What is Conversational Marketing?

By Kierra Benson - Published on March 30, 2021
A Brief Explanation About What is Conversational Marketing & How it works

When a business utilizes its digital platform, usually through its main website, to communicate back and forth with and to build a reliable connection with consumers via good customer service, that organization is conducting conversational marketing practices. The main goal of conversational marketing is to turn the everyday consumer into potential customers.

Think about how nowadays, whenever a person will visit and lurk the landing page of a business’ website, there is a small “Let’s Chat” tab that is usually at the bottom, right-hand, and sometimes left-hand, side of the page. This encourages lurkers and visitors to learn about an organization and the services that they provide by chatting with a representative. It can also be used to resolve issues and questions about a product or service in a timely and individualized manner.

Why Do You Need Conversational Marketing?

  1. Consumer interaction is just as essential as the service that you are providing

    The rise of online businesses has lessened the monopoly traditional businesses have had on a variety of markets including banking, retail, and car dealerships. With the offering of more options, the digital business landscape can be very cut-throat against name-brand brick-and-mortar institutions. To stay relevant, traditional businesses have modernized and tailored their ways of interacting with the consumer by simplifying the purchasing process and catering better to a customer’s needs.

  2. Good conversation is mutual

    Businesses must keep in mind that consumers can also be the initiators of communication. In the era of direct and text messaging, both potential and current buyers desire to “chat” with businesses to get to know more about an organization on a more intimate level. That is why more and more company websites are having chat tabs integrated into their landing pages to encourage visitors and lurkers to stay longer through real-time interactions.

  3. A streamlined customer experience means bigger commitments

    Having good interactions allows avenues for consumers to connect with businesses. With low-priced online purchases, most people will just want to click, buy, and move on. But with more expensive purchases like high-end, luxury goods, vehicles, and high-tech devices, potential buyers may be more comfortable speaking to a representative before committing to such a big purchase. It also makes the purchasing experience more comfortable for first-time buyers.

  4. Greater interactions lead to more buyers

    Giving customers a way to communicate with business benefits both the sure and unsure buyer. Having a chat tool can keep the sure buyer interested in the platform for longer periods, which could influence them to buy more items to go along with their initial purchase. For the unsure buyer, they can learn more about the service a business provides by talking with a representative to figure out exactly what it is that they want, which leads to high satisfaction rates and a greater chance that they will come back and buy again.

Key Elements to a Successful Conversational Marketing

  • The rate of communication is based on the need of the consumer
  • Communication is adjustable (from one-word responses to complex conversations)
  • Communication is personal and specific to the need of the consumer
  • Communication style matches the way the consumer interacts with the chat box representative

Advantages of Conversational Marketing

  • Makes customer service a better, more streamlined experience that resolves issues and concerns
  • Allows businesses to learn more about their customer base
  • Establishes trust and loyalty from the customer to the organization

Conversational Marketing Best Practices

  1. Time is money

    As mentioned earlier, this is the era of text and direct messaging. A message can be sent within seconds which means it cannot be left idle for too long. The difference between a potential customer deciding to buy a service or exiting out of the main website can depend on how immediate the response is to their questions. Idle messages can lead to idle sales.

  2. Individualization

    Imagine speaking to someone, giving them sensitive information, opening up to them about your problems and how you want to solve them and the person that you are communicating with does not even acknowledge you by name. This can leave a person feeling jaded about an organization. With conversational marketing, the communication does not only acknowledge your needs as a consumer but acknowledges you as a human being as well.

  3. Quantitative Figures

    Research and breakdown how conversational marketing is turning visitors and lurkers into actual buyers by managing communications between human chat boxes and consumers. An organization can also get numbers by conducting online surveys and sending them to customers through email to ask about their experience to figure out if they are satisfied with not only the product but the service as well.

How Conversational Marketing Will Grow Your Business

  • The practice of conversational marketing can be implemented into a company’s customer relationship management department to further better the communication between the buyer and the seller. This would help to expand the connection between consumers and businesses to enhance services and grow sales.
  • By mechanizing chat avenues within a landing page of a company’s main website, Communication can be triggered by certain movements of the mouse made by visitors. Think about all the times you have scroll down to the bottom of the page and the chatbox pops up just as you are nearing the bottom of the page.
  • It can also individualize a conversation without necessarily being an “individual.” Chatbots can utilize learning machines that can take in how humans communicate and adjust how it conversates accordingly. A chat box also provides businesses the opportunity to have an all-day, everyday service to optimize the customer experience.

Here are few ways chatbots can help:

  • Respond to common inquiries or individualized questions where information is readily provided

    Chatbots tackle the strenuous task of constantly providing answers to customer inquiries about aspects of the business that are readily provided within the website. Since the landing page is the most visited part of the website, lurkers might only look at what is on the first page that comes up instead of clicking on another tab. This explains why chat boxes often pop up when users scroll down toward the end of the page. The goal is to keep consumers interacting with the page instead of exiting out of it.

