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Learning from the Best Branded Bots: How Chatbots Flip UX Norms and Deliver New Kinds of Value

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The user experience for chatbots is frustrating for marketers and advertisers who care about the brand experience. This presentation, a combined deck from talks presented at the Global Artificial Intelligence Conference in New York and Jeff Pulver's MoNage in Boston, looks at the changes in user experience, how marketers can focus on brand experience, and then which marketers have made the most of what they can do with chatbots. This includes examples from brands such as Vogue, Campbell's, Victoria's Secret, and others.

Note: I have made updates to this deck but SlideShare no longer allows re-uploads. If you are interested in the latest slides, email me - dberkowitz/at/serialmarketer/dot/net and I will send you a Dropbox link.

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Learning from the Best Branded Bots: How Chatbots Flip UX Norms and Deliver New Kinds of Value

  1. 1. Lessons from the Best Branded Bots: How Chatbots Flip UX Norms and Deliver New Kinds of Value David Berkowitz Chief Strategy Officer, Sysomos @sysomos / @dberkowitz dberkowitz@sysomos.com
  2. 2. It’s two mints in one! This presentation is unlike any I’ve put together, in that it’s a hybrid beast. In one week in October 2017, I gave two talks on chatbots. First, at the Global Artificial Intelligence Conference in New York, I gave a talk on Lessons from the Best Branded Bots. Then, in Boston, at Jeff Pulver’s MoNage, I spoke about how Chatbots Flip UX Norms and Deliver New Kinds of Value. Both were new talks for me, but as I created them at the same time, I used some material from each one to inform the other. This is an annotated version that combines them. Both of these stemmed from a project that was more of a hobby: collecting great examples of how marketers are using automated messaging and conversational commerce. This is shared publicly at bit.ly/brandedbots. You can find far more examples and details about marketers’ bots there, and I update it at least quarterly as I find more material. If you have examples of yours or others to include, plase let me know. At Sysomos, the insights-driven social platform, we’ve created technologies to empower marketers and agencies to learn from their target audiences and interact with them. For more about this, please visit sysomos.com, or contact me for more information. Thanks so much for taking the time to go through this. I look forward to learning much more about it, and I hope to learn from you as well. David
  3. 3. I’m sharing this because I love the potential for conversational interfaces and experiences. I worked in search engine marketing and social media marketing in the early days, and this is the next generation of how language connects marketers with their audiences.
  4. 4. bit.ly/brandedbots m.me/serialmarketer
  5. 5. To start understanding marketers’ perspectives, consider the options they have with their website. See the bold, beautiful imagery. We’ll focus on Victoria’s Secret’s Pink brand, one of the more consistent first- movers digitally.
  6. 6. Here’s their mobile app: lots of creative options with a smaller form factor balanced out by added functionality (eg location features, push notifications, constant real estate on user’s phones, etc).
  7. 7. Remember Facebook apps? They were a thing, once. It’s far more templatized, but it had some fun features – quizzes, social couponing, games, organic reach for promotions (those were the days).
  8. 8. Instagram. There are video and carousels image sizes, but it’s generally what you see artly shot square images, with most reach gement coming from ad buys.
  9. 9. And now… the banded bot. It screams, “Make the logo bigger!” And pretty much every bot looks like this – even a better bot like this, running on Kik, with tone and content that do well to engage the audience.
  10. 10. Messaging platforms focus on user experience (UX), as they should. But marketers need to push for a better brand experience (BX). The status quo does not work for large consumer brands.
  11. 11. Here’s Katy Perry’s Kik bot for her perfume produced by Coty. It was the first US bot to offer a real product for virtual currency. Look at the difference between how the brand promoted the experience outside of Kik, and how it looked on Kik.
  12. 12. This is a fun game. Here are bots from two clothing brands. Can you tell which is which? Stripping the tiny logo out at left, it’s essentially impossible. Answers are in the notes field. An aside: these are among the better-crafted bots.
  13. 13. Your brand here or maybe here or here The brand experience is practically invisible here. It’s like the brands have been uploaded to the cloud somewhere; they’re no longer anywhere near where the consumers are.
  14. 14. We live in a post-brand world.
  15. 15. And now we have Brandless! It’s like a dollar store, but with $3 items. I’m not convinced anyone wants to shop this way (even Amazon Essentials brands benefit from reviews and comparing prices to other brands; choosing to pay $3 for non-branded toothpaste or $4 for Crest is at least a choice). But it’s a sign of where things are going.
