The fundamental marketing decision that each organisation needs to make, is whether their marketing strategy will be to:
- get people to notice what you want to make (this means seeing the customer from a sales perspective)?
- create things that people will notice and talk about (which means seeing the whole organisation from a customer’s perspective)?
The customer-centric answer is to focus on creating offers that customers will notice because they can see the benefits to them and want to talk about because it fits with the story they want to tell themselves and others. Helping customers to tell stories to others is what sets many growing businesses apart from their smaller rivals. Apple achieve this through their signature white headphones that tell other people you have cutting-edge technology in your pocket. GoPro achieve this through all the distinctive videos being uploaded to show other people what a fun and adventurous life you lead.
Achieving scale of impact
Achieving scale of impact, in this age of infinite choices about how we spend our limited time and money, requires taking the customer centric marketing approach. Seth Godin has two good articles on this challenge. The first points out that getting people to talk (or care) about your average stuff for average people is a lot more difficult than it ever was before.
The second looks at how the stories people tell themselves influence their subsequent buying behaviours. This is well worth a quick read, whether you’re interested in developing a marketing strategy that drives behaviour change or just can’t get enough about the marketing of apple’s new watch.