Many companies struggle to see the importance of being close to their current and future customers. They don’t prioritise customer centricity. However, there’s a lot more value, also economic, when you dedicate time to acknowledge the humanity of your customers.
As time passes, companies become savvier on how to attract customers, and so do the customers on how to choose companies. Technology has shifted the power balance and now customers demand more from organisations. Their expectations continue to heighten and compare businesses not only based on their products but on the experience these customers have with them.
That’s why companies have to move from business-centric to customer-centric, including in the way they do marketing. Instead of only looking into some much colder metrics in their analytics tools, such as conversion rate or ARPU, they need to care about retention, loyalty or satisfaction.
What is customer centricity?
As self-explanatory as it is, customer centricity consists of having the customer at the centre of your organisation. Simply put, the customer’s needs, preferences, and demands should be not only prioritised but also anticipated. This way, a company can foster customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.
It’s not enough with having an outstanding team that works in customer service. A truly customer-centric business has leaders interested in customer success and the mission and vision focus are built around it.
However, it’s not solely about the top leadership and their strategic direction, but the whole organisation. Everyone should be committed to enhancing their experience, working towards customer centricity, and providing value to the customer.
What is customer-centric marketing?
So now that you understand what customer centricity is, it’s only a matter of time before you start applying it to every aspect of your business, such as marketing. You can easily define customer-centric marketing as the approach to marketing where you prioritise your customer’s needs, preferences and demands.
According to this line of thought, all advertising, marketing campaigns and selling your company does has to revolve around the understanding of your audience as a human and not as a target. And this is not only an ethical matter but it’s been proven that customers tend to buy more from companies that meet these expectations.
Customer-centric marketers will see themselves talking to the customer throughout the whole journey. The key is to make sure the customer achieves success and realises that as a buyer they get more value than they expected.
Before doing anything, try to see every stage of your marketing cycle through the prism of your customers. It’s a little exercise in which you will be able to see what’s in it for your customers and what’s in it for you if you do it right.
Benefits of customer-centric marketing
Think about that campaign you once saw that seemed like it was made specifically for you. If you master the craft of customer-centric marketing, this can turn into more return on investment.
Customers keep coming back for more
When you address your buyers’ needs not only once but throughout their whole journey, they’re more prone to buy again from you. The reason is they feel their decision has been validated.
However, if you only care until they buy and then no email with discounts, no rewards or no good content, your customer will immediately know what’s going on. Stick to them along their journey and don’t let them think that eaten bread is soon forgotten.
It’s more likely they renew their subscription, buy other products from your store or spend more when you show them that you genuinely care. Or in other words, you gave them extra value to what they bought.
Grow your word-of-mouth marketing
The happier your buyers are, the more they will let others know about it. And this comes in handy when you want to expand your target audience.
Through word-of-mouth, your customers will be fishing others for you. Your business will grow organically saving you time and money in getting them through different means.
At the same time, your brand will become more robust. Your promoters will also fortify your brand protecting its image against its detractors.
Increasing competitive differentiation
Once your clientele becomes your evangelists and your brand protectors, your business will become top-of-mind. When asked about a company that offers the same product or services, your customers will mention yours off the top of their heads.
So, now you can harness this power. Many businesses advertise themselves with a customers’ choice badge. If you play your cards right, you can earn yours.
Easier acquisition and more retention
When your brand is so customer-driven that really resonates with what your target audience needs, wants and stands for, it’s easier for them to choose you. But you can turn them into buyers by sending them the right information at the right time.
Your prospects will appreciate when all resources are available to them and don’t have to spend time trying to figure out how to purchase or create an account. A good onboarding will result in more closed deals.
And the same goes for retention. Make sure you keep your customers informed about your product, so they know how to use it and stay longer with you.
Find new opportunities for growth
The longer you spend listening and defining personalised messages, the more opportunities you have of uncovering unmet needs. Of course, this is perfect to come up with new ideas on how to market your business.
At times, you can even find new segments or target audiences you never considered. It’s an easy way of expanding your sales prospecting or identifying potential customers — and the communication with them will run smoothly as you already know their needs.
How to develop a customer-centric marketing strategy
In this symbiotic relationship between buyers and business, a good marketing strategy lies in putting into practice activities focused on customer success, customer journey and customer value.
Advocate for your customers’ success:
Customer success is not about selling more, but about finding out what the customer wants to achieve and delivering those outcomes. If you understand those needs you can support them in their growth by offering more products.
However, as a marketer, your role is to nurture the relationship your customer has with your products, so it would be more natural to present them with other products and for them to adopt them. No matter what, make sure you don’t push it, but you do it at the speed they want to move.
Many product marketers expect the customer to fulfil some product or business KPIs. Flip it around and push the customer’s KPIs instead.
Understand the end-to-end customer journey
You will need to infuse your marketing strategy with customer experience to fully address your audience. Customer experience is the perception your buyers have of your business based on the interactions they had with your brand or company.
Among other things, customer experience looks into the actions and interactions your customers have in their journey, from the first time they hear about your business until they leave you. As a good marketer, you should understand the customer journey as a strategy rather than as a consequence, so you can be with them every step of the way.
To create a bullet-proof customer journey, focus on listening, understanding, action and learning. You have to collect information about your clientele to grasp how they got there and how they feel.
When you look into this data is important you understand it so it becomes information and patterns you can predict in the future. Based on the information you have about them, you will be able to predict when it’s time to win back your customers’ loyalty or when they’re ready to hear about your new products.
Remember that when you put your marketing machinery to work, the interactions with your customers should be the right ones, at the right time and with the right person. And finally, always learn from any interaction to make it better next time.
Put customer value first
At the end of the day, it’s about your customers and how much value your company can provide them. Your product or service should be a solution to a problem, and so should your marketing.
When you talk to your customers, they must understand that the benefit is higher than what they actually paid. Whenever you audit your business marketing strategy, consider how much value is in it for your customers.
Nowadays, content is a very popular resource to give that extra value to your buyers, including customer-created content, such as testimonials. This is about customers speaking to other customers and its content with which your customers can identify.
Personalisation is also a good way of providing that perceived value. When you ask them for feedback, you can take all these needs into account and use them in the form of new content, campaigns or products that provide a solution for their problems.
The key to a successful business is to make the company activities answer to a customer-centric approach. Therefore, it’s important to engage every stakeholder, especially top leaders, to imbue customer centricity into the organisation’s culture.
This way, when marketing is geared towards the customers’ needs, companies get better results. Their messaging becomes more effective and the buyers respond more positively, resulting in more business.