Marketing Strategy | 4 minute read
The customer journey to a brand is no longer linear. This is making a marketer’s job more challenging as it is becoming harder to get customers to purchase and to prevent them from getting distracted elsewhere. Considering the more complicated touch-point model, this blog post explores the modern customer and what we, modern marketers, can do to keep up.
Today, consumers have access to brands all 168 hours of the week. However, most marketing departments will operate for approximately 38 hours a week. By no means are we suggesting marketers need to operate on a 24/7 basis and bring camp beds into the office! However, the difference in time highlights why businesses need to stay on top of their game to keep up with ever-changing consumer behaviours.
So, what can we do to get the modern customer’s attention?
The first and foremost rule, is to be customer-centric. Customers today are smart, much smarter than ever before. They’re more educated about products, services, technology, and ethics. Because of this, customers have to be at the centre of your strategy. Focus on their needs and wants and you’re on your way to winning them over.
Customer-centric covers a number of areas. The first step is customer research. You need to understand who your customers are. It might sound basic, but our experience shows this is where many brands go wrong. What do they get up to? Where do they go? What are their pain points? What are their motivations? This information is vital for identifying how you can benefit their lives. Once you understand this, only then will you matter to them.
Your customer research will form the foundation of your strategy. Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a communication strategy that’s growing in popularity, and as modern marketers, we can see why. Taking a high-value account (fruitful customer) and honing in on their needs, wants, and habits, allows you to create a detailed plan that works. Concentrating your efforts on individual accounts means you can also adapt to changing behaviours, as and when they happen.
This brings me on to data. Access to stats to prove how, where, and when customers are connecting with you is pure gold. That’s why we believe performance-based marketing is a concept that should be incorporated into most marketing strategies. The ability to test ideas, content, and messages, and only pay for them when you get it right (for example, when a customer clicks on your advert) is a profitable activity to grasp what activity works, and more importantly, what doesn’t.
Being customer-centric can be clear to implement externally once all of your research is in place. However, we’re noticing that businesses are finding it harder to handle customer-centric strategies from an internal perspective.
As customer journeys become increasingly nonlinear, marketing departments have found themselves in muddy waters when it comes to defining areas they look after. It’s essential to not only identify but to also take ownership of fields that will ensure your customer contact is consistent. This may be difficult if your team doesn’t have the skills. However, overcoming gaps by investing in team members, training existing employees, or outsourcing activity to agencies, will prove profitable in the long run.
Whatever challenges you meet, ensure you are always coming back to your customer. Always ask yourself how an idea, channel, or message will benefit them. Become customer-centric in all that you do, and they’ll find it hard not to notice you.
Author: Kiri Craig, Managing Partner