Conversations are an essential part of a financial marketer’s growth strategy. A conversational growth strategy refers to using different channels to facilitate conversations that are consistent and relationship-focused. Conversational growth is about increasing the success of your business by building one-to-one relationships with prospects and customers, one conversation at a time.
In the financial industry, conversations are increasingly happening through technology as more and more people are opting to use direct messaging and chatbots to communicate with firm representatives, rather than calling. This communication shift means that your inbound marketing strategy must ensure that your audience can engage with your company using the channels they prefer.
If visitors to your website use a chatbot to communicate with you, you can gather information over a series of conversations rather than asking for it all at once. By collecting intel through incremental contextually relevant conversations the visitor won’t feel like they are being overtly “data mined”. As marketers, we need to make sure visitors feel like they are getting more value out of the information exchange or that they aren’t really parting with their personal information at all.
To help ensure that a conversational growth strategy is on point across all channels, build the strategy within S.C.O.P.E. This stands for standardize, contextualize, optimize, personalize, and empathize. Let’s examine each component of the acronym:
STANDARDIZE (for consistency) – When delivering responses and sharing knowledge through conversations to prospects and clients, marketers need to ensure that the knowledge shared is standard and repeatable across your entire organization. If a customer contacts your organization with a question more than once, it is crucial that they get the same answer from any company representative, at any time, across any channel. It is essential that your business deliver standardized information to create consistency in a prospect or client’s experience and it reflects that your entire organization is on the same page to tell the same story. Developing an internally documented set of codified standards can help ensure consistency.
CONTEXTUALIZE (for relevance) – It is incredibly important to deliver information within the context of your buyer’s journey. For example, if a visitor has advanced to the “decision” stage, it is important to frame conversations that help reinforce the buyer’s decision. You wouldn’t have a conversation that introduces your company’s wealth management services to a prospect who has already decided to open an account with you and is already in the process of completing paperwork – instead, engage in conversations that add value to their decision – such as providing a checklist of services and perks account holders can expect.
OPTIMIZE (for clarity) – Marketers need to optimize messaging and answers to a website visitor’s inquiries in a way that plays upon the strengths of a given channel, while downplaying its weaknesses. Understanding why and how your users are tapping into a given channel will help you tailor communications through that channel. For example, using a chatbot to simply deliver a hyperlink to a Roth IRA webpage as a response to the question “Do you offer Roth IRAs?” does not create an optimal conversational experience or provide an empathetic human-like reaction. Marketers must tailor communication styles to each channel that touches a user.
PERSONALIZE (for impact) – A conversational growth strategy is built on the foundation of fostering a personal connection and one-to-one relationships with people. Even if your business uses automation tools like chatbots, by taking the time to craft conversational copy and content into a comprehensive database of meaningful responses to common questions, you can still ensure that communication is personal and meaningful. Marketing platforms such as HubSpot have built-in tools that leverage data to trigger personalized actions. 7 HubSpot Tools That Turn Data Into Action
EMPATHIZE (for perspective) – Finally, in a conversational growth strategy acknowledge the emotional tone of a person and be sure to craft a response that is both fitting and factual. For example, if someone is upset because they didn’t receive the Introduction to Futures Guide they requested, it is important to acknowledge their feelings and provide a response and content that addresses and de-escalates any tension, such as saying, “That is frustrating, and I apologize for that oversight. I’m going to send you the Introduction to Futures Guide right now, along with our brand new Introduction to Options Trading Guide as well.” Additionally, marketers will be able to better empathize if they have insight into common pain points of prospects. This where developing buyer personas is key in building this insight.
In the financial industry, business is earned (and kept) when trust is developed with a prospect. Trust is developed through meaningful information exchanges which must be part of a financial marketer’s conversational growth strategy. The principles of S.C.O.P.E. can be applied to every aspect of a financial marketer’s inbound marketing strategy, across every channel, and in conversations with prospects and clients in any stage of the buyer’s journey.
Interested in learning more about how to create a solid conversational growth strategy? Contact us.
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