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Conversational MarketingJune 17, 2016Written by Alex Debecker

Two Sectors Benefiting from Conversational Marketing

Conversational marketing is about to disrupt everything.

It’s a bold statement, and it’s at the very core of what we believe.

In a previous article, I described what I believe conversational marketing to be and how it will impact the way we live our lives.

In this blog post I want to go a little bit deeper, and taketwo examples of sectors I believe would benefit from conversational marketing disruption.

These sectors have been picked somewhat randomly. Since I am a firm believer in this new form of marketing’s future I could share about a thousand ways it would impact different sectors.

But I will be concise.

I will therefore focus on:

  • Health – Behavioural changes at the dentist
  • Marketing – Increasing profits with ultra-targeted ads

I’m going to format this post in two sections, presenting each in a mini fictional case study. I will present the challenge(s) the sector is currently facing, the solution that conversational marketing can provide, and the potential impact of implementing the solution.

These case studies are entirely fictional and should be treated as such. The point is to drill down on how exactly I would implement a conversational marketing solution to fix issues or improve specific challenges faced by the sector.

Let’s get started.

Health – Behaviour change at the dentist

I believe that behaviour change messaging is going to be at the forefront of the health sector for decades to come.

By reprogramming the way individuals think and act we can reduce not only the health issues that bad habits can have on people but also the cost of treating them.

To remain within the scope of this article, we will focus on one sector: dental health.

Introducing Tom’s Dental Practice.

text messaging behavior change

source: Epidemiol Rev (2010) 32 (1): 56-69

The challenge

Tom is a dentist. He works from his own office, in an average size town in the UK. He has a healthy number of clients; his schedule is full most of the days.

Every time Tom meets one of his clients he reminds them of the usual best practices:

  • Brush your teeth every day;
  • Floss every day;
  • Come in for a check-up every 6 months.

Few people stick to these instructions – especially the check-up part.

What usually happens is that a patient finally comes through the door with a problem (usually a painful one), there’s lots of work to be done, work that could have been avoided had the patient followed his advice.

Tom loses money by having to spend more time on each client individually. In the 30 minutes it takes him to do a full clean up, he could have serviced two people who had followed the advice.

The challenge: increase the amount of his patients who actually follow all the instructions.

The solution

Tom stays in touch with his clients by contacting them on a regular basis. Doing so, he can:

  • Remind them to floss;
  • Remind them to brush their teeth;
  • Remind them it’s time to schedule an appointment.

It sounds like a no brainer. He can help his client by giving them a gentle nudge to improve their oral health.

How should he proceed? Through conversational marketing of course!

Bringing conversational marketing through mobile messaging ticks all the right boxes [Tweet this].

Tom can create two different mobile messaging campaigns: one that focuses on reminding his clients to brush and floss their teeth, and one that focuses on reminding his clients to book an appointment.

Thanks to his professional knowledge, Tom will be able to craft an effective messaging plan. He can schedule the plan and let it run in the background while he focuses on his daily activities.

conversational marketing dentist

The results

To be considered a success, Tom’s newly implemented conversational marketing system has to achieve a few things:

  • Improve the oral hygiene of his clients;
  • Reduce the time spent on each client’s bi-annual check-up;
  • Increase the bi-annual check-up booking rate of his clients.

As Tom sets his plan in place, these are the three metrics he will follow up on if he wants to clearly assess whether or not this solution has been successful.

Before starting the programme, a six-monthly check-up took him an average of 30 minutes of work for each of his 200 clients, twice a year. That’s around 200 hours spent on this treatment.

After implementing his new conversational marketing idea, Tom was able to cut the time spent on 25% of his clients (50 out of 200) in half. He went from 200 hours of treatment per year down to 175 – while earning the same amount of money.

Not only that, but since his conversational marketing strategy allows him being present and available during reasonable working hours, he was actually able to book more appointments and give a much more satisfying experience to his clients by answering their questions through the messaging platforms.

Marketing – Increasing profits with ultra-targeted ads

Online marketing is everywhere.

