Britain’s all about helping each other out. While some of us may be focusing on the future of our manufacturing industry post-Brexit, they may not know that our economy is in fact driven by the professional services sector.
In fact, close to 80% of the country’s GDP comes from the services sector, according to research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Our economy is more reliant on the service sector than any other G7 country, and this has been absolutely essential in leading the recovery from the 2008 recession.
Back in January 2018, the ONS UK Index of Services report claimed that the services sector was looking particularly strong. In fact, services output had seen its strongest growth since 2016.
The statistics tell us two things. One, that the country’s engineers, restaurants, hotels, communications providers and many others are doing well. The second thing? That within many service-led disciplines, success and business growth is naturally leading to increased levels of competition.
Companies that are feeling left behind or lagging need to step up their game, whether they want to keep pace with their biggest competitors or simply improve their business offering. They need to do a better job of targeting and attracting new customers, building relationships, converting sales and encouraging repeat service.
If you can relate to these problems, then we need to have a chat about conversational marketing.
The power of conversational marketing in the services sector
One of the ways that those in the professional services sector are growing is by adopting a creative inbound marketing strategy. With the right approach in place, this allows companies to reach out to targeted, well-researched customers (near and far) through a variety of channels including email, social media and others.
Many service-led companies are using inbound marketing to complement their growth right now, to generate, attract and nurture the long-term leads most profitable to them, whether they specialise in providing B2B or B2C services.
There are plenty of stats out there that show why inbound can be a good fit for service companies. A sizeable 46% of marketers say that inbound gives them a higher ROI, and 59% claim it provides higher quality leads for the sales team. In fact, 66% of those dedicating just six hours a week to social media marketing claim to see lead generation benefits.
So, inbound can be a great way to reach out and speak to the people who matter to you most. Only, if everyone in your field is adopting inbound and reaching out to the same prospects, there’s the danger that your brand may not stand out from the crowd for much longer.
The one point that many seem to miss about inbound is that people are becoming increasingly aware that they’re being marketed to. Your chances of getting noticed by your target market could be significantly increased by investing in an innovative and engaging chat marketing strategy.
Create compelling real-time experiences with chat marketing
As a service provider, you may be getting a consistent stream of leads visiting your website thanks to your inbound tactics. That’s great; but as creative as your outreach efforts have been in targeting and attracting people to your site, we bet they still have to go through the typical ‘static’ lead conversion process.
Say they want to buy a product, and you want to collect their information with informed consent. So starts a process of them filling in a static form and being nurtured through email, before your sales team qualifies the lead and speaks with them on the phone.
Though it’s still one of the better ways to get results in modern marketing, the problem with such an approach is that it isn’t the most engaging way to build relationships with your audience. There’s an excellent article in Campaign written by Damian Ferrar, senior vice-president and executive creative director at Jack Morton Worldwide. In it, he pushes the cause for a new ROI – return on involvement.
When discussing marketing technology, he says: “The crux of the problem is that technology isn’t an effective experience in itself. What it can be, when leveraged in the right way, is a brilliant enabler and connector of experiences. It’s connected experiences, fuelled by data, that give brands longer-term competitive advantage – and create a return on involvement.”
We’re firm in the belief that those experiences and that alternative ROI can be delivered right here, right now with conversational marketing.
Why service providers need to invest in conversational marketing
Professional services companies can achieve a better return on involvement by working with chatbots alongside inbound campaigns and building a strong, creative chat marketing strategy.
The benefits are numerous. You can engage with targeted leads in real-time as soon as they visit your site, allow people to book meetings with you instantly, show the creative side of your company with cleverly-written scripts... the list is practically endless.
Perhaps most importantly, conversational marketing cuts out the need for dull, lifeless forms, as your team of humans and bots can qualify and focus on the leads that will provide the best returns there and then. We know because we’ve been doing it for ourselves and our clients for a good few months now with our chat marketing platform of choice, Drift.
Drift is the world’s first conversational marketing platform (they even coined the term) and is going a long way to connecting sales and marketing teams, senior managers and CEOs with prospects in real-time. Surely, this is a better option that both parties being walled away from one other by static lead generation forms.
We’re the UK’s first Drift partner, and we’ve helped numerous companies across B2B and B2C sectors to better communicate and engage with their audiences. Being a Drift partner has also helped us grow our own business; we’ve used Drift’s platform and creative chatbots to cut our sales cycle by 33%, generate 23% more leads and fuel a 15% increase in new clients, all in the space of three months.