  16. 16. Discovery Initiation Acquisition Persistence Engagement Retention Different media, different experiences: the DIAPER model Here’s a new framework I created for the MoNage talk. I analyzed digital platforms across six criteria: • Discovery: How well one can find the branded experience (a website, app, bot, etc) • Initiation: How easy is it for consumers to start the brand experience • Acquisition: How easily can marketers pay to attract larger audiences • Persistence: How well brand remains visible to consumers when the branded experience isn’t in use • Engagement: How rich the branded experience is while consumers deal with it • Retention: What are the options available for brands to hook consumers back in This is a subjective scorecard. In the next two slides, I first color- code the brand experience (BX) – green is good, yellow is okay, and red is poor. And then on the following slide, I share the rationale.
  17. 17. Different media, different experiences: the DIAPER model Websites Mobile Apps Mobile Sites Messenger Bots Alexa Skills Discovery Initiation Acquisition Persistence Engagement Retention @Sysomos / @dberkowitz
  18. 18. Different media, different experiences: the DIAPER model Websites Mobile Apps Mobile Sites Messenger Bots Alexa Skills Discovery Search engines/ social media App Store/ Play Store Search engines/ social media Lists, in-app recommendations Alexa app, Amazon.com Initiation Click bookmark / extension; type in URL; search for it Tap icon, notification Type in or search for URL Send message; tap notification Voice trigger Acquisition Search/display ads (among others) Search/social/app store ads Search/display ads (among others) Facebook ads, owned channels Owned channels Persistence Bookmark / browser extension Icon on screen or in folder N/A (occasionally, bookmarks / saved to home screen) May appear in recent conversation list N/A Engagement Rich branded experience Rich branded experience Rich enough branded experience Uses FB design; little differentiation Typically uses Alexa’s voice; differentiation tough Retention Email marketing, retargeting, browser push alerts Push notifications Email marketing Push notifications You remember you used it?; now has ‘green ring’ alerts
  19. 19. Here’s one example that shows how voice apps may overcome at least one issue – that of how the apps tend to use the voice and style of the platform, not the brand. Vogue is a strong print brand, and it used the Google Home voice bot as a complement, offering celebrity interviews from its September 2017 issue to bring the magazine to life.
  20. 20. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.
  21. 21. Have serenity to accept what you cannot change Reach of platforms UX of platforms Consumer behavior Marketers can’t control the reach of platforms, and whether their audience is more likely to use Messenger or iMessage. Marketers can’t influence the UX of the platforms either. And consumer behavior typically doesn’t change in an instant. Most people who don’t like calling customer service, for example, won’t tend to realize or trust that they can have such exchanges over chatbots.
  22. 22. Have courage to change the things you can Focus on BX Strategy Approach to platforms Go native Go bigger Marketers can pursue a focus on BX. They can have a strategy for how they communicate with customers and prospects. They can have a reason for being on any given platform, and tactics for how they use it. They can consider incorporating chat into their sites, mobile apps, and other touchpoints. And they can dream bigger – should voice- activated assistants be in retail stores? Could chatbots power digital billboards? There are lots of bad ideas that could surface here, but perhaps a few could be relevant for a given marketer.
  23. 23. What’s next… From here, we dive into a review of highlights from some of the Best Brandd Bots. These examples are all in bit.ly/brandedbots, but here, they are organized differently. These aren’t annotated, but you can find links in the notes field for bots, media coverage, and image sources.
  24. 24. automation before artificial 24
  25. 25. 25
  26. 26. 26
  27. 27. Turn virtual experiences into real-world value 27
  28. 28. 28
  29. 29. Make it Personal 29
  30. 30. 30
  31. 31. Serve LOCaL markets 31
  32. 32. 32
  33. 33. adapt to GLOBal markets 33
  34. 34. 34
  35. 35. 35
  36. 36. Combine audio with visual 36
  37. 37. 37
  38. 38. Cater to the business crowd 38
  39. 39. 39
  40. 40. 40
  41. 41. Integrate with mobile apps 41
  42. 42. 42
  43. 43. 43
  44. 44. Educate first, sell later 44
  45. 45. 45
  46. 46. 46
  47. 47. 47
  48. 48. 48
  49. 49. 49
  50. 50. 50
  51. 51. Integrate others software with your hardware 51
  52. 52. 52
  53. 53. OFFER LIVE CHAT aS aN OPTION 54
  54. 54. 55
  55. 55. 56
  56. 56. dont check your sense of humor at the door 57
  57. 57. 58
  58. 58. 59
  59. 59. 60
  60. 60. Make history 61
  61. 61. 62
  62. 62. 63
  63. 63. BE UBIQUITOUS 64
  64. 64. 65
  65. 65. 66
  66. 66. Have a personality 67
  67. 67. 68
  68. 68. 69
  69. 69. Play games 70
  70. 70. 71
  71. 71. 72
  72. 72. SET BOUNDARIES 73
  73. 73. 74
  74. 74. FUTURE OF BOTS: Integration 75
  75. 75. 76
  76. 76. 77
  77. 77. a Few challenges to learn from 78
  78. 78. 79
  79. 79. 80
  80. 80. 81
  81. 81. 82
  82. 82. SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE BOTS DAVID BERKOWITZ DBERKOWITZ@SYSOMOS.COM @SYSOMOS / @DBERKOWITZ From one of the top 3 monage.io presenters in the 10/26 9:45am time slot

