Recently, I have read a lot about the value of customer personas and strategies for growing a customer base. There is always going to be value in understanding who your buyers are and what they want so you can create appealing content and marketing strategies - AKA the traditional buyer persona. However, as digital transformation changes the way buyers interact with businesses, buyer personas also need to change. In a digital world, interactions matter as much or more than content. Buyers now expect businesses to meet their needs in real-time, through platforms and tools like chatbots and social media.
Help Customers Become More Interactive and Comfortable with Your Digital Platforms
Organizations will need to shift their focus on customer understanding from isolated customer instances (buyers and users) to an understanding of customer networks in order to stay competitive. Digital technologies have provided marketers with an unprecedented ability to collect and analyze digital data about customers, but are still currently focused on the push-oriented side of the equation: Campaigns, content creation, scheduling and publishing. Digital Initiatives must now be deployed across channels to create experience that deliver real value and enable relationships between businesses and their customers.
But even this is not enough. Additionally, buyers are also users and vice versa. In a world where customers can easily become brand ambassadors through online reviews, businesses need to focus on creating positive experiences for all of their stakeholders.
Businesses need to think about how they can design their digital interactions, environments and systems in order to be more interactive as customers become more comfortable with digital platforms.
Thinking Account Based
This means that market-based strategies, which traditionally focus on acquiring new customers, are no longer as effective. Instead, businesses need to focus on account-based strategies, which aim to create long-term relationships with key accounts. We have been evaluating lifetime value in marketing for a long time. And while it is important to understand the return on investment for new customers, focusing too much on acquiring new accounts can often be a huge mistake.
Let's Consider ThisScenariofrom the Beginning.
A retailer launches an account-based marketing strategy that targets 250 mid-level executives at one Fortune 100 company. The plan is to nurture relationships with these individuals over time, and use them as advocates for the company's products and services. Great plan, right? Maybe not…
While this strategy may lead to some incremental revenue in the future, it will be extremely difficult to scale. There are only so many mid-level executives at a Fortune 100 company. And these individuals probably already have plenty of salesmen fighting for their attention.
THIS IS WHERE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE COMES IN TO PLAY
You can use your customers as advocates for your brand, even when you are not targeting them directly. By creating an amazing customer experience, you can turn customers into product salesmen who will spread the word about your company, and help introduce prospects to the buying process. By focusing on customer experience, you are growing your business through your existing customers. And by doing this, you can avoid scenarios like the one I described earlier.
Customer experience takes all of the activities that contribute to a good customer experience and turns them into an integrated system that is constantly working to improve itself. The goal of each touchpoint with customers is to improve the overall experience. This is why customer experience needs to be at the center of your growth strategies, not something that should live in a silo.
Digital transformation is changing the way buyers interact with businesses, and in order to succeed, businesses need to adapt their buyer personas to reflect these changes. By understanding who your buyers are and what they want, you can create content and marketing strategies that appeal to them in new and innovative ways.
With the emergence of the platform economy, businesses should begin to focus on market development and account based rather than product-based thinking in order to stay afloat and grow in our ever-changing digital age.
At Carbon Edge, we help companies across the globe to become more efficient and effective in keeping up with their industry. Through our Three/60 transformation and advisory services, we develop tailored plans that focus on digital transformation for your company, including how you can adapt your buyer personas to meet these new standards. Contact us today to find out more.