How to build a Customer-centric Business Strategy
In order to build a customer-centric corporate strategy, businesses must heed a few bits of advice. First of all, the brand must be clear about its customer base. One the mission and vision have been drafted, the company must next broadcast its customer-centric values to all key stakeholders regularly. The pro-customer values must not just be said out aloud, but also demonstrated through video sessions as this will also help in its digital marketing. A dedicated person must be put in charge of customer relations and servicing. The right tools however must be used to measure the tactics and their suitability. Examples of such tools includes Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft One Drive, Slack, Hip chat, Hangouts, Voxer, Yammer, Git Hub and We Chat for different purposes. If all these methods are correctly reinforced, the efforts will surely reflect on the company’s bottom line.
The new Customer Marketing Lifecycle in the Engagement Economy
It is understood that only thirteen percent of marketing leaders spend time on retaining and nurturing existing customers as most of the time is spent on new customer acquisition. But in the present engagement economy, connecting with customers is all the more important as costs of brand switching are minimal as exemplified by the Uber versus Lyft rivalry. The costs are somewhat higher for a similar switch in the B2B zone, but still comparatively hassle free than earlier times. Once acquisition is done, marketers must seek to develop adoption, cross-selling and advocacy marketing stages. Adoption marketing is where the company neither tries to sell more goods to a new acquisition nor does it totally forget the buyer. Instead of this, the marketer must conduct detailed analysis to gauge business intelligence on what the specific customer requires. The next step is to cross-sell. By now the customer is more comfortable with the brand so he/she can be promoted other relevant products within the same umbrella. The last stage is product advocates. These are customers who are loyal and so fond of the product that they themselves publicize it. This segment is extremely important for digital marketing as they through organic means spread positive word and they possess enough credibility for the audience to accept. Not all loyal customers turn out to be advocates. Nor can loyalty be measured by the amount they spend per trip. The 1 Percent Rule applies here as on the internet. Per hundred social media likes, ninety of them are simply lurkers, nine percent are likers, a single percent though are lovers.
What Mark Zuckerberg understands about Corporate Purpose
Global business leader Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook recently addressed the issue of corporate purpose. A lot of business writers get cynical about leaders speaking about purpose because they feel it gets muddied by the fact that all have some sort of vested interests. It is generally understood that the top management must have a greater sense of purpose primarily because they have a broader perspective than the middle or entry levels. A few points must always be kept in perspective while drafting corporate purpose statements. First of all, the document must be specific to the organization and not beat around the bush, nor be sweeping about entire industry or economy. Secondly, a mission statement alone is not enough, instead the execution of the same must be detailed. Every company must try to address some gap in the market which it is trying to fulfill, so that the offering is seen by the customer base as relevant. The company’s positioning in contrast to their chief competitors may be clearly outlined in the statement. Detailed metrics must be included so that the executives are under no ambiguity as to how to measure success or not. The purpose must be a continuous process framed at the corporate strategy level, but executed pervasively throughout any organization. Finally, each company must always own up to its unique challenges within the market.
The Social CEO: Executives are using Social Media to Transform Firms
A study conducted by Hootsuite with LinkedIn has found out that CEOs who use social media to connect with the followers tend to have a positive impact on the field of talent recruitment. This is because it leads to a two-fifths rise in employee engagement at any level. The perception of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies being feared has given way to those who are more likeable and thus more likely to connect with the customer base as well. In some cases CEOs develop their own social content while in others it is curated for them by specialists. Such behaviour cuts across industries including the earlier most hierarchical finance profiles. There is even a multi-step Social CEO programme in place. It involves several components such as company branding, developing personal brand, participant base, content, analysis and corporate training. There also needs to be complete clarity as to who owns this space, whether the CEO directly or any department. Compliance must be involved from the inception stage itself so that the team is aware that no sensitive business details are being shared by these social CEOs on social media outlets.
10 Principles of Strategy through Execution
Ten principles have been identified which must included as a part of corporate strategy but will gain traction when executed smoothly. First of all, the aim must always be to reach as high as possible. The company must identify what are its own top strengths and build upon them. Agility is the new buzzword and companies must be ambidextrous enough to take on any market disruptions. Each member of the strategy team must have his/her goals clearly etched out. It is however not enough o simply draft the said strategy. It is pertinent then to create structures to support this strategy. While for business purposes teams will be divided on the basis of functionality such as finance, marketing or HR, these teams must be fluid enough to collaborate with one another. Knowledge must never be hidden within silos. The enterprise must embrace digitalization in every aspect using technologies such as Cloud, Internet of Things and business analytics. Strategy must never mean something that is over-arching so vague for the common workers. Instead the document and its subsequent execution must be simple to follow. The value chain must be created to be able to support the company processes and future expansion plans. These new digital initiatives must be included so contingencies exist during disruptions by newer players or competitors. Finally, the entire team must be geared towards a common goal. Fleet-footed companies need to imbibe this sort of collective mastery.
Getting a return on Integrity as a Marketing Strategy
Arthur Andersen used to be one of the top accounting firms in the USA until the Enron scandal which exposed corporate greed and led to the firm filing for bankruptcy. While some of the charges have been overturned the damage to the company’s goodwill had been done. One of the firm’s former management consulting experts provides a three-pronged approach for any company seeking a return towards integrity. First of all, the challenges must be outlined so that one does not skirt past them but actually take them on. A set of core values must be identified from whom the company must never veer away. The leadership must take control to make sure that the company’s momentum goes the right way in terms of its actual business aligned with the ethics.
“On the brink of Distrust”: New Study urges Companies to Engage Customers and Employees
As per the latest Trust Barometer, trust seems to be generally falling apart. Confidence on all four major institution types – businesses, government, media and NGOs- fell for the first time in seventeen years. Within this category though, businesses still retain an iota of trust. More than half surveyed, confirmed their trust in business but CEOs’ reputations fell down by twelve points to just over a third of them convinced. Three ways have been identified which can help businesses regain customer confidence. One of them is an increase in employee engagement which has been observed to be amongst the finest methods to talent management in any company. A two-way dialogue must be fostered between the company, its employees and customers. And then companies will need to act on the feedback generated from the various stakeholders.