Hey Marketing! Take a Listen


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Listen first. This is the key to successful social media engagement for the enterprise. No argument here. It makes perfect sense. How can you deliver the personalized, delightful experience your customer desires, if you don’t first listen for understanding?

I’m just curious why it took the proliferation of social media to give this concept validity. Marketers have had at their disposal the voice of the customer for, well, as long as there has been a customer with a voice. Sure, marketers have conducted focus groups. Surveyed. Segmented. Surveyed some more. From the customer’s point of view however, all that information seems to have historically fallen on deaf ears. She still feels like she is being shouted at; being told that the company knows best what products she needs. But, in fairness to marketers, how much can you really learn from assembling a focus group a few times a year consisting of customers that you think may fit the demographic profile you’re after?

So, along comes the social web where customers and prospects and even non-customers are in a continuous conversation about your company and your brands; their wants, needs and desires. What a wealth of information! So, it was decided that the best approach to harnessing this treasure trove was to first shut up and listen.

But what if your customers aren’t there?

Remember Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz? If your a budding old codger like me, of course you do. Dorothy’s problem was she was always looking for greener pastures, somewhere over the rainbow, perhaps in the social web. When, in fact, all she ever needed and wanted was right there under her nose the whole time.

If your a marketer feeling like Dorothy, ask someone at your next product strategy meeting where one of your company’s contact centers is located. Take a trip there. Sit down in a cubical, put on a head set and take a listen.

You’ve had a perpetual focus group right here at home all the time.

Barry Dalton
Telerx Marketing
Consumed by the pursuit of delightful service. Into all things customer loyalty and technology. My current mission is developing new service channels and the vision of the contact center of the future.


  1. Hi Barry I’m working on a customer management project that will be of interest to you. I’d love to have your input. Drop me an email and we can chat


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