Over the past 100 years, marketing has risen through the invention of the Radio, TV, PC, and Smartphone. From people selling their wares one-on-one in the market square to giant billboards — and now back to highly personalized digital experiences. Conversational Marketing is one of the newer evolutions in online personalized marketing and it is changing the way brands plan and implement their content marketing and sales strategies.
Conversational Marketing is all the rage these days. This new branch of marketing is a feedback-oriented approach that markets through conversation in order to personalize the buyer experience, shorten sales cycles, and gain more information on the behavior of consumers.
What is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational Marketing is a method of engaging with website visitors and converting leads via dialogue-driven activities. This style of inbound marketing puts a focus on interactions with the consumer, not simply one-way transmission by the brand. Conversational Marketing aims to create relationships with the consumer by building trust through conversations and by making the buying experience as smooth and easy as possible.
This smooth journey is achieved by using tools to understand and communicate with the user in the way they want. This can be done by using tools that integrate options like messaging apps such as WhatsApp, SMS, phone calls, and social media into one platform. This holistic approach means that the user and the sales team are seamlessly linked up, allowing for Conversational Marketing to take place.
Just like the market square, Conversational Marketing offers customers a surprisingly personal touch that provides prospects and customers a welcome change from more generic campaigns. Brands are no longer built on the quality and need of their products alone. Buyer experience now plays a huge role in purchase decisions and brand loyalty.
Whether selling a commodity or luxury product, customers demand convenience and a satisfying customer experience.
Benefits of Conversational Marketing
The goal of Conversational Marketing is to increase conversion rates, create efficiencies, and to strengthen the bond between brand and customer. The benefits of these one-on-one conversations are many:
1. Learn about your customers
You probably know how important knowing your audience is and the value of user testing and research, and Conversational Marketing allows you to do this at such a deep level. Instead of recruiting “potential customers” for surveys or research, you are actually getting to speak directly with your actual customers — people already interested in your products or services.
You can learn so much from your customers if you just listen and Conversational Marketing gives you the platform to do this.
2. Create a more human purchasing experience.
When a prospect now comes to your website s/he is greeted and encouraged to start a conversation. Your ecommerce site becomes less impersonal and generic. Visitors feel acknowledged and appreciated when they are provided with answers and solutions.
3. Increase your conversions.
Many website visitors will not fill out lead conversion forms. Using a chatbot gives these prospects a friendlier, more helpful alternative.
4. Strengthen your sales pipeline.
The bot answers visitors’ inquiries 24/7, even when your salespeople are off. Service is consistent and constant because bots don’t sleep, go on vacation, or take sick days. And, response time is immediate so the customer is satisfied.
5. Create a flow of continual market research.
Getting customers to talk to a chatbot is miles more informative than filling in forms. Over time, the data collected can provide information on many fronts such as holes in your website’s information, or growing trends and opportunities. This helps brands become more agile and able to take advantage of their customers’ interests. Unlike traditional marketing, Conversational Marketing is a two-way process and much more acceptable to the ad-averse public.
6. Make sales recommendations based on what you’ve learned.
A chatbot can set up a meeting, product demo, or call with a customer automatically through connected calendars. And, they can lead customers not only to real reps who can close a deal but also to related products or services that might be of interest to the customer.
15 Conversational Marketing Statistics For 2020
Conversational marketing trends have been on the rise for several years, with 2020 set to be no exception. These simple statistics illustrate not just how, but why conversational marketing trends have seen such a meteoric rise in recent times, as well as the reasons why it is set to continue on this way for years to come:
1. This year, conversational marketing will be viewed as a recognized channel for generating revenue and conversions regarding both B2B and B2C businesses.
2. When asked about the next conversational marketing trends, the given answers concerned consumer personalization (29%), AI (26%), and voice search (21%).
3. Just under 50% of all adults now use voice assistants to talk with smartphones and other devices, emphasizing just how important this form of marketing is becoming. Again, this figure is only set to increase with the coming years.
4. In today’s world, more people now use messaging apps to communicate as opposed to social media, illustrative of why this trend has seen recent increases.
5. 80% of businesses are expected to have some form of chatbot automation instilled into their company by the end of the year.
6. 86% of online shoppers prefer proactive customer support, something that conversational marketing chatbots can offer immediately.
7. Nurtured leads, the kind influenced by conversational marketing has the capacity to increase sales opportunities compared to neglected ones.
8. 79% of top-performing businesses have already been using some form of marketing automation in order to generate larger numbers of leads over the previous three years.
9. By incorporating a quiz-like form or structure as a means to capture customer information has the potential to triple your conversion rate.
10. Companies who are already automating lead management and conversational marketing witness a 10% increase in revenue after a 6-9 month period.
11. People finish conversational forms 3.5 minutes faster on mobile so ensuring that you’re fully optimized on this platform is crucial to ensuring customer satisfaction.
12. Conversation marketing trends will replace a combination of different parts of marketing, sales and service activities as the technological capabilities advances.
13. 79% of consumers are willing to use messaging apps to get customer service from companies as opposed to more traditional forms of communication.
14. 82% of consumers see getting an immediate response as very important when they have a question, something conversational marketing chatbots are very effective at providing.
15. 36% of companies are now using live chatbots functions for marketing, sales or customer service inquiries on an everyday basis.
