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We live in a world where we want to make our lives easier, where we’ve developed technology to make our lives more efficient and simpler. We’ve become more accustomed to an AI world – think Alexa, Siri, Tesla’s self-driving cars, Nest – and as we look to the decade ahead we’ll expect all aspects of our lives to operate much more efficiently and easily.
Applying this to the field of marketing, we know that we must find the balance between being engaging, but not intrusive; more personalised, but not creepy; more conversational. The best way to be helpful, engaging and personal, with our current capabilities, is human interaction. Consider a personal shopper, or advice for a consumer in a technology store. Unfortunately, this doesn’t scale, especially not online, so how can we make these kinds of personalised experiences work on a mass scale?
Conversational AI uses messaging apps, voice-activated assistants and chatbots to automate communication and make these experiences personalised on a much greater scale. Google have been tapping into this kind of technology to develop a new innovative ad format called AdLingo – a chatbot housed inside a banner ad, powered by conversational AI technology.
When the user clicks on the ad, the ad then starts a conversation thread with the user without having to move to a website. Since this format is powered by Google, you can tap into the GDN to scale up your activity, and use their vast audience targeting tools for your personalisation. But one of the biggest benefits here is the ability to easily talk to new users, who haven’t intentionally gone to your website. This gives you incredibly valuable insight into customer pain points, their preferences, their complaints. From a marketing perspective, this gives you some excellent intel which can fuel your future campaigns.
From a user perspective, they are able to ask questions and find out information right there and then, without having to search through your website. By removing some of these barriers, this could help you to close the funnel faster, and secure more conversions.
AdLingo also offers use cases that appeal to different types of consumers across the entire buying cycle:
- You can build your brand image, creating a deep brand connection that drives awareness and favourability.
- You can offer a guided shopping experience the provides personalised product recommendations based on the user data you have at your disposal.
- For more technical products or new launches, you can develop FAQ-style conversations that help to educate consumers.
- Using questions, you can generate high-quality leads that have already been qualified.
Fundamentally, conversational AI requires a different approach to engagement. It requires a full understanding of your consumer; what are their needs, how do they want to interact with you? Once this has been determined, you can begin to plan out the specifics of your project. Define the purpose of the project and how you want it to help customers on their journey. Knowing what you want to achieve will make it easier for you to deliver. Anticipate what your users will say or what they need out of a conversational interaction in order to make them more useful and engaging. Crucially, design for conversation: be sure to invest in conversation and dialogue flow and how to visually present information. Essentially you are giving a voice to your brand and personifying it, so being fully prepared is essential to ensuring a great execution.
Conversational ads are set to play a big part of Display advertising in the months to come, so get ahead of the curve with Farrah’s guidance to find your strategy.
You can download Farrah’s slides here.