Understanding customers and gaining feedback using digital marketing

Melanie Thompson, Virtual CollegeEditors Note: Expert content needs an expert content writer and Yorkshire Powerhouse is pleased to publish this business advice article on digital marketing, kindly written by a real expert in her field – Melanie Thompson from Virtual College.

Please consider contacting Melanie to discuss digital marketing apprentices – just click on the advert links above or below – and please mention Yorkshire Powerhouse if you do make contact.

In a previous article, we have stressed the importance of getting to know your customers which, of course, sounds like stating the obvious.

But we are constantly amazed at how many companies fail to engage in the simplest of way…or what’s worse, they go about this in a totally unsuitable way!

We’ve often witnessed companies who base their marketing and brand decisions on conversations they have had in the pub. And since they heard it from more than one source, it must be true!

There are a few things wrong with this:

  • You will tend to hear what you want to hear. This is the theory of Maslow’s Hammer.
  • The questions you are asking won’t be designed to get bad news. They will contain bias.
  • You are the boss of your business! The chances are that the people you are asking won’t want to offend you! (When was the last time you saw someone peering into a baby’s pram and say “What an ugly baby!” to the parents?)

One great thing about Digital Marketing is the ability to engage with customers like never before. This may be soft feedback via social media; it may be hard facts through online questionnaires or via ratings and reviews.

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There are a multitude of tools available to help you get feedback these days, and most are free. There’s simply no excuse not to be as wide-reaching as possible when trying to find out what your customers really think.

And often the best feedback is the stuff that’s hardest to listen to. Negative feedback; criticism.

The marketing world is awash with examples of how organisations have turned PR disasters into triumphs. Unfortunately, it’s also awash with disasters that have remained just that, because of the hope that ‘it will go away’. In this connected world, this is rarely the case!

It all starts with two steps: Asking the question and listening to the answer whether you like what you’re being told or not.

Understanding customers & gaining feedback with digital marketing is an elemental part of the process – but it takes knowledge of the platforms and lots of time.  If you’ve not got the time or skill set, considering a full time digital marketing apprentice might be your best move!

Straight thinking on using digital marketing in a smart way from Yorkshire Powerhouse

Now you’ve read our article on understanding customers & gaining feedback with digital marketing – have you any more questions?

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