Ramping up relevance: Keeping pace with shifting customer needs

  • Design your Strategy

How can organisations remain relevant, now, tomorrow, and in the future?

Staying close to your clients should be the number one priority for organisations. But being relevant means creating a strong relationship with customers so that you better understand their needs and problems.

However, the proliferation of technology and its continued growth gives us access to even more ways to understand them and get closer to them – enabling businesses to understand exactly what customers want and need, and deliver it to them at the precise moment via their preferred channels.

TL; DR (ed. Too long; Didn’t Read)? Relevance just got personal.

Delving into data

It used to be that when a customer liked your brand, your approach, and business they’d remain loyal. And as long as you didn’t let standards, products, and services slip, they had very little recourse to switch to a competitor.

However, while this remains true to an extent, the fact is it’s no longer about how great what you’re selling is – or even how well you’re selling it. What matters is that you make what you’re selling as personalised as possible to your customers.

Each and every single one of them. Yes, even if you have millions of customers. If they can’t see what your brand can do for them, then, they’ll find another that will.

But there is a saving grace here – data. Each purchase and product choice a customer makes helps us build a better informed picture of them. Being able to harness that level of information is fast becoming essential in the quest for relevance.

Communication channels

More and more, we’re seeing the use of a myriad of communication channels to facilitate brand and customer interactions. 20 years ago, businesses would only have a store and a contact telephone number. Today we have email, social media, messaging apps, video conferencing, among others.

And while communicating with and listening to customers is another critical part of the relevance equation, the fact is each of these interactions tells us something more about our customers.

Understanding which channel they use is valuable information in its own right. Aligned with transactional data, we can start to build a more complete picture of each customer.

However, deciding which channels are the most effective can be a struggle for many organisations. Moreover, the entire selling strategy has been changed over time too.

Long gone are the days when organisations implemented ‘push-focused’ advertising strategies to sell their products and services across mass media. Today, consumers are more demanding and more aware – which is why conversation is crucial in determining context and relevance.

However, conversation is a two-way street. Simply doing everything your customers want isn’t a viable brand strategy. But shaping your products and services in partnership – co-creating – with customers can only enhance brand loyalty and affiliations.

Striking the balance

The key to remaining relevant as an organization is to have a broader focus on solving the problems of your customers. This means striking a balance – between meaningful conversations, diving deeper into an issue, and getting the bigger picture. It involves thinking outside the box, looking for alternative solutions, and asking the right questions.

To sum up, relevance is dynamic and it changes constantly. For that reason, companies need to be agile and adapt to changes in the market quickly. To do that, they need to ensure that they’re embracing the technologies needed to do this. Brands that master it are those that will emerge victorious.

However, while it’s easy to assume that tech is the answer – and while it does play a crucial role – it’s simply a conduit to understanding customer needs. That all begins with one thing understanding who your customers are.

It’s a Brave New World out there and opportunities abound. Relevance is only going to get more granular and personalised. But the brands that master it, are those that will emerge victorious.

If you need guidance on how to remain relevant to your customers now and in the future reach out to us today.

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