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Many marketing organizations are playing a strategic role in helping to transform their companies from being operations- or product-centric to becoming more customer-centric.

To have an impact on acquisition, retention, and growth, marketers are articulating, developing, and implementing customer-centric marketing strategies that have an impact on the customer buying journey and experience.

If you have a similar goal for 2015, you and your marketing team will need to gather internal insights, capture customer input, and conduct research to help you select the most appropriate strategies. That process takes time and resources, but once it is completed you will be able to identify trends and customer requirements, and you'll also know how they stack up against your company's competitive strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats.

The purpose of that work is to paint a persuasive picture of how your company would be different from what it is today and what programs and skills you need to implement the strategies.

Formulating customer-centric strategies is a key step in the transformation. But that step can be easily derailed without strong leadership commitment, a solid change management plan, and appropriate performance management. So, buy-in from all the major stakeholders is essential to success. Only thereafter can change management and implementation really begin.

Metrics and Change Management

The change management process often requires a company to revisit its positioning platform, brand strategy, customer segmentation and targeting priorities, online-offline channel integration, pricing, the product road map, and many other items.

Metrics are a key part of the change management process. People tend to manage what is measured, and they tend to adopt behaviors that are being measured and rewarded.

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image of Laura Patterson

Laura Patterson is president and founder of VisionEdge Marketing. For 20+ years, she has been helping CEOs and marketing executives at companies such as Cisco, Elsevier, ING, Intel, Kennametal, and Southwest Airlines prove and improve the value of marketing. Her most recent book is Metrics in Action: Creating a Performance-Driven Marketing Organization.

Twitter: @LauraVEM