Freaky AI Chatbots, Fake HR Emails, and Layoffs: October’s Most Meme-Worthy Digital Marketing News

Freaky AI Chatbots, Fake HR Emails, and Layoffs: October’s Most Meme-Worthy Digital Marketing News
02 November, 2023 • ... • 172 views
Daria Zhuravleva
by Daria Zhuravleva

Got tired finishing off your Halloween campaigns and preparing for the Black Friday mess? Give yourself a little break and have a laugh! This month, we’re doing our best to compile a list of the most interesting, controversial, and, of course, meme-worthy news from the wonderful world of all things digital. Keep reading to learn what you missed out on this October!

1. Selzy released the Telegram chatbot builder

We’re starting this month’s digest with personal news. This October, Selzy released the Telegram chatbot builder. In this user-friendly drag-and-drop editor, you can create and edit scenarios for Telegram chatbots using pre-made blocks. These bots can:

  • Respond to user input like commands and messages.
  • Collect contact information and save leads for future engagement.
  • Send automated notifications about new products, promotions, and special offers.
  • Connect users to employees like sales reps and support team members.
  • Automate simple customer journey steps like booking calls and choosing delivery time.

Chatbots can help you stay available for your customers 24/7 and deliver the best customer experience. The feature is available on the Standard plan in Selzy — but all registered users can try it for free for 7 days.

The Snapchat picture of a skeleton sitting in a waiting room signed as “I wonder how long they’ve been waiting for the tech support to answer because the company doesn’t have a chatbot”

2. Meta’s chatbots are freaking out the internet

Speaking of chatbots… Some make customers’ lives easier, others become the pinnacle of the uncanny valley effect. Meta’s new AI assistants are an example of the latter. The company introduced their new AI-generated personas that have Instagram pages. They are available for a quick convo — and look way too similar to celebrities like Kendall Jenner. 

Currently, Meta has five scarily realistic AI personas:

  • Billie, who looks like Kendall Jenner
  • Paris Hilton, a “forensic crime solver”
  • Bru, “the wise-cracking “sports debater” who looks like Tom Brady
  • Dwayne The Rock Johnson, a trainer
  • Snoop Dogg as your personal AI-powered “Dungeon Master”

And, if you’re interested, each celebrity received above $1 million for allowing Meta to use their likeness for AI training.

A screenshot with the AI resembling Kendall Jenner saying “Hey guys, it’s man-made horrors beyond your comprehension”

3. LinkedIn fired almost 700 employees

Isn’t it ironic that a social media platform that helps people find jobs joined this year’s massive tech layoff? According to TechCrunch, LinkedIn confirmed the plans to cut around 700 employees, which brings the total to 1,400 fired staff members in 2023. The professional networking platform cuts employees from the R&D (Research & Development), talent, and finance departments — and even engineers! 

According to Business Today, the company explained the staff reduction as the way to better prioritization, agility, and accountability — here’s the first paragraph of the email sent to employees:

We did not expect to share this important update with you all in the midst of such challenging times but in the spirit of clarity, Tomer and I wanted to share some news regarding changes we are making to our orgs. As we continue to execute on our FY24 plan, we need to also evolve how we work and what we prioritize so we can deliver on the key initiatives we’ve identified that will have an outsized impact in achieving our business goals. This means adapting our organizational structures to improve agility and accountability, establishing unambiguous ownership, and driving improving efficiency & transparency through reduced layering.

The regular Winnie the Pooh saying “Laying people off because we have no money to pay them”, the sophisticated Winnie the Pooh wearing a tuxedo saying “Adapting our organizational structures to improve agility and accountability”

4. Employees spend over 10 hours a week writing emails that almost no one reads

Popular corporate messenger Slack and OnePoll conducted a study of 8,000 small business staff members based in the UK and the United States. They found out that, on average, these employees write 112 emails a week, spending 5,5 minutes on each one — which turns into over 10 hours a week. The problem is, only 36% of these emails are actually opened. And even the opened emails don’t do their job — here’s what Slack and OnePoll found out:

  • 62% of surveyed employees said it’s common to not get their questions answered.
  • 51% were addressed by the wrong name.
  • 49% were asked a question they already answered directly in the same email.

So, email marketing is surely not dead — unlike emails as the primary workplace communication channel.

