Focus on Customer-centric Marketing
When it comes to customer-centric marketing, it doesn’t just boil down to how much you know about your customers. How you use that information is what really matters.
Customers say it’s extremely important for companies to treat them like people, not numbers, to build trust. And 71 percent of B2C customers expect companies to be well-informed about their personal information during service transactions. Therefore, it’s clear customers want brands to focus on them as it is a critical component in deciding what products and services to buy in the future.
But the benefits of having a customer-centric marketing focus go beyond just the customers. One survey of 4,600 businesses found that 73 percent found a direct link between their customer service experience and business performance. And 60 percent said it improves customer retention.
Our recent attitudinal research study shows that a customer-centric focus leads to better marketing outcomes. With many business marketers facing challenges, from skill gaps in-house to staff turnover, it’s essential to have strategies to reach your customers.
Putting Customers First
Our research revealed three types of marketers with differing perspectives and approaches to marketing: Accomplished Marketers, Anxious Strugglers and Strategy Believers.
Accomplished Marketers say their organizations make marketing a top priority. They have in-house experts leading marketing efforts and feel confident in their ability to get results. In addition, these respondents say their organizations are good at thinking outside the box and trying new marketing approaches.
Anxious Strugglers say their organizations need a better marketing strategy and worry about their ability to succeed, especially with changing economic conditions. They have many staffing concerns, especially around retention and finding experts to join the team. Therefore, they believe their organizations would benefit from an outside marketing perspective.
Strategy Believers prioritize marketing strategy, especially to differentiate themselves from competitors. Before they develop any content, they have a marketing strategy in place. Carefully managing their brand’s identity helps them successfully differentiate themselves from competitors.
Out of these three segments, which do you think does the best job with customer-centric marketing?
Our research shows Accomplished Marketers are far more likely to say they’re very successful at customer acquisition and retention. They give their organizations much higher ratings than other segments for reaching, engaging, converting and retaining ideal prospects.
Compared to Accomplished Marketers, Anxious Strugglers and Strategy Believers feel their organizations are very good or excellent at customer-centric marketing approaches only half the time. Accomplished Marketers are also better at understanding the needs of their ideal customers, and they’re more likely to believe in differentiating themselves from competitors.
Differences resonating with a particular audience don’t have anything to do with agency size or revenue. The key to customer-centric marketing is having a niche. This allows you to define which audience you’re serving to craft more compelling marketing messages.
Focusing on Customers With a Narrow Niche
66 percent of business marketers rank understanding their target audience as essential when working with an agency. It makes sense because most marketing functions fall flat without knowing who you want to reach and how to reach them. We believe the most cost-effective and efficient way to understand your audience is to have a narrow niche.
As we discussed in our previous blog, there’s a gap between the percentage of business marketers that believe in differentiation and those who believe in a niche. We found that Accomplished Marketers are more likely than Strategy Believers to believe in a niche and adapt their marketing to that niche.
Niching is the key to marketing success and it also helps you differentiate effectively. When you identify a specific audience for your niche, work hard to understand their needs and determine why your company is the best to meet them. Here are more benefits to niching down:
- You can more easily identify your competitors.
- You can identify the points of differentiation that will resonate with that particular audience.
- You can move prospects through the funnel more quickly and with fewer touchpoints required to convert them.
- You can save money and increase your bottom line.
Niche Down to Improve Your Bottom Line
Having a niche can help marketers reach their organizations’ high standards. We found that one in three marketers are evaluated based on the degree of spending below budget. Niching down is a way to relieve that budget pressure, convert prospects, and generate a return on investment on marketing spend.
Additionally, 42 percent of marketers say their organization has lost marketing staff in the last six months. High turnover can further complicate the question, “Do in-house marketing teams have the expertise to do the job?” If niching down is new to your organization, you might have more questions than answers.
Many marketing professionals say their organizations use or would benefit from hiring an external agency to help them market successfully. Still, many are underutilizing this resource by using them only as a stop-gap measure for project execution.
To combat this, we recommend hiring an outside agency to level up your marketing strategy and connect marketing initiatives to business outcomes. An outside agency can give your team deep industry and audience expertise to help identify, occupy, and refine your niche. Most importantly, an outside agency can tell you what’s worth your time and money and what isn’t, making it easier to deliver results on or under budget.
An outside perspective is essential for zooming out and seeing your audience more clearly. It’s also a way to account for skills gaps within your team. Once you’re partnered with an agency that matches your job description, their expertise can upskill, reskill, and grow your internal team. You may say you can’t afford to work with an agency. The fact is, you can’t afford not to.
An integrated ESOP agency can help you understand how to differentiate yourself from the competition. This customer-centric marketing focus is the key to success.
At Avocet Communications, we provide these skills for clients in multiple industries. We have the tools, processes, and know-how to create and right-fit a plan for you. It’s never a one-size-fits-all approach. We educate ourselves by deeply immersing ourselves in a client’s industry to understand the market better. From there, we bring all of that knowledge and perspective to the strategies we create.
To learn more about each segments’ behaviors and the opportunities they present, check out our entire executive summary and webinars. And to further ignite your own marketing strategy, check out our podcast.