Give the people what they want – Finding the right balance for business growth

Contextual marketing is a hot topic in online marketing at the moment. Content development, social networking, and targeted marketing is leading to an increase interest in creating and finding context with users.

Knowing what your target audience likes, when they like it, how they like it, and why they like it is really important for all companies. In the majority of industries gaining market share is down to the company that is marketing the product most relevant to the consumer at the time when they are most likely to purchase.

Traditional media has always been a “talk-at” approach. TV, print, and billboards do not allow a two-way conversation. Marketing is shifting towards a “talk-to” approach through social media, interactive billboards, and much more. This leads to a highly engaged customer.

“How you use this data when you are making big business decisions is going to impact the growth of your business.”

We are bombarded every day with thousands of marketing messages and a good way to stand out is by providing a message that is. A) Relevant to the customer at that time. 2) Allows them to engage and talk to you to discover more in real time.

However, all of this engagement will ultimately lead to a cross-road for businesses. When growing your business how many of the decisions made are based on feedback from your customers, particularly when launching a new product or service?

Do you solely develop products to suits the requests of your customers? Do you innovate on your own? Or perhaps a collaborative approach is best such as ALPHA and BETA testing?

When creating a new product the questions above can be key to your success. There are arguments for each option. Many companies such as Apple and Dyson, who reportedly are in the “innovate on your own” category, have been incredibly successful in doing their own thing, what they feel is best sometimes regardless of what the customer is asking for.

Other businesses solely use customer feedback to mould their new service or product. Do customers know what they want? Is it what they really want? Is it best to do your own thing, branch out and lead the pack?

Access to customer data is becoming increasingly easier to obtain and more and more precise thanks to software such as Google Analytics. How you use this data when you are making big business decisions is going to impact the growth of your business.

So the important question is:

How do you give the people what they want?

Let us know your thoughts in a comment below or on Facebook. Do you use customer feedback to determine your next product or service release? If so, how much importance does the feedback place on your end decisions?

Written by James Hay, Social Media Coordinator at Fasthosts Internet Ltd.

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