Marketers seek deeper customer engagement but struggle with messaging apps, bots

Survey of B2C marketers found lack of expertise, missing strategies and budget constraints were reasons cited for non-adoption.

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LiveWorld has released a survey of marketers at Fortune 500 B2C companies on their usage of messaging apps and chatbots. The survey of 216 marketers was conducted in April and had respondents from a wide range of industries: Retail, Food & Beverage, Financial Services, Personal & Household Goods, Media/Entertainment, Automotive, Healthcare and others.

Responses were segmented into categories based on the experience level of the marketer. The majority of these marketers said they wanted to expand “two-way conversations between brands and consumers” and create deeper engagement. However, there was doubt about whether bots and social messaging could accomplish that.

The responses above could be equally interpreted as “half-empty” or “half-full.” More experienced marketers overall were more enthusiastic about the potential of messaging and bots. However, almost 60 percent of the survey respondents said they had not used bots for customer interaction at all.

Among those who had used messaging apps for customer communications, the majority use case was customer service. Facebook Messenger was by far the most common app mentioned, according to the report.

Reasons cited for not adopting social messaging or bots as marketing or customer service tools included (in order):

  1. Not a high enough priority.
  2. Lack of in-house expertise/bandwidth.
  3. Unclear usage strategy.
  4. Budget constraints.

The vast majority (80 percent) expected their use of social media overall to increase in the coming year. Just over half (53 percent) said they expected increased use of messaging apps. But only 40 percent expected to increase use of chatbots.

What the report finds is that the most experienced tier of marketers are embracing messaging apps and bots for customer interactions, but these companies are still in the minority.

A general lack of expertise and clear success stories in the market appear to be inhibiting adoption.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Greg Sterling
Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land, a member of the programming team for SMX events and the VP, Market Insights at Uberall.

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