Just as the universe comprises a wide variety of types of stars, so does your customer base. And like the universe, where some stars shine brighter, some of your customers are better than others.
Now imagine the power of being able to separate your worst customers from your brightest star customers—and find more like your brightest ones!
Doing so entails evaluating and understanding what it takes to attract, acquire, keep, and grow your new and existing customers' value. And to find, keep, and grow the value of your customers requires a customer-centric culture and approach in your marketing.
Dr. Peter Fader, author of Customer Centricity, defines customer-centric marketing as looking at a customer's lifetime value and focusing your marketing efforts on the high-value customer segment in order to drive profits. The suggestion here is that by understanding who your current high value customers are, you are better positioned to acquire more customers like them.
That idea of customer-centric marketing entails placing the customer at the center of your marketing strategy so you can create and extract customer value. Gautam Mahajan, president of the Customer Value Foundation, defines customer value as "the perception of what a product or service is worth to a Customer versus the possible alternatives. Worth means whether the Customer feels s/he...got benefits and services over what s/he paid."
When your value proposition and offer match with the right customer segments, both you and your customers benefit. But that type of synchronization requires data. For space travel, you need data (think star maps and the locations of planets and moons because their gravitational forces will affect your trajectory.
Your marketing will also require data and science to locate and navigate toward your brightest star customers.
Take three steps to illuminate your brightest star customers
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.