Sunday, August 20, 2017

sms texting is the most widely used form of communication for recruiting

Texting is the most widely used form of communication, especially with millennials as 83% open text messages within 90 seconds, according to research from mobile engagement specialist OpenMarket. Here are a few ways to take your recruitment efforts to new heights with texting:

Send messages anytime, anywhere

With 91% of adults keeping their smartphones within arm’s reach, according to US website Facts Legend, nearly all working professionals have their phone with them at all times. Texting provides a quick and effective way of reaching your recruits on the go at anytime and anyplace. Emails have a low read rate of only about 20%, so using texting to instantly reach potential candidates will result in an increase in applications.

Attract qualified applicants

With a 98% read rate, texting potential prospects will ensure your job posting are seen and reduce the amount of time spent tirelessly searching for suitable applicants. By using multiple keywords for each of your departments, you can effectively target qualified prospects. All you do is post the keyword, then sit back as prospects text in to receive text notifications of future job openings.

Speed up the recruitment process with automated text messages

An obstacle in the recruitment process that wastes substantial time is contacting prospects to co-ordinate interview times, provide paperwork and notify them of important deadlines. These time-consuming tasks could be significantly shortened by implementing automated text messaging. Simply schedule messages to be sent at specific times or when certain actions occur, then allow the workflow to guide your applicant through the recruitment process.

Keep applicants informed with news and information

A great way to keep applicants interested in your company is by sending them the latest news and information. Text messaging can quickly share valuable information and news about your company. To keep the information relevant, set up keywords for each of your positions. For example, if they text the ‘Marketing’ keyword, they will receive information regarding your marketing positions.

Engage applicants more efficiently with text messages

Before an interview, applicants will have questions, concerns and scheduling conflicts that will need to be addressed; SMS can effectively solve these issues in a timely manner. Applicants can ask questions, receive real-time answers and notify potential employers of any issues that may arise. 

"Dynamically Send, Receive & Enhance Text Message Campaigns."

Dynamically Send, Receive & Enhance Text Message Campaigns.

In conclusion, texting creates the highest response rate of any form of communication, with a 7.5 times higher rate than email. By utilising a text instead of a phone call, the candidates can respond on their own time while on the go. Take your job recruitment to new heights by implementing text messaging today!


chatbot usage for the hospitality industry

The premise of a chatbot is simple - automate communication and act as a window to access a service. In the hospitality industry, one which is built around making the customer alpha, communication and information transactions must be smart, swift, insightful and analysable. Chatbots are hence the perfect tool for this type of communication and service provision. They live in messaging apps where today's internet user spends a significant portion of his time, they are also cheap in the long run and can provide deep insights into customer preferences that can greatly improve offerings for the customer.

In 2017, key players are still trying to figure out how to build the perfect chatbot - smart, capable of understanding complex semantics, and conversing with the customer as an experienced service rep would. Today’s chatbots, limited as they are by the available underlying technology, have been deployed by several players in the hospitality industry - flight providers, hotels and more.

Bookings and reservations

Brands that require that bookings be made - flights, hotels, tour guides and more - are already rolling out functional chatbots. Using these bots is convenient, simple and gives an air of chatting with a friend. Hipmunk recently upgraded their chatbot to allow for group planning and chats on their Facebook Messanger based platform. It’s easy to see how this can be adopted for OTAs providing group tours. Expedia and Kayak are some other early adopters of chatbots for the purpose of making reservations.

Learn user preferences

By silently sitting in the background, and potentially collecting information such as the correlation between geolocation and time versus brand-specific actions carried out, smart deductions can be made as to the user’s behavioural tendencies and preferences. Also, past responses, questions, and queries that the customer made can be automatically processed to give actionable insights into the customer. Brands can, as a result, offer personalised and customised services to the customer and increase the chances of delighting them as well as spending less to acquire each dollar from them than they normally would.

Customers can also be retargeted in the future with higher precisions. Brands are able to engineer a greater correlation between the time of the customer’s need, and the content and timing of chats sent with a marketing intent.

Upselling to clients

With chatbots, brands can more easily induce customers to make more expensive purchases, upgrades, and add-ons, thereby increasing the chances of squeezing more value out of the client without appearing over enthusiastic. Products and services can be upsold or cross-sold through casual suggestions to the client.

