The future of marketing is chat, especially within the Facebook Messenger app.
Just three months after opening up Messenger bots to developers and brands, marketers are experimenting with everything from automated shopping to recipe recommendations.
Here's a look at how brands are using chatbots as part of their marketing strategies.
GE is no stranger to the Snapchat crowd, having created an emoji-themed periodic table a couple years ago to make science more accessible to millennials and teens.
For World Emoji Day in July, GE fashioned a Facebook Messenger bot named Dot the Bot, who doles out science facts in the form of a string of emojis.
To wit: A picture of an envelope and the date 1971 is a clue to the year email was invented.
For each question a consumer answers correctly, they receive either one or two points, depending on whether they needed a clue.
The pizza chain's current mobile and Xbox apps remember users' orders and offer them deals.
But this month, the company is rolling out a platform that plugs into Facebook Messenger to make ordering a pepperoni pie even easier. The location-based bot will allow customers to chat with a rep through a Facebook account and take advantage of deals from nearby restaurants. It will also automatically fill in delivery information and save their favorite orders.
The gourmet supermarket’s bot functions like a virtual chef who can read your mind through emojis. Foodies can search a database of recipes using food emojis or keywords such as type of cuisine or diet.
Ping the bot a picture of a pineapple, and it will recommend a pineapple slushie. Send a watermelon emoji, and it will suggest a baked watermelon jerky dish.