Twitter Integrates Call-To-Action Buttons Into DM

What Happened
Twitter is adding a new feature to Direct Messages (DM) to make it a better customer support tool for brands. Now, when brands manage their Twitter DM through Twitter’s API, they can send call-to-action buttons via direct messages that, when clicked, can direct people to visit a specific site, post a pre-written tweet, follow the brand’s account, or start a chat with another of the brand’s accounts.

What Brands Need To Do
This new addition should make Twitter DM a more convenient customer support tool to leverage and create a frictionless experience for customers. As Twitter continues to improve its chat functionality, it is attracting many brands to extend their customer support operations to Twitter DM. For example, Dutch airline KLM recently added their customer service bot to Twitter DM to better serve its global audiences that are not using Facebook Messenger, which is where KLM’s bot originally resides.

 

Source: VentureBeat

 

 

Instagram Integrates Ephemeral And Permanent Messaging In Direct

What Happened
With its latest update released today, Instagram revamped its private messaging feature Direct to unite both ephemeral and permanent messages in one inbox. Previously, the disappearing Direct Messages would appear as circular icons atop the inbox like Instagram Stories. Now,  disappearing ephemeral photo and video messages with traditional permanent text and image messages in the same one-on-one and group threads. Instagram introduced ephemeral messaging in Direct in November, and has since seen Direct usage spike from 300 million to 375 million monthly active users.

What Brands Need To Do
The update significantly enhances the messaging experience on Instagram, giving it an edge over Snapchat and other competitors. The fast growth in active users is a strong indication that Instagram has the potential to be more than a photo-sharing social network and branch out into the messaging space. Given that messaging apps has overtaken social networks in usage as mobile user behaviors shift, brands will need to develop a conversational marketing strategy to reach customers on the messaging platforms.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience in building Alexa Skills and chatbots to reach consumers on conversational interfaces. So much so that we’ve built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The new NiroBot we build in collaboration with Ansible for Kia is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a conversational customer experience, supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.

If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related client opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Barrett (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: TechCrunch

Facebook Brings Snapchat Stories Clone To WhatsApp

What Happened
Facebook continues its quest to curb Snapchat’s growth as it updated WhatsApp on Tuesday to launch a new Status feature that let users post gifs, photos, and videos that disappears after 24 hours. With an interface similar to Snapchat and Instagram Stories, multiple Status updates within a day will be stringed together as a loop of content. WhatsApp plans to roll out this feature to all global users throughout this week.  

What Brands Need To Do
If recent reports claiming that Instagram Stories has been successful in slowing Snapchat’s growth were to believe, this will no doubt be another blow to Snapchat courtesy of Facebook. Given WhatsApp’s over 1.2 billion monthly active users worldwide, this new feature is set to particularly curb Snapchat’s international growth.

While this could be an interesting gateway for Facebook to introduce media content and ads into WhatsApp, so far the messaging app has remained ad-free as it carefully mulls over plans for monetization. However, there have been brands, such as lingerie brand Agent Provocateur, that leveraged WhatsApp’s one-on-one chat to intimately connect with customers and offer product recommendations. The launch of Status introduces a new tool for brands looking to share content with fans in an exclusive, private manner.

 


Source: TechCrunch

 

Dunkin’ Donuts Plans Valentine’s Day Campaign Via Social & Messaging Channels

What Happened
Dunkin’ Donuts is going all out in the name of love with a multi-channel Valentine’s Day campaign that will run across Instagram, iMessage, Facebook Live, and Snapchat. Besides the conventional social marketing tactic of hosting a selfie contest on Instagram, the quick-service restaurant chain is also looking to launch an iMessage mini-app, an emoji keyboard on its app, two Snapchat geofilters, and a Facebook Live music performance by Us The Duo on the upcoming V-day.

In particular, the iMessage card builder will allow users to create custom Valentine’s Day cards with a Dunkin’ Donuts themed sticker before sending it via Apple’s default messaging app. Other iMessage users will also be able to respond to the card by making one of their own.

