Creating Customer Centric Cultures
I read recently that, according to Deloitte Consulting, “the rate at which large companies lose industry leadership has doubled in the past four decades.”
As I wrote in this week’s Monday Morning Marketing Memo on Sustaining Competitive Advantage, in almost every case of decline the blame lays clearly at the feet of poor marketing execution and organizational cultures that are not customer centric and therefore not capable of sustaining market leadership.
A customer centric corporate culture is one that focuses on building value for customers at all times and at all points of interaction. This requires the mindset of our own personal marketing philosophy: if it touches the customer, it’s a marketing issue.™
Everything your organization does “touches the customer” or has the potential to. Hence, as Peter Drucker long ago proclaimed, “the purpose of business is to create a customer.” In fact, Drucker also wisely said, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”
Successful marketing — and by that I mean highly effective and efficient marketing practices that produce solid, long-term results — is certainly the result of a proper mind set. To me, this proper mind set focuses on customers first, the organization second, and shareholders third.
What do you think?
Excellent Tips for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs
Richard Branson shares his five “secrets” of business success in an article for the Entrepreneur web site.
Reprinted by BNET, Branson’s five secrets are:
- Enjoy what you are doing
- Create something that stands out
- Create something that everybody who works for you is really proud of
- Be a good leader
- Be visible
Branson credits these five “secrets” as being the foundation for Virgin’s many success ventures over the past 40 years. I heard Sir Richard speak at a conference in London 18 months ago, and there is no doubt in my mind that he personally exudes all five of these attributes.
I recommend everyone read this article before, during, and after their 2011 strategic planning sessions and writing of next year’s marketing plans.
How many of you work for CEOs or entrepreneurs who exhibit all five of these characteristics? Share your stories in the comments section below.
CEO of the “new” General Motors, Fritz Henderson, said last week that “business as usual was over at General Motors” and that the carmaker “would focus on customers, cars and culture.”
No wonder GM, once the world’s largest carmaker, went broke! Apparently in the “old” GM a focus on customers was not a component of their usual business practices.
It amazes me how many companies, and Boards of Directors, fail to maintain a focus on customers. When too much attention is placed on internal processes, financial scorecards, and empire building, the poor old customer just gets lost in the shuffle.
General Motors is a classic example of why there needs to be a greater presence for marketing expertise in the corporate boardroom. Until this happens, we will continue to see many industrial stalwarths, such as GM, collapse, causing pain to thousands of employees, families, suppliers and even entire communities.
Let’s hope the “new” GM gets it right this time!