Whether it is through website ads or email campaigns straight into our inbox, we’re all confronted with it on an hourly basis.

As marketers, our job is to make people aware of our brand, get them interested in our products, and eventually turn them into clients. This process will differ greatly depending on the company you represent, the clients you serve and the products you sell.

To remain within the scope of this article, we will focus on one sector: e-commerce.

Introducing Mark’s Online Gaming Equipment Store.

targeted versus non targeted ads

source: Forbes – Network Advertising Initiative

The challenge

Mark is a marketer. He has been hired by a small company to run the e-commerce section of the gaming website. He is the only marketer in the company.

Mark’s days revolve around carrying out his marketing duties: writing emails, building lists, writing content for the blog, designing banners, striking deals with partner websites, driving traffic, and so on.

He also has a very data driven approach to his work. He follows everything he does closely, and tries to figure out what works and what doesn’t based on numbers rather than intuition.

Unfortunately, he has realised that his marketing efforts haven’t been paying off as well as they used to. While he keeps building a mailing list at a steady pace, he also has a hard time actually reaching anyone on that list with the weekly email campaign he sends.

Even worse, the people he does manage to reach don’t actually seem very interested in buying the products he took the time to promote.

The data isn’t looking good.

The challenge: improve the reach of his marketing efforts and, in turn, improve sales.

The solution

Mark’s challenge doesn’t lie in content. It’s not that his copy is bad or the products he promotes don’t have a market.

The challenge is actually reaching the customers, and reaching them with something they care about. [Tweet this] His customers are used to getting marketing emails and they dismiss them instantly because they assume the content isn’t really tailored to them.

The solution? Conversational marketing!

By implementing a conversational marketing approach through mobile messaging Mark can kill several birds with one stone.

Firstly, his copy stand a better chance of being read. It has been shown that emails are, on average, being read by less than 20% of recipients (source Mailchimp). Compare that to the fact that over 83% of all mobile messages are being read within three minutes of delivery (source techipedia), and you have a clear winner.

Secondly, Mark can finally deliver the right content to the right people. Lots people dismiss marketing emails because they expect them to be a general email sent to an entire list of people – there won’t be anything that fills their specific needs.

Conversational marketing gets rid of this through an initial segmentation (sex, city, country, language, etc.) and then diving into an actual conversation with the client. From there, Mark can figure out what each individual is looking for:

  • Gaming accessories?
  • The latest mouse of a particular brand?
  • Info on ergonomic gaming equipment?
  • A discount of bundle orders?

You can bet that once these messages are clearly targeted to each recipient, Mark’s messages will be opened.

Thirdly, Mark is available and reachable. As a marketer in the gaming industry, a big part of his job is also about educating potential customers. What better way to do this than by being available straight through mobile messaging platforms?

By doing this, Mark not only gets to learn what his customers want, he also gets to sell or upsell products.

Data-driven Mark can follow the progress of his work through granular analysis.

conversational marketing gaming ecommerce

The results

To be a success, Mark’s new strategy has to:

  • Increase his customer reach;
  • Increase traffic to the website;
  • Increase sales.

These are the metrics Mark will have to keep an eye on as he carries on his conversational marketing strategy.

Before starting the programme, Mark could expect an average of 20% open rate (industry average) on his weekly email blasts. Out of his list of 900 subscribers he was able to reach about 150 people. Assuming an average of a 2.75% click through rate (industry average), that brought four people to his website every week.

Post conversational marketing, Mark’s reach increased to a 49% open rate (half of industry average) on his weekly mobile messaging blasts. Assuming a 9.5% click through rate (half of industry average), Mark brought about 42 people to his website or 10.5 times more than his email marketing.

The results don’t end there. Thanks to his conversational approach, Mark can tailor content specifically to the different segments he is targeting, increasing sales in the process.

So now it’s your turn!

Which industry do you think could benefit the most from a conversational marketing approach? How would you approach the change and track the results?

I want to hear your thoughts. Let me know what you think!