Customer-driven marketing and business growth: The case of Coles

According to Deloitte, customer-focused companies are 60% more profitable than product-driven companies, especially when it comes to small businesses. Product-driven marketing happens when a product is already there. First, a product is built, then customers are found. Customer-driven marketing focuses on the customers. A product or a service is offered based on a target market and the needs of customers. When done correctly, it can increase the value and profitability of a company.

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So, what constitutes effective Customer-Driven Marketing?

Good knowledge of the target market and meeting customer needs

To identify a target market, one needs to know the different customer personas suited to the business. This can be accomplished by collecting information from a variety of sources and channels. Having customer personas helps to anticipate customers’ needs and respond accordingly.

Earlier this month, Coles announced that they were starting trials to stock a wider range of foundation colours from August. This happened after Rebecca Wilink, a woman of Indian descent, started an online petition that ended up with 4000 signatures. The petition was signed as a call to action against “make-up discrimination”. Wilink and many other women had been struggling and were feeling frustrated about not finding darker foundation shades.

Coles had an entire target market that was unaccounted for. By responding to the petition in this way, the supermarket giant has taken steps to be inclusive. They should make even greater profits if they include this new range on their Coles specials as many women of colour look forward to including make-up on their grocery shopping list.

Customer satisfaction comes from making customers feel recognised and satisfied. Communication and interaction are essential; know what the customer needs and why they need it. When the service is tailored to meet specific needs, customer satisfaction will increase, profit will increase, and they will be able to retain customers and attract more.

Good customer contact and Building loyalty

If a business is in contact with its customers, it knows what is needed and can provide better services or products. Loyal customers always return. The way to build loyalty is through customer feedback. Collecting and analysing customer feedback regularly increases understanding and knowledge of the people who are buying the product. Consumers who feel heard and taken into consideration are more likely to return and perhaps bring new customers with them. Providing excellent customer service is essential, so building a well-trained team in the area of customer service will be a huge benefit.

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Flexibility

Putting customers’ needs first means being flexible. A business that decides to be customer-driven needs to be ready and well equipped to be able to change products or services available to suit the customer. If Coles had been rigid and refused to consider the petition, many customers would have been disappointed and probably decided to find another place that suits their needs.

In the era of petitions, reviews, and the demand for excellent customer service, customer-driven marketing is the foundation for building long-term, profitable customer connections.

Author Bio

Sipho Mavhusa is a writing enthusiast who enjoys exploring different topics affecting business and the world in general. Being a businesswoman, she finds pleasure in researching how the operational environment is changing and the factors that are improving or depleting business.

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