Customer-Centric Marketing: What It Is, How to Use It, and Best Practices

Melanie Balke
October 24, 2022

Trying to find the right marketing strategy is hard. There’s no way around that! Trying to balance your brand’s identity with customer success and sales is just a mess.

Fortunately, there are ways to sidestep the marketing tactics headache.

You can learn about all the nitty-gritty concepts that go into a marketing strategy. Marketing teams can spend hours perusing materials on automation and segmentation. You can collect feedback from customers and build a custom landing page for every campaign. But, at the end of the day, nothing will work without a deeper understanding of your goal.

That’s why today’s blog post is about something a little different!

Today, I’ll be discussing customer-centric marketing. This nifty marketing tactic is a modern solution for contemporary problems, and it’s one of the hottest trends in the industry.

What Is Customer-Centric Marketing?

So, what is this amazing new marketing strategy?

Header text overlays a photo of leaves: “The Basics: What Is Customer-Centric Marketing?”

At its core, customer-centric marketing is exactly what it sounds like: It’s a strategy that focuses on the customer experience. Customer-centric marketers pay close attention to consumers and constantly think about ways to improve customer satisfaction.

Now, before you run off to rewrite all of your marketing material, let me add a warning: Customer-centric marketing is not easy. In fact, it’s hard to deliver a positive experience with unwavering consistency. Any business hoping to see long-term success with this strategy — and, really, that’s all businesses! — must be ready to collect plenty of data.

Successful customer-centric marketing is data-driven marketing. It’s a numbers game; even the best marketing teams can struggle with this tactic.

What Are the Benefits of a Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy?

A header image features a photo of a rising profit chart. The text reads, “The Reasoning: What Makes Customer-Centric Marketing So Popular?”

With its complexity and inherent problems, it may seem like a buyer-centric marketing plan is more trouble than it’s worth. However, this modern marketing approach has plenty of fantastic benefits, including:

  • Improved Retention: Customer centricity applies a narrow focus to a company’s marketing strategy, and that makes the material more appealing. This can turn customers into avid fans and improve customer retention.
  • Increased Brand Awareness: Through tactics such as one-on-one interviews, marketing professionals gain an understanding of what customers don’t understand about a product. This helps information can then be used to refine a company’s content marketing efforts, molding them into unique educational experiences.
  • Increased Engagement: Ultimately, the goal of a consumer-centric marketing strategy is hyper-personalization. These marketing campaigns will easily appeal to their target audience, increasing the likelihood of engagement.
Text overlays a colorized photo of a full office. The header reads, “Did You Know: Customer-Centric Marketing’s Other Uses.” Smaller text reads, “You can do so much with this strategy! Many successful businesses have adopted customer-centric infrastructure, which places customers at the center of everything. Apple is a big believer in this tactic, and its buyer-centric approach to marketing has saturated the entire company. As a result, the brand has stronger relationships with its customers.”
  • Lower Acquisition Costs: It costs much more to acquire new customers than it does to urge an old one through the sales funnel again. Fortunately, the inherently customer-centric mindset of this tactic caters to existing customer preferences.
  • Reduced Churn: Understanding customer behavior is a key component to churn reduction, and customer-centric marketing is all about the customer!
  • Reduced Marketing Costs: When a company lets its customers lead the marketing charge, it gains plenty of material for its marketing efforts. With these topics ready, the marketing team can focus on quality over quantity!

How to Adopt a Customer-Centric Approach to Marketing

A photo of maps with overlaid text, reading, “Marketing 101: Customer-Centric Basics.”

With all of these benefits, you may be rushing to build a new customer-centric marketing team. I wish you the best of luck, but don’t leave yet! There are still a few things to cover.

As I said before, building a successful customer-centric marketing plan isn’t easy. There are a few concepts and ideas that you should know before you start the entire process. Moreover, you’ll probably have to shift a few business goals around to fit this new approach to marketing.

Get to Know Your Customer’s Point of View

I’ll preface this first step by acknowledging that it’s not always possible to obtain direct insights. Many e-commerce brands — especially smaller ones — have limited resources. However, if your business can conduct one-on-one interviews and rich customer surveys, do it!

Remember: Data drives marketing tactics, and more data makes marketers’ lives easier.

