Posts Tagged "chatbots"


5 Chatbot Platforms for Supply Chain Operations to Consider

5 Chatbot Platforms for Supply Chain Operations to Consider

Consider these chatbot platforms for supply chain operations that can help you create artificial intelligence bots to interact with your prospects.

Chatbots are on the lips of every marketer these days hoping to automate some of their processes. These artificial intelligence computer programs are designed to conduct conversations, simulating how a human would interact. If you haven’t already, check out this introduction to chatbots for the supply chain.

Chatbots are on the lips of every marketer these days hoping to automate some of their processes. These artificial intelligence computer programs are designed to conduct conversations, simulating how a human would interact. Click To Tweet

There are countless options for platforms that let you create and customize chatbots. Here are the 5 most important chatbot platforms for supply chain operations to know and consider integrating into their websites.

5 chatbot platforms for supply chain operations

1. Chatfuel

Chatfuel is a great option for marketers who lack programming experience, as it does most of the hard work for you. Reportedly used by companies including MTV, TechCrunch, BuzzFeed, British Airways, and Adidas to create their chatbots, Chatfuel provides easy-to-use resources with a simple user interface that lets you create a chatbot in less than 15 minutes.

2. ChatScript

ChatScript is a four-time winner of the Loebner Prize for the most human-like artificial intelligence. While it doesn’t require advanced programming knowledge, it provides an open-source framework for developers to build and deploy chatbots.

3. Facebook Bots for Messenger

Facebook’s Bots for Messenger is a tool that allows businesses to build chatbots for Facebook’s Messenger platform (which is currently used by nearly a billion people). Its three main capabilities are its send/receive API, generic message templates, and the ability to customize the welcome screen users first see when interacting with your bot.

4. Botsify

A popular chatbot platform, Botsify lets anyone create bots easily without needing to write any code. It provides templates with a range of drag-and-drop functionalities. Additionally, it boasts human takeover ability to ensure a smooth transition from a bot to a human at the appropriate point in the sales funnel.

5. Flow XO

This platform offers the templates and tools necessary to create a talking bot, and lets you run and test functionalities with a built-in test console. Flow XO also offers a provision for you to connect with your customers over voice and chat when required in the conversation.

While email marketing continues to be a key tactic, marketing via messaging apps is becoming more and more expected. These chatbot platforms for supply chain operations offer ease, convenience, and a positive customer experience. They’re worth considering!

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Posts Tagged "chatbots"


What Does Automation Mean for Supply Chain Marketing and Sales?

What Does Automation Mean for Supply Chain Marketing and Sales?

Automation has two major benefits for supply chain marketers: it drives efficiencies and improves success rates in earning and converting leads.

When you think about automation in the supply chain, you probably don’t immediately consider marketing and sales. Perhaps you envision robots scooting around warehouse floors, or maybe you think of applications in billing, compliance reports, or order auditing. However, advances in automation have impressive implications for marketing and sales in the supply chain as well.

Automation has two major benefits for supply chain marketers. Like all automation, it drives efficiencies, allowing your team to devote more time to other core competencies. What you may not know, however, is that it also improves success rates in earning and converting leads. In fact, HubSpot reports that businesses using marketing automation to nurture leads receive a whopping 451% increase in qualified leads.

New trends in marketing automation – particularly those which function more like artificial intelligence – can streamline and improve your marketing and sales efforts. Here’s how.

Integrate marketing automation into your CRM strategy

Integrating marketing automation into your customer relationship management (CRM) strategy may not be the first thing that came to mind, but the two work beautifully in tandem.

An integrated approach will take all three of the following areas to the next level:

  1. Track behavior. Automation lets you go far beyond basic demographic data, seeing things like what pages your prospects are visiting, what types of content they’re interested in, and where they are in the buying cycle.
  2. Send targeted messages. You can use the behavioral information collected by your marketing automation tool to create and send targeted messages that are customized to your prospects’ interests and stage in the buying cycle. This means your prospects will find your messages more relevant and engaging.
  3. Establish clear ROI. Establishing a clear link between marketing efforts and sales is a constant thorn in the side of most marketers, but new advances in automation make measuring ROI a little clearer. Creating a campaign in your marketing automation system maps it back to your CRM, so you can correlate closed deals directly with the campaigns that created them.

