How to Be a Better Customer-Centric Marketer | Marketing Maestros | Blogs | ANA

How to Be a Better Customer-Centric Marketer

July 13, 2021

By Nancie McDonnell Ruder, ANA Faculty


Marketing success is simple: Brand marketers who truly understand their customers create engaging and successful new products and communications, and through those successes, reap the benefits of increased sales and engagement. Meanwhile, those who don’t understand their customers fail to connect and fall further behind.

Luckily, anyone can learn to be a better customer-centric marketer, whether you’re starting from zero or already devoted to this approach. A powerful strategic framework that puts the customer at the center of your marketing initiatives is known as the “who what how” method. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Focus first on who your customer is in order to develop deeper insights about their unmet wants and needs
  • Understand what attributes of your offering can best address your customer’s unmet needs or wants
  • Determine how to communicate with your target customer most effectively via strong briefs, more effective creative development, and choosing the right communication channels

At the intersection of the “who what how” framework are consumer insights. An insight is an undiscovered or forgotten truth that reveals a deep knowledge of the consumer. When properly leveraged, it will lead to a connection between your product and the life of your target consumer. When you think you have arrived at an insight but aren’t entirely sure, ask yourself the following:

  • Does this observation articulate a revelation or discovery?
  • Does it produce a clearer understanding of a complex situation?
  • Does it explain why someone thinks or acts as they do?
  • Does it articulate an unmet need or want?
  • Does it feel emotional and human?
  • Is it a true insight, or is it a “thinsight” that doesn’t go deep enough? Could you ask why again?

Once you go over this checklist and figure out where your true consumer insights are, you will be ready to create more effective new products and marketing campaigns.

Noetic Consultants are ANA Instructors for the Marketing Training and Development Center. For more on this approach be sure to view our full Workshop Catalog.

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