I’m always on the look out for tourism marketing examples, since I use them in presentations with clients in the travel industry. So when a friend @theBoomerVine tweeted to me about a progressive use of a chat bot named Rose being used by the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, I knew I had to share insights around it with you here.
I wrote about chat bots in THIS POST earlier this year, after returning from the Social Media Marketing World conference, as one of the “next big things” to emerge in marketing. Basically chat bots are automated direct messaging apps, assisted by AI (artificial intelligence) to machine learn responses that are human like, in a personable way, to questions or comments back and forth with people via text messaging on mobile phones or sometimes as pop ups on a website landing page. They can be used to automate frequently asked questions, or as you see in this case below, to engage customers more intimately and increase sales.
The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas is a luxury casino and resort. With over 3,000 rooms it competes not only with other hotels on the strip, but also with online booking apps like Expedia and Travelocity for partial booking revenue. Those that book through an online app get a room, but those that book direct are delivered “an experience.” The challenge was to get those who have stayed at the Cosmopolitan to re-book their next visit directly, while also finding ways to increase revenue by giving VIP access around the resort.
“Rose” is an AI chat-bot, but she was designed as a concierge to deliver unique experiences, as well as an expression of the brand. Hotel guests are introduced to Rose by receiving her card with their key at registration, and they’re encouraged to ask Rose for anything during their stay. Rose of course is veiled in some mystery and intrigue, which further adds to her appeal in the voyeur atmosphere of Vegas. Despite what you may think of auto-responder messages, Rose creates an emotional connection with the guests, because she was programmed with language, attitude and behavioral nuances that bring her to life. Rose gives guests insider information through over 1,000 conversation threads that were created to offer ways to book experiences such as restaurant reservations, spa treatments, event tickets, spontaneous adventures, or even select secret menu items. Rose of course is also a bit cheeky, as you would expect with any new friend you might encounter in Vegas.
Rose’s playful personality charmed guests who booked direct, into spending 37% more than guests who did not engage with her. In fact, Rose averaged 7.7 messages per user and managed to engage 82% of users, with 90% of those users recommending Rose to others. That’s direct ROI that is hard to argue with.
But what I most like about this example is how automation was used to add brand personality, which lead to an outcome of increased sales. So far most of the chat bot applications I’ve seen have been to automate FAQs, save money in some way through staffing customer help lines, or to pre-qualify sales leads in a funnel. Rose takes bots to a whole new level. You can watch the playful and somewhat seductive approach that Rose takes with her guest here: https://vimeo.com/220690674
Let’s be clear, what happens in Vegas now stays on the internet. And that’s likely one of the reasons this campaign will continue to deliver. Word is out. People want to book at the Cosmopolitan just to meet Rose, even if she is just an AI computer generated persona. Creepy? Maybe. But as brands realize the potential of direct messaging, while leaving their competitors in the increasingly crowded space of social media, we could see more gals like Rose on the horizon. Or maybe Ross? Surely there’s potential for a smooth talking gentleman to make some women swoon with their wallets!
I’m heading out to TBEX in Finger Lakes, NY on Tuesday for the travel bloggers conference. It’s officially the first event where my marketing/media and travel/writing interests will collide. And I’m sure I’ll have some interesting insights next week to share after speaking with folks there.
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Have you encountered messaging bots? Did you know it was a bot and not a human? Where they useful? Do you have any good or bad examples you’d like to share? Leave a comment below, and I’ll check them out.