Thought Leadership

How to Win at Customer-Centric Marketing: 33 Marketing Pros Reveal the Single Most Effective Tactic to Win at Customer Centric Marketing

Today’s smart companies are increasingly placing the customer at the center of their marketing initiatives – consumers in the modern world demand it. With a growing volume of data at their fingertips, marketers are better positioned to develop customer-focused marketing initiatives than ever before, yet some continue to fall short of consistently winning at customer-centric marketing.

So, what should marketers – particularly those in need of a sure-fire or quick win – be focusing on for success with customer-centric marketing? In the modern omni-channel landscape, there’s a lot to consider, from content to social media, events, and ensuring that the right message is delivered to the right customer, at the right time, and through the proper channel.

To gain some insight into the tactics that work for modern marketers, we reached out to a panel of marketing experts and asked them to answer this question:

“What’s the single most effective tactic to win at customer-centric marketing?”

Meet Our Panel of Marketing Professionals:

Find out what tactics you should be implementing to win at customer centric marketing by reading what our experts had to say below.


Scott MarquartScott Marquart

@stringjoystaff

Scott Marquart is the founder of Stringjoy Guitar Strings and a zealous advocate for a personal approach marketing and branding. MailChimp says he keeps his tone personal, both with his guitar strings and his online brand. He’s helped companies in the music, electronics, and health products industries grow their revenues and develop closer connections with their customers.

“The most essential aspect of customer-centric marketing – and the one that most businesses have the hardest time with – is…”

Empathy. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes, and think hard about how your company can make their life simpler, richer, or more enjoyable, from their perspective. Communicate the value you bring to their life through their perspective, and you’ll not only win more business, you’ll develop longer lasting and more meaningful relationships with your customers.


Jo TrizilaJo Trizila

@TrizCom

Jo Trizila is founder & CEO of Dallas-based TrizCom Public Relations and Pitch PR. Founded in 2008, TrizCom PR is a full service public relations firm. In TrizCom, organizations ranging from corporations to nonprofits to start-ups gain a team of savvy PR professionals who think creatively and develop truly innovative communications ideas that build buzz and raise brand awareness for their clients.

“At TrizCom Public Relations our number one tactic for consumer centric marketing/communications is…”

Using the correct channel at the correct time with the correct customer. Companies have an tendency to throw all their customers into one bucket and treat them all the same. I find this so ironic when the customer cost of acquisition is sometimes very high and almost always very specific – why would you use the one bucket fits all approach when trying to keep them as a customer? For us in media relations, we would never presume every customer reads the daily newspaper – thus, we hit multiple outlets with similar messages geared for different personas.


Stan TanStan Tan

Stan Tan is the digital marketing manager at Selby’s.

“Show them you can solve their problems 10x better and faster than what they are currently using now…”

That one sentence will take your marketing mindset to another level. It sounds simple but let’s break it down to improve the meaning behind it:

1. Show them you can solve their problem.

If your marketing campaign doesn’t show them you can solve their problem – no matter how much you spend on your ad creative or landing page design – if you don’t show how you can solve your target audience’s problem with your product or service, your marketing efforts are inefficient.

2. 10x better and faster than what they are currently using now.

Elon Musk famously said people don’t want an electric car that is 2x better. They need it to be 10x better to be able to switch and pay attention to Tesla. This is the same as your product. If you believe your product and service is way better than your competitor’s, show it to them. Show it in your ad creative, landing page design, advertisements, etc. that yours is 10x better and faster.

Bottom line: Show them you can solve their problems, 10x better and faster than what they are currently using now.


Cristian RennellaCristian Rennella

Cristian Rennella is the CEO & Co-Founder of PrestamosEnPeru. They have 9 years of experience in South America, now with 134 employees and more than 21,500,000 users internationally in Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, Chile, Mexico, and Colombia.

“In the last 3 years we have tried 5 different strategies to continue to improve on customer-centric marketing…”

However, the best response was from: automation!

Automation is the right path where one-time marketing actions are transformed into a source of continuous value. Once a team has identified successes, tactics that help them acquire higher value clients, or maximize the value of a customer’s relationship, identifying the right automation tools is the key to long-term success.

These tools vary according to the channel we use. For example, for e-mail marketing, the team would want to automatically segment customers and activate emails to different segments at the appropriate point in their
life cycle. For acquisition, the team would want to put a system in place that would help guide monthly or quarterly acquisition spending decisions based on the CLV of new acquired customers.

