How to Really Listen to Consumers

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Most companies understand that it’s important to listen to their consumers, but what does that really mean? How can a company understand the needs and wants of their consumers? And how can they create content that will resonate?

I asked a group of experienced CMOs, agency creatives, and digital marketers for their input in Sprinklr’s CMO Advisory Board online networking group. Check out a few of the takeaways below, and if you’re interested in joining this discussion – register here.

Listen to Everyone

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Mariana Gomes, the co-founder of MUB Cargo in Madrid, explained that three perspectives should be taken into account when trying to understand what your consumers really want:

  • The Internal Perspective: What do your internal teams think about your product or service and why your consumers are using it?
  • The Data Perspective: What data do you already have on your consumers and what does it tell you?
  • The Outside Perspective: What do your consumers, your partners, your suppliers, and any other external entities tell you about your product or service?

Anvesha Poswalia, Digital Brand Manager at Asian Paints, says, “It’s not just the consumer that matters but any user who interacts with the brand at any touchpoint.” Anyone who can form an opinion about your brand should be listened to, as this will give you a holistic view of how your brand is perceived in the world.

Be Empathetic

Listening to your consumers requires you to step away from the predatory approach that we often tend to have towards consumers. Graham Robertson, Founder and CMO at Beloved Brands, explains, “Consumers are often unlike the people creating the product or service. This forces companies to listen, observe, and learn, or else they have no idea who they’re creating their products for.”

Kyrsten Musich, VP of Marketing at Ellucian, feels that, “Empathetic listening will generate the intimate knowledge that’s required for game-changing insights. However, companies often focus only on what they want to hear instead of genuinely listening, observing, and learning with an open mind.”

Don’t Get It Wrong

Focusing on what you want to hear instead of actively listening is dangerous, because there can be major repercussions if you don’t properly understand your consumers. Matt Owens, Client Services Manager at Stylus, says, “You can do as much research as you’d like, but you risk missing the mark if you do it without properly listening to your consumers.”

These were the three main findings of the panelists. Listen holistically and with empathy. If you don’t do so, there can be major repercussions. If you’d like to dig into the details of what was discussed, head over to our Sprinklr CMO Advisory Board on the Currnt platform. If you have any input on how to listen to consumers, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

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