Top-of-mind awareness (TOMA)

The modern day internet user spends more time on messaging apps than they do on social media. In the fight for users’ eyeballs, chatbots which mostly live in messaging apps, therefore, provide great opportunities for subtle top-of-mind awareness campaigns. TOMA is defined as awareness campaigns aimed at making a brand the first a customer thinks of when asked an unprompted question about a brand’s category.

Cost effective customer support

Eventually, AI-driven chatbots become smarter through learning. When they become sufficiently smart and are able to handle complex queries, brands spend less on the supervision of chats, customer support, and can dedicate saved funds into other segments of the brand.

Challenges and controversies

As with most novel technologies, chatbots too have controversies and challenges tied to their successful implementation. A few pressing ones are discussed below:

• Threat to existing jobs: As in all forms of automation, job shifts occur and jobs designing and managing the automation always displace the jobs that previously ran the processes. Markets will always demand more reliable, cost effective, and faster processes making these threats to jobs an occurrence that can be managed but not eliminated.

• Sharecropping: To tap into what makes chatbots powerful for brands - large audiences - they have to be sharecropped on platforms that host the most people, thereby expanding the potential reach and influence of the brand. Facebook, Wechat, and Amazon Echo are a few popular platforms that host numerous chatbots. They are popular because people want to interact with brands on platforms where they already interact with friends. Understandably, this hands over reins of control to the messaging and voice AI giants, but it’s a reasonable compromise that should be made.

• Privacy concerns: Chatbots have the potential to offer so much personalised information and services that they might come off as intrusive. Care must, therefore, be taken while designing them in order to handle information transactions at levels of personalisation that are at par with the target audience’s temperament toward AI. Helpful can easily become creepy.

• High cost of build: Chatbots can be expensive to build. In the long run, however, they are almost always smart investments as they bring down operational costs, open up new opportunities for brands and help generate more revenue.

• Lack of empathy: Chatbots can come off as stiff or robotic. While this is not a problem for many, a few people are put off by it. Most primitive chatbots work like a search engine that searches for some keywords that then trigger predetermined responses. AI driven chatbots are, however, more capable of handling more complex queries and conversing as a human would.

"mobile messaging platform"

Chatbots are simple, ubiquitous, and highly effective. AI-driven chatbots also become better and smarter with use so while the wide adoption by hospitality brands will create job shifts, it will also create new opportunities that will allow for better personalisation of experiences for the customer. In one line, the hospitality industry will benefit greatly from the adoption of chatbots.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

how chatbots have made customer experience delivery very personalized in business

Bots can save businesses both time and money but there are ways to get even more out of the new technology 


From the automatic document-collating scanners and printers to robotic assembly lines, automation in the workplace has become commonplace. Yet a newer trend is the use of autonomous bots able to carry out complex activities based on scripts and artificial intelligence.

Bots come in different flavours. Some, known as chatbots, are computer programs able to conduct a conversation via voice or text designed to convincingly simulate how a human would behave as a conversational partner. Chatbots are typically used in dialog systems for various practical purposes including customer service and information gathering. And just like most systems, chatbots come in different shapes and sizes. For instance, some simple systems scan for keywords and then pull a reply based on the most matching keywords or draw from similar wording patterns from a database. More sophisticated software like Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana are able to take natural language processing systems and use a form of machine intelligence to provide a response.

Transactional bots act as agents on behalf of humans and interact with external sys-tems to accomplish a specific transaction. For instance, they can be used to move data from one platform to another or gather information based on specific criteria. Transactional bots can interact with any endpoint that has an application program-ming interface and can become semi-autonomous to perform a wide range of business functions. Googlebot is an example of a transactional bot used by the eponymous search engine to index the worldwide web.

Given that businesses increasingly adopt a multitude of cloud solutions, bots are uniquely positioned to streamline communications. And bots are likely to have an even greater impact as they spread to sales automation, automated recruitment, intelligent Q&A and other applications. With that in mind, here are a few tips to make bots a success in your business.

