Refocusing on Customer Experiences
It’s time to stop selling the great features and benefits of your product. Stop. Take a look around. Why is this customer interfacing with your marketing materials? What do THEY want to get from it?
Updating your companies focus on the consumer and their needs is called Customer Experience Marketing. Consumers equate brands with experiences, and being customer-centric is all about delivering great experiences.
Customer based marketing puts the customer at the forefront of your marketing strategy and forces you to focus on what your customer wants, not what you want to sell. Structuring brands around customers’ point of view also streamlines the process of producing and selling products they want. There’s been some serious success stories.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos once said “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” Experience and interactions can be good or bad. The customer already has more power and control than ever before.
The old “Funnel” model for marketing had a clear start and end. The beginning was when the consumer saw desire and the end was when a purchase was made. The digital revolution has opened up so many channels and ways to interact it’s clear now there’s no end or beginning to the process, just an endless string of opportunities for experiences. The best brands provide quality experiences throughout the customer’s lifecycle, not just at the time of acquisition and renewal.
Adopting Customer Experience Marketing means refocusing your entire media mix on serving, satisfying and growing your community of customers. Find ways to interact and create good experiences. Use incoming data as high value branding information that can create more good experiences and distill the essence of your own brand.
This shouldn’t be done flippantly. This approach necessitates integration at all levels and buy-in across an organization. For some companies, this could be a radical shift from the old “marketing drives sales” mentality. But placing customers and their needs at the focal point of marketing allows brands to be informed and responsive and produces growing communities of loyal, happy customers. It makes perfect sense. After all, without the customer, where would your company be?