The anonymity, breadth and speed of the internet means one bad customer experience can have a snowball effect on your business’ brand and finance. Putting the consumer at the core of all business operations has never been so critical. Customer centricty is far broader than simply providing great customer service.
It involves the creation of a localised culture based purely on customer needs – empowering the consumer through the awareness, purchasing and post-purchase stages. To avoid getting wiped out by the latest digital wave, responsive and connected consumers need to be met with timely and consistent brand efforts across many platforms.
Customer-centric means personalised. Smart-watches, smart-homes, smart-phones, smart-TVs have created stores of unique consumer data, that can be used in data-driven marketing. Consumers now expect that their specific wants and needs to be catered for by businesses. Gone are the days of impersonal email threads, generic banner ads and hoards of junkmail. Instead we anticipate (and welcome) relevant promotions mid Facebook video and sponsored Instagram ads.
Amazon and Zappos are prime examples of brands which’ve spent years applying data analysis to consumer culture. Daunted? Don’t be. Establishing a truly digitally-native culture is actually easier and more accessible for CMOs than you may think. A ‘3D’ blend of prediction, computing and human interpretation; the key to customer-centricity is in the following four-step process:
Step 1: Digital Transformation
Leveraging a mix of digital technologies to maximise and accelerate a business’ societal impact or outreach. A wide range of tools are available to help not only communicate with customers and leads (chat bots, for example), but also understand how they behave and engage with them more effectively while gathering valuable data.
Step 2: Accurate and Real-time Data
Beyond understanding your customers, it’s of the utmost importance to understand where you stand in the market. Whether it’s knowing what your competitors are charging for the same products or what their promotional cycles are, it’s an absolute must that it’s delivered in real-time and accurately to ensure a clear understanding of the competitive landscape so you can maximise opportunities to increase margin and profitability. Your ads may reach the customer effectively, they may even click through to your store, but if the pricing of that product isn’t right or if your competitor has a sale on for that product, you’ll lose this sale and potentially even the customer.
Step 3: Combination and Analysis of Multiple Data Sets
Pooling and streamlining multiple data points such as product pricing, sell-through data and competitor promotional calendars to better understand the sales drivers and, not only win more customers, but offer the customer what he wants when he is ready to buy it. The more data available, the more comprehensive the picture will be, allowing more actionable insights for the business.
Step 4: Recommendations & Pricing Analytics
Understand and use customer habits and preferences to differentiate your business – machine learning anticipates every customer’s need. They expect to be told what to buy next, as their spending patterns are so well understood. One price for all? Pricing analytics now extends to knowing what a customer is prepared to spend (customers will wait for the right price), giving businesses the opportunity to construct individual pricing strategies that maximises customers’ life time value and preserves margin.
Ultimately customer-centricity is about storytelling. By researching & employing the right algorithms available, or partnering with groups that already have this knowledge, businesses can determine how to tell that story so it is received best by the community. The most successful corporate models not only manage finance, target specific niches and employ innovative marketing campaigns – they take time to truly understand the customer and the digital environment that surrounds them.
Do you understand your customers? Can you create a relevant personalised journey for each of them? To stay competitive, these are the two big questions every business must ask to ensure they surf the barrel of our 2018 digital wave.
Make sure you’re staying competitive in the market, maximising margin and efficiently monitoring your competitors prices and promotions with SpotLite. We’ll set up 10 products across 3 websites for you so you can make the most of your 15 day free trial.