Text overlays a colorized photo of a CPU. The header reads, “Did You Know: The Origins of the Customer-Centric Mindset.” Below is smaller text, which reads, “Customer-centric marketing started dominating the industry in the early 2000s. This period saw the effectiveness of traditional tactics degrade, and companies turned to technology for an answer. The popularity of customer centricity truly expanded in the mid-2010s, driven by senior leadership within many highly esteemed companies, and its influence is projected to grow as technology continues to improve.”

Some of the best ways for a business to collect customer feedback are:

  • Automated Software: Modern technology is a great tool, and plenty of services let companies track customers. Many of these are categorized as customer relationship management programs (CRM), but there are also purpose-built sales platform plugins and toolkits.
  • Customer Emails: There are dozens of creative ways to ask customers for feedback via email! If you need some inspiration, buy something from a major company. You’ll inevitably get an email afterward asking for a review.
  • Run Consumer Studies: Larger companies can invest in market research programs. While you’ll obviously want to focus on potential customers, you‘ll get the best results from immersive studies.
A photo of leaves features overlaid text. The header reads, “Examples: Success Stories From Customer-Centric Brands.” Smaller text is below, reading, “Starbucks great example of a successful customer-centric strategy. The now-ubiquitous brand once struggled to retain customers! However, its senior leadership saw value in the customer-centric approach. Starbucks began to reframe itself as a lifestyle brand and connect with customers on a deeper level through guerilla campaigns.”
  • Talk to Customer Services: Too many companies overlook their own internal power! You don’t always need the fanciest analytics tools; sometimes, you just need some insight from your staff.

Refine the Customer Journey

Here’s where things can get a little sticky!

A customer-centric marketing strategy needs to have a defined path. This guideline will help marketers craft experiences that turn customers into avid fans.

So, what tool gives marketers access to your customers’ thoughts, feelings, and key questions?

The answer is a customer journey map, and it’s a lot to process. This will, after all, be the template for future decisions related to your marketing and brand integrity. Don’t leave this essential touchstone to chance! Plan ahead, do your research, and invest as much time as you need in this plan.

Keep Things Fresh

Finally, you’ll want to repeat the entire process! The best customer-centric marketing strategy is cyclical; it understands that markets are always changing. Sure, there may be more customer-centric marketing attempts that ignore this, but they won’t last.

By updating and refreshing your marketing periodically, you’re setting your company apart. You’re making a bold statement, and it goes a little like this: “We care about you, and we’re committed to delivering consistently relevant content.”

Tips and Tricks for Your Customer-Centric Approach to Marketing

A header image features a photo of leaves with overlaid text: “Tips & Tricks: Customer-Centric Marketing Hints.”

I can’t wait to see the great marketing tactics that come from this revolutionary mindset. As technology continues to advance, marketers receive access to more amazing ways to connect with customers.

So, before I wrap this lesson up, let me hand out a few quick tips!

Make Your Content Marketing Valuable

This may be a fairly universal tip, but it’s still worthwhile. Always respect your customers by giving them valuable content.

This usually means discounts. However, there are more creative ways to deliver worthwhile content. If your brand has a particularly savvy marketing team, I’m sure you’ll have a few tricks up your sleeves.

Storytelling Never Gets Old

Regardless of the marketing channel, — whether it’s emails, SMS, or snail mail — a brand will always find success if it tells a good story. You may have the best service in the entire world, but you won’t win hearts with cold facts.

Instead, appeal to people’s emotions! Tell people exactly why they need your company, then tell them why your service is the only option for them.

Invest in Your Brand’s Success

Ultimately, no company has time to do everything. Sometimes, you need help.

That’s why marketing agencies exist.

If your company is struggling to achieve marketing success, it’s time to take a leap. Invest in the future of your brand and enlist some help! A group like The Email Marketers will give your company access to the strategies, tools, and expertise needed for a successful customer-centric marketing plan.

Give me a call!

We can chat about your vision for your brand, find the perfect service, and lay out a roadmap for success.

In the meantime, don’t be shy! I’m always updating my blog with tips, tricks, and marketing guides. There are plenty of ways for your brand to amplify its marketing, and I love seeing other small businesses succeed!