New research from conversation management firm LiveWorld examines the advantages of branded conversations, the challenges companies face within messaging apps, and how conversational marketing will impact the future of brand engagement.

For its new report, Messaging Apps and Chatbots for Brand Marketing, LiveWorld partnered with Brand Innovators to conduct the survey of more than 200 Fortune 500 marketers across business-to-consumer industries in 2017.

The study revealed nearly four in five (79 percent) marketers believe an expansion of the digital marketing category is needed to include two-way conversations between brands and consumers. The survey respondents expressed enthusiasm for meaningful two-way conversations, with more than half (52 percent) of those brand marketers expressing confidence in the ability of existing two-way communications platforms and tools, such as chatbots, social media networks, and messaging apps, to effectively meet their needs.

“Conversational marketing is disrupting the brand playbook as consumers spend more time in messaging apps,” said Peter Friedman, chairman and CEO of LiveWorld, in a news release. “Marketers must employ two-way dialogue tactics to boost consumer engagement, be in the moment, and foster lasting customer relationships.”

How messaging apps build lasting customer relationships

Conversational marketing, supported by messaging apps, chatbots, and dialogue interfaces are shifting the way brand marketers are engaging consumers. As marketers incorporate messaging channels into campaigns, private and more meaningful conversations are taking place during the customer’s journey. The advancement of chatbots, auto-responders, and technologies that integrate live agents, equip brands for interactions in real-time, while personalizing messages with a human touch to deepen customer relationships.

  • LiveWorld’s report discovered more than half (55 percent) of marketers cited customer service as their primary objective for deploying messaging apps.
  • Less than one-third (27 percent) of the marketers are utilizing the messaging channels to have a positive impact on the customer experience.
  • 43 percent of marketers have deployed messaging apps to address marketing programs.

How messaging apps build lasting customer relationships

Chatbot usage is on the rise

  • Two in five marketers (40%) responded they believe chatbot usage will increase for their company in 2017.
  • Respondents with 15 or more years of experience were identified as “veteran/encyclopedic” marketers, noted the need for chatbots with nearly half (49 percent) stating they will be increasing their use of chatbots.

“Chatbots are altering the future of brand marketing campaigns with conversations between brands and the always-on consumer,” said Friedman. “Early adoption of messaging platforms enables natural and authentic engagement with customers and provides brand marketers with a competitive advantage.”

Read the full report here.

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