The future of online advertising

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While I’m sure some businesses are advertising effectively, almost every business I’ve come across is not.  I see spending of more than what’s needed and opportunities missed to sell more stuff – by most it’s from not keeping up with transforming technology needed to acquire customers.

We’re moving towards a future of AI and automation in advertising which could bridge some of the skills missing from many businesses in online advertising and create demand for a different skill set in advertising.

People are also leaning more towards chat as a preferred way to communicate and this is why I think the next thing advertisers could be adding to their suite of tools is chat assistants powered by AI and automation for Facebook Messenger.

Facebook recently reported 53 per cent of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message and 56 per cent of people would rather message than call customer service.

A chat assistant is a simple application that allows businesses to communicate with customers 24/7 in real time and automatically on Facebook Messenger. The automated conversational interfaces provide an exciting user experience through interaction with buttons and quick replies.

Chat assistants can take food orders, schedule bookings, accept enquiries, follow up on leads, sell your products online and much more.  Customers drive these conversations and not the business, so for them, it feels genuine rather than one way promotional emails. Customers love it because they can get served faster and businesses benefit by reducing their workload. Businesses will see a better response than from email marketing and will be able to send custom broadcasts unique to each user based on attributes they collect.

This also opens up new ways for business to get discovered – a virtual assistant can be found via search in Messenger and can even start a conversation with a user instantly after they comment on the businesses Facebook post.

Automated chat is still in its infancy, which means now is a good time for businesses to adopt and stand out from their competition. We use one to qualify our leads – I built this one myself and it looks like we’re the first Australian-based company to make custom chat assistants practical to SMEs – the technology has really only been used recently by big brands with deep pockets.

I think the use of chat and automation if done right is a great new tool to help businesses advertise online more effectively and will most likely be commonplace in the next few years.

Adam Zelcer, Founder,