Editor's Notes


  • Image: http://askcampbellskitchen.com/

    How Chatbots Flip UX Norms and Deliver New Kinds of ValueThis was what websites looked like.And then mobile sites and apps.And then chatbots. (Pick one example, show it all the way through).Soon they won't look like anything at all. How do you take a screen shot of an Alexa app?This is a rather odd problem to solve, but for marketers who are used to all things visual, telling the story about what you're doing becomes much harder.Beyond voice apps though, it's possible that a lot of interactions with bots won't have any manifestation at all. Consider the internet of things, wearables, smart homes, smart cars, and all of that... just as your Kia pulls into your garage, it orders you a Domino's pizza and a case of PBR, if you've arrived with other people. None of this is particularly far fetched, and all of it can be done with some version of IFTTT today. So now that you have the new kind of content delivery system, you have these new kinds of UXs. And they have to deliver new kinds of value. Or else.Take a look at a few different chatbots. See if you can guess which is which - show a couple side by side in similar verticals.Here the UX is pretty similar. The Brand Experience is pretty shitty.Shift from UX to BX - is this even a thing? Look up Brand Experience.

  • I love bots. I’m a Botologist.
  • A bit about me… and bots
  • Mobile apps – and sites as well, but apps giving marketers the most control on mobile, and tapping into phones’ native functionality
  • https://i.pinimg.com/736x/7a/f8/22/7af822b7ca20f764989fc82b28b9932e--victoria-secret-pink-victorias-secret.jpg

    Facebook normalized a lot
  • https://www.instagram.com/vspink/
  • VSPink chatbot on Kik – it’s it’s logo and a shitload of text
  • On any given chat platform, the user experience is overwhelmingly similar – it’s so hard to tell the difference
  • Image source for conversation - https://twitter.com/kpfragrances/status/766673846774722560
    Note the difference of the promotional art and the actual branded experience
  • Trivia game – which is which?
    Left: Tommy Hilfiger
    Right: US Polo Association
  • We have to prepare for a future where so much of a brand’s identity is in the cloud – this is brought about by the rampant digitization of everything
  • We’re even at the point where there can be a dollar-store type of brand called brandless – everything is the same price and nothing has a brand and I don’t get how maple syrup costs the same as taco shells and shampoo and everything else
  • Here’s a new framework I created for the MoNage talk. I analyzed digital platforms across six criteria:
    Discovery: How well one can find the branded experience (a website, app, bot, etc)
    Initiation: How easy is it for consumers to start the brand experience
    Acquisition: How easily can marketers pay to attract larger audiences
    Persistence: How well brand remains visible to consumers when the branded experience isn’t in use
    Engagement: How rich the branded experience is while consumers deal with it
    Retention: What are the options available for brands to hook consumers back in

