In its simplest form, business is about matching the products and services you have to offer with people who want to buy them. Some do this using the ‘throw everything at them and something’s bound to stick’ approach. This is the blanket email, the impersonal offer and the mailshot that probably begins “Dear occupier”.
Others make more of an effort. Newsletters contain articles you’re actually interested in. The products you almost bought return to tempt you while you browse other sites.
Curiouser and curiouser
What is it that separates the one size fits all approach of the first set of marketers, from the more considered approach of the second? Curiosity.
Curiosity is more than listening to your customers; it’s actively seeking their thoughts and wanting to act on what they tell you. Curiosity is what makes you look deeper into your data to see what insights you can find. And curiosity is what shifts your entire approach to marketing from one of product promotion to customer proposition.
Product promotion vs customer proposition
When your marketing is centred on the product, the customer is literally a target. You fire your communications (usually product offers) with varying degrees of precision, hoping for a bullseye but more likely pinging off the outer edges. The customer isn’t involved in the process. There’s no dialogue (certainly not from their perspective).
A customer-centric approach nurtures relationships, using data to drive a series of communications that build an understanding of the customer. Stories, values and experience engage. You’re no longer talking at, you’re sharing with.
Curiosity lies at the heart of a customer-centric relationship. Because only when you ask questions – of your data, your customers and your marketers – can you deliver something that truly engages.
How curious are you?