Time to Start Whacking Away At Conversational Marketing

I feel like I am hearing more folks who are getting fed up with the phrase conversational marketing, which is being hyped like there is no tomorrow right now. I know I am tired of seeing marketers, who apparently think that if they talk enough at people, or “support authentic media” or get their products mentioned on blogs or videos, that suddenly mean they’re “engaging people.”

I think that Brian Oberkirch nailed it with his post “A Little Less conversation”.

Engage me? Are you out of your mind? I want to engage my three kids in some playtime. You sell me stuff. Sometimes. When I feel like it.

& it could just be, as is with all periods of creation, that this is a moment of decadence in online marketing and the next turn of the screw will root out this baroque, extraneous set of contortions around conversation. Marketing should be dialogic. True dat. But the goal isn’t conversation.

I found that through Alex Hillman, whose point is that marketers should just be listening.

That feels like the point of what conversational marketing is struggling towards. I am tired of watching TV and listening to radio and reading print ads where I am being told what to think and told what the brand is. That’s what’s so powerful about going online, you can talk back. But it feels like what some marketers are taking away from this is that they should talk to us in conversational tones and should do product placement by getting the video podcasters we listen to to pitch to us in their own voices. It feels like they still want to talk at us and still keep tight control of the message—but just hide that they’re doing it.

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