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Listen is a song from the 2006 movie Dreamgirls. It is sung with mesmerizing beauty by Beyoncé—who stars in the film.


At one point the lyrics call on Jamie Fox, Beyoncé’s mentor and later controlling husband, to Listen. 

She’s had enough.

Oh the time has come for my dreams to be heard
They will not be pushed aside and turned
Into your own, all ’cause you won’t listen

It may be literary heresy to bridge from the artistic splendor of that song to something as commercial as Marketing, but the shoe fits.

Listen is something we can all do better in our personal relationships, but business owners and marketing directors fail to do so at their risk.

Surveying is vitally important to successful marketing campaigns. They provide a look into the mind of the public about what it is you are selling. But—news flash—you must listen to what your customers and/or prospects have to say.

Sometimes management has a fixed idea as to what the public wants and doesn’t seek their input, or doesn’t listen to it when marketing makes it available.

Some years ago, we conducted surveys for a large financial services company—revenues in the hundreds of millions. The company had come up with a new service and hired us to survey the brand it had chosen for the service.

The brand had come from the mind of the Chairman without surveying it or other possible names. The Chairman, an otherwise brilliant businessman, was sure the name would “click” with his customers without checking with them first.

A PR firm had convinced the Chairman to at least survey the brand he had chosen. The PR firm hired us.

The public for the service was CPAs. We went to a convention awash with pocket-protector wearing accountants. We surveyed the brand for the new service.

It was a bust. Not so-so. When the CPAs were asked about the name their faces would contort as if they had bitten into a lime. They disliked it because it was a made-up word that no one but the Chairman understood.

We sent up the report. The Chairman was sure there was some mistake. Despite my encouraging him to survey some other names or ask the CPAs for some suggestions, we wound up conducting three more surveys of his brand in different parts of the country.

All yielded negative results. He finally gave up – the project stillborn, at least for the time being.

We took on a project of conducting surveys for a politician in a local race against an incumbent. Some years earlier, our client, then a public figure, had been set up for a crime he did not commit and was the target of a black PR campaign. Eventually, there had been a trial and he had been acquitted, after which he retired


Now he wanted back in the game.

Our surveys discovered that many of the public still associated his name with the salacious allegations of the earlier black PR campaign even though he had been acquitted and the charges proved false.

We presented the findings along with a plan on how to deal with the residual black PR.

He rejected the findings believing that the public knew he had been an honest public servant. It’s hard to imagine a seasoned politician being that naïve.

He was slaughtered in the election.

Ah, but when those in charge listen…

“We are still using the buttons discovered from the survey you helped with, with great results. We had the biggest year ever last year and we have just had our highest month ever. :)” CB Owner

“We began to notice indications of positive change after about two months. Since that time the results continue to expand like throwing a pebble into the middle of a pond. The ripples just go out further and further. We have never had so many unsolicited reaches into our business… 
Thank you Bruce. You are a Star!” KS Owner

“Working with Bruce was like working with the Roger Federer of Surveys. The questions evoked exactly what our public was thinking. Now with the button and positioning in place our promotions are like an arrow going through tissue paper rather than a fist into a brick wall. Our copy and imagery say exactly what the clientele is thinking and therefore procures more leads.

“You served up an ace Bruce. Thank you.” Owner
“Your review was ‘spot on’ and invigorated (or maybe embarrassed) me into action to ‘realign’ our marketing materials with the original and extremely powerful survey data.

You provide exactly the correct feedback. In my experience there is no other like you. I value your feedback to the highest degree possible…” TA Owner

“The responses to the piece we designed based on On Target’s survey and analysis has been exactly what we had hoped for. The sign ups… are triple what they were last year at this time.” RB Director of Promotion

“My only regret was that the survey wasn’t done sooner. It could have saved huge sums of money….” RW President

“…profits last quarter were up 140% over plan.” DM President

“To date, using the promotional materials developed from your surveys, we have had over $1 million in sales from following up on leads generated from the promotion.” BC President

“The last survey we had done was a positioning survey and a new logo came out of this survey….The new customers just seem to keep coming day after day…Our business has gone into a higher, much more viable range and at this time is still climbing.” RQ Owner.

When was the last time you surveyed your customers or prospects?
What did they say?

Did you listen?

Did you use the information to increase sales?

We have been surveying our client’s customers and prospects for more than 25 years.  The results go to the businesss owners almost all of whom listen, like those above.

Interested in listening to your customers? Prospects?

Call me directly at the number below: