“In the age of the customer, executives don’t decide how customer-centric their companies are — customers do,” – Kate Leggett
Businesses can craft a customer-centric product message through myriad efforts designed to help the business identify with the customer, identify and evaluate his or her requirements, and gaining thorough knowledge about the individual customer’s mindset. These are some of the relevant starting points for a business enterprise that seeks to create such product messages. Consider this: a software product company needs to offer a distinct value proposition to the customer in order to win and retain business. This can be achieved in the product planning stages when the company’s software architects place the customer in the centre of the said process. All the subsequent actions and thoughts are guided by the above philosophy. The outcome of such actions can be said to be customer-centric because inputs from customers and information from market research has been incorporated into the product design process. The software product has a higher chance of conforming to customer expectations and can carve its own niche in the market.
A customer-centric product message can be crafted by a corporate entity that seeks to genuinely upgrade its corporate culture in a firm-wide effort to serve the customer better. This is important because generic product messages may not work in a world populated by new product launches and tough commercial competition. A marketing organization is therefore, duty-bound to adapt to changes in business and society. Customers can be delineated based on their position or function in the corporate hierarchy; this affords the marketing department the ability to craft a unique communication that is designed to evoke a response from the said customer. The tone of the message, the imagery invoked, and the content should be pitch-perfect for the targeted customer. This kind of bespoke product message signals the marketer’s seriousness of intent and is more likely to elicit a considered response from the target.
We need to bear in mind that a customer-centric product message seeks to accomplish a lot more than merely selling a product or a service. The message needs to convey the seller’s intent to help the customer to approach and solve a problem. This kind of a product message immediately generates a significant amount of rapport with the customer, which can be priceless for a business enterprise. A tailored marketing message should appeal to the customer’s sense of self and should not overwhelm the customer with crass marketing techniques. Consider this: A manufacturer of athletic footwear may choose to create a new marketing campaign that is firmly centred on the customers. The firm and its marketing department can focus on making a clear break with past efforts in selling products. To that end, the marketing organization within the firm can create a layered selling campaign that targets different user segments of the firm’s products. We must note that the product branding should remain immaculate, because such branding helps the firm’s products to achieve and sustain a market reputation. In terms of the product message, the manufacturer can craft an educational marketing spiel for the first time buyer of athletic footwear. This aspect of the product message can guide the customer into the different types of athletic footwear products and the attributes and features of the same. Customer education is the prime intent in this message. The product message can be diversified for teenaged users in the form of product recommendations. This message may be a separate communication intended for seasoned customers that know their athletic footwear. New products, the use of technical specifications, and product popularity can be the centre pieces of this marketing message. In the final phase, the product message may choose to include endorsements from track and field stars and professional runners to impress the high-end customer. The above text illustrates the many uses of customised product messages.
Customer-centric product messages must be delivered through every channel available to the marketing organization. Product promotions, marketing messages, newsletters, and advertisements should ideally be delivered through online platforms, social media handles, through emails, traditional media, and through mobile services. This approach guarantees a wide exposure to the product or services being sold by a firm. Care should be taken to ensure that the marketing message being transmitted across the said channels should be highly integrated and must signal unified intent. The messages should be designed to inaugurate a long-term customer relationship that hinges on matter-of-fact communication. One of the pivots of such messages should be the transformation of a customer into a brand advocate. The said conversions should help to create a chain of business benefits and therein can be found the true worth of the marketing message.
Modern marketing departments should acknowledge that they need to invest substantial resources and efforts into creating customer-centric product messages. This acknowledgement is essential because it can help to build effective product messages from the ground up. Studying the different aspects of customer behaviour and customer mindsets can help to derive interesting customer insights. This information can then be utilised to create the perfect customer-centric marketing messages. No two messages can be the same because every customer may be different. Hence, personalised offers should be a significant component of the said efforts. In addition, the corporate enterprise has to make sure that technologies and processes sufficiently to drive customer engagement consistently. We should note that customer feedback has a significant and ongoing role to play in the crafting of customer-centric product messages. This information can be used in conjunction with in-house metrics to refine the creation and delivery mechanisms of the said messages.
A customer-centric product message also implies that the customer is never taken for granted. Businesses must be responsible enough to acknowledge that the modern customer is an informed entity that is plugged into various streams of information. This realization can help the business enterprise to connect to the hearts and minds of the customers. The multiplicity of products and services that characterise the modern market leaves very little space for ambiguity in customer-centric product messages. Almost every product has attained the point where it has become a mass produced commodity and this fact exerts pressure on businesses to match their commercial message flawlessly with the product that is being offered to paying customers. For instance, a cosmetics manufacturer is only as good as the product(s) that are advertised in their marketing communications. The mass availability of high quality products from the competition should help the manufacturer to target ever higher product and quality standards. These efforts can be complemented by flawless product messages. Only then can said manufacturer carve a special place in the hearts and minds of their customers.
In the above paragraphs, we have outlined the importance of and the techniques related to the creation of customer-centric product messages. Winning and retaining the mass of average customers remains the central plank of every such message. Every business has a central interest in acquiring and retaining customers, but a great business is one that can court every individual customer and grant this individual the best products and services it has to offer. Both commercial and business success hinges on such actions; therefore, customer-centricity should be the watchword among the rank and file of the business.