Conversational Marketing

con·ver·sa·tion[kon-ver-sey-shuhn]

–noun
1. informal interchange of thoughts, information, etc., by spoken words; oral communication between persons; talk; colloquy.

mar·ket·ing [mahr-ki-ting]

– noun
1. the act of buying or selling in a market.
2. the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.

source: dictionary.com

Conversational Marketing, FM’s term for marketing in Conversational Media is an exciting new practice that engages, rather than dictates, invites rather than demands, and listens as much as talks. To market conversationally, brands and their agencies sometimes need to exercise new muscles, as well as move past some ingrained thinking about how things are done. Engaging customers in real dialog can be risky, and most brands are used to maintaining complete control over their marketing programs.”

source: John Battelle, Federated Media

As metioned in one of my other blog posts, conversation with your customers is a key to being successful in business. In marketing 101, students learn about surveys, focus groups and other methods of obtaining customer feedback. In the world of the internet, the social network and similar web 2.0 tools are the new methods for taking part in conversations with your customers, prospects and the world in general. There are some rules of engagement of course. Follow John Battelle’s advice – engage, invite and listen.

Does it take time? Yes it does. Time to learn the culture of social media, the technology and a whole new way of identifying your target market. It takes time to develop the relationship – one post does not a blog make. With web based marketing initiatives, you are now able to participate in the Long Tail niche markets that were not economical to promote to before, are now open and growing.

Social media – including blogs and podcasting – are becoming mainstream ‘conversational marketing tools’.

Isn’t it time you joined the conversation?

Dean Owen

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