Seeing that in a few weeks, we will be in 2018, it is time to look at the new technological evolution, used in marketing. Let see the evolution that will probably take place in online marketing, especially in social media, that is likely to grow significantly in 2018. Here are two trends that are already taking off!
Chatbot and Artificial Intelligence
What is a Chatbot?
Chatbots provide a way to simulate conversation. It generally appears as a dialogue box in a website, inviting the client to ask his questions and answering to them. A chatbot offers a complementary service from delivering simple product information or services to assisting customers in their purchasing decision.
History of chatbots
As early as 1960, MIT initially developed a program called Eliza (more information click here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELIZA). Originally, bots used as foundation a library of questions and answers to reply correctly to the clients. However, since last year chatbot are becoming a deep-rooted trend to enhance online customer experience. Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning (self-learning), the bot can analyse and understand questions, so as to improve progressively its answers over time.
Example of Chatbot
Here is an illustration.
- Sephora launched a personal assistant to provide makeup tutorials to their customers. It also unables them to see reviews and ratings of the products when they were shopping in a store, making the buying process easier and faster.
What is at stake?
At the end of the day, it is the speed and availability of the service that is at stake. Chatbots succeed with flying colours to this challenge of speed toward a digital native generation eager for immediacy. This can lead to a real positive impact on customer experience : that means to further personalize the relationship a brand can maintain with its leads, and bring a real added value to the online customer.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
In the first place, let me present you the specific definitions of those two technologies people often tend to confuse.
Augmented reality is a technology that lets you simulate the integration of 2D or 3D virtual objects in your surroundings, through applications, so as to enrich its images. Augmented reality play a more cross-cutting role, as video games, education, cinema, TV, industry or medicine can use it.
In contrast, Virtual Reality is a technology that makes possible the creation of an artificial environment thanks to a software, that also replicates a sensory experience for the user (which can involve the five senses). In other words virtual reality offers to live an experience in a digitally created world (which can spring from imagination or reconstitute a part of reality).
Applications of AR & VR
Two famous applications helped to popularize augmented reality technology :
- Snapchat added augmented reality features to its application in september 2015, with the option for users to integrate filters upon their faces, or to integrate elements on their environment.
- In the beginning of the summer 2016, Pokemon Go had an instant and unforeseen success on a global scale among its users. In only few months the application used augmented reality to generate nearly one billion dollars.
Also, a large number of virtual reality experience have emerged those past few years, such as:
- IKEA came up with an innovative way to experiment with its furniture, offering a virtual visit and test. It gave to its clients the opportunity to virtually be in their future kitchen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=1S0GO5kbMYo
- Google made it possible to live virtually the ascent of the 100 last meters of the Mont-Blanc, in collaboration with Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc! It might inspire alpinists that aspire to climb Europe’s highest peak: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5iHeusne-s
What is at stake?
Given those points, we could say what is at stake with VR and AR, is the ability of the brands to offer an interactive experience. The potential of augmented and virtual reality is indeed gradually becoming a powerful mean to embark its users on a journey through the universe of the brand, and to make them live a full tailored and interactive experience. Their immersive content often involves an emotional responsefrom the user, and offers a breathtaking experience for them.