Last week we discussed why the "customer-centric" buzzword has shown such staying power. Most importantly, because (a) powerful market dynamics are reducing the efficacy of marketing tactics that are not customer-centric, and (b) achieving truly customer-centric marketing has proved very challenging. Much ink has been spilled discussing the former, especially Web 2.0 (the buzziest of marketing buzzwords right now) but less on the latter, and we here at Unica continue to sense a thirst for practical advice on how to walk the customer-centric walk. So, our next set of blog posts will capitalize on Unica's experience working with hundreds of marketing organizations, many of whom have tried and sometimes succeeded in orienting their marketing (and broader organizations) around customers.
In Unica's experience, organizations that are successful with customer-centric transformation meet eight main criteria, across the three main dimensions of organization, resources and technology infrastructure. In roughly chronological order, these are:
- An executive-level decision to adopt a customer-centric business strategy; sustained, long-term executive commitment
- A "360 degree view of the customer" data infrastructure (there's another buzzword!)
- Strategic segmentation, built from solid customer data (#2) by skilled analysts and refined through surveys, etc.
- A team to "own" the strategic segments and be the voice of the customer (from a business results perspective, not an analytical perspective), and an organizational structure that facilitates their success
- Detailed, segment-by-segment business strategies and marketing tactics
- Processes and customer experience (and compensation) re engineered around customer and segments
- Broad socialization of segment personas and communication of resulting business benefit
- Customer and segment-oriented metrics on scorecards, dashboards, and reports
Let me be clear that this is what we've observed in the subset of successful, customer-centric companies that are also Unica customers. Are there other factors that we haven't picked up? Are there entirely different formulas all together?
In subsequent posts, we will delve into each of these criteria.