Customer centric marketing strategy is one of the approaches and strategies wherein the task of any business is to focus on customers and plan accordingly. This strategy uses the long term metrics to understand the behavior of the customers and to see from their point of view. In traditional marketing, marketing occurs during the selling process, where the view of marketing team is to make a product and then sell it. The traditional marketing approach does not take into anything from wants, perceptions, or preferences of a customer to their demographics or buying criteria. Whereas in customer centric marketing approach, a firm focuses on all the above mentioned factors and a proper delivery process.
Building an accurate marketing strategy requires a blend of flexibility and discipline. Companies are redesigning their business models and work flows by building cross-functional teams which need to be responsible for each other. A marketer will be successful when it cultivates customer satisfaction and loyalty by exceeding customer expectations and beating competitors.
Here in customer centric marketing strategy comes in handy and helps to gain long-term loyalty from customers. The marketers can connect with customers – inform, engage and encourage them in the process to gather more involvement. Customer-centered companies are adept at building customer relationships and not just products.
Simply put, customer-centric marketing strategy is a marketing technique which provides additional value to customer.
OTHER POPULAR MARKETING TECHNIQUES & WHAT MAKES THEM DIFFERENT
Product centric marketing deals with creating the best product and is focused on marketing it rather than catering to customer’s needs. Product centric companies define themselves by their products. They are focused on new product development rather than customer relationship management.
They also have a myopic vision of the market where they ignore the changing market conditions in regards to customer behavior. It doesn’t pay much attention to what needs of customers are not being fulfilled.
It involves a single “point of sale” transactions. It is more focused on maximizing the profit through individual sales and not building any relationship with the customer making it much more complex. It focuses on actual sale of the product rather than customer retention.
This is done to drive large number of sales by corporations in order to survive. A firm doesn’t target any market segment and calls out the whole market using single strategy or single offer. Mass marketing focuses on huge volumes of sales rather than the requirements of an individual customer. The main disadvantage of this technique is that its dependence lies on a particular strategy or offer which is subject to change due to market fluctuations.
IMPLEMENTATION OF CUSTOMER CENTRIC MARKETING STRATEGY
Identifying the core competency:
A company is more likely to be successful if it focuses on its core competencies. That would give a company competitive advantage over others. The core competencies are very difficult for the competitors to copy. It is the firm’s own significant trait. It also gives a firm excellence in broader business process. The only thing remaining then is that firm’s core competency would align with a particular set of customer’s needs, wants and interests. It will give a business their brand identity and a structure to target the customer.
Value chain as a tool:
A value chain helps to create more customer value. According to the model, a company has strategically relevant activities to design, produce, market and support its product. These activities create value and cost in a business. The firm has to analyze each value-creating activity and benchmark it against the competitors and find ways to improve it. The company will be successful on the basis of how each department performs and coordinates between one another.
Analyzing growth opportunities:
Assessing growth opportunities means to plan new processes and discard the old ones which are not producing much profit and customer value. Planning a new process will require downsizing the current one and identify the interest and current trends of the customer’s needs and wants.
Organization and organizational culture: Adapting the culture is the key to implementing any strategy. A corporate culture is “the shared experience, stories, beliefs, and norms that characterize an organization.” A customer-centric culture impacts the outlook of the organization in a positive way.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car has its own employees in its “The enterprise way” ad campaign. Company empowers employee to make their own decisions in this culture, to maximize the customer satisfaction.
For customer-centric organization, satisfaction is a marketing tool as well as a sign of approval. The internet allows to spread a word very quickly, and the customers can share their complaints with a particular brand via multiple channels. Thus it becomes all the more crucial for companies to pay special attention to customer satisfaction.
Feedback and control:
The company is more likely to lose its efficiency as the marketing environment keeps on changing. A firm has to quickly respond to the changing environment, otherwise it may succumb to the inertia. A business must understand analyze the changing environment, adjust to the new marketing realities and accordingly adopt new goals and behaviors.
EXAMPLES OF VARIOUS COMPANIES IMPLEMENTING THIS MARKETING STRATEGY
This brand has created its own identity by encouraging the purchasers to join the 325,000-plus member of Harley Owners Group, or HOG. They keep in touch with different riders to know whether they are facing any issues with the bike. This way they ensure that customer’s trust on brand is maintained.
Amazon quickly responds and resolves any grievances of the customers. It provides services from grocery delivery to online streaming thus making lives easier in every area. It also provides the customers with vouchers and free Prime services if anything goes wrong.
Dollar Shave Club
The motto of the company itself says, “We don’t respond to situations; we respond to people”. It focuses mainly on customers by using number of tools to understand the drivers of their customer’s behavior.
It has created a customer focused environment by managing its employee well. Also, it takes back a return at any time after purchase without any set duration and uses the customer feedback to its benefit. It gives various discounts without compromising on the customer experience.
Its model is based on exceeding the consumer’s expectations and building a connection them. It organizes events across the countries to build relationships with them.
BENEFITS OF CUSTOMER CENTRIC MARKETING
Loyalty of a customer is buying the preferred product or service repeatedly despite any situational influence. Customer centric marketing inculcates loyalty in consumers and patronizes them towards their brand. The company’s market offering and the delivery system plays a huge role in delivering distinctive customer value.
Total customer satisfaction:
As customer-centric marketing revolves around delivering high value of products and service, a consumer tends to be more satisfied. Consumers often form favorable perceptions about a product, if the performance matches the expectations the customer is satisfied if it falls short the customer is dissatisfied. The design and delivery of marketing in a customer-centric environment is to match their perception and expectations.
Companies regularly check and analyze the factors that have driven their customers to loyalty and satisfaction and they keep modeling it to a greater improvement. Customer centric environment is shaped around the customer base and it is the greatest long term investment for them.
Product and service quality:
Quality is the conformance to requirements. A customer-centric definition of quality- “It is the features and characteristics that a product or service offers to meet the expectation of the customers and satisfy them. Quality and satisfaction are connected to each other. High levels of quality mean higher levels of satisfaction and that implies more profit for the business.
Maximizing customer lifetime value:
Customer lifetime value is the amount of money that the customers are willing to spend on business over a course of a relationship with the company. More lifetime value is obtained in a customer-centric environment as the company identifies customer’s needs and requirements and makes sure that the expectations have reached the product designers. They also interact with the customers after the sales for their valuable feedback.
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