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Customer-centric or bust: Why customer obsession yields the best marketing ROI

Customer-centric or bust: Why customer obsession yields the best marketing ROI

Your prospects are bombarded by messages, so much so that they no longer trust what brands have to say. In fact, 43% of people say they find marketing not so, or not at all trustworthy. They crave authenticity and credibility. And with the help of your customers, your marketing can deliver.

Our new thought leadership webinar series explores one of the top challenges facing marketers: how to break through the noise and get the right type of attention for your brand. To kick off the series, we recently brought together an expert panel of highly effective, customer-centric marketing leaders and posed this question: How can marketers get the right kind of attention when so many buyers don’t even trust or believe their promises? The unanimous response was to place customers at the center of your marketing.

Our latest webinar seeks to uncover what it truly means to be a customer-centric marketer, featuring the insight and expertise of marketing gurus Jason Miller of LinkedIn, Koka Sexton from Slack, and our very own CMO here at SurveyMonkey, Leela Srinivasan. Read on for a quick snapshot of what we learned during the webinar. For the full story, sign up to watch the on-demand webinar, where you’ll get rapid-fire tips, tricks, and real-world examples that will help you boost your next campaign.

In a recent survey, we uncovered a startling fact: 38% of marketers feel they don’t have enough information or the right kind of information about their customers. This is problematic, Leela says, particularly because of the multitude of ways available to marketers today to collect feedback from your customers. According to Leela, “there’s no excuse today for not knowing your customer.”

Whether through surveys or in-person conversations, it’s important to do your research to get a better understanding of your customer segments. Koka recommends a combination of looking to the data for guidance and connecting with customers through real conversations. “I believe marketers have the obligation to connect with their customers in more meaningful ways,” notes Koka.

For Jason, the key to getting to know your customers is to get close with your sales team. He recommends sitting in on sales conversations with prospects, which can reveal valuable insights into the pain points, questions, features, etc. you should be highlighting in your marketing.

From email to social media and everything in between, brands have so many opportunities to connect with customers today. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for brands to let some touch points go unmonitored, which can lead to frustration when people don’t get a response from you. In Jason’s eyes, it’s critical to help your customers feel acknowledged: “When people are lashing out on social, many times they just want a response. If you don’t get back to them, if you only respond to the positive, it becomes a real problem and escalates quickly.”

Also key? Being authentic in your interactions with customers. Koka advises marketers to avoid being so authoritative that it comes off as overbearing, and instead use empathy to connect with people in a way that’s clear, concise, and human. He adds:

“Buyers are smart, and they’ll know if you’re being inauthentic.”

Establishing authentic relationships is clearly important, but it’s not automatic. “There isn’t really a shortcut,” says Leela. “You have to invest some time, and you have to actually care about the world of your customer.”

Your customers are your best marketers. It’s through their thoughtful reviews, recommendations to friends and family, and positive word of mouth that many of your prospective customers will convert to first-time buyers. In fact, our research shows that when making a large purchase, 73% of buyers will seek out recommendations from friends and family. In Leela’s words:

“Clearly your existing customers are key to helping you attract new customers, so it pays to put customers at the center of your marketing efforts.”

But a lot of marketing dollars are funneled into customer acquisition, and sometimes customer marketing seems like more of an afterthought. From Jason’s perspective, this focus on growth marketing can mean marketers show up too late in the game to be effective at customer marketing.

For Koka, customer marketing and customer acquisition have a natural synergy. He adds, “When you can make your customers the center of your marketing campaigns, nothing but good can come of that.”

For more, check out the on-demand webinar. You’ll get each of our speaker’s top three rapid-fire tips to infuse customer centricity into your marketing campaigns and boost their effectiveness. You’ll also learn:

  • How to balance qualitative time spent with customers and quantitative data
  • Why marketers should focus on customer recognition
  • What to avoid to ensure your campaigns have mass appeal

Watch the on-demand webinar to learn how to put customers at the center of your next marketing campaign.