It seems that with each passing day it’s becoming increasingly difficult to catch and maintain the attention of consumers.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. In today’s omnichannel and mobile-first environment, customers now have a near limitless amount of products, services, and information at their fingertips. Further, the second they engage with any channel, they are bombarded by a deluge of marketing outreach that is high in frequency and low in relevance.
The second consumers have the option to opt out of marketing, they do. In fact, as of 2021, 42.7 percent of internet users installed an ad blocker on at least one device. As a result, today’s consumers are less brand loyal than ever, all while the cost of marketing continues to rise.
So, how do you make sure customers don’t roll their eyes when they see your advertisement? It all comes down to relevant, targeted outreach backed by an approach that puts the customer first. And that’s what customer-centric marketing is all about. Let’s take a closer look.
What is Customer-Centric Marketing?
Customer-centric marketing puts a customer’s needs and interests first by associating marketing success with favorable changes in consumer behavior. This marketing philosophy shouldn’t be executed based on your team’s intuition or gut feelings. Rather, customer-centric marketing requires an analytical approach that uses media data, identity data, and conversion data to build an in-depth view of the consumer.
To put it into more practical terms, a customer-centric approach is diametrically opposed to a channel-focused approach. In a channel-based strategy, marketers ask “how can I use this channel to reach my target audience?” Meanwhile, customer-centric marketers ask, “what does my audience want to see – and where do they want to see it?”
Why is it Important for Marketers to be Customer-Centric?
Think of it this way: A channel-centric approach might seem intuitive from a marketing perspective, but it actually brings you further from the insights you need.
For example, you may find that pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is driving the most revenue, causing you to shift more budget to those activities. But what you don’t realize is that the vast majority of those PPC campaigns are being supported by other media channels, like your social media or television adverts. Without those top and mid funnel activities, you’re limiting the potential of your campaigns.
At the end of the day, marketing isn’t about sending your message across channels. It’s about influencing the customer journey – so, a customer-centric approach to marketing will give your team the most reliable analysis and, therefore, the best results. In fact, according to Christi Eubanks, a Vice President of Customer & Market Research at Gartner, it is necessary for brands to become more customer-centric if they’d like to “optimize spend, increase attention, and maximize satisfaction.”
5 Tips to Implement a Customer-Centric Strategy
If you’re interested in becoming more customer-centric, be aware that it takes time. You’ll need to acquire new skills and new technologies, all while getting buy-in from the executive team. Once you have those three prerequisites, you’ll still need some time to iron out the finer points of your strategy.
However, there are a few quick tips that will help you get started faster. Take a look:
- Keep things simple - You know a lot about your brand, and you’re likely very eager to share the benefits of your product or service. But instead of showering customers with information, narrow the focus of your outreach based on what your target audience values. This will help you only invest in the messaging that is most appropriate for your audience – not for whoever is active on that channel.
- Ensure you have high quality data available – Marketing teams need media data, identity data, and conversion data on-hand to better understand who customers are, where they’re active, and what drives them to purchase. For best results, look for a marketing performance measurement solution that automatically vets the quality of your data.
- Employ brand measurement – Your chosen marketing analytics solution should allow you to analyze how certain touchpoints influence the perception of your brand. Without this information, you’re missing critical insight into top-of-funnel activities.
- Pay attention to the right metrics – Using a mixture of brand and performance metrics will show you how customer-centric campaigns are affecting your entire marketing funnel. Brand metrics include brand recall, brand sentiment, and net promoter score, for example. Then, look at performance metrics like churn rate, funnel velocity and return on marketing investment.
- Don’t take a solely customer-centric approach – Going all-in on a single perspective can be harmful, especially in today’s volatile marketing environment. For example, if you have limited data on a new audience, you can use a channel-focused approach until you have enough data to fully understand their needs. Because of this, make sure you have access to a flexible marketing analytics solution.
Example: How Regions Bank Became More Customer-Centric
Regions Bank is one of the largest full-service financial service providers in the southern and midwestern United States. The financial services industry is notoriously competitive – and for Regions, they had to constantly grapple with large global brands and small local disruptors. When they came to Marketing Evolution, one of their most significant challenges was finding the right channel for their messaging.
When they partnered with Marketing Evolution, they started to realize their problem wasn’t choosing the wrong channels – it was the very nature of their strategy. Once they had access to advanced analytics through our marketing performance measurement platform, they were able to reorient their marketing philosophy to become more customer-centric.
Once they were focused on customers and had a holistic view of marketing performance across channels, Regions Bank was able to identify the best message for their target consumer while receiving timely insights to help them optimize active campaigns. This resulted in a 100% increase in marketing ROI, and a 100% increase in incremental revenue from customers opening new checking accounts.
Interested in seeing how taking a more customer-centric approach to marketing can help your business? Marketing Evolution has a different approach to onboard marketers to see exactly how our marketing performance measurement solution works in a phased approach..
By participating in this new approach you'll gain accelerated speed to value, see how our unique data model balances consumer privacy with customer-centricity, helping you target customers even as customer data becomes scarce. Further, you’ll get to experiment with both retrospective and predictive analytics to gain a holistic, unified view of campaign performance. If you’re ready to take the first steps to becoming more customer-centric, contact us today.