When you want to pursue customer-centric marketing, you set your organization up for success by putting the customer at the heart of everything you do. As customers become more informed and empowered, companies must put themselves in their shoes and do all they can to meet their needs, exceed their expectations, and deliver outstanding experiences. Obviously, it’s imperative to get your customer-centric marketing strategy right.
To help you do just that, we have rounded up 50 expert tips. Our tips come from leading marketers and firms, marketing experts, and influential authorities. Our hope is that these expert tips inspire you to pursue customer-centric marketing and benefit from getting to know your customers inside and out. To help you find the tips that will most benefit your organization, we have categorized them and then listed them alphabetically within each category; thus, our 50 expert tips on creating customer-centric marketing strategy are not ranked or rated in any way.
Focus on Your Customers
1. Allow customers to be part of your story. “As Seth Godin puts it, ‘This is a revolutionary time, and we get to figure out how to make ideas that spread, and as they spread, get permission to talk to people and align them into a tribe.’
“Godin also highlighted Harley Davidson as an example during his keynote. They start with a quality product: world-renowned motorcycles. Then, they craft a brand story that tells potential customers that by buying a motorcycle, they are doing something they were always meant to do. They take consumers from the outside, looking at bikes, to the inside, where they become part of the tribe of people who ride legendary Harley Davidson motorcycles. The buying journey changes from just a transaction, to a compelling story in which the consumer is a contributing character.” – Kate McGaughey, Using a Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy to Build a Loyal Tribe, CallRail; Twitter: @CallRail
2. Associate yourself with influencers. “Establishing relationships with industry influencers is the first essential step in this modern marketing map. These are the people your potential customers trust, the people they listen to, the people they learn from. Associating yourself with these individuals not only increases your visibility; it increases your credibility too; according to McKinsey, peer recommendations generate more than twice the sales of paid advertising.” – Sophie Elizabeth Smith, How to Succeed With a Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing Institute; Twitter: @dmigroup
3. Begin with your customers. “A customer-centric organization should be easy to recognize. It starts with this simple mindset: When you make a decision, any decision about the way you think about a product, the way you market a product, the way you sell a product or service, the conversation starts with an understanding of who it’s for and what they need.
“It means that you start with an informed perspective on who your customers are, and work backwards from there to help them achieve their goals, at all costs.” – Sophia Bernazzani, How to Build Customer-Centric Companies, HubSpot; Twitter: @HubSpot
4. Build relationships with your customers. “For your customer-centric business to be successful you must see your business with your customers as a relationship, which is designed to give your customers a great product and service experience at all times.
“Trust me, a good relationship with your customers is the fuel your business needs to grow.
“Give your customers a reason never to turn back on your brand.
“According to Seth Godin, ‘It’s easier to love a brand when the brand loves you back.'” – Sawaram Suthar, Moving Toward a Digital, Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy, CustomerThink; Twitter: @customerthink
5. Create goal-based and behavior-based personas rather than role-based profiles. “The heavy segmentation and profiling orientation within B2B has led to the narrow targeting of roles and titles. Oftentimes, we see B2B businesses confuse buyer personas for profiling the roles they are targeting within segments. Setting up a very cumbersome matrix of desiring upwards of fifty or sixty buyer personas – or more appropriately stated, buyer profiles. This will ensure they never get used. When buyer personas are truly goal-directed, the emphasis is on helping buyers, within multiple segments, who share common goals, behaviors, attitudes, and aptitudes.” – Tony Zambito, How B2B CMOs Can Achieve Customer-Centric Marketing with Buyer Personas, Tony Zambito; Twitter: @TonyZambito
6. Embrace emotion. “Ask yourself: Do customers love you? If they do, you’re already beating your competition every day. When customers come into contact with your brand, they “feel” a certain way as a result. Using tools such as customer listening and personas, you can better empathize with and serve them. By being systematic in your efforts to make your customers truly enjoy–dare I say love?–your brand, you’ll create connections your competitors can’t begin to match.” – Michael Hinshaw, 7 Implications of a Customer-Centric Strategy, CMO.com; Twitter: @CMO_com
7. Get a clear picture of your customers as individuals and as larger groups. “Without a detailed understanding of who your customers are beyond transaction data (i.e. lifestyle, habits, preferences, work and family, etc.), a customer-centric approach is nearly impossible. Sales data and purchase history are effective ways to track purchase behavior and revenue streams, but they offer nothing in regards to understanding the individual behind the purchase.
