Why You Should Listen First, Market Later

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In his new book, UnMarketing, author Scott Stratten takes a hard look at traditional marketing tactics that aren't working, such as cold calling and direct mail, to rethink the way we do business. He looks at how we listen to customers – and how we don’t. He says, "Ten years ago if we would have had a (legal) way to listen in on conversations our customers and potential customers were having about us, we would have probably invested big dollars. This technology via Twitter is now free, yet many people, mainly marketers, are simply pushing out messages like ads. Brands that are guilty of this style of marketing are missing key opportunities to connect one-on-one with their customers.”

Customer service in social media is so rare, it’s easy for companies to stand out just for being good listeners. Stratten notes Zappos empowers customers to use Twitter and other tools to communicate with the company. Still, he says, most brands big and small have a long way to go to fully capitalize on the connections that are possible through strong online relationships. Says Stratten, "If you believe business is built on relationships, then you should make building them your business."

Stratten explores these ideas in this episode of “Behind the Brand.” Let me know what you think in the comments below or Tweet me @BryanElliott.


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