This article was originally published on 01/13/2020.
The customer is possibly at the heart of all marketing strategies and initiatives for businesses. In this article, we will take a look at the 7 Ps framework and what each element means for small to midsize enterprises (SMEs).
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In recent years, the term ‘customer-centric’ in marketing, services, and product development has often meant the integration of tools and methods such as data collection, design thinking, and testing. All these factors can possibly play a key role in customer-centricity. A company’s leadership team can also work together with the employees to shape the relationship with their customers. In the next sections, we will look at the 7 Ps of customer-centricity and how they can help companies with their marketing efforts.
1. Perspective change
Prioritising customer experience is a strategic change that can possibly take time. Allow yourself and your team enough time and training to adapt to new processes you may want to implement. Likewise, you may want to encourage your team to share their own professional experiences between themselves on this.
Also, working with business intelligence software can potentially ensure that data about your customers and competitors is always available as insights for decision-making. If internal data is not accessible for this purpose, it’s recommended to use ‘social listening’ for initial information in order to gradually add to it. The better you aim to understand your customers, the more targeted your communication with them can be.
Customer experience can affect the entire company. A good way to engage employees is possibly by creating personas that represent your target audience and presenting them to the entire organisation. For instance, by having such profiles hung up in offices and discussed regularly. In addition, when business challenges are discussed, it may help to have these profiles as a reference point for the conversation. An article by Interaction Design Foundation also states that ‘creating personas will help you understand your users’ needs, experiences, behaviors and goals’.
Additionally, you may want to ask yourself the following questions together as a team while making decisions:
- What would the customer think?
- What would the customer do?
- What would the customer appreciate?
- What can I do to improve the customer experience?
Nominate ‘customer ambassadors’ within your teams. These ambassadors can assist businesses with marketing initiatives, advertising tactics, and building the company’s social media presence. They can also help other employees with improving their social communications.
Try to actively look for possibilities to bridge silos —like coordination and task sharing— in the interest of the customer and promote them. Encourage cross-departmental learning from each other. The better your employees understand what your work is about, the more your work could make sense to customers.
Rely on excellent content that can help your customers and employees. For example, when merging departments, it makes sense to have the specialist departments prepare relevant questions such as ‘Who can I contact regarding my move?’. Employees can also be viewed as customers and would likely greatly appreciate customer-focused measures that can help them to meet challenges.
Clean up your customer relationship management (CRM) processes. Today, it might be more important than ever to have a clear idea of which customers to target and how. For a customer-centric approach and a sustainable business model like subscriptions, you would possibly need a stable CRM tool.
Try to use an efficient CRM platform as a starting point for further thinking about your customer platforms from the customer’s perspective. Think about which service you can use to provide comprehensive digital support for your customers’ problems, especially beyond the core services offered —such as the need for information, interaction, and more.
Check the performance of marketing, sales, and communication campaigns and measure the results. Include customer satisfaction as a key performance indicator (KPI) for evaluating the work of your teams. If necessary, this may need to be weighed according to the situation in individual teams. However, if your overall corporate goal is to optimise customer contact, this can also potentially become a factor that could determine growth.
If you want enthusiastic customers, you would probably need enthusiastic employees. This may make conscious contact with employees and customers crucial to achieve the right purpose.
Look to ensure that you deliver on your service promises to your customers and try to continuously optimise them. Good customer satisfaction software can help you collect, organise, and manage feedback.
How can the 7 Ps of marketing help businesses?
The 7 Ps of marketing, also called the 7 Ps of customer-centricity, as well as marketing mix, potentially provide a framework for marketing planning to advertise to your target market effectively. According to an article by Smart Insights, ‘The 7Ps help companies to review and define key issues that affect the marketing of its products and services’. This could help businesses to differentiate themselves from rivals by providing a product that meets client needs. It may also be a good idea for businesses to check in with their consumers’ needs alongside the development process to make sure they’re working on the appropriate product.