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Roughly 4 in 5 brand marketers at Fortune 500 companies in B2C industries agree that marketers must expand their definition of customer communications to include 2-way dialogue between brands and consumers, per a LiveWorld study [pdf]. The survey’s results suggest that usage of 2-way conversation tools will increase, despite some current apathy.

Indeed, just 48% of the 216 brand marketers surveyed agreed that social media, messaging apps and chatbots are great platforms to engage customers and provide an opportunity to deliver personalized messages and engage in one-on-one conversations.

This reticence is reflected in the finding that the primary hindrance to the use of messaging apps is simply a lack of prioritization within the firm. Moreover, almost 6 in 10 haven’t used chatbots at all for customer interaction, though more experienced marketers tend to be more involved in their use.

It may also be that brand marketers simply don’t have as much experience with messaging apps because they’re not yet integral to their function. Among those surveyed, most said that messaging apps had been deployed for customer service (55%), with fewer companies using them for marketing (43%) or customer experience (27%).

Many Are Inreasing Their Use of Messaging Apps & Chatbots

Despite tepid adoption for the time being, brand marketers at these enterprise organizations do seem to see these technologies as part of their future. And perhaps with good reason: research indicates that 71% of Millennials are interested in chatbots from major consumer brands, with two-thirds comfortable using them to make purchases.

With that in mind, 4 in 10 respondents to the LiveWorld study expect their usage of chatbots this year to be more than last.

There’s even more enthusiasm regarding messaging apps overall: 53% expect their usage of messaging apps to be greater this year than last.

Previous research suggests that marketing and advertising executives feel that messaging is the biggest trend in social media marketing, bigger even than video.

About the Data: The LiveWorld data is based on a survey conducted by Brand Innovators of 216 Fortune 500 brand marketers across several B2C industries.

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