‘Smart conversations’ are changing the face of marketing

By Zalak Bhavsar - January 19, 2018

Today, ‘Conversation marketing’ is the talk of the town.

New concept? Not really. More like old wine, new bottle. It’s just that this bottle is much better, bigger, swankier, and more functional than it has ever been.

Conversation marketing is the good old art of engaging your consumer in conversations to better understand their needs, but done in a newer, ‘smarter’ way. Think conversation marketing and there is a flashback to those golden days of convenience you experienced while shopping at that one mom-n-pop store around the corner from your home. You only had to list out the products you wanted and the shopkeeper knew the preferred brand in your family.

That easy familiarity came from a relationship built over time that involved detailed conversations and engagement – something that went out in the era of mass advertising.

Conversation marketing is bringing this amazing experience back for the digital consumer, through ‘smart conversations’; a digital marketer’s success today lies in how effectively they do this conversation and engagement with every single consumer, who is always-on, and available on multiple devices and channels, not to mention the very powerful social media. The consumer’s appetite for personalisation has always been there but what was lacking was the marketer’s ability to gather a single, unified view of the consumer.

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Bridging this gap has become easier than ever with latest technologies such as AI/ML, and conversational interfaces, a small part of which is the Chatbot. Thus, the tools at a marketer’s disposal are much more precise, effective, and efficient than ever before.

Therefore, there are two choices before any digital marketer: Either adopt ‘smart conversations’ or let your marketing spend down the ROI sink.

Read on if you choose the former.

Let’s look at some examples of this ‘conversation marketing’ – after all, how does this work? Well, your ride share app probably asks you if you would like to compliment your driver on any particular aspect; your online shopping app sends you discount notifications based on your purchase history; your favourite bakery requests you to post a review online right after you’ve stepped out with your purchase, your banker requests for customer satisfaction rating over a call…

What is happening?

CONVERSATIONS.

Your ride share app wants to, apart from hard facts of costs vs distance, wants to ensure you had a comfortable ride; your online fashion app invites you to a discount preview to make you feel special; Your bakery, apart from wanting to use your review, wants to make you feel important as a customer;

You see, as marketers, we became used to bombarding our consumers with messages, usually through mass advertising. This is now passe; to your customer, this is annoying, imprecise, distracting, and most of the time useless. Mass advertising was like shooting messages in the dark and hoping you got through to a few by accident; conversation marketing is like finding out precisely what a customer likes, then using this information to make the right offer at the right time.

A marketer needs to look at this from the point of view of the consumer: It’s like when you book a vacation trip to Europe and your fashion shopping app sends you a notification announcing 50% off on your favourite wool overcoat lying in your wish list for months. You now have the perfect reason to buy.

This is but a very simple example of conversation marketing. Chatbots are taking our conversations to the next level, making them very human-like, by leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to produce behavioural conversations in real time. Tools such as Netcore Smartech can help you track consumer actions in the context of your communication with them, helping you to refine your strategies as you go. If you feel we have made a strong enough case for you to bring back conversations to your marketing strategy, you need to seize the ‘smart’ opportunity

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