Brands must avoid the “dangerous” tactic of pretending consumers are engaging with real people, when in fact they are interacting with chatbots, according to Microsoft marketing chief Grad Conn.
Speaking to M&M Global at last week’s Advertising Week Europe in London, Conn – Microsoft USA’s general manager and chief marketing officer – insisted robots will play a growing role in future consumer communications, but only in appropriate circumstances.
He also claimed that that, as it stands, the marketing and media industry lacks the requisite data to successfully achieve “true human interactions” with consumers.
“In a human-to-human interaction, it is super-duper dangerous to make that a robot if you pretend it’s a human,” said Conn, who added he would not use a chatbot in Microsoft’s social command centre, as consumers would be able to “smell” the difference.
“Sometimes I want to talk to a robot, because I have a quick question – I just want to know where parking is, or I just want to know how late they open. I don’t need to go through a whole customer care cycle on that.
“As long as I know it’s a robot, it is a lot my fluid and a lot faster than going through web pages.”