Startup BetterBrand unveils its marketing platform for chat apps
London-based company offers an editor for a predefined, keyword-responsive chat conversation that can be deployed across supported apps.
No communication channel is hotter these days than chat apps, but they are also among the hardest for marketers to tap.
To help brands address this opportunity, London-based startup BetterBrand this week announced its initial product, a chat app marketing platform.
At the moment, CEO Asaf Amir told me, the platform is available as a managed service, although it will be released as a self-service cloud platform within a couple of months.
He added that it will be the first self-service marketing platform for multiple chat apps that is not tied to a specific industry or platform. Other chat services, he noted, include travel industry chat service Pana, enterprise-focused Kore and Imperson, which is designed for character-based bots on specific apps.
Chat apps, he noted, offer a variety of challenges. Key among them: The conversations are mostly private, and ads in the traditional sense are not common.
It’s like “the early stage of social networks,” Amir said, when social media listening, analytics and management platforms were just emerging.
BetterBrand is designed to engage users who visit a brand’s public page or account on that chat app, via a simulated, predefined conversation that can include textual content, photos, video, product prices, buy buttons, contests, polls, coupons and links.
On the platform, a user employs a chat content editor with a decision tree model. The marketer inputs a series of keywords that elicit a given set of responses, and a conversational flowchart is set up (as shown below).
The same conversation can be used on multiple apps, creating a chat app campaign with real-time analytics that track such engagement metrics as number of interactions, clicks on links and, if it’s a user-generated content campaign, how many photos or other content are offered by users.
BetterBrand supports Kik, Viber, Telegram, Slack and KakaoTalk and expects to soon support Facebook Messenger. Amir said discussions are currently underway with Line and WeChat, and WhatsApp might be added by year’s end.
He added that the platform currently employs a “narrow artificial intelligence” to serve the responses and that it is working toward a fuller implementation of AI and machine learning.
Currently, the success of a conversational campaign on BetterBrand is manually assessed from reports, rather than the platform learning what works. There is also no integration at present with other marketing platforms that could enable the coordination of multi-channel campaigns.