“A strong content marketing strategy creates emotional connections, builds strong relationships and fosters brand loyalty. Like purchasing a birthday gift for a friend; the better you know them, the more meaningful the gift will be.
“Ultimately, getting to know your customers is a matter of collecting relevant data and producing actionable, reliable analytics. Getting started is as easy as developing a strong ‘Getting to Know You’ survey, distributed to customers as they show interest in your brand.
“Through detailed segmentation and analytics you will gain data-driven insights offering a clear picture of who your customers are as individuals, and how they fit together as a larger group.” – Jenny Dinnen, Customer-Centric Content Marketing, MacKenzie Corporation; Twitter: @MacKenzie_Corp
8. Get a comprehensive picture of each customer. “Data must be collected from disparate places around the organization and attributed to customers so that a comprehensive picture emerges for each person. This provides the platform for customer-centric marketers to understand what’s best for each customer and measure the impact across all offerings.” – Contact Strategy 101: 5 Keys to Customer-Centric Marketing, Precision Dialogue; Twitter: @PD_Engage
9. Keep in mind that customers want to connect with brands. “What are consumers really looking for? Beyond the sales and great products, they want to connect. They want to feel like they can befriend your brand and that you will hear and respond to them long after the business transaction has taken place.
“The great news is that by implementing a customer-centric marketing focus, it is a win-win for both you and your customers. If your customers trust you, they will not only come back to buy more from you, but they will spread the news of how awesome you are to more potential customers. And with 84% of people trusting family and friends for recommendations over brand advertisements, this word-of-mouth dynamic can become a wealthy stream of income for your small business.” – The Essential Guide to Creating a Customer-Centric Marketing Program, CallFire; Twitter: @CallFire
10. Let your customers tell your story. “Most importantly, let your customers tell your story wherever possible. The most successful B2B products create forums and support ecosystems where customers can meet, exchange information and sharpen enhance their knowledge (and allegiance). In these situations, you don’t need to sell because your customers are doing it for you from an informed and experienced perspective that far surpasses anything you can create on your own.” – John Farkas, You Are Not the Hero: Building a Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy, Golden Spiral; Twitter: @_GoldenSpiral
11. Optimize marketing for the customer. “Digital marketing has changed the way brands not only reach customers but also track and measure their engagement throughout their customer lifecycle. Brands have an opportunity thanks to data, marketing technology, and multi-channel strategies to focus on the customer instead of themselves.” – Natalie Staines, Be Customer-Centric Not Brand-Centric, R2integrated; Twitter: @R2integrated
12. Pinpoint customer needs. “Seemingly buyer-centric approaches can still fall into the trap of defining the buyer’s need based on the benefits of your offering. Tempting as it may be, don’t start strategizing by focusing on why your products are so great. Instead, dive into understanding what buyers truly need.
There are three general categories of needs — organizational, functional and individual — that might drive a buyer or add business value. Buyers are asking themselves: ‘What will help solve a business issue?’ ‘How can I fix an operational problem?’ ‘How can I perform my job better?’ Differentiate common needs from unique desires, so you can group together similar segments.” – Marisa Kopec, 5 Steps to Create a Winning Audience-Centric Marketing Strategy, Target Marketing; Twitter: @TargetMktg
13. Uncover the true value of your customers. “By embracing a customer score, you can begin to better understand the potential future cash flow from each customer. As a result, you can be smarter about how you bid on ads. And that means winning more of the best customers and paying less for lower-value customers.
