Jason Falls, a leading educator, public speaker and thinker in the world of digital marketing and social media. He is owner and operator of Social Media Explorer, an expert platform for insights, opinion and learning around the world of social media marketing, online communications, conversational marketing.
I asked Jason on his insights around conversational marketing and how you, as entrepreneurs and marketers can implement it:
1) What does conversational marketing mean to you?
Conversational marketing is the ability to proactively share information about products or services that benefit you in conversations without offending the audience. It’s marketing without spamming. It has it’s roots for my practice in social media, but it’s not limited to the web. Conversational marketers have been around forever. I just like to explore how we can all be better at meaningful conversations with achieving a business goal without offending those we’re talking to.
2) A challenge for brands that are new to integrating social media to their marketing mix or in the early stages, the mindset is still similar to traditional media: ME ME ME! How can brands make that transition from “me to we”?
Put yourself in the shoes and mindset of your customer. Do you like other people who walk in the room and only talk about themselves? No. Why would you then think it’s okay to do it? Put your customer and their needs first, build trust and become a friend to them. When it comes time for them to buy what you sell, you’re in like slim.
3) What are some of the challenges with introducing conversational marketing for a brand?
Marketers have been untaught how to be human and talk to other humans all these years. Marketers have been trained to sell, sell, sell. The biggest challenge is deconstructing the me-first mindset. It’s like teaching a bully that it’s okay to be afraid and needy. They’re hard-headed.
4) With conversational marketing, can brands expect an ROI or is the goal just to make people feel “special”? Is there a correlation between the sentiment of your audience and their buying behaviors?
Tracking ROI specific to conversational marketing is a bit of a challenge, but being a trusted resource and tracking the business success and ROI of your marketing efforts as a result is pretty easy. It’s not the conversational marketing that is going to drive your business. Conversational marketing is going to make people like you. But you can track and measure where your leads or purchases are coming from. If you’re spending a lot of time conversing on Twitter, then drop links to your site and conversion points there a lot. Then measure how much traffic, conversions, etc., came from Twitter.com. It’s do-able.
5) What can people expect from your presentation at unGEEKED e’lite Toronto?
We’re going to talk about conversational marketing. How you do it, what factors you should consider when entering the conversational realm … blogs, blog comments, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. We’ll look at examples of companies doing it well and send folks away with a better understanding of what it means to market through conversations. And yeah, there will be some ROI/measurement nuggets in there as well.
unGEEKED e’lite Toronto is a “3-day retreat” held October 28-30, 2010 at the Atlantis Pavilion in Toronto, Ontario. With 26 nationally known speakers as well as regional superstars in the lineup, the array of experience and opinions should make for interesting conversations. Jason Falls, Sally Hogshead, Marsha Collier and Jeffrey Willinger are just a few of the elites who will be there.
Receive 10% off unGEEEKED e’lite by using the code “TECHVIBES“. Register for unGEEKED e’lite Toronto here www.ungeekedelite.com/toronto.