What can we learn from the recent incidents at United and American Airline? In both cases they forgot who is their Customer. Who is paying their salaries? And who is the Customer of their services?  We are falling deeper and deeper into a depression and deterioration of our relationship with our Customer. We seem to have forgotten that to create Customers it was necessary to offer them a solution to their expectations and give them reason to buy.

If the impoverishment of education is the greatest failure of our society, then the impoverishment of the Customer is our greatest failure of business.

Now, in closed rooms the top brass is thinking about what goals and objectives as well as what trends, ideas, and techniques are at the heart of their marketing strategy. The push back result is that the airline industry announced they will pay up to $10,000 for a passenger to give up their seat. What? Why would you announce it? This will cost the airlines millions in new adjustment disbursements.

It’s no secret the buyers are in control. Truth is they have been for years but now they have a voice. It’s called technology. Smartphone. Tablets. They all offer instant recording of what is really going on at the ‘center of gravity’ where the Customer meets the supplier.  but that doesn’t mean organization should hand over the reins.

Today, Customers control the buying journey. It’s a growing trend in almost all markets that has accelerated with the replication and escalation and sophistication of mobile devices, tablets, and now even wearables. I get it. Customer now offer instant gratification to their rants, and well as their raves.

The challenge is that today’s Customers increasingly expect companies to know them and cater to their likes, needs, wants and preferences with every transaction and interaction. It what makes and ensures that Shift Happens!®

I am confident that you would agree that today’s leadership must have a Customer vision,  a clear WIIFM value and the ROI strategy.  To make Shift Happen companies must be  aligned around customer-centric ways of thinking and doing. All of these need to be supported by structure, processes, systems and people. Every action is moulded by a commitment to meeting and exceeding customer expectations or as I call it…”meaningful memories.”

For years, new customer acquisition held center stage for most companies as the primary economic driver of corporate expansion. However, for the last few years the winds have started to shift. Savvy companies are realizing that retaining and growing existing customers can provide a stable foundation for successful corporate longevity and maximum shareholder value.

Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. To put that into perspective, 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone – and with new devices, sensors and technologies emerging, the data growth rate will likely accelerate even more.

In this world, the customer is not only always right, they’re also at the center of everything. They increasingly determine and control the types of content and interactions that we created for them within our brands. Customers are sending out millions of data points to help marketers understand their needs and desires.

What I am suggesting is that we can’t stop the train from rolling out of the station but we can look at their overall strategy as a composite of strategies, techniques, and tools that target different needs, capabilities and demands of your buyers.

By keeping the laser focus on your Customers and their path through the buying cycle, you’ll be able to evaluate each of the most important marketing trends and techniques and identify how to tie them all together to create a holistic approach to meeting the needs of your unique audience.

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