”They don’t know” meme: the guy in the corner says “They don’t know I spend 10 hours a week writing emails”, dancing couples say “We know, we’re not interested in reading them”

5. Google prepares a new anti-spam update

Google is planning to declutter your inboxes and protect you from spam with extra measures for mass mailers. From 2024, all bulk email senders who send more than 5,000 emails to other Gmail users will have to validate their identity and include one-click unsubscribe buttons. These users will also be required to stay within the limit of spam reports. Other email clients like Yahoo will adopt the same measures in February 2024. 

The problem is, this new policy may affect legitimate email marketers — it may be harder to prove Google you’re not a spammer and maintain your domain reputation.

Shen comic where a person with the Google logo points an index finger at the reader, and the main character says “Yeah, don’t worry about this guy, he just points at spammers”

Don’t know how to send bulk emails without landing in spam? Check out our guide on sending mass emails and learn all the vital dos and don’ts.

6. You can’t trust the data you use for ads and marketing, study says

Truthset, in collaboration with The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) studied the accuracy of the data marketers use for ad campaigns and other purposes. They investigated 3.9 billion anonymous email records from several data providers and tried to find whether they’re connected with 90% of known US postal addresses. Most data’s accuracy lied between 32% and 69%. The median value is roughly 50%, so at least half of the emails from the whole dataset might be fake.

The problem is, inaccurate datasets can cost you more than half a dollar for each dollar invested in marketing.

The driver says “Let’s run a targeting campaign”, the girl in the back seat says “At least 50% of our data is inaccurate, which will lower our marketing ROI”, the driver looks back angry and confused

7. RG&E mixed up two Rochesters in their email campaign and apologized

Rochester Gas & Electric, a company based in Rochester, New York, sent a “message from the CEO” type of email campaign to their customers. This email included a heartfelt copy about how the company makes the area a better place for citizens, illustrated by sleek stock photos… of Rochester, Minnesota. 

RG&E sent an apology email later but we still find it funny, so here’s the meme. 

Emperor’s New Groove “wrong lever” meme: Yzma says “Add the pictures of Rochester to the email”, “WRONG ROCHESTER!”

8. B2B buyers want consistent communication, according to the report

The 2022 report by Hero Digital summarizes the pain points and frustrations of B2B customers looking for vendors. Some of the highlighted problems include inconsistent product information across channels (45%), tech support issues (39%), and companies evolving slower than needed (35%).

The good news for B2B companies is that 81% of customers said they would pay more for the great experience. So, the key to success is making an awesome product, providing solid tech support… and maybe at least updating your knowledge base.

The crying girl asks the guy “Tell me the truth… I’m ready to hear it”, the guy answers “Our knowledge base is outdated”, the girl starts crying even harder

9. Beware of the fake HR emails

There’s a new scam in town! According to the latest report by KnowB4, messages disguised as coming from internal departments at your workplace, such as HR, are the current dominant trend in phishing emails. For example, it can be an email notifying you about office dress code changes, vacation updates, and more. This phishing scheme proved effective because since it’s from the HR department, people don’t question the legitimacy of the message on the spot. 

PSA: in case you received an HR email that seems sketchy, you know what to do — don’t click the links or download the attachments, and, of course, report spam.

Scooby Doo unmasking meme, frame 1 — An email from your HR, frame 2 — Phishing

10. Tinder introduces the matchmaking feature

Tinder executives finally understood how people actually use the app — they sit with their friends and scroll through profiles, exchanging jokes. That’s why the company introduced matchmaking sessions. Once you start the session, you get the unique link to share with up to 15 people within 24 hours. During the session, your friends will scroll and save the profiles you might like. Then, you can use the same link to look through the profiles chosen for you.

The feature still doesn’t protect you from situations like this one tho…

The Despicable Me main villain standing near the tablet with sheets of paper meme with 4 frames: frame 1 “Make a Tinder account”, frame 2: “Spend hours spiffing it up and working hard to make it appealing”, frames 3-4: “Keep it open for 2 months and never get a single like, besides scam bots”, the villain looks confused and sad on the last frame
Source: Reddit
02 November, 2023
Article by
Daria Zhuravleva
I'm a writer with 3 years of experience, knowledge and interest in all things IT and marketing, and a passion for the English language. As a staff author at Selzy, I see my mission as an educator who makes your life easier by explaining complex topics in a digestible and somewhat entertaining way. Hobbies include birdwatching, all things music and art, writing freeform poetry, and hiding in the woods.
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