In 2015, Drift created Conversational Marketing in response to a seismic market shift. As B2B buyers moved online to research solutions at all hours, Conversational Marketing was our way of empowering buyers to start conversations through their preferred channels, whenever they wanted to.
But it’s been eight years, and the old way of Conversational Marketing is no longer enough. A report from Merkle found that, between 2022 and 2023, the number of buyers who reported a positive brand experience in the initial research phase dropped by 3%, and those who reported a positive brand experience after their initial interaction with the supplier dropped by 6%. That was in spite of the fact that, during that same period, there had been significant efforts to drive improvements in those exact experiences.
So, what happened?
Buyers today don’t want mere transactional interactions. Instead, they want meaningful engagements that evolve into quality relationships. This means making it easy for them to buy from you — to streamline communication, to understand and anticipate what they’re looking for, and to deliver a white-glove experience every step of the way.
That’s why, in its eighth year, Drift is reimagining Conversational Marketing to be powered by artificial intelligence (AI), so you can get your buyers where they need to go more quickly and successfully. With our AI-powered buyer engagement platform, you will be able to connect the dots between every buyer touchpoint, so you can better understand the buyer’s journey and deliver a more personalized and relevant experience at scale. This new generation of Conversational Marketing once again puts buyers and customers first, giving them more options to proactively interact with brands, build relationships, and drive more productive, human conversations.
We recognize that the present and future of B2B buying is digital. But, we also believe that with Drift, we can use the digital buying process to enhance human connections. So, what exactly does that look like? Allow me to show you 👇
We’ve sold chatbots since 2015, and we still believe that they are essential to any successful marketing strategy. But, we also know that personal conversations are dynamic, and that chat conversations should be, too.
That’s why we’ve called on generative AI to power our new Bionic Chatbots. Gone is the need for unwieldy decision trees that prescribe one path at a time — instead, these AI-powered bots customize the chat experience based on the buyer, so you can accommodate the many potential conversations that can happen on your website.
Bionic Chatbots can answer any question relevant to your business using the information provided by your marketing team, while also guiding visitors down the right path (that you recommend) for them — whether that’s continuing the conversation with the bot, routing them to a team member, scheduling a meeting, or recommending another resource.
Throughout the conversation, Drift will also gauge and monitor the intent of the site visitor in real time. This blending of generative AI with Drift’s best-in-class playbooks will help drive more personalized website experiences based on that intent to build trust and stronger relationships.
Here’s how it works: After adding your existing content (website content, knowledgebase, ebooks, one-pagers, etc.) to Drift, Bionic Chatbots will ingest the information, analyze the content, and automatically train the AI. You can then add a new playbook node — AI Responses — to any of your playbooks. By doing this, the bots will leverage your approved content in chat conversations to answer your site visitors’ questions and guide them toward the best next steps. And the best part? The chatbot will update as your content updates, so you can consistently deliver up-to-date, personalized website experiences with little manual maintenance.
But we’re not stopping there. This is just the beginning for Bionic Chatbots to amplify engagement, trust, and relationships. Soon to come will be features like:
- Dynamic Hooks: Allow your bot hook to automatically adjust to a buyer and update the text accordingly.
- See the Source: Link your information source directly in the bot to increase transparency and justify your claims.
- Adaptive Conversations: Allow your bots to pivot paths on the fly when your site visitor asks or suggests something that is a change to the conversation flow.
- Real-Time Testing: Test your GPT-powered chatbot within the playbook before it’s live, so you can publish new playbooks with more confidence.
- Content Advisor: Let AI tell you what content it needs from your marketing team based on the questions it is getting asked.
- Conversation Feedback: Give site visitors the chance to rate their experience after interacting with a Bionic Chatbot to help Drift learn and improve with each conversation.
Click here to learn more about Bionic Chatbots.
In today’s self-serve economy, sometimes, the path to a sales conversation doesn’t require chatting at all. Site visitors just need to be able to find the information they’re looking for easily.
That’s why we’re taking Conversational Marketing beyond the standard chat experience with the introduction of Site Concierge. Site Concierge redefines real-time digital engagement by providing a set of interactive apps for each site visitor based on who they are, what they care about, and where they are in their buying journey.
With Site Concierge, website personalization goes beyond simply changing copy or images. Instead, you can offer your site visitors a dedicated space on your website where they drive the experience, which takes personalization and buyer centricity to new levels.
Here’s how it works: By drawing on your site visitor’s interactions with your brand (e.g. webinar registrations, content downloads, chats), Site Concierge will cater the shopping experience to their interests. Initially, Site Concierge will include two apps: Meetings and Content Recommendation. With Meetings, qualified buyers will be able to instantly book a meeting with your sales team in just a few clicks — no chat necessary. Meanwhile, Content Recommendation uses AI to recommend the most relevant content to that site visitor based on what it knows about them and your marketing goals. As your visitor continues to engage with your brand, not only will the recommendations persist, but they will also continue to be updated to best fit the site visitor’s ever-changing needs.
But we’re not stopping there. Site Concierge is already up and running, but to continue to meet the standards of today’s shoppers, we will be expanding Site Concierge to include:
- GPT Search: Leverage GPT to comb your website, content repositories, and ancillary tools in order to provide precise answers to all of your site visitors’ inquiries without the need to start a chat.
- Dynamic Configurations: AI-driven custom Site Concierge setups that data proves will convert.
- Third-Party Integrations: Leverage content about your brand from across the internet (e.g. reviews, help centers, videos) to better guide site visitors through the buying journey.
Click here to learn more about Site Concierge.
Although we all know that personalized experiences are a must-have in the B2B buying process, it’s impossible to effectively personalize your website experience if you know nothing about your site visitors.
That’s why we developed Drift Engage, powered by Lift AI. Drift Engage leverages machine learning to score your site visitor’s buying intent in real-time and trigger a relevant playbook based on that information — even if that visitor is 100% anonymous. This ensures that none of your high-intent site visitors go unnoticed.
Not to mention that Drift Engage is completely compatible with your ABM data provider — so, by combining the two, you can provide an even more tailored experience. For example, you will be able to find high-intent contacts within high-intent accounts to give them a personalized experience, while also ensuring that you’re not missing out on high-intent buyers who may be a part of less active accounts.
Here’s how it works: By enabling the Drift Engage integration, you can track where your high-intent website traffic is coming from. From there, Drift Engage will profile each of these site visitors to gauge their likelihood of conversion. You can view the site visitor’s intent score within both Drift Prospector and the Conversation View, and, if you have your CRM integrated with Drift, it will also be synced to that CRM through the contact record. Once you’ve got the scores flowing, you can set specific playbook targeting or conditional branching rules to deliver the most relevant experience based on the person’s level of intent.
Click here to learn more about Drift Engage.
Over the past three years, go-to-market teams and buyers alike have had to reconsider what the best way is to interact and build relationships with each other — and it has been decided that the future of B2B buying is one where buyers have consumer-like control over their buying process, every step of the way.
In this new era of buying, Conversational Marketing is no longer just a digital storefront. It’s a five-star concierge experience, where every site visitor gets the white-glove treatment — no matter where they are in their buying journey.
And these three new products are only the beginning. As the buyer landscape evolves, Drift too will continue to innovate in order to serve as the connective tissue across each touchpoint in the buying journey. So, with Drift’s AI-powered platform driving your buyer conversations, there’s no doubt in my mind that you will be able to create seamless experiences that meet your buyers’ expectations every single time and foster lifelong customer relationships — from now and into the future.