Conversational marketing is a powerful strategy in any company’s arsenal. The use of two-way communication is not particularly new but it has taken on a new life thanks to chat tools, the Internet, and social media. It holds many benefits for any company that can properly utilize it.
Let’s start with the basics: What is Conversational Marketing?
Put simply, conversational marketing is a dialogue-driven approach to customer engagement and funnel management. Customers have come to expect well-rounded service from companies along with better insights into their needs. Marketing has thus evolved a series of communication techniques that allow the customer to reach out to companies and for companies to initiate dialogue to improve their services.
The benefits of conversational marketing include the following:
- The ability to build better relationships between the customer and the brand.
- Better data-gathering by truly communicating with customers.
- Enhanced customer loyalty (if used correctly).
Conversational Marketing Statistics
Here are a few important statistics that highlight the importance of establishing a foothold in conversational business practices:
- As of this year, analysts are expecting $112 billion in eCommerce and conversational marketing chatbot purchases.
- By next year, the chatbot industry may grow to $142 billion.
- It’s expected that by 2025, 95% of all consumer interactions will be facilitated via AI according to Salesforce.
- Almost 80% of CEOs expect to change or have already altered how they manage client engagement using conversational AI technologies.
Similarly, a new field within this type of marketing is the analysis of conversational data. One of the main issues with this sort of analysis has been set-up challenges, including training data and maintenance, listed as the top reasons for not implementing chatbots in enterprises. Additionally, one of the main reasons 44% of companies surveyed did not implement AI was due to a lack of developers and not due to lack of demand.
Conversational Marketing Social Media Trends
We’re also seeing the rise of social listening tools as standard practice at companies. Over 80% of businesses use more than one social listening tool, and one-third spend more than $100k on their social listening stack. This has made free ones more popular over time. Aside from Hootsuite, free social listening tools like Social Mention allow for monitoring the buzz around your marketing, products, and other promotional factors.
Social media listening can increase customer advocacy by playing into the inherent fun of how users interact with platforms. Twitter has been great for this sort of 2-way communication where companies and individuals play off of major trends. TikTok and Instagram also allow for trends and communication through the various tools in their cameos or reels respectively.
One of the trends we’re expecting is that of more implementation of dedicated spaces like Discord servers or Reddit pages, as opposed to the town square or public forum format Facebook and Twitter. These groups can be great places to have people with focused interests and specific cross-over in buying habits. As a marketer or customer engagement expert, these open up many possibilities for building loyalty or even gathering valuable data from your core audience.
On that same note, companies should build a strategy for conversational customer experience. These sorts of communities can be great to get the message out to your whole fan community. If done correctly, these groups can become a self-perpetuating marketing source.
B2B Conversational Marketing
B2B conversational marketing comes into play most frequently when dealing with funnel management. Early on, informational info is usually handled by chatbots and conversational email marketing programs. These can streamline the process and even provide dynamic pricing for customers based on their needs.
However, 83% of people prefer to be in touch with a real person, so don’t fire your sales personnel quite yet. Companies can feel the same way as they will be working out whether you can provide the manpower and attention necessary for their services. They need reassurance that you’ll dedicate the time to them instead of getting an AI to do the grunt work.
On the services side, we are seeing more chatbots and AIs that help brands, along with conversational marketing companies that specialise in handling these services externally. As we’ve noted previously, the investment in AI is increasing along with interest in companies that can provide them. AI is becoming what outsourcing calls to other countries were for previous generations of businesses.
Conversational Customer Engagement Tactics
One of the most interesting trends we expect to pop up includes messaging app eCommerce integration. Some marketers think that similar to China’s WeChat, other messaging platforms will allow for eCommerce and conversational customer engagement tactics. Instagram is adding more regions where its integrated marketplace is available, so this could be very likely and companies should prepare for it.
According to certain companies, AI chatbots increase sales conversions 10x, reduce operating costs by 30%, and boost customer satisfaction by 20%. These are particularly useful in sales and software as a service, especially when it comes to answering customer queries. Companies believe that the main advantage they provide is their speed in propelling customers further down the funnel.
Companies like 1-800 Flowers are also part of a growing trend of multichannel integration. This particular company allowed its eCommerce features to be accessible through Facebook messenger. While virtual assistants are usually locked to a website, they can also receive data from external programs, allowing for easier access to the customer.
As one can see, conversational marketing is probably going to become a major part of marketing as a whole. As the data shows, NLP and linguistically viable AI models will help the entire field while offering new possibilities.
If you’re looking for a conversational marketing specialist, why not give us a shot? We offer marketing consultation that fits any customer’s needs. Check out our services to learn more.