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Chatbots. Sentiment and human insight


In my recent article on Linkedin, I put forward the idea of using chatbots and their use to inform marketing content strategy for your brand.

So what are they and how can they be used for insight?

Chatbots are programmes that mimic conversations powered by a set of pre-defined rules, sometimes fueled by Artificial Intelligence (computing with the ability to learn). Every-time you see a little chat box open on your device and the dialogue starts with something along the lines of “How may we help”. That could very well be a chatbot you are interacting with instead of a real person.

Like its predecessor IVR (Interactive Voice Recognition) – bots are a set of preconfigured decision trees that will guide a person through a chat experience. The bot will attempt to help address a customer query. They are a text-based version of Siri or Cortana. They mimic a real person conversing with you through text.

There are a lot of pre-configured off the shelf bots available which offer the promise of plug-and-play ease of implementation. However, the best experiences are from brands that have gone on to consider the tone of voice, the brand's personality, as well as the user interface design to make the experience feel more human when compared with pre-configured bots which lack the unique characteristics that define a brand.

Their popularity has arisen due to our appetite for text-based communications. When Facebook launched Facebook messenger in 2014, it went from 200m daily users to 900m in 2017. Messaging apps are simple to use, convenient and user-friendly. They allow the consumer the ability to have a one to one dialogue. People like the experience of text-based communications through their messaging apps.

It’s no wonder why Retail, Service and Financial services brands such as Whole Foods, Starbucks, Adidas, Just Eat and Aviva have invested in the technology.

Their allure isn't just the ability to serve customers at scale; Chatbots offer data and insight.

The plug and play style chatbots such as Flow XO, provide you with metrics such as the most popular conversation decision trees. Or the most popular types of questions asked.

Chatbase was launched by Google in May of this year, as an addition to the suite of analytics tools available from Google.


Taking a spin around the console, you are immediately aware of the familiar convention of Google analytics style dashboards.

What’s interesting are metrics available showing users, active users, sessions, plus intent and sentiment through the chat platforms.

The integration process is familiar too, using a key to create an API connection with the Bot and a website. The chat featured on a website, the associated user journeys, pages visited, browser technology, all this information is available through Chatbase.

Looking at sentiment analysis can inform content planning, did video-based content generate more positive sentiment compared to text-based content? What were the questions triggered through chat after seeing the content?

Human insight, deeper more meaningful engagement with your audience, what’s not to like?


Ho Raven, Head of Digital