Customer-centricity is the foundation upon which modern marketing and sales were built, and as such, it is critical to make relationship-building a core focus of your go to market strategy. Conversational marketing, facilitated by platforms like Drift, allows Sales and Marketing to easily customize their outreach and deliver a personal experience to prospects, leads, and customers at every stage of their journey.
As AI becomes more sophisticated, the danger of losing what makes brands human increases. To prevent this, companies must be able to harness the power of casual, friendly conversation. Here, we’ll discuss how conversational marketing can elevate your go to market initiatives and ABM program.
What It Means for Marketing
Because marketing is all about messaging, it’s a no-brainer that a practice that enables companies to tailor their message according to whom they’re selling is going to up the game. In a world where we’re all constantly being marketed to, the value of conversational marketing is that it’s done with the customer’s challenges and needs in mind. You can’t really go to a company’s website anymore without seeing a chatbot of some kind flashing in the corner of your screen, but instead of being irritating, it feels helpful and convenient. Often, that company has already made a prediction—using data—as to what type of voice will resonate with their customers and what kind of help they’re likely to be looking for. The aim, of course, is to prompt engagement that will help move that prospect through the funnel, eventually leading to conversion.
For B2B companies, being able to add a customized bot to any given landing page is a gift that keeps giving. In addition to giving your prospects and customers a way to speak to you without the perceived finality or commitment of a contact form, you can use your bot as a liaison between different pieces of content that you want people to see and engage with. For example, just by asking a few quick questions, the bot can direct someone to a blog post that it deems most relevant for that particular person.
As well as being a way to bring added visibility to your content, conversational marketing can be extremely effective for gathering data. Supplementing your greetings with specific questions will encourage site visitors to interact with your bot and supply you with valuable information about their intentions, pain points, and more. For example, asking multiple choice questions where each answer corresponds with a customized messaging sequence adds an extra touch of personalization to the experience and gives prospective customers a hand in the value they’re receiving.
What It Means for Sales
Time is money, as they say, and that adage is as true for sales teams today as it always has been. The more time that passes between a prospect interaction and a response from Sales, the less likely it becomes that that lead will convert. At Uberflip’s ConEx event in New York City, Gar Smyth of Drift dropped a somewhat shocking statistic: If you wait ten or more minutes to follow up on a lead, your chances of converting that lead drops by 10x as compared to if you were to only wait five minutes . What this means, very simply, is that the ability to easily have real-time conversations with your prospects is more than likely to positively impact your revenue.
If Marketing is all about that initial messaging to draw in leads, Sales is about cultivating relationships that will turn those leads into conversions. Going back and forth via email or phone is not an ideal way to get to know someone, let alone keep them engaged enough to move through the funnel. Additionally, bots provide an organic way to gather contact information for leads, whereas things like contact forms and gated content tend to be more alienating and therefore less effective.
Having a clear plan in place for where a conversation is passed from Marketing to Sales is also necessary in order to create a seamless experience. Whereas Marketing messaging casts a wider net in search of leads, Sales then has to be able to determine which prospects are most likely to convert. Being able to automate the qualification process by having your bot ask the questions will save your Sales team the time it would take to talk to and evaluate every site visitor.
What It Means for ABM
Honestly, it kind of feels like all the best Sales & Marketing practices eventually boil down to ABM . That is, the ones that seem to truly increase qualified leads and drive conversions are the ones designed, first and foremost, to improve your customers’ experience with your brand. In order to do good conversational marketing, you need to first do your homework. Crafting the right messaging requires the right data, whether it’s about a target account as a whole or an individual person. Knowing how to walk the line between personalized and too personal is a key part of this, and we have found that staying focused on common ground between your organization and those you are targeting is a great way to do this. For example, finding out which of your target account’s core values align with yours and how those values are reflected in your work is always a good place to start.
Once you have created this personalized content, conversational marketing tools like Drift ensure that you won’t then have to interrupt the experience with something impersonal like content gates, templatized cold emails, etc.
Unlike some technologies, conversational marketing is much more than a fleeting trend. It is a product of today’s go to market landscape—a response to brands’ desire to further close the gap between themselves and their customers, and customers’ desire to be heard and spoken to like real people. It is a powerful tool, and one from which every organization can benefit.