“Conversational marketing” is a term that has been around for about as long as the Internet. The concept goes back further, however. The idea is based on the concept that markets are conversations.
The “markets are conversations” concept was discussed in a book published in 1999, “The Cluetrain Manifesto.” According to its authors, markets have always been conversations, except for that period in the 20th century dominated by mass media. During that time, marketers would promote their products by “shouting” at consumers, who had no way to talk back to the peddlers. With the advent of the Internet, however, that changed.
Today, not only can consumers talk back, but they can walk away. There is always someone else in the conversation who can meet their need. And it isn’t all about price. It’s about the conversation.
Conversational marketing is all about using the tools at your disposal to engage with your audience and that requires being able to speak their language. I mean language in the vernacular sense, not in the cultural barrier sense.
When you talk about your company, your products, or your services with your prospective audience, are you respecting them? Are you shouting or listening? Conversations are a two-way street. If you don’t treat them as such, then you will lose in the age of conversational marketing.