The Heardable name speaks to the underlying human desire to make our voices be heard. Most of us crave to make a difference; we want our opinions to have an audience; we want people to admire us. But if we post a blog article, participate in a social network, publish a website, construct a landing page, or launch an online marketing campaign—will anyone listen, respond, or even care? Yes, but only if you are found, visible, heard.
Heardable believes that helping companies understand what's preventing their brands from being heard is the critical first step in being able to take action to improve one's Heardability. Embracing the spirit of brand transparency is a smart first step.
The 10 Commandments of Brand Transparency
1. An understanding that being responsive to customers is paramount—and this must be backed up with service level agreements that know no boundaries, channel barriers, or time constraints.
2. Recognition that the online experience you provide is your brand. Great first experiences, like the theoretical ripple effect of a butterfly’s wings, are the catalyst for something larger, positive, profound, and influential that associates a company with trust.
3. Admission that honesty and transparency trumps double-talk and corporate babble-speak. In fact, it’s this real discussion (warts and all) that constituents crave.
4. Have a network of smart employees, marketers, agencies, and customers who prompt consumers to interact because they know that will increase the likelihood that consumers will transact.
5. Have the foresight and knowledge that customer engagement means more than launching an online discussion board, it comes organically through enabling valuable and motivating experiences at every touch point.
6. Have an empathetic staff that question what they do for a living and then juxtapose this against what they know their constituents actually need from them—implementing beneficial solutions as a result.
7. An appreciation that new web analytics and measurement tools need to speak to where the visitor is going, and not merely to ‘where the puck is’. Conversely, measurement systems still need to know where the visitor came from and why. Additionally, a recognition that web analytics is not and will neve be, optimization.
8. Acknowledgement that user-generated content diffuses corporate governance and editorial authority, but if embraced, it can be leveraged in a way that becomes an extension of a brand.
9. Have an innate ability to leverage their connections in order to give back—and to do good. After all, reciprocity is is the invisibile fuel that powers the phenomenon known as social media.
10. Realize that effective word of mouth campaigns cannot be manufactured. They tend to be spontaneous, honest and truly viral events that incorporate humor, oddities, insider news, the taboo or the just plain awe-inspiring.