A decade ago, consumers would have been moved by a single emotional advert or a discounted offer on a product or service. Today, however, buyers are left with so many options that they get to be picky (and rightly so). This means that many modern shoppers are searching for brands that are going to ultimately engage with them and ensure that they have a positive experience as they move through sales funnels. 

Did you know that 73% of companies with above-average customer experience will perform better financially than their competitors? 

Essentially, modern-day marketing has become more about a customer’s journey and less about businesses advertising products. And this is where conversational marketing steps in. 

In a world that’s becoming predominantly digital, conversational marketing is being used to encourage interactions that speak to customers on a more human level. It’s become a powerful tool that can improve consumer experience and promote customer loyalty.  

In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look into conversational marketing, how it works, how it can be applied and, most importantly, how it can be beneficial to your company.  

What is conversational marketing? 

Conversational marketing or conversation marketing provides a way for brands to engage with customers or visitors using real-time dialogue-driven activities. Essentially, it allows businesses the opportunity to use their websites and social media pages to connect with people on a more personal level. 

This style of inbound marketing prioritises two-way communication to market a brand’s efficiency. It does this by creating relationships with consumers that are built on meaningful conversations that can smoothen the buying experience and promote a streamlined sales cycle. 

How can you integrate conversational marketing into your business strategy? 

This type of marketing is achieved using digital tools that have been programmed to communicate with audiences using mediums they have become accustomed to. It can be implemented using software such as messaging apps or it can also be applied via social media and phone calls. Common conversation methods that many businesses are flocking towards include ChatBots and Live Chat software (more about this later). 

For now, it’s important that you know that conversation marketing can be applied in many different areas of your business, including: 

  • Text messages 
  • Emails 
  • Phone calls 
  • Social media 
  • Forms 
  • Landing pages 
  • FAQs 
  • Voice Applications  

By taking a holistic approach to your conversational marketing strategy, you’ll be able to seamlessly link users and sales teams so that customers and visitors feel human in a digital space.  

What are the benefits of conversational marketing? 

According to Aumocore – 

86% of online shoppers prefer proactive customer support, something that conversational marketing chatbots can offer immediately. 

Many markets are also applying conversational marketing because of the following benefits: 

1. You get to welcome customers to your digital storefront. If you have a physical storefront, then you’ll understand the value behind greeting and welcoming a customer as they walk through your door. To increase your shoppers’ trust, you can ask them if they need any assistance and then go out of your way to help them. 

Conversational strategies allow businesses to replicate this experience online. Once a customer enters your website, you can give them a friendly welcome and even accompany them on their tour, giving continuous assistance where needed. Many digital shoppers still appreciate this human interaction. 

2. It’s a time-saving initiative. Conversational marketing tools such as Chatbots give your team the opportunity to maximise their time and focus their efforts on other areas of your business. This way, your brand can grow holistically while your customers are being well taken care of.  

3. It can be used for effective market research. Conversations amount to real-time data collection, which essentially means that you can conduct surveys as you assist customers through the sales process. And because you have access to the latest information, your company can quickly spot trends and remain at the forefront of innovation.     

4. Your brand will have a competitive edge. Conversational marketing tools are a worthy investment for small business that want to grow and stay one step ahead of the competition. Not only will they help you to close sales quicker and secure a loyal following, but they can provide you with the knowledge that may lead to new market opportunities that haven’t yet been introduced.  

5. You’ll be actively strengthening your brand. One of the amazing things about this marketing approach is that your business will be getting smarter with little effort. Everything you learn from users can be fed back into the business. This means that your sales teams can become smarter and more efficient, your customer care service can constantly be improved, and you’ll be applying technology that makes you look smart! 

Are there any drawbacks? 

A good decision is one that weighs the good with the bad – and we wouldn’t be doing you any justice if we didn’t mention the drawbacks that may come into effect if conversation marketing is not applied properly. 

For example: 

1. They aren’t human. While conversational tools have been designed to mimic humans, the fact of the matter is that they are not human. Artificial intelligence is improving but it’s still not yet able to provide empathetic and complex responses. This can leave a gap in communication where users can become frustrated and associate your brand with a negative experience.  

To rectify this issue, complex questions and interactions can quickly be redirected to real-life sales and customer care teams.  

2. Technology can be glitchy. As much as technology has advanced, it can still be inconsistent and throw a stick in the works at the most inopportune times. For instance, if a user is communicating with you or your chatbot and their internet connection drops, then some may think that it’s your service that’s being inefficient. 

But again, a scenario like this can quickly be rectified with a little innovation and perhaps a touch of human interaction. If you ask users for their details at the beginning of a chat, then you can call them back or even SMS them to continue your conversation – putting you at the top of your game.  

What is a Chatbot? 

Wikipedia refers to a chatbot as a software application that can be used to conduct an online chat without human intervention.  

This basically means that they are  AI-powered tools that have been fine-tuned and programmed with logic and machine language. Their intelligence allows them to talk to real people who visit your website as if they were human. 

