19 May The four fundamental challenges of conversation marketing
Conversation marketing is based on two key facts: firstly, the consumer shares his purchasing experience with his community, and secondly, he or she needs to be convinced and assured by fellow consumers. The prodigious expansion during the last decade of the social networks and the advent of the smartphone has enabled the development of consumer interactions, and augmented the digital contents created by brands. Companies are investing more and more in conversation marketing to better understand the needs of their customers. The profound changes that marketing has undergone in terms of usage and tools have nevertheless engendered new challenges that companies and businesses must incorporate.
Digital contents: Consumers at the centre of attention
Customer opinions are at the centre of conversation marketing, and receive special attention from companies that are always on the look out for more information. Certain companies even create events just to collect their customers’ comments, which can then be transformed into digital content. The objective of businesses is to place themselves in an “earned media” situation in order to display themselves with digital tools without advertising costs. It is up to companies and businesses to manage, compile and measure these contents.
The advent of the multi-connected consumer
A few years ago showrooming (buying on internet after a visit to a bricks and mortar shop) made us fear for the future of physical shops. As it turns out, digital has actually favoured the act of buying. The consumer will not leave the shop to buy from another channel, except in the case of excessive price differences. Contents produced by conversation marketing have become indispensable elements for the customer. The challenge for companies and businesses is therefore to supply access to all digital tools that can procure valuable content data, in order to improve both customer conversion and loyalty.
The ubiquity of consumer opinions
Once upon a time, consumer opinions were esconced right at the end of product notices. Now however, they are presented on the first page of the website, in newsletters, and so on… and even in shops. With the rise of conversation marketing, they have become veritable sales arguments, invaluable recommendations highlighted by companies. Customer comments are essential as they reassure fellow consumers and make the brand message more credible.
The dialogue between brands and customers
Changes brought about by conversation marketing have replaced unilateral opinions and introduced exchanges. Brands respond to customers through different digital channels in real time, and seek out and question them in a continual dialogue which enables companies to listen and respond to their customers’ needs. Certain companies even propose points if they leave comments. Faced with the emergence of a customer community, brands that fabricate false consumer opinions may quickly find themselves ostracised.
Even if the risk of bad buzz actually exists, companies must invest in conversation marketing to strengthen their consumer relations. Nevertheless, brand communication operations, undergoing constant innovation, must incorporate opinions and digital contents adapted to the new challenges.