Customer-Centric Marketing Is Key to Successful Social CRM - dummies

Customer-Centric Marketing Is Key to Successful Social CRM

By Kyle Lacy, Stephanie Diamond, Jon Ferrara

Customer-centric marketing is a key element in Social CRM. You’ve likely heard or experienced for yourself that it costs far more to generate new customers than to keep the ones you already have. Thus, your business, especially your marketers, should make a common practice of listening and learning from your existing customer base, right?

When you really start focusing on customers in every aspect of your business, you begin to embark on customer-centric marketing. Because customers are driving brands today, make sure that your brand messaging disseminates with some consistency. Stay in touch with your customers every step of the way.

Consider the following to see where your organization stands with customer-centric marketing:

  • Hearing consumers: Are you listening to consumers everywhere that they’re talking? Are you tapped into the channels where they prefer to communicate about your brand? Customer-centric marketing requires understanding our customers’ perceptions about our brand. What are they really saying about your brand when they’re talking to their friends, family, and peers on social networking sites? Their messages may be different from what they share directly with your organization.

    Take a look at your monitoring software and see what sites have a lot of mentions for your brand. Then do a quick search online for your industry and see if you might have missed some niche sites. And always monitor keywords outside of your exact brand name, taking into consideration that customers may misspell or use abbreviations when talking about you.

  • Providing solutions: After you hear what’s really going on with your brand and consumers, you can offer real solutions. A customer-centric organization wants to help consumers — really and truly. Marketing 2.0 breaks down walls with customers. In order to engage consumers in social channels where they’re surrounded by their personal networks, brands must approach them as their friends would. That’s the mentality needed for social CRM.

  • Adding value: People want more for their money and attention today. The marketplace is flooded with options. Social businesses must really determine how they can offer value to consumers to set their brand apart. When you’re listening and hearing your customers, you can unveil the value sweet spot.

  • Building advocates: You get the opportunity to wow your customers when they feel heard and understood. In this world of customer-run business, consumers determine and demand a lot of what happens. It doesn’t always mean they really expect that all of their demands will be met or even heard. When you see a real opportunity to provide a solution and add value, you increase your chance at brand advocacy.

    Consumers are connected to people with similar interests and needs on social channels. If, for instance, a customer found a solution with your brand, it’s likely that someone in his network needs a similar solution. Be top of mind for the instances!

    Also, take the time to thank your brand advocates. Make them feel an even deeper connection to your brand. You may want to brainstorm low-cost ways to make them feel special, such as upgrading their membership status, offering them lifetime free shipping, or sending them a personalized gift.

  • Retaining loyalty: Continue to strive for good practices, and your customers are naturally going to keep coming back.

  • Measuring relationships: Customer-centric marketing has relationship goals in place, not transactional goals. Social business aims to have conversations and engagement with consumers. From these conversations, businesses can yield new customers and deeper insight into the ever-changing needs and interests of their audience.