisers-new-analysis-reveals">found</a> that personable and natural language is key for driving long-term brand impact. </p> <p>Looking at data from Facebook and Instagram campaigns over the past two years, including 235 campaigns from 110 different brands, the study found that human language in social media ads generated greater levels of brand awareness and product awareness.</p> <p>In contrast, there was no real correlation found between the success of social media ads and other factors like format, creative, or industry category.</p> <h3>UK online retailers predicted to lose Black Friday sales due to poor page speeds</h3> <p><a href="http://www.visualsoft.co.uk/pdf/e-retail_performance_report_2017_UK.pdf">New research</a> from Visualsoft has revealed that the UK’s top retailers are unprepared for this year’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69534-ask-the-experts-black-friday-ecommerce-strategy/">Black Friday</a>, rating as ‘poor’ for a number of key performance metrics including page load speed.</p> <p>Analysis of leading retailers found that 54% suffer from ‘poor’ page speeds, currently taking over nine seconds to load. 32% were rated as ‘fair’, taking between six to eight seconds to load. </p> <p>Consequently, these retailers are predicted to lose out on key sales. ‘Poor’ retailers will lose 29% of all potential customers through site speed alone, while ‘fair’ retailers will lose about a quarter.</p> <p><em>(More: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69528-uk-black-friday-landing-pages-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly/">UK Black Friday landing pages: The good, the bad &amp; the ugly</a>)</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0424/Page_loading.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="336"></p> <h3>Over a third of millennials willing to buy a car online</h3> <p>A new Trustpilot survey has revealed that millennials are becoming more open to the idea of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69321-with-peugeot-now-selling-cars-online-how-is-retail-influencing-automotive/">buying a car online</a>, with 36% of 18 to 35 year olds saying they would be willing to do so (compared to 25% overall).</p> <p>In a survey of over 1,500 people, Trustpilot also found that 82% of millennials turn to the internet when researching cars. 80% also cite reviews as being a fairly influential source of information, while just 37% say the same for general social media. </p> <p>Lastly, with Amazon reported to be entering the car market, 56% of millennials say they would trust the retailer with such a big purchase, compared to 42% overall and just 31% for those aged 55 and over. </p> <h3>Confidence levels in European advertising recover</h3> <p>In the first half of 2017, business confidence in the European marketing and advertising sector sharply declined. However, according to the <a href="http://eaca.eu/news/european-advertising-business-confidence-shows-signs-recovery-third-quarter-2017/" target="_blank">European Advertising Business Climate Index</a>, this has since steadied.</p> <p>It has reported that business confidence in the ad industry increased from +2 in July 2017 to +3 in October 2017, following an initial fall of 16 points.</p> <p>Despite general improvement in Europe, confidence levels still remain negative for the UK, rising from -29 in Q2 of 2017 to -18 in Q3 of 2017.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0421/confidence.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="381"></p> <h3>Half of Brits have been phishing victims more than once (but only 13% of Americans)</h3> <p>As Cyber Monday rapidly approaches, DomainTools <a href="https://blog.domaintools.com/2017/11/cyber-monday-deal-or-phishing-scam/">predicts</a> that US and UK consumers will once again fall foul to phishing scams.</p> <p>In a survey on consumer behaviour, 38% of US consumers and 20% of UK consumers admitted previously clicking on a link they thought was from a trusted brand, only to discover that it was in fact a scam. 53% of Brits say that this has happened to them more than once, while just 13% of Americans say the same.</p> <p>DomainTools also suggest that the most popular online retailers, including Amazon and Argos, are the most likely to be targeted.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0422/DomainTools.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="233"></p> <h3>80% of consumers share major milestones on social media</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://sproutsocial.com/insights/data/q4-2017/">new data</a> from Sprout Social, consumers are more likely to share major milestones on social media than in real life, with 80% saying that they regularly do so.</p> <p>In a survey of more than 1,200 US consumers, 66% of people said they post about holiday celebrations, 58% said the same for relationship milestones, while 47% said they'd also share difficult moments like the death of a loved one.</p> <p>Facebook by far remains the most popular for this, with 94% of consumers typically turning to the platform to share these moments. This is followed by Instagram and Twitter, with 39% and 27% of respondents saying they use these platforms for the same purpose.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0425/Sprout_Social.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="567"></p> <h3>75% of marketing leaders don’t understand changing consumers</h3> <p><a href="https://blogs.adobe.com/digitaleurope/files/2017/11/Adobe-Reinventing-Loyalty-The-New-Loyalty-Experience.pdf">A study</a> by Adobe and Goldsmiths has found that 75% of marketing leaders are failing to understand changing consumer behaviour, leading to a major impact on business performance. Meanwhile, the brands that are keeping up are said to be outperforming those using only traditional loyalty methods by as much as 14%. </p> <p>The study found that tailoring experiences to the needs and preferences of consumers is key to generating loyalty, with 61% of consumers citing this as a driver. However, despite 65% saying their companies target individual customer needs, just 32% say they use AI to enhance the customer experience, and just 58% make all their services available on mobile devices.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0423/Adobe_CMO.JPG" alt="" width="602" height="483"></p> <h3>Growing distrust in technology suppliers</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://downloads.conduent.com/content/usa/en/report/2017-state-of-customer-experience-technology.pdf">new analysis</a> from Conduent Incorporated, technology suppliers are failing to satisfy customers, with 47% citing frustration over service.</p> <p>Despite 76% of customers providing personal data to their technology suppliers, 59% believe that brands do not know them – an increase of 16% from just two years ago. As a result, 8% of customers would be willing to change suppliers if their data was used more effectively, and 14% would be willing to change suppliers for better service.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69246 2017-07-13T14:21:24+01:00 2017-07-13T14:21:24+01:00 Why Adidas is moving into utility marketing with All Day fitness app Nikki Gilliland <p>Its MiCoach app (now Runtastic) aims to help improve users’ fitness performance, while its Adidas Confirmed app lets users know about exclusive product releases.</p> <p>Now, Adidas is taking a broader approach, combining different types of health and fitness tracking technology into a single app. 'All Day' – just launched in the US – is an all-encompassing version designed to help users ‘begin their journey to well-being’. </p> <p>But, is there a market for yet another sports-brand app? More to the point, how will Adidas benefit? </p> <h3>Technology to manage health, not just fitness</h3> <p>From the Nike+ Training Club app to MyFitnessPal and Fitbit, there are a tonne of similar apps on the market. Interestingly, Adidas’s All Day app does not appear to be a carbon copy of other brand examples, instead, focusing much more on health and well-being for women.</p> <p>While it is inspired by sport, the app is tailored around four distinct categories of movement, nutrition, mindset, and rest. This means if the user is not that interested in one category, such as exercise, they’ll still be able to gain value from others like food and sleep.