In order to satisfy every consumer need, companies are overwhelming buyers with too many choices and marketing messages from every possible channel causing them confusion and poor decisions.

The solution is shifting from one-way monologue to an ongoing two-way digital dialogue, which means moving from communication to conversation with customers. The aim of dialogue marketing is the creation of a long term relationship.

To reach this goal, marketers should eliminate the superfluous and focus their effort to a more personalized, targeted and real-time communication through the appropriate channels. 

Moreover, as in personal relationships, transparency is fundamental, because once trust is lost, also the connection between companies and customers vanishes. 

The two-way dialogue consists in a win-win situation for customers and firms, since it provides values to both parties: on one side clients are empowered and asked to cooperate and they receive personalized experiences according to their needs and preferences. 

On the other side, it represents a data collecting moment, in which the available information received from customers make it possible to build the profile of each of them, which will consequently allow marketers to provide personalized marketing messages and to satisfy their necessities. 

A successful dialogue should be based on the integration of various channels, both offline and online. In particular, the traditional methods, as mass media have been juxtaposed to technological tools as social media, blogs and Web 2.0. 

In order to determine their optimal combination and take advantage from their synergies, companies should consider different features: first of all, the target audience, since it is necessary to understand their tastes and preferences to provide them consistent experiences and added value.

Furthermore, also culture is a fundamental factor: countries with high individualism are likely to be attracted by multi-channels strategy; while in collectivist countries people prefer in store marketing, compared to catalogues or the Internet.

Channels can be differentiated into: 

  • Personal: direct conversation between the sender and the receiver, as SMS Marketing.
  • Interpersonal: interaction between the sender and many receivers, as advertising in radio, television and billboards.
  • Interactive: communication between the sender and a wide audience, but also between the receivers themselves, as social media.

Channels can also be divided into:

  • Mass media: television, radio, magazines, newspaper; whose usage is strongly declining nowadays, because of the spread of the Internet.
  • Guerrilla marketing: creative and unexpected communication, which causes a surprisingly effect and attract the attention of the public. 
  • Social media: the most famous are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. These innovative means of communication are preferred by customers, because they participate in the creation of contents and feel to be more involved. 
  • Email: direct communication to potential or current customers, to send advertising and promotions.

However, communication failures can easily happen, when companies don’t pay attention to the customers’ perception about the marketing message. 

For instance, Heineken’s campaignSometimes Lighter Is Betterreceived negative reactions for the public, because the slogan could easily lead to wrong interpretations. Surely, the topic of the sentence was beer, but especially dark-skinned black people misunderstood it and considered it as a form of racism. 

Heineken, receiving negative comments on social media and having its reputation undermined, was forced to issue an apology. 

On the opposite side, an example of a successful dialogue with customers can be provided by Coca-Cola: the brand focused on personalization to increase the involvement and launched the Share a Cokecampaign, by printing the most common names on the bottles. The campaign went viral, resulting in a sales growth and the massive sharing of pictures of clients with hashtag on social media as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.Another relevant and famous marketing campaign is #LikeAGirl by the brand Always. It received such positive feedbacks because it was addressed to a specific target of girls in puberty, creating a personalized message of empowerment that could strongly engage them. The campaign was widely spread though social media, television, print and also a film by the documentary filmmaker Greenfield.

6 комментариев

  1. Thanks to the author for this post about the modern personal communication channels that companies use today. I would also like to add that today the popularity of the new Ticktok social network, whose target audience is generation Z, is rapidly growing, which is very important for companies that produce goods and services for the younger generation.

    Besides, it is important to mention the examples that were given in this article. The author emphasized that when thinking about a communication strategy, a marketer should be as careful as possible in choosing slogans and communications, as the audience on the Internet critically responds to ambiguous messages and blames them for violating minority rights. Thoughtless messages can turn into a major reputation scandal on the Internet, where information quickly becomes viral and this will cost company a lot.

    Among the good examples of customer communications, I would like to highlite Twitter corporate accounts. I believe that many people prefer to talk about their pleasant / poor consumer experience and often social networks for this purpose. One of such popular social networks is Twitter, where customers like to complain and sometimes joke by tagging a business account.