Although in every business tactics can vary, the ultimate goal remains the same: the customer! That is why you must continue working to be able to automate your processes to provide a personalized service to your very best customers.


Tim JerniganTim Jernigan

@BadgerMaps

Tim Jernigan is the Head of Product Marketing at Badger Maps, the #1 route planner for field salespeople. He develops, implements, and executes customer-centric marketing strategy, including inbound and content marketing campaigns.

“Pinning the pain points of the customers and providing the specific solution to their problems is the best way of marketing…”

This targeted marketing with a simple solution to their problem adds value to your product. Give the customers as much information as possible and be transparent.


Kristen Fusaro-PizzoKristen Fusaro-Pizzo

@bathbodycandlem

Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo, named Artisan Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 by the Indie Business Network, is the owner and founder of Bath, Body, Candle Moments, a cruelty-free vegan soap and candle company, and President of the Vine Vendor Network, a network of small businesses on the East Coast. She has given business talks at Staten Island Small Business Development Center, Creative Product Blueprint, Zen Trading Post, and Butter Angels. She has been featured in Handmade Seller Magazine, CEO Blog Nation, Work-at-Home Success, CarolRoth.com, the Staten Island Advance, Wholesale Supplies Plus, Leaping Bunny Program, and more. When she’s not running her businesses, she teaches high school English in New York City.

“The single most effective tool for customer-centric marketing is a…”

VIP Facebook group. Hosting a branded Facebook group allows you to directly and efficiently communicate with your best customers. Without the need for paying for boosted ads, VIP Facebook groups open up opportunities for you to share about new products, offer inside-scoops, and special games/rewards/sweepstakes on a personal level. Customers feel like they’re part of something special, unique, and geared-for-them, and the business owner can use this tool to hone in on target markets, drive sales, and minimize customer service issues. Running casual polls, asking questions, driving the conversation, and going Live are all ways that you can build a tribe around your brand in a Facebook group.


Josh CantrellJosh Cantrell

@josh_can

Josh Cantrell is the founder of Signal Brandworks, a marketing consultancy that helps businesses clarify their messaging so they stop wasting money on ineffective marketing. He is a StoryBrand Certified Guide and Copywriter. He likes his tea sweet, his coffee black, and his clients to see the results they deserve.

“Far too often, businesses position their products as an answer to a problem their customers don’t actually have…”

For instance, an IT support company touts the speed of its servers, when what their customers care about is the fact that you’ll pick up the phone any time, day or night. Or a personal trainer that promotes her own personal physique as evidence of her abilities, when what her customers really want is someone that can help them actually enjoy exercising and won’t make them feel stupid. Or a financial advisor advertising that he can help people retire quicker, when what his customers want is financial stability for the long-term. Knowing – with total clarity – what your customer really wants as it relates to your product is the most critical element of any customer-centric marketing. Get it right, and your ideal customers will immediately engage. Get it wrong, and you’ll waste a lot of money on marketing that doesn’t work.


Roman ZhurRoman Zhur

@romanzhurhere

Roman Zhur is the founder and CEO of oustaffing/outsourcing company HuntSmart. He has about 1,000 students and high reviews on Udemy.

“I would call this tactic Do more + advise on how to do less…”

1. About Do more: You should always do more than originally agreed. For example, regarding our company, this concerns the timing matter, since we always try to do our work qualitatively. As for outstaffing, we pay for the 7th month of a specialist’s work by ourselves. As for outsourcing, we used to finish the project 2-3 weeks before the end of the agreed period.

Also, 2 weeks of work of our employees are not paid by the client, because during this period he can in practice make sure of the quality of our services. The fee for our services is low comparing to the salaries in the USA and Europe, since almost all our guys are from Eastern Europe, so this proposal with a free 2-week period gives the client the opportunity to forget all fears associated with the stereotype of low price – low work quality.

You should analyze what you can propose for your client in your niche in order to build trust initially, and then develop it step-by-step.

2. About advise how to do less: You should be sincere. If we see that the desired result requires a different solution than the customer has conceived, we always talk about this and advise the customer to think about it. Even if our solution is not used or is used, but requires less work from us, the customer is always pleased with such a deep and detailed study of his problems and it will definitely provoke further word-of-mouth benefits.


