The Marketing Corner: Put the Customer First

June 26, 2013 Updated: June 25, 2013

All marketers can be guilty of being caught up in the moment of deciphering a variety of data. Large and small businesses are moving so quickly to get to the next campaign that they sometimes forget what is the most important for their business—the customer.

It doesn’t take long for a customer to decide whether they will buy from you again. Customers, in many cases, are neglected and don’t factor into the charts and graphs of sales data that many marketers review. This is interesting because it shows how few companies are consumer-centric. And, ironic as this may seem, it takes consumers to buy in order to increase profits. 

If small business owners want to make an impact, focus on the customer and their needs can help get there. Large marketers are spending millions of dollars in the race to grab the attention, consideration, and purchases of various target considerations, such as the Millennials. Small business owners can stay head of the pack by asking and listening to the needs of customers. As an example, when looking at purchasing behavior of Millennials, many are willing to be the first to try and patronize businesses that are catering to their needs. Given the scale of this audience, you can make an instant hit by using social media to discuss how your business fulfills a desire or a need. 

If you intend to run a very customer-centric business, consider having a dedicated person to collect and evaluates data on customers. Other noteworthy points to consider: 

1. Train your entire company on the mission of your organization so it is a living and breathing organism and not just a plaque on the wall
2. Track how your business is performing against engagement indicators you establish
3. Periodically hold a focus group with preferred customers to check how well you are doing. Be sure to offer a reward to participate. 

As a small business owner, sometimes it is the smallest things that can really make the most impact.

Adele Lassere is a marketing/advertising consultant with 20+ years experience, freelance writer and author of “Elements of Buying: A How To Reference Guide on Advertising for Business Owners,” available at Amazon.com. Adele was listed as Black Enterprise’s 2011 Top Execs in Marketing & Advertising and Black Enterprise’s 2013 Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing. Contact: lassere@bellsouth.net

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