In yesterday’s post, I described how the initial resistance of Google’s Street View in Germany could, at least in part, be attributed to the country’s more private culture. Looking at its acceptance, the raising of concerns by Google Maps’ audience had a considerable positive impact. Engagement to some degree did occur, according to the Time Magazine/Worldcrunch article, or at least Germans opposing the service had a vehicle to show their opposition made possible by the head of Hamburg’s Data Protection Authority (DPA). In the article, the head of this authority stated that giving people the opportunity to disapprove “diffused the situation and helped Street View gain acceptance.” Thus, creating a forum which allows people to voice concerns is sometimes all that is needed.

Engagement for Improved Strategy
As a result, a secondary lesson here for Google and other companies, tech or otherwise, is to engage with the target audience. This practice is seemingly obvious but can get lost in a company’s planning if they take a product-centric approach in the design phase or even build-up to the launch without considering the local socio-political climate and culture. By engaging with the target audience, companies can learn customer concerns as well as the aspects of the product they are most excited about. This is usually done in a research fashion utilizing surveys, interviews, and focus groups to gather both qualitative and quantitative data. This information is invaluable and can be immediately used by the company to:

a) improve design and features
b) know where to offer greater explanation or product detail
c) diffuse issues or steer clear of potential road blocks
d) understand what aspects to focus on in marketing for maximum impact
e) learn if a product is even viable in that particular setting

Such a process is similarly important for an SEO company that delivers multi-faceted services to a segment of its target audience: its clients. By first exploring clients’ understanding of their own needs, strengths, weaknesses, and goals, among other considerations, the SEO company engages their client to learn more. This dialogue is essential to mutual understanding and being able to deliver exactly what clients need.

This engagement is even more important when SEO companies are delivering services like multilingual SEO in international markets. In such circumstances, it is valuable to understand the context and work out potential issues. The importance of engagement and its impact on business planning, both for SEO services and elsewhere, simply cannot be understated.

Kenneth C. Wisnefski, founder and CEO of WebiMax, the top rated SEO company, was interviewed today on Newzar.com. Newzar (New York, NY), founded in 2010 by Entrepreneur and former CBS News Executive Zev Shalev, provides breaking video news on the go.  Newzar is the first of its kind, delivering news to the 87% of Americans who access the internet daily on their mobile devices.

Wisnefski discussed the role that social media will play in this year’s Black-Friday shopping experience.  Wisnefski states that “Social Media, notably Facebook and Twitter are the ways that consumers are going to find deals this year”.  That statement seems to hold much value since industry statictics state 35% of Americans own a smartphone.  Wisnefski further states “Consumers may even save themselves a trip to the store if they view via Twitter that a store has run out of a certain product”.

The full interview can be seen here:  (Video is courtesy of Newzar.com)