Because if the world’s biggest consumer facing brands believe that listening to customers is the key to business growth then surely, so should we…
IBM’s Institute for Business Value recently spoke to over 4,000 top executives, from more than 20 different industries, and asked them how they are earning the loyalty of their customers to help their organisations to become more customer activated – or how they are planning to use customer insights to develop their future marketing strategies.
Insights from over 500 CMOs (who were interviewed as part of the study) demonstrate how they are now acknowledging that placing customers and what they say at the heart of your business is the key to success. To quote one CMO from a retail focused business:“ To succeed in the digital era, you have to be totally in sync with the behaviour of your customers in a fast-changing landscape. You have to be quick and adaptable.”
So in short we need to understand how our customers behave and why they do what they do. It’s fair to say that there are many different stages to this process, but in the digital world that we live in it has never been easier to listen to our customers and see what they’re saying about brands and products.
It is an absolute fact that customers are talking about brands online whether or not we choose to listen and take part in the conversation, so why not use this invaluable source of business intelligence to learn and use the knowledge we gain to shape the way we communicate with our most important audience? In doing this we need to recognise that our consumers are engaging with content on multiple online platforms, so we need to develop strategies that take into consideration all customer touch points, developing relationships, gathering insights and ultimately turning customers into loyal brand advocates.
To do this successfully we need to think about how the customer journey is changing and deliver value every step of the way, making marketing to customers a collaborative process and enabling them to share their experiences not just with brands but also with other consumers in their online communities.