There are many observers who claim that the age of advertising is over. The conventional definition of advertising is a message that is delivered to a market segment to promote a product or service, and that paradigm has been replaced by the necessity in the social media age to not simply deliver a message, but engage in a conversation with the individuals within that market segment. If the previously applicable form of advertising was the equivalent of an actor on a stage delivering a soliloquy, the current form is a friendly chat over coffee. In order to succeed in this brave new world of advertising, online marketers need to develop a skill set far removed from those of their precursors, and none is more critical than the art of listening.
Worshiping the Deities of Androids & the Ghost of Jobs
In our hectic modern everyday lives, the art of listening may be vanishing due to the proliferation of electronic distractions. In many cases what passes for a conversation today entails speaking to the top of someone else’s head while they are hunched over their smartphone or tablet. This nearly universal position has caused one wag to sarcastically comment as to how as a religious person he was gratified to find that no matter where he went in his city he was witnessing people going through their daily lives with their heads down and their hands together “in prayer.” However, the deities currently being worshiped are Androids and the ghost of Steve Jobs, as the magnetic attraction of modern electronic web enabled mobile devices has captured the fascination and attention of the entire world.
A Colloquial Exchange More Treasured than the One with Family
As much as the accretion of a mobile electronic influence in our daily lives may be doing irreparable harm to the art of conversation, it has to be acknowledged that the shifting of attention from interpersonal relations to the world of the ether has worked to create a new hub of human discourse. Online marketers are now in the position of engaging their customers in a colloquial exchange that is likely more prized by those individuals than ones with their own friends and family. In order to excel at this critical task, the long established standards of listening to the other party’s needs, aspirations and preferences has become a paramount priority for any brand.
Commit to Relating to Your Customers One on One
Listening to your customers connotes respect, not just because they hold the holy grail of currency in their electronic wallets but because they are important participants in your brand’s business life. To provide them with this respect, your brand has to be completely open and accessible and it all starts with understanding what they consider important to them. Only if you have the ability to listen to your customer base will you be able to provide the products and services that they want. Every brand on this planet has a vast number of competitors, so the way to set your brand apart from the crowd is to be the one that does the best job in listening hard to what each and every one of your customers is saying. This process is achieved not just by simply paying “lip service” to the process of conversation, but committing every aspect of your company to relating to the customer on a one on one basis. Every person in your organization must be vividly aware that every action that they perform in one way or another is centered around the dedication of the very lifeblood of your brand to fulfilling the customer’s requirements and wishes. There is no higher calling!
Your customer deserves your undivided attention and your immediate and effective action on the resolution of their problems. Their problems may be something as simple as a quick and trouble-free RMA for a product that was DOA, or as complex as the development of a completely new product or service in order to fill their needs. And you will never know any of that unless you listen, listen hard and put into action what you’ve heard.