Conversational marketing is now a household word (at least for the likes of us marketing folk). And that’s a good thing. It’s important we continue to recognize that conversations are vital to advancing agendas and for refining, questioning, and learning more about ourselves and those with whom we converse.
Although bots are initiating many of our conversations these days, we need to remember conversations have been a powerful marketing tool since the start of civilization (campfires, town meetings, community forums, chat rooms, folk music…that last one might be a stretch). So in honor of the art of the conversation, here are three tips you need to consider BEFORE implementing a conversational marketing technology:
1. You still need to define your story. You still have to do the hard work of defining your story and determining channel-specific messaging relevant to your target audience. Bots won’t solve your conversion problems for the long haul if you don’t plug them into an existing content strategy. Anything less is a disservice to your audience and the makings of a misguided, uninteresting conversation. BORING.
2. You need to remember you’re talking to a human being. Although Jay Baer seems to think we are on a trajectory where eventually we won’t even need hands to do our work (shameless plug), last time I checked, we were still in control of the technology we implement within our organizations. When implementing this promising, exciting technology we need to remember we’re talking to humans and that our brains are complex, funny, and easily distracted. So program your bots to respond appropriately–don’t forget to go heavy on the personality and the empathy.
3. Bots are an extension of your organization. They aren’t the family black sheep. If handled correctly, they could be your shining star. In your minds, bots may seem, well, robotic, but in reality they can be the channel you actually get to use for experimentation, for pushing your voice a bit further, for being funny or enhancing the humanity of your brand. But do remember, by the time a prospect is finding his or her way to your bot, they do want to be assured they are in the right place. So maybe it’s best to leave sarcasm out of it.
If there are two things the team at Demand Spring enjoys, it’s conversations and technology. So stay tuned, as we will soon be announcing a partnership that will bring conversational marketing one step closer to your website. After all, it may be a while before those bots master the art of conversation on their own. We feel it is our duty to intervene.