Without a doubt, Artificial Intelligence is the future of the business world. AI tools are replacing humans in many tasks and they are able to perform the job much faster and more efficiently.
Plenty of businesses are already using AI to automate tasks and improve their business operations. Seeing a chatbot greet you when you visit a website is nothing unusual. Facebook has incorporated bots into the messenger app a while ago. Marketers use bots for the purposes of digital marketing.
Opinions differ on the topic bots vs. humans but one thing is certain: these AI-powered tools are quickly replacing real people. But are they really better than humans?
In this article, we will dissect the topic and go through the pros and cons of using bots from a marketer’s point of view.
What is a Bot?
Bots (web bots or Internet robots), also sometimes called spiders or crawlers, are software applications that can be used to perform various tasks. They can perform repetitive tasks and gather information.
Bots are automated, programmed to perform certain tasks. Bots scan content all over the Internet, interact with users, etc. They can also be malicious and used for searching for attack targets.
Bots can be chatbots, social bots, web crawlers, and malicious bots.
Advantages of Using Bots
When it comes to the advantages of bots, the ability to gather and analyze large amounts of data is the greatest of them. Humans cannot possibly scan and analyze the same amounts of data at the same speeds without making errors.
We also cannot deny the efficiency with which bots address customers’ queries. Chatbots are able to interact with customers through instant messaging. They can recognize your intent and then search the database to find the most appropriate answer. A human agent can sometimes take a lot of time to find an answer because they lack the expertise in an area.
Bots can also gather the preliminary information when they greet you and use that info to create personalized ads. As a result, bots can optimize a company’s sales. This is incredibly useful for marketers.
They also do not get tired, unlike humans. They are able to perform set tasks 24/7 which explains why many businesses prefer chatbots rather than hiring customer service representatives. They do not require human help to perform automated tasks.
Another advantage of bots is cost-effectiveness. It is by far less costly to implement a chatbot to your platform than it is to hire a person for the job.
What it Means for Marketing
Providing value is the top priority of any brand. You want to be useful to your customers, to address their needs.
Bot technology enables nurturing a positive relationship between a brand and its customers. Bots are able to talk conversationally with customers and even help them make shopping choices. From a marketer’s point of view, using bots can help your digital marketing strategy. Bots are seen as personal assistants that are able of offering a personalized approach. For a brand, this is invaluable.
Bots are Limited.
Bots are clearly more efficient in many ways but there are not capable of understanding everything. They often can’t understand the context and thus can fail to help you with your problem. They act according to a set of rules and they tend to forget a piece of information you provided a few seconds ago.
In such cases, bots can kill your marketing efforts as a bad user experience frustrates the customer.
Click Bots Fraud
Not to mention that click bots can ruin your pay-per-click campaign. Competitors may use this click bots to click on sponsored ads and drain your marketing budget. It’s called click fraud and it is used to sabotage a competitor.
Advertisers lose a lot of money to fraud. It is estimated that ad fraud will become a $44 billion industry by 2022.
Bots Can Hurt Your SEO
Bots can affect your rankings by stealing your content and redistributing it on other websites. This can cause your search rankings to drop significantly. Your website might even get penalized due to such suspicious activities.
Bots do represent the future of marketing. They are a very useful asset you should incorporate into your marketing efforts. However, the technology is still in its infancy. Bots still lack the sophistication that humans possess and you still need a human touch.
Our verdict is that bots should be used as an addition to traditional marketing. However, it takes people to close the deals and to truly understand what customers need.