Conversational Marketing: How Chatbots Make it Possible

December 27, 2018

Conversational Messaging, Marketing

The goal of conversational marketing for businesses is to encourage a dialogue with customers on a large scale. Many businesses know that having one-on-one conversations with potential customers is the holy grail of sales.

When businesses are able to listen, overcome objections, and make personalized suggestions, the experience is more likely to turn into a sale.

But, most businesses can’t strike up a conversation with every potential lead. They rely on ad campaigns and emails and other forms of mass messaging to get a (hopefully relevant) message out.

For the customer, this is a one-way experience that may or may not be relevant. And, the business is often left with a lack of insight into what’s effective, what’s relevant, and what’s not.

Chatbots make a conversational marketing strategy possible

New technology has made it possible to reach and have conversations with customers on a large scale. And, the conversations are much more valuable than you might imagine. Conversational marketing is possible because chatbots are smarter and more helpful than ever. And, businesses are finding the right balance between human help and automation. The result: authentic communication.

Setting the stage for conversational marketing strategy

Consumers today have higher expectations than they’ve ever had. With the help of Netflix, Amazon, Seamless, and other on-demand services, we have new expectations for immediacy. Furthermore, we’re becoming increasingly comfortable with technology, adopting devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. All of these factors are coming together in a way that allows brands to integrate into our daily lives.

Purchases and relationships with brands don’t have a specific moment or forum anymore. Here’s a good example: Amazon created Amazon Dash Buttons to make ordering products quick and easy. For instance, you’d stick a small plastic button to your washing machine and instantly reorder detergent when you run out. This concept was pretty revolutionary, but it didn’t end there.

Now, Amazon claims that voice shopping has gotten so popular that it doesn’t need Dash Buttons anymore. Instead, customers are using intelligent devices to handle their shopping when it’s most convenient for them. Amazon is meeting customers where they are, and purchases are taking place in daily conversations rather than a defined forum.

Why is conversational marketing so powerful?

Meet customers where and when it matters most

It goes without saying that conversations are at the core of a conversational marketing strategy. So, where are these dialogues taking place? Pretty much everywhere. Your website, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, and other messaging apps – they all represent an opportunity to start a conversation with a potential customer.

The bottom line is that businesses have to be where their customers are. Customers today expect a seamless, real-time, personalized way to get answers and find products. And, chatbots that are deployed on messaging platforms are an easy and effective way to do this.

Conversational marketing drives revenue and reduces costs

While this all might sound scary, chatbots make it simpler than you might think. Chatbots allow you to have these conversations at scale without having to spend large sums of money on operating costs.

Although there are initial costs to creating a bot, platforms like Hubtype save companies time and money. This is true even for more complex integrations. Using Hubtype’s platform, you can customize chatbots that create incredible value.

Conversational marketing feels more authentic

For most of us, there aren’t many people we can call or text 24-7; Maybe a relative or close friend. Chatbots are always there for support, and they’re usually designed to chat with customers as a friend would.

Moreover, chatbots are used to enhance branding by using tone and voice. They offer a level of informal service that creates a more authentic experience.

Conversational marketing means shorter sales cycles

An average sales cycle is filled with all kinds of touchpoints. It could start with an ad campaign, then a visit to your website, and then a form submission. Next, it’s up to marketers follow up with appropriate content and move the lead through the sales funnel. But, with instant messaging technology, the whole process becomes much shorter and simpler.

Chatbots can ask qualifying questions and create a personalized experience in real-time. Customers can tell you, in their own words, what they’re looking for. And a well-built chatbot understands and help make it happen. Thus, chatbots increase conversion rates, qualified leads, and sales.

A conversational marketing strategy results in a gold mine of data

Customers telling you about their interests and how they want to engage with your brand? That level of insight is difficult to come by. Marketing and sales teams often extrapolate this information from web analytics and try to piece together a story. Or, even harder, they try to attribute sales to traditional broadcast campaigns.

Any marketer who has performed focus group studies can tell you how valuable these types of conversations are. And, to be able to have this dialogue on a large scale is even more exciting. What’s more? Chatbots can send the key details from an exchange directly to a business’ CRM.

Conversational marketing means fewer mass media campaigns

It’s not hard to predict where this is all headed. Chatbots are a cost-effective way of reaching potential customers at scale. They’re reducing operational costs for businesses by automating pieces of the customer journey. They’re effectively breaking through the clutter by reaching customers on the platforms they use every day.

Thus, for many businesses, the need for large scale media campaigns is dwindling. That’s not to say television or radio advertising is going to go away. There will, of course, be many areas where mass media is still effective. However, chatbots present a real solution for customers looking for targeted advertising with high rates of return.

Marketers now have an alternative to generic emails or large-scale promotional messages. Deals and offers are passing through conversation in a personal and relevant way. As a result, brands are able to deliver real value to customers instead of pushing “one size fits all” messages.

Moving Forward: what’s next for conversational marketing?

More and more companies are embracing AI for customer service. Our world is shifting in a way that is ushering in chatbot technology. Businesses are quickly realizing the potential of chatbots far surpasses standard customer support. They’re beginning to use chatbots to start valuable conversations that drive brand loyalty and revenue.

Ready to build your own conversational chatbot? If you’re a developer, start using our platform now or alternatively, contact us for more information.