We all want to be “successful” with our marketing efforts. But how exactly do we define this success?
We could compare our campaigns using analytics.
We could check how many social media followers we have.
We could see if our website views have increased.
We could even just check if our sales have grown.
But, how do we know if we are truly successful?
In reality, being successful comes down to your customers.
There are hundreds of marketing strategies posted every day filled with opinions and studies on how to increase your "success”. But in reality, if your audience isn't connecting with your brand, nothing else matters.
Strategies only last as long as your customers' interests and behaviors do. So, if you want predictable results from your marketing campaigns, you must know your audience. This alone will create value and improve sales over time.
Customer-centric marketing is all about understanding your audience. With personalized messages, services, products, and content, you can ensure your consumer is getting exactly what they’re looking for. A customer-centric approach is not just a marketing strategy. It is a valuable technique that many successful businesses have adopted.
A customer-centric strategy works differently from traditional marketing. Everything is geared towards the consumers who are buying the product or would be interested in it. Therefore, It is important to know whether the agency or marketer you hire is making decisions based on their opinion or your customer’s behaviors and opinions.
When your company starts becoming more customer-centric, you will see an increase in revenue as well as long-term customer relationships.
Putting customers first improves relationships with your audience, creates loyalty, and develops a lasting sustainable business. Customers desire to feel part of something bigger than just the product. In fact, studies show that 90% of consumers find personalization appealing and 80% are more likely to actually make a purchase if a company has a personalized approach. This personalized approach comes from developing specific messaging, branding, content, and products that are custom-made for the consumer.
A customer-centric approach encourages customers to be vocal about what they want from your next product or service. These valuable consumer insights will helps your business develop by meeting the current needs of your target audience and causing more trust between your brand and its loyal customers. They will consider themselves members of the brand community.
Statistically, loyal customers will spend 67% more money on a brand than normal customers. That being said, they are much easier to sell to because of the trust that they have developed for your brand over time. Having a loyal customer base dramatically reduces the amount of time, cost and effort it takes to get customers to make a purchase. Loyal customers don’t need as much convincing. Instead, they can jump right back into the sales funnel.
In fact, loyal customers have a 65% chance of converting again versus a 13% chance for new prospects.
Loyal customers are also more likely to create user-generated content for you. When a customer is happy with a brand or purchase, they want to share their positive experience with their friends and family — and not just by word of mouth. Happy customers will actually share your content or their experience on social media for their entire network to see. This increases your brand awareness and sales fast. Best part? It’s free.
Truth is, 82% of Americans look for recommendations from friends and family when considering a purchase. So, if you follow the customer-centric strategy and customers start sharing your content, you can expect to generate more traffic, leads, and sales.
Still unsure if you should try customer-centric marketing? Let’s take a look at some companies that have done it well.
Southwest Airlines is a great example. Some other airlines have flights full of TV screens, bigger seats, fancy meals, expensive wifi, and extra charges for luggage. Most people don’t need or want these things. Southwest, on the other hand, offers low pricing, reliable customer service, limited baggage fees and the ability to change travel dates. All Southwest did was listen to what their customers wanted.
The result? Higher conversion rates. #1 airline. Drastically fewer complaints. Increased profits. And of course, happy customers.
The takeaway here is to pay attention to the data and what your customers really want.
Now, you might be thinking, “Ok, I’m convinced. but how the heck do I get started?” We’ve broken it down into a few first steps.
A customer profile is one of the most fundamental steps to creating and launching a business. Layout all the interests, demographics, and behaviors your typical customer has. This will help you know who your customers are and what they are looking for.
However, if you really want to make your customers the focus of your marketing, you need to get much deeper than this. Here is an example of what a customer profile looks like:
To truly understand your target audience and who they are, you need to watch how they evolve. The easiest way is with tracking analytics on social media. Keep an eye on the content they engage with the most, when they tend to comment on a post, and what they are saying about your brand.
One of the best ways to stand out from every other brand is by creating original content that is relevant to your audience. 71% of consumers prefer relevant and personalized ads.
Use the customer profile you made and tools like Facebook’s targeting capabilities to develop content that is as relevant as possible to your audience. Facebook Ad Manager enables marketers to specify exactly who they want to receive an advertising message. This is why 94% of marketers are using Facebook ads. Remember, it shouldn’t be a guessing game. Compare the analytics and results for every ad to see what content your audience is responding to best.
With social media being the place to build connections, it is no surprise that it is the most common place to implement these customer-centric strategies.
Your Facebook ads have likely brought more people to your brand’s social media pages already. Use that content from step 2 and create a consistent posting schedule that has a solid balance of post quality and quantity across all social media accounts. With a greater social media following, your brand will gain loyal customers and become more influential.
A big part of social media engagement is communicating with your followers. When people comment on your posts, comment back. When people message your profile, respond promptly. When people ask questions, provide helpful answers. 42% of customers expect a brand to respond to them on social within an hour. Actively watching for questions, comments, or feedback can give you insights into your customers and improve your customer service, leading to greater trust and profit.
Don’t be afraid to get involved in conversations, ask questions, and follow users you think can help you better understand your audience.
Now that you have started a conversation with your audience on social media, consider what actions you can take to implement the things they post about.
If you want to know something from your target audience, just ask.
Surveys are a great tool to gain direct insights or opinions directly from your customers.
Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube all offer some way to poll your audience.
If you’re going to use surveys as a way to get to know your target audience, you want to make the process as painless as possible for participants. Be personal and conversational. Keep questions short and to the point.
Also, be sure to analyze the results. Otherwise, what’s the point?
When it comes to marketing, don’t assume you know what is best. Today’s consumer understands their needs and the solutions available to them. You just need to be a business that hears feedback and uses it your advantage.
If you’re trying to tell your audience what you think they need, you’re never going to sell products. Listen to your customers, utilize analytics, look at the data and act accordingly.
Then, you will see your traffic, sales, and business increase dramatically.
You probably won’t get to know your customers overnight. But, learning to be more customer-centric is going to explode your growth. It may take time, but it will be worth it.
How are you going to think differently and find ways to improve your marketing efforts?
Julia is known for being a go-getter, natural leader, and creative thinker. She takes on every challenge that comes her way with a positive and enthusiastic attitude.
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