May 17, 2023

Undercover Marketer: When You Accidentally Run Over the Cat

Date & Time (GMT):
May 17, 2023 12:47 PM
Date & Time (EST):
May 17, 2023 12:47 PM

Our undercover marketer is back and still on the mission to get buy-in for social listening... If you've not read their first article, you can do that here.  If you have then keep scrolling and see what happens when you inadvertently offend your colleagues...

Me again! *waves*. How’s your month been? Productive? Rewarding?

Well good for you! Let me know how that feels, will you?

So to cut a long story short, my meeting (the one I titled ‘who are our customers?’) went down like a sack of potatoes inside a lead balloon. I’ve been reflecting on why of course. And not just because I’ve agreed to share my plight in a secret monthly blog post.

While I’m still a trillion miles away from getting any real interest in the social data project of my dreams, I think I’m a little closer to understanding why not. Luckily I’m the optimistic type.

The Meeting

Some background first. I invited the people who I think will genuinely benefit the most from introducing social data into the business. And that I think have the budget and/or influence to make it happen. I warmed them up first, with a little casual (by the water cooler if we had one) chat about this really great opportunity.

Here’s a quick summary of attendees:

Customer marketing production person who spends all their time (you guessed it) producing marketing stuff.

Customer analyst person who as far as I can tell sends lots of emails with lots of numbers in them.

Brand person (obviously).

And I threw in a wild card. You know those people from the office who just always seem to have time to chat about anything? This guy has influence but apart from that, I have no idea what he actually does. Something to do with the product side of things. General business stuff. Basically, I knew he’d show up and at least pretend to look interested.

So What Went Wrong?

Well nothing went wrong I guess, but it didn’t quite go to plan.

Sure they let me go through my introduction, I explained what social data is, went through a few applications, like how it can help with marketing production, brand strategy and customer analytics (see what I did there?). 40 minutes in I say ‘right, that’s enough of me talking, any questions?

The questions… At least they had some. Or one, presented in at least twenty different forms. You know, in that way people who work in tall buildings are adept at doing.

Some questions they asked -

What are we going to do with this data?

Understand our customers.

What’s the problem we’re solving here?

We don’t understand our customers.

What’s your main objective?

To understand our customers.

What does success look like?

Reaching an understanding of our customers.

Come on, guys! The clue was in the meeting title, wasn’t it!?

I was just about to run out of ways of giving the same answer (I also have this skill). And then my wild card, who’d remained fairly quiet so far, comes striding into the conversation to save me from this repetitive nightmare...

Ok, but why do we need to understand our customers, don’t we know them already?

And there my friends lay what I believe is the truest thing I’ve heard all month. These people know what I want to do, they just don’t get why I want to do it.

Of course, the others sniggered and gave each other looks as if Mr Wild Card had just said the most obvious thing ever. I could hear them thinking ‘We need to know our customers because that’s how we make money, DURRR’.

So, Why Do We Need Social Data Insights?

I gave an answer about how lots of decisions we make are based on assumptions or data that’s not particularly reliable and there’s loads of scope to improve its quality and therefore make our brand/analytics/marketing even better.

So by then, the marketing person was glaring at me like I’d just run over their cat, Brand had this kind of patronising but patient look going on and Analytics just looked bored. I’d basically lost them.

Let’s focus on the learnings. I’ve learnt not to try to mix different departments here. I’ve learnt that I need to focus on why we need to know our customers without offending those who think they already do. I’ve learnt that I can say ‘understand our customers’ in 35 different ways. I’ve still not learnt what Mr Wild Card does.

Until next time friends. I’ll be keeping up the good fight but do get in touch and share your best advice...

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