2016. A Bot Odyssey

Bots are the marketing equivalent of drones, but a couple of years behind. A few years ago no one had heard of them and they didn’t really work very well (except the sinister military sort), but now everyone and their mum seems to have a drone, and the media is a buzz with ways drones could transform different industries.

All the big movers and shakers in the industry are agreed that bots will be the next big thing (we’ve had content marketing, marketing automation, big data, now bots are the buzzword of choice).

MIT technology review told us that the bots are coming back in April, whilst in the same month Facebook opened up its messenger platform for people to build Bots.

The little chart  shows interest in messenger bots recently according to Google trends.

Are bots really the future, or a flash in the pan that isn’t really mature enough yet for your average marketers to have to worry about?

In short, yes they are the future, but when they will actually start affecting your marketing efforts depends very much on the type of company you’re in and what vertical you operate in.

To understand exactly how they will affect your vertical, you’ll need to understand more about what bots are and how they will disrupt things.

What is a bot anyway?

A bot is a piece of software that impersonates a user. The strict definition is any software that automates repetitive tasks over the internet, but that is so broad it includes all kinds of applications that won’t concern marketers. The original bots were not tools for marketers, but rather things that got on their nerves. Think spamming Twitter accounts not run by humans, or bots browsing pages to inflate page views or ad impressions and thus scam advertisers.The good news is the new wa


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