According to the Chinese Zodiac, this is the year of the Goat… Which is great… I guess… But more to the point – I think that this is the year of the customer! As I mentioned in a related post earlier this week; organisations are going to have to start thinking more about how their customer strategy comes to life; and not playing with silos of marketing strategy.
I am not saying that your customers are goats… Well, to some of you I might be saying that. What I am saying is that organisations need to reignite and refocus their attention on their customers and their customers needs and wants. As a South African consumer I am personally very aggrieved by corporations pushing their very profit driven agendas ahead of my experience as a consumer.
There is another LinkedIn article entitled: Going Nowhere……. Slowly; that captures the above systematic abuse that consumers have to put up (at least from a government process point of view) with rather well.
While I have said this many times in the past; I believe that the role of the CMO or indeed the marketing manager and the marketing agency is changing at a rapid rate of knots. Driving this change is the same dynamic that the CIO has to deal with: technology. Technology has become so pervasive and so entrenched in our daily livest that we actually forget it is there!
It is up to us to make sure that we are not lost in the humdrum of using technology for technology’s sake. The same old rules apply. Does your audience need this? Does your audience wants this? If the answers are no to either of these questions then what’s the point?! This argument has had many forms; most notably was that of having a smart phone app when you were marketing to LSM 3 – 4.
With this in mind agencies and marketers need to be fundamentally clear about how their use of collateral and technology fits into their customer strategy. Blending all of this together is no easy feat and it requires a sound and in-depth knowledge of who your customers are and what they want.
This ethos is not a new one. It is not a ground breaking fundamentally different train of thought; but it is one that is seldom adhered to. When campaigns fail; a lot of the time the primary reason for their failure is a misalignment between what the customer needs and wants and the company’s strategy.
As is usually the case; where a problem manifests itself, so does a solution. As much as technology can cause headaches and problems; it can also solve them. There are many techniques and tools out there that can help you understand your particular audience needs and wants so that you can be sure your customer strategy is tracking against your profit requirements.
There is customer data all around us and this is so often underestimated or in fact forgotten. This data is the lifeblood of making educated customer decisions. Collect; analyse and challenge this data to understand exactly what your customer wants and needs and then maneuver accordingly.
If you do nothing else this year – invest in some form of customer data driven marketing initiative and thank me later!