Learn from your employees 

Take a close look at what your employees are doing on the company messaging plat-form you’re using. Tech-savvy employees can easily bring public bots into a corporate messaging platform. This is an opportunity for IT to discover what employees are al-ready using. However, make sure that you have controls in place for the deployment of any bots that are governed by HR and monitored by IT security teams.

Choose a suitable messaging platform

Look for providers that have an enterprise-level customer base and ask them about activity logging and monitoring, data loss prevention setup, compliance support, bot and integration administration as well as other enterprise concerns. On the functionality side, find a messaging platform that is SMS-capable as text messages are still a good channel for enterprise messaging communication and most bots can work on SMS.

Set proper expectations 

Figure out what your employees need and the performance capability you are missing. For example, a bot that proactively moves a support case through different teams with automated reminders and contextual support-case data will increase the productivity by shaving minutes off each case as opposed to eliminating the need for a specific per-son in the chain.

Develop an information security governance strategy

Bots introduce new issues within information and security governance. Like email sys-tems, enterprises should also scrutinise their messaging platforms to ensure data loss preventions and e-discovery technology can be applied. Determine whether the ability to bring in chatbots will be democratised or controlled and whether your corporate policy permits the use of public as well as private bots. If in doubt, seek guidance from HR and IT before deploying a potentially damaging bot onto the corporate network.

Test and optimise

Bots may mimic intelligence but they are programmed based on guidelines and access to databases. As organisations and processes adapt, it’s wise to routinely test the func-tionality and responses of bots to ensure they’re still working as planned. Fortunately there are several automated tools that will help speed this process up but human in-spection often offers more granular insights.

We’re just beginning to see the impact that well-implemented bots can have on compa-nies but as the importance of integration shows no signs of dimming bots will only grow more relevant in driving efficiency forward. However, it’s worth noting that not all bots are positive. Increasingly, cyber criminals are using bots as a way to distribute malware and attack websites. In some cases, these malicious bots may impersonate a real person and attempt to steal sensitive information. As technology advances, under-standing the value, limitations and dangers posed by bots will become a vital skill.

"mobile messaging platform"

Thursday, August 17, 2017

how mobile messaging makes it easy to reach and engage your customers

"Dynamically Send, Receive & Enhance Text Message Campaigns."

Dynamically Send, Receive & Enhance Text Message Campaigns.

SMS marketing is a great tool for companies, both small and big, to utilise. It's quick, easy, and effective, with high open rates and high conversions – it's a tool companies cannot afford to ignore.

Choosing the most effective way to communicate to your target audience is essential. We know that SMS is the quickest way to market a business, however, many still think that bulk SMS services are meant for only certain types of businesses.

Businesses worry that SMS marketing may seem intrusive so, they are sceptical about using it as a marketing tool. Its not true. You must get permission from your customers before you text them, and when you do, the message is both well received and acted upon.

We are inundated with messages from all different forms of communication, including email, messaging apps, and social media. The benefits of text messaging are hard to ignore, and many businesses are now choosing this simple and effective way to communicate.

SMS messaging is effective, as it is immediate and has the potential to reach customers on their personal communication devices. It’s extremely affordable when compared to traditional advertising channels.

Web text is used by marketers and businesses to run a wide range of marketing campaigns for customer retention and acquisition through personalised birthday greetings, appointment reminders, payment confirmations, as well as promoting sales and special offers; and communicating with employees.

Financial institutions, retail outlets, service companies, and the hospitality industry are using SMS to great effect to increase awareness around their brands and offer added-value service to their customers. SMS is used for customer acquisition, as well as driving direct sales.

Below are five innovative ideas on how you could best utilise SMS to suit your business needs.

1. Using SMS to aid email marketing

Many companies are integrating SMS marketing into their email campaigns. With SMS open rates at 98% within the first three minutes of delivery, they have realised the importance of boosting email open rates, and, ultimately, conversion rates, by incorporating web text.

URLs promote website traffic and encourage subscriptions. Total customer views are improved, and companies can track customer activity back to SMS. These companies are driven by short codes and keywords and need to be clear and beneficial to the recipient. Companies need to think of new ideas and keep up with trends to keep their customer’s engaged.

2. Two-factor authentication

There are many ways two-factor authentication (2FA) can improve your application security. We’ve seen it become a crucial verification step for internet banking and e-commerce. Modern two-factor authentication takes advantage of push technology found on smartphones to allow users to authenticate with the tap of a finger.