Peter CollinsPeter Collins

Peter Collins is the Director at English Blinds.

“Turn your customers into your greatest advocates…”

Shoppers today have a much louder voice; use this to your brand’s advantage. Put the needs of the customer first. Create an amazing customer experience from start to finish. Focusing on this tactic throughout the whole of the business will generate customers who’ll be happy to share their positive experiences with your brand.


Sally FalkowSally Falkow

@sallyfalkow

Sally Falkow is the author of Smart News.

“You cannot be truly customer-centric until you understand your customer…”

You need to know their needs, dislikes, likes, and intentions. You have to know what they respond to and engage with. So you need data. However, it’s not enough to collect the data; it has to be analyzed to uncover these insights.

There are many tools available that collect data. The old Garbage in, Garbage out principle applies to collecting the data. You have to know what to collect. And the real value lies in being able to see what that data means and how you can use it to drive your customer-centric marketing strategy.


Ally GruberAlly Gruber

@POWERLINEGROUP_

Ally Gruber is a Digital Marketing Associate at a software development and mobile app company in New York called The Powerline Group. Her areas of expertise are in content creation, content marketing, and social media management.

“The basis of any great customer-centric marketing strategy is…”

The content. Content that is relatable, engaging, and (most importantly) shareable is  what will draw in potential customers and keep current customers coming back for more. Having a broad and consistently-updated content library will attract all buyer personas in every stage of the buyer journey. And we all know that the most effective and inexpensive advertising comes from word-of-mouth. Content that is sharable and engaging will sell itself and, thus, your product.


Brannan GlessnerBrannan Glessner

@ExpresHomebuyer

Brannan Glessner is the Marketing Manager for Express Homebuyers. A 2011 graduate from George Mason University, Brannan oversees all marketing initiatives for Express Homebuyers. From traditional advertising to digital and content marketing. Express Homebuyer’s marketing promotes a unique, easy and stress-free way to sell a home. Brannan has over 7 years of B2C marketing experience, with a focus on digital marketing.

“The single most effective tactic to win at customer-centric marketing is to…”

Answer the customer-centric question of “What’s In It For Me?”

Consumers seek out products and services that solve an internal and external struggle or pain. They want to work with a company that not only empathizes with them, but gives them a clear path to solve that problem. To win a customer-centric marketing, Brands can’t position themselves as the solution, but position themselves as a “guide” to the solution. The customer is the solution. They need reassurances from the products and services they purchase to give them the guide on how to ease their pain.

The easy answer is to make sure your marketing is filled with overt benefits, but it’s much more than that. Benefits should show how you can solve the internal and external struggle, but spotlight the consumer as the one benefiting, not the brand! It’s all about the customer!

The most effective tactic is to make sure your content, promotion strategy and branding answers the “What’s in It for Me?” viewpoint of their customers. If your marketing materials, promotion strategy, or content doesn’t speak to answer this question, your message will never be heard.


Sarunas BudrikasSarunas Budrikas

@Angle180inc

Sarunas is the owner of a marketing agency Angle180. He is a web design and development expert who is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for each and every every client. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website to get the most ROI.

“It’s funny that term customer centric marketing exists…”

Is there any other way to do business? The best tactic in my mind is: listening and learning. That’s all you have to do to meet the expectations of your customers. Listen to why they need your product, listen to why they didn’t buy, listen to why they bought it, and listen if they are happy with it 3 months, 9 months, and more from the time they bought it. Be personal while in communication and listen. Make adjustments based on what you heard and keep listening.


Nate BurlandoNate Burlando

@DistinctHVAC

Nate began his career as an apprentice in heating and air conditioning in 1994. With encouragement from friends and family, he started DISTINCT HEATING & COOLING LTD in 2007. His foundation was to build a company based upon old fashioned values – to put in an honest day’s work and receive an honest day’s pay. That has transferred into everything that DISTINCT stands for and also, into the standards of all employees of the company.

“Interacting with your clients on social media has proven to be extremely effective for our business…”

It creates a stronger connection between brand and consumer. It’s more time consuming than creating a ‘one size fits all’ message, but is much more precise and can lead to greater success than crafting general messaging. You can properly assess what the customer needs and help them more effectively, creating a good reputation for customer service, and having a better chance of creating a returning customer.


