Effective Conversational Marketing


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This white paper examines the emerging field of conversational marketing, as social media becomes part of the relationship marketing conversation.

Beginning with a definition of conversational marketing, this white paper looks at how our traditional marketing approaches should be modified to include the new possibilities that social media creates for marketers. Along the way it goes into depth on the importance of viewing social media not as a channel, but as an integrated part of our marketing campaigns and on-going programs.

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Effective Conversational Marketing

  1. 1. Conversational Marketing Braden Kelley – Innovation Excellence Introduction What is conversational marketing? Conversational marketing is relationship marketing for the social media age. Thinking about your marketing efforts in terms of a conversation changes the approach and better“To build a brand, you must integrates social media. Relationships are something that are formed, but conversations arestart a conversation with your ongoing and evolving and require both sides to participate.customers. Your customers haveto know that you stand forsomething and that they cancount on you to deliver uponyour brand promise.” How Social Media Fits In“I have a relationship with the It seems like I cant get through a day right now without hearing somebody in the media orIRS, but I don’t haveconversations with them. Value on the street talking about social media. I think itcomes not from relationships is great that social media has captured peoplesbut from conversations. Lifetime attention, but will having more communicationvalue only exists if you have anon‐going, two‐way conversation channels improve conversational marketing?with your customers.”“For companies to be successful, Only if properly integrated into the conversationsthey need to move from between consumers and companies.Customer RelationshipManagement (CRM) andRelationship Marketing (RM) to To do this, social media must be established bothCustomer Conversation as part of your on-going conversational marketingManagement (CCM) andConversational Marketing programs (on-boarding, loyalty, retention, etc.)(CM).” and also integrated into your ad hoc or seasonal marketing campaigns.Braden KelleyInnovation ExcellenceRelated Quotes: The Future and the Past Have Much in Common“We live in a society which is inthe throes of a technological I find myself biting my tongue when I hear people talking about how different social media isrevolution… The changes we see from traditional marketing. Social media is not this different, separate thing. It should be aneach year are probably greaterthan those our predecessors integrated part of any relationship marketingencountered in a decade or strategy. Sure there may be nuances that youperhaps even a working lifetime. have to consider, but the same could be saidWhen I started in this industry, agood ad, promotion pattern, or for every channel for communicating witha media strategy could remain customers.productive for years. They nowpass into history almost as fastas the datelines on the The fact is that no matter how muchmagazines and papers we use.” technology may change, and what channels ofLester Wunderman (1967) communication may be introduced, most of theFounder, Chairman Emeritus old rules of marketing will always apply. LetsWunderman Worldwide look at a few of them by examining a few quick questions that businesses must ask themselves:
  2. 2. Conversational Marketing Braden Kelley – Innovation ExcellenceRelated Quotes: 1. Where are you likely to find your customers?  If your customers spend time on social networks then you should absolutely be there.  If your customers are not on social networks then you should allocate your marketing dollars elsewhere.“Today you can buy knowledgeby the pound ‐‐ from consultants Marketing, like any other investment should always come back to your goals and allocatinghawking best practice, from the your dollars where the return is the best (including any brand investment goals you maystaff youve just hired from yourcompetitor, and from all those have).companies that hope you willoutsource everything. Yet in the 2. Do you know how to leverage the strengths of each of the assets you plan to invest in?age of revolution it is notknowledge that produces newwealth, but insight ‐‐ insight into For example:opportunities for discontinuous  Video is good for capturing the imaginationinnovation. Discovery is thejourney; insight is the  Twitter, Facebook, and other discussion media are great places for conversationsdestination. You must become  Blogs are good for sharing knowledgeyour own seer.”  