Clients are lost in the digital noise, so the costs to attract them are huge. Companies face the problem that mass marketing becomes too expensive. The top priority in the digital era becomes customer experiences. For this reason, businesses have to shape a customer-centric approach.
Customer-centricity is a business approach for creating loyal and satisfied relationships where the customer’s needs, wants, and interests are the primary focus in all decision processes.
By adopting the customer-centric approach, companies can reduce costs because focus on value creation according to customers’ needs and wants concretely. If companies are able to understand customers and manage data, it‘s much easier to deliver the right products, services, and support, in the right place, at the right time.
Let’s dive deeper and analyze what is customer-centric marketing, why it’s important, how to create an effective customer-centric marketing strategy that could help to thrive your business, and how other companies using these strategies reached success in their business.
What is customer-centric marketing?
Today customers have more expectations than ever before. The market is competitive, so it’s crucial to not only attract clients but also cultivate a foundation of devoted ones who will stick with the business or brand, be loyal, suggest it to others, and function as brand ambassadors.
Customer-centric marketing is an approach focusing on delivering value to the customers and creating loyalty after deeply understanding their needs, interests, and wants. The customer becomes the center of all marketing efforts.
Customer-centric marketing seeks to understand the unique characteristics of not only customer segments but as individual customers. For this reason, very important to pay attention to psychographic factors, listen to clients, and analyze feedback. Insights from testimonials help to be closer to customers, increase their satisfaction, and create loyal relationships.
By putting the customer first, companies can create marketing campaigns that not only drive business success but also inspire and connect with customers on a deeper level.
Why is customer-centric marketing important?
Let’s review 6 reasons why customer-centric marketing is important based on data:
- Improves company or brand reputation and recognition.
According to Esteban Kolsky, 72% of customers share a positive experience with 6 or even more people. Customers are more likely to remember and recommend a brand positively to others when they believe that the company cares about its values and that the company causes positive emotions. Attention to customers boosts brand recognition and reputation and brings in new clients.
- Increases customer satisfaction.
Companies that can develop marketing initiatives where the customer is at the center of the marketing strategy can better fulfill customers’ demands and expectations. According to PWC research, 86% of buyers are ready to spend more for a great customer experience.
Additionally, a Walker study found that customer experience will overtake products and prices as the leading brand differentiator. Undoubtedly, consumer satisfaction is becoming a crucial point in companies’ competition.
- Boosts customer retention.
According to PWC research, one in three consumers (32%) walks away from a brand they love after just ONE lousy experience. Customer-centric marketing assists companies in retaining consumers and boosting customer lifetime value by offering tailored experiences and fostering long-term relationships, in this way minimizing bad experiences and clients’ loss
- Higher return on investment.
A recent McKinsey study found that companies with customer-centric marketing and sales platforms improve marketing return on investment by 15-20% and more. Businesses cut down on waste and boost marketing return on investment by focusing their marketing strategies on certain client segments, according to data.
- Increases customer loyalty.
According to Segment research, 44% of shoppers become repeat buyers after personalized experiences. On the other hand, 71% percent of shoppers, on average, express some level of frustration when their experience is impersonal. Based on this data, obviously, customers are more inclined to stay loyal to a business when they feel appreciated and that their demands are being satisfied.
- Supports products or service development.
According to Deloitte & Touche’s research, businesses that put their customers first are 60% more profitable than those that don’t, because it increases sales and ensures profit.
Customer-centric marketing helps businesses build long-lasting relationships with ideal customers, increase their satisfaction and loyalty, and based on it, create a positive reputation and drive business growth.
How do you create a customer-centric marketing strategy?
Customer-centric marketing strategy starts from customer understanding and goes through all customer journey stages creating real value, and positive experiences, turning customers into loyal ambassadors.
Let’s look closely at how to create a successful customer-centric marketing strategy:
- Learn about your customers through data. Data will provide insights about customers and will help to understand what drives them to interact with the company or brand. Very important to analyze different types of data, such as:
- Demographic data that includes information such as age, gender, location, income, and education level. This information can help understand the characteristics of the target audience and tailor the message accordingly.
