4 marketing disciplines critical to customer centricity

Marketing expert Dr Linden Brown reveals what it takes to achieve a customer-centric culture to drive business growth

Author and chairman of MarketCulture, Dr Linden Brown speaks at the Australian Marketing Institute’s Customer Experience Summit 2016
Author and chairman of MarketCulture, Dr Linden Brown speaks at the Australian Marketing Institute’s Customer Experience Summit 2016

The key function of marketing is to underpin building of a profitable business – and you need to focus on customers to build sustainable business growth, author and chairman of MarketCulture, Dr Linden Brown, said.

Here are four pillars to achieving customer experience success.

1. Understand the immediacy of customer-centricity

Speaking at the Australian Marketing Institute’s Customer Experience Summit 2016 in Sydney, Dr Brown stressed one of the biggest impediments to profitable growth and revenue generation is the culture that surrounds us.

“There is something missing in marketing, and that’s customer culture,” he said. “Forrester research conducted a few years ago indicated 91 per cent of companies said they were customer-focused, but when they asked the customers, only 10 per cent of them actually agreed. Now that’s a huge gap. But to bridge that gap is a great opportunity.”

In the age of social media, customer expectations are also changing in terms of what their needs are and what they think they want now and for the future, he claimed.

“This movement has created an immediacy for a customer-centric approach to doing business,” he said. “As marketers, we are now expected to become more involved in generating superior and more profitable customer experiences.”

2. Embrace the mantra: What’s best for the customer is best for the business

Dr Brown suggested marketers think of a customer-centric culture as the mantra that what’s best for the customer is best for the business.

“Customers don’t just buy the product, they want the whole experience – and Apple is a great example of a company that offers that,” he said.

“Other disruptors like AirBnB and Uber are also making their mark by focusing on great customer experience. Another icon example would be Amazon, which from the start was about being customer centric on a global level – and the company had a big vision.”

3. Disrupt the competition

A good example of a successful company using a customer-centric culture to not only achieve sustainable business growth but also to disrupt its competitors is Australian startup, Naked Wines, Dr Brown said.

“In Australia, 65 per cent of wines are sold through liquor chains owned by the likes of Woolworths and Coles, so it’s kind of a duopoly marketplace,” he said. “But with that model, the pressure goes back to the vineyards to produce high-quality wine and lower prices and lower margins. As a result, many of the boutique vineyards with a lot of history,were getting squeezed out.”

According to Dr Brown, Naked Wines saw an opportunity in this system to find a way to help the wine growers fund their vintage and get reasonable margins on good wines via ‘angel investors’ – where customer memberships essentially crowdfund the production of the wine.

“This is a business that connects vineyards and wine growers with consumers direct,” he said. “The business model creates viability for the winegrowers, but there’s also a personal connection customers have with the vineyard.

“The company essentially took the disenfranchised wineries and the disenfranchised customers and brought them together via an online business, where there is a real connection and relationship. As a result, Naked Wines is now a $30 million business with three operations – one in Sydney, one in the US and one in the UK and growing.”

4. Empower through collaboration

Dr Brown said companies that encourage collaboration across the business in order to create a unified and targeted approach achieve greater customer experience outcomes.

“It’s about collaborating with a focus on creating great customer experiences that is sustainable and profitable,” he continued. “Take Ikea, for example. The company maintains a strong set of values around collaboration. In fact, the whole collaboration element of working together to create value for customers is such a strong value Ikea, they are prepared to fire superstars who are not prepared to collaborate.

“Starbucks is another example where it has developed a whole relationship over the coffee business – creating an environment where those customer relationships could develop and prosper.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Is your content marketing missing the mark?

Does it ever seem like the content you create falls flat on its face or that the leads you’re generating aren’t worth following up?

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

​ Creating a purpose-driven brand

So you want to be a brand with purpose. But what does it actually mean to build a brand with real meaning?

Paul Chappell

Partner and managing director, Brand + Story

Customer experience crisis: Proactively mitigating the risk of broken promises

Last Friday, three weeks after United Airline’s spectacular customer experience disaster, customers received a letter from the company’s CEO, Oscar Munoz.

Grate post, thanks for the post.No matter what your business is, if you do no not rank among the top most search results of Google, Yahoo...

Rahul

Image intelligence:10 must-see infographics for marketers

Read more

Thank you Shane Blandford for carrying my Smarketing vision into KM !

Peter Strohkorb

​CMO Interview: Why aligning sales and marketing drives innovation at Konica Minolta

Read more

Thanks for helping me putting those threads of thoughts together. Simplification and connection - neat idea.

Mark Bayly

Tips from IAG on how to craft human-centred design

Read more

The problem with Box is that they made a couple of big mistakes - they first hired a bunch of unprepared kids and gave them big roles and...

Tim Woods

CMO interview: Why Box's marketing chief is rewarding staff for failing

Read more

At this point, being hit hard will also be subject for a detailed study. In honesty, too early to tell but there are precedents to follow...

Sean Lindeman

Australian Government to abolish 457 visa program

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in