Forrester Offers Seven Steps to Better Marketing
The key to the marketer's success is to focus on the needs of the customer and the benefits that can be delivered, according to a new report from Forrester.
"Focusing on consumer needs is a healthy first principle that will engender success and avoid technology-led strategies," said Forrester Analyst Anthony Mullen in a release.
Marketers must pivot their strategy from a channel-based to a needs-based approach. This will ensure that marketers focus on the benefits they can bring customers and will avoid the problem of new technologies shaping strategies too early in the process.
Mullen outlines seven steps to a needs-based marketing strategy, suggesting replacement of the concept that brand strategies are driven by how marketers can meet their own objectives with the idea that consumers' needs must drive the approach.
Marketers aren’t alone in feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of emerging technologies and the competitors that are capitalizing on them.
The steps are:
1. Select a customer whom you wish to serve. Capture a sense of what these people want from life.
2. Select a customer life cycle stage to focus on. Select the area in which you need to improve the experience for customers: discover, explore, buy, or engage.
3. Identify the fundamental customer need(s) you will fulfill. Examine the needs (comfort, variety, uniqueness, connection, or a mix) these customers have for the stage of the life cycle you wish to serve.
4. Identify the benefit your customers want next from your marketing. Highlight how you can add value to support these customers’ needs.
5. Explore the features that will deliver these benefits. Outline the features in a technology-agnostic manner that can deliver these benefits.
6. Select the technology to deliver the features. Choose the technologies to develop, commission, or license to deliver the feature.
7. Set key performance indicators (KPIs). Outline what measurable benefit this will deliver to your brand.
Customer needs and benefits should drive emerging touchpoint strategy.
Complexity, technology faddism, and a disconnected entrepreneurial culture slow marketers down, yield bad data, duplicate integration costs, and ultimately create a poor-quality experience for customers.
Reduce complexity and increase speed of response by having a clear strategy focused on customers’ needs and the benefits you can bring to them.