Conversion-focused conversation marketing
After almost two decades of experience in marketing—most of it leading a digital marketing agency—I feel obligated to help clear up a misperception that continues to perpetuate itself far and wide, even among some of our profession’s thought leaders.
For the record, conversation marketing isn’t social listening. It isn’t chat bots. It isn’t voice assistants. Yes, conversation marketing can encompass all that, but it’s far more expansive and far more critical to top-line growth to be defined so narrowly.
Succinctly stated, conversation marketing is the continuous, contextual, real-time interaction between a brand and an individual prospect or customer that progresses steadily toward engagement, conversion, and ultimately brand loyalty. Conversation marketing goes above and beyond personalization. It’s truly individualization.
Historically elusive, in reality achievable
Hackneyed as the phrase “the right information in the right place at the right time” may be, it remains an elusive goal for many marketers everywhere. Nonetheless, it’s precisely what conversation marketing delivers—as long as the conversation is structured along five key dimensions: channel, time, location, content, and behavior.
In any truly effective conversation marketing effort, all of these elements are intricately interwoven, yet each has a critical impact on its success. Briefly, here’s how:
Channel or device:
Obviously, you can’t start or sustain a conversation unless you know where and how your prospect or customer connects with your brand. Online or offline doesn’t matter; you have to take the conversion journey with them.
If you want to capture attention, you have to know when your target is most likely to engage with your brand. Which day, what time of the day, how often, how long? All aspects of time can affect when your message will have the most impact. The most critical is real time—being in the moment at the point of greatest need.
Where is engagement most likely to occur, or even better, where is it occurring right now? Are your customers engaging at home, in-store, on the go? A mall shopper might be just steps away from an offer they can’t resist. An ATM user may be a prime target for a home mortgage loan. That’s the time to strike, but you have to be there and ready.
What is the customer seeking? At what stage of the conversion cycle are they? What content, message, or offer will be most compelling given the last brand interaction, transaction, or behavior? Is it time to close the deal, cross-sell, or upsell?
How the individual will respond in a given circumstance is arguably the most difficult and complex of the dimensions to nail down. This is where all the other dimensions converge and personas come into play big time. For example, you know your Big Spender is a frequent weekend shopper with an average spend of $1,200 on high-end clothing, accessories, and cosmetics. She browses online late in the evening, responds to special offers on her mobile, but only purchases at the mall. Now that you know when, where, and what, the conversation is just waiting for you to start it.
How it works
Here are a couple of use cases that illustrate conversation marketing in action:
Use case: Real Estate Transaction
Use Case: Online/ Offline Conversion
Use Case: Voice/digital assistant
What it takes
If you’re serious about conversation marketing, you must have certain capabilities in place to make it happen. It starts with data from wide-ranging sources consolidated and integrated to create a unified customer view. It continues with quick, seamless access to data-driven insights about each individual’s propensities and preferences—channel, time of day, last transaction, or the current transaction in which they’re engaged.
To start and sustain the conversation, you must also have real-time capabilities to respond and interact across every relevant channel with the right content, message, or offer at the exact moment it will have maximum impact. And, like any conversation, your interaction has to be totally individualized. Knowing a name does not suffice, you’ll need AI-enabled individualization to deliver the truly meaningful and contextual experiences that speed conversion.
If you want to know how to start the conversation and keep it going, Resulticks can empower you with the capabilities you need. Visit Resulticks.com to learn more or request a personalized demonstration.