How Quaker Oats introduced a Facebook Messenger chatbot to improve consumer engagement

When you’ve been a breakfast option for centuries, finding new ways to market yourself can become routine. So, to talk up its products, Quaker Oats created a chatbot via Facebook Messenger, providing both a channel for consumer questions and insight into their behaviors.

Quaker Oats' chatbot offers features from recipes to customer support. / Pepsi

The tool was developed with the help of Reve Marketing, a social marketing technology company known for its approaches based in martech components. It offers recipes, reminders for overnight oats, online shopping and consultation for any concerns that may arise.

"If the bot is unable to solve a specific customer issue or complaint, it hands over seamlessly to a human agent,” Vivek Lakshman, co-founder and vice president of products at Reve Marketing, told The Drum. “In the upcoming next set of features, the bot will deliver short answers to most asked consumer questions. This will further reduce the load on the customer support team.

“No other competing brand of Quaker Oats or the majority of the CPG food brands have come close to having this functionally rich and engaging a conversational marketing capability that assists customers of Quaker and serves the brand’s marketing and support needs."

The implementation of the bot in 2017 has thus far yielded results upward of 6,000 consumer interactions, drawing in mostly those who are looking for ways to cook their oats differently or have general questions for the staff and range between new and long-time consumers.

“The ability to interact one-on-one with our consumers everyday provides a unique viewpoint into what’s truly important to the users of our products, and we’ve learned those that love us and will advocate for us,” said Elena Parlatore, senior director of consumer relations at PepsiCo, to The Drum. “We’re embracing the channel and engaging whenever we can. While we haven’t engaged influencers specifically for the bot, Quaker does partner with and engage social influencers for other work."

To further the success and capabilities of the device, the partners intend to enhance the bot’s customer support skills, as well as explore other forms of martech.

“This experience has allowed us to evolve our messaging and test out automation all in-service of enhancing the consumer experience,” Parlatore said. “We’ve also laid the foundation to evolve into voice and other AI-enabled spaces.”.

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