Siddhartha Mukherjee: Why Listening is a Must in the New Business Environment

18 Jun,2020

By Siddhartha Mukherjee


Every disruption, like the one we are currently in, leads to a ‘New’! The existing definitions of Life As Usual or Not As Usual and therefore, Business As Usual & Not As Usual (BAU/BNAU) transform into something new in shape, size and meaning. For example, one of the dynamics that is undergoing change is “how much”. How much do I need, how much time and money do I spend, etc.


During this phase, stakeholder sentiments – human sentiments after all – go through peaks and troughs. The Quantity and Quality of what individual stakeholders express is not only NEW but very importantly, an Information Goldmine!


Hence, for businesses or corporate and product brands, it’s a great time to intensify their Listening capabilities. It is not just about listening to consumer (revenue generators) mood alone but across stakeholders, both internal and external! Only when you listen more, listen better, your brand will empathise more, empathise better to the New future! After all, brand engagement and conversion pivot on Empathy!


Listening, in simple words, means understanding the current and estimating the future Mood of your ecosystem! A stakeholder-wise analysis of their sentiments – happiness, concerns, memories, aspirations, and so on. Such studies can be Brand Specific and/or Agnostic!


In fact, if executed and sustained well, insights from Scientific Stakeholder Listening can lend to a healthy balance sheet!


With timespent being majorly high online currently, it makes Listening Analytics focused and logistically easier to execute. Currently, all stakeholders (humans after all), are proacting and reacting, expressing in other words – primarily online (digital and social)!.


Hence, for both brand owners and communication consultancies, this is a great time to put its Online ‘Listening’ Analytics desk to full use! Every CxO would love to learn and act on the New future! Listening for a brand is a science! Nothing tactical or superficial about it!



1. Reconciles Future Business Plans: The insights from listening analytics will lead to a reconciliation dashboard for CXOs and Board of Directors in terms of the required business direction and KRAs for each business function.

2. Prepares the Brand/Organisation to Empathise– If the two of the key constituents of brand empathy are messaging and action, the Listening Analysis prepares the organisation CXOs for it.

3. Mitigate Brand Reputation Loss: The exercise helps understand current crisis chain and future time bombs ticking away towards disaster. Listening to human expressions and analysing them lead to better mitigation preparedness.

4. Create New Product/Services: Very often, Listening Analysis leads to new Product/Service ideas. Online data offers huge information across what went wrong, what Target Audiences want, what they want to be, and so on.

5. Re-Orient Stakeholder Profile: Listening to Insights lead to business organisations being able to decide the weightage and the profile of each stakeholder that would be needed to tackle the ‘NEW’!

6. Assess effectiveness of Brand Building thus far: A key outcome of Listening during disruption phases is that it acts as a reality check of how robust the brand building and business delivery mechanism have been so far.

7. Fortifies Client-Agency relationship: Listening cannot be a one-way street! The understanding of the current and future ecosystem creates opportunities for even the clients to understand their service providers’ adjustment areas and creates opportunities for working together even longer.


In a sales-obsessed business environment, giving low or no priority to scientific, healthy and regular ‘Listening’ is still understandable. However, in situations like we are currently in, a pandemic or disruption, businesses and brands should re-optimise their time towards Listening and gear up to strengthen its future balance sheet during the ‘New’.


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