By requiring a second factor of authentication after the password, two-factor can prevent attackers from accessing your systems, with passwords captured through the use of phishing or other similar scams.

3. Communicate with Employees

The main focus of web text is as a way to target customers. However, what a lot of companies tend to forget is that text messaging is also a great tool to use for easy communication with employees.

4. SMS Polling

Asking your customers for feedback encourages them to participate while giving you valuable feedback. It is an effective method of yielding results and efficient way of opening this two-way communication. It is also an inexpensive method of getting customers to engage with your brand.

5. Appointment Reminders

Take advantage of web text by sending reminders to clients. This will reduce your businesses no-show rates, saving you time and money that could be used elsewhere. With high open rates, customer engagement, and high conversion rate, SMS messaging is a tool that businesses simply cannot ignore.


how sms message communications are an invaluable tool to engage with your customer

"Dynamically Send, Receive & Enhance Text Message Campaigns."

Dynamically Send, Receive & Enhance Text Message Campaigns.

As mobile devices become ever more popular, it makes sense for businesses to think of mobile marketing as a way to engage with customers. If you have a small business, you may have wondered how you can best take advantage of the mobile revolution. As someone who’s been in the business of SMS marketing since its early days, one of the best opportunities for businesses to engage with their customers.Clients in many different industries, including restaurants, salons, retail stores, nonprofits and many others. To know how to incorporate SMS seamlessly into all of their marketing efforts.

While many digital marketing agencies focus on areas such as SEO, social media and email marketing, text messaging is much more immediate. It’s a technology that almost everyone uses today and it’s completely integrated into our everyday lives. People today are tethered to their phones. Pew Research Center reports that 95 percent of Americans now own cell phones and many take them everywhere. You can no longer go anywhere where people aren’t compulsively checking their phones and texting.

One of the main benefits of SMS is that your messages are actually opened and read. If you post something on Facebook or Twitter, there’s a good chance your followers will miss it among all the other posts. Marketing emails are rarely opened. Text messages, on the other hand, are in most cases read, making it the most reliable and direct way to reach your audience.

Here are some of the ways that SMS messaging can be used to engage with your customers.

  • Tell customers about sales, products and special offers.For example, some of my clients are restaurants that use text messaging to send customers coupons and tell them about the latest menu items and specials. Retails stores such as boutiques inform customers about sales. Salons and spas promote packages and special offers via text. Offers can also be segmented so that people learn about just the type of service they’re most interested in. 
  • Remind customers of appointments. Another important service my clients provide via SMS is sending out appointment reminders. This is used by all kinds of medical offices (doctors, dentists, veterinarians, etc.) as well as salons, auto mechanics and many other businesses where customers book appointments. This isn’t only convenient for customers; it helps to cut down on missed appointments.
  • Increase attendance for events. When you’re promoting an event, it’s important that people get the information in a timely manner. The vast majority of recipients open text messages within three minutes of receiving them. This makes it ideal for promoting events that are time-sensitive. Some of my clients that do this include comedy clubs, event venues and nonprofit organizations setting up fundraisers.
  • Make SMS part of your multi-channel marketing. People today communicate on many channels and platforms. That’s it is better not to view text messaging as an alternative to other promotional efforts, but as an integral part of a multi-channel marketing approach. With text messages, you can send people to your website, social media pages or opt-in page for your email list.
  • Learn more about your customers. Collecting data and learning all about your customers’ needs and preferences helps you become more successful. Text messages are one of the most effective ways to gather information. It’s easy to send out polls, surveys and random questions to people. Ask them which style, flavor, service or product they prefer. My clients that use SMS for data-gathering purposes, aside from many types of businesses, include political organizations that thrive on accurate data.

These are some of the ways that SMS or text message marketing can be such an effective way to engage with your customers. It’s a method you can customize to your own needs — it’s just a matter of identifying how text messaging helps you to fulfill the unique needs of your customers or members.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

how new technology is rapidly changing the face of communication in sms

"Dynamically Send, Receive & Enhance Text Message Campaigns."

Dynamically Send, Receive & Enhance Text Message Campaigns.

