Mon, August 13 2007
Filed under: Marketing essentials •
As a marketer - and actually, as a mother and a friend too - I consider it an important part of my role to listen.
Part of that is listening to what people are saying online. I have a google alert set up so I know when people are talking about me, this blog, my nonprofit, my colleagues and issues of concern to me. I have a technorati watchlist too. Why? People who go to the trouble to say something about you online feel strongly - and most likely, they have an audience. For good or for bad, they are important nonofficial spokespeople.
This listening has been an incredibly educational experience - especially when I’m listening to negative feedback. While they hurt at times and can make me cringe, complaints are valuable. When I’ve emailed and engaged in conversations with people who were dissatisfied, nine times out of ten they appreciated that I was listening and helped me see where my own communications and marketing efforts were falling short. Some of those conversations were so good that I developed an ongoing relationship with the commenters and use them as regular sounding boards in my work.
I hereby declare today “listen up” day.
Go listen to what your donors, supporters and detractors are saying about you online. (Use those google alerts and technorati watch lists to get you started.) Talk to people talking about you - not defensively or angrily - but with open ears and an open mind.
While I’m always yammering about stealing corporate savvy, I have to stay that a lot of corporations STINK at this. I’ve blogged here about annoying experiences with Crate & Barrel and Verizon, yet no one from those companies has ever contacted me. I wonder if they realize that 20,000 unique visitors come to this blog each month. I wonder if they realize my comments come up with searches for their company. Not good publicity…
Check out this. I would think twice about setting foot in Best Buy after reading these posts and comments—a feeling only reinforced by the fact that Best Buy hasn’t bothered to truly listen or reply in any thoughtful way.
Nonprofits clearly need some work in this area too.
I’m going to do an experiment here to see who IS listening - and help those that are. Here is a list of three random nonprofits that participated in a training by me or Network for Good. For each that picks this up and comments here within 24 hours, I will make a $10 donation. Further proof that good listeners get rewarded!
Family Of Humanity
Glaucoma Research Foundation
PS Share your listening experiences - I’d love to hear them.
Update August 14, 10:23 am: No comments, no winners. Family of Humanity, Glaucoma Research Foundation and Ageless Dreamer—- Please, set up google alerts!