Customers need personalized interaction with a brand to move through the buying journey. Conversational marketing makes it easy to engage with buyers and customers and convert leads faster.
Today’s B2C and B2B buyers are in complete control of the buying journey. They don’t need salespeople to sell to them, and they expect exceptional customer service. It’s up to marketing and sales teams to create opportunities to engage in a personal way, when and how customers want. It’s not easy but it is absolutely necessary.
Conversational marketing is emerging as one of the best ways to communicate with buyers with real impact.
What is conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing uses targeted messaging delivered by conversational artificial intelligence (AI), such as live chats, intelligent chatbots and voice assistants (hello Siri and Alexa) to talk to customers and buyers when they’re on your website, or via messaging apps and email. But it’s much more than that. Conversational marketing isn’t about a single tool.
When it comes to the buyer’s journey and sales cycle these human-like interactions can quickly generate leads by identifying potential buyers, building relationships, converting them to customers and creating exceptional customer experiences.
Why conversational marketing is effective
Conversational marketing is customer centric
The latest State of the Connected Consumer report from Salesforce reveals that 80 per cent of customers believe the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.
One of the biggest advantages of using conversational marketing and always-available chatbots is they can adapt to the customer’s schedule. Questions can be answered in real time or whenever a customer is ready. Conversations can start in the morning and resume the next day, if that works best for the customer.
Chatbots can also resolve support issues and redirect customers to the right resources.
Tip: Collect and use information from customer interactions to show them you are paying attention and want to help.
Conversational marketing can facilitate lead generation
Chatbots may begin their interactions with customers by helping them solve a problem and then create an opportunity for human salespeople to follow up. Chatbots can also ask for contact information and other relevant questions to provide sales reps with more qualified leads. This is far more effective than trying to get visitors to your website to fill out a form so they can talk to someone.
A bot can use what it has learned to better inform your sales rep about which prospects are most likely to buy and what they should do next to engage these high-potential prospects in the right way and at the right time. This type of insight can help human sales reps move leads through the sales funnel.
Fast fact: Speed matters when it comes to identifying prospective buyers and having meaningful conversations with prospects. Research shows that brands need to respond immediately to be successful in qualifying a lead. Sales reps that waited 10 minutes or more to follow up were 400 per cent less likely to qualify a lead.
Conversational marketing is scalable
The use of chatbots allows you to cost effectively stay connected to multiple prospects throughout the buying journey by scheduling sequences of messages and providing appropriate content when potential customers want it. This gives human salespeople more time to undertake high value work, like selling.
Fast fact: Sales reps responding to one survey spent an average of 35.2 per cent of their time selling.
The biggest benefits of conversational marketing
A more personal buying experience
Using conversational marketing technology allows visitors to your company’s website to start a conversation on their terms. Chatbots can then advance it by asking relevant questions and providing the right information.
A better understanding of your customers
Chatbots are always learning and can provide important context about the information they’re collecting. They can quickly pinpoint the challenges a particular customer is having and how you can position your product as the solution they need.
Tip: Use the information and insights chatbots collect to improve your products and provide useful content customers want.
More qualified leads, a bigger sales pipeline and more conversions
Conversational marketing can shorten the sales cycle by quickly identifying who the high potential targets are and how to move them through their buying journey.
Tip: Approach conversational marketing as another element of your inbound marketing strategy, which is all about showing up where your audience is. This requires conversations to happen on the platforms and digital channels that work best for your target customer.
Conversational marketing is emerging as an effective way to help brands reach new audiences, drive qualified lead generation, and build relationships and trust by delivering personalized customer service. It ticks every requirement for today’s buyers. For marketers, it’s an important tool to learn about and meet buyers on the channels they like best and with information they can use.