Basically, combining CRM with marketing automation can give you more organizational bandwidth, more precision in your messaging and lead nurturing, and more measurable value in your campaigns.

Create targeted messages with email workflows

There’s no area in which marketing automation is more helpful than in the creation of automated but extremely pertinent email workflows to your sales leads.

Based on the information you have about your leads and/or their engagement with your website, email workflows trigger a series of pre-determined highly-relevant emails at designated intervals, inviting them to take action and helping them to move down the sales funnel.

Email workflows do require considerable work upfront as you consider individual buyer profiles, their place within the buyer’s journey, and what timely and relevant information will advance them. But thoughtful well-designed email workflows can translate to substantial time savings and increases in lead conversion later.

More marketing automation: Social media scheduling tools & chatbots

Two other areas in which automation is making a big splash in marketing and sales are social media scheduling tools and chatbots.

The targeted approach of email workflows increases their chances of being read, but I don’t need to point out that – no matter how perfect your email might be – people are still buried in emails. On average, office employees receive 121 emails per day. Only around 20% are opened, and click-through rates are even lower.

On average, office employees receive 121 emails per day. Only around 20% are opened, and click-through rates are even lower. Click To Tweet

So, in addition to email workflows, the newest trends in automation are social media scheduling tools and chatbots. Both of them can make your job much easier — and improve your bottom line.

Social media scheduling tools

Social media scheduling tools, like those offered by HubSpot and Hootsuite, let you plan and schedule content across your social networks.

For example, HubSpot’s comprehensive CRM and marketing platform includes the ability to automatically post to social media when you publish content, as well as in-depth analytical tools for determining the best time to post to social media platforms. You can also monitor social mentions and link your social media activity with larger marketing campaigns to determine ROI.

Hootsuite lets you keep track of various social media channels at once. It also helps you perform brand monitoring, letting you know when you brand is mentioned, and what your customers are saying.

As you can imagine, using a social media monitoring tool can greatly improve efficiency, cutting into the sometimes-seemingly-endless manual hours spent on social media monitoring and posting.

Chatbots

A chatbot is s a computer program that simulates human conversation using auditory or textual methods. It communicates with your customer inside a messaging app, like Facebook Messenger, and is similar to email marketing without landing in an inbox.

Chatbots are the latest trend in marketing, and their increasing popularity is making it harder to ignore how artificial intelligence is helping shape the content marketing landscape. It’s certainly timely. Business Insider recently reported that the number of people on messaging apps surpassed the number of users on social networks!

Messaging automation is the new email automation, and it can work for supply chain and logistics industries too. Chatbots currently allow for increased customer engagement through messaging app technology that isn’t yet saturated with marketing, and your brand will also appreciate the ease of tracking and segmenting your customers through chatbots.

Marketing automation is for the supply chain

Automation isn’t just for the warehouse or the finance and billing department. It’s also for this crazy constantly-changing world of marketing in supply chain and logistics industries. Marketing automation can make a big difference in your marketing and sales efforts.

Integrating automation with your CRM strategy, creating targeted email workflows, and the newest advances like social media scheduling tools and chatbots can all add up to major time savings and substantial increases in lead conversion rates.

This post originally appeared on EBN Online.

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Posts Tagged "chatbots"


Top 10 Supply Chain and Logistics Blog Posts of 2018 (Thus Far)

Top 10 Supply Chain and Logistics Blog Posts of 2018 (Thus Far)

Here are our most-viewed supply chain and logistics blog posts from this year as of July 1, 2018.

Throughout the year, we regularly write blog posts to help our readers stay on top of the latest news and happenings in the supply chain and logistics industries, particularly in regards to content marketing. We hope these posts provide insight, tips, and insider information on how to stay head of your competitors with the consistent publication of quality content.

We’ve covered some great stuff this year, from new trends (like chatbots) to questions that clients ask  year after year (like how is the industry using social media?). Here’s a look at our most popular posts so far this year.

