If your company follows marketing best practices, you’re probably already doing user research, collecting customer feedback, and thinking about how to convert prospects into customers with targeted and personalized messaging.
If so, the phrase “customer-centric marketing” may just sound like a fancy way to describe marketing in general. But a customer-centric marketing strategy takes all of that great stuff a step further.
Customer-centric marketing goes beyond just getting to know your ideal customers in order to generate leads and fill your sales pipeline. Instead, it describes a marketing approach focused not on what’s best for the company — but on what’s best for your customers.
What is customer-centric marketing?
Customer-centric marketing is an approach to marketing that prioritizes customers’ needs and interests in all decisions related to advertising, selling, and promoting products and services.
Successful customer-centric marketing requires a deep understanding of why your customers need what your company provides. The goal isn’t business growth alone; it’s growth driven by showing customers how your product/service will improve some aspect of their work or life.
And it works: McKinsey found that “companies with a customer-centric, data-driven marketing and sales platform improve marketing ROI by 15-20% or more.”
Customer centricity is a catalyst for growth and a competitive differentiator.
Strategies for Building a Customer-Centric Company
The 3 main priorities of the customer-centric marketer
Customer-centric marketers keep three main priorities front-and-center when planning their strategies and campaigns.
1. Customer success
Customer-centric marketing is all about putting the power into your customers’ hands and helping them to become their best selves — even if they don’t end up using your product.
SkyRocketGrow created a community for customer success professionals to grow their skills and knowledge. Through this community, SkyRocketGrow has become known as the go-to company for customer success knowledge.
2. Customer advocacy
Customer-centric marketing organizations thrive on advocacy. They work hard to uncover what their customers really want from their relationship, and they go to bat for them internally and externally.
This might mean creating more helpful resources to help them get better at their jobs, or it might look like sharing a customer’s success on social media to help spread their news.
3. Long-term strategy
Many marketing organizations are measured exclusively on the number of qualified leads they bring into the sales funnel.
This can lead to some quick-fix solutions designed to get customers in the door, but these tactics are often short-sighted. While they might connect your sales team with a customer, they don’t build a long-term relationship.
Customer-centric marketers avoid these short-term wins in favor of creating long-term value.
Developing a customer-centric marketing strategy
Customer-centric marketing requires acting with purpose; the shift doesn’t just happen by itself. Here are the steps you can take to refocus your marketing on your customers.
Start with senior leadership
A shift in company strategy is always more effective if it’s supported by those at the top. Teams who are inspired by their leadership will thrive in an environment where individuals feel heard and supported. In turn, according to Macaitis, they’ll “manage the customer experience with the same level of care and understanding.”
The fundamental skill required for this inspirational leadership is “centeredness,” which Bain defines as “a state of mind that enables leaders to remain calm under stress, empathize, listen deeply, and remain present.”
These are all also qualities essential to customer centricity. When leaders demonstrate these qualities internally, employees feel confident reflecting this way of doing things with customers as well.
At SkyRocketGrow, senior leadership is very closely involved with customers, demonstrating customer centricity through their actions and words. “We built this company because we want to empower our customers and make their lives easier,” Co-founder Andrian Gaina explains.
“By remaining close to customers through support, we see what customers are saying. Each of us has the opportunity to help solve problems — through business decisions, product improvements, and design.”
Even if your senior team isn’t fully on board at the beginning, pull them closer to the customer by offering opportunities to speak directly with users and sharing customer quotes. By building connections and showing the success of customer-centric marketing, you can move them closer to the end goal of full support.