How brands should use chatbots: Four expert perspectives

Chatbots have become a major topic of conversation during the last few months, as marketers debate how to leverage these automated digital tools, which are capable of replicating human interactions.

The driving force behind this discussion was the unveiling of branded chatbots for Facebook Messenger – a messaging app for mobile and desktop that now boasts over 900 million users – in April 2016. Consumers could utilise these fledgling tools to view news stories based on their personal preferences, see the weather forecast for their neighbourhood, or even receive advice before purchasing the perfect bouquet of flowers.

Read Warc's Trend Snapshot: Chatbots for more.

To help agencies, brands and media owners understand this trend, and how it might develop in the future, Warc spoke to four agency executives about the chatbot phenomenon. And their main recommendations include:

  • Survey consumers to identify which products or services may be viable candidates for automation.
  • Begin exploring this space with simple activations, and conduct rigorous manual testing of every piece of chatbot functionality.
  • Injecting a conversational element into mundane consumer touchpoints – like booking engines or frequently asked questions pages on websites – hints at the initial role chatbots can play.
  • Find the right partners, talent and technologies to facilitate experimentation in this area for the short and long term.

Tom Ollerton, Innovation Director, We Are Social