The Art of Listening

My how things have changed!  Just a few years ago companies and organizations could buy multi-million dollar television ads and make a mediocre product successful.  People trusted companies to produce great products and would rush out to buy the latest and greatest gizmo because they knew it was going to work as promised. Unfortunately, most companies violated that trust by producing crappy products or products that didn’t solve user needs.  Fortunately for us this is changing thanks to inventive companies that are taking advantage of social media and it’s ability to let them talk directly to the customer.  Companies that talk directly to their user communities and produce products using more customer focused agile methodologies are finding success through LISTENING. What a novel concept, talk to your customer and incorporate their feedback in everything you do.

Marketing is about connecting people together around your product and creating Fans.  In this new era of connectedness companies that understand this are going to be successful… very successful. It’s not about making a company’s products look good in some contrived tv or radio advertisement.  It’s about making your customers look remarkable.  Customers that look remarkable become Fans and fans will carry your message into their networks, not because you’ve made a great product but because you’ve made them successful.  This should be everyone’s goal in today’s connected world.

Today companies and organizations of all types need to ask themselves a simple question…

“How can I make my customers look remarkable?”

The customer role can take many forms based on the type of organization you’re in but the essence of the question is the same regardless.  What are you going to do today to help someone else be successful?  The only way to effectively answer this question is by opening up an ongoing dialog with your organization’s users and constantly asking for input.  This is where organizations that understand community and  social media will have a HUGE advantage over even the largest of companies.