An old rock and roll song called “You Talk Too Much” was a kind of precursor of what has been a big problem in b2b marketing communications for many years. Marketers spewing out gobs of information about their brands and expecting customers to automatically walk through the door.
As the song’s lyrics say — “You talk too much, you worry me to death, you talk too much, you even worry my pet. You just talk talk talk too much” — the problem with monologue communications is apparent. Thank goodness digital communications have helped turn those exasperating b2b monologues into dialogue.
Dialogue marketing is now the rage
Dialogue marketing is the term now used to describe branding efforts to engage willing customers and prospects in an ongoing dialogue to hopefully build lasting and profitable relationships. For example, based on data, marketers target groups of customers and prospects who exhibit a propensity to consider and/or buy their product or service and invite them to connect with their brand in a variety of ways.
This engagement process provides value to both the target audience and the brand. Using these dialogues as data collection points, the brand can use the data to further customize marketing messages and personalize the brand experience for their customers. In exchange for sharing opinions, buying information, product preferences, etc., the buyers receive perks such as tips, discounts and free trial as well as appropriate and valuable messaging from the brand.
What dialogue marketing must do to be effective
We think that to qualify as dialogues, b2b communications must:
• Offer personalized messages based on criteria such as name, job function, firmographics, customers purchase history or customer behavior.
• Answer specific questions posed by customers and prospects based on their profiles.
• Deliver information requested in the form (media) requested by your audience.
• Occur in as close to real time as the requested media will allow.
• Ask questions of customers and prospects and request a response that allows the brand to provide additional, more relevant information or engage in an ongoing conversation.
• Diagnose a situation and suggest remedies.
• Provide methods for customer/prospects to add their own information and opinions to a community and receive feedback from others.
Since each forum for conversation may come at a different point in the purchase process. it’s important that each forum have mechanisms imbedded in the communications vehicle itself to initiate a dialogue.
So if you haven’t found a way to stop the monologuing of your brand, take a look at the Mobium e-book, The Age of Engagement. And give us some feedback on what you think – we’re into dialogue!
Photo credit: Flickr: onnola