New technologies are taking over the marketing world and, with all the new technology that is around these days, some say SMS is becoming outdated, says Saoirse Blaney, business development executive at Sendmode. Here, Blaney unpacks five ways in which SMS marketing can take the stress out of marketing campaigns and bring things back to basics.

It’s one of the oldest forms of mobile communication, which we still use regularly. However, this can’t be the case if it’s being used by companies renowned for revolutionising industries with a forward-thinking attitude.

Brands such as Google, Facebook, Uber, Apple, and Airbnb all have SMS campaigns as part of their marketing strategies. SMS traffic is expected to reach 2.5 trillion by 2020. We’re not surprised.

With 98% of SMS messages being read within the first three minutes of delivery, who could blame companies for turning to SMS as a means of communication and marketing with customers. As a matter of fact, 8.6 trillion text messages are sent every year on average – six billion per day in the United States alone.

That’s over 20 times the amount of tweets and 12 times the number of Facebook messages sent daily. With all the messaging going on, it’s no wonder marketing teams are finding SMS marketing to be successful. In many industries, mobile messaging provides the most effective direct marketing channel.

Below are five innovative tips for businesses using SMS to create customer engagement, keep customers informed, and create offers and reward programmes.

1. Timing is key

As the saying goes, timing is everything. There are two important aspects of timing that you should pay attention to if you want your SMS campaign to be successful. First, open-ended messages are less successful than messages that have deals that expire.

Create the text of your SMS to portray that the deal 'expires soon' or something similar. You want to make sure your SMS messages are sent at opportune times. For example, when someone buys a particular product, you could send him or her an SMS message about a related product in hopes of getting him or her interested. Don’t be afraid to experiment with timing – SMS is very informal.

2. Discounts and coupons

There’s nothing new about businesses using SMS to distribute coupons and vouchers as a marketing tool. Making the most of a coupon campaign can prove to be a really effective strategy for businesses as it keeps customers engaged and interested in communicating with your brand.

3. Flash discounts

There’s nothing better than getting an alert on your phone and finding out that you just got a text message with a discount code out of the blue. Implementing a strategy is easy. Simply send out discount codes at random times, for no special occasion. It keeps your company in the minds of your customers and gives them a reason not to unsubscribe from your mobile marketing list.

The key to this strategy is to not have these deals accessible for mobile subscribers. That will give people even more of an incentive to join your list.

4. Compelling VIP offers

While giving customers discount coupons may not be enough to compel them to engage with your business, discount coupons coupled with a compelling free service is a recipe for success.

5. Do a weekly tip

This strategy combines SMS marketing and content marketing. Content marketing is an inbound technique that focuses on providing your audience with free value to get them to know, like, and trust you.

After providing your audience with so much value, they’ll be more likely to choose your service over a competitor. Start by sending out a weekly tip via SMS to people who have opted-in to your service. This tip should be something that’s related to your industry and is helpful.


how chatbots provide a way to integrate customer communication more efficient and easier

What do brands need to consider when creating a chatbot for their consumers? 


The irony is that despite being robots, chatbots make customer experience much more personal. They service consumers via the platforms they already use every day and enable brands to improve the customer experience

2017 is expected to be the fully fledged year of the chatbot as people become accustomed to having two-way conversations with brands. The consumer cultural shift from ‘social networking’ to ‘social messaging’, along with the demand for personal interaction, means brands are increasingly seeing the need to adopt a conversational and ‘always-on’ approach to brand management.

The momentum has already start building. Dominos now lets you order pizza through a bot and there are hundreds of custom Slack bots to integrate into Slack channels. Individuals no longer want to search for an answer; they want the information to be available on demand and hassle-free.

"Enterprise Mobile Messaging"

Deploy a mobile ready messaging strategy across your organization

However, what are the ingredients to getting this right? What should brands be thinking about if they choose to create and implement a chatbot?

New consumer demands: consistency and convenience

The conditions are ripe for chatbots. Businesses are witnessing a perfect storm where technology can match or exceed consumers’ expectations of how brands should interact with them.

People now live in an age where convenience wins and the ability to solve problems quickly and efficiently is a competitive advantage for businesses.

As consumers become more demanding, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) is the most cost effective way for brands to scale up personalised communications. As such, we have seen a rapid growth in the demand for bespoke chatbots.

