Marketing is often considered to be more about talking than listening. Whilst the talking is important, learning to listen can help you in numerous ways. Let’s have a look at how we believe listening can help your marketing performance.
Understanding what is important to your clients and target audience is key to getting their attention. When you have their attention, you can discuss how you can help them. It may be that what you do isn’t important to them right now. Alternatively it may be exactly what they need. If you aren’t listening, how will you know?
What are they worried about?
At the time of writing this, GDPR seems to be the big worry. Seminars that promise to tell you all you need to know about the topic sell out quickly and it’s a question we get asked almost daily. What else are your clients and target audience worried about?
Where to listen
1. Social Media
What are they talking about on Twitter and LinkedIn? Their official outbound posts may simply be pushing what they sell, but the conversations they are having are likely to reveal more. What are the senior people putting into their LinkedIn updates and what’s in their re-tweets and replies?
2. On your website
You may have a Live Chat solution on your website, but that’s not the direction I’m going with this. What pages are your audience looking at, or not looking at? If you have a wide portfolio of services on your website, but some are rarely looked at, the audience is telling you something. Either you aren’t marketing those services very well, or nobody is interested.
Which are your most popular blogs? Assuming you are regularly and consistently marketing your content (if not, why not?), your most popular blogs are most likely the key issues within your target audience (or at least your website audience).
3. During meetings
Your management and Sales team are in and out of meetings with clients and prospects on a regular basis; what they’re saying is important. These people already trust you so they’re a great source of information about what your business needs to be talking about in your marketing.
Do you sit down on a regular basis and find out which topics are being raised by clients? Do you encourage your account managers to ask? I know it’s a little radical having Sales and Marketing talk to each other, but this is a good reason to.
The first three are more reactive than anything, so why not be proactive in your listening? Ask your clients. Your survey can be strictly about the service you are providing or a more broad attitudes survey.
Whichever you choose, you are showing your target audience you care about them simply by asking for their opinions. Be careful not to make it sound like you are simply digging for more information so you can sell to them. It’s easily done.
5. Down the pub
A little left-field I know, but when was the last time you went for drinks with colleagues or clients and the talk was strictly non-work? If you work in an area known for your industry, everyone will be talking at least some work talk.
I am not advocating ear-wigging on whole conversations, but keep one ear out for snippets. You can make a mental note to do a little research. Of course, if you are bold enough, you can always ask to join the conversation, but be prepared for a rejection. It is, after all, people’s downtime.
Marketing is all about getting the right messages in front of the right people to engage with them. I am sure that you have a great grasp on what the right messages are. My intention today was to help ensure you keep your messages current and you are talking about what is important to your clients and prospects.
Your marketing should show you have a finger on the pulse of the industry. How better to find out than to listen to your audience? listening can help your marketing performance, so if you aren’t doing it, you are missing out.
If you’d like to find out more about how you can improve your marketing through listening to your audience, please get in touch.