We’re in the middle of another marketing revolution.  Chat bots, algorithms working in social media environment are getting used more and more every day. They answer customer support questions, they’re booking your flight, remind you of your next appointment, they can even be used to write mean tweets to your competitors.  

So, have humans became obsolete in marketing department? No. At least not yet anyway.  Here’s why.

Bots are really bad in a crisis

When faced with an unfamiliar situation bot will answer the only way it knows- with familiar automated responses. And even more importantly – the Internet being the way it is- when users realize they’re talking to a machine –they will mock it relentlessly.  Embarrassment can cost you more than what you save on automation.

Bots are not very good at personal preferences

There are aspects of online life, that represent who we are, in a very personal way. For instance , people usually like to get the news from sources they rely on, but also from sources that reflect their beliefs and values. Bots are useless in understanding these concepts . They can aggregate and recommend articles based on popularity or topic, but when it comes to ideology or world view, your news should be curated by a human.

Human touch

robotMaybe in time conversations with bots could seem more authentic , but at this point there are many issues with automated responses. People are creatures of habit and we feel assured when there is actually someone else on the other side of a conversation. There s nothing bots can do about this, and customers may feel like interaction with them is becoming a nuisance for a company. Something that should be dumped on a robot.  

Problem with using chat apps

Moving a marketing experience from a site or an app to a chat platform is a risky decision. People are migrating to more secluded parts of the internet for a while now (that’s why e mails have made a comeback as marketing tool). There is a chance that chat bots will drive people away from this platform on to a new one if a campaigns are too aggressive – and subtlety is not something you can expect from bots.  

Going viral

No one knows how and why marketing campaigns go viral. It’ s usually an unexpected thing- something becomes a phenomena out of the blue ,and you can just enjoy it while it lasts.  There ‘ s very little chance that your automated campaign can do this.  Basically there is no out of the box thinking with chat bots.

Branding

Building a brand is all about standing out. Brands are defined by what’s different about them. Creating this identity takes time. And chat bots are made for speed and quick responses. Tension between this two concepts will soon be obvious now when there is more pressure to use bots. Chat bots don’t go well with new brands , which are still trying to make themselves known and unique.

Chat bots definitely  have a future, but at this point they are as much a hazard for a company as they are a benefit. Mistakes they could make are hard to fix, and they are also something that could never happen to an actual person.  Also they ‘re made for a specific tasks and can’t adapt very well for a social media environment.

It’s always good to be on a cutting edge with new trends, but when it comes to bots – tread lightly.

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Posted by Nate M. Vickery

Nate M. Vickery is a business consultant from Sydney, Australia. He has a degree in marketing and almost a decade of experience in company management through latest technology trends. Nate is the editor-in-chief at bizzmarkblog.com.