Great work wins business, a great relationship keeps it. Customer centric is the backbone of MacInnis marketing. Being customer centric is centring on the needs and wants of your customer. Focusing on understanding their problems, concerns and wants, not yours! Customer centric marketing is the result of building a solid relationship built on listening not forcing, manipulating someone to buy.
In January 2013, Forrester published 2013 B2B CMO Imperatives – Driving Growth With Customer Insights, Marketing Automation, and Content Marketing by Sheryl Waksman-Pattek. The report states that we are in the “Age of the Customer” in which 60% of B2B buying decisions are made before buyers engage with a vendor’s sales team. Buyers are online, they are using mobile devices at all hours of the day and they want relevant content that helps them select products and services that meet their needs.
The report had a couple of key recommendations:
- “Map the buyer’s journey and embed personas in their 2013 marketing plans. Business buyer personas that encapsulate buyer preferences and attitudes will help marketers move their strategies from a product feature/benefit focus to a customer value focus.”
- “… think of social and content as one and the same” and “map their content strategies to personas to effectively drive pipeline growth.”
- The report also states “creating a thriving content marketing program within B2B organizations is a journey that requires the right organization skills, a firm strategy, discipline, and ongoing management and optimization.”
MyMarketingDept has a great diagram that illustrates the importance of the right message and medium.
It makes sense that we need to focus more on our customers. Yet it seems so difficult for some reason.This customer centric mindset requires a us to change our lens to that of how our customers think. Some businesses are so far removed from this that it is difficult. Others feel that they know what their customers need and think but fail to ask them or test their assumptions. When you get this wrong, it can make a huge impact. When you get it right your prospect should say: “I feel as if I already know you and want to meet you as soon as possible”.
The better your alignment of your marketing and sales strategy to your ideal customers the greater chance of building a brand that your customers and employees will love.
It is not surprising that the customer journey is the focus of so many leading companies. According to Gartner:
89% were lost to after a negative experience
86% said they would pay for a better customer experience.
58% said that they would recommend companies who delivered customer experiences that were superior to others.
So the customer journey is critical.
- A deeper bond between you and your customers
- It can deliver just the right information or insight needed at the right time
- It can provide a continual stream of amazing insights and analytics to your internal teams that can help them learn and innovate faster than the competition
If you don’t invest in a customer centric approach:
- The trust developed between a buyer and a seller can be broken easily with misalignment
- Information can be disjoined creating conflict, irrelevant and out of date information
- It can leave your organisation relying on opinions and guesses
Because the touch points of a customers world is always changing, the journey is too. This is not a one off process but a continual process. This approach that I call call customer centric marketing is based on a methodology of Strategic Service Design. It is designing an engagement with your ideal customers and it is a competitive advantage.