Of course, this software can get highly complex and we won’t bore you with the nitty-gritties. Most companies who sell or offer chatbots as a service will create a standard product for you to purchase so that the tool can run on its own. All you need to do is ensure that it’s customised to meet your business goals.  

There are currently three main “types” of chatbots for businesses to choose from: 

  • The routing chatbot, where visitors get routed to a section of a website that will answer their question or lead them to the information they’re looking for. 
  • The FAQ chatbot, where visitors can ask a question and if an answer has been mapped out to that question, then the bot will provide a prefilled answer. 
  • The intelligent bots, which, as you guessed, are your most intelligent bots. This software can converse naturally with a user and even build onto previous questions. 

What is Live Chat? 

A live chat tool is also software that’s been programmed to communicate with online visitors. However, this functionality allows users to connect with a human representative of an organisation, typically in real-time. Companies can provide 24-hour assistance by answering general questions, or they can help to complete transactions and provide overall customer support.  

Examples of conversational marketing 

Conversational marketing can be applied in many forms and can be customised to the type of service you would like to offer. Let’s take a look at what some of the pioneers have done to improve customer journeys using this marketing strategy:  


1-800-Flowers were one of the very first retail companies to use chatbots for sales on Facebook Messenger. The process is simple. Once a person initiates a conversation with the bot, they’re then sent a number of flower arrangements to choose from. The bot will then prompt users for a delivery address before navigating them to a payment page. 

This streamlined process has been so finely tuned that customers feel like they’re engaging with a real-life salesman or customer services rep. 

According to the popular flower company, 70% of its orders coming from new customers are placed through its chatbot. This proves that individuals are becoming increasingly comfortable with the concept of conversational commerce.  


eBay uses a conversational marketing platform that runs using Google Assistant. What this essentially means is that it can only be accessed via a voice-based interface such as Google Home or Google Now. 

Customers use voice-commands to tell the chatbot what they’re looking for. The bot then allows users to browse through categories and it can even be asked to send relevant seller information and deals to a smartphone.   

Realising that voice assistants are the way of the future; eBay has set the trend for conversational ecommerce – where people still feel like they are personally shopping in a digital realm.  


HealthTrap was sensitive to the fact that healthcare is a personal topic to most consumers, and that’s why the organisation was adamant about personalising the entire customer journey. Its approach was to thus promote and facilitate one-on-one conversations between users and healthcare professionals. 

The route HealthTrap decided to take was to apply conversational marketing techniques using chatbots and Facebook Messenger. When visiting the company’s website or Facebook page, users will be prompted to ask any health-related question they might have. The bot then provides answers to popular questions. 

If the answers to questions fail to satisfy, the questions will then be forwarded to real healthcare professionals. Customers can choose to wait for more detailed and accurate answers from professionals or they can spend $25 to get immediate assistance. 


RapidMiner recognised conversational marketing as a way to generate leads very early in the game. In fact, the company quickly removed conventional lead capture forms in favour of chatbots – which has allowed them to scale conversations and filter out the best leads. 

The organisation’s approach is to use chatbots to screen visitors, allowing them to automate the lead qualification process. The bots will ask several qualifying questions and then, depending on the user’s answers, they would be directed to the relevant channel.   


Domino’s uses basic SMSs to engage its customers with the aim of encouraging them to order again…and again (sometimes with a prompt that’s as basic as a pizza emoji)! 

The food chain also allows fans to order pizza from literally any communications app, be it Facebook, Twitter or Alexa. You ask for a pizza and Domino’s delivers it! 

Implementing a conversational marketing strategy 

We discussed that conversational marketing can be applied using different methods. To find the method that’s going to best suit your brand image and your goals for growth; it’s recommended to strategise a way forward. 

*An effective strategy is one that will help you to tackle any challenges or disadvantages that may accompany this type of engagement. 

During the first phase of your strategy, you will need to identify: 

  • The types of conversations you’re hoping to have with your customers and/or potential customers. For example, does your audience frequently ask questions? If this is the case, then you may benefit from an FAQ bot. Are you looking to provide a detailed and personalised service? If so, a live chat feature on your website may be the most beneficial tool.  
  • The best medium of communication for your brand. For instance, is your target market the type who will respond to an email? What about an SMS? Or is your audience more reachable on social media? Do you have many elderly customers who would prefer a live chat with a follow-up call?  

The next phase of your strategy is implementation 

During this phase, we urge you to keep in mind that a conversational growth strategy isn’t just about meeting consumer’s needs (although this is a huge part of it). Instead, focus on your implementation strategy in such a way that you create a powerful tool that can be used to gather new and valuable insight into your target audience. This data can then be used to improve the customer journey and marketing overall. 

We’ll leave you with the following quote: 

“The idea isn’t to replace human marketers and salespeople, it’s to supplement their efforts. And when it comes to responding to new leads as quickly as possible, 24/ 7, there’s no denying the effectiveness of conversational marketing.” – David Cancel, Conversational Marketing: How the World’s Fastest Growing Companies Use Chatbots to Generate Leads 24/7/365