Moreover, as time goes on, we will undoubtedly see brands create, borrow or purchase recognisable personas that will guide consumers through an entire customer journey. AI and messaging services allow brands to both improve and maintain their communication consistency.

However, for a chatbot to perform in a human enough way to engage a consumer, it is vital it has sufficient data to feed into it, which in turn increases accuracy. Brand managers must understand and react to this data to get chatbots right.

The best chatbots delight

To succeed, chatbots must make customer experience efficient and reliable, but the best chatbots also delight users. They will not only deliver the great customer service needed, but offer an experience that can’t be delivered by any other means of digital contact.

A brand persona can be brought to life through a chatbot, and this imagination can make customers smile and help increase brand recall. For the first time, brands can have a distinct voice online and mobile.

It’s important for brands to think about their brand vocabulary, linguistic personality and persona before embarking on a chatbot project, to make sure the tone of conversation and personalisation is right for their audience. Get this right and chatbots may just offer whole new business opportunities.

Chatbots work across industries. From a publisher’s point of view, chatbots are a new channel of communication. For retailers, they are a new channel for commerce.

There is the chance to innovate in the customer-brand relationship and to provide the tools needed to reach consumers on platforms they already use. This means the experience is simply convenient for the customer and they don’t have to change their behaviour.

Chatbots enhance the customer experience provided by humans

A fear that’s often cited when talking about AI and new technology is that it will displace humans. At this moment in time, chatbot technology just isn’t advanced enough to deliver the type of conversational expertise a human can.

One could argue that human expertise is not actually what people are looking for when they interact with a chatbot.

For example, you don’t expect Alexa on Amazon Echo to have a long, involved conversation with you to discuss the merits of a brand or the complexities of a product. You simply want it to deliver the information you need at that time, such as telling you a store’s opening times or the weather forecast for the day.

Chatbots don’t need to replace the individual nature that human customer service provides, they just need to be efficient and deliver the outcome the customer needs.

In this sense, AI diagnoses the problem people have and then points them in the direction they need. It’s built on the Pareto principle; if responses to 80 percent of inbound questions a brand receives can be automated, you can remove this burden and create a higher quality output for the more complex enquiries.

The irony is that despite being robots, chatbots make customer experience much more personal. They service consumers via the platforms they already use every day and enable brands to improve the customer experience.

It’s a double-win for brands as they will gain additional resources to train their team on more complex queries that cannot, and should not, be automated.


Monday, August 14, 2017

why consumers would feel comfortable talking with a chatbot

High consumer receptiveness to chatbots highlights a significant opportunity for marketers looking to take advantage of this cultural demand 


While consumers carefully control how brands can engage with them on these personal devices, they are highly receptive to new and emerging mobile experiences that add convenience and value'

A majority of consumers are comfortable talking with a chatbot yet only a fraction have engaged with one, according to the 2017 Mobile Consumer Report from Vibes, a mobile engagement company used by brands to deliver targeted, personalised mobile experiences.

In addition to under-indexed chatbot usage, Vibes’ fourth annual report – which interviewed 2,000 consumers across the US – uncovered a number of insights into consumer perceptions and preferences about how they want to interact with brands on their phones via text messages, mobile wallet, push notifications, apps and more.

The results can inform marketers’ approaches to connecting on a personal level with today’s hyper-connected, mobile consumer.

“Consumers are open to engaging with brands on mobile in a way that is unlike any other channel,” said Jack Philbin, co-founder and CEO of Vibes. “While consumers carefully control how brands can engage with them on these personal devices, they are highly receptive to new and emerging mobile experiences that add convenience and value. Brands that cater to these consumer preferences will see significant dividends, including enhanced reputations and incremental revenue growth.”

Most consumers welcome a chatbot experience, but few have experienced it.

"SMS Dynamically Send, Receive & Enhance Text Message Campaigns"

Dynamically Send, Receive & Enhance Text Message Campaigns.

Over 60% of consumers would feel comfortable talking with a chatbot, yet only 22 percent have actually done so, suggesting marketers should accelerate efforts to deliver mobile engagement experiences on this emerging channel.

The majority of consumers are more drawn to brands that offer mobile loyalty.

