I know. It’s not a common question. And, what does it mean anyway? Does it mean being customer-oriented, customer-focused, and having a customer-centric mindset with the people your business or organization serves?
According to the new MarketingSherpa Customer Satisfaction Research Study, there’s a new term on the marketing scene called, “customer-first marketing” and it’s supposedly different from “customer-centric marketing.”
Customer-centric marketing puts the customers at the center of marketing; all promotions and messaging flow towards them in the way that is most relevant to them. Marketers put themselves in the customers’ shoes to sell to them better.
Customer-centric marketing typically consists of:
- Assessing customer needs
- Maximizing efficiency
- Understanding needs and wants of customers
- Co-production and self service
Customer-first marketing uses the customers’ goals as the compass to make decisions about marketing approach. They put the long-term interest of the customer above the short-term company conversion goals. Marketers put themselves in the customers’ shoes to serve them better, thus building a long-term, sustainable competitive advantage.”
In this approach, “customer needs come before the immediate gain of a business, and customer knowledge guides product development, business and marketing decisions.”
Do you “get” the difference or is this simply semantics? Frankly, I always believed that customer-centric marketing meant putting customers at the center of every action and always focusing on their needs.
We live in a world of distrust. 🙄 Between political upheaval, terrorism, and economic woes, people are in a state of malaise and suspicion.
According to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, trust is in crisis around the world. “The general population’s trust in all four key institutions — business, government, NGOs, and media — has declined broadly, a phenomenon not reported since Edelman began tracking trust among this segment in 2012.”
In her recent post, Kathryn Beiser advises that even though business fares better than government in the trust department, “if it, too, disappoints, business risks falling victim to the rising tide of dissatisfaction that has impacted government in so many parts of the world.”
The Trust Barometer reveals that no action is more integral to building trust than treating employees well, and employees are also the most credible spokespeople on every aspect of a company’s business.”
So, how do you build trust with internal customers – your employees?
It’s the third Thursday of January, the first of four national observances that occur again on April 20, July 20, and October 19 this year. It’s a day focused on customers – who they are, what they do, what they like and need, where they ‘hang out,’ and what their beliefs and habits are.
If you don’t have a bona fide marketing plan, it’s not too late to work on one, as it will force you to identify your ideal customers and prospects. How else can you know how and where to reach them, what to say, and how to engage them?
Of course, you can’t do that in a day, so I’ve decided to give you 5 things you CAN do today to get to know more about your customers: Continue reading