- Behavioral data that includes information on how customers interact with a brand. It can be purchase history, browsing behavior, and engagement with marketing campaigns. This data will help to understand what customers are interested in and what motivates them to take action.
- Psychographic data that includes information on customers’ attitudes, values, pain points, the problems or challenges that your customers face, and lifestyle preferences. This data can help understand what drives customers’ decisions and how to tailor messaging to resonate with them.
- Competitive data that includes information on competitors’ marketing strategies, products, and services. This data can help understand how to differentiate the brand and provide unique value to customers.
- Customer feedback. This includes feedback from surveys, customer reviews, social media comments, and other sources. This data can help understand customers’ pain points and areas for improvement, as well as what customers love about the brand. Carefully listen to customer feedback and use it to improve marketing strategy, products, and services continually.
- Market research data. Collect and analyze information about the situation in the market, consumer preferences, and purchasing patterns.
By collecting and analyzing these data, it’s possible to gain a comprehensive understanding of customers and create personalized marketing experiences.
- Define customer personas, journey, and touchpoints. Based on a customer-centric approach very important to create customer personas that represent the target audience in a personal way.
Deeply understanding personas will help to identify all touchpoints and to react in time in every stage so that potential customers would be led smoothly through all customer journey steps from awareness to purchase and beyond. Creating personas is crucial to creating a more effective sales funnel. You can efficiently manage your sales funnel with this list of tools by Attrock to deliver a more positive customer experience.
- Implement personalization. Very important to send customers personalized messages, offers, content, and recommendations based on their preferences, behaviors, or previous actions. For personalized content creation there are different tools and software you can use, such as a website visitor tracking and e-mail marketing platforms.
- Create a customer-centric value proposition. By understanding customers’ needs and crafting a value proposition that speaks directly to them, it’s possible to create a compelling reason to choose your brand or company over your competitors.
The customer-centric value proposition is centered around the customer’s needs and pain points, and it emphasizes how the company’s products or services can help the customer achieve their goals or solve their problems.
- Focus on employees. Focusing on employees is critical to building a customer-centric marketing strategy. Employees are the workforce that interacts directly with customers, influences interactions, and is the face of the company.
At first, hiring employees pay attention to personal traits because some of them can be not aligned with the company’s customer-centric approach.
Additionally, extremely important are employees’ soft skills and their improvement in the company. Soft skills help to create closer relationships and positive experiences for customers. As we talked about above, customer experiences are the top priority in companies focusing on customer-centric.
No less important it is to remember to encourage and reward employees who pay attention to customer needs and fill their expectations. Appreciated and satisfied employees spread positive information about the company and influence customer loyalty.
- Monitor and improve. By monitoring, businesses can gain valuable insights into what their customers want and what they like or dislike. Moreover, monitoring helps companies identify potential problems and address them proactively. Improving and optimizing strategies on time helps to avoid customer dissatisfaction or exiting.
These steps help create a customer-centric marketing strategy that is tailored to the target audience‘s needs according to data and focuses on customer experiences creating satisfaction.
How do you create a customer-centric marketing funnel?
The customer-centric marketing funnel is a frame that fills traditional funnel stages: awareness, interest, consideration, conversion, loyalty, and advocacy with content and support where the customer needs are at the center.
Customer-centric marketing funnel has differences from a traditional marketing funnel. So it is very important, when creating a customer-centric funnel model, not to forget to incorporate the content which would be oriented to customers’ needs into every stage.
Let’s analyze deeper every customer-centric funnel stage more:
- Awareness. The objective is to reach your target audience and present your brand to potential customers who don’t know about the company. The first impression is crucial, so very important to attract customers’ attention by offering real value directed to their needs and preferences. The customers have to feel that message is addressed to their pain points solutions.
- Interest. At this stage, your potential clients are interested in learning more about what you offer. You have to analyze your target audience’s needs and provide them with accurate information on how exactly your products or services can help to solve their problems and what expectations your company can fulfill.
