Think Serve The Customer VS. Sell The Customer

According to the new Marketing Sherpa Customer Satisfaction Research Study, after years of disruptive change that has lead to better informed, more empowered consumers, it has become more difficult than ever for brands to control customer perception with traditional marketing. Customer-First marketing is seen as a solution in this study.

Customer-centric marketing puts the customers at the center of marketing; all promotions and messaging flow towards them in the way that is most relevant to them. Marketers put themselves in the customers’ shoes to sell to them better.

But now, Customer-first marketing uses the customers’ goals as the compass to make decisions about marketing approach. They put the long-term interest of the customer above the short-term company conversion goals. Marketers put themselves in the customers’ shoes to serve them better, thus building a long-term, sustainable competitive advantage, explains the report.

Customer-centric marketing is a step in the right direction, moving beyond product-centric marketing to better serve modern, more empowered customers, says the report. But, Customer-First marketing (CFM) is an approach to marketing that strives for the highest degree of customer satisfaction through deep understanding of customers’ needs and wants, and creating a value proposition.

A CFM organization pursues long-term strategy to provide value to customers instead of focusing on maximizing its own short-term revenue. As a result, CFM leads to customer loyalty, an increase in share of wallet, and sustainable business success.

When U.S. consumers were asked about the companies with which they were satisfied, their responses defined the characteristics of a Customer-First company:

  • 56% say I consistently have good experiences with it
  • 43% say It is easy to conduct business with the company whether online, in person or on the phone
  • 35% It doesn’t always try to sell to me but tries to provide value
  • 34% Its marketing is not intrusive
  • 33% It is respectful of my privacy

WhileU.S. consumers were asked about the companies with which they were dissatisfied, provided reasons for their dissatisfaction:

  • 35% say the company does not put my needs and wants above its own business goals
  • 34% say the company doesn't make me feel like I have a relationship with them
  • 27% say the company always tries to sell to me instead of providing value
  • 26% It is not easy to conduct business with the company whether online, in person or on the phone
  • 25% I've heard negative things about the company from people I know (friends, family, coworkers, etc.)

Satisfied customers were three times more likely to say the company often or always puts their needs before its business goals than unsatisfied customers did, says the report.

Frequency of Satisfaction



















Source: Marketing Sherpa, December 2016

And finally, says the report, how important is Customer-First marketing? Though marketers don’t have control over every aspect of a business that might make a customer unsatisfied, they can control the marketing.

Importance of Customer-First Marketing


% of Respondents

Very Important




Moderately Important


Slightly Important


Not Important


Source: Marketing Sherpa, December 2016

For more from Marketing Sherpa please visit here


Next story loading loading..