The dynamic between businesses and their customers has changed. Firms need to build on their existing brand foundations in order to create long-term customer loyalty and engagement necessary to drive sustainable growth.
So how can firms build this customer-centric approach to their marketing? Recently a roundtable of 5 marketing experts, hosted by The Raconteur, gave their advice on adopting a customer-centric marketing approach, which have real implications for those in law and professional services.
Add real value and create experiences for your clients
Customers have changed the way they are interacting with brands. It is no longer good enough to provide a good or service to your clients - they want added value from their interactions with brands. In order for brands to be front of mind for their clients, they need to 'bring real value and memorable experiences that people can share, talk about and feel', according to Walter Susini, Senior VP of Marketing for Coca-Cola Europe.
It may be difficult to measure the direct financial benefit of approaching every interaction with your clients as an opportunity to create value for them, however 'the numbers will take care of themselves. The true purpose of the brand is to provide value' says Jed Mole, CMO at Acxiom.
Re-evaluate how you interact with your customers, and if necessary, re-introduce yourself to them.
In a world where there is an overwhelming amount of 'digital noise', it can be difficult to stand out to your customers. It may then be necessary for firms to re-evaluate their relationship with their customers and rather than trying to temporarily grab customers' attention in the short-term, re-introduce themselves to their customers in order to build new, stronger relationships with them, according to the CMO and Commercial Director for Kraft Heinz Northern Europe, Samantha Greenwood.
By understanding what drives (and more importantly what pains) your clients, it is possible to leverage every marketing initiative to create a stronger, more engaging relationship between your brand and your customers. After all, 'marketing stories are never created in a vacuum', which is something firms should always be aware of, says Natalie Wills, Director of Social Media and Consumer PR, Zalando.
So what does this mean for those in law and professional services?
It is important for those in law firms and professional services to deliver real, added value to their relationships with their clients through expert thought leadership, cementing their firm's position as the trusted advisor for their clients.
This is most effective when you have identified your clients' motivations and pain points so that you can create strategic, targeted content with a certain client or group of clients in mind. Then you can leverage this content and engage with those clients, thus reaching the 'right' people who will interact with your content. As you do this, you will be building stronger, more engaging relationships between your brand and clients.
You should also bear in mind that whilst it may be difficult to measure the direct financial impact of thought leadership, as you deliver value for your clients, revenue and growth will inevitably follow as you remain front of mind for your existing and prospective clients.