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What Marketers Need to Know About Bots

Language and the Machine

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“When we refer to ‘bots’ today, we think of Facebook bots. But the term really just refers to any connected piece of software that takes any kind of input, processes it in some way and produces an output,” said Ben Doran, Head of Technology, EMEA at MullenLowe Profero.

At a Social Media Week London session, Ben discussed what Bots are and how they are changing the face of social, not only for social channels but also for consumers themselves, shifting how we fundamentally work with social, online and services.

Below are some takeaways from the session. To watch the entire talk, plus access more than 100 hours of other SMW events and presentations, sign up for SMW Insider.

“Bots are back… because of the convergence of three things: assistants (like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa) AI, and Bot platforms themselves.”

Ben also highlighted some of the ways in which brands have been using Bots, and Chatbots specifically. Among them included quick emergency answers, forwarding to appropriate humans, and complaint resolution.

Some interaction types that can be used with Bots include messages, structured messages, user controls, web views, quick responses, and payment flows. A recent example of the latter is Facebook Messenger’s new feature allowing users to purchase items through the app.

“There are a lot of Chatbots that are just trying to emulate conversation. What’s really important is that we start to use these tools as interface elements that we can actually build an experience with. And then start to think about how we are actually going to build something that’s truly useful to people.”

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