</p> <p>Essentially, it’s an interesting example of utility marketing, with Adidas ensuring that it is there to meet the individuals needs at any time – without directly promoting its core products.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GvQfVjpDTwM?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>Moving into the health industry could prove to be a shrewd move from Adidas. According to research, two-thirds of Americans <a href="http://www.itnonline.com/content/two-thirds-americans-favor-digital-personal-health-management" target="_blank">favour digital health management</a> over physical. Meanwhile, healthcare apps have seen a surge in interest, with a 16% increase in downloads during the past two years.</p> <p>Adidas is not the only brand to veer into this market. Under Armour’s Record app is also geared around general health verticals such as fitness, nutrition, and sleep – capitalising on its ability to track and help users throughout the entire day, not just during moments of exercise. </p> <h3>Using content to inspire</h3> <p>One way the Adidas All Day app differentiates itself from the competition is by going beyond performance tracking, also using content to inspire users. </p> <p>This part of the app is called ‘Discoveries’, with the current selection including recipes and healthy eating tips from food author, Candice Kumai, and a custom music playlist from DJ Nina Las Vegas. </p> <p>As well as capitalising on the authority of influencers, Adidas is focusing on high-quality content to tap into the general lifestyle interests of women. </p> <p>The aim here is to provide more than just utility. So while some people might use fitness apps for a while and then forget about them, or only think of using them in the moment of exercise, Adidas wants to provide the inspiration for maintaining and enjoying a healthy lifestyle.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7415/Adidas_All_Day_2.JPG" alt="" width="580" height="604"></p> <p>Furthermore, instead of focusing on hardcore or lengthy workout programs, it focuses on setting short term goals – where the length and category is chosen by the user.</p> <p>For example, if you’re interested in setting up a healthy eating plan, you can choose a select number of recipes to try – which the app will then remind you about and mark as complete as you go. The same goes for exercise plans and sleep aids. </p> <p>By breaking everything down into manageable chunks, the hope is that users might be more inclined to sustain usage over time.</p> <h3>Expanding digital presence</h3> <p>The app is not the only example of Adidas targeting a female audience or experimenting with other forms of utility marketing. In the UK, it launched a chatbot to let consumers find out information and book fitness classes in its East London studio. </p> <p>The chatbot received 2,000 sign ups with a 60% retention rate after the first week of launch, proving that online users often value practicality over pure entertainment.</p> <p>Adidas appears to be using both to promote the All Day app on social media, pulling in lifestyle-based content from its blog as well as promoting features such as the ability to set mini challenges.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Make every movement count.</p> <p>Take on challenges on the new All Day App: <a href="https://t.co/ZCnUASMOYR">https://t.co/ZCnUASMOYR</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/adidasALLDAY?src=hash">#adidasALLDAY</a> <a href="https://t.co/haamf50fZc">pic.twitter.com/haamf50fZc</a></p> — ADIDAS NYC (@adidasNYC) <a href="https://twitter.com/adidasNYC/status/883037976007024640">July 6, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>It’s also capitalising on influencer involvement, featuring popular lifestyle bloggers on its Instagram channel – another sign that it’s set on widening its target demographic rather than a niche, fitness-focused audience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7413/Adidas_insta.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="478"></p> <h3>Building brand affinity</h3> <p>The main benefit of utility marketing is that it helps to create brand affinity, with users potentially more likely to favour Adidas products when considering a purchase.</p> <p>While this naturally extends to Adidas sportswear and apparel, there’s also the question of whether Adidas will introduce a wearable tie-in.</p> <p>This has been the pattern for many sports brands up until now, starting with Nike+ and its Fuelband. Despite Nike going back to being a third-party app (now compatible with the Apple Watch), others have since entered the market, including Under Armour and its Healthbox wearable, and New Balance and its RunIQ smartwatch.</p> <p>As it stands, the new Adidas app can be paired with Apple’s Health Kit and Google Fit, and it looks like it won’t be long before a new official wearable is launched.</p> <p>It’s been reported that the device featured in the press photos for the All Day app is the all-new Adidas fitness tracker – thought to be called ‘Chameleon’. Said to be a rival for Fitbit, it will include a heart-rate sensor, as well as tie-ins with healthcare partners like Verily and American College of Sports Medicine. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7414/Chameleon.JPG" alt="" width="606" height="344"></p> <p>So, could Adidas take a share of the lucrative wearable market?</p> <p>Fitbit is currently the dominant player, with the brand seeing the most amount of downloads for its accompanying app. That being said, there has been rising concern over privacy rights, with many big wearable companies coming under fire for vague and convoluted T&amp;C’s. </p> <p>Alongside privacy concerns, one of the biggest reasons for wearable abandonment (a <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/article/a-third-of-wearable-devices-abandoned-by-consumers-gartner/" target="_blank">third of all owners</a> are reported to not wear their device) is said to be guilt or frustration for failing to reach their fitness goals. </p> <p>As less of a goal-setting app, and more of a lifestyle support, this is one area that Adidas might be able to capitalise on.</p> <p>By focusing more on flexibility rather than serious workouts, it could appeal to a wider demographic, as well as consumers already interested in its fashion-focused collections such as Adidas Originals.</p> <p><strong><em>Related articles:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69086-how-adidas-uses-digital-to-enable-powerful-experiences/" target="_blank">How Adidas uses digital to enable powerful experiences</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65598-nike-vs-adidas-which-provides-the-best-ecommerce-experience" target="_blank">Nike vs. Adidas: which provides the best ecommerce experience?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68785-how-adidas-originals-uses-social-media-to-drive-sales/" target="_blank">How Adidas Originals uses social media to drive sales</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69239 2017-07-13T13:17:13+01:00 2017-07-13T13:17:13+01:00 Will emoji search ever catch on? Kayak certainly hopes so Nikki Gilliland <p>However, despite recent a suggestion that we’ve reached ‘peak emoji’ – with 59% of millennials also saying that brands try too hard when using emojis in ad campaigns – it doesn’t look like the trend is about to disappear any time soon.</p> <p>Kayak, the online travel search engine, has recently announced a new feature that allows users to search for a specific travel destination by emoji. While the concept itself is nothing new – we’ve already seen the likes of Google and Yelp launch emoji search – Kayak is one of the first travel brands to get on board.</p> <p>So, how does it work exactly? And are other brands experimenting with emoji in this way? Here’s a bit more on Kayak’s activity as well as whether it’ll catch on with online consumers. </p> <h3>Using emoji for a better UX</h3> <p>Instead of incorporating emojis into brand communication, companies are now starting to think about how emojis can be used to aid or enhance the user experience.</p> <p>The idea that most people now recognise and understand emojis (even when there are no accompanying words) arguably means that it has become a language in its own right.</p> <p>Let’s say, for example, if a person uses an American flag and a statue of liberty emoji in an Instagram post – it’s pretty obvious where they’re going on holiday, even if they don’t specify using text.