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5 Things Brands Should Know Before Building a Bot

5 Things Brands Should Know Before Building a Bot

Matt Dunn

Matt Dunn

February 23, 2018

Many brands haven't had the chance to play around with AI tech and are afraid they're falling behind, says the director of digital strategy at Arnold.

"You’ll need to initially temper your expectations around 'intelligence'."

Campaign

Matt Dunn
Director of Digital Strategy, Arnold

February 23, 2018

 

2017 was dubbed “The Year of the Bot,” but it didn’t quite live up to its billing. The growth of messaging platforms and voice assistants like Amazon’s Echo inspired brands to rush into the space and build experiences using the technology. Unfortunately, most fell flat despite their lofty expectations. Users seeking all-knowing cognition had to settle for simple, guided journeys that hopefully had an easy exit ramp if you really wanted to get something done—whether it was Kayak’s Facebook bot sending you to their website to book versus doing so conversationally, or retail companies quickly sending customers that hit dead ends to live agents.

Look for that to change in 2018. As AI tech improves and as marketers become more familiar with how they need to structure activities for an AI-powered environment, brands will be able to build more meaningful experiences for their audiences.

But the reality is that many brands haven’t had the chance to play around in the space and are afraid they’re falling behind. For those looking to dip their toe or dive headfirst into the space this year, here are five things you should know before building a bot.

Your initial scope is probably too big.
We all like to envision the future state of being able to put our entire business into a bot, but as you start planning you’ll quickly begin to realize the enormity of that proposition. AI-powered bot experiences often require a different way of looking at the world, and you’ll likely find that even seemingly simple tasks can present unforeseen challenges.

In order to be successful, it’s critical that new-to-bot marketers focus their activities and create a clearly defined scope. For example, instead of trying to add your full product catalog to the experience, you might instead focus on your simplest product to sell. Then build for the target audience that is most open to engaging your brand on that platform.

Intelligence takes time.
You’ll need to initially temper your expectations around “intelligence.” In fact, your bot will likely be pretty dumb at first. While technology, quality data, and good planning can help provide a jumpstart, bots truly need to learn in order to get smarter. They need time and interactions to learn from, as well as a human hand to help guide them at key junctures. Make sure executive stakeholders understand the phases of the project and the work that needs to go into creating an intelligent experience so you don’t lose their support midway through the project.

Read the full article.

"You’ll need to initially temper your expectations around 'intelligence'."

Campaign

Matt Dunn
Director of Digital Strategy, Arnold

February 23, 2018

 

2017 was dubbed “The Year of the Bot,” but it didn’t quite live up to its billing. The growth of messaging platforms and voice assistants like Amazon’s Echo inspired brands to rush into the space and build experiences using the technology. Unfortunately, most fell flat despite their lofty expectations. Users seeking all-knowing cognition had to settle for simple, guided journeys that hopefully had an easy exit ramp if you really wanted to get something done—whether it was Kayak’s Facebook bot sending you to their website to book versus doing so conversationally, or retail companies quickly sending customers that hit dead ends to live agents.

Look for that to change in 2018. As AI tech improves and as marketers become more familiar with how they need to structure activities for an AI-powered environment, brands will be able to build more meaningful experiences for their audiences.

But the reality is that many brands haven’t had the chance to play around in the space and are afraid they’re falling behind. For those looking to dip their toe or dive headfirst into the space this year, here are five things you should know before building a bot.

Your initial scope is probably too big.
We all like to envision the future state of being able to put our entire business into a bot, but as you start planning you’ll quickly begin to realize the enormity of that proposition. AI-powered bot experiences often require a different way of looking at the world, and you’ll likely find that even seemingly simple tasks can present unforeseen challenges.

In order to be successful, it’s critical that new-to-bot marketers focus their activities and create a clearly defined scope. For example, instead of trying to add your full product catalog to the experience, you might instead focus on your simplest product to sell. Then build for the target audience that is most open to engaging your brand on that platform.

Intelligence takes time.
You’ll need to initially temper your expectations around “intelligence.” In fact, your bot will likely be pretty dumb at first. While technology, quality data, and good planning can help provide a jumpstart, bots truly need to learn in order to get smarter. They need time and interactions to learn from, as well as a human hand to help guide them at key junctures. Make sure executive stakeholders understand the phases of the project and the work that needs to go into creating an intelligent experience so you don’t lose their support midway through the project.

Read the full article.

Matt has helped some of the biggest companies build meaningful strategies that bring their brand to life in the digital and social space.

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