HomeBlog The Secret to Customer-Centricity

The Secret to Customer-Centricity

June 27, 2015 | By Erin Provey

  • You cannot be customer-centric without being customer-specific
  • Without specificity, it be.comes hard to build personas and unique persona-based content strategy
  • Becoming customer-specific means increasing discipline around targeting and segmentation with input from sales, marketing and product

Almost every b-to-b organization is striving for customer-centricity in everything from its marketing content development to its product roadmaps. And for those that are struggling to execute against this philosophy, there is almost always one common denominator.

Business meeting specific It's not technology. It's not budget. It's not bandwidth.

It's lack of specificity.

Sorry. I never promised it would be a sexy secret, but there it is. You cannot be customer-centric without being customer-specific

You cannot build personas and unique persona-based content strategy for hundreds – if not thousands – of potential personas. You can't scale audience-centric efforts (which are expensive, by the way) across an organization that hasn't agreed on who the high-priority audiences are. 

The question comes to me in all different ways: How do I know which of my content is most essential? How do I know which potential personas to build first? How do I evaluate my content for its customer-centricity?

The answer is, this means that someone is asking you to be customer-centric around either a generic or an unidentified customer. This means that there are too many discrete customer types built into your personas, or that leaders across product, marketing and sales have not agreed on priority audiences, leaving decisions around prioritization up to every individual in the organization. 

The solution to this problem is discipline and rigor around targeting and segmentation, and agreement across product, marketing and sales on the results of that exercise. And then next time someone comes to you and asks you to build a “customer-centric” strategy or plan without meaningfully identifying a specific customer persona or segment, ask them to be more specific in terms of the desired target audience.

Erin Provey

Erin Provey is a Senior Research Director of Corporate and Executive Marketing Strategies at SiriusDecisions. She has more than 10 years of experience in brand strategy, including positioning, identity, public relations, digital strategy, copywriting and account management. Follow Erin on Twitter @erinprovey.
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