Sajid Abdul Rahiman
Guest Article

From unengaged to loyal: Let conversational marketing work its magic on the audience

Conversational marketing revolutionises user experiences and brand stories through conversational ads.

Fueled by technological innovations, a surge in eCommerce, and changes in buying behaviour, customers now have a plethora of products and services to choose from.

What makes it more challenging for brands is that very few products are well differentiated. Given the power of choice, customers are more discerning about their purchase and want it completed quickly. Or they can seamlessly switch between competing brands.

Even behemoths like Netflix and Amazon recognise these developments, shifting the spotlight from product features to two important Cs – customer experience and convenience.

Most brands want to know how they can continually create superior customer experiences, provide a more fluid buying process and make a lasting impression on their audience.

It’s time to introduce another C in the mix – conversational marketing.

Dialogue-driven, two-way communication between brands and buyers is at the heart of conversational marketing. It also enables brands to gather unique customer insights and provide value with relevant information or offers in real-time.

Conversational marketing revolutionises user experiences and brand stories through conversational ads that strengthen the lead pipeline and speed up the buyer journey.

Marketers are seeing the results of conversational marketing globally. This prompted 8 out of 10 B2B marketing professionals to use a conversational marketing solution and encouraged 74% of those who didn’t use it to add a conversational marketing solution to their strategy.

So, what benefits can brands secure from conversational marketing?

Conversational marketing has undeniable benefits. Not only do audiences get personalised suggestions as per their preferences, but they also reduce time spent on product search and receive quick resolutions.

When customers can get answers to their questions in real-time, they’re open to increasing engagement across the sales funnel. Subsequently, they feel important and involved in the brand’s story, making them a loyal audience.

Modern technologies build a seamless path to running conversational ads across platforms so customers can easily get in touch with brands. By opening up various channels, conversational marketing develops a better user experience.

To top it all, conversational marketing needs time and effort but not the same amount of money as traditional methods. On the other hand, marketers can create genuinely helpful content that customers will appreciate.

What’s AI got to do with conversational marketing?

Of brands that currently use Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, many touted it as a valuable asset in their present marketing and sales strategy. Naturally, AI brings more robust capabilities to conversational marketing via conversational ads – an area in which it finds growing applications.

Marketers usually track user behaviour and gather insights on customers, which they deploy at a future date in their campaigns. It’s an imprecise response to wait it out when customers need instant gratification to craft long-term brand relationships.

Put that in the ring with conversational AI — wherein predictive analytics combined with a dialogue-based approach and built-in consent track customer needs and changing preferences instantaneously — and traditional marketing methods hold no stead.

Moreover, conversational AI allows consumers to interact with machines just as they would with humans, pioneering stronger engagement between buyers and brands.

To make it more attractive, buyers get to choose their journey with any product, which will differ for each buyer and each need. Customers are quickly getting over-staying on hold to reach customer support or clicking on multiple pages to find pertinent information.

Take Cathay’s example. The brand pivoted to conversational AI for handling customer queries and feedback, optimising its digital experience. Not only did the platform improve their efficiency and productivity, but conversational AI also provided more accurate responses.

Another example is UnitedHealth Group. UHG is known for being a leader in artificial intelligence, as evidenced by its virtual assistant, AVA. It can recommend wellness programs and cost-saving measures, like virtual care for common medical issues, that can be helpful. AVA, for example, can set up a virtual visit for a customer with pink eyes. Time is saved, as is money on copayments.

The insurance sector is not far behind. Kotak Life Insurance (KLI), one of India's fastest-growing insurance companies, is driving digital transformation and improving user experiences. In addition to improving discovery and scaling user engagement on its platform, KLI has implemented Kaya, an IVA that handles 88% of routine user queries and makes customer interaction easier.

So, AI in conversational marketing makes a customer’s purchase journey more personal and weeds out their pain points.

Using Conversational Marketing for robust brand growth

There are three steps brands should follow when developing a conversational marketing strategy.

Know your audience

The best place to start is clearly understanding who is using the product and their problems. No audience has uniform demographics; therefore, segmenting them into relevant groups will help brands dig deeper, hit the right message, and use the proper channels. Customers' needs may change every few months or even every day, so keeping an ear to the ground is important.

Know your product

Brands must also self-check after determining their target audience. They can evaluate business needs and choose a conversational ad tool based on their requirements.

When a company has a deep understanding of its product, it will be able to develop a robust arsenal of solutions for customers. Customers appreciate brands that identify pain points and offer robust solutions through their products.

Create conversations

Marketers can draw up a conversational marketing strategy using AI once they know their audience and product well enough. To deliver value quickly and consistently, brands must keep the spotlight on the customer and not the campaign.

Get onboard with a conversational marketing partner

Conversational marketing is an upcoming avenue that marketing partners are continually developing.

At Newsroom AI, the critical focus is on creating personalised, dialogue-driven conversations that make customers’ purchase process simpler. And that goes further with the latest features like OTP functionality within conversational ads to reduce buying time and effort.

In order to develop a well-rounded conversational ads strategy, brands should partner with marketing agencies.

What lies ahead for Conversational Marketing

The premise for conversational marketing – enabling a frictionless customer buying journey - will continue to be a priority. 62% of customers believe that brands should anticipate their needs and provide personalised services. Businesses need to reach buyers when they’re actively engaging with brand channels.

Data is the key to unlocking user satisfaction and sharing relevant information to deliver top-notch value right where customers want it.

Unsurprisingly, the future of conversational marketing lies in the customer’s hands. Brands will shape conversational ads modelled after the buyer needs to outgrow the competition with powerful user experiences.

(The author, Sajid Abdul Rahiman is Director- Partnerships/Newsroom AI)

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