Rostislav Plankin: Neither Durov nor Zuckerberg will allow their product to become a hotbed of spam

Mar 12, 2018

Rostislav Plankin: Neither Durov nor Zuckerberg will allow their product to become a hotbed of spam

Marketing in instant messengers will be in trend in 2020, and companies will have to implement new standards of communication, Rostislav Plankin is convinced. We asked the expert why users respond positively to mailout in instant messaging, how to use chatbot to sell complex products and how many instant messengers you need for business.

Rostislav Plankin is CEO & Founder at MarketingBot, co-founder of the advertising agency Time-promo.

Interviewer: AI Conference (AI)
Respondent: Rostislav Plankin (RP)

AI: How did the sales performance of your customers change after the introduction of chatbots?

RP: If we talk about embedded funnel system or chatbots with the showcase function and the logic of ordering goods or services, sometimes we notice very good indicators of the increase in targeted actions, including sales growth. The chatbot on the site is a good tool for optimizing mobile traffic.

The possibility of sending PUSH-notifications to all who subscribed to the chatbot contributes to the sales growth as well. And this always provides opportunities for pre-sales or launching a chain of “warming up” letters for complex goods or services.

The longer the decision-making cycle for purchasing is, the more complex the product or service is, the more opportunities for chatbot it creates.


AI: What can your bots do and how are they trained?

RP: Today, chatbots have very interesting tasks:

  • data storage;
  • traditional currency and cryptocurrency exchange;
  • integration with databases and sending the necessary information, for example, on the status of the order;
  • the formation of orders.

We are focused on the opportunities that can be used in commercial communications of business with customers:

  • acceptance of payments;
  • personal accounts recharge;
  • generation of promo codes and referral links;
  • elements of gaming for marketing communications;
  • implementation of survey mechanics for audience segmentation.

This and much more, including quality content, allows you to transfer the communication to the messenger.

As for the training of bots and the use of AI, there are many projects using neural networks, but they do not yet have their place in commerce and application for business. Voice assistants Siri and Alexa are the most advanced representatives of this class of bots, and we need to follow their development. Perhaps, after the era of marketing in instant messengers, we will smoothly move into the era of marketing in voice assistants and other elements of a smart home.

Creating now a bot that operates using pre-planned algorithms and has a rich semantic core, we are sure of its work by 99.99%.


AI: The site of your company indicated that the viewing rate of mailings in instant messengers reaches 80%. Why do you think users click links there more often than by email?

RP: With all due respect to e-mail, you can compare this channel of communication with the mailbox at your door. We take the letters or notifications we need, everything else is just thrown away. The more spam in our mailboxes, both physical and electronic, the less confidence we have in this B2B communication channel. According to Marketingcharts.com study, the viewing rate of email messages is steadily growing due to the ability to check mail from smartphones. But the clickability of mails fell almost 2 times over the period from 2010 to 2016 (from 5.4% to 3.1%).

AI Conference: Marketingcharts.com

Everything is different with messengers today. People perceive messenger as a personal, protected space. That's why user reads messages more often. The audience often perceive the business content positively, but there are several conditions: it should be useful and meet the interests of the consumer.

Neither Pavel Durov nor Mark Zuckerberg will ever allow their product to become a hotbed of spam, and will carefully protect messenger users from receiving unwanted information. Therefore, we can predict the growth of confidence from the audience.


AI: Will messenger marketing become a trend in 2018 and why? How long will it last?

RP: In my opinion, messenger marketing will be a trend not in 2018, but in 2020 and the following years.

The generation Y, born between 1982 and 2002, saw lack of goods, empty counters, and bright advertising on TV in the 1990s. We can still be influenced by announcements in newspapers, on the radio or email.

The generation Z, born after 2002 and growing with a gadget in their hands, thinks quite differently. With a high degree of probability, the person simply will not notice outdoor or TV advertising, because neither TV, nor radio, nor press, nor e-mail is simply not in his or her ecosystem.

Messengers are a long-term trend, which only started. The oldest representative of generation Z is now 16 years old. Everything will start when they become the target audience of brands, and brands will need to adjust to new standards of communication.


AI: When and how often is it best to send mailings not to bother users and not get the opposite effect?

RP: It all depends on the type of content. And the content, in turn, depends on the product and the targeted audience.

For example, the topic of family and children causes aggression among potential customers, if showing such advertising during business hours from 9.00 to 18.00. It is perceived much better in the evening.

Some types of businesses can use daily mailings, while it is better to do newsletters not more than once a week or even a month for others.

It is important to convey the value and relevance of the content to the audience, the frequency depends on this.

For example, several mailings on seasonal promotions per month are enough, and in the case of native advertising in news format notifications, mailings can be daily. The content will be relevant and positively responded in both cases.


AI: What is the difference between messages in Telegram from a message in Facebook Messenger?

RP: The messages from the chatbot in the text format with buttons and media files are almost the same, except for a few different possibilities. For example, you can attach only three buttons to the message text in Facebook Messenger, and more in Telegram.

Both platforms have a custom menu and inline buttons.

The differences is in the design. In the case of Messenger, the bot will be bound to the Facebook business page. The bot is not connected to anything in Telegram, and all the necessary information can be found in its description, where it is easy to follow links.

The target audience usually choose an instant messenger for communications, so the perception of the content will also be approximately the same.


AI: Is one instant messenger enough or better using more?

RP: Of course, you need to use several messengers, we all like having a choice, and it's important to provide the client with this opportunity.

When you choose an instant messenger, you look for convenience first. Not all Facebook users have, for example, Facebook Messenger. Therefore, you choose other frequently used and pre-installed applications for text messages.

Thus, having a chatbot on several communication platforms, the outreach will be wider.

In addition, you need to analyze the geography of the business messengers. Traditionally Facebook Messenger and Telegram cover Moscow and St. Petersburg, Viber covers the Urals, Siberia and the Eastern part of Russia. It may also depend on the product or service.

It is important to understand the target audience of a particular segment of the business for choosing a messenger. In some cases, it is better to have one.


Rostislav will speak at the AI ​​Conference on April 19, where you can ask the speaker any question on marketing personally.

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