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92% say their business needs to get more closely aligned to their customer

Posted by Danielle MacInnis on 19 April 2015

In a recent survey by Incite we can see the radical shift between consumers and brands. Brands are reacting to a three-fold change in their relationship with their customers. Control 1. Customers have more power than ever before. 2. Thus, their expectation as to what constitutes 'acceptable interaction' with your brand is changing. 3. Consumer 'location' is changing - you won't find your target audience gathered around the TV on a Wednesday evening any more. The main reasons are:

1. Voice: The rise of social media means that consumers now have an audible voice in the conversation about your brand. You can hear them. And so can other customers. Your brand is no longer within your control. Without a passionate and happy set of customers, you will find it very difficult to effectively engage and expand your customer base.

2. Choice Customers can no longer be forced to listen to you. In the past, you knew a TV ad during 'I Love Lucy' got you into the living rooms, and consciousness, of millions of potential customers. "This change in the nature of our relationship with our customers is creating a need to become more customer aligned at all touch points. Your customers spend increasing amounts of time online, and less time consuming 'traditional media'. Anyone who has been awake in 2013 will know the reasons for this - increasing uses of social media to augment/replace real-world interaction; consumption of media via mobile devices; second-screen viewing; the ability to fast forward through TV advertising, etc." 86% of those surveyed by Incite have more data on their customers than they did 5 years ago but most are not leveraging this data. " To be successful, we know we have to behave differently with consumers, and deliver solutions that address their problems and needs rather than trying to push products that may or may not be relevant, as we have done in the past."Claire Burns, Chief Customer Officer, MetLife Now people can fast forward through TV ads. They can block online banner ads. They can unsubscribe from emails with one click. Hymn

So how do you get more closely aligned to your customer 1. Understand your customers: do some research, surveys and personna profiling so you know who they are and what they want. 2. Be where they are : Become agile enough to ensure you can put together a comprehensive, multichannel customer outreach strategy and play where they play.

3. Be fast: Guarantee you can talk back to customers at the speed they expect.

4. Get a clearer picture: Leverage new data sources, and desilo current data, to ensure you can build up a comprehensive image of each of your customers - and use it to deliver relevancy

5. Align all staff: To achieve the first three points, a company must become better at sharing insights internally, and reduce boundaries between departments to deliver a unified external voice.

Author: Danielle MacInnis
About: Dan is a customer centric marketer and the owner of MacInnis Marketing a company that creates sales and marketing systems to attract customers and employees to companies that they love.
Connect via: Twitter Google+ LinkedIn
Tags: Customer Centric Marketing Brand Strategy

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