Conversational marketing is expected to grow in the year 2021. The ability to personalize communication between customers and brands can have a positive impact on customer relationships. This type of marketing has the potential to elevate customer experience exponentially. FAQs, forms, emails, chatbots, and the website interface allow marketers to have conversations with customers in real-time. Conversational marketing is the fastest approach to assist leads and prospects through the various stages of the sales funnel. A one-on-one conversation with prospects and customers can foster genuine dialogue and deliver value. According to a Business Insider report, about 80% of businesses are planning to incorporate chatbots by the year 2020.
Research shows that more than 53% of buyers would probably buy from a business that they can communicate via message. More businesses are incorporating chatbots and live chat as part of their digital marketing strategy. When it comes to conversational marketing, it’s very important to understand the customer’s preferred channel of communication and modify the tone of voice accordingly. Being able to provide customer service 24X7 has revolutionized marketing and sales.
What is conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing is a customer-centric and feedback-oriented driven approach to marketing used by companies to drive engagement and customer experience. It enables companies to foster customer loyalty, grows their customer base, and improve revenue. Conversational marketing is based on the common-sense idea of listening to the customer and potential customer’s needs. Being willing to incorporate feedback into the marketing strategy and communicating with the customer on a one-to-one basis can help to distinguish the company’s brand and also encourage potential customers to engage with the product or service.
The rise of social media and other automated chat tools has opened up new lines of communication with customers. As a result, conversational marketing has taken on a whole new level of importance. More companies are leveraging social media to drive their conversational marketing strategies and develop their brand voice. Marketing automation has allowed conversation with website visitors or social media followers to become seamless and efficient. Chatbots are driving conversational marketing. A chatbot is a software application used to conduct an online chat conversation via text or text-to-speech, rather than rerouting the conversation directly contact with customer support personnel. They are widely available on platforms like FB Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, Slack, Line, Kik, WeChat, etc. Similar to regular apps, chatbots have an application layer, a database, APIs, and Conversational User Interface (CUI).
The types of chatbots are:
- Interaction Mode (Text-based, or voice/speech-based)
- Chatbot Application (Task-Oriented or Non-Task-Oriented)
- Rule-based or AI (Machine learning, Deep learning etc.)
- Domain-Speciﬁc or Open-Domain
How can conversational marketing benefit a company?
Conversational marketing works throughout the entire customer journey – from a prospect looking for information about the product or service to an existing customer needing support. Conversational marketing can really improve lead generation tactics. There are several tasks that chatbots and live chats can do quickly and more efficiently than their human counterparts. Businesses can use chatbots to automate tasks such as inventory ordering and management.
Sales is another department that is increasingly using chatbots for better performance and greater efficiency. They can suggest products, gauge customers’ interest, and help lead them through every part of the sales funnel. Chatbots can be customized to accurately respond to frequently asked questions. Chatbots are not only used to answer customer service questions but can be used as entertainment for the customer. The chatbot personalizes the whole interaction experience making the customer visit more enjoyable and memorable. Chatbots can make your human resources department hum by doing mundane tasks. They can schedule interviews, shift through resumes, verify credentials and select suitable candidates for interviews.
Why is conversational marketing a rising trend?
Conversational marketing has proven to be a critical component of inbound marketing and customer-centric policies. Here are some important statistics on conversational marketing:
- By 2020, conversational marketing will be a recognized channel for revenue in both B2B and B2C business.
- When asked about the next big marketing trend, people answered with consumer personalization (29%), AI (26%), and voice search (21.23%).
- 86% of online shoppers prefer proactive customer support.
- By 2021, more smart speakers will be owned than tablets.
- 58% of B2B businesses haven’t adapted to modern consumer behaviour.
- 79% of top-performing businesses have been using marketing automation to get leads for 3 or more years.
- Companies automating lead management see a 10% increase in revenue after 6-9 months.
The basic framework to conversational marketing strategy is as follows:
Conversational marketing is powerful in engaging leads and moving them further down the sales and marketing funnel. Chats can increase conversion rates, create more opportunities, and provide a more personal experience with the customer.
With conversational marketing, bots keep you available 24/7 to engage with new leads instantly. Chatbot platforms can understand who those leads are and what they want by qualifying those leads in real-time instead of forcing them to wait on follow-up emails.
Recommend the right next step to move leads
Bots can recommend and direct the leads in the right direction. Once sales reps connect their calendars, bots can book meetings for qualified leads directly from conversations. The sales team will not have to waste time on poor-quality leads.
Businesses should strive to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right person, with the right information, on the right channel, every single time. Conversational marketing can significantly shorten the sales cycle and improve customer experience across every touchpoint. At Alkye, we offer digital marketing services to help clients navigate every aspect of their digital marketing journey to grow their business.