Welcome to the Emoji Era: A Brief Look at the Evolution of Conversations (...& What’s Next for HubSpot)

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Elise Beck
Elise Beck

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The way we communicate with one another has changed. Technology is tearing down walls, breaking down the barriers of time and space, and allowing us to connect from anywhere at any time.

Time and space were just the first set of barriers. Today we’re able to connect from anywhere at any time, and we’re able to do it at scale. We’re able to hold several conversations at once when we communicate over email and text message and when we chat on Facebook or Slack.

And it doesn’t stop there. 

Technology has also enabled us to improve our comprehension and expand our means of self-expression with emojis, gifs, photos, filters, and videos. We’re able to break the bounds of language, splaying our thoughts and ideas across borders and cultures. We’re able to make more personal, empathetic connections with one another at scale in real-time. 

via GIPHY

That is something remarkable.


The future of live chat.

Live chat was just the beginning, the first step in trying to weave these modern modes of communication into the way we market, sell, and service our prospects and customers. But live chat isn’t enough.

We made our first foray into live chat last year, announcing HubSpot Messages at INBOUND in 2016 -- but we quickly realized that we were thinking about this new form of communication all wrong. Messages was built in a rigid, cut-and-dry way. That’s just not the reality of how we communicate today. 

Today, we communicate across platforms. We kick off a conversation in person or over the phone, we follow up with a text message, and then take it online to Facebook, email, or Slack. These conversations are fluid and portable. They move across channels and mediums and we never miss a beat.

So how can we manage to have these kinds of natural, fluid conversations with prospects and customers at scale? It’s a problem businesses haven’t been able to solve.

 

Enter, conversations.

At INBOUND this year, we announced conversations -- a brand new feature coming to HubSpot in 2018.

Conversations is a universal inbox, built for all sources and all teams, that’s enhanced with all of your CRM and marketing data.

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Over the next few months, you’ll notice our live chat tool, Messages, evolve to include more robust features and functionality. In the near future, live chat will become the first communication channel to be included in this shared inbox; and over time more new channels will become available. From email to Slack, Twitter to Facebook -- you’ll be able to manage all of your conversations with prospects and customers, with full transparency, from one central inbox.

With conversations, you’ll be able to stay connected with customers and prospects at any time, wherever they are. Kick off a conversation with a prospect over Facebook, pick it up via live chat on your site, and follow up over email without skipping a beat.

 

Managing all those conversations at scale? That’s where the bots come in.

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Conversations gives you the context and the cues you need to start building better relationships with your prospects and customers. And bots give you the added layer of automation you need to be able to scale those conversations successfully.

We made our first foray into bots last year with GrowthBot, the first chatbot for marketing and sales professionals. GrowthBot started as a passion project created by HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah -- but our newfound obsession with bots hasn’t stopped there.

In early 2017, we began testing bots as an acquisition channel via Facebook Messenger. At the time, we were feeling exhausted by our options for proactively engaging with customers. We knew there had to be another way -- one that didn’t involve sending more emails.  

We kicked things off by using chatbots on Messenger to automate all of the communication and content distribution for our Grow With HubSpot events in Melbourne and Hong Kong. Everything from the registration process to sharing content at the event to our post-event surveys were shared in the Messenger app. The results blew us away. And as we ran more experiments, we were consistently seeing a 6x increase in engagement on Messenger over email.

We spun up a small team of developers who began working with Motion AI, the industry’s leading chatbot builder, to create bots that would be fully integrated with our CRM. These bots could take contacts through a journey specifically built for them, engaging them with fresh, dynamic content in an exciting new way.

For the past several months, we’ve been working closely with the Motion AI team. We’ve seen how powerful this new channel is. We’ve developed a better understanding of the changes to the way we communicate with one another. And we have been inspired to productize this technology and make it available to everyone.

That’s why we’re so excited that Motion AI has officially joined the HubSpot family. Over the next several months, we will be working to build their industry-leading technology into the HubSpot software. The result? Bot technology that is deeply integrated with HubSpot, helping you automate basic tasks, scale your conversations, and proactively engage and acquire new customers. Our mission is to make chatbots more accessible and enable businesses to engage, convert, close, and delight their customers across every channel at scale.

The way we communicate with one another certainly has changed. We’re so excited to see how technology continues to shape the way we market, sell, grow, and learn.

What do you think? Are bots the next big thing? Will we eventually communicate with each other exclusively in emojis and abbreviations? TBD. LMK. 💬 👇 😉  

battle-bots

 

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