The Elixir of New Age Marketer: Conversation Marketing
Hi you all! So what were the headlines in the Newspaper today? No, not from the 10 different apps on your phone/tab but from the actual print paper that has been coming to our homes every morning since time immemorial.
And now, you are thinking, as was I.
And I bet you, the headlines aren’t same.
Yes, take a second there, sink this in, our times have truly become digital with almost everything at a click of a button. Times of actually sitting and having real conversations are only nostalgia now. The digital drift is not only evident in social media or e-commerce, but it has dominated businesses too.
Technology and data have changed the way enterprises work. And this includes everything – operations, HR, finance, sales and even marketing! Somewhere in all this ‘do-everything-remotely-at-your-ease’ phase of technological transformation, the ‘oh-so-cliché’ way of serving customers where in the vendor would greet you and/or your mom would know him/her/them personally, got lost.
There is a reason why the average email open rate is low even after such large scale email marketing and not so great landing page conversion rates. The question is did you stop to think ‘why so?’
It is because of our new found obsession with things like email blasts, Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), Sales Qualified Lead (SQL), form fills, A/B testing, click rates, open rates etc. that the core essence of ‘making your customer comfortable’ has drowned in all this marketing noise. Entire industry is driven towards data rather than being customer driven. Although, the latter is gradually evolving further.
How you ask?
The term seems eerily familiar yet new? That’s because it is an old wine in a completely new bottle. The concept has always been right there in front of us in the core of every marketing strategy or every campaign you have run but was engulfed by all the pomp and show. This time around, it has a new name with a better aim. It was first introduced in Joseph Jaffe’s Join the Conversation in 2007 but is now used and implemented by multiple modern day marketers.
So how is this conversation marketing any different than content marketing? Point well made.
In totality, Conversation Marketing is not different from Content Marketing rather its subset. In its life span of 10 odd years, content marketing has broadened beyond measure from where it started to where it stands today, almost on the brink of Accumulation Marketing.
To understand in a jiffy, Conversation Marketing can be explained as:
• Know the Room: Audience
• Dress Appropriately: Design
• Sound Smart: Content and contingency
• Make a Connection: Email, RSS and more
• Brag Modestly: SEO, PR and advertising
• Observe and Adjust: Analytics
The validity of this can be drawn from the fact that over 80% of the businesses would be investing more in multi-channel marketing by 2020 and 54% of marketers believe in engaging with the customer than just advertising.
So how did this change come about? It started with targeted marketing which transformed into global marketing and gradually transgressed into ‘almost’ ATL campaigns.
With changing times come changing trends, with the advent technology digital space would surely dominate, but there are without a doubt better and more efficient ways of conquering. One of the prime ways is to know and understand your customer behavior. For this a holistic view of everything your customer/user does, prefers, surfs online should be known to you. It isn’t as easy as it used to be when your grocery guy knew every brand you ate/preferred. Today, there are ‘p’ online platforms with ‘q’ choices for everything your customer desires and ‘r’ ways of getting it, making it almost impossible to solve this equation individually. But put everything together and voila you have your very own personal kit for every individual you engage with.
The age of text marketers is evolving and the near future would see more than often use of the term and the strategy – Conversation Marketing. Don’t just think smart, work smart too!
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