Top supply chain and logistics blog posts from 2018 (so far)

1. 10 Must-Follow Supply Chain and Logistics Blogs in 2018

These 10 blogs are all rich with industry news and the latest trends to keep you in the know. They cover a wide range of topics, from research to strategy, and feature some of the top thought leaders in the field. Read more.

2. 5 Must-Read Books for Supply Chain Leaders

One of the best ways to sharpen your leadership skills is by learning from other leaders’ experiences. Leadership books, especially those focused on the supply chain and logistics industries, give valuable insight into the trials and triumphs of your industry peers’ encounters. Read more.

3. Top 3 Logistics and Supply Chain Blogs of 2018

You voted, and the results are in! LTX Solution is your number one favorite blog of the year, with “Ellen’s Blog” of Women In Trucking and Apex Capital Blog coming in second and third. What remained consistent from previous years is the quality of the content and the consistency of posting by the three winners.  Read more.

4. 7 Supply Chain & Logistics Professionals to Follow on LinkedIn

LinkedIn, with almost 500 million users, is the #1 networking site for professionals. Following LinkedIn members gives you access to their profiles, as well as any original or third-party posts they publish on their newsfeeds. Here are 7 supply chain and logistics professionals to follow for top posts and articles in your industry. Read more.

5. B2B Marketing Trend 2018: Influencer Marketing

One of 2018’s fastest growing marketing trends is influencer marketing. Companies will increase their influencer marketing budget to keep up with the competition. 86% of B2C marketers used influencer marketing in 2017, and 92% of marketers that tried it found it to be effective. B2B marketers, on the other hand, have been slower to adopt this new marketing trend. Read more.

6. 6 Reasons Your Supply Chain Employees Are Looking for New Jobs

With the rising demand for professionals in Supply Chain Management and Procurement, there’s a lot of employment activity, especially in short-term contracts. This guest post from Argentus covers the subtler reasons that star performers in these functions get the desire to make a move. It’s not out of a desire for more money as often as you might think. Read more.

7. Drawing Lessons from Tesla’s Supply Chain Issues

A great article last month from CIPS’ industry magazine Supply Management dove into some of Tesla’s Supply Chain woes, discussing how the company, still considered a visionary in the industry, has gotten into some challenges, as well as some optimistic scenarios for how it can get out of it. Read more.

8. Top 10 Social Media Analytics Tools

Analyzing your social media performance is critical to a successful marketing effort, especially in light of recent changes to Facebook’s News Feed. You need the tools to determine what’s working and what isn’t, as well as the best time to post your content for your target audience. Read more.

9. KFC Ran Out of Chicken in the UK: What Supply Chain Lessons Can We Learn?

More than half of the UK’s Kentucky Fried Chicken stores recently closed because they ran out of chicken. A few weeks later, reports are that a number of stores are still closed, with front-line workers being encouraged to take holidays as the company sorts out its deliveries and tries to account for the failures. This guest post from Argentus provides a look at what caused the issues and what supply chain lessons can be learned. Read more.

10. Writing for SEO: Topic Clusters and Pillar Content (NOT Keywords)

I’ve been hinting — more like, emphasizing — in our recent Writing for SEO series that trying to rank for certain keywords in each blog post you publish is a practice on the way out. You may have been wondering what you’re supposed to do instead. This post on topic clusters and pillar content is your answer. Read more.

What supply chain and logistics blog posts have you most enjoyed this year? Are there any topics you’d like us to cover? Please reach out to us and let us know!

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Posts Tagged "chatbots"


Using Social Messaging Platforms to Deliver Content

Using Social Messaging Platforms to Deliver Content

The growth of social messaging platforms is a big opportunity for your business to reach your audience with targeted content.

Gone are the days when social messaging platforms are just about chatting or making plans with family and friends. You might be surprised to learn that “the combined total monthly active user count of the top 4 messaging apps has grown to 4.1 billion in 2018.”

You might be surprised, according to Business Insider, “the combined total monthly active user count of the top 4 messaging apps has grown to 4.1 billion in 2018.” Click To Tweet

Just to put that in perspective, that’s well over half of the world’s population and — perhaps even more strikingly — dwarfs the 2.19 billion monthly active users that Facebook reported in the first quarter of 2018.

