I once had a date fail miserably. 

It wasn't a "spill juice on her dress and accidentally push her into the pond" kind of fail, more like a "she's just not that into me" kind of fail. 

It was too bad because I sort of liked this girl -- in that goofy 15-year-old boy kind of way.

I had gotten all dressed up: my finest button down, my favorite jeans, my cool hi-tops -- and I even splashed on a little Old Spice.

But my date went miserably, and I was a bit crushed.

Here's why... 

I didn't know what to say to her! All that preparation and I forgot the most important part.

Now let's break from my tale of woe for a minute and talk about marketing…

Why Great Websites Fail

I speak with a lot of business owners who have good websites, great websites even. And what I hear from them is they’ve invested a lot into their online presence -- including social media channels -- but aren’t seeing the traffic or leads they are expecting.

Where they all admit to falling short is in learning their customers’ needs and responding with relevant, customer-first content. 

In other words, they got themselves all fancied-up, but didn't take the time to learn the right things to say to their customers.

Sound familiar? (Somewhere a pimpled 15-year-old with a bad mullet is shaking his head at you.)

Listen First and Talk Second

Genuinely getting in touch with your customer needs is important – no it’s vital – for successful marketing. It’s mostly about a healthy combination of 1) paying attention and 2) knowing the best way to respond.

Stat time! Only 31% of prospective customers think B2B brands provide a personal value. In other words, they don’t feel a connection. [source]

Knowing why it's important and how to succeed with a Listen-first marketing approach is essential for B2B and B2C brands alike. 

Proper listening techniques allow your business to view customer feedback, read questions, conversations and comments in order to discover opportunities to speak with those audiences.

What I'm saying is if you're not starting out by listening first, you might as well be pushing your customers into the proverbial pond.

Come Join Us for More

I'd love to talk more with you about this topic, and that's why I'm inviting you to our upcoming Lunch & Learn @ Liquid. 

Titled "A Guide to Listen First Marketing" and hosted by myself and Emily Massaro, it's a fun 1-hour presentation from which you'll walk away with a refreshed marketing attitude and a page full of valuable notes.

While enjoying a fantastic lunch with us at Liquid, you'll also learn: 

  • Quick, easy ways to know what your customer really wants to hear
  • What content and messages you should be focusing on
  • Opportunities for creating personalized content for your audience
  • Methods to improve your business’ customer service both on and offline
  • Ways to engage brand advocates

As a free teaser, here's a helpful little tip to get you started:

When searching for your brand online, skip the "@" symbol identified in social channels and you’ll increase the amount of hits you receive. Quite often posters will mention you in a context without it.

I hope to see you at Liquid… let’s make it a date!

Jeff Doubek

About Jeff Doubek

Jeff Doubek is a Digital Content Strategist at Liquid focused on developing and executing content plans as part of the broader UX strategy for website redesigns, and supporting the creation and execution of content strategies for integrated digital marketing campaigns. Jeff is also a lifelong competitive sailboat racer and youth racing coach.

Published Apr 14, 2016