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Your Audience that Loves to Hate

In this digital age, we live in a world of constant and continual feedback data. Commenting on our opinions on any social media platform has become like brushing our teeth. It’s changing human behavior and opening up avenues for communication like never before. I have to admit, those comments can get a little tense at times. It’s obvious people are not afraid to hold back on making their perspective heard loud and clear.

For a business, this conversation screams opportunity. Gaining feedback, whether positive or negative, can be a very handy tool in crafting out your future marketing strategy. Anytime a business is able to engage in conversation about their product, it’s a win-win situation for both sides.

Often times in marketing, the big focus is always on interacting with the audience. We tend to gear our attention towards the people who are already engaging with our brand, which makes sense. Obviously, you want to pay attention to those who are involved in growing your business.

But what about the audience who knows your brand and has made an intentional decision not to engage? Some leaders may feel like shying away from this goldmine. Any marketing expert would strongly advise against this. In all honesty, the potential for benefit and growth is even greater if and when you seek your haters’ opinions out.

THuS had the opportunity to participate in a focus group study with one of our clients. The client strategically conducted an interview with two different groups. One with their participating audience and the other with their non-participating audience. And let me tell you, the results were fantastic.

As expected, the non-participating group did not hesitate in voicing why they do not interact with the client. The information that was gathered was extremely insightful. The feedback we were able to gain from the non-participating audience gave very clear, specific directives for how we should proceed with strategy planning for future brand development. Something that seemed intimidating actually turned out to be a great learning opportunity for the client.

There are many different ways you can choose to engage in this type of conversation. Conducting focus group studies makes time to connect and engage while gathering precious feedback all at the same time. Another method is conducting a survey. There are many online resources for creating free surveys that are customizable to fit your needs. If you have a large social media following, then reading and responding to post comments, whether positive or negative, is another great way to gain insight.

All great public relations choose to engage with both the positive and negative opinions. When you show the public you’re willing to listen to your lovers AND your haters, you are demonstrating that you care. Behind your business is a human being who is 100% committed to making your product/services better and more available. It is through these opportunities that marketers are able to create new relationships which ultimately converts the hate into love for your business.


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