The potential of conversational marketing to truly deliver engaging branded content

The marketing world is set to experience an apparent reversal of the old adage of ‘actions speak louder than words’ with conversation based advertising. Virtual assistants and chatbots are everywhere, and as mass consumer adoption increases, so does the possibility for brands to rejuvenate their marketing campaigns. Chatbots present a paradigm shift for brands to engage, personalize and make users a part of their entire product journey in ways that have never been possible before.

These days, advertising is just about everywhere. From office buildings to public loos, the faces of models or products jut out from every corner. Even now, while reading this write-up, you might be occasionally disturbed by pop-up ads filling up necessary reading space.

In a world where the average consumer is exposed to 4000-10000 brands per day, 56% of digital ads and 86% of TV ads served are never seen. What can then brands do to stand out from the crowd and establish their products by genuinely engaging with their audience? That’s where the potential of conversational marketing can be huge. It finally presents an interface to brands to be a part of the conversation and make sure their products get the required eyeballs.

Run on a two-way drive

Video Ads, as seen on TV and other digital media, are essentially a one-way form of communication. When these try to enhance the engagement quotient by adopting a call-to-action button, it is typically incorporated as an embedded link to redirect the user to the brand page. According to various industry sources, only 2% of people click on a link within a video to open the brand page.

On the other hand when it comes to chat-based ads, it is a 2 way communication where the users have to literally “talk” to the brand. Chat-based ads are delivered in a messenger app featuring a combo of video, text, image and voice and at Haptik we are seeing a click-through-rate of more than 10%, improving each day as the power of data and optimization still comes in.

These chatbots subtly introduced HDFC and Aquarius products within a chatflow, thereby creating a conversation around the advertised product

Survival of the ‘fleetest’

Just like Neymar’s feet, chat-based ads are fast, adaptive and nimble. Contrary to the top-down, rigid communicative approach of video ads, chat-based communication changes based on what the user responds with. Additionally, it has a much higher average engagement time with users at 1-2 mins, compared to less than 10 seconds for videos. The engagement rate, a measure of an ad’s task completion, is higher for chat-based ads with a 75% completion rate as compared to only 10% of audiences who like/comment/interact with a video ad. Furthermore, in terms of plain achievement of objective, chatbots score far above their video compatriots with 40% of chats initiated resulting in achieving a specified goal, such as obtaining data for future communication, while only 10% videos are watched till the end.

Interesting campaigns with a personality-driven approach like HDFC’s Salaamat Bhai character generates genuine interest in a product

Initiated by the user, for the user

Completely turning the tables on conventional advertising fundamentals, chat-based ads are completely dependent on a user’s engagement in order to progress. This creates an enormous positive impact on the consumer, as instead of being led on a specific path, the consumer drives the ad and in effect has a control on its outcome. 90% people have been observed to give a positive feedback to a prolonged brand communication through a chatbot, while only 45% give positive feedback to a video ad.

A chatbot can introduce a product at multiple touchpoints within the chat as illustrated by this example of Sprite’s #ClearHai campaign


The world over, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning based solutions are being utilized by businesses to reach out to audiences in a highly personalized manner. With online social media platforms currently being the most prominent medium for audiences to crowd in, chat-based ads are perfectly suited for brands to run productive advertising campaigns. The end goal of course is the creation of a loyal and interactive consumer base, an asset of priceless value for any brand today. 


Authored article by Aakrit Vaish, CEO & Co-founder, Haptik



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