Time to turn your ears on
Interestingly, in a recent marketing study by Altify, the research found that one-third of marketers admitted that their team does not understand their own company’s customers. This suggests it might just be time to start listening. The ability to pay attention to and effectively interpret what other people are saying is an essential tool, especially in the world of marketing. Listening means understanding. This suggests it’s time to turn away from impersonal and broad strategies such as digital marketing and reject the popular fail-fast-and-learn model. Learn to listen. Now, as marketers who are all about listening, we must use our words wisely, spend less money and engage in more activities. By listening, we can design better messaging, offer better services, and attract better consumers with the insights gained when listening.
A powerful skill in marketing
Whilst to be a successful marketer, you need to have a variety of skills such as organization, creativity, and project management, there is one skill above all that every marketer needs to master: Listening. In marketing, listening is more than just hearing what your consumers say, it is also about acting and adjusting to suit what is heard. The most effective marketers are good listeners because they have the ability to recognize the consumer needs behind their words and use these insights to create products and marketing that are authentic and have real meaning to the audience. And, whilst we know listening is required in every role, however, marketing serves the purpose of being the “chief listener” within the organization.
Hear your clients
Marketers are always faced with the issue of searching through distractions and noise when trying to reach their target audience. In fact, as a result, many brands ignore the importance of listening to your consumers, with over 65% of businesses rarely or never do any customer research. As marketing consultants, we need to understand how a misunderstanding of what the target audience needs or wants from a brand can lead to failure. So, how do we ensure there are no misunderstandings? The answer is by listening. When marketing agencies effectively listen to customers before developing the campaign, they are more likely to create a quality message that consumers can connect with. Even more so, listening can help in identifying buying signals, values, and desires of target audiences, assisting marketers to create informed and personalized strategies that produce results.
Listening can fill the gaps
The purpose of marketing and advertising is to influence people's perceptions and behavior towards your brand, yet still, many marketers miss the mark. The information gathered through listening is essential in structuring business plans and strategies. By reaching out and really listening to what consumers have to say, marketers can predict where the current and next gaps in campaigns will come from. As a result of listening, marketing approaches can be oriented towards what is actually relevant with content to meet those needs. This is also known as creating a strong knowledge base, and applying one is a great way to improve feedback loops and increase sales. Specifically, for brands interested in reaching a global scale, listening to the target market and understanding the cultural and market nuances influencing your ability to enter a new market is fundamental to creating a successful expansion. Furthermore, by better understanding your audience, marketers can build and re-establish stronger brand equity.
How to be a good listener
One of the big questions is how do we listen more as marketers? Listening to your consumers means investing in consumer satisfaction and market research. Surveys, polls, feedback, and questionnaires all give your consumers the power to voice their opinions. Additionally, to be even better listeners, brands themselves can just go straight to the customer. Don’t just wait for keen customers to offer ideas – ask for them! This can be achieved by perhaps setting up a website just to manage customer input, live chat function, or webinars. Further than this, listening in marketing also extends to a range of activities such as project or team meetings, data and analytics, and the general commentary of what people are saying on social media. Having an open and enquiring mind that is able to accept change or fresh perspectives is the key to listening effectively. For marketers, this means accepting the broad nature of what they must engage with and listen to, putting relevant listening practices in place, and encouraging others to listen as well.
It’s time to take on the challenge of trying to listen. Now more than ever listening needs to become the number one tool for modern marketers. Stop using unfocused mass marketing strategies and reaching consumers only in quantity, not quality. By reaching out and engaging more with what your audience has to say, your brand marketing strategies can achieve greater success. Whilst marketers who listen may find problems or challenging consumer preferences, they will also have a better understanding in terms of what is working well and who wants what, allowing for a streamlined marketing approach.
If you need advice with your marketing strategy or the services of a professional marketing team, contact us today!