Dialogue is the blood of every relationship. I learned a lot about how to apply that idea from Reuel Howe who wrote “The Miracle of Dialogue”. Marketers rely on dialogue to create, sustain and revitalize the customer-brand relationship.
Have you ever felt like you're talking, but nobody is listening?
When I observe people at restaurants, few are having a dialogue. People seem to be talking at one another, or silently engrossed in their mobile devices. Marketers face this struggle to gain attention and have a meaningful dialogue with customers and prospects.
Here are 3 ways COMARKA creates dialogue between clients and their customers in qualitative research:
Build acceptance to promote authenticity: “Be yourself, you matter to me!” Clients need authentic responses from research participants. In any group session there may be some people who are reticent, and some who try to dominate. Clients often wonder, “Are people saying what they really think? Do some feel intimidated, excluded? Am I getting groupthink?” COMARKA cultivates a supportive, emotionally comfortable environment to elicit authentic exchanges. During groups, we nurture acceptance via non-verbal cues, and by asking, “Are you hearing things from others that are similar to how you see it?” “Are you hearing things that are different and have surprised you?” This dialogue exercise invites divergent views from group members. It also connects with clients who say, “I like these people. They think differently. Tell me more. AHA!”
Create mutual emotional meaning: “What do you mean by ‘X’?” Since emotions drive behavior we need to clearly understand relevant emotions. Many times we assume that since we all speak the same language, we can communicate clearly. It is not true. Every person assigns their own emotional meaning to their specific words. At COMARKA we are highly attuned to stop, and ask participants to clarify the important words (loaded with emotional meaning) by “what do you mean by ‘X’?” Indirect questioning and gentle probing enable people to articulate (often for the first time), their emotional response to a concept, a brand, etc. This is important to learn whether the brand is communicating effectively and if not, what to do about it.
Promote collaboration: “I am here to help you!” Finally, dialogue’s goal is to understand the other person in order to serve them. In groups, we build ideation exercises that foster camaraderie and collaboration among the participants. Clients watch participants enthusiastically work in teams to help the brand become more successful. This motivates clients to serve these participants and their brands in return. I often hear, “We know what we need to do to make this brand a success in the marketplace”. Through dialogue, clients experience the real enjoyment of knowing their consumers and serving them. As Reuel Howe says “Dialogue is the only way of knowing the other person, and through this to serving this person and finding our own being”.
COMARKA empowers marketers to develop fruitful emotional connections with their customers through dialogue.