Understanding Customer First Marketing

We know you’re passionate about your customers and put a lot of time, effort and potentially marketing budget into making sure they know that you can meet their needs. 

That’s a great step to having a successful business that achieves steady, sustainable growth.

It’s also only one step, and sometimes it’s just a stepping stone. Rapid growth and advancements in technology and the continuing evolution of consumer behaviour and confidence means that the way we used to communicate with and market to our target audience has shifted.

Customer first marketing is not just part of your business values or charter, it’s a whole different way to connect with and build relationships with the people who buy from you. 

Customer First Marketing is Highly Personalised, But Private

There is an increasing trend in customers shunning any kinds of marketing that feels intrusive. You know the kind we mean. Where it literally feels like you’re being watched. You are driving to lunch with friends and chatting in the car about going from blonde to brunette and then, before you’ve googled a thing, your news feed is full of ads for changing hair colour, caring for dark hair and more.

You know what we mean and you know it doesn’t feel good, right?

Customer first marketing openly uses the information people give you to create a better experience for them.

Think things like abandoned cart and abandoned browse emails. There’s no shame in saying to customers “hey, we noticed you looking at this, here’s a little something just for you” and offering additional information, a discount, free shipping or some other sweetener to get them over the line.  

See the difference in the way the data is being used? 

How To Transition to Customer First Marketing 

We weren’t joking when we said that customer first marketing is about connection with your customers. It’s a strategy though, not a campaign, so it’s not as simple as adding a few automations and calling it done. 

There’s a few key stages of implementing customer first marketing. 

     1. Work Out What You’re Trying To Do

Every strategy needs some goals and objectives. Spend time establishing what you’re trying to do. You can’t accurately measure success and effectiveness of your activities if you aren’t clear on what you were trying to achieve in the first place. “Increase sales” isn’t a good goal, “increase sales from email marketing to 50%” is better (assuming you know how many of your sales currently come from your email campaigns).

     2. Work Out What You’re Working With

Use your own data to establish a baseline of where you are now so you can use realistic figures to set your targets for where you want to be. If you’re missing some key information that would help inform future decision making, this is a great time to make sure that you have optimised the right tools to be able to access those details later

      3. Ask Your Customers What They Want

Be creative, innovative and interactive here. You don’t want to just send out something saying “hi we want to make more money, what would you buy?” but you could do something like put a poll on your most engaging social media profile that asks people to choose something that helps you target your next campaign or release, or tell you more about themselves. Remember customer first works off creating a platform where people want to share with you so focus on nurturing relationships, not speaking at them with sales pitches. Even just giving people the choice to opt in or out of certain campaigns and sends can help you create a better, more personalised, customer led experience.

      4. Use The Feedback To Reach Your Goals

“You asked for it so we delivered” is a great kind of campaign you could use if you made a product line your audience “helped” create. This kind of marketing helps customers feel like they’re part of a community, not that they’re constantly being asked to whip out the credit card. You don’t have to do this for every single campaign or promotion, but incorporating it into your overall customer first marketing plan can really pay off. It works in other ways too. If you got great engagement on a poll asking people to tell you their star sign, incorporating zodiacs into your content or email campaigns can help you connect with your customers in a deeper, but authentic way

     5. Segment Your Database

The power of segmentation on your campaign effectiveness cannot be overstated. The days of sending out one blast to every contact are over. Segmentation allows you to group your customers to tailor your messaging. If you are creating personalised, customised experiences you need to be able to drill down your audience so that the right messages are going to the right people at the right time. An example of this is all the ways a car dealership might communicate with people. Those who test drove aren’t at the same stage of the customer lifecycle as those who have purchased, people won’t be on the same servicing schedule, the messages that go to the people who bought the city getabout hatchback might be different to those who bought a commercial grade van. If you can’t tell which group those people belong to, your messages can be very impersonal and irrelevant, neither of which help your bottom line.

     6. Optimise Your Systems And Automate Your Marketing

The best thing about customer first marketing is that while it creates a highly personalised experience, it can actually be done automatically. Set up isn’t usually an arduous process either, most of the contemporary CRM and customer communication platforms like Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign integrate with Shopify and other website hosts to seamlessly update customer records, segmentation and campaigns once you’ve let the systems know what you want them to do.

     7. Review, Report, Reflect and Repeat

Once you have your automations set up and you’ve started working with your database on your customer first marketing and communications initiatives, the next thing on the to do list is to make sure that you’re getting the results you want. Automations both are and aren’t a ‘set and forget’ kind of scenario – you want to make sure you’re reviewing your performance so that you can continue to create campaigns that evolve with your goals and your customer’s behaviour.

Let’s Talk Strategy  

If you’re serious about starting your customer first marketing, we’re serious about helping you with your strategy. You can book Free 30 minutes Strategy Session with a member of the Greenfish Marketing team to help point you in the right direction and get you seeing results sooner. Reserve your time here.

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