As the first Drift partner in the UK, it's not a big surprise we're huge fans of conversational marketing. However, the facts back us up too.
Research by LivePerson shows that only 11% of people feel negatively about chatbots. At the same time, an enormous 67% of people say they have interacted with a chatbot for customer support in the year up to the report being published.
From those two statistics alone you can conclude that more people are using chatbots when they want to get in touch with a company and don’t feel bad about doing so. On the other side of the coin, businesses are also exploring the benefits of using chatbots, especially when research suggests that they will be responsible for cost savings of $8 billion annually by 2022, up from $20 million in 2017.
With Gartner believing that 85% of all customer service interactions set to be through chatbots by 2020, and with the average person set to have more conversations with bots than their spouses by the same year, there seems little that can stop their implementation in a commercial and societal sense.
We think that’s a good thing, though, especially for B2B and B2C companies looking to grow and adopt a conversational marketing approach to better engage with their most valuable prospects.
Why’s it such a good idea to invest in chat marketing? Because of the way consumers are interacting not just with each other, but brands over the internet. No more is marketing one-way traffic. It’s a two-way street that chatbots help you walk down together.
Chat marketing helps you talk to customers when the volume is loud
Research from HubSpot points out that 47% of consumers are open to buying products through a chatbot, while as long as they are helped efficiently, 40% could care less if their problems are resolved by a chatbot or a human being.
All of these statistics and many others are highly relevant, we feel, because chat marketing is still relatively new and in its infancy. The sooner you explore the benefits of it and how it can support your growth strategy, the quicker you can start cutting through the noise and building strong relationships with the prospects most valuable to you.
Because, make no mistake about it, there is a lot of noise out there. So many brands and marketers are looking to reach out to the same demographics and target audiences that you are, all through the same channels (social, email, search). It’s widely accepted, for instance, that millennials are the most marketed to generation in history.
That simple factor means that a lot of that demographic have developed a serious filter toward the messages they are receiving and tune most of them out. On their computers, smartphones, and tablets all day, every day, a brand is trying to grab their attention.
An article in Adweek published at the start of the year underlined how, despite there being more than 60 million brand pages on Facebook alone, interacting with audiences is getting harder and that the engagement ratio per brand has fallen by more than 8%. So, how can conversational marketing help get you in front of valuable leads and communicate with them?
Build creative, interactive experiences with conversational marketing
Such noise is why the millennial generation is tuning out the noise and looking, instead, for experiences. Millennials are much more brand-savvy than older generations in particular, which has massively contributed to the rise in experiential marketing; brands offering experiences to that audience to show they’re better than the competition.
With 72% of millennials saying they would rather choose an experience than an item, how does that translate to the online lead generation space and, more specifically, how does conversational marketing help to do it?
Quite easily, in fact, if you work alongside a specialist to create a solid chat marketing strategy and use the right software. Drift is our favourite conversational marketing platform, for instance, because of the incredible sales and marketing software they provide alongside their chatbots. We love it so much in fact that we’ve become the first and only UK Drift partner.
Even if you’re lucky enough to cut through the noise and reach your target market with a creative message, the lead generation measures you may have in place and your overall sales cycle could be turning prospects off.
When a prospect visits do they have to fill in a lot of dull lead generation forms? Your sales teams may then have to spend a while qualifying the leads visiting; how often are they being nurtured through email marketing and are you calling them at the right times? Such a process can take days, weeks and even months to bear fruit depending on the products and services you’re selling.
Here’s how working with a Drift partner can help
That wall between you and the customer combined with the noise they’re having to filter through on a daily basis really doesn’t help anyone.
A strong chat marketing strategy can work wonders for you both by instantly opening the lines of communication when a prospect enters your site in real-time, while the capabilities of a platform like Drift helps turn those days and weeks in the lead qualification process into minutes.
It’s why we love being a Drift partner so much. Not only are we helping our clients create conversations with their most valuable prospects, but we’re also cutting through the noise and seeing the incredible benefits of chatbots and conversational marketing ourselves to pull away from the competition.
As a Drift partner, in the space of three months we saw a 15% increase in new clients, generated 23% more leads and cut our sales cycle by 33%. Through scripting our chatbots, we were able to better navigate the time distance between ourselves and clients in the US, helping us to enter the market and cut through the noise stateside.