Healthcare and IT
Marketing Conference

Are You Listening to Your Customers?


As a marketer, understanding your target audience is essential. You can gather customer data through polls, focus groups, or direct conversations. However, facilitating this research on a large scale is a significant investment, and it can be challenging to gauge the accuracy of the data. Instead of generating more data points, focus on analyzing the information that is already out there. Your customers are likely sharing their perspectives on sites like Facebook, Twitter, forums, blogs and review pages. Today, social media can even be considered, “The world’s largest, most open, and accessible focus group,” according to SproutSocial.


Evaluating online comments and brand mentions can help you understand your target audience’s thoughts, interests, hobbies, wants and needs. While social monitoring focuses on determining what people say, social listening takes it one step further, analyzing conversations to learn how people feel.


Social listening has historically been a prevalent practice among B2C marketers. Many consumer-oriented companies are already doing this extremely well, and B2B marketers who are willing to take notice can learn some valuable lessons from them.


Your Customers Can Shine a Light on New Business Opportunities


Specifically, Airbnb is one company that is exceptional at listening to customer feedback. On Instagram, Airbnb users just have to tag the brand in one of their travel photos, and they have a chance for their picture to be re-posted on the company’s Instagram account. By monitoring brand mentions and directly interacting with their customers online, Airbnb noticed that many of their users were emphasizing the experiences they had while traveling, not the homes they were renting.


Source: Travelmoreorless on Instagram


With this intel in mind, Airbnb launched a new service called Airbnb Experiences that allows users to book a fun excursion with a local while vacationing. Travelers can now shop the street markets in London, try urban gardening in LA, take surf lessons from a pro in Bali, or visit a wolf sanctuary in Seattle – the possibilities are endless. And people are enjoying these outings so much that they’re even more likely to recommend Airbnb to a friend.


Source: Airbnb on Instagram


By listening to their customers and finding out what was important to them, Airbnb created a valuable new opportunity for their business.


Can B2B Companies Use a Similar Strategy?


Yes! Professional services, technology, and healthcare companies can also perform social listening. It may seem less flashy but keep in mind that B2B companies are made up of individual decision-makers too. Many share their opinions on new software and tech tools. B2B company leaders are actively talking on forums, blogs, and news sites. You just have to know where to look!


For example, Reddit’s technology thread has 5,879,278 total readers with a stated goal, “To share and discuss the latest developments, happenings and curiosities in the world of technology; a broad spectrum of conversation as to the innovations, aspirations, applications and machinations that define our age and shape our future.” This thread would be a great place for tech companies to learn about trending topics so that they can better understand and serve their markets.


It may seem like a lot of extra work to continually scan the web for conversations that are relevant to your business. Luckily, several tools can pull and analyze this data for you; it’s just a matter of choosing the right one. Here are a few social listening options to get you started.


By digging a little deeper into social media data, you can note industry trends, analyze community demographics, identify new business opportunities and use customer insights to make strategic decisions. Taking the time to listen to your customers will improve the ROI of your social media efforts.


New marketing trends are popping up all the time. Some are here and gone before you even have a chance to check them out. However, with Gen Zers increasing attachment to digital media channels, social listening is one trend that is likely to stick around.

At Clarity Quest, we keep a pulse on the latest healthcare and technology marketing trends. Want more expert marketing insights delivered to your inbox? Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter.

Research Sources


About the Author

Ava Haekler, Marketing Consultant, Clarity Quest Marketing

Ava Haekler values understanding her audience to get positive results through marketing and PR strategies. For Clarity Quest, Ava executes content, social media, accounts-based marketing, online marketing and PR campaigns. Before Clarity Quest, Ava worked at Comcast as a PR and marketing coordinator on a new healthcare and technology venture. Her strengths include social media, event planning, marketing communications, branding, and public relations. She earned a BA in Communication with a concentration in Corporate and Public Relations from Drexel University in 2017.