Indeed, this corroborated by the 70% of consumers would have a more positive opinion of a brand that allowed them to save a plastic loyalty card in their smartphone. Over one-third of people store information from brands in mobile wallets such as Apple Wallet and Android Pay, which can also be used to store and manage loyalty programs.

Consumers carefully curate the number of brands that can deliver alerts to them on their smartphones.

On average, smartphone users feel comfortable subscribing to four mobile alerts, highlighting the limited inventory available to brands seeking to connect with consumers.

These users are most likely to sign up for mobile alerts from retailers, restaurants and brands (50%), followed by weather and radio stations (37%) and financial institutions (34%).

Apps are not a highly effective in-store shopping companion for most consumers.

After opening an app for information while shopping, only 19% of smartphone users report making an in-store purchase on that same trip at least half of the time.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

how chatbots have a big influence on marketing

Why are chatbots so valuable to marketing teams, and how can they help improve customer experience? 


With marketing becoming more data-driven, it gives chatbots the ability to provide customers with relevant information at the right time. In order to provide first-class service, companies need to be able to link complete and accurate customer data for chatbots to become a successful customer service tool. The results are obvious - it is time to get started today

Conversations around artificial intelligence and virtual reality are becoming increasingly common within the marketing space. It’s unsurprising as these technologies are on track to fundamentally change customer service by 2020, with marketers looking to AI as a potential way to improve their customer service offering.

"Dynamically Send, Receive & Enhance Text Message Campaigns"

Dynamically Send, Receive & Enhance Text Message Campaigns.

In a recent study conducted by Oracle Marketing Cloud, 80% of the sales and marketing managers questioned already use the new technology or plan to do so by 2020.

But what lies behind the hype?

Chatbots: the future of customer experience?

Customers become frustrated and feel disconnected when they get placed in a telephone queue or loop when trying to reach the customer service desk. This problem no longer exists with a chatbot. The virtual contact can be reached around the clock, from anywhere without the customer having to wait to call in office hours.

Traditionally chatbots have had a less than favourable reputation with consumers, but with more than one in three brands stating that customers and prospects prefer to complete a purchase or resolve service issues without speaking to a human associate, they could now be seen as an easy answer, not a barrier.

Forty-eight percent of sales and marketing leaders admit that digital and mobile technologies have caused the greatest change to how their customers and prospects interact with them.

More customers are increasingly using mobile devices to inform, communicate or buy, and they are very familiar with using a chat format. Chatbots give brands the means to adapt to this preferred form of communication as they can be integrated into apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

Chatbots increase the quality of customer service

Call centre employees spend a lot of time answering standard recurring questions which can take up valuable time when trying to get to the root of the issue. Chatbots can clear most of it beforehand, giving human contacts more time to deal with more complicated concerns. In turn, their responses flow into the chatbot knowledge pool, so that they can become more complex with their responses in the future.

As well as general improvements to customer service, more specific, targeted customer service can be created through chatbots. Should customers have a log in, or be automatically remembered, chatbots can be armed with their data to draw from, past purchases, recent service issues, social media interactions and preferred ways of interaction – giving a further depth of customer service. In order to do this however, there would need to be a free flow of data between marketing, sales and service teams to ensure the information is relevant and accurate.

Chatbots are evolving as they work

Chatbots currently exist through simple text-based and menu-driven variants, with the communication following predefined structures and selection lists. If the customer can not solve their problem in this way, the bot passes the conversation seamlessly to a human service employee.

However, the next step is towards natural language processing (NL), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). As bots become more advanced, they will be able to understand language input and formulate responses independently.

Chatbots are not human – don’t try to fool your consumers

Organisations often give chatbots names or an avatar to make it appear more life-like. However, this is not always the right approach for every target audience. For example, Robbie the Seal is perfectly appropriate to pass on the opening times for children’s swimming classes. On the other hand, a formal, neutral greeting works better for a hotel.

For brands in the initial stages of testing chatbots and their customers’ reactions to them, they should start by using members of their team as assessors of the process. Placing a human observer behind the human-bot interactions during the first stages will allow companies to look at what type of tone their audience responds best to, and the type of information they feel comfortable asking for, and expect, from a bot, rather than a human. This way you can create a chatbot that consumers will be willing to interact with, not be frustrated by.

