Manage the conversation or let it happen on its own? That's the question that many of us marketers ask ourselves each and every day. As social media continues to thrive and content continues to surface surrounding our brands, we can physically see the conversation happening but are paralyzed as to what can we (or can’t) do about it? So, what should we do? The crazy thing about conversations… They have been happening long before anyone had ever said the word “social” before “media.” Word of mouth has always been, and will continue to be, the most powerful form of marketing to ever grace our planet. So the conversation piece has been and will always be there. However, with new technologies consumers have facilitated their personal conversations with technology creating a quicker response to their requests and having almost real time engagements with their personal network. So, now the conversation is happening, in a public, digital forum, where we are actually given the opportunity and the green light to participate in these conversations.

But, with this same technology, we, as marketers, can now better manage these conversations and guide consumers towards the most logical, rational, educated decision possible; one that may not include a purchase of our product, but educates the consumer in the benefits for our product. These technologies allow us to listen and engage individuals across multiple touchpoints both online and off. Hell, I’m writing this post from my little Blackberry while waiting for the 1, 2, 3 train as it allows me full access to you in an interactive and engaging way.

So let’s think about it, what if we as marketers put the same conversational activity in place? What if we facilitated and managed conversations that were happening rather than letting them happen and sit from the sideline? What if we empowered individuals looking for answers during the purchase phase to fully consider our products in their own purchase journey? What if we were always only “one click away” whether online or in the physical space?

How would that change the conversation? How would that impact our conversions?

We have a unique opportunity. The power is in our hands and the need is with our customers to manage a conversation towards the best possible outcome. We need to embrace what we have been given and openly talk with our community and have real, honest conversations and lead them down a path of complete enlightenment, whatever that may look like for them.

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