Why, when, and how could you use client listening to inform your marketing strategy?

A year or so ago, I came across the below graphic (credit: The Proper Marketing Club) and thought it made a great visual aid for this month’s ‘Happy Client’ which looks at why, how and when to use client listening to inform your marketing activity.

‘Marketingland’ by The Proper Marketing Club

When I talk about client listening, some people view it firmly as an after-sales activity – checking in on service levels and finding out if a business is delivering an excellent client experience. It’s seen as sitting on ‘brand beach’ because brands either thrive or fail as a result of their excellent (or otherwise) client service and experience. Client listening can absolutely be used for that purpose and that is the objective of several my projects, but it can also be used in other areas of ‘Marketingland’ too.

It’s vital that marketers do their research. Marketing strategies (and the promotional campaigns that support their tactics) will be much more successful if effort is put in to finding out what current and potential clients want and need (and what they definitely don’t want or need!). Client listening can help you do just that. After all, the textbook definition of marketing is ‘anticipating, identifying and satisfying customer needs profitably.’ It’s difficult to satisfy a need you haven’t identified in the first place! And you’ll be jeopardising your profit margins in the process.

Moving through to the targeting and positioning stages, client listening can help you find out where, in the eyes of your clients, you sit in comparison to your competitors and why they chose you in the first place – this helps with fine-tuning your market positioning. What makes you stand out from everyone else?  Find that out and use it to your advantage!

Want to launch a new product or service? While B2C businesses are well acquainted with market research in this area, B2B companies will sometimes launch something to market without research to assess its viability. I’ve conducted client listening exercises which do just that – meaning my clients can then make informed investment decisions.

‘Brand beach’ is where client listening comes in again – if you’re looking at a re-brand or a refresh, talking to current and potential clients about their view of your brand is crucial so you can make sure all the elements which make up your brand are aligned with your target audience.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief visit to ‘Marketingland’ through the lens of client listening. Although it’s something that doesn’t always happen in practice, taking our clients’ views into account should be something that’s front of mind across the entire broad sweep of the marketing landscape.

Wherever you are on your journey across ‘Marketingland’, I’d love to talk to you about how client listening can help so please do get in touch.

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