Due to the development of technology as well as the demands of more affluent, sophisticated, and impatient consumers, marketing has undergone a significant change over the past ten years. However, I would argue that most brands lag behind their customers’ desires and needs because they continue to rely on high-frequency, one-way communications while attempting to instill urgency to drive conversions. This is true despite consumers’ evolving preferences for how they access products, services, and information.
This seems to be especially true in the world of direct marketing, which is heavily dependent on one-way channels and in which brands push the most recent sales offers in carefully packaged, primarily text-based campaigns in an effort to increase conversion rates by a few percentage points. I have always felt that it is somehow arrogant to think that we can compel, persuade, or influence a consumer by speaking at them — using one-way interactions without considering they might want to say something back. I am a long-time direct marketer and a humble student of the great David Ogilvy.
According to research conducted by one company, there were 3 SMS marketing conversions on Black Friday 2020. 5%, which was awesome and significantly above 2019. However, I wonder if better meeting the needs of the non-responding 96 This is based on my theory that the customers who didn’t buy may have needed more questions answered or additional information about the good or service in order to make a more informed purchasing decision. What happens if a product isn’t a good fit and the target wants to investigate a different offering or product?
I think that as marketers, we need to advance in order to stop talking at our clients and start interacting with them. Designing intentional customer interactions that invite and welcome customers to have a conversation with your brand and to ask questions or modify a product offering or incentive so that it fits their interests and needs is the solution. This is known as conversational marketing. MORE FOR YOU.
Personalization means treating customers as individuals. I suggest inviting them to a real-time two-way conversation. The next development of this is to pay attention to and take into account their unique needs and desires during the sales process. Before making a purchase, it’s very likely that your customers will want to learn more about the advantages of a product or get specific answers to their questions. Additionally, they undoubtedly want this information to be delivered through the channel of their choice and to be easily accessible and convenient.
Prior to recently, marketing technology lacked the capacity to deliver an engaging, enriching conversation at scale. However, features like chatbots powered by artificial intelligence that are used in important direct marketing channels like SMS/MMS can make this a reality. You could, for instance, fully embrace the new era of conversational marketing by utilizing an AI bot using SMS within your proactive or reactive direct marketing program.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, conversational technology has rapidly advanced. In such a short period of time, many businesses were forced to go virtual, and as a result, they had to find digital solutions to be everywhere and handle the enormous increase in customer support workload — an ideal scenario for chatbots and AI. Millions of people began utilizing chatbots to complete tasks without the need for human interaction almost immediately, and we anticipate this trend to continue even after the pandemic has ended.
Consumers are using their mobile devices to purchase goods more frequently than ever, as indicated by the predicted 68% growth of mobile commerce by 2022. Even though the massive shift to mobile commerce is unsurprising, there is an increasing demand for brands to be “present” during the virtual purchasing process by being available to speak and respond to inquiries. I believe that in order to succeed, direct marketers will need to move away from the conventional mindset of simply “pushing” a product toward a customer and place a greater emphasis on engagement.
With the help of conversational marketing, businesses can interact more personally and casually with both current and potential customers, allowing them to learn more about a product or service than they would have otherwise. When you combine this with SMS/MMS for maximum engagement and reach (98% of SMS are opened and 90% are read within 3 seconds), you have a particularly potent direct connection to your customers.
I urge you to think about including a conversational marketing investment in your 2021 plan. More than 50% of businesses are expected to invest annually in bots and chatbots, according to a 2017 Gartner prediction, rather than mobile apps. Conversational marketing’s key component is real-time customer service, so it’s crucial for businesses to comprehend the advantages of utilizing AI-driven tools (such as chatbots and APIs) to link their platforms to the most widely used messaging services, like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. This technology not only encourages consumer interaction, but also usage will rise. By 2022, 70% of customer interactions will involve new technologies, up from 15% in 2018, such as chatbots, machine learning (ML) applications, and mobile messaging. ”.
There are several ways to implement a conversational marketing strategy into your upcoming marketing campaign. Using an automated chatbot to activate FAQs would be a very simple way to add a conversational layer. Marketers can still send offers using chatbots, but customers will have a dedicated, open channel for their responses that is always available.
Brand managers can successfully drive higher engagement, deliver a more customized, tailored experience, and sell more products while driving higher consumer satisfaction by adopting a more human-centric approach to marketing. The first step in a successful conversational marketing strategy is allowing customers to ask questions. Companies that invest in this strategy now will probably be in a better position to boost customer loyalty and lower churn right away.