Guy LettsGuy Letts

@CustomerSure

Guy is the founder of CustomerSure, a software business which helps businesses simplify their customer feedback processes. Formerly, Guy managed service at the UK’s largest software firm and was responsible for turning their service division from a cost center into a profit center. Guy is a strong believer in simplicity and trust.

“The single most effective tactic to win at customer centric marketing is…”

Demonstrate trustworthiness.

Trust is hard to define, but you know it when you see it.

Trust comes in many forms – trust that personal data won’t be sold or abused. Trust that pricing is fair and transparent, and perhaps most importantly, trust that an organization’s customer service people are listening carefully and are empowered to fix problems.

Trust is hard to demonstrate. Organizations that ‘get it’ realize that it’s more than messaging (although messaging is important). Actions, and the stories your customers tell about them, speak far louder than words. The actions which speak the loudest are the ones you take when things go wrong – it‘s easy to do the right thing when it’s all plain sailing.

But those organizations who do demonstrate trustworthiness reap the benefits and develop long-lasting partnerships with every customer.


Jason ParksJason Parks

@TheMediaCaptain

Jason Parks is the owner of The Media Captain, a digital marketing agency based in Columbus. Jason has been featured in the New York Times, The Huffington Post, Inc., Yahoo News, Search Engine Watch, The Columbus Dispatch, and Entrepreneur.com. Jason has assisted in launching successful digital campaigns for Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies to medium and small sized businesses.

“You have to have someone on your team that is responsible for the storytelling of your company…”

Each company has brand advocates. The hard thing to do is find those brand advocates, set-up an interview, get pictures and video, and deploy a campaign where the customer is the center of attention and your business can then promote this content.

The single most effective tactic to win at customer centric marketing is allocating the resources to find the journalist on your team who can find those brand advocates.


Adam WatsonAdam Watson

@lightupmirror

Adam Watson is the Director at HollywoodMirrors.co.uk.

“The best way is to find out what your existing customers already like about you and what else they want you to do…”

These answers are then a great way of basing a marketing campaign by giving the customers more of what they like.

Send your customer an email with around 8 open-ended questions. I recommend using Survey Monkey for this, as it is quick and easy to setup.

I would also offer them a voucher / discount for completing the questionnaire or enter them into a prize drawer with a tempting prize to encourage them to fill in the questionnaire.


Shel HorowitzShel Horowitz

@ShelHorowitz

As owner of the green/social entrepreneurship consulting firm GoingBeyondSustainability.com, Shel Horowitz helps companies develop and market profitable products and services that help fix hunger, poverty, war, and catastrophic climate change. His 10th book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World, is endorsed by Seth Godin, Chicken Soup’s Jack Canfield, and many others).

“My customer-centric strategy is how I built my business. It has three integrated steps…”

  • Listen/watch/explore to identify unsolved problems and unmet goals (in Internet chatter, personal conversations, meetings at business events, and even in media coverage of the prospect).
  • Offer to solve the problem/meet the goal (and then over-deliver, if possible).
  • Keep your eyes open to be of service and solve additional problems or meet additional goals.

Step three is particularly important. With one client, I used it to turn an original $350 order into well over $30K.


Camilla HallstromCamilla Hallstrom

@c_hallstrom

Camilla is a website copywriter and digital marketer. She’s the founder of Influence With Content, a site that helps you sell more with your website.

“The single most effective tactic to win at customer-centric marketing is to know your customer…”

The problem is – you need to communicate this to your customer. And that can be tricky.

So how do you do this? Easy: With storytelling. Let me explain:

People think in terms of stories – that is, narratives. That’s how we explain to ourselves how the world works.

We empathize with others thanks to stories. And stories give meaning to things. In fact, several studies and experiments show just how powerful stories are. People pay more for products and services and they donate more to causes if the product, service, or cause comes with a story.

So if you use storytelling in your marketing to explain your products or services, you win. Your customers understand why they should buy from you and not your competitor.

But: To be effective, the story must be about your customer – their specific story. Not you and not customers who are not in your target audience.

So with your story, you explain how your product or service solves your customer’s problem and helps them achieve their goal. You position them as the hero and yourself as the guide. So they’re Harry Potter and you’re Dumbledore. Their problem is the enemy (Voldemort). Together you destroy this enemy.


John SaxtonJon Saxton

@phoscreative

Jon Saxton is an Inbound Marketing Executive at PHOS Creative, a strategic digital marketing agency headquartered in Florida. He’s inspired by connection to people and the possibilities that stem from that.

