HubSpot just announced another artificial intelligence acquisition, confirming our assessment that the company is making a major play in AI. Last time, HubSpot acquired Kemvi to augment sales reps with artificial intelligence. This time, the company has acquired Motion AI, a leading creator of chatbots.
Reports HubSpot Chief Strategy Officer Bradford Coffey:
“At HubSpot, we study human behavior and then build products to match the way modern buyers shop, learn, and communicate. Observing how people discovered content via search in Google was our first big insight and it formed the foundation what we’d eventually call ‘inbound marketing’. Later, having observed how people consumed content they’d subscribed to, we moved aggressively into marketing automation. In the last few years we’ve observed a new behavior: The rise of messaging and chat.”
Motion AI helps customers build their own chatbots without technical skills, and manage those bots at scale. VentureBeat reports the company has more than 34,000 customers.
HubSpot customers, says Coffey, can now expect access to a bot maker within HubSpot’s platform. Bots created by users will have “access to all the data that lives in a company’s CRM and marketing tools to deliver more helpful conversations.” And customers can automate this messaging on “whatever channel their customer prefers — be it website chat, Facebook Messenger, Slack, or other platforms we expose over time.”
He calls the acquisition the “next phase of marketing automation.”
We couldn’t agree more. For some time, we’ve predicted that marketing automation providers, which offer solutions that are still (ironically) largely manual, would buy or build artificial intelligence tools and incorporate them into their product offerings.
That’s because AI-powered marketing provides clear advantages over what marketers do today. It gives us the ability to plan, produce, personalize, promote, and perform like never before.
Why the Acquisition Matters to Marketers
Two big reasons this matters to marketers.
First, it signals the acceleration of AI adoption in the marketing industry at large. Right now, the marketing AI landscape is fragmented. It has lots of different solutions for different purposes that are tailored to companies of varying size. This makes full-scale adoption difficult. Marketers need to research, understand, vet, and implement different tools that don’t always fit together well.
AI being baked into marketing automation software solves much of the pain here. It makes AI readily accessible to thousands of marketers already using systems like HubSpot. Which accelerates the need for marketers to understand AI’s capabilities, promise, and practical applications.
We’re readily approaching a future marketing landscape where marketers are sorted into two categories: those proficient in using AI to accelerate performance—and those who aren’t.
Second, it’s a major signal of where marketing communication is going. Chat is becoming hugely important as a lead generation and customer engagement tool. For instance, we’ve implemented Drift, an AI chatbot, on the Marketing AI Institute site to engage visitors and more organically capture lead information.
Consumers increasingly trust bots to provide information, solve pain points, and even offer purchase options. One HubSpot survey indicates 47% of consumers are open to buying through a chatbot.
As tools like Motion AI make it possible to build and scale bots without a technical background, expect smart marketing campaigns to include chatbots. That means marketers will need to start mastering how to build bots. As noted by HubSpot in this handy chatbot guide:
“The challenge of building a bot isn't a technical one. It's conversational. Your job is to understand the interactions your audience is already having with your brand. Then, harness the chat interface in a way that yields maximum impact with minimal fluff.”
The Motion AI acquisition offers marketers an important lesson:
AI is here, and you need to start understanding it if you want to succeed.
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As Chief Content Officer, Mike Kaput uses content marketing, marketing strategy, and marketing technology to grow and scale traffic, leads, and revenue for Marketing AI Institute. Mike is the co-author of Marketing Artificial Intelligence: AI, Marketing and the Future of Business (Matt Holt Books, 2022). See Mike's full bio.