Conversational marketing may sound like just another buzzword, but many experts are touting it as the next paradigm-shifting development in commerce. Since marketing and commerce are both rapidly changing industries, especially as new technologies are constantly developed and released, it’s vitally important for marketers to stay on top of developments and be aware of new trends and opportunities.

What is it?

Conversational commerce is the term used to describe the new ways in which marketers are able to sell their products and develop their brands through media like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. Because so much internet activity is increasingly taking place through voice-activated or conversational devices, many of the top experts in the marketing industry foresee this new form of reaching target audiences as being something that will soon surpass all other forms of commerce.

Stage of development

While it’s certainly up-and-coming, the world of conversational commerce is still in its infancy. It will present enormous challenges to marketers, who need to develop new ways to more effectively give relevance to their products within people’s normal conversations and provide real solutions to everyday problems. However, this new marketing mode also provides huge opportunities for those who can figure out how best to leverage it.

How it’s already being used

One of the ways in which cutting-edge marketers are already learning to take advantage of new conversational media is through the use of sophisticated machine learning and artificial intelligence. NBC provided a recent example of this method when the company was able to successfully differentiate between dozens of distinct viewer segments, successfully navigating the perils of having both the World Cup and the summer Olympics broadcast very closely to one another. Through sophisticated means of identifying individual viewer identities and then tailoring a marketing campaign to those people, the network was able to minimize the viewer parasitism that normally comes with two competing sporting events being broadcast in close time frames to one another.

Experts say that carefully creating customer identities and marketing with ever-more fine-tuned messages to those segments will be the key to success in the new conversational commerce model. Some have referred to this process as hyper-segmentation. In the past, demographic breakdowns of target audiences may have been extremely crude, such as women between the age of 35 and 60. But modern marketing experts will be able to break their target customers into hundreds, or even thousands, of distinct segments, crafting marketing messages and even products directly to those niche interests.

More than ever, it’s important to recognize the niches of your target audience and figure out how to best advertise to them.