How to Develop a Customer-Driven Marketing Strategy
If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need to stay focused on the customers you serve. You need a model that places the customer at the forefront of a company’s decision-making process. One of the best models for that is the customer-driven marketing strategy.
What is Customer-Driven Marketing?
Customer-driven marketing is all about making decisions based on customer's wants and needs. In a traditional business, products, and services are developed with little thought about who the product is for exactly. The customer-driven marketing approach ensures you meet the customer's actual pain point with a great product or service.
Where to Start With Customer-Driven Marketing
The first step for any customer-driven marketing campaign is to identify your target market. Who exactly are you serving? Clearly define the demographics, psychographics, and general behaviors of your market. You can uncover this data by analyzing your current customer base or the customer base of your competitors.
After you’ve uncovered this information, create a customer avatar. Have some fun here! Give them a name and find a stock photo model to connect them with.
Check out this Ideal Customer Profile we helped a consulting client create earlier this year.
These visual details will ensure that the entire team is on the same page when designing products and services.
Know What They Want
Now that we know who we will be serving, it is time to find the overlap between the problem your customer has and what your business is capable of solving.
You can get this information by soliciting feedback from current customers in 1:1 customer interviews. You can also utilize various online survey platforms to conduct a survey amongst your current and former customers.
If you want to go a step further you can implement a strategy called social listening to obtain more information. Use social media sites like X (The Artist Formally Known As Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and even certain niche blogs found via Google to determine what the market is saying about current problems.
Create Solutions for Customers’ Needs and Deliver Value
You would be shocked at how many businesses (read this as people in the business) develop products or services based on their own assumptions instead of focusing on the ideal customer they identified earlier in this process.
Your products and services only exist to solve the problems of your customers. Selling the features in your marketing plan won’t connect the customer and their problem to your offering. Use benefits language instead of product language. The old analogy still holds true. You don’t sell a drill. You sell the hole in the wall. You go to another level if that hole is for hanging pictures of your family. Now you’ve solved the problem and created an emotion.
Benefits of a Customer-Driven Marketing Strategy
There are several benefits to building a customer-driven marketing strategy instead of something else:
Loyalty and Retention
Happy customers are loyal customers. They're also more likely to refer others and word-of-mouth advertising is the best way to grow any business.
Offering exactly what the customer wants means they're more likely to buy. Then they’re more likely to buy again. Then they’re more likely to buy more. Then they’re more likely to refer their friends. This is the holy grail of sales.
Satisfied customers become ambassadors for your brand, spreading positive word-of-mouth. We can’t mention the power of word-of-mouth marketing enough. If customers aren’t organically referring your business to their network then you need to go back to the research phase. You still haven't figured out why your product or service isn’t solving their actual problem yet.
When done well, a customer-driven marketing strategy will make the customer feel like you’re reading their mail. They’ll feel like they’re a member of the family. You’ll be so in tune with their needs that they’ll be happy to give you money for it.
Any great customer-driven marketing strategy will include regular communication with customers through the entire customer life cycle. You’ll be speaking to customers in the research phase. You’ll get feedback from the product development phase. You’ll get feedback during the delivery/fulfillment phase. You’ll receive feedback in the review phase after they’ve received the product or service. This continuous feedback loop should be used to constantly improve your products and services.
Netflix Customer-Driven Marketing Strategy Case Study
Data Collection and Analysis
Netflix is a data-rich company. Every time a user watches a show or movie, pauses it, rewinds, or skips, Netflix is collecting data. This allows them to understand viewing habits, preferences, and even the parts of a show that might be most engaging or boring to viewers.
Using the data they collect, Netflix developed a powerful recommendation algorithm. Based on what you've watched, how you've interacted with the platform, and the ratings you've given, the algorithm suggests shows and movies tailored to your preferences. This not only enhances the user experience but also increases the amount of time people spend on their platform. The "Because you watched..." feature is a direct application of this.
Original Content Creation
Netflix's approach to original content is also influenced by its customer-driven strategy. They analyze viewer preferences and data to determine what type of content to produce. For instance, their decision to produce a show like "Stranger Things" wasn't arbitrary. Data indicated a growing interest in nostalgic 1980s themes, science fiction, and character-driven narratives, and they capitalized on this.
Recognizing the diverse tastes of its global audience, Netflix invests in regional content, ensuring subscribers across different countries find content that resonates with their culture and preferences. They've produced movies and series in multiple languages, targeting specific audience segments.
Netflix has experimented with interactive content like "Black Mirror" where viewers could make choices for the characters, leading to different story outcomes. This level of interaction provides another layer of data on viewer preferences and decision-making while also enhancing engagement.
Netflix continually tweaks its interface, tests new features, and even alters the way content is presented based on user feedback and data. They A/B test images for movies and series to determine which ones are more appealing to users, ensuring that subscribers are more likely to click on and watch the content.
Netflix's Key to Success
Netflix's success is not just due to its vast content library, but its meticulous use of data to drive decisions and cater to its audience. Their entire strategy revolves around understanding their users, predicting their wants, and then delivering content that fits these desires, making them a shining example of a customer-driven approach in the digital age.
More Than Just Selling
A customer-driven marketing strategy is not just about selling a product but building a relationship with your audience. When you prioritize your customers' needs and desires, your business can achieve greater success in the long run. Get to know your customers and let them drive your marketing decisions.
Want help building your own customer-driven marketing plan?
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