The marketing world is relentlessly changing—new technologies are constantly rising up, whether it’s a personal app or virtual reality, consumer habits shift, from how they buy to why they buy, and overall communication tools take on different forms, as perhaps the most volatile component of all.

Over the past century we have seen an array of communication methods emerge as leading marketing tools—from radio and television, to computer and smartphone. So what’s next? What new landscape altering communication should we start educating ourselves on now, to be better prepared for the next shift in the tide?

Many marketing analysts claim this “next big thing” could very well be seen in the form of Chatbots. Currently Chatbots are somewhat under the radar, but they possess a wide array of implications marketers should be well-informed of. A chatbot is basically an artificial intelligence system that you can interact with via text. These interactions could range from simple requests like the weather forecast for the day, to more complicated ones requiring insight/assistance—such as suggesting a product a consumer might need to fix a problem they are experiencing. Regardless of the purpose behind the chatbot interaction, the AI carries a very human-like conversation with the user, making it enjoyable and efficient at the same time.

So how does this apply to us marketers? Well, as with most digital platforms chatbots are going to be able to generate a whole new realm of personalized data—very specific, and very individualized. Especially given the candid conversation chatbots can generate, the insights will be tremendous. Additionally, when a chatbot’s purpose is to provide a suggestion don’t you want your product or service to be a potential recommendation? Or perhaps you want to be the only recommendation—in which case, you’re going to need to develop a chatbot of your own.

There are a variety of applications within this new and exciting communication tool, but just to get you thinking here are some companies who have already jumped on the bandwagon. Check out these Facebook pages to have some fun and get a little bit more insight into exactly how these chatbots are assisting consumers!

  1. NBA

    Get updated game information and watch requested player/team highlights.

  2. Boston Children’s Hospital

    Lets parents ask about their child’s symptoms and medication dosages.

  3. StubHub

    Find the experience you’re looking for and the tickets within your price range.

  4. Domino’s

    Order your pizza and get it delivered without ever getting off Facebook Messenger.

  5. Macy’s

    Helps you find what you’re looking for and its availability in specific participating stores.

  6. Sephora

    Provides personalized make-up tutorials and product recommendations based on your input.

  7. Uber

    Request a ride, and give all your friends an ETA right through Facebook Messenger.

It’s like having a customer service representative that’s always on call, always up to date, and never makes a mistake; talk about customer satisfaction. And while that key offering is great, the biggest benefit is most likely the data these chatbot conversations can generate for these companies. The ability to know exactly what consumers are looking for and interested in is HUGE and will provide just another way for content to be tailored in an even more personalized way. So don’t be fooled, marketing, especially digital, has never peaked, so stay ahead of the game and start blazing the trail of these new opportunities today!

Speaking of blazing new trails, check out our CEO’s latest blog to see how you can make a huge difference in your 2018 with one simple adjustment to your perspective.