Customer centricity is a must

I have had a lot of discussions lately with many companies of different sizes talking about the shift of consumers behaviours and the need to become much more customer centric.

Most people do agree that we face a seismic shift in the way consumers engage with brands. We see an explosion of the number of touchpoints on a purchase path, people want to buy when and where they want, they expect to be surprized by the brands and their relation should be personalized.  Brands have the way they engage with existing and future customers to adapt to the context, location, time, stage in the buying journey.

We also agreed that thanks to marketing technologies (Martech stack), e-commerce, data aalytics companies can deliver on these promises, that machine learning will be able to scale customer journeys automation and personalisation.

Finally, we were aligned on the fact that starting or pursuing the journey as a company to meet customer expectations and to become customer centric is a must to remain competitive. Any business can be put at risk by a new entrant rapidly if they solve problems customer have or simplify and create a seamless relationship (look at the airbnb likes).

Silo organisations

Whilst we agree on consume trends, on the need to adapt to this new paradigm to be successful, we also agree that organizations most of the time work in “silos”.  We mostly face issues with hierarchies organized under different functions, defending their kingdoms, acting indepedently and sometime randomly, without a common understanding of customer needs and expectations and even more without a common vision on how to adapt to these consumer behaviour changes.  In many discussions I still hear that marketing technologies and digital platforms are managed by IT, and that they take a purely technological standpoint and do not work hands in hands with Marketing and Sales to deliver solutions based on business needs. I hear also so many discussions about the “blame game” between Marketing and Sales, Sales explaining that Marketing does not generate quality leads and Marketing teams telling that they look at the branding part and that Sales are not good at converting “their” leads.

Set-up for failure

In the exchanges I am having, everyone agrees that a shift needs to happen in organisations if they want to adapt to the seismic shift of consumer behaviors that is on the way. Technology only will not allow to answer the new customer needs, a major change of mindset needs to  happen in organisations if they do not want to disappear because they are moving too slowly.

Solving the issues

To break the silos and give a chance for organizations to adapt to the new consumer expectations we think that following elements need to be addressed:

  1. C-Level understanding of the ongoing seismic change in consumer behaviors – High level sponsorship of the transformation to happen 
  2. Create a common view of the customer expectations and journeys – align on the needs
  3. Define a vison of what should be then end game  and list quick wins to create the first steps to a customer centric organization 
  4. Agree throughout the organization on objectives, KPI’s KPO’s
  5. Align the hierarchical organization to the vision (organisation structure must be built around the customer journeys)
  6. Build a single unified customer data view
  7. Test, implement, review, optimize

Once these different elements have been addressed an organisation will be able to implement and transform itself into a customer centric company and stay competitive in the marketplace.

We would be happy to start the discussion with you and discuss how we could help you / your organisation to start this exciting change journey !