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Rule #1 – listen to your customer

July 22nd, 2009

This is not a new rule by any means.  However, brands are becoming more and more aware that listening to their customers wants/needs is crucial if they are going to stand out in a sea of choices.  I’ve used this quote by Barry Judge in previous posts – it bears repeating:

You’re a part of the conversation, a part of what is being said about your brand.  You don’t get to tell customers what they get to think anymore

The video below, sent to me by my PR counterpart, Becky, illustrates this very simple tenant to a tee.  Distilling down to one key point, customers are relaying a very powerful messages to advertisers these days: “I’ve changed, and you haven’t – we don’t even hang out in the same places anymore“. 

Simple as that – advertisers and brands must recognize that their customers are interacting with their messages differently these days.  It’s not enough to raise the megaphone and simply talk TO your customers.  You have to be willing to engage with your customers on their terms, listen to what they are saying about your offering, and incorporate their input into your future interactions with them.  The successful brands recognize this and are engaged in a 2-way dialogue with their target audience – using that input to shape future brand experiences with that customer.  Those that don’t recogize the value of this input and the power of customer sentiment around their brand are doomed to fail.

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