In this series, the Chairman of idio, David Barrow outlines his vision of conversational marketing; where a customer-centric approach pays dividends for customers and businesses alike. David Barrow was the Founder and CEO of KiQ, which transformed the CRM landscape in the UK, and was acquired by Chordiant in 2004. Click here for the first post in this series.
Ads, messages, tweets, comments, posts, mail, email, inserts, calls and meetings can all influence people, stimulating, directing and educating to condense interest into demand. How that demand comes about can follow many paths, each representing a journey of growing realisation and of increasing understanding and confidence to act. When co-ordinated correctly, all the available channels can encourage and assist such journeys from the earliest point through to the purchase transaction and beyond, for example:
- Using broadcast advertising, online presence and social voices and direct interactions to promote journeys in which you are good at participating. Characterise the thing the journey achieves. Identify who the journey is relevant to, what benefits they will achieve, what process they can expect, how you can participate, what (positive) experience they can expect.
- Using message monitoring and event tracking to spot interactions that suggest a person has perceived a situation, problem or aspiration.
- Using blog posts and other articles to explore the person’s perceived situation, problem or aspiration and explain the things they can do (i.e. the journey they are on).
- Using tweets, posts on forums, comments on the blog to endorse and expand on a person’s perceptions and to point them to sources of authoritative content and advice.
- Using authoritative blogs, articles and reviews to highlight the implications of the situation, problem or aspiration and what is needed. Having your social voices track comments relevant to the journey and publish comments describing key points, emphasising key values, citing features, claiming benefits, etc to support your positions.
- Using your authoritative blogs and micro-sites to advise on options, possible solutions and their features and benefits.
- Using your propositions to offer specific solutions and terms, and comparisons and reviews to endorse your recommendations.
In all of the above, you need to tailor what you say AND how you say it to reflect the point of participation in the person’s journey and their current level of understanding and confidence. You can influence the customer’s perception of the content and propositions by referring to the social groups and influencers to which they appeal. And influence the Influencer by offering a content/product/service that is (slightly) sub-optimal for his/her needs but is optimal for many of those he/her influences, for example, content that emphasises simple messages he/she can communicate to others and products/services with additional features/benefits that others would value.
Instead of the pushy promotion of brand awareness and values and the reactive sale of products and services when someone calls, Conversational Marketing joins in people’s worlds and helps create demand and loyalty along the way.
Look out for the next post in this series, which will discuss who will and won’t gain from Conversational Marketing.