Conversational Marketing 101: the Next Best Thing in Digital
Benefits of conversational marketing
It’s crucial for marketers to comprehend conversational marketing techniques because they can enhance a business’s relationships with customers and, as a result, boost sales. The following are some advantages of employing a conversational marketing strategy:
Conversions can be increased, which is one of the key advantages of conversational marketing. Having a genuine conversation with a customer can increase that customer’s likelihood of making a purchase. Additionally, it may prompt customers to buy more quickly, which enables your business to close leads more quickly.
Forming relationships with customers
A further advantage of conversational marketing is that it can facilitate the development of stronger consumer relationships for your company. You can learn more about your customers and their needs through two-way communication. Additionally, interactions with customers can add a more human touch to their online purchasing experience.
Shortening the length of the sales cycle
By streamlining the purchasing process, conversational marketing can also reduce the length of your sales cycle. Brief messaging exchanges can replace lengthy phone calls or emails that prolong the sales process. In essence, conversational marketing enables you to give your customer more information in less time, accelerating and simplifying the purchasing process.
What is conversational marketing?
A marketing strategy known as “conversational marketing” aims to encourage two-way conversations between a brand and a customer. Typically, conversational marketing aims to increase online business conversions. Conversions happen when a client or website visitor completes an action that your business wants, like making a purchase. Inbound marketing, which is customer-focused and aims to give customers content they value and find useful, is a type of conversational marketing.
A message that starts a conversation and live interaction with a salesperson or chatbot are essential components of conversational marketing. A chatbot is a piece of software that uses artificial intelligence to converse with website visitors. Website visitors can be surveyed by chatbots to ascertain their needs and be led to make a purchase.
How to build a conversational marketing strategy
The following three easy steps will help you develop a conversational marketing strategy:
1. Start a conversation
Starting a conversation with a customer or website visitor is the first step in a conversational marketing strategy. After a customer completes a task, such as clicking a button, you can configure chatbot software to begin a conversation with them. You can also send targeted messages to particular types of customers who are more likely to make a purchase based on your customer insights and data.
2. Engage and ask questions
Engage the customer once you’ve struck up a conversation with them, and then ask them one question at a time. Whether it’s a live salesperson or a chatbot, every customer can get a unique experience. You can load questions that your company already uses in a chatbot to better understand your customers. Some example questions to consider asking your customers include:
It’s crucial to record each customer’s responses during this step so that you won’t have to repeat the same information when they contact you again later.
3. Make a recommendation
You can suggest what your customer should do next by giving them a call to action or asking them to finish a task after they have responded to your questions in the chat. For instance, your chatbot could ask a customer to schedule a meeting or make a purchase at the conclusion of the conversation.
Examples of conversational marketing
Here are some examples of different types of conversational marketing:
One example of conversational marketing is customer support. You can integrate chatbots into your website to speed up customer support and provide live customer support around-the-clock. The customer experience will be enhanced and your brand’s customer relationships will be strengthened as a result.
The marketing tactic of connecting with clients and generating leads through emails is known as email marketing. Conversational marketing can also influence your email marketing strategy. Email is typically a one-way channel of communication, but you can use conversational marketing techniques to make email marketing a two-way channel and solicit customer feedback. You could ask a customer to view a page or respond, for instance.
Conversational advertisements are also popular. Customers can initiate a conversation with a brand within an online advertisement using chatboxes, which enables the brand to establish a relationship with the customer before the customer even visits their website. This may be practical for the client and enable the brand to reach a sizable clientele.
Conversational SMS marketing
SMS marketing is another form of conversational marketing. You can establish a two-way SMS message channel with your customers by employing a conversational SMS marketing strategy. You can upsell products, discuss solutions to problems and more. By utilizing an SMS marketing strategy, your business can give its customers a specialized and practical experience.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing can be another form of conversational marketing. Through public posts or direct messages, social media can enable customers to have a two-way conversation with your brand whenever it’s convenient for them. Social media is a useful channel for conversational marketing because conversing with customers there can increase their engagement with your brand.
Why is conversational marketing important?
When it comes to conversational marketing, live chat and chatbots immediately come to mind. However, this strategy encompasses much more than just these two tools and can be applied to virtually any channel that your customers prefer, including social media, phone calls, SMS, and instant messaging.
What is a conversational marketing platform?
Conversational marketing is a form of relational and digital marketing. Through automated, real-time conversations on social media or the company website, it enables businesses to forge stronger and more lasting bonds with their clients.
How is conversational marketing implemented?
With the aid of chatbots and live chat, the conversational marketing platform Intercom assists sales and marketing departments in turning website visitors into paying customers. The ability to create routing rules with Intercom’s intelligent bots sets it apart from competing platforms.