- AdLingo, a startup that Google supported in its Area 120 tech incubator, debuted a conversational marketing platform that lets brands place chatbots inside interactive display ads and reach a target audience, per an announcement. Google serves the ads though its ad network with a CPM based on impressions, per MarTech Today.
- Car dealership Allstar Kia and live auction site Tophatter are among the first companies to test out the conversational ad format. Marketing intelligence firm Valassis Digital, conversational commerce provider LivePerson and chatbot developer Take were early technology partners with AdLingo, per its announcement.
- AdLingo's display ads let customers type in their questions directly and receive information quickly instead of searching through product pages and FAQ sections of websites.
AdLingo's platform makes conversational ads more accessible to brands and marketers outside of a proprietary messaging app like Facebook Messenger. The cost-per-engagement with AdLingo may be lower than through Messenger, Mike Balducci, VP of strategy at Valassis, told MarTech Today.
Allstar Kia's test of AdLingo found that customers appreciated the always-on, interactive chat experience, which helped optimize the research and discovery phases of its sales cycle. Allstar Kia's ad let customers browse inventory, determine car trade-in value by answering the chatbots questions and make an appointment with a salesperson, Chris Ferrall, director of internet marketing at Allstar Kia, said in the announcement.
The companies that have used AdLingo join a growing list of brands that have adopted chatbots. Carmaker Renault Italy and fashion brand Ted Baker are among the brands that this month introduced chatbots to interact with potential customers. Gap last month introduced a chatbot to recruit and interact with a community of "wear testers" for the company's new line of men's athleisure wear.
A majority of consumers like the idea of chatbots, with 65% globally saying they'd like to use messaging services to interact with companies, according to an Opinium Research survey commissioned by Salesforce's MuleSoft. But companies also need to be careful with automated conversations, as the survey also found that while 43% of global consumers have engaged with a chatbot when contacting an organization in the past year, only 38% said their query had been completely resolved.