Winning consumer trust is a key battleground for today’s brands. Companies which simply tell and sell are short-sighted.
Today’s consumers are far more likely to choose brands they can really relate to - brands with a human face.
Conversational Marketing is a fantastic way to build this trust, cutting through the clutter and noise of everyday marketing, and forging genuine connections in the way only true dialogue can.
Here are six ways to help make it work for you:
1) Make sure that your conversation is face to face
Conversational Marketing, by definition, is a two way street. To build trust and create rapport between consumer and Brand Ambassador, there’s no substitute for face to face contact. Occupying the same physical space makes the encounter more human and creates an intimacy that would be impossible on-line or via the telephone.
2) Make sure you’re talking and listening
To get the most from a face to face interaction, a Brand Ambassador should be both talking and listening. Without the consumer input the dialogue is a monologue. Consumers must feel free to ask questions, state preferences, and verbalise everything that makes their situation unique. The Brand Ambassador can then respond in a bespoke way with suggestions that provide the consumer with genuine value.
3) Make it natural, and personal
Word of mouth and peer to peer recommendations are powerful marketing tools. They translate into sales and behaviour change because they come from a trusted source. We train our BAs to build rapport quickly and to understand a person’s needs in order to give information that will be valuable to them. A good BA will use their personality to put across brand messages in a way that feels natural to them and that fits the situation. Scripted, unenthusiastic staff will never gain another person’s trust or create a genuine connection.
4) Make them comfortable
We’ve learnt that people respond best to brand experiences when they’re comfortable. That’s why we often provide a place to sit, as well as hot and cold drinks when we design a live brand experience. This isn’t a tactic designed to buy their time but rather, it’s a way of ensuring that they feel relaxed enough to stick around long enough to have a real conversation.
5) Find the right people, in the right frame of mind
This might seem obvious but there’s no point attempting to engage people who are completely wrong for the product. Brands need to be in the right place at the right time, talking about the right thing in the right way. Research is key to ensuring you target the right people when they’re in the right frame of mind.
6) Give them an experience to talk about
If all of the above elements are in place it’s likely that a memorable and meaningful encounter will happen. People love to share new found knowledge and experiences and if the consumer has enjoyed the experience they will be keen to share what they’ve learned with others. This is what makes Conversation Marketing so potent. It has the power to transform consumers into brand advocates and create a series of dialogues as engaging and far reaching as the best viral marketing campaign. Which is genuine value for everyone involved.
With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.