Any brand in the digital age knows the importance of being there for your users. One popular term for this is consumer-centric marketing. This is a type of marketing approach that puts your customers first in all decisions. Through data, customer feedback, and your own intuition, you can make sure every customer feels heard and understood.
Not only do you need to learn how to see the world through your customer’s point of view, but you have to take advantage of first-hand experience and feedback. It’s easy to assume you know best. It is your brand, after all. Still, your customers know more than you think, and they should be the guiding force behind all brand changes and decisions.
Building trust and long-term loyalty are no longer secondary. In today’s world, this is what makes and breaks businesses. Your customer journey takes many different forms, and not all user touch points look alike. That’s why you need to pay close attention to these consumer-centric marketing strategies.
- Benefits of Consumer-Centric Marketing
- Components of a Consumer-Centric Marketing Strategy
- Top 4 Consumer-Centric Marketing Strategies
- Turn the Focus on Your Customers
Benefits of Consumer-Centric Marketing
With 73% of brand executives agreeing that it’s more profitable to rely on existing clients and customers than new leads, you have to put these users first. Your customers already interact with countless different companies each day, many of which slip under the radar completely. When you stand out, you make a positive impression that turns into a real relationship.
What’s the key to getting your customers’ attention? It all lies in a customer-centric marketing strategy. To make it even more clear, let’s outline the top benefits of consumer-centric marketing.
Improve the customer experience
First, the customer experience is the biggest battleground for brands today. It’s no longer enough to offer an average or even a good experience. You have to be amazing, exceeding your customer’s expectations every time.
Whether this means more meaningful brand touchpoints or following up after interactions, improving the overall customer experience is a win for both you and your customers. When customers are excited to work with you, they’re more likely to tell others as well, referring even more leads.
Lower your marketing costs
Similarly, when your best customers are superfans, they’re invested in your success. Unlike passive consumers, they really want to see your brand shine. This means they’re more likely to refer you to their own circles, leveraging what’s called word-of-mouth marketing.
While you likely already have a marketing budget for things like social ads and print media, your money might be more effectively spent on consumer-centric marketing. With 64% of marketers in agreement that word-of-mouth (aka referral) marketing is the most effective of all, this could save you big bucks in the long run.
Surpass the competition
Another key benefit of consumer-centric marketing is the ability to pass by your competition. No matter your industry, you’re competing with more brands than ever before. The internet and digital tools make the world a smaller place, and your customers are increasingly educated and empowered to shop around.
While it can be intimidating to have so many competitors, this is also a chance to stand out. When you raise the bar with your own customer service, your users take notice. They’ll begin to expect the same level of care, support, and customization from other brands. If they’re not able to keep up, you’ll earn a customer for life. Better yet, customers are willing to pay up to 10% more if they know they’ll receive a great experience.
Future-proof your business
Lastly, customer-centric marketing is one of the best ways to future-proof your business. If there’s one thing brands can learn from the COVID19 pandemic, it’s that you can’t predict the future. Nothing is guaranteed, and things change fast. Those who aren’t afraid to adjust to fit their consumer’s current needs are those who keep up with disruptions.
By prioritizing your customer experience above all else, you’ll continue to exceed your business goals. This is true no matter what the world throws your way. For example, brands who were able to pivot services digitally during the COVID19 pandemic were the ones who truly met customers’ needs, while others fell into the background.
Components of a Consumer-Centric Marketing Strategy
Now that you know why a consumer-centric marketing strategy is so valuable, it’s time to put it into action. The good news is that many of these strategies you likely already use for your business. With a bit of adjusting, you can meet your customers where they already are.
1. Take a full-funnel approach to the customer journey
We’ve talked a lot on this blog already about the importance of understanding your customer journey, but you need to take a step back. When you approach the journey as a series of repeated cycles, it’s a lot easier to learn more about your customers along the way. While it’s easy to get lost in the details, a full-funnel perspective helps you identify gaps in your overall journey.
How can you appeal to customers throughout their journey with your brand? Are there other chances to ask for feedback that you might be missing? Do you have clear calls to action at every touchpoint? When you locate greater opportunities for engagement, you don’t lose customers along the journey.
2. Have a full understanding of your audience
Next, it should go without saying that the right consumer-centric marketing strategy means having a clear understanding of your audience. Not only should you know who your customers are, but you need to push beyond the basic demographics. If you want to craft a marketing experience that appeals to them specifically, you need to understand their needs inside and out.
Not sure how to best understand your audience’s concerns and motives? The answer is simple: ask them yourself. Instead of making assumptions, ask existing customers for information about their experience. Your most engaged customers (aka your superfans) are the best source of information on how to improve.
3. Create value-focused marketing initiatives
Similarly, make sure your customers are at the heart of every marketing interaction. Many brands keep the focus solely on themselves and their goals. While this makes sense from an internal standpoint, it doesn’t resonate with your customers. They want marketing that’s driven by value—especially if it comes with few strings attached.
There are a lot of value-focused marketing initiatives you can use as a part of a consumer-centric marketing strategy. For example:
- Offer a free PDF download guide to an expert topic
- Host a webinar to answer industry questions
- Schedule a free discovery call
- Give a discount to first-time customers
- Engage with customers through interactive live streams and social communications
The goal is to be both fun and engaging while also offering your customers something of value. When they interact with your brand without any pressure to purchase, they build trust. Not only are they more familiar with you and your quality, but they’re more likely to share this experience with others.