“By identifying Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), you’ll be able to better understand how much profit you are likely to lose if a customer goes to the competition. And that means you can invest the right amount to keep them.” – Nicolas Darveau-Garneau, 3 Secrets of Customer-Centric Search Marketers, Think with Google; Twitter: @ThinkwithGoogle
Leveraging Data and Insights
14. Focus on customer intelligence. “The better you know your customers, the better you can give them what they want. Greater levels of client understanding generally translate into unprecedented customer engagement. With social media channels, it is easy to find your customers where they are spending time and speaking freely about the products and services that they want and need. Tapping in to those channels (and other Big Data) will help you to take the pulse of your clients and meet their expectations.” – Daniel Newman, Marketing: Building A Customer-Centric Marketing Ecosystem, Forbes; Twitter: @Forbes
15. Gain a thorough understanding of your customers. “Developing a customer centric strategy is as much about honing in on your corporate identity as it is honing in on your customer’s identity. The more you understand your company, the more you understand the type of customer you want to attract. And vice versa – the more you understand the type of customer you are attracting, the more you will be able to strengthen your organization’s identity by adjusting that which is not perceived the way you want it to be.” – Kasen James, Tips for Developing a Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy, Vertical Rail; Twitter: @verticalrail
16. Go beyond the numbers to get to know customers. “Knowing your customer is key to a successful business, so focus on building that internal understanding of your customer profile and relating it to the entire organization. Every department and touch point needs the same overarching view of the customer and should behave with them in a manner consistent with the vision.
“Updates in smart data and aggregation allow you to target customers not only with precision, but also empathy. Data insights can help create a defined picture of your ideal customer, but the next step is to leverage that understanding and create messaging that connects with that profile on a personal level.” – John Wells, 4 Steps to Make Customer Centricity a Focus, Brand Quarterly
17. Measure everything. “Measurement should obviously be linked to the strategic KPIs. Make sure that these are aligned to reflect both customer and business progress and experience.
“Don’t shy away from anything – you need to gain as much insight as possible. This means measuring the good and the bad, and questioning the results. Don’t forget to question the good results too: it’s as important to know what you’re doing right as it is to understand where you’re going wrong.” – Andre Fick, Creating a Customer-Centric Strategy to Increase Conversion, Customer Experience and Loyalty, Acceleration; Twitter: @accelerationbiz
18. Put customer data to good use. “One of the biggest changes you can make if you want to become a more customer centric company is to transform the way you view and analyze your customer data. Marketers should use the full scope of customer data for relationship-based marketing, which will show customers that you use their data to provide them with personal value.
“How can marketers take a more rounded approach to the way they analyze customers? Once they segment their customers, marketers should start building profiles, or customer personas, for each distinct customer type. In addition to using the standard customer data, they should also reach out to customers for input through surveys, feedback and other means.” – Yoav Vilner, 3 Ways to Achieve a Customer-Centric Marketing Approach, Inc.com; Twitter: @Inc
19. Seek out customer-centric insights. “KPIs can help an organization understand the impact of its actions on customer behavior. But in order to bring these opportunities to life, the organization needs to dig a layer deeper — to uncover insights about customer segments.” – Jordan Elkind, 5 Steps To Becoming A Customer-Centric Marketing Organization, Marketing Land; Twitter: @Marketingland
20. Use customer data to personalize customer journeys. “Personalizing every customer’s journey drives longer-lasting relationships, greater loyalty, improved customer experiences, and more sales. To that end, a data-focused customer-centric approach allows a company to deliver the most relevant and consistent view of itself to each customer. With such a wide variety of channels to consider, the key to unlocking pertinent consumer data is often as simple as an email address.
“When consumers visit a website for information, sign in to social media, or download and log in to an app, their email addresses can be converted into an encrypted format. The encrypted data can then be matched to cookies and profiles on any of their devices.
“With permission, companies can use that data to send relevant messages on social media and deliver highly customized experiences on their websites. They can recognize their customers whether they access those channels through laptops at work or phones at home.” – Josh Perlstein, How to Use Data for a More Customer-Centric Experience, Salesforce; Twitter: @salesforce
21. Use data analysis and predictive modeling to create deeper connections with customers. “Creating deeper connections with your customers starts with putting them at the center of everything you do. That means getting to know exactly who they are, what they want and how they shop by conducting comprehensive and ongoing data analysis. Then predictive modeling can help your business create experiences that are more likely to be enjoyed, shared and repeated.
“Research shows that most people spend at least 2 hours a day on their phones. Retailers can take insights like this and pair them with new technologies such as beacons to engage their customers and provide a more valuable shopping experience. When you have a deeper understanding of who your customers are and what they need, you can create personalized products and service offerings for them.” – Mike McClure, Creating Deeper Connections with Customer-Centric Marketing Leads to Better Sales, The Yaffe Group; Twitter: @TheYaffeGroup
Implementing Customer-Centric Processes
22. Align HR and marketing. “With this new collaborative work space, HR and marketing teams are rapidly learning from each other, are better aware of what is going on in each other’s teams and can drive a more customer-centric culture.
