Powering the future of people-centric marketing
Great marketing starts with the customer
Great marketing today starts with the customer. The brand-centric approach of yesterday is quickly being replaced by the customer-driven approach. The customers are dictating the style, quantity, and mediums that marketers must use to reach them and win their business and loyalty.
Customer expectations are changing along with this people-centric evolution. 48% of global consumers expect brands to know them and help them discover new products or services that fit their needs. 57% of global consumers say they are more likely to pay attention to communications that are contextual and intelligent, tailored based on their preferences, tastes, and browsing/shopping history.
The rise of the people-centric marketer
The role of today’s marketer is evolving rapidly along with this people-centric revolution. Marketers are searching for the platforms and services they need to transform their business into one that activates around the customer and empowers people to be responsive to customer needs. This is why 34% of CMOs list “creating sustainable and engaging customer relationships and improving the customer experience” as the top concern that keeps them up at night.
There has been an emphasis and concern over shifting to a high-engagement, people-centric approach. Though Sirius Decisions found that “while 83% of marketers say creating buyer-centric is a priority, only 23% claim to be at an advanced state of this transition.” Why the disconnect? Many marketers are struggling with the first step of shifting to a people-centric approach to marketing. To effectively engage the customer, marketers must understand what each individual customer is experiencing along their path to purchase and develop the right touch points to engage with them along each step.
Understanding and engaging along the customer journey
Understanding the customer journey can be challenging for large and small enterprises alike. At Unicus Interactive, we also made the choice to evolve from our original product-centric mission of realizing “a PC on every desktop and in every home” to a new, more people-centric focus on “ empowering every person & organization to do more, to be more.” To do this, we too had to understand the customer. What we discovered from this study is that there are five key stages of the consumer decision journey:
Open to Possibility– The stage when the consumer is aware of product alternatives on the market and is willing to consider the need to purchase or replenish.
Decision to buy or change – The stage when the consumer gets the trigger from an advertisement, a product age/defect, or the influence of a stakeholder/family member/friend to go ahead and make a change. Here they begin to research new product(s).
Evaluating – This is the maximum enjoyment stage when the consumer is using their worldview to evaluate products based on features and research and will hone in on their brand and product set choices.
Shopping – This is the final in-store browsing and price checking stage where consumers validate their decision and make a purchase. They can be influenced by deals and in-store promotions in this phase.
Experiencing – This is the stage where the consumers use the product and may experience happiness or friction with it over time. They will seek validation from others that they made the right choice.
Each of these stages offers marketers opportunities to engage and connect with their customers. However, reaching out across every stage requires today’s marketer to not only be committed to a people-centric approach but also empowered with the right technology to understand the customers’ needs and respond to them along each stage of this journey.
First, today’s people-centric marketers realize that every customer is unique and they need the data and insights to determine the best approaches to connect with them personally and understand their distinctive needs and desires. By actively collecting and analyzing customer behavior data, along with every step of the journey, marketers can unlock key insights and respond to customers with a personalized approach that brings their unique needs into focus.
Next, today’s rapid pace of innovation requires marketers to not only unlock insights but to also take action on them. To stay competitive marketers are building responsive teams that can react rapidly to information and customer requests. Marketers are increasingly turning to cloud-based productivity services to help them collaborate on key initiatives and streamline their marketing programs.
As marketing undergoes a digital transformation, marketers are innovating with new Digital Marketing Technology platforms and formats that enable companies to scale to meet customers changing needs and connect with customers in new ways. Information is moving to the cloud to help marketers quickly access and take action on key customer initiatives and create campaigns that make an impact. Connecting with customers at the right time on the right devices is critical to winning customer’s attention in today’s increasingly mobile world.
Finally, across every aspect of the marketing value chain, one thing remains a priority: delivering innovative customer experiences. The customer experience is now at the center of the business strategy and marketers are responsible for infusing a customer-centric culture into their organization. To do this, marketers are connecting with customers along every step of the customer journey, collecting and responding to information to deliver unique and personal campaigns that resonate. They are driving the innovative digital and physical campaigns that inspire customers and turn them into loyal brand advocates.