Being customer-centric is a discipline. Yes, all companies say they are customer-obsessed, but few actually employ the discipline to allow customer-centricity to permeate the whole company.
In this episode, I speak with Jennifer Davis, CMO at Learfield IMG College, about the discipline needed to become customer-centric.
Join us as we discuss:
- How companies can stop diminishing what makes them great
- The discipline of customer centricity
- Leadership that stays customer obsessed
- Personal resource management: time and attention
- Discipline, communication, and goal setting
Ready to learn the secrets of customer kung fu? Let’s dive in!
Driven to build better businesses
As anyone who’s been in the trenches at a small company knows, you have to wear a lot of hats.
Right out of college, Jennifer was both lucky and talented enough to land an internship and then an entry-level job with a bold new software startup.
She dove into the then-nascent art of channel marketing, wrote code, developed products, spent time in sales, and quickly developed a passion to be an excellent business leader.
Harvard educated and armed with an MBA from Pepperdine, Jennifer is also the author of Well Made Decisions, her intimate guide to the best practices for decisive implementation.
The common thread
From SMBs to hyper-growth global behemoths like Intel and Honeywell, Jennifer realized that no matter the industry, the most basic element of success is a good dose of customer obsession.
Being laser-focused on CX will help your company emphasize what makes it stand out instead of getting bogged down in an unproductive mindset. Embracing your strengths is crucial.
Marketing, media, and customer centricity
With today’s martech stack, your marketing department is for all intents and purposes now an in-house media production company.
It’s a fascinating transformation. “’I’ve never quite had all of these tools, all of these toys and capabilities available to me as a B2B marketer,” says Jennifer. At Learfield, they’re providing content thought leadership to key stakeholders with an omnichannel approach.
There are a lot of parallels between producing successful media and launching an outstanding marketing campaign — messaging, creating content and assets, distribution, and finding the right audiences.
The future belongs to forward thinking organizations with fully customer-driven marketing.
Every company might claim that they’re obsessed with their customer experience, but few actually walk the walk.
Nobody wants to fail a product launch or repel consumers with messaging that misses the mark. But as Jennifer points out, it happens every day due to a lack of understanding and discipline.
Create the solution
What does it take to achieve this master-level customer concentration?
While at Amazon, Jennifer adopted their infamous working backwards method. If you’re not familiar, here it is in a nutshell:
- Start by writing a detailed press release from the future for your new product.
- This is your chance to leverage your data in harmony with the needs of your ideal customers.
- Describe the problem it solves and the benefits it creates.
- Include an elevator pitch from leadership on why the product was developed and what you hope to achieve.
- Present a call to action — how easy is it to fully integrate your product?
- Evaluate your viability.
- Create a quote from your ideal customer.
- Sum up your goals from their perspective.
With this approach, you’re “creating the solution in the shape of the customer’s needs,” rather than scrambling for a market share that’s not quite the right fit.
Jennifer encourages leaders at every level to become deeply familiar with the mechanisms, processes, and focus needed to become worthy of investment.
Don’t try to do everything — do the thing that matters most.
Maximizing your resources
One of your most crucial duties as an executive is to deftly manage your team’s time and assets.
You can’t do that unless you’ve mastered the ins and outs of your own calendar, and have a finely tuned sense of where to direct your energies.
What are Jennifer’s top three diamonds for our listeners?
- Match your attention to your discipline through taking time to write out your strategy.
- Never forget the importance of communication — internal, external, and vertically throughout your organization.
- Rewarding cross-functional alignment depends on common goals and incentives.
Thoughtful discussions and wise decision making requires investing in trust and clarity. Intentionality is key.
Check out this resource we mentioned:
- Well-Made Decisions by Jennifer Davis
For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.