The Importance of Listening Is the Lesson to Be Learned From This Election
I am not going to make a political statement here. I am not going to comment on who won or should have won or who deserved to win or anything about voter turnout statistics. I’ll save that for the politicians.
But I am a marketer and as such I try to learn as much as I can about our culture so that I can become an even better marketer. And there’s a tremendous lesson to be learned from this year’s presidential election that is worth noting for all small business owners and entrepreneurs. A lesson for anyone managing a brand.
All the polls in the world didn’t predict what happened on 11/9/16, not even close. There was barely a single person, politician, pollster or journalist who predicted it. From what I understand, the same thing happened with Brexit.
And there is one very simple reason why… no one was listening.
No one was listening to how people, masses of people, feel. They were listening to some, for sure, but they weren’t listening to everyone. Because there was a seemingly silent mass that came to the polls with a singular mission, and they accomplished it.
And no one was listening to them.
It’s probably the single biggest piece of marketing advice I can give to someone trying to grow or protect their brand. Listen to your customers and listen to what they want. Listen to what they need. Listen to how they are feeling. It’s actually not that hard, because if you ask them then they will tell you. Or if you just simply pay attention to them then you will be able figure it out.
But don’t just listen to part of your customers. We tend to gravitate to those who are like-minded, or those who we already appeal to, or those who we already know are fans. Listen to all of your customers, across the entire range. Factor in their concerns and their struggles in the hope that you can find a solution that appeals across the spectrum.
Related: 5 Ways Listening Grows Your Business
Sure, you can’t please everyone every time and I always say that you shouldn’t try. But even if they aren’t your most loyal customers, you should still listen to them. Because those customers may tell you something that could threaten your brand and ultimately do business harm if you aren’t aware of it and plan around it.
Combine that listening with a little sharing as well. Share with your customers how you plan to add value to their lives, based on their unique needs and wants. Share your plan to improve what you offer to them, and how that’ll impact them. And then listen to their reactions.
From a marketing perspective, listening is perhaps more important now than ever as we go through a transition into a new government. Some people are optimistic and full of hope for the change they see coming and some are fearful that life as they know it will dramatically change for the worse.
Not just in the U.S., but in many parts of the world.
Listen to them so that you know what they are going through. Listen to them so that you can figure out how to help. Listen to them so that you can understand where they stand, and show them that you are in it with them.
It’s perhaps the best marketing plan you could do right now for your brand.
Are you listening?