Your company’s customer-centricity profile reveals the capabilities you need to succeed in digital media, as well as whether you are a leader, scholar, pioneer, or novice in this critical marketing field. (An excerpt from an article in Strategy+Business by Matthew Egol, Christopher Vollmer, and Klaus Hoelbling).
If you are the chief marketing officer (CMO) of a consumer-oriented business your long-established efforts to reach customers may have come into question over the past few years. Digital media have changed the advertising and marketing ecosystem; social networks, broadband infrastructure, and new forms of online and offline data collection have transformed the relationships among companies and their customers. But only a few CMOs have fully caught up with these trends. Most companies do not yet have the kinds of capabilities in digital marketing that they need in order to fully engage with customers today.
The term customer centricity is coming into broad use as a way to describe the new marketing orientation made possible by digital media (including, but not limited to, social networks). Under this new orientation, the primary unit of market engagement is no longer the product, the launch, the trade promotion, or the advertising campaign, but the end-to-end consumer experience. Consumers are engaged with the company and each other before, during, and after their purchase.
This requires a high level of integration, the ability to bring together multiple sources of content, data sources, capabilities, and product lines, and to continually refine segmentation approaches, platforms, and online content. This integration needs to cut across the consumer experience, creating a seamless digital marketing link between sales in physical stores and sales through e-commerce.
Winning companies focus on strengthening a few select capabilities that foster digital customer centricity. These capabilities may include:
- Following the customer journey from pre-engagement to post-purchase, constantly listening to, and learning how, different customers interact with their brand
- Integrating multiple data sources and continuously refining their segmentation approaches to identify–and serve–the customer segments that truly matter
- Engaging customers across multiple channels and platforms, generating deep insights, and seamlessly executing on them
Companies are classified into one of four categories:
- Leaders are a small but growing group of companies, including Nike, Burberry, 3M, Apple, L.L. Bean, and Coca-Cola, that have mastered the two main capabilities involved in maintaining an online presence: insights and analysis on the one hand, and platforms and activation on the other.
- Scholars are skilled at consumer insights and analytics; some of them, for example, have developed sophisticated forms of market segmentation based on deep insights about the way people make purchases. But they have not yet converted these insights and analyses into profitable action.
- Pioneers have established a robust presence in digital media, with viable forms of electronic commerce, their own media platforms, or other kinds of Web-, mobile-phone, or app-based services. But these activation platforms are not sufficiently customer centric; they are not grounded in insights about their customer base, and therefore they do not engage consumers as well as they might.
- Novices are still coming up to speed in the practices of digital marketing, and (in many cases) discovering which facets benefit them and which may not.
Depending on your company’s situation, your own digital marketing capabilities might include a distinctive way of changing your portfolio of products to address social media responses; a highly effective form of segmentation based on the way consumers behave in the real world (for example, tracking how much time elapses between visits to your retail store); or an ability to create a compelling e-commerce platform that draws people to your products.
A digital marketing plan aligned with your company’s strategy can be a game changer for your business. It can allow you to build stronger relationships with consumers that are based on offering them better value in real time: more appropriate deals, more authentic offers, and more simplicity and clarity. But not on its own. You will need the right capabilities and the appropriate investment of time and attention. A self-guided, Web-based survey called the Digital Customer Centricity Profiler, recently launched by Booz & Company can help your company gain a better understanding of where you are now — and how to move forward..
- Auto Industry Needs to Offer Consumers a Better Customized Online Experience, Accenture Survey Finds (virtual-strategy.com)
- Do You Need A Degree In Digital Marketing And Social Media? (twistimage.com)
- Digital Marketers: Time To Get More Savvy With Social Media (semanticweb.com)
- What is digital marketing (onestellarblog.com)