« Is today’s marketing organization broken? | Main | Customer centricity requires technology investment »

Comments

Carol

The pull towards product centricity is deeply rooted in marketing culture. After all, one of the 4 Ps is product and another is place! Because of this, I think many companies organize around these two key principles giving rise to both product and channel silos.

The practice of product oriented marketing is extremely strong in my industry, B2B technology marketing. Most B2B companies are founded by strong technologists who believe the product is the company. In fact when new companies are founded, the product and the company are typically synonymous and the organization is focused on just one market segment, the "early adopters." But as a company matures, the need to reach into and organize around new market segments becomes critical to growth - it's a hard transition.

We also have many organizations dedicated to product marketing such as the AIPMM, and Product Management Associations in Boston, Silicon Valley, Toronto, Vancouver and so on. Where are the associations for “customer segment” marketers? While the product marketing and management associations stress the need to make the customer the design point, the organization names still focus on the product.


I am lucky because our CEO, though a technologist, knows the customer is what counts. We have a “customer success” group that is not on a commissioned sales plan and is offered at no cost to our customers. Their sole mission is to help ensure our customers are successful and getting maximum value from our solutions. We do not have a product marketing group; we have a segment marketing group. Each segment manager focuses on one or two customer segments with the mission of understanding the business needs of their customers and working to deliver solutions, services, information and marketing to meet those needs.


But even here, there is always a pull towards product marketing. Who will create the product collateral? Who will manage each product launch? Many products are relevant to several segments. These are practical and difficult issues to tackle in an organization structured by customer segment, but they are manageable. Nearly every time we hire new leaders into the company, they struggle with our lack of product marketing and hint that perhaps we should reorganize. It’s more comfortable to be organized by products. It maps to people's past experience. Segments introduce new complexity. And sometimes even I bemoan that I don't have any product marketers. But I'm still convinced the segment model is helping us serve our customers better.


What have other companies experienced? I’d love to hear more thoughts from both B2B and B2C marketers.

Ardath Albee

I think customer centricity is a realistic goal. For my company, although we have a terrific product that's a sales optimization platform, we discovered that to become customer centric we had to embrace being a services company.

It's more important how a software product is used and helping customers do the strategic thinking that will have them be successful in their implementation of it. The practice of delivering the software implementation as a done deal, ready to launch, means that you're partners with your customers in their success.

I think to be customer centric means your business has to be focused on serving your customers needs. The product may be killer, but if they aren't successful using it, then you haven't served the customer.

The interesting point in all this is that your focus on the customer being successful using your product leads you to improve the product to meet needs better, so it's a win for both sides.

Ardath

Colin

Customer centricity is an essential goal. Anything less is going to be product focussed, or single channel focussed.

We have to consider the media savvy consumer of the 21st century armed with spam killing devices such as, e.g..

* firefox ad blocker
* popup blockers
* tivo for skipping television ads
* gmail with advanced spam blocking
* wordpress blog hosting with blog spam comment blocking
* online bill presentment (so no mail spam with the bill)

The solution is not going to be simple, but will have characteristics that are diametrically opposed to old marketing:

- inbound vs outbound
- listening vs telling
- niche vs mass
- authentic vs spin

GrahamHill

Elana

This looks like being an interesting journey.

One of marketing's many current problems is that it is an almost exclusively inside-out thing. Marketers look for target markets to pitch their existing products at. Once a customer buys, they switch to looking for individual customers to pitch their existing products at. The customer is almost an after-thought.

Whle marketers stay so out of touch with real customers, with their perceptions of what constitutes value for them and with their perceptions of how that value should be delivered over the end-to-end customer experience, we should not be suprised that marketing is becoming the troubled corporate child.

Just rearranging the pieces on the organisational chess board to focus on customer segments rather than product groups or geographical territories won't make much of a difference until the customer is really brought deep inside the marketing orgainsation.

Graham Hill
Independent CRM Consultant

Annerose

These comments have been invaluable to me as is this whole site. I thank you for your comment.

xocai

Brian and Sarah McCoy offers home based business by selling or marketing xocai products.

Gbg

Looks like a promising business opportunity. Lots of helpful information.

ViSalus

This site is very Excellent.

Cash Gifting Programs

Useful info, the companies away from the limelight are making all the money.

Extenze

The Excellent point in all this is that your focus on the customer being successful using your product leads you to improve the product to meet needs better, so it's a win for both sides.

cheap flights to chennai

Once a customer buys, they switch to looking for individual customers to pitch their existing products at. The customer is almost an after-thought.

Mesothelio

It’s more comfortable to be organized by products. It maps to people's past experience. Segments introduce new complexity.

detox body

The practice of delivering the software implementation as a done deal, ready to launch, means that you're partners with your customers in their success. usual thing.

bath and body

Useful info, It maps to people's past experience. Segments introduce new complexity. And sometimes even I bemoan that I don't have any product marketers.

coimbatore flights

Interesting post! you mentioned adWords by google that made them make a lot of money.

 buy new pc

This is a good article You can make more money with online business.

extenze

well, you know what they say... the customer is always right!

Extenze

This is a good article You can make more money with online business.

Extenze

This is a good article You can make more money with online business.

Lindell Welch

I think a lot of corporate moguls had missed the point on customer centricity. They thought it is as simple as giving their customers their needs.

The comments to this entry are closed.