“Quite simply, listen…”

Don’t just listen to what customers are saying online, but reach out to them. A consistent, purposeful surveying system lays the basis for customer-centric marketing. Combine general questions with questions to test a hypothesis, and then take action!


Lee HammerLee Hammer

@RisingTMedia

Lee Hammer is a Digital Marketing Expert based in Chandler, AZ. For years he was involved in conducting Marketing tests for Fortune 500 companies such as JCPenney, Phillips66, Rent-A-Center, and more. Lee is passionate about helping small to medium businesses grow and compete with the corporate juggernauts of today.

“The single most effective tactic for customer-centric marketing is…”

Developing highly developed buyer personas. Most companies lack quality information on their buyers. Either they have developed buyer personas based on their own ideas of who their customers are or they failed to collect data in the first place. More now than ever small and large companies alike are realizing the importance of customer/client interviews. How to conduct these interviews and how to collect information on what your customer truly values is shifting the marketplace. Everything from technology and user experience to the dentist down the street, the world is adopting a customer-centric perspective and customer interviews are the first step.


Patrick DelehantyPatrick Delehanty

@MDigitalPatrick

Patrick Delehanty is the Marketing Manager with Marcel Digital out of Chicago, IL. Over the years, Patrick’s talents and efforts have landed him nods from Forbes, USA Today, Inc., CIO and Paste Magazine, as well as other media outlets. He’s currently the most endorsed Moz community member, earning the coveted Moz Oracle status in 2015.

“The single most effective tactic to win at customer centric marketing is…”

Relevancy. When you’re focused on the customer, you first have to understand that each customer is different, so it’s important that you are focused on delivering to that individual customer’s needs or issues and not marketing in a broad brush. To do this, take advantage of tools that allow for personalization, from your website to your email marketing to your ongoing content marketing strategy. Start focusing on how users are using your website, their browsing or buying patterns, break users into segments and begin creating marketing strategies that are relevant to those segments. Doing so will not only help increase engagement among your audience because it’s specific to their experience, but it will also increase conversions like sales and leads.


Paige Arnof-FennPaige Arnof-Fenn

Paige is the founder & CEO of Mavens & Moguls whose clients include Microsoft, Virgin, Colgate, Delta Airlines as well as venture-backed startups and non profit organizations. She is a popular speaker and has written monthly columns for both Entrepreneur and Forbes. Paige is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Business School.

“I started a global marketing firm 16 years ago and for me the single most effective tactic to win at customer centric marketing is…”

Market research, specifically going on a Listening Tour to talk with prospects about their marketing needs, what is working, where the gaps are, and ways we might be able to help. It is old fashioned and low tech but very effective.


Chip BellChip Bell

@ChipRBell

Dr. Chip R. Bell is a renowned keynote speaker on innovative service and customer loyalty. He’s also authored several best-selling books, with his newest book being Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service that Sparkles.

“The single most effective tactic to win at customer centric marketing is…”

In a word, surprise! Think of it as your Cracker Jack strategy! Customers do not talk or tweet about good service; today, it is the unique, out-of-the-ordinary service. The liquor store cards me when I buy an adult beverage. So, they had access to my birth date and address. What did they do with that easy-to-acquire information? They sent me a birthday card with a 10% off coupon inside…for my favorite brand!! My wife traded in her car for a new one. A week after the purchase, she turned on the radio for the first time and discovered they had programmed in her radio stations from her trade-in and just let her discover it! Look for ways to provide simple, unexpected experience that create a story your customers are eager to share!!


Adam RogersAdam Rogers

@AdamRogersUK

Adam Rogers is the Content Marketing Manager at Kayako, the effortless customer service software that helps teams be more productive and build customer loyalty. Adam loves guitars, music, books, and his wife Lacey.

“Content marketing has to be one of the most effective tactics for customer-centric marketing…”

Content marketing should not be mistaken for brand journalism. Great content marketing is the process of thoroughly researching and understanding your customers’ worries, business pains, and the goals they’re trying to achieve. Using that knowledge you develop a strong empathy and understanding so you know how to connect and teach them how to get there through blog posts, emails, ebooks, webinars, or whatever medium you communicate with your audience. Can you get any more customer-centric than that?


