Conversational marketing is the antithesis of impersonal, one-way mass marketing. It’s a way of engaging consumers with a two-way conversation that builds trust and loyalty by making the whole customer experience as personalized and seamless as possible.
87% of brands agree that a traditional buyer experience is no longer enough to satisfy their customers — consumers want to dictate their own journey and it’s up to brands to adapt their CX strategies to reflect this and private messaging channels are the natural home for conversational marketing.
They allow brands to create a blend of human and automated interactions on the apps customers use for everyday interactions. Conversational marketing is about engaging across the whole customer lifecycle, with unique experiences each and every time consumers interact with a brand.
Three Examples of Conversational Marketing
- Click-to-Messenger Adverts (CTM)
Ads within the Facebook infrastructure that don’t rely on email flows or landing pages to convert, a click takes the customer straight into a purpose-built automated flow that they can navigate through checking out products and services. Payments can be taken (in some regions) directly in the chat and the customer is proactively updated with tracking information and future offers or discounts.
- Search Engine Discovery
63% of customer journeys begin with an online search, and what do most people do? ‘Google it.’ Google’s Business Messages engages customers at the very start of their lifecycle when they’re at their most engaged, offering the chance for automated or human interactions direct from the search bar or when trying to find somewhere through Maps.
- Flight Status Updates
Conversational marketing isn’t just about the acquisition stage of the customer lifecycle, combined with messaging channels it can also bring excellent experiences and great engagement further down the funnel. Much like Volaris, who use WhatsApp for a huge amount of their customer communications, like flight status updates, where a two-way interaction can both inform the passenger of any changes to their itinerary and subsequent alterations can happen in the same conversation.
5 Key Benefits of Conversational Marketing
- Better CX for Modern Consumer Needs
Customers now use digital channels to dictate their own journeys and impersonal one-way marketing doesn’t work in this new era. Private messaging channels are the ideal home because brands can create a blend of human and automated interactions on the apps their customers spend 80% of their time on when using mobile devices.
- Personalized Brand/Customer Interactions
One-to-one interactions conducted at scale give brands a much better understanding what their customers want and when. Rather than relying on tracking cookies to build a picture of a few catch-all buyer personas, data collected from interactions builds a more accurate and bespoke view of the customer, meaning any future interactions are guided by that profile leading to more loyal customers with higher CLV (customer lifetime value).
- More Engagement Across the Lifecycle
That personalization allows for brands to concentrate on loyalty rather than acquisition too. Customers are cheaper to retain and 70% more likely to make repeat purchases. If the relationship exists within Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Apple Business Chat, regular proactive engagement is possible for recurring purchases or special offers, as well as more asynchronous, seamless and cost-effective customer service conversations.
- Quicker Sales Cycles
Using bespoke bot flows or information gathering before handing off to an agent is infinitely more efficient than methods like landing pages, lead capture forms and waiting for an email or phone call from a sales team member. Private messaging means connection is almost instantaneous and the conversation can happen at the customer’s own convenience.
- Increase Conversion Rates
Following on from the quicker sales cycle, conversational marketing also means less drop off during the whole process. Website conversions always hover around the 2% mark, whilst private messaging enjoys 43% click-through rate with an average conversion of over 22%. Think about it this way - $0.98 of every marketing dollar spent to drive website traffic is regularly wasted vs just $0.78 with digital channels.
Conversational Marketing Automation
If private messaging channels and conversational marketing are the ideal partnership, a lot of what brings them together is the ability of chatbots to create great continuous conversational experiences at scale. In many cases, an automated flow can be a preferable experience for interactions across the lifecycle.
Replacing human interactions with intelligent automation benefits both brands and customers, with conversational marketing at the heart of each conversation.
By engaging customers in two-way conversations, your brand can both build loyal and long lasting customer relationships and provide the kind of customer journey that modern consumers demand.