What is Conversational Marketing

What is conversational marketing? That’s the question my friends have been asking since they started paying more of an interest in what I do. Not that they weren’t interested before, but now many of them own their businesses and startups, marketing has become a prerequisite for survival.


As a business owner it's patently obvious you need to generate income and sales and attending networking groups alone won't deliver the results you need. So let’s look at digital marketing for the solution.


What is conversational marketing?

So last week, I grabbed a coffee with David and Tyrone. They’ve been my friends for both 27 and 30 years respectively. We haven’t seen that much of each other over the past 5 years, just the odd day out or a game of golf.


The main reason being I’ve had the agency business and have been focused on driving this forward and they’ve had other things to focus on themselves.


However recently David and I were in the pub and he asked me if I could help him generate a better quality of lead for his construction business. They typically focus on residential fit-outs, extensions, conversions and associated projects. Over time they have been contracted to better-paid projects in more wealthy and upmarket areas of London and he wants more of these types of projects.


“Sull (my nickname), when I work in Kensington and Chelsea, they’ve just got more ready capital. They know what they want and when we’re running our projects, we get paid on time with minimal fuss”


That was his understanding of his customer. Like most, he was driven by an understanding that this type of customer paid well, was easy to manage and so he wanted more custom of this nature.


I explained that I can certainly help him, a good portion of my current client base was in this industry and real estate. Therefore I had a good understanding of the needs and wants from both the business and customers perspective.


Go for Inbound Marketing


I advised him to go for both paid search and inbound marketing. A strategy that encompassed multiple forms of marketing to one outcome.


“This is more than just marketing Dave, it’s a lead generation process. Don’t think of PR which is about promoting your business, inbound is a strategy for the longer term”


Not knowing what I was talking about he simply said,


“Well if that’s what you say I need, then that’s what you can quote me for.”


I went on to explain the need for:


  • buyer personas
  • keyword research and analysis
  • content marketing and SEO
  • on-page SEO for his website
  • Email lead nurturing
  • Lead scoring
  • The benefits of paid search in support


And then I mentioned conversational marketing.


What is conversational marketing?”


I mentioned chatbots and he didn’t have a clue as to what they could do for him!


Brand Experience


I explained that there are two things you need to consider when undertaking marketing campaigns. The ability to tell a story and to create a brand experience. People aren’t buying headlines and promises and self-declaration anymore. They are looking for truth via case studies and social support. Platforms like Trustpilot or in his case rated tradesman.


They are seeking answers, not propaganda, so it’s important to teach through your marketing, not sell through your marketing.


Further to that, people still like to talk. Don’t get caught up believing that written or visual content alone will make your content sticky and encourage enquiries or purchases. We are communicative by nature and despite the rising use of text and chat apps, ultimately we still like to talk.


This is where conversational marketing comes into its own.


“Your business offers a few services,” I said. “Therefore as we generate traffic to the website from the inbound and paid marketing, your chatbot can come into its own”.


We can use the leadbot to answer questions that your prospects would have, and then we can serve up case studies to back up the quality of your work. Something you would have to do over the phone and then in person.


Saving Time


Imagine the time you would save by having all of this set up on your website in advance of a call. Effectively, your leads should be super warm and ready to talk about purchasing with minimal effort to convert to a paying customer.


What was his answer….


“It’s up to you mate if that’s what you say we can do then let’s have a go. I don’t understand how it all works, that’s why I am talking to you about it”


In my experience, this is typical of a lot of people I speak to in the construction industry. But not as frequent as it once was. I am often told that they know they need social media and “promotion”, but they don’t know what it really means.


It’s my sales teams job to educate our clients about the services we provide and make them comfortable and understand exactly what they are committing to. That’s why we always have workshops to kick off the work we do.


Using conversational marketing in construction


I went on to explain the value of conversational marketing further. Explaining using Davids business as the theoretical example.


Imagine you have already got decent traffic going into your website. You are getting calls on your phone, but that phone is with you. You are your company's site foreman as well as it’s chief salesperson so you can’t really give equal attention to both highly important tasks.


Wouldn’t it be better if you could be onsite, monitor your leadbots activity from your mobile app and your laptop to run the project and your pipeline at the same time? Maybe jump onto the live view during your lunch hour or tea break and see if your visitors are on your pricing or enquiries pages?


Utilising the platform to distribute relevant projects in conversation based on keywords your conversationalists' use would be so beneficial. No longer scrolling endlessly through your website trying to find projects or answers, you simply use the conversational marketing platform.


How we finished up


Well, that one was easy. The sale of services was anticipated as we’ve known each other so long and trust each other implicitly. It actually wasn’t a sale. I had an educational conversation with a friend, bringing them up to speed on the latest marketing strategies and applications.


We are going to start inbound marketing shortly. We’re running a 5 day kick-off workshop that encompasses


  • Deep dive the company and its marketplace
  • Introduction to Inbound Marketing (sub workshop)
  • Buyer Persona Development Workshop (sub workshop)
  • Presentation of the suggested strategy


I’ll let you know how that goes, now I have to follow up with Tyrone and discuss how to utilise the same methods in Blockchain. Hopefully, by then, he’ll have spoken to David and he won’t be asking


“Sull, what is conversational marketing?”


If you need further information on conversational marketing and to understand how it expedites inbound conversions please feel free to reach out and ask. We’re happy to discuss conversational marketing and other aspects of your marketing strategy at any time.



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BY Paul Sullivan



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