Last week we started to talk about how receiving feedback is one of the easiest and most essential parts of getting the most from your marketing efforts. The phrasing of the word “feedback” makes people think of this step as something that comes after a point of contact with your target audience – but in actuality, it’s an ongoing process that should be enforced at the beginning, middle and end of your marketing strategy. We’ve already covered the “before,” so this week we’re looking at “during” and “after.”
1. During: Engagement. “How did you hear about us?” Point of sale is a great time to engage customers and learn more about why they chose you and what they think of their experience — right when they’re in the midst of it. This is a great time to learn how your “before” tactics have paid off, by learning how people heard about you and whether there was a significant impact from your attempts to reach out in advance. People may also have a fresher idea of what they liked or didn’t like about interacting with your brand.
In our example from last week, an ice cream stand is opening at the park. Your company has already reached out to learn what people would like from a neighborhood ice cream stand and to let them know about the launch. At this event, learn if your ice cream stand is what they were thinking and what else they would add to enhance their experience. Make them feel like they are valued customers who are part of the dialogue and offer incentives to come back again. One trick is to hand out an extended survey about the company (its location, hours, flavors, customer service) and entice customers to fill it out by offering a coupon or free cone. These surveys may come with a customer’s name and contact information to further build a relationship and send out special offers.
2. After: Follow-up. Once your campaign has been launched, or after a time-sensitive endeavor has been completed, it’s important to know whom it reached and how they responded. Different media allows for different ways of doing this — obviously, for example, online efforts prove the most measurable in terms of clicks and views. But even traditional marketing techniques can be measured by sourcing those involved on how they felt when they encountered your business.
Let’s look at the ice cream stand example: Following a successful launch that was highly promoted and well-attended, the company may want to use some of the information that was collected at the event to reach out to attendees and ask what they thought after the fact, such as whether they’ve been back since then and if they’ve formed any new impressions about the brand since the stand opened.