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The Business of Bots: Brands Using AI in Marketing Efforts

Brands are embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and problem-solving bots to help create new consumer experiences. See who’s making the most of this tech.

Revolution Digital  |  September 20, 2019
The Business of Bots: Brands Using AI in Marketing Efforts

There are googly-eyed robots roaming the aisles of grocery stores and flying cars on the horizon (literally), so it’s safe to say the future has arrived. And with Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the rise, along with an influx of problem-solving bots, it’s no surprise we’re seeing more brands embrace these technologies to reach their consumers. From media companies to beauty brands, here’s how AI and bots are being utilized for a better experience.

Pond’s Chatbots Act as Personal Beauty Advisors
Out with the digital ads, in with the chatbots. Skincare brand Pond’s recently launched an AI chatbot that helps match consumers to the right skincare products, and results are proving better than their existing digital channels. The bot was designed to make skin diagnostic tools available within social messaging platforms for a more enjoyable, organic experience. To add brand personality and appeal to Gen Z and Millennials, the chatbot incorporates emojis and slang for a more relatable interaction.

Chipotle Uses AI to Take Phone Orders
It still costs extra for guac, but now you can “skip the line” at Chipotle by placing a phone order with a voice assistant. The new AI-powered phone orders hope to make ordering more convenient, eliminating friction from the process. The system allows customers to place an order, pay ahead and skip lines by grabbing their food off of a pickup shelf, plus it makes ordering suggestions, like adding sour cream (yes, please). Last quarter, digital sales at Chipotle grew by 99.1% and made up more than 18% in sales…in other words, it’s working.

Hearst Introduces HANS, a Slackbot for Insights
Hearst Magazines has a new way of informing their editorial staff about audience insights: the “Hearst Analytics Slackbot” (HANS for short). The app uses the workplace collaboration platform, Slack, to deliver real-time answers to questions posed by Hearst employees. HANS “is capable of understanding inquiries in natural language, so a journalist can ask for information as they would if talking to a real-life market researcher.” It replies with results from popular content on their digital properties, broader internet trends and more.

JPMorgan Chase Builds “Message Machine” to Write Ads
This blog post was written by a real human (promise), but JPMorgan Chase is relying on an AI copywriter to craft their ad copy, and we are not at all concerned. Okay, maybe a little. The financial institution has just enlisted startup Persado for its “message machine,” which builds copy from “a database of more than 1 million words tagged and scored for emotional appeal.” According to click rate data, the tool’s copy is outperforming copy written by the company’s own writers. ::Writer panics at keyboard::

Scentbird Uses AI to Create Gender-Neutral Fragrances
Direct-to-consumer company, Scentbird, just launched “Confessions of a Rebel,” a gender-fluid fragrance brand inspired by user data. Through the use of AI, the company was able to identify patterns in user reviews, analyzing the best-rated products to compile a list of notes found most popular with each gender. Among the bunch, 13 notes overlapped, making them the most “unisex” scents and the base notes for the new collection. Since its launch, the line has already become a bestseller.

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