As we prepare for 2015 and reflect upon this past year we are left with many takeaways: Yes, Big Data will continue to grow, as will mobile and wearables. We will continue to collaborate with bloggers and website editors who believe in strong messages from nonprofit organizations, health and wellness. They will share said messages with their networks of friends, fans and family members. As we step into 2015 these things will all continue to matter. But we are in exciting times – a time when PR, marketing, and technology are molding together to create magic unlike we have ever seen before. We are not simply pitching stories to bloggers and editors – we are pitching bigger ideas, bigger innovations and even grander technologies. With that comes an even larger responsibility on our part as marketers: Listening.

Something that should not get lost as we continue on our innovative journey is the true value of listening to our audiences. In a recent article on MediaPost titled, “Your 2 Best Sales Tools For Reaching Boomers: Your Ears,” an interesting point was made:

“How can we find out anything about our mature market customers’ needs, wants, desires, aspirations, fears, and objections if we are doing all the talking? After all, Baby Boomers have always been known for individualism — we need to take the time to find out each one’s unique qualities. And if we don’t take the time to find out these things, then we are really just selling by way of mistake, and not by way of skill.”

Whether we are “selling” a product, service, or simply spreading awareness for a specific initiative, this article is relevant to a larger message – every human engagement must have trust and listening at the core. We build trust by listening to our audiences, and our audiences are made up of individuals. One single person – just like you and I. Once we get to know that individual and we truly listen to their needs, they will tell us what information or campaign is interesting enough to support, share, and rally behind. This is how we build lasting supporters and advocates.

In the midst of exciting technological times we need not forget the human aspect. When we blend listening and understanding with technology and digital marketing we will only find success – because we took the time to care.

As we move into a New Year, let’s make a pact as marketers to really listen to those who support our campaigns and clients. Social listening is my trend for 2015. What’s yours?