Conversational Marketing Trends and Case Studies

Goals

To identify trends in conversational marketing, including chatbots and Facebook Messenger, as well as case studies demonstrating how service companies have used these tools to drive customer conversions. This information will be used to provide background for digital marketing services client communication.

Early Findings

Trends

  • An increase in the number of conversational messaging applications (WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger) and chatbots should be expected in 2020. The promise of real-time, continuous engagement is driving this trend, with 66% of consumers saying they prefer the use of chatbots to communicate with companies. Additionally, companies that have used chatbots have experienced a 10% increase in conversion of anonymous visitors to leads.
  • Increasing focus on an optimized customer experience is a trend in conversational marketing. This trend is driven by a need to ensure the best customer experience, as 46% of customers will abandon a discussion given poor customer service.
  • Voice-driven messaging interfaces are a trend in conversational marketing, as people become more comfortable with devices such as Amazon Alexa. Juniper Research predicts a 1000% increase in voice-driven interfaces over the next 5 years.
  • A growth in AI-backed conversational marketing is a 2020 trend. This technology uses information from other digital sources (e.g., social media, blogs) to provide customer data intelligence around the product search and discovery experience, ultimately personalizing the experience for consumers. Additionally, AI-backed conversational marketing can provide cost efficiencies for organizations.
  • Real-time conversational advertising personalization is a trend in conversational marketing. Leveraging technology such as Natural Language Generation (NLG), advertising can be modified during the conversation based on the preferences and conversational tone expressed during the interaction.
  • Social media will continue to grow in relevance as a platform for conversational marketing. This trend is driven by the amount of information generated on social media platform and the ability to leverage this information to understand user behavior (time spent online, preferred platform, reason for using social platform). Social media as a conversational platform will continue to grow as users need support in growing social activities, such as online shopping.
  • Chatbots with a more "human touch" or apparent "emotional intelligence" are an additional trend in chatbot marketing.

Case Studies

Summit Academy OIC

  • Summit Academy OIC, an accredited vocational school in the United States (Minneapolis, Minnesota), wanted to increase enrollment for their classes.
  • The company designed a Facebook advertisement that sent visitors to a Messenger chat, where they were then asked some questions (such as courses they were interested in) to personalize the information they were sent following the conversation.
  • The campaign increased their prospective student count by 30%, while also providing a more cost-effective form of advertising.

Haven Life Insurance

  • Haven Life Insurance, a direct-to consumer, online life insurance agency, leveraged Facebook Messenger to drive awareness and increase target audience lead generation.
  • The company created an automated Facebook Messenger experience, in which prospective clients could research their insurance options and receive quotes within the platform.
  • Haven targeted their marketing by creating a "lookalike audience" based on their current customer profile, and layered this information in their Messenger campaign to ensure the information reached the right audience.
  • Their conversational marketing campaign was iterative, allowing them to modify as the campaign progressed, depending on the approaches that were more successful. Some approaches tested during the campaign were a "combination of a custom script, quick email and phone lead replies, and reaching leads again with Messenger ads."
  • The Messenger campaign generated 12% more completed quote forms and a 23% lower cost for the Messenger campaign.

Hipmunk

  • Travel platform, Hipmunk, uses "Hello chatbots" that can be integrated into Facebook, Slack, or Skype.
  • The bot uses the location of the visitor to personalize trip recommendations.
  • With the search embedded in the messenger app, the company offers a convenient experience for users.
  • Hipmunk also uses a casual, friendly tone in their conversation, to mimic as closely as possible a human experience.
  • The chatbot also provides a map and "tips" within the conversation to offer deals and users help optimize their chatbot experience.

TechCrunch

  • TechCrunch, a company offering news for the tech industry, uses Chatbots to provide users personalized content on a custom schedule.
  • The chatbot offers users the opportunity to select the type of content they want to see, the frequency with which they want to view content, and the opportunity to request content.
  • The company feels this use of chatbot marketing drives more engaged traffic to their site and boosts their brand perceptions.

HealthTap

  • HealthTap, a medical platform working to make healthcare more accessible, created a chatbot on Facebook Messenger to "deliver fast, high-quality information from compassionate doctors directly to people all over the world."
  • CEO Ron Gutman notes, "The new Messenger Platform enables us to extend the ability of our dedicated and generous doctors to help people everywhere feel good."
  • The bot works by prompting users to ask questions, responding with popular answers to similar questions, with a premium option ($25) to connect with a live doctor to address the health issue.
  • The chatbot offers users personal attention and a conversation, with an interaction that feels close to a human conversation.

Additional Case Studies

  • Dominos Pizza leverages a chatbot to enable convenient ordering.
  • Seattle Ballooning, a company offering hot air balloon rides, leverages a chatbot on their website home page to ask relevant, personalized questions and offer solutions to potential new customers.
  • Amtrak leveraged a chatbot, "Julie", to help prospective customers find the shortest routes and support them in the ticket-buying process. The chatbot increased their booking rate 25%, as well as drove a 50% increase in user engagement.
  • American Eagle leverages chatbot marketing to engage in personalized conversations, using memes, GIFs, images, and emojis, to converse with a potential client and generate personalized product recommendations.
  • Kia Motors America launched a chatbot to provide a simple, consistent, direct source of information for consumers who might be searching for information related to car buying, maintenance, or financing. They claim conversions via the chatbot were 3X those generated by their website. The AI-enabled conversation service also helps Kia generate data that allows for customer retargeting.

Summary of Early Findings Relevant to the Goals

  • In this early research, we found abundant information around trends and case studies associated with conversational marketing. We attempted to provide case studies that focused on service companies or companies with service as a component of their brand.
  • Our research suggests this form of marketing is growing, enabled by technology and consumer demand for personalized, real-time, convenient engagement with companies and brands.
  • Additionally, we found some proprietary research associated with the conversational AI market from one of our data partners which may be helpful.
  • This report (MarketsandMarkets, $1,025.08) focuses on global industry drivers, trends, opportunities, and challenges and is a segment of the full report, "Conversational AI Market by Component (Platform and Services), Type (IVA and Chatbots), Technology, Application (Customer Support, Personal Assistant, and Customer Engagement and Retention), Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast to 2024" (MarketsandMarkets, $5,650).
  • If you'd like us to purchase the full or partial report on your behalf, just let us know.
  • Research recommendations are based on initial findings.

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