Do your customers want to talk?
One way marketing is so last last century !
Examples of the traditional model include TV, radio, press releases and magazine adverts (essentially what we categorise as being “above the line”). The most common criticism of these forms of marketing is how one-way they are; they don’t build a two way conversation which means they are not building a relationship.
Current thinking is that brands should be forming “genuine” relationships with customers that work both ways. Social media has certainly contributed to this way of thinking, but there are also other advances such as re-targeting and behavioural analysis that are helping marketers build personalised experiences for their customers.
In my opinion, personalisation is absolutely the future for consumer brands and although it is largely the preserve of big companies, the technology will become more prevalent and affordable for small companies, it always does.
Personalisation is not a conversation
However, personalisation is not the same as having a conversation. It is still automated, based on limited, pre-conceived collateral and completely passive. A conversation requires effort on the part of a customer, and that is why they are so difficult for brands to actually pull off.
So many brands try to start a conversation that no-one cares about or barges in to an existing topic where they are not welcome or don’t really understand.
Creating a conversational marketing campaign requires a lot of work and time investment to plan, execute and maintain.
The questions is, is it worth it? If a brand is successful then of course the answer is ‘Yes!’ However, I would strongly argue the odds are very much against you and the idea that traditional one-way forms of communication no longer work is utter nonsense.
Take Coca-Cola’s recent campaign putting names on their cans. People are sharing their purchases, but they are talking to genuine friends, they aren’t having a conversation with Coke about it. And this is the real goal, it’s not about having a conversation, it is about becoming part of the conversation in a contextually relevant way.
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