There’s a shift in the winds. Recently my clients began shifting their focus (and my time) more to implementation planning for customer-centric marketing efforts. In this planning, the discussion has centered more on the challenges and barriers to successful execution than on analysis or evaluation. These implementation challenges are critical to achieving ROI for the project. And ROI, as we discussed previously, is the “ticket” to management buy-in, increased funding and rollout.

Let me explain what I mean by a customer- centered marketing effort. This term refers to a marketing effort designed to change existing customers’ behavior in some quantifiable, measurable way. These efforts usually involve some sort of direct-to-customer (D2C) communications and can include both communications and incentives to change behavior. While companies normally communicate frequently with customers, this effort is targeted at a specific customer group with personalized communications designed to spur action. These efforts are usually preceded by a customer-level analysis that describes current and predicted future customer behavior and identifies growth opportunities for different customer groups. Such analysis becomes the foundation for the strategy and targeting of the D2C marketing effort described in this article.

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