26/09/2011

By Adrian Swinscoe, Director, RARE Business

I was having a conversation the other day with the head of a branding agency about communicating with customers and print/TV advertising. It seems to me that the context for communicating with our customers has changed from one of broadcast, where he who shouts the loudest in the most eye-catching way and in the most places wins…… to one where it is the business that engages the most people in meaningful and interesting dialogue that will win.

This is supported by some shocking survey results around that say that (check out the report from PostRelease):

– More than 3/4 of consumers say adverts no longer have the information that they need.

– 92 percent of respondents in a recent survey said they had more 92% confidence in information they seek out online than anything coming from a salesperson or other source.

This has huge implications for our businesses and requires some fundamental questions about how we market our businesses and communicate with our customers.

Here are some questions that, I think, we should be asking ourselves:

• Are we actively listening to and seeking out our customers to understand them better?

Have the communication needs of our customers changed?

• How are they changing?

• What can we do to find out how they are changing?

• What do we need to do as a business to respond to these changing needs?

• Are we wasting resources in ineffectual areas of marketing?

• What areas should we be redirecting our resources/efforts to?

What do you think? How have the communication needs of your customers changed? What have you done to respond to these changing needs?

One thing that I have found works really well is to arrange to sit down with a handful of your customers and ask them for feedback on your marketing materials, your service and, generally, how you conduct business. I’ll bet you find the feedback fascinating and very useful.

Adrian Swinscoe is Director of RARE Business – adrian@rarebusiness.co.uk

www.rarebusiness.co.uk
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www.adrianswinscoe.com

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