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Chatbots Gone Wild! A Brief History of Chatbot Marketing (& Where It's Going) [Infographic]

Chatbots Gone Wild! A Brief History of Chatbot Marketing (& Where It's Going) [Infographic] Blog Feature

Katie Pritchard

VP of Services, 8+ Years of Client-Facing Project Management & Digital Marketing Expertise

April 28th, 2018 min read

From all the buzz surrounding chatbots right now, it may seem like they’re new to the market - but really they’ve been around for a few years.

Their technology, however, is getting better and better every day.

With the improvement of tools, it’s easier for marketers to handle and create chatbots, and more consumers are used to interacting with them.

Chatbots are going to change the game for marketing in the next few years, and it’s important to understand everything that goes into this market before you’re left behind.

To help you stay ahead of the curve, collected stats from a variety of sources for this infographic.

For instance, it shares that in 2015, the market size for chatbots worldwide was $113M, and the expected growth by 2025 should reach $1.23B (with a compounded annual growth rate of 24.3%.)

Also, according to some experts, chatbots will become indistinguishable from human chat by 2029 based on technology improvement speed and platform development. That is HUGE.

Let’s dive into the history, what you need to know about chatbot trends and some real-world examples.

A Short History of Chatbots

To give some context of where we’ve come from, here are the highlights:

  • 1950: The Turing test was developed by Alan Turing
  • 1966: Eliza, the first chatbot, was created by Joseph Weizenbaum
  • 1972: Parry, a computer program by Stanford scientist Kenneth Colby, modeled the behavior of a paranoid schizophrenic
  • 1981: The Jabberwocky chatbot was created by British programmer Rollo Carpenter
  • 1985: The wireless robot toy, Tomy Chatbot, repeats any message recorded on its tape
  • 1995: A.L.I.C.E. (Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity) was developed by a Nobel-prize winner Richard Wallace
  • 1996: Hex, developed by Jason Hutchens, was based on Eliza and won the Loebner Prize in 1996
  • 2010: Siri, an intelligent personal assistant was launched as an iPhone app and then integrated as a part of the iOS
  • 2012: Google launched Google Now chatbot
  • 2014: Amazon released Alexa
  • 2015: Facebooked launched M chatbot, accessible through Messenger
  • 2016: Google unveils its Amazon Echo competitor voice-enabled bot called Google Home

Chatbots for Business

Businesses’ trust in chatbots is growing year over year as more are experimenting with it for various applications. Based on the data collected:

  • 96% of businesses believe that chatbots are here to stay for good.
  • 75% of surveyed business planned to build a chatbot in 2017.
  • 67% of businesses believe that chatbots will outperform mobile apps in the next 5 years.
  • 80% of businesses claimed they already use or plan to use chatbots by 2020.

As time goes on, companies are increasingly using chatbots to boost sales - and it’s mostly because consumers are more trusting of chatbots.

Consumer Trust in Chatbots

Overall, chatbot usage by customers has been steadily increasing. 40% don’t care whether a chatbot or a real human helps them, as long as they are getting the help they need and 48% would actually rather connect with a company via live chat than any other means of contact.  

47% of customers would buy items from a chatbot (HubSpot, 2017.) Specifically, 26-36-year-olds are willing to spend up to $675.89 via a chatbot interaction, and 37-47-year-olds are willing to spend $496.45 via a chatbot interaction.

Within the banking and healthcare sectors, the average time saving per chatbot inquiry compared with traditional call centers is 4+ minutes, and monetarily, chatbots are expected to save companies $.50 - $.70 per each interaction by 2022.

Overall, it is expected that $8 Billion will be saved in banking and healthcare by 2022.

Real World Examples

Let’s take a look at a few examples of companies getting measurable results with chatbots:

  1. Amtrak reached 800% ROI, increased bookings by 25%, and got over 5M questions answered every year after switching to its Ask Jule chatbot in 2012.
  2. Lead pages increased their CR by 36% and messages let to 267% conversations after switching to Drift.
  3. Chatbot Winnie has achieved 72% user CTR since it was introduced to a Facebook messenger.


Some of the data available from this infographic is about a year to a year and a half old - but what this does is paint a picture for the successes big companies have seen while paving the way for smaller businesses to create measurable changes with less effort.

Some of the biggest things to take away from this emerging technology is:

  1. Understand what’s happening. Read more about how companies are using chatbots, what results they’re seeing etc. This will help you prepare or create a new conversation path for visitors from your own business.
  2. Get to know the companies that are making chatbot creation simpler for smaller businesses. Companies like drift and HubSpot are making it easier and easier for marketers to create chatbots that work and provide just as much value as a live person.
  3. Just test it out! Get a champion in your company (or be the champion!) to write out a strategy and just test it on your website. It’ll be a great learning experience and a new way to build a relationship with visitors that might not want to convert on a form.

Check out the entire infographic from below:


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