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  • Writer's pictureManoj Khilnani

The Rise of Conversational Marketing in COVID-19

In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, a paradigm shift is making waves – and it's all about conversation. Welcome to the age of conversational marketing, where chatbots, AI, and personalized approaches are not just buzzwords but crucial elements reshaping how businesses interact with their customers.

The Dawn of Dialogue-Driven Marketing

Gone are the days when marketing was a one-way street. Today, it's all about engagement, interaction, and conversation. The rise of conversational marketing has been phenomenal, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic when the digital space became the primary, and often only, point of interaction between businesses and consumers.

Chatbots: The Frontline of Customer Service

Imagine visiting a website and being greeted by a friendly chatbot ready to assist you. This scenario is increasingly common, with businesses employing AI-driven chatbots to provide instant, 24/7 customer service. These chatbots have evolved from simple scripted responders to sophisticated AI entities capable of learning from interactions and providing personalized responses. In fact, after having landed in the US, I realized that one cannot survive without a car, especially in a city like San Diego. Guess what? Over the last few weeks, I have spoken to very few sales assistants at dealerships, and I have gathered the info mainly through chat assistants on the landing pages of these dealerships. 

AI: The Smart Conversationalist

Artificial Intelligence in conversational marketing goes beyond chatbots. It's about harnessing AI to analyze customer data, predict needs, and personalize marketing messages. AI's ability to process and learn from vast amounts of data allows for a level of personalization that was unthinkable just a few years ago. This is great and spooky at the same time for me. For someone who hardly visits a bank, I am, to date, spooked when I hear a chatbot on the line, and in a few minutes, it says it recognized my number and my voice. 

Personalization: The Heart of Conversational Marketing

The true essence of conversational marketing lies in personalization. It's not just about responding to queries; it's about understanding the customer's journey and tailoring the conversation to their needs and preferences. Personalization boosts brand-customer bonds, increasing loyalty and trust.

Real-time Responses: The New Expectation

In our fast-paced world, customers expect real-time responses. Conversational marketing meets this need by providing instant communication channels. Whether through chatbots, messaging apps, or live chat, the ability to engage customers in real time is a game-changer in customer service and experience. The company that does this job amazingly well is Amazon. Whether you want to return a package or track your order before you even get to the human on the other side, AI assistants can instantly provide you with the details in real time. 

The Human Touch in a Digital World

Despite the rise of AI and automation, the human element remains crucial in conversational marketing. The key is to balance technology with a human touch – using AI to enhance, not replace, the human aspect of customer interactions. Try explaining a chatbot about what needs to be fixed in your car while handing it over for repairs :-) Good luck talking to a chatbot; you still need your mechanic on the other side who knows your vehicle inside out.

The Future is Conversational

It's 2020, and while I am locked in my two-room apartment, I wonder where this trend will go. It's only set to grow. We can expect even more natural and seamless interactions with AI and machine learning advancements. As voice search and voice assistants become more prevalent, voice will likely become essential to conversational marketing strategies.

Embracing the Conversation

The rise of conversational marketing marks a significant shift in how businesses interact with customers. By embracing this trend, companies can provide more personalized, engaging, and responsive experiences. In a world where connection is vital, conversational marketing is not just a strategy; it's a necessity.

As we continue to navigate this digital era, one thing is clear: brands that succeed will be those that understand the importance of conversation in marketing. So, let's keep the conversation going – because in the marketing world, it's not just about talking; it's about connecting.

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