Ian Lurie // Apr 5 2011
I’ve written 2,890 posts on Conversation Marketing now. I just crossed 10,000 (non-spam) comments, too.
But I’ve never actually provided a definition of Conversation Marketing.
Lots of other people have. Some did OK. Some are just ridiculous. So I figured I’d give it a shot.
I’m not trying to define it in a “this is what it means, so screw the rest of you” way. I just mean, define what I mean when I say the phrase.
So, here goes:
Conversation marketing: Highly iterative, internet-driven marketing where customer needs drive design, content and technology, analysis drives changes, and customers are long-term participants.
I figure I should go into a bit more detail, though. I’m going to do it in reverse:
I am not going to use the word ‘engagement’. When I say ‘long-term participants’ I mean that:
I’m all for gut instinct when it comes to marketing. But at some point you need to observe and adjust.
This was actually why I started using the phrase ‘conversation marketing’ in the first place. The internet is the first place, short of an in-person discussion, where you can make a statement, watch how your audience responds, and adjust your next statement accordingly.
With analytics tools, log files, surveys, etc., you can easily use data to tweak and refine your message.
This one sounds like corporate marketspeak. Cringe.
But ego-driven marketing still seems to have the edge out there, and I find that infuriating. Just because you, Ms. CEO, think that purple mouse trails are the greatest thing ever, doesn’t mean your customers agree.
Let the customers drive what you do. Not your ego.
Finally, conversation marketing means a lot of iteration. If analysis drives change, and you can constantly observe, then you should constantly adjust, too.
That’s the other unique property of internet marketing: You can change content in a heartbeat. If you’re not iterating, you’re probably wasting a lot of potential.
I’ll warn you: I change this definition with frightening regularity. But the basics are the same: Create, observe, analyze, iterate.
If you have your own definition, fire away.
Ian Lurie is founder and CEO of Portent Inc., an internet marketing agency that has provided internet marketing, including PPC, SEO, social and analytics services, since 1995. Read More