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The Role of Chatbots in Conversational Marketing

October 26, 2017
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The field of marketing has undergone a seismic shift in the last several years. Marketers today can no longer continue with the “yell & sell” approach. Putting up huge billboards or running big digital marketing campaigns can only achieve so much. People today wish to be engaged & heard before they can make a purchase decision. It’s time for marketers to adopt the “chat & listen” approach. It’s time for them to use conversational marketing as the way to reach out to customers.
Conversational marketing is said to be the use of natural language by brands, businesses or services to interact with & engage their customers. They can do so using voice & chat messaging applications like Line, Viber, Facebook Messenger, SMS or the traditional telephone. It is feedback-oriented approach to marketing used to develop customer loyalty, drive engagement, grow the customer base & ultimately make an impact on the bottom line. This helps distinguish the brand from other players in the market & encourages potential customers to engage with the brand’s product or service.
Some of the biggest brands like Amazon, Google etc. use conversational marketing to reach out to their customers. While designing their website they keep the audience in mind, make the user’s experience a key focus area & make engaging in conversations & giving feedback easy for customers.

Here are some best practices to keep in mind while using conversational marketing:

Make optimum use of time
Time is of the essence here. You must make sure that all your communications with customers are timely & swift. Customers today have begun to expect real time responses to their queries & any delay in responding to them can leave them dissatisfied.

Offer a personalized experience
Customers don’t want random marketing messages. They want messages & information that is relevant to their own business needs. When your customers interact with your brand, they must get a sense that you care for them & have their interest in mind. Don’t try to just sell.

Make use of Analytics
With so much of data about customers available, it is imperative that you derive insights from this data & form a complete picture of your customer. Make analytics an integral part of your marketing efforts. This will help you deliver better marketing campaigns which are more efficient & effective.

Chatbots in Conversational Marketing
One of the most promising tools available for carrying out conversational marketing is “Chatbot”. Chatbots are a great way to have one-to-one conversations with customers & keep them engaged.
A chatbot does a wonderful job of making customers feel comfortable & providing them a personalized service.

If you look around today, you will observe that we use our mobiles the most for content consumption. Whether, it is watching a YouTube video, sharing a tweet or posting a pic on Instagram, mobiles are always in constant use. Moreover, according to a study by BI Intelligence, in terms of usage messaging apps have surpassed Social networks & that’s where people spend their maximum time when on mobile.

This is a great opportunity for marketers. Using chatbots these messaging platforms can be tapped & turned into an effective channel of conversation between brands & customers. Customers can message brands like they message their friends & receive 24/7 support. Already, brands like Starbucks, Pizza Hut, MasterCard etc. are using chatbots as part of their marketing strategy.

The essence of conversational marketing is having a one-to-one interaction with the customer rather than broadcasting your marketing message. People are tired of being bombarded with ads, in both digital & the real world. Having a team of trained sales & support staff is one option but then they have their own limitations. Chatbots offer an efficient & cost effective solution to the problem.

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