Ankitaa Gohain DalmiaAnkitaa Gohain Dalmia

@Anki_Live

Ankitaa Gohain Dlamia is the Founder and Digital Marketing Strategist at AnksImage. She has been working with businesses in India and USA for almost a decade now.

“My latest project is in Restaurant marketing in the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) area in Texas…”

When we shifted from a channel-centric marketing strategy to a customer-centric marketing strategy with more focus on customer engagement, we not only witnessed better website traffic online, but also more footfalls in the restaurants we managed.

Our most successful strategy was social media cross-promotion. We gathered standard data like birthdays and anniversaries on the customer for a particular restaurant by asking the servers to physically hand over short questionnaires to fill out. This action helped us in getting the needed data for our database (that will be used to email special offers on their special days), and also triggered conversations between servers and patrons regarding our brand presence online.

Many visited our website, and started following us on social media. Plus they also availed a discount offer by checking in on our Facebook (or Yelp) page during their visits. Once we gathered a substantial number of followers on social media, we built the customer persona, and found most of them were fans of the local radio channel.

We immediately set up a system with the radio’s Facebook team for cross-promotion – they would host giveaways where gift certificates for meals for two would be the big prize, and in return, we would promote their events through our Facebook page, and also offer hors d’oeuvres on-site. We were able to grow our fan bases exponentially whenever such giveaways happened.

We also hosted impromptu contests on Facebook and Instagram once a week to give away gift certificates for desserts or full meals.


Elizabeth GiorgiElizabeth Giorgi

@lizgiorgi

Elizabeth Giorgi is the Founder and CEO of Mighteor, one of the world’s first internet video production companies. She is an Emmy-winning director, writer and editor whose work has appeared on PBS, the New York Times, The Huffington Post, National Public Radio, Scientific American, Gawker, Wired, Forbes, Fast Company and many more.

“Video is the powerful platform to evoke emotion. And emotion is what people remember…”

If you want to use a marketing tool that places the individual’s experience at the center of your message, and appeals to very personal senses and emotions, video is the way to go. Video has the power to speak directly to a person’s beliefs and needs. Because it has the power to mirror how we see the world, it elicits stronger reactions and sticks with people more often.

In fact, there are MANY statistics that back this up. According to Fast Company, 65% of people remember visuals more often than other media.

However, in 2017, in order to reach the customer more directly and confront them when they are most open to being inspired, the mobile platform must be taken into account.

This is why mobile video is the single more effective tactic to win at customer-centric marketing.

Mobile video reaches people when they are scrolling through social media, wanting to be shown things. Formatted correctly and optimized for the platform, mobile video is the most convenient way for people to see video: right in the palm of their own hand. It’s a way of conveying the emotion that video can inspire, but in a “portable” fashion, which in this new fast-paced society, is invaluable.


Kean GrahamKean Graham

@monetizemore

Kean Graham is the CEO of MonetizeMore, a leading ad tech firm that is a Google Certified Partner.

“To immediately win at customer-centric marketing…”

Charge based on the value delivered to the customer after they received the value. For example, we charge a percentage of the ad revenues we increase for our clients. If we do not increase their ad revenues, we charge nothing. We truly believe that if our clients do not receive measurable value, we should not charge. As a result, we can focus our marketing on the customer being charged based on the value that they receive instead of a flat charge.


Rachel BetterbidRachel Betterbid

@Coalmarch

Rachel Betterbid is a Digital Marketing Manager at Coalmarch Productions, a digital marketing and web design agency in Raleigh, North Carolina. Rachel is responsible for creating and executing digital marketing strategies for clients in service-based industries. She specializes in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising and content conversion
optimization!

“My number one tip and what I think is our most effective tactic when it comes to customer centric marketing is…”

Having benefits-focused content. One mistake business owners make is thinking they know what customers care about, but failing to put themselves in their shoes. They can go on and on about why they think their company is so great, but then fail to relate it back to how it directly affects the customer. I’d recommend getting in the habit of translating features or characteristics of your company into direct benefits for the customers. 9 times out of 10, those benefits are already there, it just takes some re-framing. For example, a lot of the companies we work with are in the home services industry providing services like pest control and lawn care. Let’s say one of the things a company is proud of is the fact that their employees are consistently trained on a monthly basis and on top of trends/innovations in the industry. This sounds great from a company perspective, but how does this *actually* benefit the customer?

