The Value of a Customer-Centric Mindset
The beauty of working for eBay Enterprise is the ability to partner with leading brands and commerce companies of all shapes, sizes, industries and geographies. However, we still find that there are key opportunities for improvement. Of all of these problem statements for our clients, the one that continues to rear its head is a lack of a consumer-centric mentality.
Understandably, this is not an easy mindset to break. We, including us, are all judged – by our bosses, by Wall Street, etc. – on metrics that are inherent to the business: revenue, AOV, volume, operating income and the like. But show me one consumer who cares, at all, about any of these metrics! These metrics can only be the end, and certainly not the means to the end. So, therefore, we need to focus on what metrics are important to our consumers first (or, in the case of B2B, our customers’ consumers), knowing that delivering a better experience will impact metrics important to them, and thus having an indirect impact on the metrics that are important to us.
Thankfully, I see this trend moving in a positive direction. More of our clients are setting up their KPIs in this manner, and more of them are investing in customer experience efforts of some sort or another. But we are not there yet. Here are some recommendations to consider helping you develop a customer-centric mentality around your KPIs:
- Align your goals to the key moments of the consumer decision journey. Most marketers now agree that that the marketing purchase funnel is dead. It is no longer linear. It is no longer primarily one-directional. It is an iterative journey, and matching up your goals to these key phases of the journey will help you better understand where the consumer is within that journey, and where his/her key needs are as they move along the journey. We have a full deck of metrics that aligns various types of marketing efforts to each stage of the consumer decision journey that we can continuously update and refer to.
- Prioritize these key inflection points within the journey to maximize your impact. There are numerous opportunities to connect with your consumer. The question is: which one(s) should I start with? This requires a little math and some prioritization. Which KPIs are most important and why? Do some sizing analysis. Once you have a better idea which KPIs will impact “your” goals the most, focus on the inflection points within the journey that will have the greatest chance of moving those metrics.
- Always tie your experience back to insight and rationale that turns a “good idea” into the “right idea”. Not every experience or piece of content will work. There is an old saying in marketing – 50% of marketing works 100% of the time… we just don’t know which 50%. The idea here is to put the odds more in your favor of “winning”; placing (or enabling) the right experience in front of the consumer at the right time, in the right channel. The only way to do that is not rely on pure ideation alone, but strengthen that ideation with insight or rationale (often labeled “big data” these days).
While the framework above is a helpful start to ensure you are focusing on the consumers’ needs first, the beauty of it is that every effort against this on behalf of our partners is different. Different goals, different prioritization, different insight – all which leads to different experiences and recommendations for our clients. All trying to do the same thing though at the end of the day… drive relevancy.
Good luck and happy hunting.