</p> <p>This is the thinking behind Kayak’s new search tool, which so far involves 10 emojis each relating to a specific location. The three-leaf clover signifies Dublin, while a red light stands for Amsterdam. Kayak is allowing users to vote for what emojis should be used for other destinations, too.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Just a few days left to vote: which city is worthy of the ? The ? The ? Help us pick the next 15 searchable emoji <a href="https://t.co/i00e3t85l8">https://t.co/i00e3t85l8</a></p> — KAYAK (@KAYAK) <a href="https://twitter.com/KAYAK/status/884447635859492864">July 10, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Will it catch on?</h3> <p>It’s clear that consumers are open and willing to engage with emojis – a recent study by <a href="https://www.leanplum.com/resources/library/emoji-push-notifications/" target="_blank">Leanplum</a> suggests that emojis in push notifications increase open rates by up to 85%. However, search is an entirely different ball game.</p> <p>The real question for Kayak is – will users bother to use emojis when searching or even be aware that the feature exists? While a lot of people naturally use emojis in conversation, there’s certainly a difference between talking to your friends and a brand – and even more of a leap to researching travel. </p> <p>In this case, Kayak’s example could merely be classed as clever bit of PR – something to merely generate interest and awareness. </p> <p>We’ve seen many brands do a similar thing. Domino’s launched a feature to allow users to order via the pizza emoji. Meanwhile, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69189-a-closer-look-at-wwf-s-social-strategy">WWF</a> launched the #endageredemoji campaign, using emojis to highlight animals that are endangered all over the world, as well as raising money via retweets. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Retweet to protect these <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/endangeredemoji?src=hash">#endangeredemoji</a> <br>...a <a href="https://twitter.com/WWF">@WWF</a> mission</p> — Satya Chudhary (@satyach17) <a href="https://twitter.com/satyach17/status/875680812368375808">June 16, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Kayak says that its new search tool is not just the brand getting on board the emoji bandwagon – neither is it a marketing ploy or a ‘trendy’ PR campaign. Rather, it is about utility. Recognising that emojis are now such an ingrained part of everyday culture, the aim is to simplify the user experience by allowing users to communicate with the brand just like they would their friend.</p> <h3>Issues with user intent</h3> <p>One of the biggest problems brands face with emoji search is determining user intent. After all, emojis can be highly subjective or simply too general.</p> <p>As a rather broad example, someone might search Google using the apple emoji, but it will still be unclear what exactly they are searching for. The answer could range from recipes to supermarkets – even the ‘Big Apple’ i.e. New York City. </p> <p>In this instance, instead of simplifying the experience it actually means that users will spend more time scrolling or looking for the answer that’s relevant to them.</p> <p>So, perhaps emoji search will be better suited within a specific category or industry, like travel. Kayak is cleverly getting around the problem of user intent by choosing to let consumers determine what emojis are used for what city. </p> <p>Other brands, like Yelp – which lets users search for local businesses and restaurants – also capitalise on the fact that people will always be searching for a place (not subjective results like information or meaning). If a user searches for the hamburger emoji on Yelp, it is quite clear what they’re looking for.  In this case, I can definitely see how emoji search might appeal to those who already naturally use emojis.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7394/Yelp.JPG" alt="" width="340" height="609"></p> <h3>Emoji search on social</h3> <p>Lastly, while emoji search might have its limitations for brands, perhaps social media platforms could be a better fit. </p> <p>Earlier this year, it was revealed that Twitter had added the ability for users to search using emojis. And though the feature is likely to be underemployed by users, it seems to present far more opportunities for brands themselves. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Twitter now supports emojis in search. Here are people using the fax machine emoji for some reason <a href="https://t.co/MWO6BrN4sk">pic.twitter.com/MWO6BrN4sk</a></p> — Emojipedia (@Emojipedia) <a href="https://twitter.com/Emojipedia/status/857919719202058240">April 28, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>This is because the feature returns all tweets that include the emoji you search for, essentially allowing brands to target people on this basis.</p> <p>So, if we turn the tables, and Kayak wanted to target Twitter users including the Statue of Liberty emoji or the Irish flag – it means they could easily find and engage with them.</p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>Kayak’s new emoji search is certainly a fun feature, and one that is bound to give its content and social strategy a boost (the tool can also be used via the brand’s Facebook Messenger bot). The added gamification element of people voting to determine different emojis is also likely to generate involvement – especially considering the famous ‘poop’ emoji has yet to be assigned.</p> <p>In terms of whether the feature will be heavily used in future is much less certain.</p> <p>Maybe it depends on how the technology itself evolves. As it stands, most search engines can only recognise a few emojis at a time, but as the ‘language’ itself continues to evolve, perhaps too will the ability to interpret it.</p> <p>Will we see travellers researching and booking entire holidays via emoji in future? Probably not. For now, at least, it makes the process of looking for flights a little more fun.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68607-the-art-of-the-emoji-how-and-when-brands-should-use-them/">The art of the emoji: How and when brands should use them</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68745-five-examples-of-brands-using-emojis-in-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">Five examples of brands using emojis in marketing campaigns</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/67965-emojis-gone-wild-twitter-unveils-emoji-targeting" target="_blank">Emojis gone wild: Twitter unveils emoji targeting</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69232 2017-07-06T11:41:00+01:00 2017-07-06T11:41:00+01:00 Marketers can rest easy, AI is not about to make them redundant Nikki Gilliland <p>Sounds pretty simple when you put it like that, right? </p> <p>Of course, actually getting to this point isn’t <em>quite</em> so easy. Neither is convincing businesses that artificial intelligence is actually worth investing in, especially considering it is nearing the dreaded “trough of disillusionment” on the infamous Gartner Hype Cycle.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7299/Gartner_hype_cycle.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="476"></p> <p>Reflecting <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68046-five-pioneering-examples-of-how-brands-are-using-chatbots">the various examples of brand chatbots</a> we’ve seen throughout the past year or so, the conversation at Supercharged ranged from the inspiring to the silly. Here’s a summary of the day’s biggest talking points, along with insight into how brands of all kinds are implementing artificial intelligence.</p> <h3>Rapid rate of change</h3> <p>While many people can get carried away with what artificial intelligence might look like far into the future, John Straw kicked off Supercharged with an inspiring talk about how the technology will evolve in the next couple of years.