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.

Lazy Sunday Morning

On autumn weekends with good weather you can almost experience caravans of people marching over the grandiose lookout balconies between the Dolomites and the Tauern and filling the mountain lodges to capacity. But very few people have the idea of turning the perspective around and approaching the Carnic ridge for once from the valley side. And that is something that is certainly worthwhile. It is no coincidence that at Heinfels in the valley of Drau, which is called Pustertal here, there stands an ancient castle that still appears to be fortified.

It guards the entrance to two valleys: the Villgratental and the Tyrolean Gailtal. The latter is quite hidden, as it begins with a terrain level high above the valley floor of the river Drau. There is a climb of several hundred metres on a serpentine road before reaching the community of Kartitsch, with the prettily shaped tower of the St. Leonhard parish church.

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.