Getting closer to the customer

The customer has become more powerful than ever. Our job is no longer to work for the people, but work with the people. Susanne von Gwinner explains how data can help us find common ground

The customer has become more powerful than ever. Our job is no longer to work for the people, but work with the people. Susanne von Gwinner explains how data can help us find common ground

The customer has become more powerful than ever. As Pauline Draper-Watts pointed out in her presentation on the Edelman Trust Barometer, the mass population now has influence and authority, and rejects established authority. Among the public, there is an erosion of trust in all four types of institutions – government, business, media and non-profits.

Consequently,

  • Employees are the most credible and best spokespersons for a company, outranking the C-level and subject experts
  • People are more likely to trust a search engine than human editors
  • People find leaked information more credible than a press release

What does this mean for the communications industry?

The importance of collaboration means our job is no longer to work for the people, but work with the people.

Misia Tramp from Metia says companies need to identify the overlap between what matters to brands and what matters to audiences. The overlap is what Misia calls the mutual resonance – in other words, a common ground. In order to understand what really matters to audiences, companies need to be smart with data and take into consideration that less than 5% of social conversations mention a product or a brand.

With this in mind, intelligent social listening is much more about interests, needs, lifestyle choices and opinions; and coming to the right conclusions about what the consumers are really looking for. Then it is the company’s job to “make the life of the customer effortless, no matter what they are selling”.

This is both simple and difficult at the same time. Simple because a company knows their customers and aims to make their lives easier. Difficult because in reality, most companies do not have their audience in mind when they communicate.

Most of the time, corporate content is still a result of the internal perspective:

  • How do we want to position our company?
  • Which topics do we want to be associated with?
  • Who wants to talk and write about it?
  • What material can we use?

With trust in companies and media fading, modern brands need to transform the way they collect and interpret data. Only then can the correct insights be found, leading to the best actions for both company and consumer.

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