</p> <p>Right now, of course, it has its limitations, with most marketers creating augmented decision trees and calling it a chatbot. Then again, John reminded us of the prediction that bots will be in everyday use by 2020, also suggesting that the rapid rate at which the technology is evolving means the bots will look (and sound) far different to how they do now. In fact, he said that by mid-2018, the technology will have advanced so much that users won’t even realising they’re talking to a bot. </p> <p>As someone who has <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68636-pizza-express-channel-4-and-tfl-three-examples-of-brand-chatbots/" target="_blank">reviewed quite a few (mediocre) examples</a> in the past year or so (not counting <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69146-five-things-we-learned-from-launching-a-facebook-messenger-chatbot/" target="_blank">our own</a>, of course), I feel that John's prediction sounds rather optimistic. </p> <p>Then again, as John explained, just because we’re not seeing the technology in practice right now, does not mean it is not in existence. Take the healthcare sector, for instance, where new companies such as HealthTap and Babylon Health are looking to revolutionise the early stages of patient diagnosis. </p> <p>Instead of endlessly waiting on hold to speak to a human or Googling their aches and pains, patients can liaise with AI-powered doctors to speed up and streamline the process.</p> <p>As John said, the net benefit of this kind of technology is greater satisfaction, not just in the context of a doctor-patient scenario but in relation to all kinds of customer service. Instead of being passed from pillar to post and ending up “talking to a 19-year-old in a call centre”, people will be able to talk to a single entity to get the answer they want much faster. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Proud to be nestled among some of A.I.'s best. <a href="https://t.co/EtnEzSPCXR">https://t.co/EtnEzSPCXR</a> <a href="https://t.co/sNIOJIIVKv">pic.twitter.com/sNIOJIIVKv</a></p> — babylon (@babylonhealth) <a href="https://twitter.com/babylonhealth/status/880715572379611136">June 30, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>The benefits of NLP</h3> <p>A lot of brand chatbots involve scripts and decision trees to force users down a specific path. And while some can be frustratingly limited, others can work surprisingly well.</p> <p>Alex Miller from <a href="http://www.bytelondon.com/">Byte London</a> cited Adidas as a prime example, with the sports brand using a scripted chatbot to enable Facebook Messenger users to book a free session in an East London fitness studio. Users could interact with the bot to book times, get reminders, and find out location details. The results showed a 76% retention rate after 23 weeks, 1.1m interactions, and 46,000 fitness sessions organised in all. </p> <p>So, scripted bots can work well for events, but what about scenarios where users are more inclined to ask questions?</p> <p>JustEat is one brand that has successfully combined scripted technology with NLP (natural language processing), going on to create a chatbot that is both functional and entertaining.</p> <p>To do so, it put together a large collection of possible user queries, alongside a list of how the bot would answer in response.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7300/JustEat_chatbot.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="419"></p> <p>Of course, this still has its limitations. There’s only a certain amount of language it is programmed to recognise, however it's still a good example of a bot that goes beyond basic commands to inject personality and humour into the mix.  </p> <p>For JustEat, it meant that 40% of people who interacted with the bot went on to actually place an order online, as well as the brand seeing an average dwell time of 2mins 14secs.</p> <h3>Programming personality into AI</h3> <p>Speaking of personality... according to Nick Asbury, writer for Creative Review and one-half of agency <a href="http://asburyandasbury.com/about/">Asbury &amp; Asbury</a>, character remains a largely untapped area of artificial intelligence. </p> <p>This seems strange, he suggests, especially considering humans are instinctively drawn to any kind of inanimate object that appears to have a personality. Meanwhile, with most humans naturally inclined to choose text or email – even in the context of social relationships – why would we want to spend time having a conversation with Amazon's Alexa when we could skim-read textual information? </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This alarm clock is so confused <a href="https://t.co/j6bbHp98nh">pic.twitter.com/j6bbHp98nh</a></p> — Faces in Things (@FacesPics) <a href="https://twitter.com/FacesPics/status/878651935435485184">June 24, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Putting these negatives aside, the positive is that most people are also open to the idea of artificial intelligence taking on more human characteristics. As Nick explained, we’ve traditionally seen this in popular culture, with robots taking on all kinds of human traits in films ranging from Knight Rider to 2001: A Space Odyssey.</p> <p>Ultimately, this means that there is a huge amount of unexplored territory in terms of chatbot tone and personality. If ‘neutral’ or an Alexa-type chatbot is the middle of the spectrum, a large percentage of all brand communication does not tend to stray very far from this. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/asburyandasbury">@asburyandasbury</a> on giving AI personality: "Most chatbots are neutral, polite or helpful. Lots of unexplored traits" <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/supercharged17?src=hash">#supercharged17</a> <a href="https://t.co/2e86Pt8aG6">pic.twitter.com/2e86Pt8aG6</a></p> — Econsultancy (@Econsultancy) <a href="https://twitter.com/Econsultancy/status/882184030388670469">July 4, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>So, instead of concentrating on just one aspect (either functionality or personality) Nick suggests that brands should explore different areas of the tonal map – even embrace sounding like a robot. </p> <p>Nick specifically mentioned Zhuck – an app that Asbury &amp; Asbury worked on in partnership with a Russian bank. Described as an ‘endearingly grumpy smart ass’, it was deliberately designed to be more interesting and engaging to use, with a character that set out to entertain as much as serve a functional purpose. </p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/128130687" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>Fusing AI with human roles</h3> <p>Unsurprisingly, a lot of discussion at Supercharged revolved around the automation of jobs, and the natural backlash that has occurred because of it.</p> <p>So, from a marketer’s perspective, will we see AI disrupt specific areas such as content creation? And what about from a wider branding perspective – could we even see artificial intelligence informing brand straplines or mission statements?</p> <p>While companies such as <a href="https://phrasee.co/">Phrasee</a> (which uses software to generate email subject lines) shows that artificial intelligence can beat humans in terms of scale and immediacy, it still feels like we’re a long way from bots replacing human creativity.</p> <p>Jukedeck is a company that uses artificial intelligence to compose music that’s suited to individual needs and contexts. Patrick Stobbs, the company’s co-founder, gave some interesting insight into this idea. When asked whether or not this kind of technology creates <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filter_bubble">a filter bubble</a>, he argued that – in contrast – it actually gives creative people the tools to improve and enhance their craft.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjukedeck%2Fposts%2F784081638422118&amp;width=500" width="500" height="476"></iframe></p> <p>Other brands at Supercharged spoke about how they are using artificial intelligence to streamline services, as well as to upskill and aid traditional roles rather than automate them out. </p> <p>Nicola Millard from BT suggested that most jobs are made up of an intricate series of tasks, regardless of seniority level or industry. As a result, instead of the ‘automation will take our jobs’ scenario coming true – the reality might be more like 60% of jobs having about 30% of their roles automated in the next 10 years.</p> <p>In relation to companies like BT that currently rely on people for customer service, Nicola emphasised that it will not be a battle between bots and agents, but rather a partnership that combines the (very different strengths) of the two. </p> <p>IntelligentX Brewing Company is another brand that cited this belief, insisting that its own product – a beer brewed by AI – requires human involvement throughout the entire manufacturing process. Instead of automating out the human elements, people work in conjunction with the AI (in terms of testing, assessing and providing feedback on AI-produced recipes) to create the very best result.