Today’s consumers are more intelligent than ever and can no longer be marketed to in a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Social media and the digital world has returned the power of persuasion to savvy consumers and prolific online users who search for what they want rather than waiting for it to find them. For marketers, Internet access and mobiles present a remarkable opportunity to have first-hand access to what customers are saying, sharing, and spending their time.
Customer-centric marketing is about embracing that consumers dictate how they want to be marketed to. It’s about placing your consumer at the centre of all communication and decision making. In a way, it’s a return to caring for your customers as individuals rather than a mass level, as they can no longer be marketed to but rather with. Customer-centric marketing can truly maximise the value of every customer relationship by understanding different consumers’ behaviours.
Here are 5 new ways to approach customer-centric marketing:
Create Non-Advertorial Content
A way to catch the attention of a non-traditional audience is to create non-advertorial content like a modern-day guide, infographic, helpful listicle or inspiring video. The average consumer (like yourself) knows the difference between genuine editorial and paid advertising. So understand what content your customers are being served by competitors, and deliver content that speaks directly with their interests and needs. By getting to know them you can start a conversation that will keep them engaged and coming back for more.
Speak With Generation Z
Marketing now is all about the consumer’s experience. About evoking a feeling like an ‘aww’ flutter of the heart, a fist-pump ‘heck yes’ or an empathetic ‘I hear you’. Generation Z are the most emotionally connected to the online world as they have only known life with the internet. They are the first true breed of digital natives, and an important consumer segment to test and experiment the effectiveness of customer-centric marketing ideas.
The Rise of Micro-Influencers
‘Micro-influencers’ are the so called early adopters and influential people with your social connections in a particular field, like food or music. They are considered industry leaders amongst peers and experts to the public. In the customer-centric marketing approach, micro-influencers are an avenue to launch new products, company announcements and service upgrades. As Mary Meeker of KCPB reports “We don’t trust official spokespeople anymore. In this age of online narcissism, we are most willing to trust people just like ourselves.” Getting micro-influencers on side with your brand gives them first-hand access into a product/service they love, while giving you insights into how your model consumer operates.
Content Shareability Is King
Creating and sharing across not one but a variety of formats gives your audience more opportunities to engage with your brand in their preferred way, not yours. Consumer-centric marketing means embracing that we all are grabbed by different mediums, so repurposing your content across multiple channels increases your “shareability” which is the ultimate goal for a news piece or story.
Community As Word-of-Mouth Marketing
At the centre of being human is the need for community. Customer-centric marketing can use this advantageously by cultivating online interaction and creating offline events. It’s where the magic of brand happens as your community have the loudest voices and meaningful experience can inspire loyalty and word of mouth buzz. Champion your advocates by crafting online and offline experiences that create emotional connections that make them feel a part of a culture, not just a brand.
All in all, the customer-centric marketing approach means having deep knowledge of the individual consumer and knowing how to speak to them in the right tone, with the right message, on the right channel at the right time. As a marketer, make your customer’s experience a priority if you want to remain top of mind, memorable and favourable in the eyes of your ideal consumer.