Here are some examples of ways to translate features/characteristics into benefits:

Feature/characteristic: Company offers speedy same-day service.
User benefit: Company will provide you FAST relief from your problem the very same day.

Feature/characteristic: Company offers a satisfaction guarantee.
User benefit: Company backs their services up with a guarantee, meaning if they don’t work or you aren’t satisfied, they will do it again for free or refund your service.

Feature/characteristic: Company is locally owned and operated.
User benefit: The people at this company are your fellow neighbors, so you can feel good about supporting your local economy.


Marissa RyanMarissa Ryan

@marissaryan25

Marissa is the co-founder of VisualFizz and founder of GreenCell Interactive. She’s a traveler, an oxford comma supporter, and a self-proclaimed go-getter’ in the marketing world.

“For VisualFizz, we’ve found that the single most effective tactic to win at customer-centric marketing is…”

To be present (and outstanding) where your customers spend their time. For example, if you’re a business who relies
heavily on reviews for business to drive new sales, you’ll have to make sure that you as the business respond to as many reviews as possible – at least and especially the bad ones. If your customers communicate with you or about your brand on social media, respond to them! Even if your customers don’t directly communicate with you on social, share your business successes, raving testimonials, and positive reviews on social media and on your website. Thank your audience for their comments and respond professionally and promptly. People really do read reviews from
others and rely on word of mouth from people they consider to be their peers, so having excellent customer service goes an incredibly long way, and having a publicly-visible positive presence goes even further.


Monika DoyleMonika Doyle

@ChackaMarketing

Monika Doyle is Digital Media Director at Chacka Marketing based in Tampa, Fla.

“The single most effective tactic to win at customer-centric marketing is to…”

Refine your audience approach. By focusing on the right person at the right time, with the right messaging, marketers set themselves up for victory. Oftentimes, there is too much emphasis on the channel approach but rarely do consumers follow through to the path to convert because they lose interest, begin to explore other brands or no longer recognize their initial need.

The higher in the conversion funnel your customer is, the more focus should be put towards pure education of the product as he/she may not be fully aware of their need at that moment. Realizing their need and providing a
strong ad message will guide them along the path to purchase, ultimately helping marketers reach their goals.

It’s also crucial to not simply budget for those who are already actively searching, but to also work towards building awareness. Prioritization should be put on those ‘raising their hand’ – those who are further down the conversion funnel. However, that segment will eventually deplete so it’s just as important to introduce yourself to new customers.


Doug Dibert, Jr.Doug Dibert, Jr.

@CrossingRiverHD

Doug Dibert, Jr. has been creating video marketing content for well over a decade. He owns Crossing River Studios, a video marketing agency in Columbus, Ohio, and is the creator of Magnfi, a new, “one-stop shop” web tool that captures and edits video testimonials and content in a simple, quick and cost-effective way.

“To me, there is no greater tool or tactic in a customer-centric marketing campaign than…”

Utilizing the Power Of Story. How does the service you provide or the product you create make another person’s life better? That’s ultimately what people want to know. That’s the story they are going to tell their neighbor as they are working out in their yard. Or at a baseball game watching their kids play. So, the question is: how do you harness that story in a very visually driven age?

One word….video. Video content is more important now than ever. In fact, recent statistics show that 90 percent of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions and that 57 percent of decision makers would rather watch a video than read an article (from Hubspot). So, utilizing and leveraging video as a way to tell your story and as a way to resonate with customers will ultimately win their business and their loyalty.

Some tips for those videos? Make sure they tell your story effectively and quickly – 60 seconds or less. Have a third party tell your story rather than you tell it yourself. That will create authenticity and will serve as an invaluable third-party endorsement. Let those happy people who use your products or believe in your services tell your “superhero” story to the world. And the best part? You really don’t have to spend a lot of money to create meaningful and impactful videos. There are people out there who can help bring your story to life in a meaningful way that works for your brand from a financial perspective.


Christina BockischChristina Bockisch

@ClarCreative

Christina Bockisch is an Inbound Marketing Specialist at Clariant Creative Agency. She’s passionate about helping clients achieve their goals – whether that involves helping them show up in search engines, generate more of the right leads or nurture existing customers into brand evangelists.

“To win at customer-centric marketing, you have to start by…”

Creating buyer personas, which are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers. Once you know your customer’s interests, challenges, pain points and concerns about your product or service, you can carefully craft messages that solve their problems and speak directly to them.