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Modern Marketing Is A Conversation
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Modern Marketing is A Conversation

With the advent of social media, marketing has been changed forever. Now, customers don’t just passively consume your marketing messages, they are out there actively creating messages of their own. Facebook, Twitter, even places like Yelp and Angieslist, are full of customer reviews of products and services that people love (and hate). Businesses can no longer afford to ignore the other side of this new marketing conversation.

Being active on social media is only the first step to making conversation marketing work for you. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that they are invited to participate in every conversation out there, but the truth is that for the most part, businesses aren’t welcome in any conversation online, even the ones the business starts!

This is because most businesses are using social media as simply another platform to broadcast their same-old “buy this now” marketing message. Effective Conversation Marketing, however, requires a different approach to customer communication and a softer touch to marketing in general.

Much like the advice your mother gave you when you were a struggling teenager going out on dates for the first time, a good conversationalist listens more than talks. And this is what businesses must do in the social media space — listen more than talk.

When a business really listens to what is being said — about their products, their company, and the problems that they solve with their products and services — then it becomes easy to know how to participate in the ongoing conversations in a meaningful way.:

  • Offer tips and help that isn't self-promotion.
  • Publish free content online that helps your potential clients live a better life.
  • Simply being of service in a way that puts your clients ahead of your bottom line.

For some businesses, the idea of Conversation Marketing isn't new. Nordstrom, for example, has employed conversation marketing principles from its inception.

Nordstrom employees are tasked with the job of ensuring that Nordstrom shoppers ALWAYS find what they are looking for. For most retailers, this responsibility ends at the door to their store. But not at Nordstrom. If a customer is looking for something that Nordstrom doesn't carry, but that item IS carried by another retailer in the same mall, the Nordstrom employee will accompany the customer to that other store AND assist them in locating what they are looking for.

This attitude of serving "focusing on catering to customers' needs, individually" has been a successful one: over 100 years in business and still going strong.

Conversation marketing is about learning to listen, engage, and respond to your customers in a deeper, more meaningful way. The businesses that will be successful in the next 100 years will the be the ones who embrace this reality and learn to actively participate in the new Conversation Marketing.


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