It’s official: Social messaging platforms have surpassed “traditional” social media when it comes to active users. Not only that, marketers are taking notice, and beginning to think about how to leverage messaging platforms to deliver content to target audiences.

Conversational content

As you might expect, a key element of successfully using social messaging platforms is to tell your story conversationally. This means tailoring your content to the specific wants or needs of your target audience, creating a compelling narrative with your content, rather than an overt sales pitch.

This kind of storytelling is fundamental to content marketing.

“Messaging and chatbots represent the next logical extension of the content marketing mission,” writes Chris Frascella of the Content Marketing Institute.

According to Thomas Husson of Forbes, “Messaging apps will introduce a paradigm shift for marketers where interactive and contextual conversations will replace ad broadcasting. New conversational interfaces will drive deeper relationships between consumers and brands.”

You may be thinking that this is all well and good for B2C marketing, but how does it apply to B2B marketing? But the truth is, if you have a content marketing strategy in place, chances are, you have a story to tell, and these are tools to help you do it.

Chatbots

Enter chatbots, the technology to turn your content into conversations. Chances are, you’ve already come face-to-screen with a chatbot and may not have even known it.

These computer programs simulate human conversation using auditory or textual methods. Basically, it’s software that communicates with your target audience inside a messaging app. Chatbots are already changing the way businesses interact with their customers — and with each other.

If you’re thinking that you’re about to be replaced by a robot, relax. We’re extremely far from AI technology replacing human interaction. Chatbots are a tool, and they need to be fed content and trained by human marketing professionals.

Tips for using chatbots

The first step is adapting your content for use in a chatbot conversation. “You can’t just duplicate existing content in your conversational scripts,” says Frascella. While the goals for your content are the same, the way it is delivered is different. That requires a shift in how it’s structured.

It’s also important to be mindful of timing. Because chatbots require users to opt into conversations, retaining permission to access your audience in this way depends largely on content and timing. This means delivering engaging, meaningful, and valuable content at regular intervals, but not intrusively.

For more ideas on creating a chatbot, check out this post.

Social  messaging platforms are opening new doors for you to deliver personalized content straight to your target buyers. Make the most of this opportunity!

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Infographic: A Look at Social Advertising for B2B Marketers

Infographic: A Look at Social Advertising for B2B Marketers

Supply chain and logistics marketers need to incorporate social advertising into their content market strategy (and budget) to stay on top of marketing’s biggest driver.

The way audiences use social media channels is constantly changing. As marketers, we need to make sure we’re adapting to these changes. One of the biggest changes we’ve seen so far in 2018 is the increased use of social advertising.

Social advertising is a paid form of paid digital advertising on social media platforms. For example, the advertising platforms provided by Google, Twitter, and Facebook involve “targeting and presenting ads based on relationships articulated on those same services.” Oftentimes, social advertising is one part of a larger marketing strategy.

Sounds easy enough to implement, right? Well, there are so many options and so many more users. If you’re taking the time and money to invest in social advertising, you need to ensure that you’re using the right platforms and getting in front of your target audiences.

With over 3.5 billion internet users worldwide, it’s easy to see the reach ads on social media platforms can have. Facebook alone has over 2 billion daily active users. 2 billion! Click To Tweet

In Social Media Examiner’s new report, it’s hard to dispute that social advertising is anything but powerful. With over 3.5 billion internet users worldwide, it’s easy to see the reach ads on social media platforms can have. Facebook alone has over 2 billion daily active users. 2 billion! That’s a lot of opportunities for distributing your content and gaining new followers.

Here are some powerful statistics to prove the weight of social advertising and why it’s worth your time and pennies.

Infographic: A look at social advertising for B2B marketers

social advertising infographic 2018

Key takeaway

For the first time in years, Social Media Examiner’s report revealed that marketers are more focused on lead generation than cultivating a loyal fan base. What does this mean for you? The focus has shifted from engagement to metrics and automation.

As marketers, we need to watch for increased use of chatbots and other marketing automation tools that can help supply chain marketers become more efficient and more successful in earning and converting leads.

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