Conversational marketing is something that ALL forward-thinking business owners and marketing professionals should be considering in their digital marketing efforts. But what exactly is conversational marketing?

To better understand Conversational Marketing, we must first understand the history of conversation itself. Let’s go back in time and take a look at our conversation history timeline. 
  • 30,000 BC Petroglyphs were all the rage.
  • 6,000 BC Pictograms took the place of the primitive Petroglyphs
  • 2600 BC Hello cuneiform and early written scripts.
  • 1700 BC An early alphabet system is used.
  • 1450 we get the printing press and printed text.
  • 1792 welcomes the telegraph
  • 1876 the landline telephone makes its appearance
  • 1920 the first radio broadcast hits the air.
  • 1925 the first television signal is sent.
  • 1947 we see the first full-scale commercial television broadcast
  • 1965 the first email is sent (at MIT, it will be a while before it hits the masses)
  • 1976 the PC market becomes available
  • 1981 the first mobile phone is created (the old bulky ones with the wires, no iPhone just yet)
  • 1992 the first text message is sent
  • 1995 AOL hits the internet
  • 1999 Sirius satellite radio is introduced
  • 2003 Skype is launched
  • 2005 Youtube is launched
  • 2006 Twitter is launched
  • 2007 iPhone is released
  • 2010 Instagram launches
  • 2011 Snapchat is launched
  • 2016 Facebook Messenger is launched

You’ve Got Mail

You may be looking at that timeline and saying to yourself, “What the heck does this have to do with my marketing for 2020?”  Let me answer….EVERYTHING! You can see that over the last two decades our communication channels have exploded. While in the 90s many people relished in the sweet sound of “You’ve Got Mail!” today’s consumers can be found sighing in frustration when they see their inbox loaded with messages.

Marketing has historically been a one-way system of distributing messages to consumers and hoping that they would eventually respond by purchasing, calling or patronizing your establishment. However, thanks to text messaging, Facebook Messenger, Live Chat, and chatbots, advertisers have an unprecendented ability to engage with consumers in a two-way communication with ads.

With each new iteration of technology, our accepted response time has changed — friends make plans faster, families stay closer, and businesses provide answers instantly. In the age of live chat, customers expect conversations to happen how, when, and where they want. That is why Conversational Marketing is vital for a healthy digital marketing strategy in today’s world of instant gratification.

Sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? Fear not; it’s not as complicated as you may think. While our communication methods and technology have changed, the core elements of communication have stayed the same. People always have and always will expect conversations to be helpful, personal, and empathetic. The only difference now is we have the technology to have those conversations at scale. That’s the power of conversational marketing.

The Right Customer

Conversational Marketing is most successful when targeting is honed in to a very specific audience or consumer base. For example, if you are a roofer wanting to get more storm damage leads, it is best to narrowly targeted those customers who live within a hail core or wind damage zone. Restaurant owners can target individuals within a certain mile radius from their establishment as well as individuals traveling through an area to increase exposure.

Targeting the right customer can be daunting but thanks to aritficial intelligence it doesn’t have to be anymore! Targeting people based on shared interest, demographics and like-actions has never been easier. If you have the right tools at your disposal, you can ensure your ad budget is being spent on the users most likely to engage with your brand or service.

Identifying the “right customer” is the first step to a successful campaign. Once you have identified who you are targeting, you will want to ensure that the message matches up to your target audience.

The Right Message

After you have honed in your audience targeting, messaging is the next item to tackle. You want your messaging to match the individuals you are targeting with your campaign. Using our storm damage customers as an example, we would want the ad to speak directly to storm damage in the area. Letting the customers know that there was hail damage in their general area, that others in their area have had successful hail damage claims and that you offer a complimentary roof inspection is a great place to start. Bonus points if you can target the message to specific neighborhoods, locations or areas. Hey Country Estates neighbors,…..

The less generalized your ads, the better. Some examples below.

🚫🚫🚫[BOO, no good] We offer free roof inspections. Contact us today to schedule your free inspection.

🚫🚫🚫[Meh] It is storm season. Roofing XYZ offers free roof inspections. Contact us today to schedule your free inspection.

👌👌👌 [Okay] Storm season is here and your area was recently affected. Roofing XYZ is offering free roof inspections in your neighborhood. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary inspection.

👌👌👌 [Okay] Your area was recently affected by a significant hail storm and insurance may cover your damage! Roofing XYZ is offering free roof inspections in your neighborhood. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary inspection.

🎉🎉🎉 [Good] Hey Country Estates neighbor! Your area was recently affected by a significant hail storm and insurance may cover your damage! Roofing XYZ is offering free roof inspections in your neighborhood. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary inspection.

😀😀😀[Do This!] Hey Country Estates neighbor! We have had numerous approved hail damage roofing claims in your area from the hail storm on May 5th! Roofing XYZ has your back and is offering free roof inspections to our Country Estate friends. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary inspection.

Once you have your message honed in and specific to your user, you want to be sure to engage them on THEIR TIME!

The Right Time

This is where Conversational Marketing gets interesting! While we used to feed ads like the above to users and wait for them to take action, we can now IMMEDIATELY engage that user in meaninful conversation. Utilizing chatbots, live chat, Facebook Messenger and text messaging, you can ensure that customers feel engaged on their time.

Many businesses are still operating in 2010 and expect customers to communicate via phone or email. While I would never suggest stopping email campaigns, I can say that Facebook Messenger campaigns see over 800% more engagement than email campaigns. Chat gives customers more control over the advertising and their reaction to it. They are able to engage with the ad immediately without having to wait for you to be available. If customers are waiting for you to respond to their inquiry they are now operating on YOUR TIME not THEIR TIME.

Any time we move a customer from their time to our time we have the potential to lose them. Chatbots give businesses the opportunity to engage on the customer’s time, all the time. Imagine that “right customer” being targeted with the “right message” being sent to an engaging chatbot that answered all their questions IMMEDIATELY and allowed them to schedule their roofing inspection seamlessly? The customer was targeted, fed the ad and engaged with on their time with an offer that we know meets their needs. Conversational marketing takes advertising to a whole new level and allows businesses ways to engage with customers like never before.

Gogo BDS would love to chat with you to see if a Conversational Marketing strategy may be right for your business.