  • Categorize Leads

    Analyze whether a visitor or lurker is looking for what you can provide to better influence them to grow from potential to future buyers. If your business sells ice-cream but a visitor to your website communicates to a chatbot that they are looking for where to buy shoes, then that interaction will immediately let you know that there will be nothing that can be said to satisfy that particular person’s needs. It not only prevents that person from wasting their time, but it saves the business owner time and resources as well.

  • Advertise special occasions, services, and materials

    Let visitors know about sales, deals, social events, services, and the materials that are available to learn more about the organization. Although businesses can showcase certain deals, sales, and occasions on the landing page, chatbots can reiterate to visitors when and where these events will happen. Chatbots can also offer more in-depth materials like updates, whitepapers, and PDFs from retrieving users’ email addresses. This allows visitors to stay longer on the website and learn more about what a business has to offer, not only to consumers but to the industry as a whole.

  • Setting up gathering times

    For in-house service, market, and sales departments establishing when to meet where everybody can be at the same place at the same time can be taxing and time-consuming. With chatbots, schedules for the different departments are streamlined all across the system, especially if it is a cloud-based system. So, the chatbox can automatically find free-times that match up with everyone’s schedule without conflicting and clashing with other events being held within and outside of the company.

  • Receive criticism from both potential and current buyers

    Through surveys, businesses can learn and analyze how their conversational marketing practices are affecting the consumer purchasing process. Managing and monitoring chatbots in real-time can also help organizations see how communications with consumers are influencing how they interact with the website and other content. This can show if how the chatbots conversate to engage visitors and what turns them off.

Examples of Conversational Marketing

  • London & Company: Has a chatbot feature that asks users about the needs to gain knowledge about specific services that they are looking for
  • HubSpot: Utilized Facebook’s messaging feature to influenced users to sign-up for an event and gained first-time users of its free advertising service
  • Sephora: Assists in setting up appointments via Facebook Messenger. Sephora also utilizes location features to help users find the nearest store
  • Domino’s Pizza: SMS messages to alert the consumers of sales, deals, and the ordering of and location of delivery orders
  • HelloFresh: Though Facebook’s messaging feature HelloFresh’s chatbox offered users new cooking recipes, answers to inquiries, consumer assistance, and food notifications

Add Infographic

Difference Between Conversational Marketing and Inbound Marketing

Conversational Marketing Inbound Marketing
Focuses mainly on taking advantage of the potential of website visitors and lurkers turning into buyers Encompasses all areas of marketing i.e. search engine optimization, creating content, & digital media
Utilizes digital communication through chat and message features on websites to inform consumers Utilizes all avenues of communication through written pieces, PR announcements, and chat features to inform consumers
The function is to make organizations more reachable to consumers through chat features Digital media platforms can be used to communicate with consumers instead of just mainly on a website
The goal is to lure as many visitors to helpful content on a business’ website as possible The goal is lure as many visitors to a business’ main website as possible

Final Thoughts

The humanization and streamlining of consumer service have led to a positive change in how organizations and customers interact with each other. Anyone that has ever been in a “please hold” or “press 1 for English,” or an elevator waiting for a music situation knows the value of fast service that tailors to one’s specific needs.

Learning about why chat boxes pop up when a user on a website scrolls and how chatbots can be humanized even when they are not human helps readers understand the function and how they strengthen the connection between the supplier (businesses) and the demander (customers).

Conversational marketing is essential to any good business website. Knowing the business can directly communicate to its base from its main platform assures that a business stays in the know about their needs, how they feel about how the organization operates, and what might need to be corrected.

The practice of conversational marketing also helps to let an organization know if the consumer feels comfortable reaching out to them for any inquiries.  If a business gives off the vibe of being closed-off or intimidating, customers might look for a brand that is more friendly and inviting.

From personal experience, conversational marketing assisted me in switching from ordering food from a traditional landline phone to ordering food from my laptop. When ordering online, there is no wait time, no robotic representative (but a helpful chatbot to suggest menu items based on my previous order), and no corny waiting music.

I can just type in the website address in the search bar, select what I want from the menu, enter my location, and choose my mode of payment within 5-10 minutes.

Kierra Benson | Kierra Benson is an alumnus of the University of North Texas at Dallas with a Bachelor's degree in Communication and Technology. She previously completed an internship at a local newspaper and worked as a content creator for a small online business. Her goal is to work in the media industry in writing/editing and advertising. She has always been fascinated by how messages are marketed in the media to influence the masses and sell produ...

Kierra Benson | Kierra Benson is an alumnus of the University of North Texas at Dallas with a Bachelor's degree in Communication and Technology. She previously com...

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