This post covers how AdChat’s conversational advertising platform – using Messenger, conversational display ads, and landing pages – helped drive in-store and online sales results for Troy-Bilt’s ‘Ask Troy’ AI-based program for yard enthusiasts.
Engaging In-market Consumers
When it comes to lawn and garden care, today’s homeowners – particularly yard enthusiasts – have lots of questions: Which lawn mower should I buy? What’s the difference between these two models? What’s causing brown spots in my grass? When should I mow?
Troy-Bilt wanted to be there to answer these questions and did so with an AI-based platform – called ‘Ask Troy’ – that engages in-market consumers across several channels.
Here’s a breakdown of the overall approach and execution…
As yard enthusiasts, Troy-Bilt’s customers see their yard as more than curb appeal. Their yard is a reflection of themselves.
With decades of experience building premium-quality lawn, garden, and snow equipment, Troy-Bilt knew that yard enthusiasts are full of questions. Traditionally, getting highly qualified answers to those questions was limited – it meant turning to parents, friends, and neighbors for advice.
Today’s consumers also turn directly to brands for knowledge and expertise using the internet, social media, and increasingly, channels like voice assistants.
For Troy-Bilt, being seen as the definitive source of knowledge and advice was particularly important, because it demonstrated and personified the brand promise: We Won’t Let You Down™.
With that in mind, Ask Troy had several goals…
Ask Troy Objectives
The Ask Troy platform had to deliver on three key goals:
- Differentiate Troy-Bilt by focusing on what the brand stands for, rather than product features and specs.
- Demonstrate and personify the brand promise – We Won’t Let You Down™
- Create a mutually beneficial value exchange between Troy-Bilt and yard enthusiast consumers.
Working with Marcus Thomas, AdChat brought Ask Troy to life in 3 channels: Messenger, Conversational Display Advertising, and Conversational Landing Pages.
Messenger was the first channel of focus. We created a conversational chatbot – powered by machine learning and natural language processing – to help consumers navigate their in-store shopping experience at the Home Depot.
The chatbot aligned with the initial goal of the Ask Troy platform: Simple answers to your questions in the aisle.
Troy-Bilt products are prominent at The Home Depot, and the chatbot serves as both an in-store virtual shopping assistant and a product education tool. In-store signage on the mowers themselves directs consumers to the Ask Troy Messenger chatbot.
The idea is to provide a simple, valuable tool that counteracts an overall decline in dedicated, knowledgable outdoor power equipment sales personnel.
Consumers can ask the chatbot open-ended purchase-related questions ranging from ‘What’s a TriAction cutting system, anyway?’ to ‘What’s the difference between the TB240 and the TB230?’ to post-purchase questions like ‘How do I clean the mower deck?’
The Messenger experience also simplifies the purchase process with a product recommendation engine.
By guiding shoppers through a few simple questions, the chatbot recommends a ‘shortlist’ of products that are best suited for their yard. From there, consumers can compare the different models or dive into specific product features.
Following the initial in-store shopping experience, the ability to shop online was added, allowing off-site consumers to buy a mower directly from homedepot.com.
Product care and maintenance information are also part of the Messenger bot. Simple (yet detailed) videos give consumers the information and advice they need to keep their mower and yard at their best.
Troy-Bilt’s snow removal products have also been added, providing a similar shopping and customer care experience during the winter.
Conversational Display Ads
The team at Marcus Thomas also deployed AdChat’s display ad format, using our engine that also drives the Messenger chatbot.
Users can still use the product recommendation engine and ask any open-ended questions, but the experience is delivered in a standard IAB display ad format. The visuals below show a 300×250 display ad.
Ads are served programmatically using Google’s (formerly DoubleClick), Campaign Manager for ad serving and The Trade Desk as DSP.
By targeting a different section of the chatbot, we’re able to provide a customized experience across multiple ads and executions. For the winter months, for example, we’ll focus the display ad experience on snow removal products.
Conversational Landing Page
In tandem with the display ads is a conversational landing page that serves as a central ‘hub’ for all Ask Troy AI-related content and platforms.
On this site, consumers can engage with the same chat-based interface to access the information and advice that’s available in Messenger and display ads.
Congrats again to the team at Marcus Thomas for winning this award. We’re proud to have been part of it.