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Martech-Report-22-23

The Martech Report 22/23

Martech is more important than ever, and despite a more challenging economic situation in 2022, martech budgets are continuing to grow. The global market for Martech and Salestech is estimated to be worth $508.9bn.

As our latest State of Martech report finds organisations face a number of challenges around marketing technology. The biggest one is finding the skills and talent needed to drive martech initiatives.

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What Is Conversational Marketing?

Conversational marketing is above all a customer-centric approach. It is dialogue-driven, easy, and accessible. So, it's no surprise that it's become the go-to strategy for driving customer engagement and growing revenue. 

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Now, this isn't just about bringing the weather up to your customers. They don't care that it was raining yesterday, and is hot today. Despite how riveting that is. 

According to a study carried out by Drift, more than half of companies engaging with conversation marketing say it allows them to reply faster to questions posed by visitors. 

This is because people enjoy communicating and interacting with messaging because it's fast, easy, and, well, conversational. So, it's not surprising that, in 2021, some of the most popular communication channels include online live chat, phone and/or video calls, and email. 

But most companies are still making their customers jump through endless hoops before a conversation takes place.

So, basically, conversational marketing is marketing that talks to people. It can be done through live chat, chatbots, voice assistants, or other forms of conversational AI. These experiences can be positioned on websites, social media channels, paid to advertise and even in physical stores or connected home devices. 

What Are The Advantages (and Disadvantages) of Conversational Marketing?

Well, there are a few on both ends of the spectrum. When done badly, conversational marketing can be damaging to your brand. 

When used incorrectly, bad conversational marketing can lead to frustration on both ends. You'll damage the whole concept of conversational marketing if the conversation doesn't go well. So, it's vital that your company remains goal-oriented and provides value to customers, rather than just jumping on the next new shiny toy. 

Companies can also lose insight into customer needs. A lot of places still work with authority-oriented design, so one person will pitch a feature and the team makes it happen with no questions asked. This can mean the business is led away from focusing on what the customer wants, and thinks is valuable. 

But there are plenty of advantages when the concept is done correctly. It increases customer engagement, number one. More one-on-one interactions will encourage customers to reach out and engage with your brand. 

Plus, it humanises the customer experience. Conversational marketing gives your customer experience a more detailed and human touch. People love personalisation, so adding this relevance keeps the person on the other end happy and engaged. 

It's not all about marketing, too. Conversational marketing can also give your sales funnel a boost. Organisations can quickly identify and qualify leads as they come in, and also help them convert.

What Is Conversational Account-Based Marketing?

Decision makers have increasingly been searching for a conversational buying experience. The bog-standard, one-size-fits-all approach just doesn't work; buyers want a personalised, B2C-style experience every step of the way. 

So, that's where conversational Account-Based Marketing comes in. This technique instantly connects your sales team with a target account, as soon as they step foot on your website. It turns a fleeting visit into a full sales conversation. And it gets you on the good side of your most valuable prospects.

After you've put in the hard graft of selecting your target accounts, driving traffic to your site, and personalising the experience, there's no point giving up after this point.

So, conversational ABM makes sure your potential clients can get answers to their questions as soon as they need them, in their own time, at their own convenience. 

So, making sure your live chats are laced with personalisation makes this so much more impactful. 

Basically, if you combine ABM and conversational marketing, you get conversational ABM.

This means using ABM is only half the battle. 

To make sure you get those lucrative enterprise deals to close, you have to engage and follow up with these accounts, until they're ready to move down the funnel. 

How Do You Implement Conversational ABM? 

Right, there are a few steps you can take to implement this strategy:

  1. Identify your target account. First up, you need to align marketing and sales through the identification of target accounts. This might be through specific characteristics; location, revenue, and industry. From this, you can start to build your tone, content, and language. 
  2. Identify and segment prospects. Next, you need to identify prospects within the list. This might be based on a specific role or variety of roles. But each approach will vary. So, you've got to segment further, based on position in the funnel, pain points, and intent. This is then allocated among Sales Development Representatives. 
  3. Building relationships. Clients trust individuals, not companies. So, make sure you set strict ownership boundaries as your SDRs develop relationships with their prospect, and avoid overlap in engagement. 
  4. Personalising ads. Next, it's time to think about your approach to each subject. Every individual has their own preferences, but it's not possible to personalise at this level. So, you can personalise based on prospect-specific pain points and values instead. So it might be CMO-based, or CXO based. Think how far you can go with the personalisation, based on your resources.
  5. Keep sales and marketing ready and informed. Now the list is ready, and ads are running. The second a prospect appears on your website, the marketing and sales team need to be ready. So, you'll need to make sure everyone has all the information they need, and that CRM data, marketing automation data, and intent data is consolidated, organised, and accessible. 
  6. Keep up the personalisation. Right, now the prospect is well and truly engaged, you've got to remember - the personalisation doesn't stop here. The client should be landing on a relevant homepage at this point, so your CMS should be able to identify them when they land and cater for the web flow in a way that keeps everything personalised. 
  7. Live chat.So this page might help, but it also might not be enough. If the client doesn't get the information they need, they'll bounce. So, conversational ABM and live chat make sure they're contacted before this happens. This encourages marketers and SDRs to be proactive. References to their role, company, or pain points get the conversation going. Then, confirm a demo. 
  8. Interact with clients whenever and wherever. This technique requires constant and consistent interaction. To make this easier, you might implement AI or chatbots to keep everything running smoothly. You might even move onto LinkedIn - this is where you can interact with your target's posts, and even make connection requests. 

 

What is Conversational Text Marketing?

Using customer data, conversational SMS marketing tailors a special little interaction for each possible client. In the long run, it builds report with the brand, and focuses on true interaction with the person on the other side. It's based in empathy - each properly answered question, and person-specific question, means a chance to avoid a disappointed customer. 

Basically, you're recreating the in-person shop experience. Remember shops? 

You get the easy complaint line, you get the ability to ask about the product, and you get the friendly, easy going shop keep with a smile on their face. You know, like the opposite to shopping in Primark. 

You can also guide your customer to complete their purchase, rather than having the product just sitting in their basket. And possibly kindle a friendship that lasts for life! Okay, maybe not the last one.

“Messaging apps will introduce a paradigm shift for marketers where interactive and contextual conversations will replace ad broadcasting. New conversational interfaces will drive deeper relationships between consumers and brands.” wrote Forrester in an article for Forbes.

That's the key - relationships. The trick to SMS messaging is to treat it like a normal interaction, warts and all. Don't send multiple messages in a sequence, and wait for a reply. It's better to leave the meat of the conversation to the second message, that responds to the choice they just made. And don't overwhelm them! You don't like being messaged by your least favourite great Aunt every day, so why do it to your customers?