Businesses are now expanding and diversifying their sales channels. You no longer have to depend on your website to draw in customers. Landing prospects through online forms and email feedback is gradually becoming a thing of the past. In fact, these days, you need to engage in sincere, instant communication, mainly on a one-on-one basis, to satisfy your prospects and customers. Traditional marketing methods are no longer enough to grow and retain a customer base.
Messenger marketing, or conversational marketing as it’s commonly called, is taking center stage. Consumers can now get instant answers to pressing concerns. They can interact with a brand without having to wait for the regular “We’ll get back to you” email response. Whether a business is rolling out AI to answer questions and resolve issues or deploying its sales marketers on messaging platforms, the fact is, customers need fast replies to be satisfied these days.
A 2018 research showed that 82% of respondents would love to get immediate feedback from brands. That is where the power of messenger marketing comes into play.
What is messenger marketing?
Messenger marketing is the use of messaging applications, such as WeChat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, among others, to engage in business conversations. It’s as simple as interacting with customers by replying to messages and resolving issues in real time.
Technically, you’re looking at receiving and replying messages, which sounds a lot like email. Yes, the concept is the same, but the practice, however, is different.
Email marketing is plagued by delays, and brands that use it often seem more detached and distant to customers. Messenger marketing, on the other hand, is interactive, instantaneous, and inclusive.
That said, we’re not completely writing off email marketing. It is still important as people keep using email.
Should you implement conversational marketing?
If you haven’t integrated this form of marketing into your business routines yet, you’re already losing customers. People all over the world actively use messaging applications. The idea that they can get their answers instantly makes it more convenient for people to interact with brands. It also makes it easier for them to take action, such as purchasing a product or subscribing to a service. As a result, consumers feel more confident about a business they can reach out to via instant messaging. Obviously, they are more likely to buy from a business they can chat with. So, if you’ve not included messenger marketing into your marketing plans, you should do so immediately.
All that said, messenger marketing is still a work in progress, and you won’t be late to the party if you jump on the bandwagon right now. Some marketing trends continue to evolve, while others disappear, and new trends, as you would expect, show up.
We’ll be exploring those new trends and what to look forward to as 2020 begins to wrap up.
There is an explosion in the adoption of messenger marketing
The buzz around conversational marketing is pretty strong. Brands are noticing its impact, and the majority have included it in their marketing plans for 2020. We believe that in no time, messenger marketing will go from novel to mainstream.
Chatbots are getting smarter
One of the main differentiators between conversational marketing and other forms of marketing is the use of chatbots. They are intelligent automated messaging applications built to interact with people, ask questions, simulate conversations, provide feedback, and perform a host of other functions.
The introduction and implementation of chatbots didn’t get off to a great start; however, with continuous optimization and fine-tuning, they’ve become the major force in messenger marketing.
The advantages of chatbots are wide-ranging, and they are beneficial not only to businesses but also to customers. For starters, chatbots don’t require a salary and can work around the clock. That means businesses can rely on them to have their customers serviced without worrying about shift rotations, and customers, on the other side, can have the confidence they’ll be attended to whenever they have issues or want to perform basic operations.
Apart from constant availability, another benefit of using chatbots is that they provide instantaneous replies since the necessary information is already baked into their algorithms. Another advantage for businesses is that these bots can gather important data and provide reports on customer satisfaction, interactional patterns, and other critical information to help achieve more streamlined targeting and brand improvement.
What’s more, with the evolution of artificial intelligence, bots will be able to exhibit a higher level of proficiency in communication and interaction and solve more complex issues.
The relationship between bots and humans keeps evolving
That chatbots are getting better at interacting with humans doesn’t mean they’ll completely replace the entire customer service workforce. Some complaints can only be handled by humans. As we mentioned, chatbots are becoming smarter: smart enough to know when to redirect a customer to an actual service agent who can better understand and resolve more complex issues.
These days, bots are getting more and more proficient in dealing with basic requests that traditionally overwhelm customer service agents due to their repetitive nature. By relieving humans of the burden of addressing those issues, chatbots will allow individuals to channel their emotional capacity and intelligence into resolving complicated issues that require such attention.
Instant, comfortable payments make things easier
Humans are always looking to make life easier and things faster. Instead of launching banking apps to make payments, customers can save themselves the stress of extra keystrokes and swipes by using payment features right in their messaging applications.
You should expect more businesses to make it easier for their customers to pay for products using platforms like Facebook Messenger in 2020. Apple Pay, WhatsApp Pay, and Facebook Pay are payment features that will be rolled out in select countries to facilitate such transactions.
The adoption of voice-driven interfaces is accelerating
Expect more customers to ditch the keyboard for voice typing. The shift to voice commands is already happening right before our eyes. Gone are the days when it seemed Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant couldn’t understand basic syllables. As AI becomes more intelligent and voice technology becomes more reliable, people begin to use them more for the sake of convenience. It’s no wonder businesses are beginning to fine-tune their bots to work better with voice-driven applications.
WhatsApp’s discontinuation of its newsletters will pave the way for the rise of Apple Business Chat and Telegram
WhatsApp was forced to discontinue the Newsletter function as it was terribly abused. This move opens up opportunities to Telegram and Apple Business Chat.
In Apple Business Chat, brands can utilize the Notification function to send customers news about products and offerings.
Telegram also continues to offer a broadcasting function, which most organizations still consider a great marketing tool.
When messenger marketing was introduced, it was clear that the marketing landscape was about to change forever. While it isn’t replacing other channels of customer-brand communication, it is establishing itself as a critical marketing strategy.
Since you’ll deal with tons of data that you’ll gather through your messenger marketing channels, it’s a good idea to get acquainted with a file sharing service such as FileWhopper to make sure you can easily transfer large amounts of data to your sales teams and marketing partners.
FileWhopper is an online service that lets you quickly and safely transfer large files and folders of ANY SIZE online (100GB, 1TB, or even 10TB). Here is a glimpse at FileWhopper’s main benefits:
- There is no need to buy a subscription plan; you just pay a one-time fee based on the size of what you want to transfer.
- You get to enjoy the highest possible transfer speed thanks to multi-threaded data transfer technology.
- The integrity of the transmitted data is ensured.
- If your PC reboots automatically or if your internet connection gets disrupted, the data transfer will resume automatically and with minimum data loss.
- The service is totally secure: your files and folders are encrypted, and even their names are hidden.
- The service supports simultaneous uploads and downloads.
- No installation is required. FileWhopper provides a desktop app that helps with uploading and downloading huge files and folders and then automatically deletes itself.
- Your first transfer of up to 5GB is completely FREE!
We are sure FileWhopper will serve you well in many aspects of your business in 2020 and onwards.