Not all marketing strategies are equal.

South African research shows that 25 percent of retail marketing budgets are going to waste through inefficiencies in terms of product choice and poorly conceived media placement strategies. A further 10 to 15 percent of turnover is being lost because customers are leaving stores unhappy. (Chris Moerdyk)

Customer-centric marketing as a key growth strategy

“Make an effort to shift from product- to customer- centricity in the words used in your business”, says Leré Smith, the head of client experience at Momentum.

Indeed, the global marketing landscape has changed dramatically. Push marketing (or Outbound Marketing) has become outdated, inefficient and is ANNOYING. You know, businesses who PUSH their products and services in your face with a pollution of billboards, magazine ads, television ads, and browser pop-ups.

Customer-centric marketing approaches, such as Inbound Marketing, is about EARNING the attention of your Ideal Business prospects. Plainly stated, Inbound Marketing is like marketing with a magnet instead of marketing with a megaphone. (Dental Whiteboard)

Growth Strategy: Give to get

As a customer-centric approach, Inbound Marketing is about attracting your ideal clients by making available the quality content that they are already looking for as they search for information to help them solve the problems and challenges they face.

It’s a sort of trade: your business provides prospects with something of value in exchange for their permission to keep marketing to them. (In a nutshell)

In practice, a company that makes use of Inbound Marketing produces quality content that could be interesting and valuable to specific prospects at a very specific time in their buyer’s journey. The content is aimed to help the client to solve a problem or to provide a free service. For example, giving away advice in blog articles, a free e-book, video column, white paper or free trial. In exchange for this content, the business requires a proportionate amount of contact and qualifying information from the client to determine,

1. whether they are an ideal business prospect, and

2. to enable the business to stay in touch with the prospect throughout their buyer’s journey.

Benefits of customer-centric marketing strategies

  • You are 8 times more likely to close a sales lead through Inbound Marketing! (Outbound: 1.7% vs Inbound: 14.6%). This means that your company would spend 62% less on acquiring a sales lead than it would without Inbound.
  • Because Inbound Marketing fosters long-term relationships between customers and the brand, customer loyalty is nurtured resulting in higher customer retention.  
  • Customers buy from brands they know and trust. A company that has proven itself to be customer-centric and to deliver a positive customer experience will have a higher rate of return customers and increased spend per customer. (Garrett Moon)
  • A happy customer becomes a delighted brand promoter!
  • Because Inbound Marketing focuses on specific prospects, communication is centered on an audience of One – meaning that marketing time and efforts are applied in a targeted and efficient way.

Customer centricity: The key to South African business growth

If your business produces unique products and provides outstanding services you would probably like to believe that customers will come looking for you. Unfortunately, the reality is that in business, the best business doesn’t always win.

Making a purchase is not a rational, but a deeply emotional action. Consumer loyalty is driven by ‘trust’, and trust is earned. Smart business of the future tune in to their customers and centre their marketing strategies on the needs of prospects. Or in the warning words of Garrett Moon: