By Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer
In this era of digital marketing, micro-marketing is this decade’s most noteworthy consumer marketing trend. Yet, customer-centric sales and marketing is a long-time B2B strategy that predates micro-marketing and can deliver the same benefits.
However, the value of a customer-centric approach eludes many B2B organizations, including many in the fleet industry. The problem stems from the typical marketing and sales (or sales and marketing) structure.
The definition of “customer-centric” for marketing has been traditionally focused on identifying and communicating with “target markets” through appropriate media. Messaging is usually based on an understanding of common needs.
The definition of “customer-centric” for sales begins with business relationship mapping that lays out a prospect’s stakeholders, organization, culture, industry, and strategic plan.
Given these differences, there’s little chance of implementing a cohesive and effective customer-centric strategy. So, before work can begin on an integrated sales and marketing strategy, be sure to organize an integrated “sales and marketing” team, as described in last month’s column, while developing multi-faceted communications tools to reach them.
Start the Planning Process
Once done, you can look at a customer-centric plan that includes answers to the following marketing questions:
- What/who are your targets?
- What do they care about? What outcome are they seeking?
- Where do you find them?
- What or who influences them?
- How do they want to engage and eventually buy?
From a sales point of view, answers to the following marketing sales information is important:
- Customer Acquisition: How many new customers are currently acquired; how many customers are expected to be acquired in the coming budgeting periods, and what sales volumes and values are obtained from current new customers and expected from new customers,
- Customer Retention: How many customers are currently retained, and how many are estimated to be lost, and what sales are expected from those retained,
- Customer Value Development: How has value been added to your old and regular customer accounts?
We will continue building the customer-centric plan in our next column. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, comments, experiences or opinions about fleet industry-related marketing that you’d like to share, write to me at edpierce@ITAcommunications.com.