Digital marketing helps businesses get recognized online. As a result, companies can find the right target audience and build strong relationships with their buyers.
However, to generate leads and fill the sales pipeline, digital marketing must do more than just learn about your ideal customers; it must focus on what is best for them. This is where a customer-centric digital marketing strategy comes into play.
A customer centric approach to online marketing is about prioritizing your customers’ needs and interests in all decisions related to promotion and selling your products and services online. It revolves around a deep understanding of why customers need what your company provides.
The goal is not business growth per se but growth driven by showing your customers how your product will improve an aspect of their work or life.
Developing a customer-centric marketing strategy requires acting with purpose. To help you out, here are four steps you can take to refocus your marketing efforts on your customers.
#1 Start altering your senior manager’s perceptions
A change in company strategy is always more influential if those at the top support it. However, for leaders to accept the change in perceptions, they must possess the right state of mind. Subsequently, they need to work on qualities essential to customer-centricity such as remaining calm under stress, empathizing, listening, and remaining present. When leaders demonstrate these qualities internally, employees feel confident to think and behave the same way with customers.
The best way to introduce these changes is for your managers to remain close to customers through support. They should have the opportunity to help solve problems — through business decisions, product improvements, and design. Pulling them closer to the customers by offering opportunities to speak directly with them will help build connections and show the success of customer-centric marketing.
#2 Get to really know your customers
You have to know your customers well if you want to succeed in your customer-centric marketing strategy. And there are a lot of different ways and tactics you can achieve that, including:
- Ask them what they think. One common way is to send surveys to customers to get feedback on a specific set of questions or ask for reviews from satisfied clients. You can also conduct one-on-one interviews with current or former customers to get more in-depth feedback on a particular aspect of your products or marketing strategies.
- Use data. Data is the new currency of business and the foundation of your customer-centric strategy. You can collect customer feedback and translate that into effective marketing tactics using the right analytic tools.
- Talk with your support team. Schedule regular meetings with your support team to know what is going on or listen to recordings of their calls with prospects. Also, read and respond to customer emails or jump on calls with your sales team.
- Find out what people are saying about your company. Keep tabs on different Internet channels to learn what people are saying about your company, products, brand image, social media, or anything related to your business.
#3 Publish content your customers want to read
Customer-centric marketing should revolve around content that is helpful to customers, even if it does not directly sell or promote products. So, your online store website, blog, and sales deck should have valuable and engaging content to make your customers interested enough to complete their purchases.
To build helpful and engaging content, you first need to know who your customers are and what their interests are. Then, you need to consider what challenges they are facing and how your brand can work on solving them.
Once created, you need to mindfully share your content in the space where your target audience engages and learns. As buyers are much more likely to consume content from people and peers than brands and logos, your content must be “shareable.”
#4 Collaborate with influencers
Establishing relationships with industry influencers is another essential step in creating a winning customer-centric marketing strategy. They are the ones your potential customers trust, listen to, and learn from. In addition, collaborating with influencers increases your visibility and credibility, as influencer marketing has the power to humanize your brand and foster customer engagement much more organically.
Reaching out to and engaging with influencers can also benefit your sales team. It helps your sales reps add genuine value and educate the buyer. Because the more knowledgeable your buyer is, the more they are prepared to purchase your products and services.
Becoming a customer-centric company can feel a bit challenging, as shifting your focus from filling up a digital marketing funnel with qualified leads to meeting the needs of your target customers requires time. However, that is the only way a business can survive and thrive in a competitive economy.