The lines are blurring between what were previously categorized as business channels and personal ones. Search engines, emails, social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, messaging platforms such as Skype, Messenger, Hangouts, Whatsapp, every single medium of visibility or communication is being utilized for promotions.
As a result, marketing is sprouting out new limbs faster than businesses are adapting. It makes sense because as an executive or a manager, your primary responsibility is to keep the system running which leaves a little time to play catch up with the ever-changing marketing trends.
Conversational marketing one such concept that is now gaining traction. But that’s not why you should know about it.
The gap between buyers and businesses is growing.
The buying process has become simpler and at the same time more complicated in the last few decades. Simple, because everything is one touch away. Complicated, because there is a lot of internal processing in the sales cycle. We can now ask for anything through a button press but the wait time between the button presses has not reduced, making it frustrating for the buyer.
This is especially true in the case of the B2B sector. Let us see the typical process of a visitor becoming a customer.
Step 1: Customer lands on the website.
Step 2: They fill a contact form.
Step 3: You contact your customer with a brochure pitching your product/service. (If you are using a CRM, there are probably a few more steps at this point. Namely, a new lead is added in the CRM, it is evaluated and assigned a representative from sales or marketing.)
Step 4 to 14: The volley of calls, emails and everything in between, repeated a handful of times. Some leads close, some are active and manage to stay that way after a few iterations of this loop.
Step 15: Voila! Your lead is now a customer! Maybe. (The average conversion rate across industries is about 2.35%.)
The problems with the current system:
The need for scalability and efficiency lead us to seek technology. But that, in turn, made marketing impersonal and displaced from the buyer’s interests and needs. The marketing framework is skewed towards the convenience of the business than of the consumer.
On the other hand, with increasing online activity and ease of conversation through messaging platforms, consumer expectations are also increasing. A recent study by Twilio revealed that 90% of consumers want to use messaging apps to communicate with businesses.
Enter conversational marketing.
While the technology we use to communicate and the platforms that are enabling conversations have changed the concept of communication is still the same and will be so forever. Communication, in essence, is a two-sided conversation and we expect conversations to be personal, empathetic and more importantly helpful. While technology is managing to deliver the helpful quota, it’s lacking in the former two requirements.
So let’s get to what conversational marketing is.
What is conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing is the ability to have 1:1 personal conversations across multiple channels, meeting customers how, when, and where they want.
Conversational marketing is not rocket science (though there is quite a bit of science in making it happen). It is a feedback-oriented approach to increase engagement, develop customer loyalty, grow your customer base, drive your sales and, ultimately, boost revenue. In fact, it is more old school and natural than the other marketing methods. Instead of shooting in the dark and hoping it hits, you actually listen to your customers and understand their needs. By incorporating this feedback, you improve your customer relations and at the same time, fine tune your product/service.
Conversational marketing is not new, businesses have been having conversations with customers for as long they existed. The current buzz around conversational marketing is because advances in tech can now help us scale conversations.
How to kickstart conversational marketing?
Now that we have covered extensively about conversational marketing and why your business needs it, let us get to the how of it. A person can have two to three conversations at a time, five if we stretch it. So how can you have a hundred conversations with your potential or current customers, let alone a few thousand?
A decade ago it might have been unfathomable, but now you can. How? Chatbots! This particular application brings together artificial intelligence, natural language processing and data science, and is almost a futuristic sci-fi fantasy come true.
Chatbots can have innumerable human-like conversations on multiple platforms simultaneously. That’s right, chatbots are designed to understand and respond to humans and have the ability to learn and adapt to situations. A lot of companies, megacorps to small businesses have already incorporated this into their business. In fact, by 2020, it is estimated that nearly 80% of businesses their own chatbot. The unique advantage of chatbots is that you can have all your existing systems and strategies in place and boost them through conversational marketing.
Getting your own chatbot is simpler than it sounds. We at Kenyt will aid you in every step of the process.
As an entity, you understand the challenges and pain points your organization faces. Through that, you know the requirements of your chatbot and can use those to decide the type of chatbot. define its expectation to set the process flow, choose the platforms to use the bot. Give us time to work our magic to get your bot extensively tested and launch ready. We also integrate your chatbot to all the third party or internal platforms you work with, to deliver seamless process flow.
6 advantages of a marketing bot:
Implementing chatbots in your business has several benefits in general, as they offset the load on humans and compliment their efforts leading to efficient resource management. Chatbots have a particular advantage in marketing as they hold the key to conversational marketing. We have listed some of the distinct advantages of marketing bots:
Enhance the user experience:
By implementing a marketing bot, you can get the bot to help a visitor who lands on your website to navigate through the site, know more about your product/service and can chat instantaneously to initiate the business.
In stead of going through the pages of the site in search of relevant information, the user can directly ask for it. They no longer need to fill the contact form and wait for a relevant person to respond to their request. The user experience is simpler and faster through chatbots.
Have another channel for engagement:
You may be investing your resources in most of the marketing channels such as email, search engine marketing, social media, etc. Chatbots open another channel that a business can leverage and we would not want to leave any stone unturned.
Even for a business with high conversion rates, smaller sales cycle and great customer relations, the philosophy of conversational marketing still applies and it has an undeniable edge and presents scope for better results.
Add a touch of personalization:
AI-based chatbots are capable of having their own personalities. We can make a chatbot friendly, chatty, sassy and even punny. Also, they continuously capture and learn from their conversations and can use that information to respond better to the end user, personalizing their experience.
But you don’t have to rely on a bot to add a personal touch to your marketing conversations, you can actually get a person to do it. With high volumes of the monotonous and repetitive tasks out of the way, your agents can now focus on having quality conversations with the consumers and nurturing customer relations.
Shorten your sales cycle:
Typically it takes three to five days for a company to respond to prospective customers who reach out to them. A marketing bot can do that within 10 minutes of receiving the contact. Not just the initial contact, every aspect of the sales cycle can be made quicker through a marketing bot and it directs the potential customer to relevant and appropriate process flow depending on the customer’s requirement.
Learning more about your customers:
Chatbots collect data from the specific target audience. With this data at your fingertips, you can analyze and interpret their customer information and gain valuable insights. Businesses can deliver relevant and meaningful offerings to their customers, in terms of both product/service and conversations.
Increase leads through higher conversion rates:
Leads from conversational channels tend to convert at higher rates when compared to the other digital channels. One of the significant reason for this trend is because the consumers having conversations with your brands already have an interest in them. Even if the consumer is not entirely sure of your product/service, the bidirectional engagement gives an opportunity to communicate these and resolve any queries and clear the roadblocks.