Hoyts general manager of people, performance and culture, Jodi Paton, reveals how collaboration between HR and marketing has driven a more customer-centric culture. ‘From a HR and marketing perspective, it has really helped in ensure that we are working quickly and are quite agile in terms of being clear on what each of us are doing,’ she said. ‘Importantly, it also ensures the communication we’re using both internally with our employees and with our customers is really aligned.'” – Azadeh Williams, How HR and Marketing Collabortaion is Creating a Customer-Centric Culture at Hoyts, CMOAustralia; Twitter: @CMOAustralia
23. Analyze how customer satisfaction and customer relationships have changed. “Many companies that fail to care properly for their customers haven’t modernized their marketing in line with their customer preferences. These companies may not be using the latest research or technology to grow and evolve their business marketing model.
“They may be too brand-centric and not customer-centric enough. They focus too much on the enterprise and their image, rather than on the individual customer. These companies sometimes fall into the trap of hiding behind former glories and their traditional brand strength. They forget to analyze the way in which their customer satisfaction levels or their customer relationships are changing.
“Customer feedback and engagement is more important than ever in the digital age, with a decline in brand loyalty affecting repeat sales. Staying on top of customer preferences and trends can help to combat the degree to which brand loyalty has been fading.” – Mara Canivet, Caring for Your Customers – Making Customer-Centric Count, Emolytics; Twitter: @emolytics
24. Avoid off-strategy ideas. “Excitement abounds in most organizations with ideas and fresh thinking that may lead to new revenue streams. However, it is imperative to recognize that customer-centricity is not a destination but rather a multi-faceted, multi-year journey that will require laser-sharp focus, commitment and investment. Organizations need to challenge off-strategy ideas when they run the risk of diluting the core focus and compromising the long-term commitment to growth through centricity.” – Linda Shea, Best Practices: How to Become a Customer-Centric Company, Ad Age; Twitter: @adage
25. The CMO must demonstrate customer-centricity in all decisions. “Simply declaring the cultural shifts CMOs hope to see won’t work. Instead, marketing leaders need to showcase examples of the actions they’d like to see within the company culture to make it more customer-centric.” – Kelvin Claveria, How CMOs Can Lead the Transformation to Customer-Centricity, Vision Critical; Twitter: @visioncritical
26. Collaboration is key: involve your employees. “In a customer-centric and – thus by definition – integrated content marketing approach, the analyis of customer and content needs, as well as the narrative and the customer rationale, is not the job of one team or department. It’s a collaborative effort, requiring the involvement of multiple stakeholders, including various internal teams and people. No silos.” – Content Marketing: A Customer-Centric Manifesto, i-SCOOP; Twitter: @iscoopbiz
27. Conduct true content marketing. “True content marketing means creating content that puts the priorities and needs of your audience first. It means that the primary goal of your content is to build and engage that audience.
“Sure, your audience should fit the profile of your customers, but you aren’t using the channel to sell. You’re just staying top of mind, building trust and familiarity. So when the day comes that they do need your products or service, you’re the first company they think of.” – Pam Neely, This is What Customer-Centric Marketing Really Looks Like, Act-On; Twitter: @ActOnSoftware
28. Create content that engages your audience. “Sadly, what your audience is interested in hearing about is unlikely to be your brand sales pitch. You need to dig a little deeper to unearth topics that will hit their sweet spot. The big question is — how do you discover these valuable gems?
“You could visit your local tarot reader to extract some wishy-washy insights, or you could take a more data-led approach to gathering these nuggets. I promise you it’s not voodoo! By using cold hard data to create your content strategy, your content is much more likely to hit home with your audience and therefore also much more likely to achieve your KPIs.” – Thea Partridge, 4 Tips for Creating Customer-Centric Content, Twitter Business; Twitter: @TwitterBusiness
29. Deliver a seamless customer experience across channels. “Customers have come to expect a seamless, relevant and personalized experience across all channels of communication, so it’s important for businesses to deliver that to ensure customer loyalty and reduce churn.
