One mouth. Two ears.


Picture 11

The end of focus groups


All communications are interactive. At least all the good ones are. Studies show that when someone believes they’ve been listened to, they’ve been in a good conversation.

Back in the day, you had a mailbox (a real one) and a complaints department. And if your agency was halfway good, your advertising reflected what your customer thought. (“We know you want a cheaper deckchair.” Or, “Here’s a joke we think you’ll love.”)

Now there are even better ways to show you’re listening.

Monitor all the tweets and notes and comments and blogs about your company. Take them seriously. Use them as intelligence. You’ll find out important things. Things that a researcher will charge you £3000 a group to tell you.


“Wish they had wi-fi.”

“The lady at reception ignored me for exactly 8 minutes.”

“The server sneezed onto his hands then made my sandwich.”

“I love their jewellery. If only they did more earrings.”

Don’t rush to rebut them all (except, perhaps the scurrilous ones). Pay attention. Then respond positively to them. Even the bad ones.Especially the bad ones.

Listen. Then listen again. Then maybe speak. God gave you twice as many ears to prove a point.


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