Why isn’t your own marketing “customer-centric?”

With so much focus these days on inbound marketing and content marketing, the demand for messaging and content that more effectively engages and nurtures customers continues to be front and center.

It’s not that this hasn’t always been important, but as you know, customers now wield so much more control when it comes to buying products and services. This demands a much deeper understanding of customers and brings new meaning to the term “customer-centric.”


This term gets tossed around a lot. So, what does it really mean? Jordan Elkind defines “customer-centric” in his MarketingProfs post Five Reasons Marketers Should Be Customer-Centric.

Buyer personas“Customer-centricity is a marketing strategy with the primary goal of acquiring high-value customers and maximizing the value of every customer relationship. It acknowledges that there is no “average” customer and that the differences among customers represent an opportunity to build more long-lasting, profitable relationships through relevant communication.”

I think you’ll agree that if marketers want to build more long-lasting, profitable customer relationships with their products and services these days, they can’t afford to target an “average” customer.

Getting beyond “average”

Adele Revella has been leveraging the power of buyer insights for 25 years. As president of Buyer Persona Institute, Inc. she helps marketers understand the differences among ideal customers by digging deeper to harness the power of buyer personas. According to Revella…

“A buyer persona is an example of the real person who buys, or might buy, products like the ones you market, based on what you’ve learned from direct interviews with real buyers. They are a tool that builds confidence in strategies to persuade buyers to choose you rather than a competitor or the status quo.”

Buyer personas dive below the surface information about those customers that you want to attract, convert and win over. They reveal essential insights about behaviors, motivations and goals and expose their journey to choose a product or service. It’s the how, when and most importantly, the why that influences decisions that are made.

According to Monica Bussolati, Content Marketing Interventionist at Bussolati Associates,

“There’s a reason everyone starts their marketing advice with some variation on ‘Know Thy Buyer.’ Much in marketing has changed almost beyond recognition from just a handful of years ago, but that tenet has remained the same since day one. As number one too. With a sharp marketing tool, like a data-driven buyer persona, some of the constant marketing conundrums are more easily solved. It’s always step one for our marketing work. It can’t be skipped, and it is not a place to skimp: hire a professional, get it done right. (Then, don’t forget to use your personas.)”

HubSpot, one of the leading inbound marketing software platforms, starts its list of Inbound Marketing Best Practices with, “Use Buyer Personas – know who you’re trying to reach. Everything you do must be tied back to your personas.”

Why isn’t your own marketing “customer-centric?”

As a marketer, I’m sure that you incorporate this thinking into the work that you deliver for clients. My question to you is, if your ad agency or design firm’s own messaging and content still targets an “average” customer, why?

If you haven’t developed and actively deploy a clear buyer persona(s) to inform and direct your agency’s own marketing and new business efforts,

  1. Those efforts can’t be truly “customer-centric” and
  2. Your ability to attract, convert and win new business can’t be fully realized

Trying to launch and successfully execute a marketing and new business strategy (especially content marketing) without a clear buyer persona(s) is akin to casting a boat off with a broken ruder.

Get started!

For more good information about building buyer personas, check out 5 Rings of Buying Insight™ It’s the interview framework developed by Adele Revella. I utilize the approach and find it to be very effective.

There’s no doubt that creating meaningful, actionable buyer personas takes an investment of time and resources. If you simply don’t have it to spare, learn how I can help read more



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