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Found my way to the <a href="https://twitter.com/IntelligentX_ai">@IntelligentX_ai</a> beer tasting at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/smlates?src=hash">#smlates</a>! Beer that evolves with consumer feedback. <a href="https://t.co/NkIHPVbvih">pic.twitter.com/NkIHPVbvih</a></p> — Michelle Reeve (@michelleareeve) <a href="https://twitter.com/michelleareeve/status/771058383566860288">August 31, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Dealing with data issues</h3> <p>The final panel talk of the day centred around how data and artificial intelligence can fuel personalisation and brand loyalty. But when does AI cross the line from cool to creepy? Moreover, with the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69119-gdpr-needn-t-be-a-bombshell-for-customer-focused-marketers" target="_blank">GDPR deadline rapidly approaching</a>, will greater regulation impact automated processes such as customer profiling and segmentation?</p> <p>While this is not as relevant in cases whereby automation doesn’t have a significant or legal impact, it still reflects the dangers of using customer data to such an extent that it feels like a violation of privacy.  </p> <p>For brands like ASOS, artificial intelligence certainly underpins targeting strategies, with AI processes impacting what products to show which customers and when. However, even ASOS realises that data should be used with caution, agreeing that <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/the-incredible-story-of-how-target-exposed-a-teen-girls-pregnancy-2012-2?IR=T">Target’s recent fail</a> proves some lines should not be crossed. The retail brand sent coupons for baby items to a teenager (and her unsuspecting father), having determined from data tracking that she was pregnant.</p> <p>While other brands like ShopDirect show that using artificial intelligence in this way can generate results – i.e. to identify and retarget a customer who might have run out of lipstick – it’s clear that there’s a long way to go before basic human judgement becomes redundant. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68770-an-introduction-to-ai-and-customer-service/" target="_blank">An introduction to AI and customer service</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69112-what-s-the-difference-between-ai-powered-personalisation-and-more-basic-segmentation/" target="_blank">What's the difference between AI-powered personalisation and more basic segmentation?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67745-15-examples-of-artificial-intelligence-in-marketing" target="_blank">15 examples of artificial intelligence in marketing</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68929 2017-05-16T10:00:00+01:00 2017-05-16T10:00:00+01:00 Digital crisis comms: How TfL's social media team copes with Tube strikes Nikki Gilliland <p>So spare a thought for Transport for London’s social media team, who see their daily tally of 2,500 Twitter mentions increase by a whopping 2,000% on a strike day.</p> <p>I recently spoke with TfL’s social media and content lead, Steven Gutierrez, to find out about the network’s approach to crisis communications, specifically when it comes to dealing with strikes. Here’s a summary of what he said, as well as a bit of further insight into the topic in general.</p> <h3>Multiple lines of communication</h3> <p>The <a href="http://managementhelp.org/blogs/crisis-management/2015/02/07/crisis-stats-you-should-remember/" target="_blank">OMD Group suggests</a> that just 54% of companies have a crisis plan in place. Unsurprisingly, it’s a necessity rather than an option for transport networks, with TfL taking steps to ensure there are multiple lines of communication open in the event of any planned or unplanned events.</p> <p>In total, TfL has 21 Twitter accounts, including individual accounts for Tube lines, rail lines, as well as dedicated channels for customer service such as <a href="https://twitter.com/TfLTravelAlerts" target="_blank">@TfLTravelAlerts</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/TfLBusAlerts" target="_blank">@TfLBusAlerts</a>. </p> <p>Despite offering multiple ways for users to check the status of the network, however, Steven suggests that manpower is still pretty limited. </p> <p>TfL’s First Contact team is made up of just a few members of staff – an amount that stays roughly the same during strike days. Similarly, each bus or rail line is manned by one or two people, meaning that there are usually around half a dozen people dealing with a huge volume of queries. </p> <h3>Broadcasting info and prioritising mentions</h3> <p>So, just how does TfL cope with the 2,000% increase in mentions when there’s a strike?</p> <p>With such a massive influx, it’s impossible for the team to reply to questions individually. In order to cover all bases, TfL broadcasts an overview of information to followers via its social channels and links to the website with is kepy up to date with live information, with the aim of reaching customers before they feel the need to reach out to the network.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4966/TFL_mentions.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="244"></p> <p><em>TfL's brand mentions on Twitter</em></p> <p>While TfL might not answer every question, impressively every single mention is still checked by an agent. To streamline the process TfL’s social team uses a tool called CX Social, which is also used by O2 and McDonald’s.</p> <p>According to Steven: “It makes it possible to handle many accounts, collaborate and triage messages to the most relevant team. I don’t think we’re limited by any tech our teams are well equipped.”</p> <p>Of course, not only does this give the team insight into what kind of information customers are actively seeking out, but it also means TfL is privy to people’s anger and frustration, too.</p> <p>That being said, Steven suggests that the majority of feedback is based on customers needing information, meaning a relatively small amount is actually abusive. “Increasingly customers thank the social media team because I think some realise how hard it is to work through a strike!”</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4967/Sentiment.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="304"></p> <p><em>Sentiment analysis of TfL brand mentions on Twitter</em></p> <p>Perhaps TfL’s commitment to communication is part of the reason why. In contrast, you’ve only got to look at an example like Southern Rail, which has come under fire for an inconsistent and incompetent approach to crisis communications.</p> <p>Even after it received complaints for a lack of visible compassion, Southern Rail angered commuters even further with its misjudged call to ‘strike back’ at RMT.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/SouthernRailUK">@SouthernRailUK</a> When people waited three hours at Brighton last night, was that because of strikes?</p> — Cr O'Grizimov (@Mr_Ogrizovic) <a href="https://twitter.com/Mr_Ogrizovic/status/782841247706873856">October 3, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Reversing the message</h3> <p>As well as using broadcasts to pre-empt and stem the flow of incoming customer queries, TfL’s strategy for strike days is to reverse its working message. In other words, instead of telling customers what Tube lines are not working, it tries to tell them what ones are still running instead.</p> <p>Alongside this, it typically stops or reschedules any promotional campaigns in order to allow more pressing news to cut through.</p> <p>Together, this approach is effective for instilling trust and encouraging a positive mood, with TfL promoting the fact that it is working hard to help the customer – not pushing its own agenda.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">A possible Tube strike will significantly affect services from Sun eve to Wed morning. Stay up to date here: <a href="https://t.co/9bQz35k9Xa">https://t.co/9bQz35k9Xa</a> <a href="https://t.co/DOKNlcdR0B">pic.twitter.com/DOKNlcdR0B</a></p> — TfL Travel Alerts (@TfLTravelAlerts) <a href="https://twitter.com/TfLTravelAlerts/status/827486881415839744">3 February 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>According to Steven, a strike isn’t necessarily the most stressful event that a transport network like TfL can encounter. With storms, flooding or snow having a massive impact on the running of Tube lines, winter is typically the most demanding season.