The end of a year and the beginning of a new one is a great time to consider what changes you need to make in your marketing.
What habits have you become so comfortable with that you don’t even notice or question them? With today’s fast-paced world, business needs to be constantly adapting and preparing for the future.
These thirteen (plus a bonus one!) marketing quotes are amongst my favourites of the moment and will hopefully inspire you to consider what changes you need to make in the coming year to become even more customer centric.
#1. “There may be Customers without Br ands, but there are no Br ands without Customers” Anon ()
This has to be the most important marketing quote to remember for all of us wanting to be more customer centric. Br ands depend upon customers and if companies remember this, then they can only succeed. If however they get so tied up in their products & services that they forget their customer, they may enjoy their work but their br ands will always be vulnerable to competition.
#2. “Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all your energies on a limited set of targets” Nido Qubein ()
One of the biggest mistakes marketing can make is to not appropriately define its target audience. It is underst andably hard for a br and manager to accept that he can’t please all category users and that his target sub-category is smaller than the total category he thinks he could attract. By trying to please everyone, we end up pleasing no one, so bite the bullet and reduce your target category size by more precise audience selection. More on targeting HERE.
#3. “The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing” John Russell, President, Harley Davidson ()
If it isn’t already included, then every employee should have customer connection added to their annual objectives. Whether they are the CEO, an Executive Vice-President, a machine operator, sales clerk or br and manager, they all need to underst and how their day job impacts the satisfaction of their customers.
#4. “If you use st andard research methods you will have the same insights as everyone else” David Nichols ()
When was the last time you revised your market research toolbox or refined your insight development process? It’s a rapidly changing world both technologically and societally-speaking. The methods you use to observe, underst and and eventually delight your customers should be moving as fast, if not even faster, to stay in touch with the market. If you are interested in a 1-Day Catalyst session reviewing all your methodologies and metrics contact us HERE.
#5. “The structure will automatically provide the pattern for the action which follows” Donald Curtis ()
There has been a lot of discussion about the new roles of the CMO, CIO and the creation of a new CCO (Chief Customer Officer) position. Perhaps it is time for your organisation to review its structure and see if it is still optimal for the business of today, as well as of tomorrow. As mentioned above, the world is changing rapidly and you need to keep abreast of these changes to stay in the game. Who wants to find themselves the equivalent of the Kodak of 2013?
#6. “Customer Service shouldn’t be a department, it should be the entire company” Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappo’s ()
This is one of my all-time favourite quotes from a man I truly admire, for truly “getting” customer centricity. Their slogan is even “Powered by Service”! As already above, every single person in a company has a role to play in satisfying the customer. Zappo’s have an integration program for all new hires – including the EVPs – that includes time at their call centre answering customer queries. What a great way to show a new person what the company is really about. Why not start a similar introduction in your own company?
#7. “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new l ands but seeing with new eyes” Marcel Proust ()
Today’s customers are very dem anding which has prompted many companies to increase their innovation and new product launches. However, it has been shown that renovation is as important as innovation in keeping customers satisfied (find link to relevant articles HERE). Instead of forcing your marketing and R&D to meet certain percentage targets, most launches of which will be destined to failure according to latest statistics, why not review your current offers with new eyes? If you truly underst and your customers, you will quickly find small changes that can make a significant impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty, when you take their perspective. And as an added bonus, if it solves a frustration of theirs, it might even bring you increased profits, since the perceived value will be higher than the cost.
#8. “A br and for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well” Jeff Bezos ()
In the past most companies were more concerned with the reputation of their br ands and forgot that of the company, other than with investors. As consumers become interested in knowing and adhering to the policies of the companies behind the br ands, it is vital to manage both from the customer perspective. In addition, if your company is the br and, will be closely associated with it, or you are considering adding it more prominently to your packaging, then this becomes vital to follow.
#9. “The journey of a thous and miles must begin with a single step” Chinese Proverb ()
Today’s customer often has a more complex path to purchase in many categories, so thinking of the simple awareness to loyalty funnel becomes less relevant. In order to underst and the purchasing of your br and, think information integration, as customers are becoming as savvy about products as they are about themselves. They seek out information, usually in relation to the size of the budget they will spend, and take the time needed to make what they consider to be an informed decision. Check whether you are in every relevant touchpoint with appropriate information for them.
#10. “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results” Winston Churchill ()
If your world had changed then so should the metrics you use to manage the business. The new year is a great time to review last year’s business results in comparison to the metrics you have been following. Were you correctly assessing the environment, the market and customer behaviour? If not, perhaps you need to redefine your KPIs.
#11. “The fear of being wrong is the prime inhibitor of the creative process” Jean Bryant
Do you embrace entrepreneurship in your organisation? What happens when someone fails whilst trying something new? The more accepting you are of relevant trial and error exercises, the more likely your employees are to share their more creative ideas. If failure is punished, then they will be reluctant to try or even propose new things and your business will stagnate. This is a great time to review your ways of compensating creativeness as well as how you share learnings from failures?
#12. “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information” T S Eliot
Do you ever take decisions based on information or knowledge? If so then perhaps you should reconsider your insight development process. Whilst information and knowledge are essential to deeper underst anding of your customers, it is only when you have integrated everything you know and underst and about them, that you can begin to develop insights that will positively impact your customers’ behaviour.
#13. “If you can’t sum up the story in a sentence, you don’t know what you’re talking about” Garr Reynolds
How about making 2013 the year that you moved from PowerPoint presentations to Prezi storytelling? Even if you remain with whatever software you are currently using, taking the decision to share information and underst anding in a new way through storytelling, will have a profound impact on the way your employees think and remember the essential underst andings of your customers.
Finally, if you take only one message out of all these suggestions, I hope it is this one, which to quote Charles Darwin is:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, it is those most responsive to change”
2013 is going to be a year of considerable change for us all; let’s manage it rather than just suffer its impact.
If you have your own favourite quote that inspires you to change your business practices in 2013 , then please share it below. We would love to hear your own inspiration.
For even more inspiring quotes, why not check our website; they are regularly updated: https://www.c3centricity.com/library/
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