Web sites can be used as a single-use landing spot to pay off an e-mail or banner, orGary Hamel, Author as an ongoing destination (but you have to choose this goal up-front)Leading the Revolution  Applications are good at engaging the consumer with your brand“Growth and innovation aredriven by customer insights No one asset is likely to meet your campaign goals by itself. You have to look at eachdiscovered through customerobservation and conversation.” individual campaigns goals and choose the strongest assets to combine with the rest of your conversation marketing for your purposes.Braden KelleyInnovation Excellence 3. What is the desired customer action?“To acquire knowledge, onemust study; but to acquirewisdom, one must observe.  You must be crystal clear on what this is before beginning any work.  Every marketing asset that you choose to invest in should push the customerObserve the people. Observe towards that desired customer action.yourself and your friends… Wealready know the game – thereal question today is how we Here is where most online marketing and social media investments fall short. Take forplay it.” example the integrated campaign that CompareTheMarket.com has embarked upon“I would strongly argue that this centered around a spoof on their own name (comparethemeerkat.com). They are doingis what makes our business radio, tv, print, online, and social around this concept butmodel and what we do socompelling and powerful. It’s they have fallen short on #2 and #3 in one crucial way. Theyabout observation – insight – created videos of their hilarious television advertisementslinked to knowledge – we know and posted them on http://comparethemeerkat.com, butand adapt and adapt again – butwithout observation all the they neglected to post them in a format that enables visitorsknowledge in the world is to the web site to share them by e-mailing a direct link or bynothing more than onedimensional information.” allowing visitors to embed them in their blog and talk about them. They also only flash the CompareTheMarket.comDavid Sable brand briefly in the video rather than ending the video on aVice Chairman and COOWunderman Worldwide clickable link something to the effect of "Would you like to compare prices instead of meerkats? click here". If they had done these two simple things, traffic to their real web site would have been orders of magnitude higher.
  3. 3. Conversational Marketing Braden Kelley – Innovation ExcellenceResources: Conversational Marketing CampaignsMonitoring Softwarehttp://visibletechnologies.com So when you are planning the social media portion of your conversational marketinghttp://radian6.com campaign, please keep in mind your marketing fundamentals:http://techrigy.comhttp://trackur.comhttp://whostalkin.com  What are your campaign goals?http://google.com/alerts  What segments do your customersSocial Media Sites naturally collect into?http://facebook.com  Which segments will you target forhttp://myspace.comhttp://home.live.com your marketing success?http://bebo.com  What message content will besthttp://orkut.comhttp://hi5.com resonate with your target customers?http://twitter.com  What timing is appropriate for thehttp://classmates.com delivery of your message?http://plaxo.comhttp://linkedin.com  How will you measure the success ofhttp://gaia.com your campaign?http://friendster.comhttp://friendsreunited.com  What do you plan to learn from this campaign?http://ning.com  How will you leverage these learnings in the future?http://skyrock.comhttp://xing.comhttp://yelp.comhttp://flickr.com Conversational Marketing Programshttp://del.icio.ushttp://technorati.comhttp://digg.com And when you are planning your social media programs as part of your conversationalhttp://stumbleupon.com marketing programs, ask yourself these questions:Idea Management Softwarehttp://brightidea.com  Do we plan to only monitor what is being said or to engage in conversations?http://spigit.comhttp://imaginitik.com  Do we plan to offer customer service via social media?http://invention‐machine.com  Where do we want to engage with customers?http://uservoice.com  Do we want to provide a platform for conversations?http://salesforce.com  If we do provide a platform, do we want to act as gatekeepers?Blogging Software  Do we want to actively engage in-person with the relevant prolific communicators orhttp://blogger.comhttp://wordpress.com teachers?http://movabletype.com  Is engaging customers in conversations a required or optional activity on the part ofhttp://drupal.com employees?http://typo.comhttp://download.live.com  Do we want to create content that can be shared off-site?Contacts: ConclusionBraden KelleyCo-FounderInnovation Excellence To make social media a successful part of your conversational marketing efforts, it is critical3520 253RD CT SE that you keep all of the above in mind. Better planning will help you be clearer in establishingIssaquah, WA 98029(206) 349-8931 your goals, creating your programs, and designing your campaigns. This clarity will ultimatelyhttp://bradenkelley.com allow you to improve your overall success. So, enjoy those conversations!http://innovationexcellence.comhttp://twitter.com/innovate Creative Commons Photo Credits (in order) – WebSuccessDiva, SilenceOfNight, NoLifeBeforeCoffee