Just as I think, boy it would be great to be able to switch between reading a book on my tablet and(listening to it), Amazon in onto it. They have come up with another added value to buying my books with them. The flexibility to consume books the way I want. They are continually evolving their business to ensure they meet the needs of their customers. With the objective to be the most customer centric company in the world they are doing an awesome job.To learn more about how to keep ahead of your customer needs listen to my podcast with Bruce Kanoff author of Smart Customers, Stupid Customers.
Today I had a conference call with a prospect who was looking at running a campaign. It was clear that the campaign was relying on a lot of external factors and was not in his core competency or something he felt comfortable doing. This is a common scenario for SMBs as lead generation becomes more of a marketing skill set and less sales. Making decisions about what work to take on or what lead generation campaigns to run always come back to two key questions:
1. What are we really good at?
2. What is our vision for this business?
If it doesn’t tick both of these core questions then it is best to walk away, no run!
Don’t get me wrong I am all about Audacious but always ask the question:
Why am I doing this? We sometimes get so caught up in the doing that we forget to check-in and see if it is the best use of our time and resources. If you need to outsource it and it still ticks all the boxes as an activity that is worth the effort then great.
When you have a well defined purpose and a well defined set of values or business principles it makes big and every day decisions easier. It gives you a filter. Bernadette Jiwa from TheStorytelling.com has a great download 20-questions-to-ask-yourself-before-launching-an-idea. Most of these questions can be applied to any marketing or business decision.
Having a compelling value proposition is step 1 in your marketing strategy. The guys who wrote The Business Model Generation have a book that is built around designing your value proposition. This is an awesome resource and asks those questions to ensure your value proposition hits home with your ideal customers.
The Pedowitz Group talk about marketing evolution in a few different stages. While I agree with the first three stages I have a different take on the last stage of the evolution. While we are all looking for a predictable, scalable and repeatable systematic approach to marketing, being marketing centric is more important to achieve the revenue and growth.
Traditional marketing the Pedowitz group describes as characterised by the 4 P’s – Product, Promotion, Placement and Price. It is still how marketing is taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels and is a key element of all marketing groups.
Lead Generation marketing is characterised by marketing that providing leads to sales through outbound email campaigns powered by an email system (an ESP). The leads are raw, not fully developed, but do have a pulse. Metrics tracked include # of emails sent, open rate, click-through rate, # of form submits, # of leads to sales, etc.
They define Demand Generation as the joint activities of both sales and marketing to do two things:
1. Put high quality leads into the top of the funnel
2. Pull opportunities through the funnel faster.
The last stage Revenue Marketing stage as the previous two stage and the revenue generated and attributed to marketing is now REPEATABLE, PREDICTABLE AND SUSTAINABLE.
My take is Customer Centric Marketing is the final stage and that will give rise to marketing revenue. That is it is centred around your ideal customers and creating marketing that is useful, helpful and engaging so that customer and your employees want to engage with you. Making your marketing too automated doesn’t allow for that spontaneous interaction with customers. That opportunity to innovate and create the sort of experience that is based on understanding your customers intimately. Obviously this is harder the larger the organisations but small companies can achieve this especially if they narrow their focus on their ideal customers and prospects and follow the 80/20 rule.
It is often when we are in holiday mode that we get the chance to look at everyday activities and interactions with an open mind. I love the chance to slow down but even with the change of pace I still can’t help keeping an eye out for marketing ideas.
The biggest point of difference going forward for all businesses is the customer experience and being able to show your value, show that you know your audience and deliver some special insights that delight them. Learn more here re predictions for 2015.
While I was having a cup of tea these holidays I came across this tea bag. Each one had a different saying on the tea bag ticket. What a clever and simple way to show that Tetley actually understood that having a cuppa is a moment in time, an experience that we want to escape, reset and enjoy, not just a beverage. Every product and service can use this customer insight to create those moments that matter, that set them apart from others.
We have been staying in a holiday cottage by the sea and the owners have gone to great lengths to think of those creature comforts that make the memories we share here special. Little things like a selection of CDs, magazines, hot water bottles, dominos, extra cushions and blankets, tea and coffee and condiments. They have even developed a little guide for activities and how to get down the the water via a track only known to residents.
Gartner has found that for most brands, 80% of your future income will come from your existing customer base. This is why the most brilliant marketers focus their efforts on customer satisfaction strategies.
How do you show your customers that you understand them and create moments that matter? Love to know?