From Brands to Social Media to Chatbots, Target is Everything

Any marketing professional knows, the key to branding is one crucial thing: the customer. Also known as target. Or persona. This importance and the difference it makes to a brand is nicely illustrated by a simple comparison: Harley-Davidson vs Toyota.

Tell a Harley owner the machine they’re riding is dangerous, and see that little smile appear. Hell yeah. Risk is nothing to the Hog Jockey. Bring on that adrenaline rush – and that aura of toughness.


Tell a Toyota driver the car they’re driving is dangerous and watch your share price plummet. Unreliability and flawed design isn’t what Toyota owners want to talk about.

Point being, the same understood fact can be a negative to one customer, a positive to the other.

What Are You Really Selling?

As you know from your marketing, “what you’re really selling” usually isn’t what the packet says.

Famously, a former director of Harley-Davidson clarified what his brand sold – and it wasn’t motorcycles. “Harley Davidson sells to 43-year-old accountants the ability to dress in leather, ride through small towns and have people be afraid of them.”

Expand that to other successful brands. The product may be tangible but the true sale is emotional; be it social signalling, state of mind, confirmation bias.

Think Coca-Cola is selling a solution to thirst? (Actually that’s a whole blog series right there – product by product.) I’d wager Coke Classic sells nostalgia for youth. Yes, to the young.

It’s the Key to Customer Loyalty

This kind of brand thinking, that guides everything from R&D to advertising, is done particularly well by big, successful companies. Of course. That’s why they’re big and successful. But in an age where customer loyalty is no longer just about repeat sales, but a crucial element of organic marketing, the principles can, and should, be applied to small business.

The potential, with the right expertise, is big. After all, Coke, Harley and Toyota built their customers’ loyalty through mass media with often hit-and-miss targeting, a few demographic and psychographic audience statistics. Facebook collects between 30,000-60,000 data points on its users (bit of a privacy issue, of course) as part of its ad optimising.

The Opportunity for Meaningful Conversations

If ever there was a marketing cliché, it’s the Meaningful Conversation. The term gets thrown about without much thought beyond its role in achieving a campaign objective.

But ask Conversologie’s director and Chief Conversologist Jam Mayer about meaningful conversation and she’ll give it real context. As a call centre manager, and later director, Jam would build teams that consistently won five-star customer ratings. The trick?


“You have to listen,” Jam will tell you. “Ask questions. Find out what their problem really is. Then you can offer a solution that has them saying, ‘I love you!’”

Social Media: Brand Conversations

Here’s where it starts to come together. Take the understanding of what you’re really selling, and turn that into your brand personality. Assign attributes like attitude, vocabulary, sense of humour; then bring it to social media and start the conversation.

The opportunity to engage with customers at such a level has never been so good, with choices of social channels, genuinely interactive media, and let’s not forget those 60k data points. Through a tool like a chatbot, those meaningful conversations can become even more intimate and meaningful, and yet more scalable than ever before.

Chatbots: Built by a Techie, Scripted by …?

Which then poses the question – if the Conversation is so crucial, why are so many chatbots scripted by their developer? Or outsourced to a copywriter who thinks Harley-Davidson sells motorbikes? Or at best, by the company’s operations manager?

Done well, even a simple chatbot can get unprecendented ROI, as we have shown. It just has to engage with the persona well enough to create that emotional connection. Even Jam Mayer’s call centre teams underwent training in their clients’ brand and tone so they could connect with customers better. Done well, with images, emoji, interactivity and personality, chatbots can truly become the ultimate business marketers.

Enter The Conversologist

This is where, and why, a specialist in conversational marketing is so important. The Conversologist understands the brand, the target persona, the medium of communication; she examines analytics, feedback, success rates and objectives, and she creates and coordinates social media and chatbot conversations designed to win the grand prize of business: loyal raving-fan customers.

Our social chatbot marketing and our chatbot fine-tuning service both offer our marketing expertise specifically to chatbot customers; but our full range of services includes social media strategy and content marketing, training, Hootsuite business solutions and training, and more.

Register for any of our free chatbot webinars for more in-depth info on the whats, whys and hows of chatbots.

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