August 16, 2021

How to Develop a Customer-Centric Marketing Approach

There are many different strategies and approaches to marketing. Our favorite approach at PHOS is customer-centric marketing. What is the customer-centric approach, you ask? Let’s dive into it. 

An outbound approach is typically not as targeted as an inbound strategy even though it gets in front of a lot of people. Picture a billboard. While thousands of people drive by it on their way to work each morning, there’s an extremely low conversion or engagement rate with it. Can you remember the last time you actually picked up the phone to dial a number you saw on a billboard? Neither do we. 

Meanwhile, in a customer-centric approach, the goal is to grow your organization by building meaningful connections and relationships with prospective and existing customers. Also known as inbound marketing, this marketing methodology focuses on identifying buyer personas, what channels they are on, and what messages they’re looking for and then meeting them where they’re at

You can also compare inbound marketing to a magnet for your business. While outbound strategies are like using a megaphone to communicate your value. 

While there is surely a place for both inbound and outbound strategies in your marketing mix, we typically see higher engagement and higher conversion rates when we’re going to the places where customers already are.  

So, how do we develop a customer-centric marketing strategy? The fast answer that most agencies will communicate is “SEO, content, email marketing, and social media.” This is 100% true and the reason why our team of marketers spends countless hours developing them. But, to really embrace a customer-centric approach, it needs to start within your company, not just through your content. 

Here are three main ways to get started. 

1. Build a Customer-Centric Culture

To build a customer-centric strategy, you need to develop a customer-centric culture. Culture is not something that can change overnight. The first step is establishing customer-centricity within your mission, vision, and values. At PHOS, we exemplify this through our love for our clients and our passion for culture and collaboration. Every employee, from the CEO to the frontline worker, should focus on the customer.

Focus on Core Values

Seeing things through the lens of your organization’s core values and rewarding employees when they practice these values begins to build company culture. It takes time and action to create a healthy and successful culture. 

Reinforcing company values through treatment and feedback to employees motivates them to do the same. This means everyone is working towards a common vision and helps you grow your business the right way

Performance Evaluations

The way you celebrate or criticize your employees in performance reviews should be framed towards your values and culture. Are you encouraging your employees to be customer-centric during your performance evaluations? If not, how can you expect them to do so when they get back to their desk? Performance evaluations are important to assess employees on each factor your organization cares about.

Performance reviews are also a great way to collect feedback from employees on how they feel about their company culture and see if it aligns with the values that the leadership team preaches. Are you preaching collaboration and innovation but not reinforcing it? 

2. Step in the Shoes of Your Customers 

Getting to know your customers well and learning from their perspectives should go without saying. It’s easy for people to experience a sort of tunnel vision with their industry, company, and product when they know it intimately. That’s why it’s crucial to have the right tools and the right customer listening to understand what buyers think.

Buyer Personas

A buyer persona is a detailed description of someone who represents your target audience. Creating and defining buyer personas helps you create content to target your ideal customer by focusing on your customer’s wants and needs. 

Buyer personas keep you focused on your customer’s priorities rather than your own and allows you to target your ads more effectively. If you want to learn more, check out Hubspot’s steps and examples on how to create a buyer persona for your business.

Competitor Analysis

Conducting competitor research helps you understand other competitors and how to distinguish yourself from them in order to stand out to customers. Learning your customer’s beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors towards you and your competitors allows you to become a more significant part of your customer’s lives.

Social Listening

Social listening gives you opportunities to engage with your customers about your brand. There are many different ways to participate in social listening: conducting interviews with current customers or other prospects, utilizing surveys for feedback, monitoring social media and Google Alerts to see what people are saying about your company, and more! Customer support and sales teams understand and know what customers are asking and what they want so it is worth engaging with them as well.

3. Use Data to Inform Strategy

Learning more about and understanding your customers requires managing your data correctly and utilizing it to decide how and where to reach your audience. Using data to capture customer feedback and reveal insights can improve personalization. Data is key to understanding your customers and interacting with them in an authentic, purposeful way.

Keyword Research

Keyword research provides insight into the queries that your target audience is searching on Google. You can find out what topics people care about and how popular these topics are among your target audience. This can help inform your content and your marketing strategy. Keywords allow you to tackle and answer the questions your consumers want answers to. 

Topic-Focused SEO

The way people search for and discover content is constantly changing, now with queries becoming more conversational. While content creation still needs to involve keywords, it also needs new concepts and topics to match the way modern search engines work and how customers search for things. Thinking about topics relevant to your business and creating comprehensive content around them is tailored to focus on what topics matter to you and your customers. 

Using Programs to Track Behavior

User behavior is all the actions visitors take on a website such as what they click on, how they scroll on a page if they fill out any forms, and where they drop off the site and leave. Tracking user behavior grants you insight into how people interact with your website and what they experience as a customer. 

Programs and tracking tools like Google Analytics provide you with website traffic data and see how people are using your website.

Time to Build Your Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy

Think of the brand experiences that have established your loyalty to that particular company. How can you create an experience like that for others? How do you want others to envision your brand? Building your customer-centric strategy takes time, commitment, and of course, purpose.

At PHOS, we aim to help your business grow authentically and create strong brand systems to reach the users who need you. Connect with us and have our team boost your brand and help you and your business reach your goals.

Alex Ayala

With a passion for cultivating meaningful relationships, Alex is excited to build a community of connections within PHOS and with its clients. As an Inbound Marketing Intern, she hopes to learn alongside the team and help Gainesville businesses and the local community grow through creative and engaging marketing strategies.

Outside of the studio, you can find Alex studying for her degree in Marketing at the University of Florida. When she’s not studying, Alex is road-tripping across Florida, visiting her local vintage markets and coffee shops, and vlogging her adventures.