Adopting an audience-centric approach can increase revenue, improve sales productivity and improve organizational focus
Business units that are accustomed to product-centric marketing often resist the retraining required to shift to an audience-centric approach. To facilitate this transformation, in addition to training their own teams, marketing leaders must help the rest of the organization understand the positive business impact of go-to-market decisions that are informed by buyer insight. In this issue of SiriusPerspectives, we present three rationales that marketing leaders can use to articulate the benefits of switching to an audience-centric go-to-market strategy.
Buyer insight is a crucial ingredient for successful innovation and go-to-market efforts that support revenue growth through customer acquisition and retention. Organizations that put the target audience first invest the time and effort required to gather and understand buyer behaviors and preferences. The ability to develop and market the offering in a way that conveys value for the target buyer is critical to ensuring commercial success.
Product-centric organizations’ sales reps have a built-in handicap: They must persuade their target audience to buy products that aren’t aligned to specific customer needs. Organizations adopting an audience-centric go-to-market strategy help reps successfully engage with the target audience, transferring knowledge about buyers and markets through effective sales enablement.
In product-centric organizations, fiefdoms created by separate business units or product lines pursue their own agendas, competing for limited marketing, sales and product resources to drive growth for their offerings. Audience-centric organizations allocate resources toward prioritized audience segments and address common customer needs. An audience-centric focus at the organizational level doesn’t displace product planning, which is a core responsibility for business units and product teams. Ideally, product plans align under cohesive go-to-market strategies for target audience segments.
Serving target audience needs can be a powerful rallying point for internal stakeholders who may have disparate agendas or biases. When organizational decisions are centered on data-driven insights about the customer, the tensions and conflicts around resource allocation diminish as teams collaborate to develop a unified and cohesive go-to-market strategy. Driving the growth of products and other offerings continues to be an essential objective, which is now viewed in the context of buying audiences. Persuading product-oriented colleagues to become more audience-centric won’t be quick or easy. Marketing leaders must patiently articulate the internal changes required and demonstrate the favorable business impact of making this shift.