    This is a subjective scorecard. In the next two slides, I first color-code the brand experience (BX) – green is good, yellow is okay, and red is poor. And then on the following slide, I share the rationale.
  • A promising sign – Google Home + Vogue
    Heaven image
  • So what do you do about all this?
    Serenity Prayer
  • Reach of the platforms (Messenger, iMessage, WeChat, Alexa, Google Home)
    UX of the platforms
    Consumer behavior

  • Focusing on BX
    Have an overarching strategy for how you’re communicating with customers and prospects
    Have a reason for being on any platform or incorporating any kind of channel
    Go native – incorporate chat into your own digital media
    Go bigger – can it be incorporated into your stores, etc?
  • https://www.alaskaair.com/content/about-us/site-info/ask-jenn.aspx
    http://www.nextit.com/work/alaska-airlines.php
  • Automating customer service – just basic stuff – like Amtrak did starting 5 years ago before anyone was talking about chatbots

    Ask Julie – Amtrak
    https://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/827/492/Amtrak-Ask-Julie-ATK-12-089.pdf
  • https://bots.kik.com/#/KPMadLove
    http://www.katyperryfragrances.com/
  • m.me/DisneyZootopia
    http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/messaging/22953.html
    http://venturebeat.com/2016/08/12/why-is-now-the-time-for-artificial-intelligence/
  • https://www.messenger.com/t/adidasWomenUK
  • http://www.psfk.com/2016/08/dior-sells-handbags-in-china-using-wechat.html
    “Luxury brand Dior is the first designer to sell a limited edition bag directly on the massive Chinese social network WeChat” – PSFK
    More: http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/life/2016-08/03/content_26332279.htm
  • Business Insider on Line as of fall 2016
    Reached 35,000 in first 24 hours, 230,000 followers in first two weeks

