Last month, Hashtagitude had the honor of hosting four aspiring entrepreneurs through the City and County of Denver’s Office of Economic Development (OED) Program, Operation Perfect Beginnings. During the two weeks with our team, the four high school students gained valuable insights into how to run an effective business, the in’s and out’s of how to pitch a business to gain funding, and how to serve clients with the highest level of customer service. Don’t just take my word for it–here’s what each of the students had to say about their time with us:
Chatbots are complicated programs. They can be found on Facebook, business websites, and popular messaging platforms such as Kik or Whatsapp. In our #MarketingMonday segment, we covered how not to use chatbots. Now we will cover how best to use these bots in your marketing strategy. But before we get started, there is one thing you need to keep in mind: not all bots are created equal.
While the purpose of a chatbot is the same across the board–efficiency–there are two main functions in a bot: to converse and complete tasks. However, certain bots excel in more specific areas. Depending on your strategy, there will be different chatbots to employ. Here are seven different types of bots to choose from:
- Optimizer – Essentially the mother of all chatbots. The optimizer’s main objective is to make a task easier to complete while also being fast and efficient. If a chatbot makes a task longer than it normally would otherwise, then it’s not optimizing and thus not doing its job.
- The One-Trick Pony – A bot that accomplishes a unique set of tasks. These bots perform specific tasks really well and aren’t quite suited for a wider range of functionality outside of those preset tasks.
- The Proactive – An excellent news anchor for the 21st Century, this type of chatbot is designed to provide the right information at the right time.
- The Social – These bots are designed to be used within a group of people. They add some type of value in a group conversation.
- The Shield – These bots block unwanted interactions by swapping one party of the conversation with a bot. For instance, if you have a customer service grievance, a bot will act as your business’s customer service representative.
- The Chatty – These bots exist to start a conversation for the sake of starting a conversation. Note that having a conversation and completing a task are two different things.
- The Super bot – These bots are intelligent and can accomplish both functionalities of a bot extremely well (to converse and complete tasks).
(Dotan Elharrar, a Product Manager at Microsoft AI & Research, described the seven different types of chatbots and their purpose on his Linkedin
Creating a Chatbot Strategy
There are three important questions to ask yourself before choosing a bot best for your strategy. Take time to mull these questions over, since a poor strategy can be a huge turnoff for the people interacting with your bot.
- Is the chatbot used to converse, completing tasks, or both?
- What type of chatbot is most conducive for my strategy?
- What is the best way to use the chatbot within my strategy?
Chatbots have become more prevalent in the online world these days, but just because you see them everywhere does not mean they are easy to setup! In this #MarketingMonday segment, you will learn about some setbacks chatbots currently have (and how to avoid these setbacks for your chatbot efforts).
Fifty employees at the Wisconsin-based Three Square Market (32M) have been slated to be implanted with a microchip–a first for businesses in the United States. The voluntary 32M microchip is roughly the size of a grain of rice and is inserted underneath the skin in between the thumb and forefinger. These are radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips and use near-field communications (NFC) to interact with compatible devices. The same concept is applied to contactless credit cards and mobile payment systems (learn more about these companies in this week’s #MarketingMonday segment).
These microchips are also FDA approved (would you look at that) and have been since 2004. 32M is proud to be at the forefront of this experiment and fashions themselves as a leader in the “micro market technology”. However, when it comes to being a leader in an emerging industry, how could this affect our society as a whole?
What is biohacking and how has it evolved? Learn about how microchips may be showing up at your workplace soon and how different industries are utilizing this technology.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been making waves in Silicon Valley in recent years: sophisticated smartphones and the video game industry have propelled this technology to a new, more consumer friendly frontier. Today we are discussing the past, present, and the exciting future of VR and AR.
A Brief History
Virtual reality has a short and humble History. Innovation in this field once moved at a turtle pace, riddled with failures and high hopes. The early pioneers of virtual reality paved the way for a remarkable resurgence in the 21st century. The industry has seen rapid advancement since the year 2000. Where did VR’s begin and how has it become a multi-billion dollar business?
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)? Tune into this #MarketingMonday segment and learn about these new technologies, what are good use cases for them, and how the two intersect.
History of Google’s Antitrust Lawsuit
The European Commission (EC) hurled a $2.7BN antitrust lawsuit against Google. But why? There is way too much information to fit within this blog post. We thought it would be easier to brief you in the best way possible via infographics:
Did you know that the EU is filing a $2.7 billion lawsuit against Google? Turns out, this lawsuit began eleven years ago and isn’t wrapping up too soon yet. Learn more about this lawsuit, both sides’ arguments, and what our team thinks about its implications for digital marketing in this week’s #MarketingMonday segment above.
Cyberattacks are an increasing threat throughout the world as we become more and more dependent on technology. Recent attacks have wreaked havoc on individuals, companies, and whole countries. Criminals hack into computer systems and jeopardize national healthcare services, banks, energy companies, and airlines. The attacks are expanding in both breadth and scope. The major hacks will flood a news cycle, even this blog will review a couple of them. However, the small-scale attacks garner considerably less coverage.
Small Companies at risk
Thousands of small businesses are targeted by cyberattacks every day: according to the 2016 State of SMB Cybersecurity Report, half of all small businesses in the U.S. have been hacked in the last 12 months. To date, our website has prevented over 12,500 malicious login attempts.
So far we’ve been lucky. *knocks on wood*
The US National Cyber Security Alliance detailed that roughly 60% businesses that succumb to a cyberattack will be “out-of-business within a year”! And that’s not all: a study by Verizon claims that the internet is experiencing a 50% increase in ransomware being spread around online. There is a good reason ransomware has increased in popularity: it works!
Take a hospital in California as an example: it fell victim to a ransomware attack and ended up paying nearly $17,000 in bitcoin to unlock their systems. The internet is becoming a more dangerous and volatile place, but malicious software can’t take all the credit. The responsibility to keep a business safe still falls on the shoulders of its owner(s). The proper precautions must be taken to ensure the privacy, security, and integrity of a business’s online infrastructure.
You wouldn’t lay out sensitive information on the street for anyone to discover, would you? Don’t do it on the internet, then.