Customers are the main source of thriving businesses; without customers, there would be no businesses. Modern customers have been exposed to so many superficial marketing campaigns that they can quickly identify if a business is seriously interested in their needs or just their money. In order for your customers to not have the wrong impression of your business, you need to focus time on building relationships with them. This can be accomplished if businesses step out of their comfort zone and try a few different customer-centric marketing strategies:
This is when a for-profit business partners with a non-profit organization for a special cause that they both support while creating marketing strategies that will benefit both of their objectives. According to the Hub Institute, 278 million Americans desire to know what a business is doing to help a cause. About 85% of them will have a more positive perception of a business if it supports a cause and 80% of them are likely to switch from a previous brand to a different, but similar, brand if it supports a cause.
Example: Nike partnered with (PRODUCT)RED to create products that will raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. Their products include (PRODUCT)RED laces, sneakers, and a soccer ball.
This marketing strategy focuses on creating amazing experiences for customers in order to turn them into brand evangelists. Customers that supports a business will try to convince others to purchase their products or services. Marketing guru, Guy Kawasaki explains that evangelism marketing is rooted on individuals’ desire to make the world a better place. Evangelist customers spread their approval to others to recruit new customers out of pleasure, not money.
Ex: Dewey’s Pizza constantly acknowledges their mistakes when making orders. If they make an error in a customer’s order, the meal is free and they will receive a gift certificate for their next visit.
Businesses focus on building relationships with their customers instead of selling them things. They emphasize the importance of customer retention and satisfaction so their customers will become loyal to them. According to the Econsultancy/Responsys Cross-Channel Marketing Report 2013, 70% of businesses agreed that it’s much cheaper to retain a customer than acquiring a new one. And 49% of them agreed that they achieve a greater ROI by investing in relationships than marketing to new customers.
Example: Kohl’s, the clothing department store, has a reward program that rewards loyal customers with discounts, points for every dollar spent, and gift certificates.
Similar to relationship marketing, businesses focuses on retaining existing customers. Businesses focus on satisfying the needs of their customers instead of using resources to get new ones. This kind of marketing needs insights from devoted members of a group. Businesses interact with their target groups on online forums, social media, or any other platform that they can use to understand the needs of their customers. Businesses take their requests into consideration to create better products and services.
Example: Starbucks has a website called mystarbucksidea.com. Its purpose is for customers to voice their opinions and ideas of products from the brand. In response Starbucks introduces a variety of toppings, ingredients, and production techniques inspired by their feedback.
Diversity Marketing or In-Culture Marketing
Businesses acknowledge the culture differences of a population, like their beliefs, history, interests, social issues, and lifestyles. Than businesses market themselves to appeal to their target demographic sex, gender, race, ethnicity, or religion.
Ex: American Express have recently made efforts to reach out the LGBT community by creating the Amex’s Pride Network. It’s a community of Amex’s LGBT employees. They created a marketing campaign with the slogan, “Shop Small. Shop Proud.” Markets would go to businesses and events where members of the LGBT community would normally congregate and build relationships with them.