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Developing a Conversation Marketing Strategy

Michele Grieshaber - Silicon Labs

A few weeks ago, I came across an article in the New York Time’s business section about an astrobiology student in her senior year at the University of Pennsylvania who had figured out how to develop a wireless device that could charge a battery from across the room. She has figured out how to use sound waves to carry electrical current! It wasn’t just fascinating that she did this by bridging multiple scientific and engineering disciplines, she researched this breakthrough on her own, assembling bits of information and overcoming objections from experts in various fields.  The availability of information allowed her to create her point of view and inevitably, a prototype and start-up company.

To me, this is an extreme example of what happens on a regular basis in business today.

Everyday, prospective clients are searching for information to piece together a point of view on a problem they are trying to solve.  While they may not all be astrobiologists, they all want answers. And the easier you can give them access to information that shapes their point of view, the more likely you’ll be asked to help them solve those problems.

A recent Corporate Executive Board study of more than 1,400 B2B customers found that today’s buyers progress 60% of the way down the purchase path before they reach out for live help.  With so much information readily available on the web, it’s easier than ever for potential clients to develop an informed point of view before connecting with vendors!  This shift makes it critical for marketers to engage clients with relevant content during their discovery process. To be successful, requires a new way of thinking and engaging with customers, it requires creating a dialogue or what is called conversation marketing.

There are five steps that you need to take in developing your conversation marketing strategy.

  1. Get to know your client with “The Insights”
  2. Determine the Triggers and Pain Points
  3. Create a dialogue
  4. Engage the client with the right content
  5. Distribute and Optimize Quality Engagement Through Preferred Channels

Completing these five steps and developing your conversation marketing strategy will help drive consistent, compelling interactions across all channels.  If done effectively, the output of conversation marketing serves as a blueprint for client engagement for a specific solution or audience and illustrates a journey to tell the complete and relevant brand story to the right audience.

I welcome your comments.

Photo - Michele Grieshaber - IBM

Michele Grieshaber, CMO - Silicon Labs
formerly, VP Demand Programs -
IBM

Keynote Speaker, The Science of Marketing and The Art of Conversation
SoCal BMA Regional Conference 2013: Harnessing the Big Data Reviolution

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