Hey Marketer – When was the last time you talked with a customer??

It’s an odd dynamic I see in play today – in today’s ever connected environment marketers tell me they feel even more removed from direct customer interaction.

As a former sales person, I used to schedule “ride-along” time with my sales team just to get out on sales calls and hear how we position ourselves in front of the customer, how that message lands on the customer and more importantly what the customer is saying in reaction to how we are positioned.

Today I would argue that is still important (and few marketers actually do it) but with the tools we have at our disposal you don’t even need to get out of the office to talk with customer. In fact, I talk to customers EVERYDAY, even several times a day. How? With Twitter!!

Every week my virtual social media team and I are listening to 1000 – 2500 mentions of Avaya plus a bunch of “Conversations” we are tracking (see Forget Audience Segmentation – Segment by Conversation!)

We are engaging with customers and solving their issues in record time providing excellent service to them around issues such as: Customer Support, End of Life product, Highly Technical questions, Finance and Billing questions, and Partner Relations. In fact we even won our first engagement over Twitter – so watch out DellOutlet we are gaining on you fast!

Our goal as a Social Media Marketing team is to engage in more conversations this week than we did last week and have better relations as every week goes by! With today’s tools there is no excuse for not engaging with customer in real time – what’s stopping you?

The photo in this post is from my sponsor Shutterstock – to learn more go to http://www.shutterstock.com

8 comments to Hey Marketer – When was the last time you talked with a customer??

  • Robert Lesser

    Hi Paul,

    I heard one senior marketer say that marketing's role above all was to act the customer advocate.

    This listening and interaction is crucial to our role in marketing.

    While I agree that social media provides an invaluable listening post and meeting spot with customers, nothing comes close to understanding customers better than a face-to-face meeting.

    Social media will allow us to be more selective on who we choose to meet face-to-face with.

  • Paul Dunay

    @ Robert – great point and I was not intending to replace face to face with Twitter but augment with twitter.

    Heck before that it was months since I met with a customer – which I suspect is the case for many marketers.

  • Christian

    In social media, the disconnect between marketing and sales is gone. It's not like traditional media where marketing people operate solely behind the scenes…we're all salespeople now…we all have to get good at actually interacting with people. oh my god, what are we going to do!

  • Paul Dunay

    Amen Christian Amen

  • Daniel Kuperman

    What?! Are we now supposed to meet and talk with customers? On top of everything else we're doing how can we justify it?

    Just kidding… you're right, Paul. With social media now there are no excuses!

  • Paul Dunay

    @ Dan – that sounds like a great blog post – No Excuses Social Media!

  • Robert Johnson

    Hi Paul,

    I believe the strategy-side of marketing (vs. comm) should be meeting with at least one customer/week to conduct "primary" market research & build relationships with customer execs. Last year, I had 100 such meetings.

    Robert

  • Paul Dunay

    @Robert J – Excellent 100 client meetings – sounds like 2 clients a week – that's really good!
    Thanks for commenting Robert!

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