Back to Basics: Marketing as Conversation

AI Basics

Think of a great conversation you had recently. There must have been some great give-and-take insights and maybe even some fun moments. Marketing is no different.

At the heart of all good marketing is good conversation.But a lot of the marketing we see today talks too much and people. it’s not a conversation.

Marketing is not advertising. Advertising can be part of your marketing strategy, but it’s only part.And too many ads speak and people. Marketing today is engagement. It’s about providing solutions that generate great content and start and keep conversations going.

The most important element of the marketing equation isn’t tools or channels. It’s the audience and how that audience engages with the message. Tools are what you use to drive that engagement. This article covers the basics.

who are you talking to

Too many marketers can’t accurately answer this question before they do their marketing.

Starting a marketing campaign without a well-defined target audience wastes time and money. Thanks to readily available data from platforms such as Google Analytics, there is less of that than in the past.

Marketing data paints the picture

Most marketing activities generate a lot of actionable data. But even before your organization commits to these efforts, you can find relevant and useful data if you know where to look.

For example, on platforms like Semrush and Ahrefs, it looks like this:

  • What keywords are users typing to find your website or your competitors’ sites?
  • How do you access information on those sites regarding the device or platform being used?
  • where in the world are they?
  • demographics?

Google Analytics also provides a wealth of data that can tell you a lot about how your audience is interacting with your content, from acquisition channels to time on page to bounce rate. All of these metrics help you understand your audience’s needs and behavior patterns, but are they enough to really understand your audience? My answer is no.

Real human data is unmatched and available if you look for it. One of the things that drives Adele Revella, the founder of the Buyer Persona Institute, completely crazy is that people have never spoken to real buyers, creating a so-called buyer persona of her.

Tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, etc. can provide mountains of useful data, but as our CEO always says, “Don’t trust the tools!” Beyond that, Revell says, “Check your customers.”

Your buyer persona is who you are talking to

Whether you take Revella’s side and believe that the buyer persona should be a real person or, like others, may be a fictional representation of an actual customer Regardless, you should build them on as much truth as possible.

Revella describes this process using what she calls the “five wheels of buying insight.”

  • Insights into Priority Initiatives: Hear real buyers describe their “trigger moments” when they knew they needed to spend money on the problem.
  • Insight into success factors: These are not the perks you offer, but the priority perks they share with you.
  • perceived barriers: This is where buyers explain why they didn’t choose a particular product or vendor (including yours).
  • Evaluation criteria: The reason for a purchase decision or the perceived value of a product or service feature.
  • Buyer’s Journey: This is the process we use to make purchasing decisions. Where did they gather information? Who helped them? How long did it take?

Revella recommends conducting a series of phone calls, online videos, or face-to-face interviews with select customer groups to gather these five insights. Interviews are preferred over surveys because they are conversational and allow access to the more nuanced aspects of buying behavior. Make sure you can record these for later reference.

Basically, these interviews use these five insights as questions. All this data is a treasure trove for creating an editorial calendar, understanding what potential clients are looking for, and supporting your sales team.

They are also the main topics of conversations about marketing. Please let me explain.

connected consumer

Today’s customers prefer to feel like they know the company they are buying from. especially the younger generation. They want to feel connected to the companies they donate money to.

For example, in an interview with Sarah Weise, author of Instabrain: The New Rules for Marketing to Generation Z, she discusses how Gen Z expects personalization in marketing. They rely more on influencers, people they know and content creators they like to find the information they need when making a purchase.

This generation is incredibly loyal when they feel they have made a meaningful connection with a brand. I think this is starting to apply to other generations, but to a lesser extent. Either way, building that connection is important to the marketing conversation.

Digging deeper: Why loyalty marketing matters

Marketing: Be Human

“Content is king.” I’m sure you’ve heard this a thousand times. Still, it’s true, and perhaps more so than ever. Of course, anyone can create content. Machines can create content, but sometimes it’s not half bad content.

There is a huge amount of content out there and new content is being added daily. So how do you create content that stands out while increasing your chances of connecting with buyers?

Study your audience, learn their needs, and create content that meets those needs. This is your secret weapon and gives you a competitive edge.

No matter what marketing channel you use, your content should resonate with potential customers. Also, each piece of content, whether it’s an ad, newsletter, or social media post, must provide real value and be genuinely interesting to your audience.

I would argue that this kind of content cannot be created solely with fictional personas based on dry numbers on your marketing dashboard. I have to talk to humans. Additionally, marketing efforts need to speak to them in a human voice.

Good Marketing Requires Truth and Authenticity

Don’t confuse this approach with the veneer of friendliness that many brands employ today. These fake marketing efforts have taken on a new level of humiliating value. And today’s consumers no longer buy it. They know brands are there for the money.

Today’s savvy buyers will part with their money when they feel they are getting something of value in return. And this is the point of the marketing conversation. Convince your customers that buying from you is a good thing. how do i do this

Be honest. Be aware of their needs and give them the information they need. Do it in a respectful and meaningful way. Convenient. Be authentic. Create a community about your brand and be part of this community.

It sounds easy, but it’s very difficult to do well. You may need to completely rethink your priorities and processes. Also, some of the parts mentioned above are almost impossible to translate into the language of dashboards and ROI charts. People buy from people.

As you start communicating directly with your customers and getting to know them better, you may find that your messaging evolves for the better. Of course tools can help. One of them, surprisingly…

The future of AI and marketing

Many marketers discuss the impact of generative AI on content marketing, SEO, and more. it’s already happening. According to Forrester, AI is used in marketing by two-thirds of his B2B organizations.

Everyone is talking about ChatGPT. If you’ve used it, you know this is very much a chat feature. If you ask a question or give an order, it will answer.

This has already impacted how search works, and its impact will continue to grow in the near future. Googling anything is already a question and answer question. you are talking to a machine.

AI and other marketing technologies make this even easier. To prepare for it, you need to know what questions buyers will ask. for example:

  • Buyers use AI-powered chat functions on websites, etc., to obtain the information they need to guide them to purchase. You can get a lot of useful data from buyer questions.
  • AI enhances advertising efforts to better meet buyer needs. But be careful with this and don’t blindly rely on automated advertising features.
  • AI generates content based on buyers’ precise questions.

Of course, AI is a tool. Remember, “Don’t trust the tools!” Use your brain and insert your culture and personality. Please double check the information and cite reliable sources. And focus on being a go-to resource for buyers.

Treating marketing as a lively give-and-take conversation and focusing on the needs of your buyers will help you achieve success and build a dedicated fan and customer base that needs you as much as it needs.

Don’t take my word for it. Listen to our friends, ChatGPT…

ChatGPT - Marketing Conversations

Now let’s start the conversation!

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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

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