Chatbots Are the Future of Marketing
Since 2014, people have been using chat apps more than they have social media tools. On Facebook Messenger alone, more than eight billion messages are sent around the world daily, and the Messenger marketing platform is responsible for millions of messages between people and businesses.
Given this, chatbot marketing has become one of the biggest growth opportunities in the digital marketing space.
Chatbots are transforming the way businesses interact with their new and existing clients, and when brands employ high-quality chatbots, the changes are generally positive.
A study by oracle indicates that 80% of organizations plan on using chatbots by 2021. Another Ubisent study showed that 35% of clients expect more companies to use chatbots. This is quite an interesting discovery considering how new this practice is.
By 2024, the global market size for chatbots is expected to reach 9.4 billion USD at a CAGR of 29.7%. Leading brands like National Geography and Starbucks are already leveraging chatbots to improve sales and gather information.
Simple chatbots monitor the consumer’s questions for keywords to send pre-packaged answers and on the other hand, sophisticated AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) powered chatbots use natural language processing for creating more-complex responses and conversations. AI-based chatbots provide satisfactory answers, which leads to higher conversions and sales.
AI-programmed chatbots are more flexible especially when a consumer interacting with them doesn’t offer the relevant information they’re designed to receive. This is because they learn from the interactions they have to ensure that the clients achieve their goals.
These AI-powered chatbots work more efficiently when integrated with CRM and data management platforms that support an organization’s online presence, enabling them to obtain valuable customer information and offer personalized experiences.
As the number of sophisticated chatbots emerges, it comes as no surprise that its impact on digital marketing will be massive. In fact, it’s quite safe to assume that chatbots will completely revolutionize the world of B2B marketing.
Here are 5 ways chatbots will influence B2B marketing:
1. Better Lead Qualification
The road to making prospects interact with a brand’s website and converting them into loyal customers isn’t a short one. However, by deploying chatbots at every stage of the customer’s journey can help in streamlining the process for both B2B as well as B2C settings. This is because chatbots can ask website visitors relevant questions and assist them in finding products/services that pertain directly to their preferences.
Furthermore, chatbots can analyze the patterns of the visitor to determine if they’re a qualified lead and as such, save the sales team valuable time. Also, chatbots allow for a much quicker sales process at every stage, but more particularly in the critical initial stages. This, in turn, reduces stress for your sales representatives and helps in providing a seamless customer experience.
2. Data Mining
Data gathering is just as important as lead qualifications. It isn’t just the customers that need to explore sources, analyze huge information for making informed decisions. Sales representatives also need to examine data to determine the exact wants and needs of their consumers or to find better-qualified leads.
When it comes to large scale B2B marketing, it isn’t humanly possible to extract all the relevant information, organize it, and examine it to enhance services, tailor special approaches, and deliver products to the desired audience. However, thanks to chatbots, B2B marketers can automate the data management process, enabling them to map the data on the basis of changing organizational trends.
Chatbots help marketers in tracking consumer behavior and purchasing patterns by scanning user data. This helps B2B companies to determine which products to promote differently, which to advertise more, and which one to refine for a relaunch.
Simply said, companies can keep track of the responses and commands the chatbot receives from their users, predict the responses on the basis of consumer language and make the bot to recommend more relevant services or products to consumers in addition to informing marketing and sales representatives for personalized services.
3. Better Customer Service
Chatbots help businesses improve their customer response rate round the clock. This means chatbots can offer accurate, personalized, and quick responses to common queries 24/7. Consumers value this immensely, especially when looking for reliability and obtaining information about products or services.
Additionally, chatbots allow representatives to work on more complicated customer service problems as it handles most of the basic and repetitive queries without requiring any interference.
Chatbots can also engage with customers the same way a customer support representative would, and as such, customers can easily engage with a chatbot. Furthermore, since most chatbots implement natural language processing approaches, they can examine the client’s queries and offer a relevant response.
Additionally, most chatbots can be added to the company’s site or mobile apps, thereby saving the consumers the time and also the trouble of navigating through the website for resources to find the desired answers.
4. Cost Savings
Firstly, implementing a chatbot is much quicker and cheaper in comparison to developing a cross-platform application or employing staff for each task. Organizations have several options from pre-developed software by Microsoft, Facebook, and other major brands to choose from.
Also, being an automated solution, chatbots allow businesses to simultaneously manage several clients at a time. As such, by employing sophisticated chatbots, you’ll be able to minimize employee cost and also avoid issues generated by human errors.
Chatbots also make sales reps more productive by aiding them to find better-qualified leads, which leads to a significant reduction of direct sales and sales training costs.
5. Optimized Strategies
Another great advantage of chatbots is the ability to optimize marketing campaigns. As consumers engage with them, chatbots collect information that can be used for tailoring suggestions that have a high chance of turning to a sale. Instead of making the customers fill out a survey, chatbots communicate with the client naturally and gathers information based on their responses. And the best part of this is the more they engage, the more data they gather and improve.
Also, chatbots can guide the sales funnel in addition to guiding purchasing options with tailored recommendations that lead to conversions.
B2B companies are slowly acknowledging the advantages of chatbots for marketing, sales, and customer service. Thanks to the many benefits chatbots offer, several B2B organizations have already started using chatbots.