    Often, funny answers from companies or their good service through social networks also becomes viral on the Internet, which not only increases consumer loyalty, but also increases reputation and brand awareness.

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  2. The author provided a thorough, yet clear, analysis of what the current trends in marketing communications are, what are the available alternatives and the strategy she believes to be the best in the future, sided by sensible argumentation.
    I agree with her about the overwhelming effect that communication through as many channels as possible (which is crucially different from omni-channel) may have and about the need to shift towards a more efficient and effective «two-ways dialogue».
    In my opinion, the main differentiation should be about the different kinds of markets in which the communication strategies would be implemented: the wider the number of consumers, the more «popular» and cost-effective should be the channels; the more exclusive, marked-up and addressed to niches are the businesses, the more they should invest on costly, yet personal communication tactics.
    Messaging apps (WhatsApp, Telegram, WeChat…), phone calls or «material» mail, such as for catalogues and invitations, which would somehow be perceived as «nostalgic» (and nostalgia sells well, especially with wealthy, always unsatisfied customers) would also be more welcome and appreciated than an impersonal mail that the company sent to its entire address book (and would be more difficult to ignore, too!)

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  3. First of all, thank you very much Martin for your work. An interesting article, nowadays really without social networks anywhere.
    However, using social networks, companies should understand that consumers have the opportunity to attract other people to their problems that a person may have encountered and wrote about this in the social network. If the company does not promptly respond to such «problems», then this can lead to a lot of reposts, memes, hashtags and, accordingly, anti-advertising for the company.
    I read one article on this topic, which talked about statistics, for example, 81% of respondents believe that social networks increase the responsibility of companies, 46% of consumers use social networks to express their dissatisfaction, and 55% prefer contacting a brand through networks to get answer or solve your problem.
    With such statistics, ignoring messages in social networks is unreasonable.

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  4. Thanks to the author for the article. Very interesting examples. I want to support the idea of ​​personalization and performance. I want to pay special attention to robotic technologies in communication. Voice and text chat bots.
    In a 2018 article, “Conversational AI: How (Chat) Bots Will Transform Digital,” author Gentch P. considers the situation of the appearance of BRM — a robotic analogue of CRM. Customer relationships are built through bots. Bots call, bots write messages, bots send notifications, bots work with complaints and provide support. A person is engaged in strategic planning and training of bots. Further, the bots themselves find a personalized approach to each of the customers. It is worth noting that the use of bots for search of new customers is perceived by the potential audience quite aggressively. Therefore, you need to use bots carefully. They should be maximally imitate human communication.
    The author also did not say about the importance of the law on the storage and transfer of consumer data, about advertising laws. Indeed, in almost every country there are restrictions on the shelf life and forms of collecting customer data. Today, data is at the heart of any communication on any channel. You need to understand what message you send to the client. Are you breaking the law or not? Indeed, for example, the advertasing dirrect to a client without his consent — its illegally! Remember this and avoid unnecessary problems!

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  5. I’d like to appreciate the author for this article. It was quite interesting while I was reading it. The various cases were short but they were clearly understandable and quite fascinating. Introducing both positive and negative cases were impressive. To the channels of the communication, I’d like to add which is worth to pay attention such as Short Message Service (sending brief text messages on current offers/events/status updates), Multimedia Message Service (sending picture-based messages on current offers/events) and Video conferencin (discussing with a group of stakeholders, demonstrating products, making presentations). Anyway, in spite of the digitalization, communication in person like a meeting, showing the product is still popular and prefered among the customers.

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  6. Gorokhova Daria

    I would say that personal communication is even more about tools that channels have not channels itself. For example, in VK there is function of personal targeting on user name, earlier Nescafe, Pantene and many other brands used it for promo. There were a set of video with text appealing to most popular female names in Russia and if your name was Dasha, you were shown video with text “Hi, Dasha, please turn on sound on the video”. By the way, I cannot not to mention such popular nowadays chat bots in messengers (Telegram/Viber/etc.): many companies use them to communicate with current/potential clients, get the personal data, make promo offers, etc. I’m sure that in the nearest future with further development of artificial intelligence and big data technologies this kind of personal communication based on personal data will become even more popular.

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