A colleague of mine recently retweeted an article entitled "Social Media is about Social Science not Technology" by Brian Solis, here is the link should you wish to read further, http://bit.ly/yNmTWg
Within the piece are some intriguing statistics from a study carried out last year that seem to suggest that in some respects many companies are deluding themselves that they are using social media marketing techniques effectively.
Only 53% of social media marketers have asked what people want
The core of the study is two polls of Brand Managers concerning their Social Consumers. The first suggests that 77% know their Social Consumers well, the second that only 53% have actually asked their Social Consumers what they want. From this study a straightforward and unsurprising conclusion is reached; companies are simply not engaging enough with their customers or potential customers. They are not providing simple to use feedback mechanisms and not even encouraging feedback.
Most mainstream ESPs have highly sophisticated technological methods of analysis and impact assessment. For example it is commonplace for a system to be able to deduce the hardware platform used to read the email in the first place. Terrific you may think! But only if the resultant statistics are used intelligently thereafter, only if the marketers are actually listening to the messages being sent back either by analysis of subscriber behaviour or information specifically requested by the marketer - feedback.
Listen to your subscribers
The key is to listen as well as to inform. High level technology can achieve great things but it cannot do the listening for you. It will certainly help you to formulate appropriate feedback and provide the mechanism to deliver it to the subscriber and collect the responses.
It will need you, the marketer, to make use of the messages you hear in the most constructive and creative way.
Consider what is it that your consumers really want to read? Especially your 'connected customers', this is a group of people within a group who share common interests and frequently have had common experiences relating to product or services of the company in question. This group are often influencers and by virtue of their knowledge and skill can determine or at least modify the behaviour of others. Suppose your campaign has turned out to be a beautiful piece of work that doesn't appeal to your 'connected customer' group? Is it likely then to appeal to others?
For email marketers as with social media marketers more than lip service has to be paid to creating a relationship with your readers. To communicate you must understand the differing groups of 'people' you correspond with.
A best practice example
Here’s an example of B2B Marketing
really listening to their subscribers. It’s a fantastic example because it:
- Shows that B2B Marketing are paying attention to the recipients’ behaviour
- Gives information about why B2B Marketing think the recipient may not have engaged with them recently
- Tells the recipient what to do about it
- Gives the recipient the option to update their settings and then change the frequency of the emails received
- Gives the choice to opt out
- Actively asks for feedback on the types of communication they wish to receive
- Is signed off from an actual person
When was the last time you asked you listened to your subscribers?