“Every customer is unique and, as such, retailers need to treat each one differently. Everything from the location of their office to their dietary restrictions will impact each person’s individual shopping habits and needs. A mother of five children living in the suburbs will have distinctly different shopping preferences from a single female living in a big city.” – The Key to Omnichannel Success is Customer-Centricity, Pitney Bowes; Twitter: @PitneyBowes
30. Deliver excellent customer experiences. “To keep up with this shift [to customer-centricity], marketing leaders need to scrap their traditional hierarchies, funnels, and models. They need to start looking at the world from the perspective of a customer – not a brand.
For example, they have to break down silos between departments. Sales, customer service, marketing, and advertising must work together to develop a unified view of the customer. This will help marketing leaders understand customers’ needs and behaviors, and deliver personalized and relevant experiences.” – Uyen Nguyen, 3 Steps to Building a Customer-First Marketing Strategy, Sprinklr; Twitter: @Sprinklr
31. Demonstrate the value of customer-centricity to your entire organization. “Customer centricity is not just a buzzword. It’s an attitude towards doing business that can bring long term monetary gains and increase brand value. Its effects are tangible and can be calculated over time…
“To create a customer centric culture in your company, you need to create awareness about it using facts such as these. You can’t achieve customer centricity unless the majority of your organization truly believes in its impact and benefits.
“Aggressively market the impact of customer satisfaction on company performance and make sure that your employees and anyone connected with your company knows that customer satisfaction is at the core of your business values.” – Jawad Khan, How To Build a Customer Centric Culture in Your Organization, Hiver; Twitter: @hiverhq
32. Design marketing processes to respond appropriately to a throng of possible customer journeys. “According to statistics, by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. For this reason, marketers must design their processes to be interconnected enough to respond appropriately to a multitude of possible customer journeys. A brand’s mobile app, website, social channels, and even in-store experience are all reflective of one another. If a customer starts a purchase on a brand’s website, the mobile app will recognize that, even days later when the consumer begins to browse for another product. As a result of unification across all channels, the consumer is reminded of their uncompleted transaction from several days prior.
“Combining multiple channels across a brand to ensure consistency may sound quite daunting to some marketers, but don’t it should be the opposite. There are great perks the brand will experience when they provide ways to maximize engagement across all channels. For instance, omnichannel marketing processes will allow marketing teams to tailor strategies to target audiences. Creating programs that combine social ads, text messages and email will maximize the marketer’s reach. These factors will help marketers determine the right content that is going out to enhance the customer journey, which will create brand loyalty.” – Sean Brady, Creating Customer Centricity in 2017: Omnnichannel Marketing and Mobile, MultiChannel Merchant; Twitter: @mcmerchant
33. Drive alignment between marketing functions based on customer engagement. “Driving alignment between the marketing functions will be the hardest part of the job for the MO leader. It becomes easier when you shift the conversation from supporting product launches, or attending events, or creating thought leadership content, to a conversation around driving engagement from new and existing contacts in a way that fuels revenue! Customer engagement cuts across the marketing silos.” – Kevin Joyce, 2018 Customer-Centric Marketing Planning for Better Customer Engagement, Infor; Twitter: @Infor
34. Eliminate marketing silos. “What does all this mean for organizing an effective marketing team? Marketing is strategic and holistic, and data is the glue bringing everything – and everyone – together. If everyone is using the same data to make customer-centric decisions, it makes sense to have everyone collaborating toward the same goals.
“Marketing strategies are becoming more interconnected as the technology and tactics supporting them becomes more advanced.
“This means the days of separating marketing departments by function, or “silos,” are long gone. Each function of the marketing team – PR, SEO, design, social media, email, off-line marketing, etc. – must work together to share data and present a personalized and cohesive customer experience across all channels.” – Building a Customer-Centric Marketing Team [Infographic], WunderLand Group; Twitter: @WunderLand Group
35. Ensure the team and organization at large understands the customer-centric marketing strategy. “Culture cannot simply be defined through corporate mission statements or staff communications. Cultural design focuses on understanding the alignment across the core organisational levers driving culture, as well as identifying any misalignment or potential ‘watch points’ to ensure that you have consistent practices that reinforce the desired behaviour. There are also many implicit ‘messages’ that act as indicators of the culture within an organisation. As such, it is imperative that you align the beliefs, skills and environment for employees to consistently reinforce the explicit and implicit messages about what is required.” – Amy McWilliam, 4 Tactics CEOs Must Use to Create Customer-Centric Culture and Strategy, Expert360; Twitter: @Expert_360
36. Ensure your content is customer-centric. “The more deeply you know your buyer personas, the better you will be able to craft content perfectly suited to them. And guess what? The more your content speaks to them, the more they’ll respond by signing up for your newsletter, following your brand on social media, or making a purchase.” – Michael Brenner, If Your Content Isn’t Customer-Focused It’s Not Making an Impact, Marketing Insider Group; Twitter: @BrennerMichael
37. Evaluate your content. “Does your company look at content through customers’ eyes? Here’s one way to tell: Look at your marketing content. For starters, riffle through some titles. Do the words typically convey customers’ concerns? Or do they mostly call attention to the things you sell?
