Make Marketing Matter, by Listening to your Customers

By October 13, 2016General

Many companies torment themselves debating what their next marketing step should be, when the aim is to draw as many customers to their business as possible.

While the latest buzzwords in marketing, such as experiential, and experienced-based advertising have proven to be particularly effective at prompting engagement, and breaking consumers out of the static boredom that traditional methods have caused, companies might be doing their brand, and their audience a disservice by jumping straight in without a plan.

Experiential marketing could be the perfect way to raise brand awareness and encourage activity in your target market – but it works best when it is strategized using one important thing: the art of listening.

By listening to your customers before you establish a new marketing strategy, you determine what they want to see from your company, and which steps are most likely to convince them to make a purchase.

So how can you get started with actively listening?

1.   Surveys

Perhaps the simplest, and by far the most traditional option – surveys are a classic way of gathering information about what your customers like and dislike, what they would prefer to see, and what they’re most interested in.

Though they aren’t interactive, surveys can offer incredible insights that inform your next marketing campaign. For instance, you could ask your audience if they’d be more impressed by the idea of a pop-up shop, an impromptu event, or something surprising (guerrilla marketing).

2.   Observation

It might sound basic, but observation does work. Simply watching your customers to see why they like your product, what prompts them to buy, and what encourages more activity can give you an insight into what to do next.

Observation means everything from looking at point of sale data in brick and mortar shops, to collecting analytical metric information from your digital marketing efforts and social media campaigns.

3.   Focus Groups

While focus groups aren’t mentioned as often as they once were – they do still exist.

Gathering your best customers together to engage in a conversation about your business is a fantastic way to get direct feedback, and gather more in-depth insights than you might receive through surveys. However, you might find that you have to offer something in return for your customer’s time, such as a discount or freebie.

4.   Social Media

Finally, the popularity of social media in today’s digital world has changed the pace and relative ease of gathering customer feedback. Social media outlets allow you to build relationships with your customers, by listening and interacting with them on a regular basis.

The more active you are on social media, the more likely you are to learn about what makes your customers happy, what upsets them, and what you can do to become a more significant part of their lives.

5. Examine your current marketing activity

Sometimes it’s easy to lose focus, especially in the cut and thrust of day-to-day business.

But although we all have a million jobs to do every day, set aside some time to perform a marketing audit. Or, if you don’t have the time, hire a company to do it for you.

Marketing audits can reveal invaluable information about what’s working and what isn’t.

And, once you have the data, that’s when you can set up working on your copywriting and creating messages that really hit home.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442, or email us on