“Conversational Marketing” was a term coined by Drift.com sometime around 2015, but it’s a concept that has existed since the invention of language and bartering. It’s the foundation of Sales and the keystone to any great customer relationship. Conversational Marketing is, in short, is having one-on-one conversations with customers to drive leads and improve relations.
If it’s been around for so long, why are we talking about it now? Why has Conversational Marketing become such an important talking piece in a world where we’re talking to one another more than ever? Since the mid-2000’s, when businesses and speculators started understanding the capabilities of “big data,” the language around business marketing has become increasingly more scientific and inaccessible. A gap has formed between Sales and Marketing, where one profession became about conversation and the other about data evaluation. But the most effective way to generate strong leads is to have a conversation. One-on-one. In real time.
Seems basic, right? But there are so many businesses that use impersonal and impractical methods to drive leads such as email forums, link-less contact pages, even overwhelmed teams of representatives trying to sort through thousands of information requests daily. The very necessity of customer service representatives shows that customers want to be communicated with conversationally. Everyone wants to be heard, and scouring FAQs and support forums for answers is one of the most frustrating, impersonal consumer experiences in the modern world. Current models of customer support are inadvertently punishing consumers and driving away leads. Which begs the question:
Why are we punishing consumers for being interested in our business?
Why do we make leads wait hours, days, even weeks to hear back from us? Instant messaging platforms and social media have critically changed the way that consumers interact with the world- with your business. Drift’s VP of Marketing Dave Gerhardt said that “as consumers, we know if we go to your website and can’t get an answer right away, we’re just going to go Google something else. You have to be able to answer people real-time.”
We all know that customer service hotlines are not an effective, scalable solution, so companies like Drift are creating software to mediate conversations with leads. Using marketing software that transitions your conversation from a bot to a customer service representative does three critical things: 1) It creates a personalized experience between your company and your leads. 2) It’s a natural, easy experience for most-all users. 3) It scales a massive amount of requests into a manageable workload.
Drift.com is hot because they’re staging themselves at the intersection of an age-old solution and a modern platform. They are creating valuable, customer-focused, and human-centric tools for a market that is notorious for impersonalization.