By Elizabeth Marriott - 14th February 2019
As it’s Valentine’s Day, we figure it’s the perfect time to talk to you about Customer Obsession. How has it come about? And why are we now using it as our agency philosophy to help our clients build love from their customers?
If we roll the clocks back a few years, many businesses were focussed on trying to have a relationship with their customers and the term customer relationship management, or CRM became prominent. But, as an approach, it was flawed. It relied on a huge assumption that customers or potential customers actually want a relationship with you. Many simply don’t and the systems and technology created to manage these relationships offered little in the way of value for them and, instead, focussed more on monitoring their actions.
More recently, the term and practice of ‘customer experience’ (or CX) has been the focus of many marketers. This term avoids the assumptive relationship side of things and instead focusses on how a customer feels when interacting with anything that a company trying to sell to them has created. Be that a piece of content, a website, a physical interaction or their journey through a sales process. But CX often fails to deliver the level of personalisation that different buyers with different wants, levels of knowledge, and personal information needs actually require. Many CX programmes simply take a one-size-fits-all approach.
Being Customer Obsessed means putting your customers at the centre of everything you do, ensuring every message is personally relevant. At the time it’s received.
Customer Obsession is becoming the new term and the battleground for businesses to differentiate themselves and demonstrate to the buyers of their products and services that they really understand them, personally. The information they seek has been tailored towards them already because the company understands what the buyer needs to know. The experience that the buyer has with the selling brand is unique to them, because the company has taken the time to research how to talk to them. And the messages that we provide to these buyers are on the channels that we know they want to find information on.
This is what being Customer Obsessed is all about. Putting the customer at the centre of everything the company does and being aligned across everything the company does to make sure their experience is personal to them.
To ensure a potential customer of a product or service experiences a consistent set of messages, brand identity, look, feel and tone, across all places they chose to consume this message, marketers created ‘integrated marketing’. And for years this has become the default approach for how to run good marketing that avoids confusion and mixed messages for your audience. The problem that exists of course, is that most companies don’t stick to an integrated approach and different teams, departments, and often international stakeholders create marketing output that is totally inconsistent and then adds it to channels where buyers consume. Messages become very confused.
The word ‘unified’ translates as ‘one connected experience’. It’s focussed on making sure that the customer has a single experience of a brand and it puts the customer at the heart of the matter. It’s a philosophy that doesn’t just touch marketing. It needs to reach across the whole organisation. Unified Marketing can unify all departments and functions around a common understanding of the customer, their informational needs and where and how they look for it. With strategies aligned from the start.
Customer Obsessed, Unified Marketing is what we stand for. It’s not always easy to apply and, with larger organisations, there are further challenges around how you approach this philosophy. But it still needs to be a focus and we can help you implement it.
So, if you’re looking to build lasting relationships with your customers, you need to be thinking about Customer Obsession.