Ever since I was 10 years old, I have been a musician. You may be a musician, too, or you may just be a music lover. I am sure you’ve been to a concert performance of some sort where you heard microphone feedback.
Feedback is the high-pitched squeal that happens when a microphone gets too close to a speaker or somebody turns up the mic way too much and creates that squealing sound. It can get super loud and just annoying as heck. That’s bad feedback, but did you realize that there’s also, from a musical standpoint, good feedback?
Have you ever heard the song “I Feel Fine” by The Beatles? It starts out with this thump, on a single guitar string. If so, you know what I’m talking about. There’s a lot of songs and music that use that good feedback. Some guitarists actually try to do that, and that can be done with other instruments and microphones, too. The main point here is that there’s good feedback and there’s bad feedback.
Parts of Musical Feedback
Every kind of feedback has four components to it. If you’re looking at feedback from a musical standpoint, the first part is the microphone or the guitar pickup. That’s the thing that’s picking up the sound. The second is the mixer, the gear that’s used to determine the volume that the microphone or the guitar is going to produce. The next thing is the amp. The amp is basically used to amplify or increase the sound. There can be one or many amps in sound mixing depending on the size and amount of speakers used. The last part is the speaker. The speaker is the device that actually sends the sound out into your ears.
Let’s look at the guitar, for example. The microphone is the pickup on the guitar, then it goes into the amp or amp head which may contain both the mixer and the amplifier. Then from there, it goes out to the speakers. The speakers can then affect the strings.
It’s the same in marketing.
So when you thump that sound, basically the string is vibrating, it goes into the mixer, the mixer then takes it to the amplifier, which amplifies it, and then the speaker pumps it back out. If the speaker is at the right volume, it’s going to help that string vibrate more, and that’s what creates that sound.
It’s the same thing when you’re talking about a microphone in somebody’s hand. They have the microphone, somebody turns the volume up too much, it goes to the amp and amplifies it too much. The speaker basically pushes out too much sound, the mic picks it up and it creates a feedback loop. That’s bad feedback.
In the case of your marketing, you want to try to create a feedback loop. In my last blog and podcast, I talked about “Git ‘er Done”. The difference between procrastination and perfection, and “Git ‘er Done”. Within that goal to “Git ‘er Done”, you should be able to create a good feedback loop (one that is useful, resonates, and enhances your messages).
Four Parts of a Feeback Loop
There are four parts to a marketing feedback loop as well. The first part is action, the second part is evidence, the third part is relevance, and then the fourth part is the consequence.
Action is needed. Something has to make a sound into a microphone (or a message created). Evidence, the mixer is going to figure out how much of that sound (or message) that’s going to be presented. Relevance, that takes that sound (or message) into an amplifier, which makes it louder, expands it, and makes it resonate. Then the speaker is the consequence, that’s the thing that’s actually delivering the sound (or message). If the volume’s too high, the feedback loop goes wild while it feeds on itself. When it’s too low, you can’t hear anything. If you’re playing guitar, and it’s just the right volume, it vibrates that string perfectly.
Let’s talk about the four parts of the feedback loop as they apply to marketing,
The action is what you write or create. You have to create a piece, and you have to generate some kind of sound or some kind of content that is going to be amplified and distributed. It could be a single tone, or a chord or a mix of tones. It can be a one-time thing or a sequence of different things. That guitar string has to be plucked. That will be the sound that you’re making through your content.
When you’re making that sound, if you don’t have the volume turned up, then the amplifier doesn’t have content to actually amplify. You have to turn up the volume on the guitar, or you have to turn up the volume on the mixer. That volume ends up being the engagement. In other words, once you’ve created this content. How much are people engaging with it? Where are you setting the level? And is it resonating enough that it’s getting enough volume that people are paying attention to it?
This is where we measure the response. The amplifiers are usually set at a solid level, it’s going to respond from what kind of volume it’s going to get from the mixer. If you turn up the guitar or you turn up the mic, those two things will act differently. Your audience will be the amplifier. You know you’re going to get some kind of consistency from that amplifier. If your audience likes the content they will amplify it through likes, comments, and shares.
The amplifier is there to create consistency. That’s what that relevance measuring, the response of the action by the engagement and seeing what the cause of action is. How much is that being amplified? Is it being liked? Commented on? Shared? That’s how you can measure the response of what’s happening.
The consequence is the end result. If your message is perceived as too low, it won’t be heard and you’ll have to turn up the volume. When your audience is actually engaging with it and loving it, it will grab attention and resonate. If you are getting a positive response, you simply play more of it.
When I played in a band, if people were liking The Beatles songs, but hating The Rolling Stones, we would play more Beatles and less Rolling Stones songs. It would change night-to-night depending on the audience that was out there. We had to change the consequence based on reading the audience responses. Their action, evidence, relevance, and the consequence would tell us what to do (or what content to create) next.
Let me leave you with some final ideas to think about when it comes to using a feedback loop in your marketing.
The first thing is to ask questions. When you are creating a marketing post or pieces for your marketing, it helps to do some sampling. In other words, put out a piece and try to ask some of your fans or friends, does this make sense? Was this relevant? Was it written well? Did it resonate with you? Is the string vibrating for you?
Then you want to gather responses and you want to start to think, “Okay, based on the group and their responses, what can I take away from that?”
The next thing you want to do is dig deeper. Did you send the right message to the right audience or was it the right message to the wrong audience (and so on)? This is where you need to make sure that there’s some relevance behind what you’re creating, presenting, and measure the response.
The final thing you need to do is take action. To build a properly working feedback loop, you need all four parts. That feedback loop will begin to show you if you’re just making noise out there or whether you’re generating some beautiful music to be listened to.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about developing a marketing feedback loop. Are these tips making your business better? What worked and what did not live up to your expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?