The growing demand from more tech-savvy, sophisticated consumers has completely reshaped marketing over the last decade. While consumers’ preferences and needs keep changing, most businesses struggle to understand their customers’ needs. Why? Because they rely too much on one-way, high-frequency communications.
When it comes to direct marketing, it does make sense to depend on one-way channels where a business is able to push its latest sales offers. However, as a business or marketer, you need to change the way you try to influence a customer by speaking to them using one-way communication. It’s time to give your audience a chance to say something back.
Potential buyers who visit your website online but don’t buy might need more information about your product or services. Since they want to make sure your products are the right fit, you should encourage your audience to have a conversation. In this post, we’ll define both conversational marketing and direct marketing and how the former can help you.
What is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing is when you create authentic experiences for your audience and build relationships through clear, one-on-one conversations. Instead of only talking to your audience, you welcome them to have a conversation. Conversational marketing is about creating environments where your customers and prospects feel free to ask questions and communicate their needs.
In other words, conversational marketing is a way of being useful and helpful, even when a prospect has no intention to do business with you at the moment. Did you know that 44% of customers expect an immediate and personalized response when talking to a real person online?
The implementation of chatbots is a common application of conversation marketing. As a business, you need to understand how simple, friendly conversations can generate fruitful business opportunities. Now let’s take a quick look at direct marketing to see how it is relevant to conversational marketing.
What is Direct Marketing?
Simply put, direct marketing refers to direct communication without the need for third-party intervention. For example, when relying on direct marketing, you don’t need to have a middleman in the form of paid media. The core objective of direct marketing is to build relationships between customers and brands or customers and marketers.
Wondering how it works? Businesses select customers or a group of their audience and communicate with them in a personalized way. They don’t adopt mass messaging as a means to get their message across via an intermediary.
For example, direct marketing is when you create personalized emails or newsletters and send them to a pre-selected group of prospects or customers, educating them about your business or product.
Conversational Marketing is the New Version of Direct Marketing
Business managers and marketers have now realized that real-time, two-way conversations are the most effective way to listen to your customers’ needs and desires and incorporate the feedback into your sales process.
In the past, marketing technologies didn’t enable brands to deliver personalized communication at scale. However, you have marketing capabilities like AI-powered chatbots and email automation tools that you can use to up-level your direct marketing efforts. For instance, you can leverage AI-based tools within your direct marketing strategy to fully embrace conversational marketing.
Your audience wants you to be responsive and present on channels of their choice. So, instead of pushing your products toward prospects, you need to focus more on building relationships and engagement. Also, try to collect and use first-party data to skyrocket your conversational marketing efforts.
It would be a great idea to invest in conversational marketing. A smart bot and a great mobile app are a couple of solutions that enable you to respond to your customers in real-time. Integrate your marketing platforms into leading messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
Need an example of how to add a conversational layer to your communication strategy? Activate FAQs via a well-built automated bot. While you can send offers using bots, your audience finds a place where they get immediate and personalized responses. Letting your customers and prospects ask questions is going to be a key part of your conversational marketing strategy.
Three Perfect Examples of Conversational Marketing
It’s time to get some inspiration from brands that are doing a great job at conversational marketing.
1. eBay’s Shopbot
Talking about direct or conversational marketing, eBay has one of the most powerful and intelligent eCommerce chatbots called Shopbot. As a customer, you can access the bot with your Android phone or Google Home via voice. You can navigate through their broad product categories with great ease.
People love to browse through fashion and electronics categories on eBay’s Shopbot. eBay’s Facebook Messenger chatbot further helps its audience receive more contextual and relevant answers.
2. Lyft Facebook Messenger
Lyft, a ride-sharing app, is a perfect demonstration of how advanced technology and old services can work together to present a whole new customer experience. While Lyft works pretty much like other ride-sharing apps, its customers get a more human experience through chatbots available on Slack, Amazon Echo, and Messenger.
If you want to request a ride on Lyft, you can do this using Messenger. All you need to do is click the car icon. You get all the information from license plate number to driver’s location within Facebook Messenger.
3. Domino’s Anywhere
Restaurants want to make the process of ordering as easy as possible, especially after the Covid pandemic that forced people to get things done on the internet. Domino’s Anywhere makes it super easy for people to order pizza on the go.
For example, Domino’s enables you to create and place a new order with Amazon Alexa. You don’t even need to pick up your smartphone to do so. Likewise, you can order Domino’s food with Google Home. Other options include Slack, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter. In short, Domino’s is taking advantage of conversational marketing and making their audience’s life easier. People can order domino’s food even on smart TVs.
If you want to create a similar environment for your audience, you really need to build an in-depth understanding of your customers and their preferences.
Are you ready to leverage conversational marketing to grow your business? It’s a unique marketing opportunity for you to reduce the length of customer journeys while building better relationships. Let your customers feel like you have personalized the journey for them to save them time and effort to get the information they need.