Conversational AI has emerged as a powerful tool in the marketing sphere, revolutionizing customer engagement and lead generation. With the ability to simulate human-like conversations, AI-powered chatbots and conversational tools have become strategic assets for businesses seeking to enhance customer interactions, drive conversions, and gain a competitive edge.
Conversational AI represents one of the hottest topics in the realm of AI, with uses across multiple industries. In order to simulate human-like interactions, AI systems leverage vast amounts of data, machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP).
In this article, The Recursive will dive into the transformative potential of conversational AI in marketing and explore five solutions developed by CEE AI startups to help your business leverage the power of conversation and personalization in your strategy.
Conversational AI market trends
According to the latest report by Market Research Future, the conversational AI market is expected to grow from $9.5 billion in 2023 to over $32 billion by 2030. Moreover, the rising need for AI-powered customer support is one of the primary drivers of industry growth.
The conversational market mainly comprises intelligent virtual assistants, online personal assistants like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, and chatbots, programs designed to engage in human-like conversations used by businesses to interact with customers 24/7. Other use cases of conversational AI for enterprises are, for example, language translation or HR processes like employee training.
Lastly, some of the key companies in the global conversational AI market are IBM (US), Google (US), Microsoft (US), AWS (US), Artificial Solutions (SE), Baidu (CN), and SAP (DE).
How is conversational AI used in marketing
With the recent exponential growth of AI technologies, the applications of conversational AI in marketing are expanding all across the funnel, from awareness to loyalty. Some of the most common utilizations of chatbots include:
- Customer support – Conversation AI chatbots deployed to provide instant assistance to website visitors or social media users.
- Lead generation – Chatbots engage with website visitors and qualify them as potential leads by asking relevant questions, collecting contact information, and assessing their needs.
- Lead nurturing – Conversational AI tools automate lead nurturing by sending personalized messages, content recommendations, and offers based on user preferences and behavior.
- Surveys and feedback – Conversational AI chatbots conduct surveys and collect feedback from customers, enabling businesses to gather valuable insights
- Personalized recommendations – Conversational AI tools analyze user data and preferences to provide customized product recommendations and suggestions.
Benefits and challenges of using conversational AI
As noted by one of the market leaders, IBM, conversational AI offers cost efficiency by reducing staffing costs, ensuring comprehensive and consistent responses, and providing increased sales and customer engagement through real-time support and personalized recommendations. Additionally, conversational AI enables scalability by quickly and cost-effectively expanding infrastructure to meet market demands.
On the other hand, utilizing conversational AI brings challenges, including difficulties with language input, such as dialects, accents, and unscripted language. Privacy and security concerns arise due to data collection, and user apprehension about sharing personal information can affect adoption.
5 Conversational AI startups from the CEE – V4 region to watch
With the increasing number of conversational AI chatbots in marketing, the CEE region offers many notable solutions to the global market. In this article, we are showcasing five innovative AI startups from Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
Established: 2019, Dover, US (with offices in Poland)
Founders: Maja Schaefer, Matt Ciolek
About: Zowie is an AI-powered customer service software helping e-commerce brands automate workflow and grow sales. The startup offers three solutions; a chatbot automating customers’ most repetitive tasks and queries, personalized assistance helping customer service agents, and conversion maximization by identifying and supporting customers at the buying intent point.
Highlights: In 2022, Zowie secured a Series A funding of ~€13M led by Tiger Global Management. Zowie’s clients include MODIVO, AVON, Media Markt, or answear.
Established: 2016, Gdansk, Poland
Founders: Tomasz Szwelnik, Jacek Kawalec
About: VoiceLab is a data-driven revenue intelligence platform. VoiceLab offers a conversational AI platform to support customer care multichannel conversations with real-time automatic tips. VoiceLab provides a full transcript and analysis of conversations to improve sales efficiency and learn from the company’s best practices or mistakes.
Highlights: In 2023, VoiceLab raised ~€2.6M in Series A funding. DHL, Santander, or Olympus are among VoiceLab’s clients.
Established: 2016, Warsaw, Poland
Founder: Kasia Dorsey
About: Yosh.AI is a deep tech company specializing in automating communication between companies in retail and financial sectors and customers. The startup focuses on providing end-to-end customer journey automation with text and voice AI assistants covering advanced voice search, product purchase, and client service automation.
Highlights: Yosh.AI raised a ~€1.8M Seed round in 2021. Yosh.AI’s list of clients includes Santander, Reserved, Sinsay, and Google.
Established: 2018, Bratislava, Slovakia
Founders: Andrej Greguš, Marek Košta, Peter Galiovský
About: Nettle.ai develops AI-driven conversational platforms that use NLP and ML to analyze, understand and derive meaning from unstructured text, helping enhance e-commerce businesses. The team specializes in conversational platforms such as chatbots, text mining, entity recognition, and intent classification in the banking, travel, leisure, and telecom industries.
Highlights: The startup raised €1M in early-stage funding in 2021 from Crowdberry supported by Venture to Future Fund. In 2022, the company introduced the world’s first holographic banker for a Slovak bank, Slovenská sporiteľňa. It was also the first company to be allowed by Google to deploy chatbots in advertising banners.
Established: 2019, Prague, Czech Republic
Founders: Tomáš Malovec, Zenon Sliwka
About: Featured in our recent AI marketing tools article, the Born Digital platform utilizes artificial intelligence to digitalize contact centers. The platform’s AI-powered tools offer suggestions for automating customer interactions, efficiently managing calls and chats, and analyzing email communication.
Highlights: Born Digital’s client base of over 60 B2B organizations includes Microsoft, Packeta, and Axa. Operating in six countries, the startup secured a seed round of €600K in 2021, backed by J&T Ventures.