Q&A: Customer-Centric Marketing
Dan Druker, MyBuys
Today, customer-centricity is more than just “nice to have.” Would you agree with that?
Really, it's a “Why wouldn't you do this?” Many hundreds of retailers have seen that by being more customer-centric, they're going to drive more revenue. If you don't care about driving more revenue, then you don't have to do it. That's flip, but customer-centricity is a proven way to have better relationships with your clients that also leads to more revenue for you. It's a true win-win situation.
How do customers feel about being the center of everything?
Consumers don't just tell us they like it; they increasingly have come to expect it—and by doing it, you're going to generate more revenue and more margin for yourself in the process. Today, consumers are more likely to say, “You're frustrating me because you're showing me stuff I don't care about.”
How important is personalization in e-commerce?
Any company that's dealing with consumers will benefit from having more personal, one-to-one interactions with people. That's just part of being human. Why it's so much more important in e-commerce is because all you might have is your website…. If you're exclusively an online retailer you have to be more personal because you might not have other ways to give people that feeling.
What about omnichannel?
The problem there is that you might put a lot of focus on having your store associates be personal and give people a great reaction when they walk in the store, for instance, by remembering your name—but if you're not doing the same thing in the rest of your channels, that looks confusing and disconnected. If you look like 10 different companies to customers, they don't like that…. Being customer-centric means thinking first about what the consumer experience is rather than: What are my channels, my programs, my segments? Where it's all about me, the retailer. Customer-centricity is a refreshing shift. What does the consumer want? They want to find really cool products or to buy the services they need, and to feel connected to you—and that's what we should be doing for them.
What are the main things a brand should keep in mind if it wants to keep its customers happy, satisfied, and coming back?
Be coordinated. Have a personalized, consistent conversation with your customers everywhere they are—on your website, in your email, in your display advertising, in your mobile experience, everywhere.
It takes me back to the original days of retailing. In the old days at the corner store you were able to know every customer by name. You knew what they liked and what they bought and could really recommend things to them because you knew them as people. Customer-centric marketing is about extending that. In a way it's using Big Data to go back to basics and do what you would do for an individual, but for millions of people.