Here's a fun fact: It takes a customer 12 positive experiences with a brand to make up for 1 unresolved negative interaction (as stated by Ruby Newell-Legner, the award-winning customer satisfaction expert.)
Even so, customer-centricity is a relatively new concept in marketing and advertising (traditionally, it’s been reserved for customer-facing units like sales teams) which has, until recently, revolved around simply talking the product up to attract customers.
Consider these vintage advertisements for cars:
And now watch this recent film by Porsche, created for the launch of their new Panamera:
You see the difference?
While the vintage car ads all give you information, the Porsche film uses storytelling to make you want to be an owner of the Panamera - whether you’re in the market for a car or not.
That’s the evolution of marketing and advertising, and it’s a direct result of the evolution in consumer behaviour.
As Otto Rosenberger, CMO at Hostelworld, says in an article for Marketing Week, “Whether brands have true meaning in our lives depends on the stories that we connect with them. Using emotional storytelling defines whether your brand will have true meaning in the world or just be another badly differentiated product.”
Of course, storytelling is just a small part of customer-centric marketing - but more on that later.
Have no doubt that customer-centric marketing will impact your sales. In fact, your sales team already knows the customer is king; when your marketing gets customer-centric too...that’s when the magic happens.
According to research by Temkin Group, after a bad experience, 39% of consumers decreased their spending. However, upon receiving a very good response from the brand after a bad experience, 33% of consumers did increase their spending.
So here’s what we know so far: The customer is king, they don’t care about your brand unless you care about them, and if you give them a good experience they’ll want to associate themselves with you.
Now that we’ve got that established, here’s how to craft your marketing strategy around consumers:
- 1. If you can guess this first step you get 100/100
The first step in customer-centric marketing is - drumroll please - knowing your customer! Really know your customer. Don’t design your strategy around aggregate data, split up the data to identify different and very precise target audiences, then adapt your marketing strategy for each till it sounds like you’re talking personally to them.
- 2. Introduce yourself to the other king in this story: Content
While Porsche did an excellent job in the video above, customer-centric marketing is not just about storytelling. It’s about crafting beautiful content in a more visual, snackable and shareable form and tailoring it for your different buyer personas at different stages in their buyer’s journey.
- 3. Reach out through people your consumers want to listen to
Your consumers don’t want to be sold to, they’ll take your advertisements with a pinch of salt and they won’t give you their time unless they think it’s worth it. They will, however, listen to people in their community who they trust, look up to or aspire to be like - ‘influencers’. Use these influencers to talk about your brand and what you can offer.
- 4. It’s time to build your family
Your corporate family no longer includes just you and your employees - invite your consumers in too. Hold conversations with them on social media (really, listen and respond), give them ideas and inputs, inspire them to do better, live better, feel better. Once they can really relate with your brand, they’ll be all the more likely to be your loyal customers.
- 5. Reward and delight!
So you’ve made a great impression on people and now they’re your customers - but it’s just as important to keep them coming back. Plus, if you delight them and keep them happy, they’ll turn into advocates and tell all their friends and family about you. Creating brand advocates isn’t a new idea at all - what’s changed is how you delight them and keep them happy. Rewards programs work great, constant personalised communication helps a great deal and specialised services will really make them feel special.
Unfortunately, there’s so much to discuss and share about customer-centric marketing, we can’t do it all in one blog post.
If you’re looking for more information or are ready to get started on your customer-centric marketing strategy, we’d be happy to help! Get in touch