Customer centricity is no longer a key brand differentiator.
In the eyes of the customer, it’s table stakes. Yet we know that many organizations struggle to catch up to customer expectations despite the demand. Research shows that U.S. businesses lose about $35 billion annually due to poor customer experiences. Similarly, a U.K. survey showed that four out of five customers would leave a brand after three or fewer poor experiences. Go-to-Market (GTM) functions are at risk – now more than ever – of missing the mark and falling behind. The very functions that are expected to be closest to the customer are creating a growing chasm between the customer and the brand.
GTM teams naturally focus on actions that serve and support customer needs. Those actions are then prioritized by desired customer engagement outcomes such as securing a meeting, deal, re-purchase, or cultivating a sense of customer loyalty. When GTM teams evaluate their priorities based solely on outcomes, they often fail to deliver the revenue growth they seek. Neglecting to consider the audience agenda, customer needs, obstacles, and challenges – even emotions, can cause client development strategies to fall flat.
Common pitfalls: selling, not solving; leading with complexity, instead of engaging with simplicity; and ignoring your audience’s agenda.
Your customers are focused on their own goals and challenges, which leaves them with little headspace or desire to engage with your brand unless doing so is simple, compelling, relevant, and highly rewarding. To win business in today’s market, you can’t just be customer- centric, you must be customer obsessed. But that level of audience agenda mastery takes time and effort. The root of misalignment for most average GTM plans is a lack of critical clarity about the roadblocks customers face. You need to stop focusing on the “what,” and start obsessing about the “why.”