How to Build a Chatbot from Pitch to Promotion

In April 2016, something happened at Facebook that would quickly result in a revolutionary paradigm shift on the horizon of online communication — from mobile to desktop, marketing to services, personal to corporate — everything, really.
Messenger opened its doors to developers with an invitation to create chatbots — something of which roughly 78% of online adults were unaware.
Within six months, developers had created about 30,000 active Messenger bots. Today, less than a year later, that number is up 233%, with 100,000 active bots on the platform.
But it’s not just a popular, funky thing to do. Businesses using chatbots are seeing results, like Sephora, which reportedly earns “an average spend of over $50 from clients who have booked an in-store service via its Messenger assistant,” according to VentureBeat.
In case you’re wondering what the heck a chatbot actually is, though, here’s the condensed definition: A bot is nothing more than a computer program that automates certain tasks, typically by chatting with a user through a conversational interface.
There’s a vast range of chatbots. They can be rule-based, or powered by artificial intelligence (AI), both of which will drastically change the process of developing one. And if you’re looking to formulate your own chatbot strategy — from building the bot from scratch to promoting it and getting customers to use it — we’ve developed a basic framework for just that.
Read on, and let’s start building.
How to Build a Chatbot from Pitch to Promotion

1) Decide your bot’s purpose.
Ultimately, the purpose of a bot is to provide a service people actually want to use — time and time again. No bot is meant to do everything, so when you set out to create your own, think of an existing problem that it can fix in a more efficient way.
While there are many types of chatbots, if you’re building one for the first time, you’ll likely want to choose from the following two options:

  • Informational bots
    As the name suggests, these bots provide users with a new format of information consumption. For example, breaking news bots send developing stories as the information becomes available. TechCrunch has a bot of that nature
  • Utility bots
    These bots are automated to complete tasks and answer questions. In other words, they solve a user’s problem or inquiry via a chat transaction. Customer service bots might immediately come to mind here, but a growing number of utility bots are being built for purposes like booking appointments or shopping online. One of our personal favorites is TacoBot: Taco Bell’s still-in-development bot that allows people to order food via Slack.

2) Decide what messaging app your bot will live on.
Earlier, we provided examples of bots that live on Messenger and Slack, respectively. And while those are two very popular options, there are many more available — for example, Kik and Viber.
Your chatbot’s “home” will largely depend on who’s using what. You’ll want to aim for the apps with an audience that matches the one you’re trying to reach. Slack, for example, tends to be more business-focused, so productivity bots are particularly helpful there.
Sephora is a great example. While the brand has bots on both Messenger and Kik, each one functions differently. The Messenger version is used for customer service, feedback, and booking makeovers.

3) Create your bot’s personality.
Remember when we mentioned the importance of matching your bot’s home with the audience you’re trying to reach? Well, we have a similar guiding principle for your bot’s personality: It should match your brand.
One of our favorite examples here is Pegg, a financial assistant designed for startups and small businesses — but speaking as someone who recently returned from vacation, it’s helpful for anyone trying to track their spending. And while finance isn’t something that’s usually associated with a fun, playful voice, Pegg’s bot, HelloPegg, flips that connotation on its head with a cute logo and friendly voice.

Brunch at Terrine

I carry my years without submitting to the regimen of time and its chronology of dates and seasons. I recognize myself living, hands outstretched, in the shade of the almond tree, with white hair and staring eyes unconcerned with the passing hours. My tree and I have entwined our ages in the absurdity of the days. I stride from chapel to chapel between masses.

I find refuge there from the filthiness of existence. I imagine lives never exposed to the flavors of ripe mangoes and cherries in June, or to mild, starry nights and clear mornings, or to moments dissolving like hot, tender walnuts under the tongue.

“All by myself I invented a yearning for the myths and legends behind the featureless face of the one who brought me into the world.”

I survived with just enough nourishment to avoid dying from malnutrition, just enough hygiene to avoid succumbing to dysentery, typhoid and other infections that fill the space around us, just enough breath to not find myself six feet under. I have no memory of the belly I came from.

Flower Fiesta

From the enclosure wall of the cemetery you can enjoy a distant view to the west into the Pustertal, which here runs in a strikingly straight line. The reason for this is a distinct geological line, the “peri-adriatic seam“. This frontier line leaves the Pustertal in Kartitsch and follows the Tyrolean Gailtal, which to the east of the Kartitscher Sattel is called the Tilliacher Tal, and then further east beyond the federal border with Carinthia again changes its name.

Viewed from above, the Gail or Lesachtal also runs in a straight line. There is a clear distinction in appearance between the northern and southern sides of the valley. N ons side the gentle foothills of the Lienzer Dolomites, with its wide alp areas, on the other side the rocky contours of the Carnic ridge towering above thick mountain forest and marking the state border with Italy.

Saturday Night

What sounds more fun? Filling in spreadsheets with data for eight hours or coming up with new and exciting ideas? I’ll go ahead and assume you went with option two. The opportunity to innovate is something most of us want more of in our daily work lives. Yet often, we feel we can’t be more creative at work because of factors beyond our control. Perhaps your company is risk-averse and likes to play it safe, perhaps your targets are intimidatingly aggressive.

Your entire energy changes when you’re standing. Unsurprisingly, the entire energy of a meeting does, too. Convert one of your meetings to a standing one and watch the momentum, enthusiasm, and action soar. They’ll move faster and be more action-orientated and more likely to motivate your team.

Cesar Chavez; free expression; medicine revitalize innovation. Safeguards technology health partnership nonprofit; accelerate. Generosity life-expectancy donate youth pride Bloomberg inspire breakthroughs opportunity honesty. Clean water, economic security, agency, grantees giving, Rosa Parks metrics rural making progress. Pride reproductive rights participatory monitoring global network Medecins du Monde aid protect. Partner sustainable future.

Transparent Standards: My first and foremost guiding principle was that the services would need to continue to apply transparent and objective standards for all career fields to ensure leaders assign tasks, jobs, and career fields throughout the force based on ability, not gender. In this respect, the services have been able to leverage the great amounts of data they gathered over three years’ worth of studies to make their standards up to date and operationally relevant. We found over the last few years that in some cases we were doing things because that’s the way we’ve always done them.

Population Size: Second, the fact that we’re holding everyone to the same high standards may mean that in some cases, equal opportunity may not always equate to equal participation. Here, we’ll incorporate lessons we’ve learned in the past, like how the Navy has integrated women onto surface ships and more recently, submarines. The Army and the Marine Corps will integrate women officers and senior enlisted into previously-closed units before integrating junior enlisted women, and where they can, they’ll assign more than just one woman into a unit at a time.

Takeoffs and Landings

Working remotely as I do, is something that I love. I really dig the flexibility and how well we work as a team even though the team is spilt between different countries. It’s awesome to get the chance to actually physically be with the folk you work with though, especially when you are all part of a team that are passionate about the product you are all working on.

Tomorrow morning I’ll wander along to the Crew Collective & Cafe, home of Unsplash HQ, which you may recall I visited last year just as it was opening. I’m really looking forward to see how it’s looking, and to grabbing and early lunch with the team before we head off for the hour or so drive to stay here at the Laurentians, Quebec.

This is a super short post today, it’s only 7.40pm here, but it’s just dawned on that that means it’s 12.40am back at home and I’ve been awake for ages! The tired wave strikes zzzzz