“Customer strategy” is a big tent. A customer strategy might inform distribution, supplier, innovation, selling, marketing, or research activities. A customer strategy might inform acquisition or partnership decisions. Such generalizations can lead to a lack of focus: If everything is broadly about the customer, what is really about the customer? To maintain a rigorous customer focus, then, organizations must specify what a customer strategy means to them. Frost & Sullivan defines the term as the process of increasing revenue by better understanding, anticipating, and responding to customers’ changing needs.
Admittedly, though, it is one thing to define customer strategy as the process of understanding and responding to customer needs. It is quite another to turn this definition into action, and to see a positive return on those actions.
Customer Strategy Issues and Challenges
As if this mandate were not challenging enough, the rise of social media in the last five years has fundamentally—and permanently—altered the way in which companies interact with their customers. The consequences of this new dynamic are far-reaching:
- Buyers increasingly go online to make purchase decisions
- Online networks further enable word-of-mouth recommendations
- Customers control the terms and tone of sales discussions
- The potential for innovation is unlimited
In sum, social media has significantly complicated patterns of customer interaction. Most traditional channels are still viable, but new ones have emerged. Customer strategies are fundamentally different today than they were five years ago, and the landscape five years from now will surely be different from that of today. The challenge, then, is to determine how to blend the new and the old, using both to achieve the ideal level of customer insight, engagement, and communication.
Our Value Proposition
Frost & Sullivan offers a world-class research capability paired with strategy-focused consulting experts. This unique combination ensures that our recommendations are based off unbiased, data-driven insights collected through our robust research methodology. Furthermore, Frost & Sullivan maintains more than 800 industry analysts in more than 40 global locations, providing an unparalleled breadth of primary research coverage in multiple industry groups. Finally, our services have supported leading executives and strategists across ten separate global industries for 50 years.
Our Consulting Approach
Frost & Sullivan’s start-to-finish approach to Customer Strategy can help you:
- Base forecasting off progressive customers’ needs and activities
- Organize the customer base by key characteristics
- Ensure all internal stakeholders have access to customer insights
- Weigh customers’ needs against your company’s ability to meet those needs (i.e., prioritize customer insights)
- Tailor communications to key segments across traditional and social media channels
- Monitor your sales, marketing, and social media efforts