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The Evolution of the Customer

posted January 15th 2020, 3:34 pm by Maddy Strange

Generally, in marketing circles, the goal is to convert a visitor into a customer. This can be done through a multitude of ways and channels. The constant throughout all the options is the focus on the customer. This focus on the customer has been a common thread throughout the history of marketing. However, recently the customer buying cycle has evolved. Today, we'll be talking about the evolution of the customer and what it means for us today.

The Evolution of the Customer

Customer retention:

Today, salespeople and marketers cannot assume that someone who visited your site or talked with your people will be sticking around to do the same tomorrow. There is an immediacy of results and decisions today that wasn't always present. There is still a buying cycle and process. However, the customer needs a strong hook—a strong reason to keep coming back. This is because a quick Google search will provide plenty of other options. Creating a personal connection and a winning user experience will help with customer retention.

Personalization:

Customers expect a personalized experience. The move toward hyper-personalization in website design is a good example of this trend. Customers expect (or at least, appreciate) an experience that is personal and relevant to them. Options for personalization include: AI, data use, and interactive pages. On top of the digital experience, cultivating a strong in-person relationship with customers adds to the personalization. Knowing individuals and building a relationship with them allows your company to build credibility with them and cater to their needs.

Targeting:

Customers (in addition to expecting personalization) are categorized in the marketer's view as well. A marketer divides their audience into sub-audiences or submarkets. This allows both the marketer and the customer to have a specific goal in mind. With a smaller audience, the marketing messages and buying cycle steps can be honed in on an specific customer target.

Relationships:

Connected to all the points made above, relationships have reigned throughout the evolution of the customer. Marketing and sales used to be (and sometimes, still is) in-person and shared by word of mouth. However, the theme of relationships is still strong today. Customer relationships are strengthened through things like personalization and target audiences. This helps customers feel seen and connected. In addition, adding a strong relationship between your customer and your company is as invaluable as ever.

Problem-solving:

In contrast to getting their wants or needs met, most customers want their problems solved. Sometimes this problem is the need for a new or higher quality product, and sometimes this problem is a need for a service or a new company partnership. Whatever the need is, market to the problem. To do this, see how your company fixes their problem and show that solution clearly in your marketing campaigns and website design.

Availability:

Especially today, when working with larger companies, customers usually expect service available at all times. Whether this is a well-programmed chat bot response or a person answering the phone, quick response time is key. Dedicating some time each day to responding to customers and reaching out to contacts will improve your company's credibility and availability.

Consider how the above trends are at work in your company today. If there are some customer trends that might be helpful to keep in mind, but you haven't worked on yet, brainstorm ways to use them. Catering toward the current customer is essential for growth and development. 

If you'd like to talk with us about marketing options you're considering, give us a call at 262-363-4238 or reach out to us at [email protected]. Our services include branding, marketing, and website development with an emphasis on industrial sector companies.