Do You Use a Customer-Centric Marketing Approach?
This post is part one of a two-part series orginally posted by our friends at www.biocompare.com. Here we’ll talk about the advantages of customer-centric marketing and offer tips for applying it. Next month, we’ll delve into the power of customer-centric content.
It’s a Smart Way to Put the Customer First
We all know what it’s like to be a customer. We want to buy from a company we trust. We want products that perform as advertised and give us the benefits we’re looking for. When we find that company or product, more likely than not we will become a loyal, long-term customer.
For a marketing professional, customer-centric is an approach to marketing and content creation that prioritizes your customers’ needs and interests in all your decisions related to advertising, selling, and promoting products and services. You create every piece of content and every marketing campaign around meeting your customers’ needs and helping solving their problems.
The Evidence Supports the Claim
Customer-centricity is synonymous with successful businesses, especially as markets are saturated with more choice than ever, and customers are increasingly empowered to explore their options.
Evidence supports the success of a customer-centric approach:
- According to research from Deloitte, companies with a customer-centric business model are 60 percent more profitable than companies for which customers aren’t a primary focus.
- McKinsey found that “companies with a customer-centric, data-driven marketing and sales platform” improve marketing ROI by 15-20 percent or more.”
- CustomerThink, a thought leader in customer-centric business, reported that 78 percent of over-performing companies fully embrace customer-centricity across all functions within the enterprise. Among under-performing companies, only 12 percent did this.
Successful customer-centric marketing goes hand-in-hand with customer-centric content: you don’t push products in your content, you provide answers and solutions that address your customers’ information needs, pain points, and challenges.
Follow these tips to become a more customer-centric marketing organization:
1. Segment Your Database
Segmenting your database helps you better understand and draw conclusions about your customers. It allows you to create cohorts that have something in common—and you can use that commonality to your advantage in your marketing approach.
How you segment is dependent on the data you have available on your customers as well as your marketing goals. You can segment by products purchased, length of time as a customer, geographic markets, or other attributes.
Here’s a simple example: You create a list of every customer who has bought Product A and with a quick analysis discover that customers who buy Product A often also buy Product B. You can then create a campaign to Product A customers who have not yet bought Product B.
This customer-centric approach benefits both your company and the customer. Your marketing will target what is more likely to be a need in this customer.
2. Identify Your Best Customers
A common approach to identifying your best customers is to calculate their Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). There are several ways to calculate CLV, most of them involving how much a customer spends over the length of their relationship with your company.
Once you identify your best customers using CLV, you can look for other common attributes among them, and use these attributes to build valuable customer personas.
3. Build Customer Personas
Customer personas paint a picture of a specific customer type. Your company might have one customer persona, or it might have many. A customer persona of a scientist likely includes a subset of the following information, depending on what’s important to you and what information you can acquire:
- Professional title and area of responsibility
- Industry and type of company
- Day-to-day responsibilities
- Pain points and challenges
- Goals and motivations
- What the customer needs to do their job better
- How your company can help (messaging)
- Potential objections to your solutions
In addition to analyzing your customer database, you can have conversations with salespeople, who are close to customers, and even customers themselves to help create a more accurate and comprehensive customer persona.
4. Identify Pain Points and Challenges
Pain points and challenges may be part of the customer persona, but deserve a close examination due to their importance. When you can accurately zero in on customer pain points and challenges, you are seeing from a customer’s point of view.
What problems are they trying to solve? What’s preventing a solution? How can they be sure they are making the right buying decision? Again, speak to salespeople in your organization. Speak with customers themselves.
When you identify the pain points and challenges, you will be able to create content around those concepts.
5. Map the Buying Journey
Customers travel along a well-documented buying journey that includes the early phases of need recognition and research, the middle stages of evaluating and comparing potential suppliers/solutions, and the final stage of making a buying decision. McKinsey has found that best-in-class companies optimize customer journeys.
Much of the customer journey takes place online and prior to a customer ever contacting you. Scientists use digital resources such as Biocompare to educate themselves on companies and products that might meet their needs. They read articles and case studies, subscribe to newsletters, watch videos, attend webinars and more all in the name of moving through their buying process.
Your goal is to understand their process and be there to provide assistance every step of the way. You do this through your marketing campaigns and marketing content.
6. Create Customer-Centric Content
Vendor content can help scientists progress along their buying journey towards making an informed and confident buying decision. It must be customer-centric content showing that you understand their information needs, challenges, and priorities at each buy cycle stage, whether they are reading an educational article in the early stages of their cycle, or poring over a clear, comprehensive data sheet when they’re comparing you to your competitors.
How much of your content is designed to meet your customers’ needs along their buying journey? How much is simply promoting your products or brand?
Next month, we’ll talk about how to create the kind of customer-centric content that is likely to help you achieve the results you want.
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