    http://digiday.com/publishers/business-insider-attracted-230000-line-followers-two-weeks/amp/
    https://line.me/R/ti/p/@businessinsider
    http://www.businessinsider.com/business-insider-line-messaging-app-2016-8
  • https://www.amazon.com/Nestl%C3%A9-GoodNes/dp/B06XX4T2MQ
    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nestles-new-goodnes-skill-for-amazon-alexa-turns-any-device-with-amazon-alexa-into-a-true-cooking-companion-with-visual-guide-300458900.html
  • https://hbr.org/hbr-bot-for-slack
    http://digiday.com/publishers/harvard-business-review-launched-slackbot-delivers-workplace-advice/
  • http://www.imediaconnection.com/article/234082/161003-drew-hubbard-brands-and-chatbots-the-best-and-worst-from-early-adopters
    https://www.tacobell.com/feed/tacobot
  • http://www.nba.com/kings/kings-app
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kings&hl=en
    http://venturebeat.com/2016/09/19/nbas-sacramento-kings-app-lets-you-hail-an-uber-and-query-a-facebook-messenger-bot/amp/
  • https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/quartz-news-in-a-whole-new-way/id1076683233
    http://qz.com/613700/its-here-quartzs-first-news-app-for-iphone/
  • P&G Playtex on Kik
    http://kik.me/playtexsport
    http://www.playtexplayon.com/
  • https://bots.kik.com/#/vspink
  • Whole Foods
    https://www.messenger.com/t/wholefoods/
  • https://bots.kik.com/#/sephora
    Image and other coverage: http://digiday.com/brands/see-kik-sephora-bets-messaging-apps-e-commerce/
  • https://www.messenger.com/t/livelokai/
    http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/these-two-charities-made-facebook-messenger-bot-draw-awareness-ethiopias-water-crisis-173117
    Description: Jewelry brand Lokai partnered with charity:water for perhaps the first branded cause marketing bot, with 2.5 hours of content illustrating the 2.5 hours of walking that girls like Yeshi must do to get water
  • https://www.amazon.com/SKYN-Condoms-Set-the-Mood/dp/B0722DCVVQ/
  • http://products.geappliances.com/appliance/gea-support-search-content?contentId=34223&icid=GenevaHelpURL
    http://www.geappliances.com/ge/connected-appliances/voice-activated-appliances.htm
    http://venturebeat.com/2016/09/13/alexa-now-talks-to-general-electric-appliances/
  • https://snips.ai/
  • http://venturebeat.com/2016/09/19/burberry-bot-launches-on-facebook-messenger-for-london-fashion-week/amp/
    https://www.messenger.com/t/burberry/
  • https://www.facebook.com/messages/t/WesternUnion
    https://venturebeat.com/2017/04/18/western-unions-bot-sends-money-transfers-through-facebook-messenger/
  • Trolli
    http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/trollis-facebook-messenger-bot-mobile-tamagotchi-made-millennials-172520
  • http://www.adweek.com/creativity/arbys-made-a-totally-useless-chatbot-to-make-fun-of-the-dominos-tracker/
  • https://www.messenger.com/t/skynvoiceanalyzer
    http://www.adweek.com/creativity/this-condom-brands-messenger-bot-analyzes-your-voice-and-tells-you-how-sexy-it-is/
  • https://www.messenger.com/t/WhiteHouse
  • https://www.messenger.com/t/WhiteHouse
  • http://www.getgameonapp.com/si-gameon/
  • https://anyware.dominos.com/
  • https://m.me/DocBrownHillValley
    http://digiday.com/brands/great-scott-doc-brown-facebook-messenger-talk-future/
  • https://www.messenger.com/t/NatGeoGenius
    http://www.geomarketing.com/natgeo-and-360i-show-the-genius-of-using-chatbots-as-a-marketing-tool
  • https://twitter.com/OnSequel/status/748290582955462656
    http://www.theverge.com/2016/6/30/12056494/on-sequel-chatbot-now-you-see-me-2
  • https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071S2LLQN
    https://venturebeat.com/2017/06/03/5-alexa-skills-to-try-this-week-3-june-2017/amp/
  • http://venturebeat.com/2016/09/22/why-mattress-startup-casper-built-a-chatbot-for-night-owls/amp/
    http://insomnobot3000.com/
    Only available from 11pm to 5am
  • https://newsroom.uber.com/messengerlaunch/
    Integration with Messenger (eg Uber and Lyft)
    Much more coming with iMessage – embedded organically
    Still a big learning curve – difficult to figure out when it’s triggered. Do you trigger it yourself? Is it automated? What’s the right balance for the platform?
    And what


  • https://medium.com/airbnb-engineering/introducing-the-airbnb-imessage-app-806f48d303a8
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/airbnb/id401626263?mt=8&_branch_match_id=305221562646850236&ign-mpt=uo%3D8
  • Bud Light: Have too little going on within the experience, require too much going on outside of it
  • UPS overpromises on AI here – this is just regular automation, adapted to
    https://pressroom.ups.com/mobile0c9a66/assets/pdf/pressroom/infographic/UPS_chatbot_infographic.pdf
    https://pressroom.ups.com/pressroom/ContentDetailsViewer.page?ConceptType=PressReleases&id=1479482899899-696
  • Offer a visual experience in an audio format

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0719T2K82/ref=sr_1_1
    https://venturebeat.com/2017/06/10/5-alexa-skills-to-try-this-week-10-june-2017/amp/
  • Replicate functionality from the platforms – Amazon can basically do all this with its own custom to-do lists
    www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MSK0GFN
    https://venturebeat.com/2017/06/10/5-alexa-skills-to-try-this-week-10-june-2017/amp/
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