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Why Marketers Turn to Chatbots and Voice Assistants

Chatbots and voice assistants weren’t created with marketers first in mind. Both are task-oriented products at their cores, serving users when actual human beings can’t, which is quite often. So it should come as no surprise that both support an estimated 5 billion global users combined.

And now marketers are showing up in droves. 

Rise of Chatbot Marketing

Online stores turned to chatbots to fight cart abandonment. Their automated service around-the-clock provided a safety net late into user journeys. Unlike traditional channels broadcasting one-way messages, chatbots (like Drift and Qualified) fostered two-way interactions between websites and users. Granting consumers a voice boosted engagement. As it turned out, messaging a robot became much more popular than calling customer service.

Successful marketing chatbots rely on three things: 1) Scope, 2) Alignment, and 3) KPIs. 

Conversational A.I. needs to get specific. Defining a chatbot’s scope — or how well it solves a finite number of problems — makes or breaks its marketing potential. A chief marketing officer (CMO) at a B2C retail brand probably would not benefit from a B2B chatbot that displays SaaS terminology in its UX. Spotting mutual areas of expertise is quite simple. The hard part requires evaluating how well the chatbot aligns with the strategies you and your team deploy. If there is synergy between conversational A.I. and a marketer, then they must choose KPIs that best measure the successes and failures yet to come. Some of the most common include the amounts of active users, sessions per user, and bot sessions initiated.

Chatbots vs. Voice Assistants

Chatbots and voice assistants have a few things in common. Both are constantly learning more about their respective users, relying on newer data to improve the quality of interactions. And both use automation to communicate instantly and make the user experience (UX) convenient.

Chatbots carry out fewer tasks repetitively. Despite their extensive experience, they require a bit more supervision. Voice assistants, meanwhile, oversee entire user journeys. If needed, they can solve problems independently with a more versatile skill set. 

Voice assistants are just getting started when it comes to marketing. Upon taking the global market by storm for the last decade, there is still room for voice products to reach new customers. But the B2B space presents a larger addressable market. The same way voice assistants gained traction rather quickly with millions of users is how they may pop up across organizations. 

Rise of Voice Assistant Marketing

Many marketers considered voice a “low priority” back in 2018. Lately, the tides have changed: 28 percent of marketers in a Voicebot.ai survey find voice assistants “extremely important.” Why? Because they enjoy immediate access to a mass audience. Once voice products earn more public trust, they can leverage bubbling user relationships to introduce products and services. 

Voice assistants are stepping beyond their usual duties and tapping into their marketing powers. Amazon Alexa enables brands to develop product skills that alleviate user and customer pains. Retail rival Wal-Mart launched Walmart Stories, an Alexa skill showcasing customer and employee satisfaction initiatives. 

Amazon created a dashboard to gauge individual Alexa skill performance in 2017. For example, marketers can see how many unique customers, plays, sessions, and utterances a skill has. Multiple metrics can be further broken down by type of user action, thus indicating which moments are best suited for engagement.

Google Assistant also amplifies brands through an “Actions” feature similar to Alexa’s skills. TD Ameritrade launched an action letting users view their financial portfolios via voice command. 

The Bottom Line

Chatbots aren’t going anywhere. According to GlobeNewswire, they form a $2.9B market predicted to be worth $10.5B in 2026. Automation’s strong tailwinds almost guarantee chatbots won’t face extinction anytime soon. They are likely staying in their lane, building upon their current capabilities instead of adding drastically different ones. 
Meanwhile, voice e-commerce will become a $40B business by 2022. Over 4 billion voice assistants are in use worldwide. By 2024, that number will surpass 8 billion. It’s hard to bet against voice assistants dominating this decade’s MarTech landscape. Their future ubiquity, easy access to hands-free searches, and the increased likelihood A.I. improves its effectiveness will leave plenty of room for growth. If future voice products address recurring user pains, they will innovate with improved personalization and privacy features. 

If you’re looking for a voice platform to bring your application, get started with the Alan AI platform today.

References

  1. The Future is Now – 37 Fascinating Chatbot Statistics (smallbizgenius)
  2. 2020’s Voice Search Statistics – Is Voice Search Growing? (Review 42)
  3. 10 Ways to Measure Chatbot Program Success (CMSWire)
  4. Virtual assistants vs Chatbots: What’s the Difference & How to Choose the Right One? (FreshDesk) 
  5. Digiday Research: Voice is a low priority for marketers (Digiday)
  6. Marketers Assign Higher Importance to Voice Assistants as a Marketing Channel in 2021 – New Report (Voicebot.ai)
  7. Use Alexa Skill Metrics Dashboard to Improve Smart Home and Flash Briefing Skill Engagement (Amazon.com)
  8. The global Chatbot market size to grow from USD 2.9 billion in 2020 to USD 10.5 billion by 2026, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23.5% (GlobeNewsWire)
  9. Chatbot Market by Component, Type, Application, Channel Integration, Business Function, Vertical And Region – Global Forecast to 2026 (Report Linker)
  10. Voice Shopping Set to Jump to $40 Billion By 2022, Rising From $2 Billion Today (Compare Hare)
  11. Number of digital voice assistants in use worldwide 2019-2024 (Statista)
  12. The Future of Voice Technology (OTO Systems, Inc.)

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