5 Ways to Stay Customer-Centric in 2012

Good marketing planning is a never-ending cycle that doesn’t depend solely on the calendar or on the various channels. Instead, it focuses on the customer’s cycle.

Getting in step with the customer’s heartbeat will help you stay on track in 2012. In doing so, you’ll leave behind planning that has a bogus foundation—one built on specific channels. Considering the popularity of digital and social media platforms, it can be tempting to become a slave to certain channels. But that can be dangerous because it shifts marketers’ attention away from how customers regard those channels and how they prefer to get their information.

In being too channel-driven, you could be missing the nuance of what customers want. For example, they might use one channel, such as email, for awareness; another, such as search, for consideration, and yet another, such as a landing page, for purchase.

Here are five ways to first plan for interactions with your customers, and then manage the channels.

1. Research, research and more research: Gaining a complete understanding of the target customer is the only way to turn your marketing in a customer-centric direction. You have more means at your disposal than you might think to create a multi-dimensional customer profile. The profile should include transactional, behavioral, geo-demographic, attitudinal, predictive insights and traditional market research, as well as Voice of Customer (VOC) data acquired from responses to offers, customer service interactions or other touch points with the customer.

Adroit customer segmentation provides predictive insights into your customers and prospective customers, allowing you to map out customers’ needs, points of pain, emotional and rational drivers, and channel utilization habits. This helps us keep an open mind to reaching customers in their preferred channels, not ours.

2. Tailor your marketing strategy: Armed with insights from research, it’s time to create marketing strategies that address key customer behaviors. The idea here is to tailor marketing campaigns and messages, connecting the brand’s value proposition with the precise customer segment. It’s all about creating increasing levels of meaning and engagement with customers. With the right tailoring, a customer’s preference should guide all marketing communications content, timing, frequency, channel, and other variables.

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