Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Forrester Urges Refocus on Customer Needs

It's time to make some New Year's marketing resolutions. A recent Forrester Research report prompts one good goal for 2014: Put customer needs ahead of the latest "shiny object" technology or channel. Complexity, technology faddism, and a disconnected entrepreneurial culture are slowing marketers down, yielding bad data, duplicating integration costs, and ultimately creating a poor-quality experience for customers, researchers warn. Forrester urges marketers to adopt a clear strategy focused on customers’ needs, and suggests these steps to success: Select a target customer and focus on a customer life cycle stage; identify the fundamental customer need(s) to fulfill and what benefit(s) customers want next; explore how to deliver these benefits in a technology-agnostic manner; then select the desired delivery method to develop, commission, or license; and make sure to set key performance indicators (KPIs). Pretty basic, right? But some marketers, overwhelmed by emerging technologies and channels, and fearful of being trumped by competitors, are forgetting basics in the rush to embrace hot new marketing tactics. By failing to aim at the only target that counts--the customer--they risk costly marketing misses. See the MediaPost article on how to refocus on customers in the year ahead: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/211410/forrester-offers-seven-steps-to-better-marketing.html

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