Talkabot Talks: Christian Brucculeri, CEO and Director of Snaps

This post originally appeared on the the company blog to promote the Talkabot Conference

*Christian and the team at Snaps, help global brands engage their customers across messaging platforms. He is one of our featured speakers at next month’s Talkabot Conference, and took some time to discuss with us the emerging bot landscape and opportunities for brands in messaging:*

How did you first become aware of the potential of chat bots in the mobile messaging space?

I had seen bots on WeChat a few years ago — thought they were interesting but didn’t really dig in. When I joined Snaps, the founder and I had a lot of conviction that the messaging space was going to be the next big space for brands, so we launched a content platform for brands to engage in messaging and stayed close to developments in the space from then on.

There were two events in 2015 that got us more interested specifically in bots. The first was our initial activations on Kik. With Burger King, we brought one of the first brand ChatBots to the platform. We saw phenomenal results. Read rates, response rates, share rates were all incredible.

The second event was an early meeting with Facebook, where we had a long conversation with a few folks on their team about bots, what we had learned to date, etc. We had pretty strong conviction by the middle of last year that bots were going to roll out in a bigger way to the US market in 2016, and that we should be building into that future.

What opportunities do you see for brands as messaging applications race to add rich experiences like bots to their platforms?

When we look a the messaging space from a brand lens, we think about their opportunity in two buckets.The first bucket is around capitalizing on the use of rich media in messaging apps for branding opportunities. We’ve driven well over 100 million shares of branded content in messaging apps through our products focused on emoji, stickers, GIFs and videos. It’s been a huge win for our brand partners looking tell stories and spread word-of-mouth marketing in the space.

The second bucket is conversational UI, and we’ve built a logic engine and do relatively complex server integrations to help brands deploy bots in places like Facebook Messenger, Kik and Skype. We see bots as an avenue to entertain, to inform, to personalize and to maintain relationships with customers.

What the the challenges that face brands as they deal more individually with potential users across these platforms?

It depends on the brand’s strategy. I would submit that brands looking to replace (vs. augment)* *components of their customer service operations with bot automation are going to find all sorts of challenges. But the biggest challenge right now for brands and bots are executing experiences that consumers actually want to engage with at scale. I think this is as much a creative endeavor as a technical one.

Have you ever been surprised about something you discovered from a mobile messaging interaction?

I’m always pleasantly surprised when brands put humans on the other side of a branded conversation. Scale is obviously difficult, but I love texting with businesses and I’d like to do more of it.

If there was one thing you could ask a bot to do for you that can’t be done today, what would it be?

Put my kids to bed.

Join us Sept 28–29th in Austin, Texas to discuss bots, conversational software and community for the first ever Talkabot Conference. Full track tickets are still available but going fast!

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