4 Best Customer-Centric Marketing Practices in 2021
Posted on December 9, 2020 (Last Updated: August 06, 2021)
The quality of the products you’re selling still counts, but you’re going to need a lot more than product quality to attract your ideal customers.
The needs of shoppers haven’t changed much, but how they shop has changed a lot over the years. As a result, how you meet their needs has changed exponentially.
To grab their attention, you’ll need to align your marketing approach to meet their needs along the buyer’s journey.
Let’s take a look at four of the best customer-centric marketing practices you’ll need to implement if you want to ramp up growth, expand your reach, and increase revenue.
1. Anticipate their needs
A customer who lands on your ecommerce store in the evaluation stage is looking to draw a comparison between different providers and what they are offering.
Your offer, and how well you’ve positioned it to meet their needs, will determine how long they stay in your store and, ultimately, whether they buy.
Is what you’re offering relevant? Does it meet their needs? Does it answer the questions they have?
To increase their likelihood of buying, you’ll need to understand their mindset.
Once you do, you’ll be able to predict their behaviors easily while offering relevant incentives.
True Blue Life Insurance understands that while their customers are looking for insurance, they want the process to be simple and straightforward.
They know that someone who wants to buy life insurance doesn’t have the time to sift through every insurance provider to decide.
That’s why they provide a list of other insurance providers that they can draw a comparison to, making it easier to decide which company to work with.
Remember, your offer might be a great fit, but a shopper might still leave your site without signing up.
And it’s important to note that sometimes that has nothing to do with you. Shoppers get distracted easily, and once they leave, there’s no guarantee they’ll come back.
True Blue Life Insurance anticipated that, which is why they included a popup that appears when a visitor navigates away from one of their pages.
Take a look in the image below.
This popup serves as a reminder that they can receive a free life insurance quote before leaving.
2. Simplify your marketing messages
In their book, Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath talk about the curse of knowledge, using Elizabeth Newton’s experiment on tappers and listeners.
In Elizabeth’s experiment, a group of research participants had to play either as tappers or listeners. Tappers would pick a song and tap the rhythm on a table. The listener would then identify the song based on the tapper’s rhythm.
Out of 120 songs, listeners could identify only three.
In ecommerce, the same concept is at play more often than retailers care to admit. As a retailer, you’re the only one who truly understands what you offer without context.
How you communicate your sales messages might make it more difficult for shoppers to understand you and take action.
A shopper understands a product from their worldview i.e. “What's In It For Me” (WIIFM). If they can't see it right away, you’re a tapper and your listeners can't understand anything you say.
Take Frevvo for instance. It would be easy for them to go overboard talking about their workflow automation software by describing intricate details about the tool that customers won’t understand.
However, they understand that customers don’t want to learn about technical specs but, rather, how the tool makes their lives simpler. That's all.
That's what they focus on because they know it's what their potential buyers will understand.
So, what's the one thing your customers care about, more than anything else? One way to find out is by looking at the testimonials you have and identifying what your product did for them.
What frustrations did your product help them overcome? What desires did your product fulfil?
Another strategy could be running a quick survey to understand the biggest challenges customers have and how those pain points can be alleviated.
Look for similarities between the feedback you collect and then use that on your website copy and other sales messages to make it easier for shoppers to understand what's in it for them.
3. Appeal to What Your Shoppers Care About
Shoppers expect brands to do more than just sell them the products that they need.
They also want brands to connect with them, especially on issues they care about. Here are some of the things that customers want from brands:
As if that's not enough, 75% shoppers follow through with these expectations by actively seeking out and buying from companies that support issues they care about.
EarlyBird, for instance, builds its brand around what is near and dear to its consumers’ hearts, their kids.
Their message is that, instead of buying a toy for the kids in your life, give them a much more valuable gift and secure their future.
Now, ask yourself what causes do your shoppers care about and how can you align your brand and products to appeal to that?
It's not about using what shoppers care about to convince them to buy from you. You’re putting yourself out there as a brand that cares about the difference it makes in the world.
4. Use Automation to Improve Buying Experience
A buyer's journey has different touch points, and you want to be present at each to respond to their needs and move them further down the sales funnel.
For example, a shopper might see your ad on social media. If they click on it, arrive at your landing page, and get stuck when making a purchase, the shopper will leave due to the bad buying experience.
It’s essential to be close to your potential customers as soon as they enter your website.
Joyorganics installed a chatbot with humans behind it, to directly respond to requests and questions. They also mastered this concept by integrating a Q&A widget.
If you’re expanding internationally or serving customers in different locations, chances are that you (or your team) might not be there every time a shopper needs you.
Having a chatbot will help you deliver a consistent buying experience by answering common questions from shoppers without compromising the experience they are having.
Customer-centric marketing approaches prove to your shoppers that you care about them and you’re willing to center your brand around them and their needs.
Building your marketing strategy around customers doesn't have to be an expensive undertaking or even one that you’ll have to spend months planning prior to execution.
Do you want to convert more prospecting shoppers into customers? Of course you do. So, anticipate their needs and simplify your sales messages and you’ll achieve that goal.
Do you want to increase the amount of average transactions? Of course you do. Use your chatbot software to not only answer questions but also deliver upsells.
Do you want to increase the number of times a customer buys from you? You know the answer by now. Align your brand with a cause that they care about.
Depending on your goals for business growth, pick one of the practices we’ve talked about and start implementing it.
Ezekiel Cohen has a special affinity with numbers and patterns, on top of being a natural at PR. This gives him the edge when it comes to SEO analytics and advertising strategy.