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Brand Made Stories: Let’s Chat (Bot)

| Yoav Tourel

Brand Made Stories: Lets Chat Bot

Hi all,

Hope you’ve been well.

Welcome to Brand Made Stories (formerly known as Friday Thing/k) – a brand storytelling canvas where I’d like to share smart, creative, inspiring, engaging, cool, and innovative brand stories that take my marketing breath away once a week.

I’d like to share something personal with you…

She doesn’t get me. Siri, that is. It’s like we’re not on the same page. “Did you mean” are the three most frequent words I hear from her. I’m tired of repeating myself and making the same point over and over again. It’s my accent. 

What can I do? I’m trying as hard as I can to be loud and clear but it drives me crazy that every time I say “sorry” in a meeting, it wakes you up to another round of did you means. But we need to get our act together, Siri, as our close relationship plays a significant role in the future of the internet.

Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Eric Schmidt, recently spoke on this:

There is a general consensus that it will improve in two ways: Firstly by use of machine learning in order to improve the ranking of the search results. Secondly beyond search and what Larry Page, one of Google’s founders, calls ‘assistance,’ or in other words more assistance for users to find exactly what they are looking for…In other words, the computer will help and advise us just like a regular person does.
With Outbrain being in the business of recommendations for 10 years now, we assist hundreds of millions of people around the world in discovering timely and interesting content. As such, chatbots has become one of our recent forays into the future of internet marketing, matchmaking audiences with interesting stories right from within their messenger apps.

Chatbots, quite the buzz word these days, is a service powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence (AI), that you interact with via a chat interface. The service could be any number of things, ranging from functional to fun, and can live in any major chat product (Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Text Messages, etc).

Smart brands are staring to become very curious about this new communication channel on their constant search for ways to reach wider audiences more directly. Chatbot technology opens up a whole new opportunity to be a part of the conversation and storytelling process. And as always, marketers who add value will increase their chance of winning their audience’s attention.

Take, for example, the all-natural retailer, Whole Foods, who came up with a really helpful solution for its shoppers:

While buying the groceries, you can connect with a chatbot chef to help you find the perfect recipe. Consumers send along specific keywords (e.g. cuisine type or ingredients) and the bot will find relevant recipes. You can also send an emoji of an ingredient, like a banana or mushroom, for an even faster advice!

Another cool implementation is from our partners at SkyScanner, one of the world’s most popular flight search and booking engines. They recently introduced the Skyscanner bot for Facebook Messenger, using the latest technology to make it super easy and enjoyable for customers to find the best flights:

I can’t finish a post about chatbots/AI without mentioning IBM Watson. The team behind the technology that chatted with Bob Dylan and Serena Williams are now launching Watson Ads, IBM’s latest product which uses what’s called ‘cognitive advertising’ to interact with consumers. People ask questions in their natural language, as they would to Siri, via voice or text and Watson will respond accurately — Weather Company properties are among the first to adopt the tech.

In an increasingly noisy and cluttered world where it’s so easy for consumers to avoid and skip ads, it’s become a great challenge for marketers to capture their audience’s attention. It’s no wonder brands will begin using chat (bot) technology to deliver more personal, value adding content to consumers.

Before you click away, can I get back to human chat? Have you seen already how Nike gives babies a motivational talk?

See you next week.

As always, feedback is more than welcome and needed, so please leave comments below. Additionally, if you have any brand stories in mind, I love to discover new things.

Just call me Joe.

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Yoav Tourel

Yoav Tourel

I joined Outbrain in 2012 as the Head of Account Strategy in Australia & New Zealand. Before that, I was... Read more

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