IA – Conversational Advertising
Customers like to talk
One of the pet peeves of marketers has been the low quality of leads generated through online campaigns. They attribute this to the fact that most clicks are from users who are not genuinely interested in their offers. One technology is about to change this problem by combining sales and marketing processes seamlessly to deliver a higher grade of customer experience and efficiency – Conversational Advertising.
Here’s a typical example of how it works … Imagine empowering a regular online display ad (on computer and smartphone screns) to anwer viewers’ queries about the product displayed though a chat session without having to open up a messenger window. Basis the responses, viewers will get comparison of options and recommendations of ideal products for the viewer in real-time – just like a salesman would engage a customer on a face to face basis to help in the search and selection process.
Google has made capabilities like this available online through their “Ad Lingo” platform – and everybody from auto makers to beauty brands want a piece of the action.
Marketers’ toy box
What’s got marketers salivating is the wide range of use cases that a technology platform like this presents – think of it as the online marketers equivalent of a Lego set! The same building blocks can be used to build multiple interfaces customized to different needs and customers.
Want to give personalized advise on beauty products depending on skin type, tone, color preference and even price? No problem. Your display ad can carry the opening question inviting the viewer and for a chat, and a “beauty bot” will ask all the pertinent questions, evaluate your preferences, suggest a range of products and guide you through right to the purchase process.
The conversations can get as deep as you require – evaluating the best price to trade in your car, choosing the perfect gift for a special occassion, research questionnaires, career advice, emotional guidance … the list can go on and on.
What makes this so powerful is the ability to create solutions on this using technologies like AI, ML and NLP which make conversations life-like and continuously improving. This two way conversational format is a far cry from the traditional ‘broadcast’ mode of advertising and as a result, the consumer experience can be way more engaging.
By combining chat interactivity with a visual format and delivering it programmatically, a high level of contextuality can be created. Customers will be served the visual ads along with the embedded chat box basis their current activity profile in real time. It’s like a friend chipping in to help out with a problem or search just at the moment that you need them! The interaction can be extended to guide customers right through to the purchase stage.
Technologies like these are embedding the fundamentals of human interactivity to the digital ecosystem – contextual, one-on-one conversations. No more will “talking to a computer” be a dry and often frustrating experience.