“I always think of the customer first.” — every marketer ever.
However, the reality for most marketers is customer second, campaign first.
The problem is that all of your marketing channels today are separate, from Facebook ads to email marketing to organic searches. Every individual customer interaction is important, yet we rely on different systems to analyze and execute campaigns across each one.
ESPs track email opens and clicks; ecommerce platforms track purchases; Facebook and Google measure engagement at the channel level. Marketers end up focusing on optimizing each campaign on each channel.
And somewhere along the way, we forgot that the customer is the most important thing in marketing. Here’s how to reorient your thinking and put the customer back where they belong — at the center of your marketing.
Why Marketers Get Stuck Thinking in Campaigns
It’s not your fault that you often think about campaigns before customers. Everything in marketing today pushes you to optimize for the channel first. Most marketers measure success on goals like click-through rates, cost-per-click, and other channel-specific metrics. And if you can really lock in great performance on one channel, you can earn significant revenue in the short-term.
However, that plan doesn’t always work in the long-term. With buyers shopping and researching products across so many devices and channels, it becomes difficult to answer questions like:
- “What product is this buyer most likely to purchase next??”
- “What messaging is most effective for new versus loyal customers?”
- How do I cross-sell and up-sell new products to a specific segment of my buyers?
If you only think in channels, it becomes nearly impossible to create personalized campaigns that resonate with specific buyers as they move through the entire customer journey. And your customers want you to know them — sometimes even better than they know themselves. They expect personalized, relevant messages from your brand. But that’s impossible to deliver if you’re only focused on optimizing for the campaign.
What is Customer-Centric Marketing?
Put simply: your customers don’t care about the campaign. They just don’t think that way. They responded to an ad because they liked the image, or the copy made them laugh, or they just really needed a new pair of shoes at that moment.
Your buyers are unique individuals, and your brand has to recognize them as such. They want to buy products they didn’t know existed and discover items they didn’t know they needed — not receive emails recommending things they’ve already bought.
If you batch-and-blast the same generic campaigns to everyone that clicked on an ad, you’re not really considering what your customers want — you’re making broad assumptions.
If you’re practicing customer-centric marketing, you can send dynamic content that’s specific to each recipient and unique to each individual based on this historic browsing and purchasing behavior. By embracing customer-centric marketing, you’re going beyond campaign creation to embrace highly-targeted messaging, relevant recommendations, and a higher ROI for your time and money.
Connect the Dots to Understand Your Customer
Why are you marketing to one customer when you have many? Why are you sending them the same campaigns when they all have different preferences, interests, likes, dislikes, budgets, and sizes? It all comes back to knowing your customer better.
Most ESP’s and marketing automation simply react to the last action a customer took to create campaigns. But every single interaction matters. That’s why it’s so vital to unify your customer data into a single source of truth — one system that understands the specific customer, not the campaign.
What ad campaign brought a customer in? How many times did they visit your site before they gave their email address? What they have been browsing before they identified themselves? What will most likely bring them to purchase?
By taking into account every interaction a customer has had with your brand, you can use this data to build out a customer lifecycle and buyer journey that better serves each individual customer. This allows you to engage your customers with a personalized message, in the right place, at the right time.
Connect the dots of your customer data and marketing campaigns, so you can stop talking about being customer-first and start living it.