The key is to create high-quality, engaging, and informative content that provides value to your potential clients and answers questions.You can use a variety of channels to deliver this content, such as social media, blogs, E-books, email marketing, webinars, podcasts or shortcode texting (or other methods of SMS marketing)
- Consideration. This stage is a crucial part of the customer-centric funnel where potential clients are evaluating whether your products or services are a good fit for their needs and really solve their problems. At this stage, very important is personalization because it helps to create closer relationships with customers using targeted messaging that resonates with them directly.
- Conversion. In this stage, your target audience is ready to make a purchase. The clients expect that the purchasing process will be easy and successful. Your company goal is to ensure it.
If clients still face any problems, provide them with multiple channels for support immediately and on time. After conversion, don’t forget to take care of the post-purchase experience.
- Loyalty. Satisfied customers tend to repeat buying process. Clients like to feel stable and keep relationships with companies that carry their needs and solve problems. Loyalty programs for long-term customers are a great way to show gratitude, and that loyalty is noticed and important for the company.
- Advocacy. Clients love to feel a part of the companies that create a close relationship with them and fulfill all expectations. Involve clients in the company process and empower them to share positive experiences with others. The advocates of the company bring new customers who are more tented to trust the company because have recommendations from other customers.
Continuously monitor and optimize your customer-centric marketing funnel using data and feedback to increase customer satisfaction. Satisfied clients promote the company and bring in new clients cost-effectively.
What are customer-centric examples?
Successful examples encourage more companies to pay attention to customers’ experiences. A new attitude gains momentum that improving customer experience is not an expense, but an investment.
Let’s dive deeper and analyze 5 examples of successful businesses using customer-centric marketing strategies:
- Netflix is an example of a company that constantly tests and improves the user experience based on customer feedback. Listens to complaints, suggestions, and reviews and uses them to make changes. This helps to stay relevant and meet customers evolving needs of it.
Customers prefer original content, such as TV shows or movies that are not shown elsewhere. Netflix noticed that from clients’ feedback and created their own content offering a diverse range that caters to different interests.
Accessibility of the platform, easy use, and help on time are the top priorities in customers’ experience. By trying to fulfill all expectations and making the customer experience enjoyable as possible, Netflix created a platform that is user-friendly, easy to navigate, intuitive, supports multiple languages, and is consistent across different devices.
Netflix is known for its excellent customer service and 24/7 support. It is easy to find contacts and get in touch. Knowing that customers like to solve issues immediately, the company created the self-help center with FAQs, troubleshooting guides, and other supporting resources.
After hearing feedback that customers do not all the time have the possibility to access the internet, Netflix created a new technology that allows subscribers to download content and watch offline.
Overall, Netflix’s customer-centric marketing strategy helps to build a loyal customer base and become one of the most popular streaming services in the world, providing clients with a unique viewing experience.
- Everlane is a clothing company using customer-centric marketing strategies based on a strong emphasis on transparency and ethical principles in its supply chain.
Everlane provides customers with detailed information on the company’s production processes and pricing. The company uses a transparent pricing model that shows customers exactly how much it costs to make each product and how much profit the company makes. This allows customers to feel confident that they are supporting a company that is committed to ethical practices.
Using feedback information about company services, Everlane builds trust and loyalty with its customers providing them with an easily reachable support team and a 30-day return policy giving them a chance to change their minds.
Everlane hears the customers. For this reason, the company submits ambitious impact reports with detailed information about company commitments and declares that its mission is to clean up a dirty fashion business because knows that sustainability and ecology are important for customers.
For the same reason, Everlane is committed to the community and supports charitable causes. The company has launched several philanthropic initiatives, such as ReNew program, which recycles plastic bottles into clothing.
Customers more and more keep attention looking for environmentally conscious brands, and Everlane provides them with high-quality, durable products making a positive impact on the world.
- Warby Parker is an eyewear company that offers affordable, stylish, and a variety of frames glasses, and sunglasses.
Moreover, the company offers a try-on at-home program that allows customers to try on up to five frames before making a purchase and give a one-year, no-questions return policy. This system solved the customer’s problems of choosing the wrong glasses, improved the online shopping experience, and rise clients’ trust.