4. Continue to optimize the experience
Finally, a consumer-centric marketing strategy is far from one and done. While it might take a bit of setup to get it running at a basic level, it’s not enough to set it and leave it alone. You have to continue measuring your success so you can analyze even more ways to succeed. Data is at the foundation of your marketing, and you don’t want to waste money or resources on things that aren’t profiting you.
By focusing on the customer, you’ll learn quickly. For example, you might recognize that messaging around eco-friendly services is more likely to drive action amongst sustainability-focused shoppers. This is just one of the many learning opportunities, and it can spread into every aspect of your business.
Top 4 Consumer-Centric Marketing Strategies
While these ideas above are well and good, it’s helpful to see some strategies in real-life. Below, we’ll explore the top consumer-centric marketing strategies you can easily implement yourself. We’ll also share examples of companies who are leveraging these strategies to their biggest advantage. Ultimately, they’re a source of inspiration to take your own brand further.
1. Optimize your website usability
If you do nothing else on this list, at least make it a priority to optimize your website’s usability. If your website isn’t easy to use, you’re significantly more likely to turn off potential customers. We can all relate to the experience of browsing a website that’s outdated, clunky, formatted incorrectly, or even spammy-looking. This is one of the fastest ways to lose the trust of your customers.
What does website usability look like in practice? It’s about having an updated, safe online experience that’s easy for users to navigate. If you’re not sure whether your website is usable, try testing it on multiple devices and browsers, especially paying attention to the mobile experience. Ask your customers for feedback to see if there are any ways to improve your existing setup.
A great example of consumer-centric marketing in action online is Airbnb’s website. Intuitively designed to guide you through the booking process, this website is easy for both hosts and guests. Easily explore types of homes based on location, availability, and more on a desktop or any other device. It might sound simple, but it’s how Airbnb continues to land on top in terms of private vacation rentals.
2. Always provide great customer support
Second, customer experience and customer support are two sides of the same puzzle. Without one, you can’t have the other. Unfortunately, many companies today keep customer support on the back burner, instead focusing on attracting new leads. Little do they realize they’re losing the ones they have after a single bad experience!
Instead, make customer support accessible and easy to use. Not only does that mean breaking down customer support silos so all team members know how to provide support, but it also means providing personalized support. Support people where they already are, whether that’s on social media, with a self-service portal, or even online chat.
Wisita is an online video hosting tool that puts customers first, especially when it comes to offering support. They call their support team the Customer Happiness crew, and this term couldn’t be more accurate. With a simple help center designed for quick questions as well as quick response times, they’re the shining example of why customer care should always come first.
3. Create compelling, valuable content
As the saying goes, content is king. You can pay for endless ads on every social media website available, but they’ll never be as effective as compelling, value-driven content. When customers discover your brand through engaging content, this is a positive brand interaction. Even if they’re not ready to make a purchase now, they’ll still be more likely to interact again in the future.
What types of content drive results in consumer-centric marketing?
- High-value blog posts
- Industry reports and white papers
- Video tutorials and creative presentations
- Online courses
The key here is that your brand isn’t always front and center. While it’s important to stay consistent in your messaging and tone, this content isn’t sales-driven. It’s user-driven, meaning it’s a way to engage with users while giving them something of value. When they have a positive experience with this content, they build a real relationship with your brand long-term. That’s always more valuable than a one-off ad click.
No matter your industry, content doesn’t have to be complicated. Just take a look at the outdoor retailer REI. Their blog, Uncommon Path, is a place for outdoor lovers to find inspiration for their next adventures. From learning about the life cycle of an outdoor jacket to the best meals to take hiking, this is an educational chance to connect with users in a valuable-driven way.
4. Ask for regular feedback
Last but not least, an important strategy in consumer-centric marketing is to ask for regular feedback. Most brands ask for feedback at the very end of the sales funnel, but this could lead to a lot of missed opportunities. Customer communication is at the heart of any consumer-centric marketing strategy, so make sure you’re taking the time to communicate every step of the way.
Feedback comes in many forms. You can respond to customers’ reviews and requests, work with customers to solve problems, and be proactive with customer concerns. To take it a step further, you might even engage customers at different parts of the journey to ask how you’re doing. When customers are happy, they stick around and they tell their friends.
To see this in action, take a look at OpenTable. This online restaurant reservation system is designed to make it easier for diners to book their favorite restaurants in just a few minutes. Though they offer feedback tools through their website and app, they also proactively reach out to users who have recently made a reservation via email. By taking this extra step, they learn more about their customers’ habits, needs, and so on.
Turn the Focus on Your Customers
Ultimately, it pays to focus outwards with your business. You already know how great your brand is. Now it’s time to learn how amazing your customers can be too! Whether you’ve been in business for years or you’re just getting started, a consumer-centric marketing strategy is the most effective way to attract more leads, referrals, and revenue.
Companies today have more on their plates than ever before. From omnichannel experiences to personalized advertising, your customer journey has never been more valuable. When we learn to connect the dots between our most valued customers, we design a seamless path from strangers to trusted superfans.