</p> <p>Meanwhile, with unforeseen accidents often harder to deal with than planned strikes (such as the helicopter that crashed in Vauxhall a few years ago), the team is essentially on constant standby throughout the entire year.</p> <p>In order to deal with an unplanned event, TfL has a defined process in place:</p> <ul> <li>One of the first steps is usually an acknowledgement of the issue.</li> <li>The next step is to coordinate a response based on verified information.</li> <li>At the same time all unnecessary activity (promotions, advertising, etc) is stopped</li> <li>TfL’s main accounts including @TfL and the TfL Facebook will lead on news and customer service accounts like individual Tube lines will broadcast service updates.</li> <li>TfL’s website will usually carry a dedicated webpage with more detailed travel advice and the Press Office will provide updates to the media.</li> <li>TfL continues providing updates from all relevant accounts and update the website regularly until things go back to normal.</li> </ul> <h3>Maintaining a genuine tone of voice</h3> <p>During busy or stressful times, rushed responses could potentially mean <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67268-how-to-achieve-the-right-tone-of-voice-for-your-brand/" target="_blank">brand tone of voice</a> goes out of the window.</p> <p>However, Steven emphasises that the network strives to maintain a genuine and friendly tone no matter what, with staff encouraged to be genuine and express themselves.</p> <p>He says that it helps that the majority of social media agents are part of the company's wider contact centre, meaning they also deal with calls, emails and letters as well as social media platforms. In turn, this encourages them to maintain a natural-sounding and friendly tone regardless of the channel.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Good afternoon all, Mark and Tariq are here to help. <a href="https://t.co/JfJ3ETqwIX">pic.twitter.com/JfJ3ETqwIX</a></p> — TfL Travel Alerts (@TfLTravelAlerts) <a href="https://twitter.com/TfLTravelAlerts/status/833702140300378117">20 February 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>While TfL clearly prioritises one-to-one human interaction, that doesn't mean it dismisses automation in all senses. Alongside automated ‘welcome’ messages on both Twitter and Facebook, TfL recently partnered with Twitter to offer a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68636-pizza-express-channel-4-and-tfl-three-examples-of-brand-chatbots/" target="_blank">chatbot ‘status checker</a>' that users can interact with via direct messages.</p> <p>Interestingly, Steven hints that it's not the only bot in the works. “We are developing chatbot experiences on other platforms... and our editors are working on the script to ensure it has a friendly tone of voice throughout.”</p> <p>However, TfL is likely to rely on its distinctly human approach a fair few more times in the future at least.</p> <p><strong><em>Now read:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68876-how-tfl-s-community-managers-engage-with-london-s-cyclists/" target="_blank">How TfL’s community managers engage with London’s cyclists</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69046 2017-05-08T01:00:00+01:00 2017-05-08T01:00:00+01:00 Has WeChat beaten Facebook to the enterprise? Jeff Rajeck <p>Facebook aims to change this with its new service, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/workplace">Workplace by Facebook</a>, which launched in October 2016. The new social network aims to provide companies with a way for its staff to collaborate and form tighter social ties with fellow employees. To see where this all might be headed, it's worthwhile to have a look at what is happening in China. The ultra-popular Chinese messaging platform, <strong>WeChat, has become as much of workplace tool as a social network to many in the country</strong>.</p> <p>One section of an <a href="https://www.chinatechinsights.com/report/21370582.html">April 2017 report</a> by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) focused on how important WeChat has become in the enterprise and how Chinese office workers are using it.</p> <h3>The survey</h3> <p>For the report, CAICT surveyed more than 1,000 WeChat users and 9,000 business account managers using WeChat's integrated survey tool (<a href="http://re.qq.com/">Penguin Intelligence</a>) in March 2017.</p> <p>Here are a few of the findings which offer insights into the future of messaging and the workplace.</p> <h3>1) WeChat is massive in China</h3> <p>For those unfamiliar with the platform, simple usage stats will give you some idea of the scale of the platform. WeChat has 890m monthly active users as of Q4 2016, 28% more than it had Q4 2015. This means that <strong>WeChat will likely hit a billion monthly active users at some point this year.</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5799/1.png" alt="" width="800" height="234"></p> <p>While it's unknown how many of those users are outside of China (as there are only an estimated 731m Chinese internet users) it is likely that <strong>nearly everyone on the internet in China is on WeChat.</strong></p> <h3>2) New WeChat contacts are largely work-related</h3> <p>While the percentage of WeChat users with over 200 contacts (43%) has never been higher, interestingly <strong>it seems that people are adding fewer people every month.</strong></p> <p>Of those that are being added, though, <strong>more than half (57%) say that their new contacts are mostly work-related.</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5800/2.png" alt="" width="800" height="426"></strong></p> <p>For those at management level the percentage is even higher (74%) indicating that <strong>WeChat-at-work is a phenomenon that is affecting all levels of the enterprise.</strong></p> <h3>3) Almost all WeChat users use it for work</h3> <p>When asked about which work-related actions users had accomplished through WeChat, <strong>fewer than 20% of WeChat users said that they don't work on WeChat at all. </strong>Additionally, more than half (58%) said that they use the platform daily for work-related communications.</p> <p>This figure is backed up, anecdotally, by the FT which <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/a7f851a2-1118-11e6-91da-096d89bd2173">reported last year</a> that "at almost every Chinese workplace, WeChat has become the primary means of communication."</p> <h3>4) More people use WeChat for daily work than email, phones, or any other messaging service</h3> <p>Probably the most surprising finding is that <strong>WeChat is more commonly used as a 'major communication tool' than telephone, SMS, or email.</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5802/4.png" alt="" width="800" height="218"></strong></p> <p>Nearly 90% of respondents use WeChat for daily work, demonstrating that the platform has now reached a tipping point and will likely remain dominant.</p> <p>To capitalize on that trend, WeChat launched a 'Slack-like' <a href="https://medium.com/startup-life-in-china/enterprise-wechat-is-not-wechat-enterprise-right-83c18c55ef6a">Enterprise WeChat</a> recently, though there is some skepticism that the platform will be successful – or that it is even necessary.</p> <p>Marketers should still take note of the ubiquity of WeChat at work as reaching a desirable office worker consumer base requires having a presence on WeChat. For more on how to use WeChat for marketing, please refer to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-china-digital-report">Econsultancy's China Digital Report</a>.</p> <h3>5) Enterprise users use WeChat to coordinate tasks and send out notifications</h3> <p>So how exactly do people work on WeChat? As nearly everyone is on the platform, <strong>WeChat is used largely to coordinate tasks and send out notifications</strong>, similar to how office workers worldwide use WhatsApp.</p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5801/3.png" alt="" width="800" height="478"></strong></p> <p>Interestingly, though, a significant number also use WeChat for transactions (38%) and transferring files (33%) which indicate that <strong>the next stage for messaging apps is to become part of the daily workflow, in direct competition with email and websites.