Today’s marketing professionals are inundated with data and expected to make informed decisions about new and ongoing initiatives on the fly. On top of this, our roles are constantly adapting amid a dynamic marketplace. We often wear multiple hats, which include – but are hardly limited to – data science, creative ideation, workflow execution, community building, relationship nurturing and report preparation.
Marketers also have to contend with constant distractions and demands on our attention. This has a very real impact on productivity, both actual and perceived. According to CNBC, nearly 20 percent of bosses believe that their employees put in less than five hours of work during the average day due to the sheer number of interruptions people experience. To make matters worse, it takes an average of four minutes to recover from interruptions and focus on the task at hand.
As if this wasn’t enough, marketers work with multiple services across multiple platforms every day. It’s no wonder that so many are turning to chatbots to help us keep on top of what is going on and coordinate as much as possible through the simple interfaces they provide.
I took a look at the exciting enterprise chatbot space, and here are four chatbots you should know about.
Growthbot was developed by HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah, to scratch an itch he and his team had for a way to research great services, useful content, and companies operating in the tech business ecosystem.
The result is a bot that users interact with through Slack, Facebook Messenger and Twitter (through Direct Messages). It ties into a host of information sources and enables users to ask questions in plain language both about Growthbot itself and the sorts of issues marketers contend with on a daily basis, from discovering hot content to share and people’s email addresses, to providing information from Google Analytics and scraping other websites’ source code to identify the third-party services they use. It can even deliver cartoons when users have a little downtime.
It makes marketers’ lives easier by talking to the services you already use and becomes that single touchpoint for a veritable wealth of information and services. Marketers may find Growthbot to be especially useful as a lightweight research tool that doesn’t take them out of our primary messaging environments.
#2. Sisense BI Bots
Sisense’s BI Bots offer users a deceptively simple interface for a powerful data analytics solution using your preferred interface, whether that be voice using Amazon Echo or messaging apps such as Skype, Slack, Telegram and Facebook Messenger.
On the back-end, Sisense integrates with a large number of SaaS solutions including Salesforce, Zendesk, Google Analytics, Heroku Postgres and Amazon Redshift. It can also connect to a variety of popular database servers including MS SQL, MySQL, PostgresSQL, ERP and MongoDB. You can even add big data sources such as Hadoop Hive and Teradata. If all that isn’t enough, Sisense supports Excel spreadsheets, CSV files and MS Access files along with the ability to create custom integrations.
Sisense analyzes complex data and simplifies the process of deriving practical insights from the data, making it more readily accessible to teams across an organization. Business intelligence bots make access to that data even more convenient, because team members can literally tell the BI Bots what they want to know, using whichever interface they happen to be using, and receive actionable insights on the go.
Common marketing use cases for these BI Bots is requesting revenue data, running analyses on new revenue and even sending instructions to Sisense to deliver additional reports and insights.
#3. Baremetrics Bot
Baremetrics offers a data analytics and insights service that delivers a range of key metrics for sales and marketing teams. It promises “zero configuration” and a wide range of critical sales-related data. The company has developed a chatbot that offers “one-click access to hundreds of metrics and insights” through your subscription to the Baremetrics service. The Slack integration can deliver instant notifications as well as regular reports and graphs.
Baremetrics is a fairly specialized service that integrates with payment systems such as Stripe, Braintree, Recurly and through its API. Its chatbot is an easy way for users to call up reports and updates from Baremetrics through Slack. It relies on your existing subscription and service, integrations but it is a convenient way to quickly draw on analytics insights on the fly.
For marketers and sales teams constantly under pressure to achieve their targets, the Baremetrics chatbot is a lightweight option to keep on top of those important updates and insights without having to divert focus off of our Slack channels.
Common use cases include receiving alerts and checking net revenues over time and trends such as customer churn. The insights marketers receive through this chatbot enable us to adapt marketing campaigns for optimized engagement with prospects and customers.
Statsbot is a Slack bot that integrates with Google Analytics, Mixpanel and Salesforce. The main benefit here is that it can deliver alerts, reports and insights from a variety of data collection platforms to you in your preferred Slack channel.
Once you have added Statsbot to your Slack channel and you’ve connected it to your Google Analytics, Mixpanel or Salesforce account, you’ll be able to access insights or receive alerts about unusual activity without leaving your Slack channel.
For example, some marketers use Statsbot to warn them about traffic spikes on their sites, so they can respond more efficiently with changes to their campaigns – or launch new campaigns to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
Smarter Companions for More Productive Marketers
The sheer volume of complex data that contemporary marketers are forced to absorb, analyze and derive insights from demands simpler interfaces and tools to make it all manageable.
Chatbots are still an early-stage technology, but they are already proving their worth by simplifying access to critical data analytics using the messaging platforms marketers are already familiar with and prefer using.