Over the past 10 years, the presiding wisdom in advertising has been that marketers must put digital first. Recently this digital-centricity has been replaced by a rallying cry for brands to shift to a mobile-first approach. In truth, marketers shouldn’t put digital, mobile, or any other technology platform first – they should put people first.
People first… not platforms
Websites, mobisites, apps, and social media communities can all be powerful marketing tools, but every platform’s value is ultimately dependent on its usefulness to your customers. It is true that mobile offers marketers greater opportunities to connect with their agile customers, but it is the specific needs of those customers that you must consider first when assessing the viability of a new platform or technology, rather than focusing on the technology itself.
People first… not products
Businesses need to start putting the customer at the center of everything they do. This isn’t just about finding better ways to deliver and support your existing products and services; it is about innovating new products and services that are more directly aligned with your customer’s needs. Shifting from a product-centric company to a people-centric one will revolutionize your business and open the door to deeper and more sustainable customer relationships.
People first… not profits
Every company is in business to make money, but in today’s consumer-led marketplace creating value for your company is dependent on your ability to create value for your customers too. This value needn’t take the form of discounts or price cuts. Many progressive companies are differentiating themselves by wrapping their products in better customer experiences, while others are innovating new value-added services that enhance their overall offering. Regardless of what strategy you choose, it is vital to remember that your profitability will ultimately be a reflection of the value you have created for your customers.
People first… not processes
Disruptive technology is spawning a new era of digital business transformation. But disruption is not as mysterious as everyone thinks, and it certainly isn’t about reinventing your business processes just for the sake of it. In fact, disruption is really only about one thing: satisfying customer needs. Think about Uber, Netflix, or Amazon. While there are many things that these Disruptors do well, their primary success has come from their ability to satisfy customer needs more effectively than their predecessors.
Put people first and the rest will follow
Technology moves at warp speed and it is often difficult to keep up, but you shouldn’t allow yourself to be baffled by tech jargon or bamboozled by fancy new devices because the digital revolution isn’t actually about technology at all. It is about people. Ironically, you don’t need a computer science degree to win in the digital age – you just need empathy. Surviving and thriving in this hyper-connected world of ours is really about one thing (and one thing only): your ability to re-orientate your business around your customer… and your willingness to put them first.
Jason Xenopolous is CEO of NATIVE VML
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