</strong></p> <h3>6) Business owners use WeChat for making transactions</h3> <p>For individual proprietors, conducting transactions on the platform has become even more important. <strong>Half of all small business owners surveyed use WeChat for commerce</strong>, more than even use it for coordination or notifications.</p> <p>This is one example of how WeChat differs from its Western counterparts. Facebook only launched payments via messenger in April 2016 and a payments feature was only added to chatbots in September. While Facebook is arguably launching into a larger base, it has a lot of catching up to do in this area.</p> <h3>7) Many join large groups for corporate internal communications</h3> <p>Another interesting new behaviour is that <strong>office workers join large (100+) chat groups in order to keep up on corporate internal communications.</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5803/5.png" alt="" width="800" height="216"></strong></p> <p>While in the West company announcements are made via email, in China it seems 40% of respondents report that <strong>companies and large teams use WeChat for large scale notifications.</strong></p> <p>Also interesting to note is that<strong> over one in three (34%) use WeChat as a way to network professionally,</strong> which may explain LinkedIn's struggle to match its success elsewhere.</p> <h3>8) Most Chinese office workers find WeChat 'helpful'</h3> <p>Finally, respondents were asked to comment on whether they found WeChat helpful for work. Interestingly, only around one in four (24%) indicated that it was a place to get 'high quality information' and only slightly more (35%) said that it was good way of managing office work from their mobile.</p> <p><strong>But more than four in five (81%) said that WeChat 'offers a useful communication tool' for work</strong>, meaning that nearly all of the 90% who use WeChat regularly for work find value in the platform.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5804/6.png" alt="" width="800" height="234"></p> <p>This is another indicator of the strength that WeChat has in Chinese companies and, perhaps, is the most telling sign that we should expect the same in the West in the future.</p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>While China lagged the West in online services for many years, it now appears that they are the leading in many areas. With nearly the whole country on a single platform with integrated payments, <strong>China is now pulling ahead by adopting new online behaviours that, until recently, were not even possible in the West.</strong></p> <p>This was initially apparent in how consumers were using the internet, but <strong>it is now true in the enterprise as well.</strong></p> <p>And though it's not likely that Western companies will follow China exactly, marketers should be aware that messaging apps have the potential to displace the communication mediums which may seem to be with us permanently – namely the telephone, email, and even the web.</p> <p>For those who conduct business in China or want to know more about the digital landscape there, we encourage you to download the <a href="https://www.chinatechinsights.com/report/21370582.html">original CAICT report </a>and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-china-digital-report">Econsultancy's China Digital Report</a> as well.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69041 2017-04-27T15:16:00+01:00 2017-04-27T15:16:00+01:00 Social commerce: Why basic bots and buy buttons are not enough Nikki Gilliland <p>It seems that despite mobile commerce rising in popularity – and with one in four users trying to purchase a product on social last year – many brands have struggled to find the right balance between social media and ecommerce. </p> <p>In fact, a recent survey suggests that <a href="http://uk.businessinsider.com/buy-buttons-fail-to-show-return-on-investment-2016-12?r=US&amp;IR=T" target="_blank">45% of adults have no current interest</a> in clicking on a 'buy now' button, while a further quarter don’t even know the technology exists. Meanwhile, many brands are scaling back on chatbots after Facebook reported a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68868-facebook-scales-back-on-chatbots-what-does-it-mean-for-brands/" target="_blank">failure rate</a> of 70%.</p> <p>So, how can brands make social commerce appealing to users, as well as ensure the process is seamless across channels? </p> <p>This was a question asked at a recent event held by We Are Social, where a number of brands spoke about their previous experience and what they think will be the key to success. Here are a few takeaways.</p> <h3>Most buy buttons do not mirror the user mind-set</h3> <p>While it’s true that users are increasingly turning to social media for shopping inspiration, many brands are failing to realise how big the leap to buying on social actually is. Currently, the reality of social commerce is often very different to the user’s expectations. </p> <p>Caroline Lucas-Garner, strategy director at We Are Social, explained how most experiences involve clicking on a link in a social bio. This then means being taken from the cosy bubble of Instagram to an interim landing page, before finally onto the main ecommerce site itself.</p> <p>That’s a lot of disruption when you think about it, which could naturally lead to users abandoning the journey, or worse – being put off the brand as a result. </p> <p>Similarly, Caroline suggested that buy buttons on other platforms can be akin to a pushy sales assistant, which when you’re simply having a leisurely browse (or scroll), can feel frustratingly intrusive.</p> <h3>Brands in your Messenger inbox feel unnatural </h3> <p>Chatbots are of course another big part of social commerce – we’ve seen many examples of branded bots created for customer service or to drive conversions.</p> <p>But do users really feel that comfortable allowing them into this space? It's an odd notion to see a message from a brand alongside your nearest and dearest.</p> <p>Dominos is one brand that has tried to get around this by creating a character specifically to front its chatbot. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68184-domino-s-introduces-dom-the-pizza-bot-for-facebook-messenger/" target="_blank">Dom the Pizza Bot</a> has his own unique set of characteristics, designed to urge people to speak to it like they would a friend. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5752/Dom_the_pizza_bot.JPG" alt="" width="658" height="309"></p> <p>Another way to make users feel more comfortable interacting with brands in this context is to establish boundaries early on – even making it clear that a bot has limitations. </p> <p>Sam Poullain, senior growth marketing manager at Skyscanner, explained how his team made the decision to include a ‘talk to a human’ option in its chatbot to point users towards an alternative or next step. This way, it was able to prevent people from abandoning their journey, giving users an option to talk to a real employee instead.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5753/Skyscanner.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="323"></p> <p>For more on this topic, read:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/">What are chatbots and why should marketers care?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68932-how-we-built-our-facebook-chatbot-what-does-it-do-and-what-s-the-point/">How we built our Facebook chatbot: What does it do, and what's the point?</a></li> </ul> <h3>Brand messaging <em>can</em> drive conversion</h3> <p>For ASOS, a brand that has seen growth of 84% on mobile orders year-on-year – social commerce feels like a natural evolution. It is clear that its target customer is highly engaged on social, with those aged 16-14 particularly overlooking search engines for discovery platforms like Instagram and Facebook.  </p> <p>Morgan Fitzsimons, ASOS’s acting head of content and broadcast, explained how the brand is now taking a three-tiered approach to targeting these kinds of customers – choosing to focus on the top of the funnel to ensure the bottom doesn’t have to work so hard. In other words, this means focusing on the brand messaging – not just the buy button.