“If products hog the spotlight, you’re missing opportunities to build customer relationships and, ultimately, revenue. You’re also missing opportunities to streamline your content efforts throughout the organization, including distribution, management, and reuse.” – Marcia Riefer Johnston, How to Adopt a Customer-Centric Strategy for Your Content, Content Marketing Institute; Twitter: @CMIContent
38. Focus on the customer’s buying process. “Most, if not all, B2B companies’ customers will have shared buying questions, wants, and needs at different stages of the buying process. At some stages, marketing should be meeting those customers’ desires and nurturing the lead. There then should be a defined stage in which the lead is handed to sales. Passing through these stages should be invisible from the customer’s perspective.
“… one of the biggest problems facing companies today is finding a solution on how both marketing and sales can meet the needs of the customer’s buying process. This means understanding where the customer is in that process and what area of the company – sales or marketing – should be involved at each stage.
“Instead of areas that marketing handles and areas that sales handles, what the customer needs defines what business area is engaging them at any point in time.” – David Kirkpatrick, Guided by Buyers: 4 Tactics to Create a Customer-Centric Sales and Marketing Strategy, Marketing Sherpa; Twitter: @MarketingSherpa
39. Go beyond focusing on the customer to becoming customer-centric. “Organizations need to work toward being customer-centric, rather than being customer-focused. Customer-centric organizations understand that not all of their customers yield profits. These organizations use customer analytics to gain a complete view of their customers in order to segment them. The customers with the highest customer lifetime value are those who are loyal to the company and are easy to retain. Thus, companies work to acquire and then retain these customers by nurturing relationships with them and enhancing their customer experience.” – Molly Galetto, What is Customer-Centric?, NGDATA; Twitter: @ngdata_com
40. Integrate customer engagements. “Having one connected conversation with the customer that is relevant to their current status only happens when there’s integration of your marketing silos – data, processes and teams. Maximizing this value means getting every aspect of customer engagement right to deliver long-run incremental value from marketing. That means being where the customer is when he or she wants you to be there and personalizing those engagements based on customer signals. For instance, when a customer has just made a purchase of a pair of jeans on their desktop, why continue to serve ads for jeans on their mobile device?” – Laura Carrier, Six Steps to Achieving Customer-Centric Marketing, MarTech Series; Twitter: @MarTechSeries
41. Make sure your content speaks to your customers. “Use context to include and draw in your customers. Have a ‘you’ mentality when writing rather than a ‘we’ mentality.
“For years now, writing with a ‘we’ mentality has been viewed as condescending. Talk to your customers and include them. You already know from crafting email subject lines and blog post titles that the word ‘you’ grabs the attention of the reader and is all-inclusive. Focus all of your marketing communications in that fashion.
“Review your copy for words like ‘we’ and ‘us’ and make sure that if you use those words it is truly in the intended context and doesn’t mean ‘including you, our customer.'” – John Wieber, 5 Ways to Grow Your Business with Customer-Centric Content, jeffbullas.com; Twitter: @jeffbullas
42. Marry content and customer experience. “The best content strategy melds both company-centric and customer-centric goals into one well-defined strategy. That means optimizing customer experience at every step along the way.
“Where many businesses fail is by looking at their goals and metrics first and then weaving positive customer experience in after the fact (AKA they build the table above instead of understanding the significance of each goal as defined in the bullets above).
