The Case for the Chief Listening Officer

David Jackson

Chief Executive Officer


God provided a great model for communication when he gave us two ears and one mouth. David Jackson preaches the lesson of better listening.
Take a look at the marketing department’s budget. How much is spent on the different activities of research, advertising, direct mail, sponsorship, PR and events? In most companies, the marketing function and the associated spend is dominated by communications – getting the message out to the prospective customers.
Communicating your message is of course a vital activity: even the best product in the world is of little value if people don’t know about it. It is also true that reaching that elusive audience is increasingly difficult and expensive. It is said that people are exposed every day to 4,000 marketing messages from companies trying to influence their buying intentions. It is hard to make an impact, especially as these impressions are just a small part of the 50,000 thoughts we each have every day.
To stand out from the crowd in this deluge of marketing and mind games, companies resort to evermore sophisticated and expensive campaigns – which are less and less effective. Family and friends are much more influential than advertising in shaping consumer’s buying activities (Figure 1). Their recommendations (good or bad) are much more likely to be based on firsthand experience than on the adverts they have seen. This is not to say that advertising does not work; it does. But just how effective is it compared with other approaches? What would be the effect on sales revenue of reducing advertising by 20% and investing that saving into improving the customer experience? What if, instead of bombarding customers with more advertising, we listened to them more and used their feedback to improve the service provided? Is marketing too much of a monologue?
To read the full article, please download the PDF above. 

Previous article

Mind the Gap

Next article

Anti-Viral Treatment

Get access to valuable thought leadership from the financial services marketing industry

Keep up-to-date with current trends and changes across marketing and financial services is vital in this fast-moving business environment.