What Brands Need To Do
This campaign showcases how brands need to adopt a multi-channel approach to maximize their reach across the fragmenting social and messaging landscapes. In particular, the iMessage mini-app, which Apple introduced with iOS 10 just last year, provide a valuable way for brands to tap into what is typically considered a dark-social channel that has pretty much been part of Apple’s walled garden. By handpicking the most popular features unique to each social platform – live video on Facebook, selfie contest on Instagram, and Geofilters on Snapchat – Dunkin’ Donuts shows that it truly understand the strength of each platform and how to use them to reach their customers, a smart approach that more brands can benefit from.

 


Source: GeoMarketing

 

Lingerie Brand Gets Intimate With Customers With A Holiday Campaign On WhatsApp

What Happened
Lingerie brand Agent Provocateur has launched an innovative holiday campaign that leverages the private nature of messaging apps to connect with shoppers in an intimate way. Customers are invited to add Agent Provocateur’s number in WhatsApp and start a group chat with their partners and an Agent Provocateur agent, who will guide the couples through a conversation to help uncover their holiday wish list and recommend items from the Agent Provocateur Christmas collection that best suit their personality. As part of its “Naughty or Nice” holiday campaign, the brand also created a themed interactive video that showcases the dual styles of its products and lets viewers tap on the screen to switch between the dual perspectives.

What Brands Should Do
This campaign serves as a good example of brands using messaging apps as a marketing channel to connect with customers in an intimate environment. While Facebook still has only just started to make WhatsApp more brand-friendly, this campaign shows that brands can find a way to tap into the millions of users on the popular messaging app. Given the intimate nature of this campaign, it makes sense for Agent Provocateur to opt for a human agent rather than a chatbot. In most cases, however, chatbots present a much more viable and scalable solution for brands looking to reach customers on messaging apps that are popular among mobile users.

The Lab has extensive knowledge about reaching consumers on mobile messaging apps and building branded chatbots. The new NiroBot we build in collaboration with Ansible for Kia delivers comprehensive product information about the all-new Niro model via friendly chats. If you’re interested in reaching your audience on messaging apps and better serving them with a chatbot, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) for more information or to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: Mobile Marketing Magazine

Michael Kors Launches Casino-Themed WeChat Game For Alibaba’s Singles’ Day

What Happened
Friday is Singles’ Day, the biggest day for online shopping in the world championed by China’s ecommerce giant Alibaba. With a massive sales volume that keep breaking its own records, many U.S. brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Crayola, and Beats have jumped on board for a piece of the pie. In particular, fashion brands including Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Coach, and Calvin Klein are offering special deals on Alibaba’s T-Mall this year, discounting products as much as 60% off.

Among all the participating brands, Michael Kors stands out with an innovative approach. The company launched a casino-themed game on popular Chinese messaging app WeChat, which offers players random discount codes to use on Singles’ Day after they play some digital poker and slot machines. Kors promoted the game with GIFs posted to its official WeChat account and a casino-themed shoppable blog post.

What Brands Should Do
This campaign from Michael Kors should be of interest to many U.S. brands trying to crack the code for social commerce. Using aptly Casino-themed mini-games to engage with mobile shoppers and reward their interactions with discount offers. this campaign serves as an intriguing example of how brands, especially retailers, can leverage popular social and messaging platforms to engage with and even sell directly to consumers.

To learn more about how brands can use chat bots to better serve customers via messaging interfaces, check out our Fast Forward feature on this topic.

 


Source: AdWeek

Lead image courtesy of Michael Kors blog

Google Releases Allo Messaging App With Text-Based Digital Assistant

What Happened
Earlier today, Google officially released the Allo messaging app it announced at the I/O developer event in May. Besides standard messaging app features, the app, available on both Android and iOS, comes with an integrated digital assistant service that appears to be an extension of its existing “OK Google” voice search feature.