</p> <p>Its recent campaign for jeans is a prime example of this, using a combination of organic and paid promotion as well as dynamic product ads. An initial video tells the story of the brand but doesn’t include any further links. It instead introduces hints of the shopping experience in retargeted ads, before delivering blatant buying options in the final push. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fasos.us%2Fvideos%2F1540714015970588%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Morgan also admitted that it’s taken a while for ASOS to get to this stage, with previous campaigns on Snapchat failing to follow up with those who first engaged.  </p> <p>Ultimately, she reiterated that success in social commerce lies in continually testing. Only then will brands understand how customers will best respond in this new and unique context. </p> <p><em><strong>Relating reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67778-made-com-on-the-value-of-social-commerce/" target="_blank">MADE.COM on the value of social commerce</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67306-is-pinterest-or-instagram-better-for-driving-ecommerce/" target="_blank">Is Pinterest or Instagram better for driving ecommerce?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69008 2017-04-20T01:01:00+01:00 2017-04-20T01:01:00+01:00 Which channels do marketers really use? Jeff Rajeck <p>Part of what makes marketing interesting is that the discipline is constantly evolving. Hardly a week goes by without some major change to a consumer service or a new way to use a platform to engage with our audiences.</p> <p>Yet sometimes the pace of change can be overwhelming. It's often difficult to both keep up with the latest innovations and stay on top of daily marketing tasks.</p> <p>To find out just how necessary it is for marketers to be familiar with the latest platforms, <strong>we surveyed over 200 marketers in Australia and New Zealand about the channels they use for their marketing efforts</strong>. Below are some of the surprising findings along with some commentary.</p> <p>For more data from the survey please refer to the Econsultancy report, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/cross-channel-marketing-in-australia-and-new-zealand">Cross-Channel Marketing in ANZ</a>, produced in association with IBM Marketing Cloud.</p> <h3>1. Conventional digital channels still rule</h3> <p>First off, the survey results make it clear that <strong>marketers are most frequently using familiar digital touchpoints for their marketing efforts</strong>. Social media, email, and SEO (natural search) are all used by more than eight in ten marketers (87%, 87%, 81% respectively).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5487/top__5_channels.png" alt="" width="800" height="514"></p> <p>One reason these channels are the most popular is because <strong>companies tend to use channels which are well-understood and easy to integrate into overall marketing activity.</strong></p> <p>The conventional channels are also where the brands' customers are spending their time.   </p> <ul> <li> <strong>Email</strong>: According to the <a href="http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Email-Statistics-Report-2015-2019-Executive-Summary.pdf">Radicati group</a>, more than 2.5bn people use email every month.  </li> <li> <strong>Social</strong>: The largest global social network, Facebook, <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2017/02/01/technology/facebook-earnings/">is now approaching 2bn monthly active users (MAUs)</a>.</li> <li> <strong>Search</strong>: Google has announced that its search platform has <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/1/10889492/gmail-1-billion-google-alphabet">at least 1bn MAUs</a>.</li> </ul> <p>When the usage of these platforms is compared to, say, Snapchat, we can easily see why marketers are so much more likely to use them.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5486/1.png" alt="" width="800" height="371"></p> <h3>2. Offline touchpoints are still relied upon by many brands</h3> <p>A somewhat surprising result from the survey is that <strong>offline touchpoints are still a significant part of the marketing mix.</strong> While point-of-sale and call centres are only used by around one in three companies (34% and 31% respectively), traditional media and events are used by significantly more (47%, 71% respectively).</p> <p>The popularity of offline touchpoints makes a bit more sense when data from <a href="https://www.consumerbarometer.com">recent research from Google</a> is considered.</p> <p>Google recently surveyed consumers in Australia and New Zealand and reported that only <strong>just over half of consumers (58% Australia, 53% New Zealand) used an online channel to research or purchase a product.</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5489/google1.png" alt="" width="800" height="348"></p> <p>So to reach customers where they are likely to research their products and buy them, marketers must still operate offline to a significant extent.</p> <h3>3. Mobile is not as popular as you might think</h3> <p>Another interesting survey result is that mobile touchpoints are less popular in Australia and New Zealand than offline channels.</p> <p>Though the mobile web is used by nearly half (49%) of client-side respondents, mobile messaging, mobile apps, messaging apps and mobile push notifications are each only part of less than one in four companies' marketing efforts (23%, 22%, 10%, 7%, respectively).</p> <p>This apparent lack of enthusiasm for mobile is even more confusing considering the relatively high penetration of smartphones in the region. More than <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/257041/smartphone-user-penetration-in-australia/">80% in Australia</a> and <a href="http://www.researchnz.com/pdf/special%20reports/research%20new%20zealand%20special%20report%20-%20use%20of%20smartphones.pdf">70%  in New Zealand</a> use mobile devices with internet connectivity.</p> <p>But going back to Google's Consumer Barometer data offers a reasonable explanation. When asked where in the buying cycle did people use a smartphone, <strong>fewer than 50% use a smartphone for anything at all in the buying cycle and only around 10% use a smartphone for buying.</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5490/google2.png" alt="" width="800" height="185"></p> <p>So while there is a lot of advice out there about how brands should 'embrace' mobile and aim to be 'mobile-first', <strong>i</strong><strong>t seems that consumers are not quite there yet with mobile. </strong></p> <h3>4. Messaging apps hardly appear on brands' radars</h3> <p>From our data, it seems that the biggest chasm between conventional wisdom and reality concerns messaging apps. If you read the tech press, you'd be forgiven for thinking that messaging apps dominated our culture and each change to these apps affects millions of lives. Marketers, one might think, should be flocking to them in droves.</p> <p>While there is some chance that this is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68429-six-things-marketers-should-know-about-social-media-in-asia-pacific/">true in China</a>, <strong>marketers in Australia and New Zealand indicated that messaging apps are not popular channels for marketing in the region.</strong> A mere 10% of client-side marketers use messaging apps and only 15% of agency marketers said the same.</p> <p>From other data, it's clear that the problem with messaging apps isn't consumer interest. <a href="http://www.onmsg.com.au/">According to messaging app agency On Message</a>, Australia will have over 11m messaging app users in 2017 and messaging apps are the primary form of contact for more than half (54%) of 15-19 year olds in the country.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5491/On_Message.png" alt="" width="800" height="234"></p> <p>Instead, it is much more likely that <strong>messaging apps are still simply too difficult to use for marketing.</strong> Besides some basic self-service ads on Facebook Messenger, engaging with messaging users requires dedicated resource to build contact lists, 'man' the consumer outreach or customer service desk, and build bots to handle incoming traffic.</p> <p>This is not to say that marketing via messaging apps will never happen, but rather that it is likely that it will be some time before most brands have to worry about engaging their customers on these platforms.</p>