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Building A Customer-Centric Marketing Ecosystem

Throughout last year, I’ve talked a lot about one-to-one marketing and how with the rising tide of customer power marketers need to focus more on this personalized and empathetic approach. While it’s true that marketing’s main efforts have always been focused on gaining customers, in the past few years we’ve seen a shift where marketing has become more about “bragging” and less about value creation. However, with the Internet, social media, and mobile access there is more power than ever in the hands of today’s consumers. Influence no longer lies with the suave, silver-tongued marketer and glossy marketing brochures. Consumers need to be marketed to in the way they want to be marketed to.  I believe that the “brags” have lost their effectiveness and we are coming to the end of “push”-based marketing.  Customer-centricity: Not Everyone is Getting it Right As more and more brands are vying for a slice of the consumer’s attention, businesses need to restructure themselves, and become more customer-centric to stay ahead in the race. While most companies today claim to put their customers first, a surprisingly small number are actually doing it right. So, where are they going wrong? The fact is: some businesses are treating customer-centricity as a set of strategies meant solely for the customer-facing units of a business. They often forget that a customized or one-on-one approach is more than just a marketing goal for customer service reps and sales people. In truth, it is actually part of an “evolved” marketing department that builds around a customer-centered approach. It is making customer-centricity the responsibility of the entire organization and not just a few departments. Customer-centricity can’t be captured in a solo marketing environment, and a company should concentrate on building a marketing ecosystem to emerge as a fully functioning customer-centric entity. How to Build a Customer-centric Marketing Ecosystem   For any organization in the world, the target customers need to be at the heart of that organization’s marketing efforts and strategies. Brands, slogans, products, and media aren’t at the center; rather they are spokes that help to bridge the gap between the customer and the business. During...