The Seven Habits of a Highly Effective Customer Marketer (part one)
Part 1 in a (snackable) series
Introduce these 7 mindset adjustments to your daily activities to become an effective customer marketer and prove your programs are worth their weight in gold (literally!)
Part 1: Create The Culture
Although the ‘age of the customer’ revelation has been abuzz in B2B Marketing for some time now, the full-blown practice of Customer Marketing is finally coming of age. The upshot is a win-win situation, whereby every department across the organization is aligned around happy customers.
While some companies are still dipping their toes in with an advocacy program, others are kicking off with reference or lifecycle programs as their frontrunners. But the renewed focus on being customer-led is delivering astounding results for everyone: Companies that prioritize the customer above all else are outperforming, outgrowing, and outliving the competition.
Yet transitioning to Customer Marketing successfully, requires a customer-led approach that means you need to change more than your title, or your tactics, or your team composition; Customer Marketing is about redefining Marketing success metrics and better aligning programs with the company’s bottom-line goals.
To make it work and begin to cash in on the full potential of the customer-led strategy we have to go deep and adjust our mindset, our operations and our habits.
- HABIT 1: Be the culture you want to see. As the Customer-led Growth category continues to take shape, we often find ourselves discussing the difference between being customer-centric and being customer-led. Really? Isn’t it just semantic? No, the difference is there and it’s important because it highlights the fact that Customer-led Growth is not just a new way to “do marketing”, it’s a new way for everyone in the company to think, act and work.
While customer-centric was a pretty flag for marketing to wave a few years back, not many companies really went so far as to adjust their cross-company operations or systems or their organizational structure to accommodate customer needs; even fewer thought to alter the way they design their products or services in line with customer needs – and absolutely no one made a connection between customer-centricity and sharing the customer relationship across teams.
That’s why leaders in our space are also called “customer obsessed”; Because in a Customer-led Growth/ customer-obsessed organization, your customers’ successes is the only higher purpose to focus on. And focus is our friend, right?
If you’re the one driving the customer-led r/evolution in your firm, it’s part of your job to spread the word and evangelize the approach internally, and there are many interesting ways we’re seeing the practitioner community nurture this crucial buy-in; they all start with adopting new habits (and processes), that will support them in achieving their goals.
“Start with an ideal state as a goal and then set the capabilities, hard goods, resources, and habits needed in five areas to reach that state. It helps businesses (and individuals) achieve a bolder future than when they plan based on current limitations.”
Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
To some, this habit may still seem a bit theoretical, but anyone who has already set out on the customer marketing journey will tell you that one of the biggest challenges you will face will be gaining executive buy-in for your programs. There are many ways we are seeing the practitioner community approach this one, and we’re always excited to learn more as we make our own way through this transition.
If you’re looking for practical ways to work on this, a good place to start would be the amazing Customer Marketing community on Slack. In fact, this is a great place to start with anything customer marketing. Sign up now, thank me later.