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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Why efficiency and effectiveness are opposing forces in a marketing tug of war

I’ve been a long-time fan of renowned effectiveness experts, Peter Field and Les Binet, and their work. But while their approach is clearly important, the marketing leader’s challenge to deliver effectiveness more often lies in organisational structure. I see the bigger question being whether a marketing chief has a seat at the executive table, and the ear and respect of the CEO and company board.

Nickie Scriven

CEO, Zenith

Augmented Reality: What’s behind the marketing industry’s failure of imagination?

Every flagship smartphone in Australia includes hardware and software purpose-built for AR. A huge audience is ready and waiting. We have an opportunity to craft extraordinary, innovative work. But to get there, we need to push our creative thinking a little harder, writes Gil Fewster.

Gil Fewster

Creative technologist, The Royals

Does your brand need a personality review?

There are five tell-tale signs your brand needs to take a long hard look at itself.

Charlie Rose

Senior Strategy Consultant, Principals

Why it's important for me to know that? I don't get it, sorry.

James Fogle

7 things you need to know about Facebook's mood experiment

Read more

Info graphic have proven to be very useful to create brand awareness and drive traffic. Thanks for sharing these Information.Graphic Desi...

Govind Dadhich

Image intelligence:10 must-see infographics for marketers

Read more

Best web hosting packages Vancouver WA understands that only technical support and domain associated email address can bring huge leads ...

Radiata Solutions

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

I had the same vision about change from CX terminology to HX. Even with almost the same title: 'Forget customer experience...' https://ww...

Ekaterina Khramkova

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Thank you, so do I.

David Freeman

Sustainability of message: H2coco founder's commitment to consumers

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in