Users can summon the Google Assistant by starting a new message with “@google” in any chat and write out their commands or inquiries in natural language. The Google Assistant will surface the results right in the chat window for all parties involved to see. According to Google executive Nick Fox, the Google Assistant will also appear in Google’s Home – an Echo competitor expected to launch next month, in new Android smartphones, and in third-party devices such as wearables.

What Brands Should Do
This launch marks another push toward conversational media channels for which brands need to optimize their content and partnerships. While Google is still struggling to get into the mobile messaging app market, its decision to rebrand its “OK Google” service and integrate a digital assistant service into Allo is a significant move, signaling the search giant’s ambition in launching a service that rivals Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana. While it remains to be seen whether Allo will attract a meaningful audience for marketers, for now it presents a good channel for brands and media owners to test integrations with Google Assistant.

To learn more about how brands can effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, check out the Conversational Interfaces section of our Outlook 2016.

 


Source: AdAge

Brands Getting Into iMessage With Stickers

What Happened
Today is the official release of Apple’s iOS 10, which brings a plethora of new features to iPhone and iPad users. Among them is the iMessage Store, an addition to Apple’s native messaging app that allows users to download apps, games, and sticker packs to spice up their chat experience. Already, brands such as Burger King, Disney, Toyota, and Betty Boop have created branded stickers available for download in the iMessage Store. Burger King’s stickers, for example, represent different flavors of its chicken fries, whereas Toyota is repurposing its football-themed emojis for iMessage to engage with football fans.

What Brands Need To Do
The arrival of the iMessage Store opens up a new channel for brands to reach smartphone users and for those with well-known IP to natively integrate branded content into texting – arguably the most popular smartphone activity. Although the existing examples are all for branded stickers, the Messenger Store also makes it possible for brands to develop branded mini-games and other apps that enrich the chat experience.

The Lab has extensive experience working with brands to develop campaigns and communications strategies for messaging platforms. The One Direction fan experience we developed for Sony Music on popular messaging app Kik earned a Smarties Award from the Mobile Marketing Association. To learn more about sticker usage and other brand opportunities on messaging apps, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: Digiday

Header image is a promotional image from Apple’s developer site

Why Warby Parker Is Selling Exclusive Sunglasses On Snapchat

What Happened
Online eyewear retailer Warby Parker is launching a pair of sunglasses exclusively on Snapchat as it aims to grow its Snapchat audience. Followers of the company’s Snapchat account will see a URL in its Story to purchase a pair of limited-edition sunglasses embellished with Snapchat’s ghost logo. In tandem with this Snapchat-exclusive launch, Warby Parker will be rolling out branded Geofilters in L.A. and New York this weekend to drum up interest.

What Brands Need To Do
As Snapchat continues to grow its user base and build out its ad products, more and more brands are trying their hands at adopting the hot messaging app as a social marketing channel. This Warby Parker campaign is noteworthy because it leverages Snapchat’s popularity to organically grow Warby Parker’s fan base, which many brands have found difficult to do on Snapchat, while also using customized Geofilters to reach a wider but geographically-targeted audience. This sets an interesting example for brands to follow as they try to incorporate more ecommerce elements into Snapchat.

 


Source: TechCrunch

Staples To Build A Chatbot For Facebook Messenger

What Happened
Staples becomes the latest brand to join the chatbot craze as the company’s Executive Vice President of Global eCommerce Faisal Masud reveals that the office supply retailer is working on a chatbot for Facebook Messenger as well as developing chat tools for its existing digital and social properties. According to Masud, the new messaging tools are built for better customer service and facilitating communication while the Messenger chatbot will focus on providing automated customer service.

What Brands Need To Do
Messaging apps are quickly overtaking phone calls as the primary means of modern communication for a growing population segment. In fact, Facebook reported that Messenger and WhatsApp now process 60 billion messages per day. Therefore, in order to reach consumers where they already are, brands should adapt to changing consumer behavior and get on messaging platforms.

For more information on how brands can effectively reach consumers on messaging apps and other conversational platforms, check out the Conversational Interfaces section in our Outlook 2016 and our latest Fast Forward analysis on chatbots.

 


Source: PYMNT