“Instead, let your strategy revolve around creating a positive customer experience. The best way to create a positive customer experience is by understanding your customer and the best way to do that is to build out personas.” – Ashley Poynter, Creating A Content Strategy To Support Your Customer Experience, Fieldboom; Twitter: @fieldboom
43. Optimize the entire customer lifecycle. “If it isn’t evident by now, alignment is a key component of operationalizing a customer-centric marketing operations group. Adopting a customer-centric approach forces a horizontal framework, and marketing now works with every part of the company to optimize the customer lifecycle and help the company gain competitive advantage. This requires intense alignment and that can only be optimally achieved with the customer as the bonding agent.” – Four Characteristics of a Customer-Centric Marketing Operations Organization, Pedowitz Group; Twitter: @revenuemarketer
44. Put customer needs before business goals. “If you serve your audience with relevant content, services or products that fits their needs, rather than just focusing on your own business goals, your marketing message will be softened and demonstrate value to potential customers.
“Think about what your business is about and why it exists. It’s not just to make money, but to offer something that customers are in need of. It serves a purpose. So, if your customers’ needs are at the heart of your digital strategy, it will help you reach your business goals and objectives.” – Rowland Marsh, 5 Reasons for Creating a Customer-Centric Digital Marketing Strategy, Enchant; Twitter: @thisisenchant
45. Shift thinking from transactions to interactions. “Shifting from transactions to interactions requires further investment in interpreting customer behavior to predict preferences and propensities and using data to steer relationship development. It also requires a change of attitude – social marketing demands that communication etiquette be studiously observed. Social networks are not ideal for sending product messages, but they can provide valuable insight into sentiment and mood to better guide the relationship.” – Moving Toward a Digital, Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy, Bizibl Marketing; Twitter: @Bizibl
46. Understand customers and align processses with them. “True growth—and the customer centricity that drives it—is not accomplished by a strong rallying cry or a catchy slogan. A company must understand its customers’ behaviors and attitudes and have the internal processes in place to create a cultural change within the organization. By aligning deep customer insights with communications and operational processes, and identifying gaps in performance among the seven pillars of customer centricity, a company can drive sustainable results.” – Emilie Kroner, The 7 Pillars of Customer Centricity, American Marketing Association; Twitter: @AMA_Marketing
Leveraging the Right Tools and Technology
47. Create a single customer view. “Treating every customer the same is no longer effective. Data is the foundation of a customer-centric business. Too many organizations still hold duplicate information about customers in multiple product systems, preventing them from recognizing the individual needs of their customers. The key is to consolidate all sources of customer information into one place. So, step one of an effective customer strategy is to create rich individual customer profiles within a single master database.” – Julio Hernandez, Customer First: How to Create a Customer-Centric Business and Compete in the Digital Age, KPMG; Twitter: @KPMG_US
48. Grow relationships with email and social media. “Once you’ve established a relationship, you need to maintain it. The two most effective ways to do that when retaining customers are email (56%) and social media (37%). But before you throw all your time and energy into these two platforms, remember to do your own research with your customers to ensure that you’re actually using the methods and platforms they are using, and be sure they have the option to opt in or out of any type of communication.” – Create a Customer-Centric Marketing and Advertising Strategy, Swift Local Solutions; Twitter: @Swift_Local
49. Rely on emerging technologies. “To begin the process of creating a better customer experience, you’ll need to leverage customer data. This will help you understand what they want and how your marketing can be tailored to their desires. As you grow and evolve your marketing strategy, your brand will need to invest in technologies that can help enhance this experience.
“Some of these technologies — like interactive modules inside a store, digital signage and an upgraded mobile app experience — will directly upgrade the experience customers have. MarTech Today reported that in other cases, the technology may only serve to generate new data that improves your insights and your abilities to effectively market to customers. Keep an eye out for IoT devices that can upgrade the experience you offer customers and simultaneously provide you with information that supplements your existing knowledge.” – Carlye Creel, Making Customer Experience a Cornerstone of Your Marketing Strategy, Cox Media Group LocalSolutions; Twitter: @local_solutions
50. Use the power of video. “A visual and audio message can engage a consumer in a way that simple print (digital or otherwise) simply cannot. If budget is limited, consider throwing it behind a well-produced video, or evaluate the performance of some of the simpler, do-it-yourself video options out there.” – Bobby Fan, Seven Building Blocks of a Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy, MarketingProfs; Twitter: @MarketingProfs