Active Listening

Active Listening, the tool to understand what your customers value

“Listen before you speak” is an invitation we have possibly received at various times and in different roles in life. Doing it 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. As described by Thales Teixeira in Course Overview note on Marketing Strategy (2013), digital marketing is the process by which a company employs, partially or exclusively, digital tools, techniques and tactics to create value for its customers.

The key words in this definition are: create value. This leads to 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 only refer to listening in 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 making an analysis of the spaces belonging to a brand (knowing what happens in its website, in its app, in its social network profiles, etc.), the analysis also extends to the spaces won (the brand’s positioning in search engines, identifying the conversations that are outside its 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 it has presence, what topics it talks about, etc.).

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

Talking after listening

Once we understand what customers value, we can speak or act through digital media to provide that value.

We talk 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 beforehand, we will be closer to choosing the right channels, formats and messages to respond to the needs that our audiences have declared through digital media. This brings us closer to delivering the value they are looking for.

Listen to find out how our initiative was received

Listening again will help us assess the impact of what has been said or done. It is important to check how the messages we sent when speaking were received and whether they had the expected reach and impact. This way, a virtuous circle is closed, because when we come back to collect and analyze information, we get the input to improve the brand’s digital efforts: advertising campaign optimization, SEO strategies, UX strategies, content strategies… The possibilities become endless.

Finally, let’s remember something primordial 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, the better we will be able to understand the context of a brand, 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 relationship between client and brand.


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