Chatbots in corporate marketing strategy

Chatbots in corporate marketing strategy

interview with Mariusz Pełechaty, CEO of KODA Bots, about the benefits of using chatbots in marketing activities and communications

Chatbots for marketing is your area of expertise?

In KODA Bots we have actually begun from developing bots strictly for marketing activities. At the start of the company this was the area I was most familiar with because of my many years of experience in the industry. I have a marketing background myself, with nearly ten years as the head of social media at J. Walter Thompson Group Poland (formerly Lemon Sky), working for major, demanding clients such as Orange, Tesco and Nestle. I know and understand the needs of agencies and marketers, and I can look at them through their eyes. It were the marketing activities in which bots were used that have contributed most to the success of this tool. The biggest and best agencies, such as Oglivy, Grey or VML have benefited from KODA Bots solutions. These are the players who have been setting trends for years, but also the first ones to apply those of third parties. KODA Bots has been in the business for five years; our market and client base have expanded considerably over this time, with bots being successfully adapted to various corporate processes. We have gained many Enterprise customers, because just like the advertising industry, large organizations are early adopters of all market innovations.

Is a chatbot still a novelty?

Although bot is still a fairly new tool, it is already a full-fledged channel of communication between a brand and its users. Compared to other channels, its greatest advantage is being implementable into various tools and assisting consumers on the everyday basis. A conversation with a brand’s chatbot implemented in Messenger or WhatsApp is simply an item on the chat list, and thus contacting the brand is as easy as contacting friends.

What marketing applications are the most popular?

Bots are excellent to use in various ways of engaging people with a brand or product. They are perfectly suited for building stories, where users can navigate through the world created for the purposes of a campaign, decide their next steps or determine the story’s future. Chatbot quizzes enjoy great popularity since they bring good results. Not only are they to entertain the audience, but also give brands and companies the chance to gather users’ feedback on their product or service. The process is always very user-friendly and does not require users to follow many steps or spend much time on it.

Prize contests are another widely used format for chatbots. Virtually everyone organizes them, regardless of the business category. Some run for many months, have several editions, and the value of prizes goes up to millions of zlotys. Other are simply “quick shots” with a lower budget, but exciting prizes. Due to their flexibility, chatbots work perfectly in both cases. The contests’ final shape and format are almost an endless scope of possibilities.

Does a contest run in a bot from its start to completion?

Yes, exactly. It is no longer necessary to create dedicated mobile applications or contest landing pages. It is enough for us to find an idea for contest presence in communicators, which consumers use anyway. Working with agencies and companies, we have implemented chatbots for brands such as Żywiec, Heineken, Komputronik or Semilac. These brands still run contests using them.

How does it work?

It varies, depending on the actual needs of the client. The Żywiec brand, for instance, organises a grand raffle every year. Having entered the code from a bottle cup or pull tab, users find out whether they have won one of the prizes. Our chatbot plays a crucial role in this campaign. It facilitates adding codes throughout the process. The fact that the chatbot appears on participants’ messenger contact list, makes it always at hand, ensuring high recurrence rate of users. It can also answer all the most relevant questions about the rules, prizes and products participating in the campaign. The whole thing is integrated with the raffle mechanism.

Orsay, on the other hand, held a Facebook contest in line with the brand philosophy, which places great emphasis on relationships between women. Divided into five stages, it ran for seven days. Each day there was a different photo task. The best entries won a set of two handbags, two bottles of perfume and a handmade card that the female winner (along with the handbag and perfume) could hand to a woman they considered important. The contest relied heavily on the use of auto-answers under the posts and one of the participants, who took part in all five contest stages, also received a gift voucher for the Orsay store.

What are other ways that brands can engage users in bots?

Chatbots can be used to run a location-based came, for example, as was the case with the launch of MOICO chatbot. The game’s objective was to introduce users to the tool and provide them an opportunity to visit creative places in Wrocław. Its leitmotif referred to the urban jungle. To play the game, it was enough to enter a phrase in the brand’s Messenger: I wanna play a game. The game was made up of several stages, and MOICObot provided clues to get to the next one. The organizer made sure there were plenty of twists and turns. The game required cleverness and creativity from the participants. Each of the eight stages commenced two days following the start of the previous one. The game finale took place in MOICO BOK, arranged in a jungle style. Participants had to guess the name of a particular plant in the customer service office and enter it into the chatbot. Time was of the essence, in line with the principle: “first come, first served.” A total of 400 people took part in the game. Participants spent up to four minutes per day in the chatbot. The post about the game reached 70,208 recipients (with 580 hundreds being organic reach!) and aroused significant interest: 138 comments and 1168 clicks.

Why should marketers choose chatbots?

From the marketing perspective, a chatbot is definitely simpler and cheaper than developing dedicated landing pages. And it is certainly the reason why it is preferred more and more often to present products or engage communities around products. The key advantage of chatbots is their configurability. Our proprietary KODA operating system allows you to develop another contest in a few hours, oftentimes starting from a scratch, i.e. just an idea. We all know what working on a new landing page looks like: how long it takes to prepare a design, cut everything and adjust it to different formats. Having many-year experience in digital marketing, that is why I think that chatbots stand an opportunity for more effective campaigns and yet another tool for agencies to develop scenarios independently; use chatbots in everyday work and support their customers’ fan pages.

Where else can you implement a bot?

I want to highlight this very strongly: bots are not just Messenger or WhatsApp, although they indeed are most common there. You can install a bot in almost every client communication channel, for instance an interactive kiosk at the event or the corporate website obviously. Trade show bots work great as visitors can efficiently get needed information or fill in applications and surveys with a touch screen. A bot can also be a well-suited tool to conduct voting and many other activities that we want to involve our customers in. But we also want them to provide us with some information about themselves. What is more, bots can also distribute discount coupons or provide information on route to POS locations. With bots we can make our customers’ lives easier.

Last Updated on May 21, 2021 by Łukasz