Warby Parker removes the barriers by cutting out middlemen and selling directly to customers. For this reason, eyewear is accessible to a wider range of customers because the price is affordable.
Knowing the values of customer social responsibility, Warby Parker invites its customers to participate in its “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program, which has distributed over 10 million pairs of glasses to those in need but who don’t have access to them.
The company is also dedicated to reducing its environmental impact by using eco-friendly materials and packaging, including recycled materials for its eyeglass cases because understands customers’ need to be more sustainable and ecological.
Overall, Warby Parker’s commitment to affordability, sustainability, philanthropy, diversity, and inclusion has helped to establish it as a successful company in the eyewear industry.
- Bombas is a sock company that focuses on providing high-quality, comfortable socks to its customers.
The feedback helped Bombas focus on function as well and create products according to the clients’ preferences. The company started to develop specialized socks for different activities and occasions, such as running, hiking, dress socks, and others.
Additionally, the company tries to entertain clients so that the shopping process would be fun. Clients can use the socks finder quiz. They just need to answer a few questions, and according to preferences they get socks offers.
The company’s customer-centric marketing includes a “Happiness Guarantee” that allows customers to return their socks for any reason. Bombas also places a strong emphasis on providing excellent customer service which helps to reduce the barriers to purchasing.
By consistently putting customers first, Bombas knows that a loyal client base is passionate not only about products but about social missions too. The company includes customers in partnership programs for social responsibility.
They donate a pair of socks to a homeless shelter for every pair of socks purchased. The “Sock Donation” program reflects the values of the company and its customers and attracts new clients with a similar attitude.
- Harry’s is a men’s grooming company that offers affordable, high-quality razors and grooming products.
The company’s customer-centric approach includes a subscription service that delivers products directly to customers’ doors, as well as a 100% satisfaction guarantee that allows customers to return products for any reason. This guarantee helps to reduce the barriers to purchasing its products and trusting the company.
On the other hand, by closely communicating with clients, Harry’s company knows that their customers support social responsibility, and one of the loyalty reasons is that the company, every year, set aside 1% of sales to support the social missions to bring quality mental healthcare to men. Clients are satisfied knowing that they can contribute to the noble goal while buying products.
Netflix, Everline, Harry’s, Bombas, and Warby Parker are examples of companies that have embraced a customer-centric marketing strategy and have seen success as a result. By focusing on the needs of the customer, these companies built loyal relationships with their clients ensuring businesses thrive.
The main 7 characteristics of customer-centric are:
- Data-driven. Companies rely on data and analytics to gain insights into their customers’ behaviors and preferences. They use this information to optimize customer-centric marketing strategies and personalize the customer experience.
- Personalization. The companies offer personalized and tailored content and experience to customers based on their individual preferences and needs.
- Transparency. Customer-centric companies are transparent about their business policies. They communicate openly with their customers and provide accurate information about their products and services. The companies build trust through honesty and delivering on promises.
- Convenience. Customer-centric companies make it easy for customers to interact with businesses, get information, and make the purchasing process the most efficient. Very important to provide clients with excellent seamless service.
- Value delivery. These companies understand customers’ needs, behaviors, and pain points and use this information to create products, services, and experiences that meet customers’ expectations. Very important to create value that meets their needs and exceeds their expectations.
- Engagement. Customer-centric companies engage with their customers, listen to customers’ feedback and seek out opportunities to build long-lasting relationships.
- Social responsibility. Customers are proud of themself when they help others, and for this reason, willingly including in social missions. Social responsibility helps clients to feel satisfied and the companies gain loyal customers. By having support from clients socially responsible companies can develop missions.
Incorporating these 7 characteristics: data-driven, personalization, transparency, convenience, value delivering, engagement, and social responsibility into the company’s processes, develops customer-centric marketing, for sure creating more satisfaction for clients.
The customer-centric approach is like two sides way – if the company creates value for customers, the customers get back value to companies.
Just need to remember that customer-centric marketing is a long-term business strategy, but no doubt that ongoing efforts will help your business thrive.