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Why Conversational Marketing Should Be a Priority for All Entrepreneurs Businesses can leverage real-time, personalized interactions to enhance customer relationships and brand visibility.

By Kobi Ben Meir Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, trends ebb and flow, but a few enduring ones manage to leave a lasting imprint. One such game-changer quietly revolutionizing customer interactions is conversational marketing. Despite sounding somewhat technical, the concept is simple — it aims to reintroduce the human touch into digital marketing, making business interactions feel more personal and less transactional.

Understanding conversational marketing

At its very core, conversational marketing replicates having a casual, friendly chat with your customers over a digital cup of coffee. It's real-time, personalized and interactive, fostering a deep and meaningful connection between businesses and customers. Thanks to AI-driven chatbots, targeted emails, and direct messaging on social media platforms, personalized and engaging interactions are now feasible.

For instance, let's consider an online bookstore. With the help of AI-powered chatbots, the bookstore can assist customers in finding the books they are looking for and suggest new reads based on the customer's reading history and preferences. This goes beyond mere transactional interactions and creates an experience that feels personalized and catered to the customer's needs.

Related: Should You Market Like Chipotle or Be Conversational?

The role of AI in conversational marketing

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is integral to shaping conversational marketing. AI-powered chatbots are capable of managing multiple customer queries concurrently, providing instant responses, and operating round-the-clock.

However, the potential of AI transcends the mere handling of queries. AI can analyze vast amounts of customer data and behavior to create highly personalized interactions. For example, a beauty brand could employ AI to recommend products based on a customer's past purchases or skin type. Over time, as the customer interacts more with an AI-driven tool, the tool becomes better equipped to provide relevant and personalized responses.

Consider the case of Netflix. The streaming giant uses AI to analyze viewers' watching habits and preferences, tailoring its recommendations based on the analyzed data. This creates a personalized viewing experience that keeps users engaged and returning for more.

Related: Why AI Is Relevant To Conversational Marketing

The future possibilities of AI in conversational marketing

The future of AI in conversational marketing looks promising, with an array of untapped possibilities. Thanks to significant advancements in natural language processing and machine learning, AI chatbots are becoming increasingly proficient in comprehending and responding to complex customer queries. We may not be too far from a future where AI chatbots can engage in conversations as effectively and naturally as human customer service representatives.

Why conversational marketing?

Why has conversational marketing gained such traction? Here are three primary reasons:

  • It's Instant: In our fast-paced world, customers anticipate swift responses. Conversational marketing tools, equipped to offer real-time responses, cater to this requirement efficiently.
  • It's Personal: Conversational marketing enables businesses to tailor interactions based on a customer's past behavior and preferences. It creates unique experiences that make customers feel genuinely valued—imagine a fashion retailer suggesting outfits based on a customer's past purchases and style preferences.
  • It's Insightful: The interactive nature of conversational marketing offers a wealth of data on customer preferences and behaviors. This data can be leveraged to fine-tune marketing strategies and improve product offerings.

Let's look at Starbucks as an example. Their mobile app offers a highly personalized experience, providing product recommendations based on users' previous orders and taste preferences. This personal touch enhances customer experience and provides Starbucks with valuable insights into individual consumer behavior.

The future is conversational

Recent research by Twilio reveals an impressive statistic — 90% of consumers wish to use messaging to communicate with businesses. This stat illuminates the potential conversational marketing holds in today's fast-paced digital environment. Businesses not leveraging this trend might be missing out on substantial opportunities for enhanced customer engagement, brand visibility, and revenue growth. Moreover, conversational marketing is not just about direct sales. It's about fostering customer relationships and maintaining brand loyalty.

Related: 6 Alternative Marketing Tactics Your Brand Can Use to Pull Ahead of the Competition

Overcoming challenges in conversational marketing

Like any marketing strategy, conversational marketing comes with its challenges. Businesses must ensure their interactions are genuinely useful and relevant to the customer, not invasive or bothersome. Additionally, the technology used must be up-to-date and capable of understanding and responding to a wide range of customer inquiries.

Investing in advanced AI and machine learning technologies can help overcome these hurdles. As AI technologies continue to evolve, they are becoming increasingly adept at understanding nuanced customer queries and providing relevant responses. For instance, companies like LivePerson and Intercom offer AI-powered messaging platforms that can manage customer conversations intelligently and seamlessly.

Measurement and optimization

As with any marketing effort, it's crucial to measure the effectiveness of your conversational marketing strategies. Metrics such as customer engagement, conversion rates, and customer satisfaction levels can provide valuable insights. These metrics can help businesses understand what's working and where there's room for improvement.

For instance, an AI chatbot may show a high engagement rate, indicating that customers find the tool useful. However, if the conversion rate is low, it might suggest that while the chatbot is attracting attention, it's not effectively driving customers toward purchasing.

By continually monitoring these metrics, businesses can refine their conversational marketing strategies to serve their customers better and meet their marketing goals.

In an increasingly digital world, conversational marketing is a breath of fresh air. By providing real-time, personalized interactions, businesses can foster deeper relationships with their customers, standing out in a crowded marketplace.

As we step into the future, conversational marketing, particularly with the advancement of AI, is set to redefine how businesses interact with customers. It's high time businesses of all sizes take note of this trend and consider how they can integrate conversational marketing into their broader marketing strategy. After all, the future of digital marketing is conversational, and that future is here.

So, are we ready to chat?

Kobi Ben Meir

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Marketing Innovator | Author

Kobi Ben Meir is the founder of Marketing Trailblazer. Former Head of Marketing for Fintech, SaaS and D2C brands, and an award-winning marketer, author and mentor. Top 80 B2B Marketers for 2022

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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