Chicago, IL – Have you ever engaged in conversation with a chatbot? Would you like to? Seems like there is no shortage of talk now-a-days about these A.I. systems , and more and more people are starting to encounter them in their messenger app/chat-filled lives.

Mobile marketing and engagement specialists, Vibes, just released their 2017 Mobile US Consumer Report, and it provides an interesting snapshot of consumer demand for brand engagement via chatbot. Their survey says… bring on the bots! The big takeaway:

So the appetite is there, but maybe not the opportunity. This is encouraging news for brands looking to move into this territory. Branded app saturation (not another download!) has left people gravitating towards things that are better integrated to the ‘places’ they already are, and when done well, these bots fir the bill.

Why this matters for Pharma – So is this appetite for chatbot interactions something that Pharma can act on? Obviously such a heavily regulated industry is going to to have to tailor expectations, but niche uses, tailored to very specific needs could start to emerge. Some initial thoughts on where these interactions could work are:

Personalized doctor conversation guides – Consider this the ‘conversation before the conversation.’ A chatbot might be a welcome user experience compared to the typical radio-button/form-filled experiences that litter brand websites. A bot could guide you through prompts, capture all of your personal details, and package them into a nice, downloadable document. It could even simulate a real conversation to get you more comfortable with what to expect when you have a 1:1 with your doctor.

Disease state education and FAQs – A conversational bot could help you quickly traverse a deep educational resource around a specific condition. It would be much more intuitive to ask questions than to “look up” information.

Next-gen adherence tool – A chatbot could evolve with a treatment journey, offering up valuable and timely resources and information. It could ‘learn’ as it evolves and deliver more integrated messaging reminders and communications.

This is just scratching the surface with few quick examples from a consumer/patient perspective. The use case scenarios really start to increase when you start to think of applying bots to HCP interactions as well. It’s probably just a matter of time until someone decides to dip their toes in. Who wants to go first?


About the Author:

Jeffrey Giermek