No one wants to feel like they are being sold to — not the person on the end of a telemarketing call, not the person in the queue at the local green grocer, and not the person browsing the web, looking for the perfect location for their next getaway. This puts marketers in an awkward position of wanting to sell their product, but not push too hard. And since the oracle known as Google gives travellers just about everything that they need to know when booking a trip, the role of the marketer is transforming so that it’s less about providing once-off information and more about starting a conversation.
What does traditional marketing feel like for the person on the other end of the line, or magazine, or computer screen? Spokal starts off this article by looking at how a conversation with a traditional marketer would go.
“It seems like all you want to do is talk, talk, talk. You just want to shove your point down my throat and hope that I’ll be persuaded to behave how you want me to in the end. Well, it’s not working out for me. I need to feel like we’re having a conversation. Like we’re both listening to the other’s side of the story.” — Spokal
What is Conversational Marketing? Definition, Examples and Best Practices Behind a Conversational Marketing Strategy
Technologies may have evolved to the point where phone calls are obsolete, and communication can happen without two people ever needing to meet in person, but the need for conversations is stronger than ever. It doesn’t matter whether you are dealing with your online travel agency, your property management system, or a potential guest directly — everyone wants to be treated as a person, not simply another email sent into the void. Drift looks at how conversational marketing marries the ideologies of both inbound and outbound marketing strategies to make sure that the need for conversations is being met, no matter who your potential customers are, and how they find you.
“With conversational marketing, the focus shifts from passively collecting contact info, to actively engaging people in conversation. Instead of MQLs, you’re looking for CQLs: conversation-qualified leads. People you actually talk to who tell you, “Hey, I’m interested in your product and want to learn more.” — Drift
Conversations may be essential, but that is not to say that technology has no role to play. In fact, Forbes looks at how artificial intelligence and the rise of chatbots can contribute towards a successful conversational marketing strategy.
“For too long, customer service has been relegated to a formulaic question-and-answer scenario that rarely leaves the customer satisfied and often doesn’t solve the problem at hand. Using conversational AI technology allows you to reimagine the engagement process, even in the most basic of customer service transactions, and collect valuable data that can inform future interactions.” — Forbes
Communication is the key to any good relationship, and just because a relationship has lasted longer, doesn’t make communication any less important. As Hospitality Technology points out, the use of conversational marketing can not only help to draw new guests to your property, but with the assistance of AI, it can further your relationship with loyal guests too.
“Conversational commerce represents an opportunity to apply advances in AI and machine learning directly to the loyalty member experience, providing a richer interaction for best customers. It is a natural fit for the loyalty space, enabling true dialogue marketing at a scale without the expense of additional call center resources with a conversation continually informed by machine learning and delivered by AI.” — Hospitality Technology
Conversational Marketing: 24 Thought Leaders Reveal the Keys to Successful Conversational Marketing Campaigns
You may be ready to switch your strategy straight away, but with so much information out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why NGDATA got 24 leaders in the industry to answer one simple question: “What’s the single most important ingredient for a successful conversational marketing campaign?”.
“If there was only one tip I would give for those trying to apply conversion marketing principles to their businesses, that would be: Take your time to genuinely connect to the users that come in contact with you and your business – whether they are potential clients or industry peers.” — Alexander Grosu