Facebook Messenger. Chatbots. Messenger Ads. Active users. Artificial Intelligence.
If you have been within 10 feet of any marketer in the last few months, you have probably heard all of these words, especially Facebook Messenger.
But do you know what they all mean?
Of course, you could probably define them for your friends or colleagues, but do you know what they mean for you? Do you know what Facebook Messenger Ads and Messenger bots mean for the world?
At the risk of acting like an all-knowing sorcerer, I will try to show you the future. And trust me folks, Facebook Messenger is the future.
Facebook Messenger as a Platform for Commerce
In the future, you won’t have to take out your credit card and give it to the cashier when you pick up your take-out. As a matter of fact, you won’t even have to call to order that take-out.
No, I’m not talking about navigating around some clunky menu on a restaurant’s website like you do now. In the future, you will send a message to the restaurant, order your food, and pay for it, all without leaving Messenger.
Still not impressed? Okay, how about this? In the future, you will send a message to Zillow or another real estate company, tell them what kind of house you are looking for, browse through houses, sign contracts, and BUY YOUR HOUSE all through Facebook Messenger!
How Brands are Using Facebook Messenger
Be prepared to get tons of messages from brands on Facebook. Don’t worry though. This won’t be like email where you have 104 messages to delete every day. Expect these new messages to be short and focused on helping you.
Brands can’t message you unless you message them, so spam shouldn’t be a problem. You will have conversations with chatbots all the time who use artificial intelligence to anticipate your needs and fulfill them. Much better than email.
Trends in China
How do I know that the future will look like this? Simple. In China, the future is already here.
Ever heard of WeChat? If you haven’t, it is essentially the Chinese version of Facebook Messenger. Except that it’s Facebook Messenger taken to a whole other level. Instead of making Chinese consumers install dozens of apps on their phone, businesses have their own apps built right into WeChat. This lets them do all the things I just mentioned and more.
Why this Matters for You
“Okay, great. Why should I care?” Good question.
Other than seeing into the future (which is pretty great), keeping up with the rise of messaging apps is going to be hugely important for you as a marketer.
This is true for everyone: professors preparing students to enter the world of business, students who want to talk with employers about where the industry is headed, or industry professionals who don’t want to get left in the dust.
How to Get Started
Since Messenger is where consumers will be doing business, the question we should all have is this: “How can we use Messenger to reach our customers?” Including all that in one blog post would be a bit much. I will be following up next week with a blog post titled, “3 Ways to Start Marketing with Facebook Messenger Today.” Hopefully by now, you are convinced that implementing a Messenger strategy is the most important thing for marketers to do, so reading that post should be a no-brainer.
You can also check out this Stukent Expert Session by Molly Pittman. She talks about everything I just explained and more.
Now the next time that you hear someone talking about Messenger or chatbots and how it is going to be the biggest thing since the internet, you can tell them to tone it down; it won’t be the biggest thing since the Internet, but it might be the biggest thing since Facebook.