20 May 4 Ways to Avoid Neglecting your Market’s Needs
Two-way communication strategies require creating a dialogue with customers and potential customers to improve your product or service. They might include focus groups, video interviews, or a dedicated representative interacting with customers over social media. These tools are essential to any integrated digital marketing campaign, yet are often left out of budgets or placed very low on priority lists.
There are four common excuses management often gives when they decide to ignore two-way communication.
- “Our sales are fine without it.” Good sales figures and happy customers are two different metrics. There are a multitude of reasons why a customer may buy from you and still be dissatisfied with the product. If you’re alright with that, then there’s no reason to rock the boat. Just don’t be shocked when a competitor picks up on your customers’ unhappiness and crafts a brand that exploits your ignorance of your customers’ opinions.
- “We already have a handle on what our customers think about us.” Companies like to think they know how their customers feel, but it’s difficult to know how they all feel, even with a fairly homogenous target market. While there will never be enough time to sound out every customer, two-way communication allows you to hear comments and suggestions that would otherwise be lost forever. The fact is, you will always be surprised by something revealed during a two-way communication campaign, and that may make all the difference.
- “Management isn’t ready to hear what our customers really think about us.” The truth can certainly hurt, but sometimes the unfiltered complaint or unrealistic demands of a disaffected customer is exactly what executives need to hear to spur them to action. The fact that management isn’t ready for it may be exactly the reason they ought to be exposed to it.
- “Two-Way communication drains resources from traditional marketing.” Yes, in a vacuum, every dollar and hour you spend planning or implementing a two-way communication strategy could be put towards traditional sales and marketing. But then you would simply be spending to achieve an X% increase in revenue for the current cycle, when you could be investing towards all of your future marketing, as well. This is what a standing two-way communication pipeline gets you insight into the next campaign, and the campaign after that. In addition, two-way communication complements traditional marketing by helping you segment markets more efficiently and crafting a corresponding brand message.
A comprehensive two-way communication strategy is not a luxury, and you shouldn’t treat it like one. Ignore your customers’ opinions and beliefs now, and you will be paying for it down the road.