The Strategy to Reaching The Impossible Consumers

Are you listening well to your consumers?

If not, ESPECIALLY with all this ‘Big Data’ available today, you are missing a huge opportunity. Maybe you think you know your consumers, but you should consider if you really do know them in a way that’s helping you achieve your goals. It’s easy to know who they are (Psst….By the way, sorry to break it to you but demographics are dead), what groups they come from, but do you understand how they feel, can you put yourself in their shoes?

“It’s the Empathy, Stupid” 

(I mean this both literally and as to cite this great blog post on the topic, which is so fittingly titled.)

With the emergence of social media we gained one of the biggest tools in marketing, and it was not social media marketing as a new channel of marketing; it was the data and insights seeded from people being on social sites and blogs and any other site on that little, public, thing called the Internet. The best tool we have is an activity called, social listening.

 Marketing is about embodying the consumer you want to target, understanding the way they think and asking yourself how can I think like them in efforts to realize how my product or brand can be part of what they want.

Not knowing what your consumer persona wants and feels about your product category or brand is a pretty gnarly problem that, exists more than it should. Advertisers and marketers are missing the target {market}. Even with all the tools and data out there – marketers are shooting blanks at a target without the ammunition of insights to weight them toward the bull’s-eye. 

Don't Miss the Target with your Marketing

Advertisers are forgetting to connect with the most important thing they once knew, the consumers’ desires. We, marketers already learned this lesson! But, let’s go over it again for all you in the nose bleeds that apparently didn’t get it …

It is no longer a one-directional experience between a brand and consumer, but rather a two-way conversation. One which begs to question, 

“..we’re not listening to them, so why do we expect them to listen to us?”

Desires from Millennials or Generation Z may be that they do NOT want to be targeted for any form of advertising on mobile devices, or to not see pop-up ads in their games, etc. However, just because brands or advertisers don’t like that idea of being tuned out, if a consumer is telling us directly what they want, we have to get smarter as  to how to reach this audience. If we know what they don’t want let’s figure out how to give them what we want through their wants. 

 If advertisers understood this concept better, they might be able to find better, more successful ways to target their consumers with the right message, on the right platform. 

Are you, the marketer, understanding the behavior that drives the natural habits of a consumer profile? The behavior driving purchasing decisions is so deeply tied to desires and interests of a person that it’s vital to look at all the juicy, juicy data that can be aggregated by social listening.

Social listening allows us to get deeper than demographics or psychographics, we can understand what they think, what drives them to act and importantly have a bit of a deeper insight into those key micro moments that drive people’s shopping behaviors today.

Social Listening defined by Rion Martin of Infegy

“The practice of tracking online conversations about a specific phrase, word, or brand. A social listening platform provides the basic capability of systematically collecting online conversations about a specific phrase, word, or brand and is able to provide some degree of insights through the analysis of those conversations.”

Instead of advertising on social media, it’s vital to listen and pay attention to what consumers are doing in a natural habitat, like social platforms (or what once were natural before advertisers came on board). Big data and social listening work hand in hand to allow marketers to LISTEN, to understand their consumers in a way they never had before.

Companies started trying to predict your buying habits with predictive behaviorism a few years back. However, this is not doing the right thing with data, this is not listening to the consumer, this moves from observation and analysis and directly goes to action without absorption or listening.

Marketers that are only interested in the way they can profit from data of the consumers, without any interest in what their consumers want, are missing the target.  If one is solely interested in who the consumers are, what demographic groups they come from, and how to can better sell to them, we are missing the point.  It should be all about how to think like they think! Can you be empathetic? Do you know what they want? 

Data cannot just be aggregated in numbers or patterns passively, but instead it should be consumed, analyzed and comprehended! It is through deeply absorbing behaviors, conversations, sentiments and real experiences, only then will you hold the key to unlocking the power of listening. 

Once you can listen correctly, you can give smarter, better insights. Insights that will lead to more informed and more effective marketing strategies. Better insights pave the path to deliver better messages, though the right channels, and to the right market. 

Businesses and marketers are trying to profit from reading behavior and habits. But, are we listening and understanding these people?  

Empathy is power.

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