The last two years have presented us with a rough economy and no doubt, many people—employees, stakeholders and customers alike—are feeling its tight squeeze and so are you. Layoffs, cutbacks, delayed product and service upgrades, lack of innovation, competitive pressure, unsure stockholders, lost supply chains, and more, likely keep you up at night or at least in the office for countless hours when you would rather be home with your family.
With or without a bad economy, the business tides have certainly shifted over the past five years.
Customers are now more vocal than ever when it comes to your brand and the promises made on its behalf. Yes, even B2B customers.
It used to be that customers would share their positive and negative experiences through customer satisfaction surveys, focus groups, industry association meetings and even with the media. Now they have tools right at their fingertips that allow them to reach thousands—if not millions—of buyers in your target market via the Internet. These tools put a microscope on your brand and magnify it more than you have ever known was possible.
I am sure you have read or heard about social media and its importance. However, it is not enough to be aware that your customers are using social media channels. It is your job to understand why. The why lies in the fact that you do not know them… not really.
I am sure your focus is on what products and services your company makes, what is the highest margin you can earn without overpricing compared to the competition, what distribution channels make the most sense without adding more cost, and generating media attention and leads to generate revenue.
That mindset is broken. Your customers don’t care.
They care about whether you sell a product or service that they need or that eases their specific business challenge. They care about what their overall cost is (and that cost goes well beyond the invoice they will be paying you). They care about the convenience they will experience in doing business with you. They care about being able to search for a solution to their problem and not being interrupting with needless promotions for a product or service they could never use.
See the difference? They really want you to know them.
So how about it? Will you consider leading from a customer-centric perspective?
Best of luck,
The Harte of Marketing
Along with Gini Dietrich and 30 other smart business, marketing and public relations minds, I provided the above letter for Arment Dietrich’s new ebook, Dear CEO: Letters to the C-Suite from Experts on Vision, Culture, Community, and Integration.
I know that you also have smart advice that you’d like to share with CEO’s to help them understand today’s business environment!
Here’s your chance.
Let others benefit from your advice by sharing this post using the #DearCEO hashtag on Twitter and sharing it on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. There’s no better way to learn then from one another’s experiences.
If you’d like to buy a copy of Dear CEO, head on over to Arment Dietrich’s Spin Sucks, where they are available for purchase.