This Thanksgiving, I’d like to take an opportunity to show immense gratitude for the many gifts that we marketers have received this year.
First and foremost, I am thankful for an opportunity to have a direct, one-to-one conversation with our customers. Previously, we did not have the tools to do that. We had to resort to inferior tools to communicate with our customers. It started with print and TV ads, and got a little better with search and social media ads. However, messages were still targeted at broad customer segments. It’s as if you were speaking to an auditorium full of people, but you didn’t know any of them personally.
Things have changed through the past year. With the rise of messaging APIs and chatbots, it is now increasingly possible for marketers to have direct, one-to-one personal conversations with individual customers.
I am thankful for the rise of messaging channels as the next big marketing medium. Let’s face it — search and social media ads are broad-based and expensive. Email and SMS messages are less effective since inboxes get saturated with rampant spam. Messaging channels are the great hope of the future. Firstly, they have much stronger measures against spam since every sender and recipient is verified! Messaging channels have strong user-controls; much better than those on either email or SMS. Therefore, open rates and response rates on messaging channels are substantially higher than those on emails and SMS.
Furthermore, the normally short messages force businesses and brands to be more succinct, enabling consumers to deal with more conversations. Also, messaging apps reach billions of users worldwide and are used far more frequently and intensely than web, social media, email or SMS.
This thanksgiving, I am grateful for the parallel rise of AI and NLP. There is an increasing availability of new tools that have made it possible to have intelligent conversation with customers. Now, marketers can automate their frequently- occurring conversations so that each individual customer gets instant, accurate and customized responses to their specific queries. It’s as if marketers could deploy their best sales or customer support agent to deal with each customer consistently.
I am grateful for the ability to build long-lasting relationships with customer prospects. Usually, when prospects interact with our search or social media ads, we do not know who they are — apart from some generic attributes. By comparison, when they interact with a chatbot like Gupshup’s, they build a persistent connection with the brand, thus granting it the ability to reengage with them later. We now know much more about them, which gives us the ability to craft individualized messages for each of them.
I am grateful, too, for the ability to reach our customers on mobile devices without asking them to download an app. Consumers hate downloading apps. Most of them use no more than a handful on a consistent basis. Which makes app marketing expensive — and ineffective.
By making conversational chatbots available through messaging channels we engage with customers where they are. We can reach them on their preferred channel without requiring them to either open the browser or download an app.
They already spend so much time within messaging apps that chatting with another entity takes virtually no extra effort.
Finally, I am grateful for the many features available in messaging channels to really optimize marketing campaigns. Facebook Messenger enables structured messages, messenger codes, buttons, broadcasts, sequences, customer match, custom audiences, message tagging, media templates, advertising objectives, and a lot more. These features make for fine-grained optimization of marketing campaigns. Add to this there are emerging conversational platforms that make it easier than ever for marketers to build end-to-end conversational experiences!
This is one of the best Thanksgiving periods in years. I didn’t want to let it pass without acknowledging the many blessings we have received this year.
Happy Thanksgiving, all.