You are already playing catch up

Many organisations are already succeeding with this technology so marketers that are not should start their plans to introduce chatbot technology today. Chatbots could be the key to bringing organisations closer to their customers as personalised experiences are proven to create loyalty.

With marketing becoming more data-driven, it gives chatbots the ability to provide customers with relevant information at the right time. In order to provide first-class service, companies need to be able to link complete and accurate customer data for chatbots to become a successful customer service tool. The results are obvious – it is time to get started today.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

how mobile enterprise messaging is increasingly important for businesses communication

Text messaging is the most used data service in the world, and in the time it takes you to read and subsequently share this article, close to a billion texts will be sent worldwide, not including app-to-app messaging.

"Deploy a mobile ready messaging strategy across your organization"

Deploy a mobile ready messaging strategy across your organization

With so many eyeballs and fingers focused on typed communication through mobile devices, enterprises are facing a new world of threats as employees use their equipment for work and play simultaneously. Companies have ramped up their self-phishing techniques in recent years, seeking to build awareness among employees and heighten the company’s overall security hygiene.

So what is this new scam, and how is it impacting the enterprise’s ability to properly secure mobile devices, whether it’s a BYOD or COPE setting?

Smishing is the text message version of phishing, where hackers will send a text posing as a company or person asking the recipient to take action on any number of seemingly mundane activities, i.e., the user’s bank claiming it has detected unusual activity or a congratulatory notice saying the person has won a prize from their favorite store.

The text message will then ask to review the “unusual activity” or “claim the prize” by clicking on and following a link sent with the information. Once the user has opened that link, in most cases, hackers need no further action and will be able to infiltrate the mobile device or accounts therein, grabbing personal data in the forms of passwords and other private information.

When you consider 913,242,000 texts are sent every hour of every day around the globe – which breaks down to a whopping 15.2 million per minute – hackers have a veritable treasure trove of targets. That only widens when one considers the kind of access online criminals can gain by infiltrating a device connected to a company’s private network.

How did such a simple act become the enterprise’s biggest threat?

1.)Too much trust.

Users trust texting more than most other forms of communication. Phishing emails have been hitting inboxes for decades, with African princes seeking funds or pharmaceutical companies allegedly asking recipients to check out new products. Most users are now able to detect wayward emails and if they can’t, there’s a good shot the spam filter is doing it for them. Texting, on the other hand, is done between trusted contacts. Receiving an SMS message from a new number doesn’t mean it’s sent with ill-intent, it just means that user hasn’t been added to the contacts list yet. In the enterprise, as employees dabble on their phones to check email, collaborate in real-time, or use social media apps during non-work hours, they’re also checking text messages and could very easily tap a link they may feel is trustworthy during the hustle and bustle of daily activities.

2.)Smartphone saturation.

As each year comes and goes, so do new devices, but one trend is continuing in an upward direction: the number of mobile devices, specifically smartphones, being used in the enterprise. It’s predicted that more than 42% of the global workforce will primarily use a mobile device by 2022. Add to that some 44% of the world’s population will have a smartphone by the end of 2017, and the mobile devices have now become commonplace. With the increased number of devices comes a growing number communication methods, and texting will remain the leader for years to come.

3.)No one is immune.

While not a member of the enterprise setting, a human rights activist from the United Arab Emirates received a text message in August 2016 on his iPhone that included a link. Fortunately for the dignitary, he did not do so, and submitted the text for research to Citizen Lab. It turns out if he had followed through with the prompt, his phone would have become a tracking device, enabling a hacker to use his camera and microphone remotely. This prompted Apple to release an OS patch. No one knows how the activist’s phone number was gained by the criminals, either. As recently reported by Enterprise Mobility Exchange, 40% of CIOs believe they are the biggest target of mobile security attacks, meaning hackers are aiming at the top to potentially obtain as much private, corporate data as possible.

So how does the enterprise combat a threat that aims at the most used, most trusted source of mobile communication? Solutions that provide secure text messaging, of course, but raising awareness among employees is essential. Self-smishing campaigns will become a priority in the enterprise in 2017 and beyond, focusing on decreasing click-through rates and expanding knowledge of the growing threat.