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Active Listening

Active Listening, the tool to understand what your customers value

“Listen before you speak” is an invitation that we may have received at various times and in different roles in life. Doing so really has its benefits and this time we will see its benefits from digital marketing.

Back to the basics

Let’s start by remembering the concept of digital marketing. According to what Thales Teixeira describes in the Course Overview note on Marketing Strategy (2013), digital marketing is the process by which a company partially or exclusively employs digital tools, techniques and tactics to create value for its customers.

The keywords in this definition are: create value. This raises some key questions, for example: how do we create or provide value to customers? What is value in this context? Value is the quality in which people give products and services a positive estimate of them.

To know how to create or provide customers with that value, the answer is simple: you have to know how to listen.

Listen before you join the conversation

Listening does not refer only to listening on social networks, also known as “listening”, where you search through keywords to reveal the most common topics related to a brand or a particular topic.

This invitation to listen suggests doing an analysis of a brand’s own spaces (knowing what happens on its website, in its app, in its social media profiles, etc.), the analysis also extends to the spaces won (the positioning of the brand in search engines, the identification of conversations outside their profiles, etc.), and finally, an analysis of the industry to which the brand belongs (through academic documents, studies, reports, knowing what happens with the competition, in what spaces does it have a presence, what issues does it talk about, etc.).

By listening we understand what customers value. We are faced with the reality of their opinions and that is the main input to know how we will create value for them.

Speaking after listening

Once we have understood what customers value, we can speak or act through digital means to provide that value.

We speak to offer deals or promotions, or to offer arguments (ideas, advertising), or to offer support or assistance (customer service). And having done the work of listening previously, we will be closer to choosing the correct channels, formats and messages to respond to the needs that our audiences have declared through digital means. This way we get closer to delivering the value they are looking for.

Listen to know how our initiative was received

Listening again will help us assess the impact of what has been said or done. It is important to verify how the messages we sent when speaking were received and if they had the expected reach and impact. In this way, a virtuous circle is closed, when we return to collect and analyze information, we obtain the input to improve the digital efforts of the brand: optimization of advertising campaigns, SEO strategies, UX strategies, content strategies … The possibilities become endless.

Finally, we must remember something fundamental about Active Listening: Listening-Speaking-Listening is an iterative process, it is a cycle that does not end. And the more we put it into practice, we will achieve a better understanding of the context of a brand, of the ecosystem that lives around it, as well as a better knowledge of our clients, which as a consequence, will lead us to strengthen the client-brand relationship .


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