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The 3 Principles That Guide IMPACT’s Conversational Marketing

The 3 Principles That Guide IMPACT’s Conversational Marketing Blog Feature

August 24th, 2018 min read

Standing on-stage in front of 500 of the sharpest marketers I know, I posed two simple questions.

The first: How many people in this room have heard of conversational marketing?

Hands shot up. Nearly everyone had heard of conversational marketing. (If you haven’t here’s a crash course.)

The second: How many people in this room are actually implementing conversational marketing?

Hands fell. Aside from the stray hand here and there, the majority of the room hadn’t implemented conversational.

What gives? We know that conversational generates real results and creates a better customer experience.

I made the attendees of IMPACT Live 2018 the same promise I’ll make you right now. If you embrace conversational, you will build better customer relationships, faster.

Keep it simple, yo.

Why aren’t the majority of us taking advantage of conversational, despite the clear signs that it’s the future of how businesses communicate?

I can speak first-hand in saying, most of us think conversational marketing is complicated, and it makes sense why. More often than not, conversational gets lumped in with things like AI and chatbots. That’s overwhelming!

Put all of those thoughts aside. Conversational marketing is easy.

When IMPACT first started with conversational, we took a tool-driven approach to implementing it. I was the nerd version of a kid in a candy shop testing any conversational tool I could find to try to create an emergent experience for IMPACT’s audience.

I was striving to create a “wow” moment, but ultimately, I just ended up making a bunch of crap.

I was making conversational complicated when it didn’t need to be.

Fast forward a handful of failures later, it was clear that we needed to take a different approach. We decided to go back to the basics and hone in on what makes conversational important.

We needed to define what IMPACT’s approach to conversational marketing meant for our users.

IMPACT’s Conversational Principles

These are the conversational principles we came up with. They are the fundamentals that guide every marketing decision we make around conversational.

Feel free to steal them or come up with your own (comment below if you do)!

  1. Focus on the value of relationship.

  2. Be a human. Be yourself.

  3. UX first. Scale up second.


Let’s take a look at why each is so important.

Focus on the value of relationship.

In my mind, this alone could be the reason why conversational is so important.

I may catch some flack for this, but it’s my opinion that, as marketers, we’ve lost sign of what’s most important -- the relationships we’re building with potential customers.

How? We’ve favored focusing on conversion rate optimization, search engine optimization, but not customer experience. The result is creating an experience that performs well, but has the potential to deprive our business of human qualities.

In short, we’re optimizing for the masses, but forgetting the experience we deliver to the individual.

Conversational is the return to businesses communicating organically. It’s getting back to the way we started, through genuine one-to-one relationships.

 

 

When building out our conversational marketing, we are always asking ourselves: does this create a genuine and favorable experience for each individual that engages with us?

If the answer is yes, we’re on the right track.

Be a human. Be yourself.


People want to communicate with people, and more so, they want to communicate with genuine people.

Conversational is an incredible opportunity to show your potential customers who you really are and if you’re as incredible as I know you are, that alone is a selling point.

That’s why we always leverage conversational to be ourselves.

We don’t create bots that pretend they’re human and when we live chat, we act like ourselves.

Why would we pretend to be something we’re not?

UX first. Scale up second.

It’s so tempting to try start out trying to leverage conversational at scale. Chatbots can hold an infinite number of conversations in the time your team can hold a few, so why wouldn’t we?

If we scale first, we risk creating the same user experience that has left customers wanting more in the past. We’d be right back at square one.

That’s why we always strive to nail down the user experience of any element of our conversational marketing before we attempt to scale it.

This helps us learn what works and what doesn’t before we accept the experience as ideal and deliver it to the masses.

The Fundamentals

As I said before, we regularly leverage these conversational principles to ground the marketing campaigns we built.

They keep us true to what we’ve set out to accomplish with conversational: building genuine relationships with our customers and community.

So, before you turn on live chat or build your first bot, ask yourself, “What are my conversational principles?”

You should be able to answer how you’re improving the experience for your potential customers by leveraging these tools.

That, ultimately, is how you’ll better customer relationships, faster.

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