Each week I read hundreds of business related emails and blog posts. As you know I am an ardent supporter of both communication and education, and am always open to hearing new perspectives on leadership, business, marketing, success and working with each other. This week one of the posts I read talked about one of the frequently played commercials on TV right now, and it had a really negative opinion of the commercial. It’s one of the commercials that has emerged from and is based on things we’ve experienced over the past few months, and while I’m not particularly fond of the commercial or the brand behind the commercial, I don’t dislike it for the reasons that they talked about in the post. I can definitely see how they would come up with those opinions, and how other people seeing the commercial might feel offended as well, but I also think that they may have overreacted on their opinions regarding the commercial. I don’t know what the process was for creating the ad, but I think a few more discussions with the target audience would have helped with those little tweaks and have given people less to criticize about it (there will almost always be someone who dislikes something about your company/marketing especially if you’re a big company).
As part of the discussions all businesses are having right now, I think it’s more important than ever to get feedback from people on marketing campaigns you’re planning that will go out to a big audience, new products you’re considering offering, and what is and isn’t working for your business right now. Whether you’ve got a large number of people who work for your business or a small number, it’s good to have a team of people you can check in with for detailed feedback, taking time to ask your email/social subscribers for their feedback, as well as taking advantage of some of the companies out there who can survey broader groups of people that would fit in your target audience.
So what does this look like? For broad information gathering sessions you can do both lengthy and short surveys. For your email/social subscribers typically you’re going to do short ones, probably not more than once a month depending on your business and audience. You can also check in with people in the company at meetings to just get some quick feedback and first thoughts.
I would also recommend though that you have a team of carefully chosen people both as part of an email list and as part of your company that you can talk with more frequently, who are willing to give you honest feedback and opinions and ask you questions/share their questions. This team can be compensated either through discounts, merchandise, team gear, or other bonuses to thank them for their time and effort, and should be those that you would call fans, supporters or very knowledgeable about you and your company.
Getting feedback isn’t about having your ideas thrown out or trampled, but instead discovering what others might see that you don’t see. Typically, that means that your ideas will only be improved upon by talking with others. You’ll also get good feedback on what people are looking for or concerned about or ready to invest in by having these crucial conversations. And, as I said, they don’t have to take a long time, and thanks to technology if you keep the questions easy-to-answer and the overall survey short, it will be easy to process the results and act on them quickly. What great feedback have you gotten for your business lately?