With each passing year, the number of brands competing to seize the consumers’ attention is growing. And the task has never been harder.
As the notion of individuality assumes a more pivotal role, one-size-fits-all marketing approaches no longer work. They are falling behind in favor of strategies that place the individual customer at the heart of marketing.
Restructuring and refocusing one’s marketing strategy is no easy feat, but it is a necessity for businesses who wish to stay ahead in the race.
The following five steps will guide you through the process of narrowing your business focus and adopting a customer-centric approach:
1. Learn why customer-centric marketing is important
A customer-centric marketing approach recognizes that customers cannot be perceived as a uniform group – simply because they are not a uniform group. Each customer is different, with different preferences and purchase behavior. But customer-centric approach also goes beyond that and acknowledges that the majority of customers a business interacts with are never going to make a purchase. So why bother with them?
Customer-centric marketing sets out to find those perfect customers who bring real value to your business. They are the core. They are the ones who will keep coming back. They are the ones who will spread the word. They are the ones that a business should literally cater to. Finding more like them and focusing marketing efforts on them is the key to long-term business success.
2. Get to know your customers
The next step in creating a successful customer-centric marketing strategy is gaining a really deep understanding of your high-value customers. This process is different for startups and established businesses.
Related Article: What Your Customers Say About Your Brand Really Matters
Businesses that are already operating need to know the attributes of customers who are making purchases from them. They include customers’ product preferences, demographics, their stage in the customer lifecycle, how they respond to different forms of marketing, which marketing channels they come through and more.
Established businesses can aggregate this data from records, software, and other sources and then process it with a data analysis software.
New businesses don’t have much data to work with. They can instead target their ideal customer from the beginning. Instead of drilling down to find the ideal customer, they can work out their ideal customer’s profile.
3. Organize and make sense of the data
Now that you’ve embraced the importance of getting to know your customers, let’ see which KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) will tell you what you need to know about the customers.
Note that these are only some of the metrics available, but they do a good job of laying out the realities of the business. From each of them, it’s possible to start developing solutions.
Macro: The big picture KPIs
- Customer lifetime value, CLV. This metric indicates how much time a customer will spend with a business during their relationship with the business.
- Customer equity. This metric is a count of how many new customers are acquired within a specific time frame, multiplied by the aforementioned CLV.
These two metrics can serve as an overhead look at how well the business is doing with customers in general. They show if marketing efforts are working, and if the brand is managing to retain customers.
Micro: The drilldown KPIs
- Lifecycle status distribution. This metric shows where customers are within the customer lifecycle. It also allows businesses to see where customers make it before they fall out of the cycle.
- Early Repeat Rate / Overall Repeat Rate. These metrics show which customers made a repeat transaction within a set time frame.
- Winback rate. These customers went inactive, but returned to make a purchase after a set amount of time.
- Leaky bucket ratio: This is a comparison of customers lost to the customers gained during a set time frame.
4. Figure out where your best customers are coming from
The CLV metric should give a good indication of where the majority of customers are coming from. Casting CLV across individual channels makes it possible to pinpoint which acquisition channels do the most work.
Leveraging the channels that are doing well is important. So is developing strategies for the channels that aren’t doing well. But for customer-centric marketing, the most important thing is finding those channels that contain the most high-value customers.
5. Start experimenting to see what works best
Now that you’ve collected all the data, start testing different approaches. Take small customer segments outside of the more valuable customer base and experiment to see which marketing technique is viable.
Not only is experimentation important, it serves as a metric in and of itself. Through the tests, you can optimize KPIs while developing better, more effective marketing tactics.
Each step of this process requires real thought and real action. It definitely cannot transform a business overnight, but even the smallest changes can bring substantial benefit.
Author: Taylor Moore is a freelance marketing writer interested mainly in small business and retail. You can follow her on Twitter @taylormtweets.