Innovation That Matters

DIY chat bot helps brands engage with customers

Work & Lifestyle

Toronto based media company, Massively, launches service to help brands build customer acquisition bots.

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With the rise of adblocks, the impact of digital banner advertising is steadily decreasing, and brands are on the lookout for the latest way of pulling in new audiences. Aimed at the younger generation, branded bots are automated accounts that run on messaging services like Kik or Facebook messenger, chatting one-to-one with thousands of human users. Massively has been developing chat bot services for clients since late 2014. One recent example was their campaign to promote the launch of horror film Insidious 3. Instead of the usual static or video ads, the media company created a bot which, representing the film’s heroine Quinn Brenner, engaged users in conversation over Kik.

Now, the Canadian startup has launched a service which helps creative agencies use bots as a marketing tool. President Russell Ward explains, “We’re trying to educate agencies, so they can take this to their clients.” Developers of the platform had to strike the right balance between ease of use and functionality. The platform had to allow marketeers with no programming experience to get to grips with it while also offering the kind of advanced functionality which would enable the app to do interesting things. Massively’s AI-development service is free but the company also offers Massively Managed Services, a service that helps clients develop a specific customized execution for campaigns.

Using bots as a point of connection between a brand and its consumers has been growing in recent years. Systems like a Whatsapp bot already use AI to analyze conversations and recommend tv programs that viewers will like. As instant messaging services become increasingly popular, new opportunities open up for businesses to market content to consumers directly. But does this kind of client engagement suit all brands?

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