Small business owners are the heart of our economy, but they face a huge challenge: building a company on their own with a limited budget.” (Clutch 2017 Small Business Digital Marketing Survey)
To many small businesses, marketing and advertising can feel like creative luxuries compared to payroll or inventory expenses, as examples. Yet, a recent study cautions against under-investment of time and other resources.
Whether your marketing budget is $10,000 or $1,000,000, Clutch found that best [digital marketing] practices come at a wide range of price points and creative solutions that can boost any small business’s competitive edge.”
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.
I came up with a new feature called, Friday Facts in #Marketing. Each Friday, I’ll post new research facts on marketing-related topics that can affect your small-medium business or nonprofit organization.
This week’s facts come from the MarketingSherpa Customer Satisfaction Research Study, completed in December, 2016 and recently published. Get a load of the fact in orange. Looks like marketing budgets focused solely on digital channels may NOT be the most effective! Continue reading