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Customer-centricity is about using customer insight to steer Marketing decisions. A number of years ago, Deloitte and Touche conducted an important study on the financial merits of being customer centric. The study found that customer-centric companies were

  1. 60%  more profitable
  2. 2X as likely to exceed return-on-shareholder equity and
  3. Twice as likely to exceed goals for pre-tax returns on assets, sales growth and market share compared to their less customer-centric counterparts.

The term customer-centric and the phrase customer-centric Marketing are frequently used.  What do these mean? At it’s most basic definition it means putting the customer at the center.  We like the idea that customer-centric means connecting each function within your organization to specific business outcomes that create customer value.  So while customer-centric affects every aspect of your organization, since creating value is Marketing’s fundamental mission, this work fall’s withing Marketing’s domain.

Four Best Practices to Being a More Customer-Centric Marketing Organization

Make Customer-Centricity More Than a Talking Point

Four Best Customer-Centric Practices You Can Emulate

How do you make customer-centric be more than a talking point? From our work we have identified four best practices among customer-centric organizations that are also reflected in the both the running and doing of the Marketing function.

  1. Passion. Customer-centricity isn’t a passive undertaking. Successful companies are passionate about customer centricity and believe customer centricity is key to their success. A Precima study found that 87% of high performing retailers consider consumer centricity as a top three factor to success; just 60% of average-performing retailers feel the same. And no less than 80% of high-performing manufacturers say they expect to increase emphasis on consumer centricity; 65% of average-performing manufacturers say the same. These organizations look at the world through the eyes of the customer and understand what they want, what they expect, and what they want to be able to count on as a corporate imperative.
    Action Step: Employ a methodology for capturing customer insights and sharing this data across the organization.
  2. Reverse the value chain.  To deliver what customers truly value these companies reverse the value. The customer not the product or service is their starting point. They then use the insights as catalysts for developing products/services and selecting channels.
    Action Step: Start with the recognition of customers’ needs, wants and priorities.
  3. Mutual benefit.  These companies focus on creating a mutually-beneficial relationship that is designed to maximize the customers’ product and service experiences. Action Step: Map Your Customer Experience. 
  4. Aim for loyalty. These companies analyze, plan and implement carefully formulated programs that create a state of purchase readiness and focus on creating and keeping profitable and loyal customers.
    Action Step:
    Be smart about your segmentation so you can focus on customers you want for the long haul. 

Implementing these four practices is not an easy task. It requires a process and tools for capturing customer insights and converting these into a strategy. Otherwise customer-centric will remain a buzzword.

For many companies being customer-centric will require organizational change. Key to the process will be stronger collaboration between the Marketing, Product, Service and Sales teams in order to ensure the right products are available at the right price in the right channel. Let’s turn your customer-centricity into something more than talk

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