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Conversation Marketing: Can We Talk?

The latest buzz word in marketing is “Conversation Marketing.” Without ever hearing about conversation marketing until recently, this is the way that I prefer to get a message out about something that I’m endorsing or yes … if you want to hear the dirty word … selling. The phrase that really stood out in my mind was “All marketing is a conversation.”

“The awful truth about marketing is that it broadcasts messages to people who don’t want to listen…. much of business communication is written in contrived and artificial language, supposedly designed to impress, but actually signaling just how impersonal the firm and its professionals are.”

I see so many of the long, hypey big red lettered sales letters and still wonder how that type of marketing can be successful. I know that many “gurus” use them and make money, but in my opinion, you aren’t reaching a large part of the market through this method of communication. Basically, you’re reaching an audience who is looking for a “dream in a box” solution and willing to believe anything that promises that.

To me … and maybe it’s just me, I find those type of sales letters to be more annoying than persuasive. It’s packaged marketing, spoken in a fake voice and often uses scare tactics and unfounded promises to reel their customers in. Many marketers see marketing as a one-sided dialogue … nothing more than a propaganda campaign. This type of marketing rarely answers any questions I might have about the product.

The marketer that is able to reach his market in a real voice and engage his audience in a two-way dialogue is the marketer who is going to be able to build trust and relationships that convert into sales. In the offline world of marketing, where you meet your prospective clients, you have a greater opportunity to employ Conversational Marketing. Instead of giving yet another boring presentation, you can have a question and answer session. In a personal one-on-one presentation, you can give your prospects a handout and then instead of launching into a one-way dialogue of your capabilities and contract issues, see if you can engage your prospect in a conversation to determine what his problems and needs are. Continue Reading

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