In this article, head of content Liam Currie discusses why forward-thinking B2B organisations are adopting a customer-first approach in today’s digital age.

What is a customer first strategy?

Customer-centric. Customer-first. Customer obsessed. Whatever we call it, the principle is the same. Brands that adopt a customer first strategy put customer needs at the forefront of their business. 

It has to be more than just a sexy slogan for it to work.

If B2B companies seek long-term growth, they must be genuinely committed to a cross-company culture that is customer obsessed. Client needs influence how the product is designed, how organisations interact with their clients and a complete shift away from the old school transactional mentality towards customers. 

The customers are in charge now.

B2B buying behaviours have changed in the last few years. And organisations have to up their game. What’s changed? And how does a customer first strategy fit into these buying behaviours?

Buyers now have access to pretty much everything they need to research a product or business, before committing to a purchase.

top view photo of people near wooden table

The pandemic accelerated the way in which we do business. More and more products and services are digitised and the way in which we market them has followed too. Buyers now have access to pretty much everything they need to research a product or business, before committing to a purchase. Customer reviews, communities, brand advocates and content are more important than ever for gaining buyer’s trust in the early stages of their buying journey.

Another big shift has been the war in Ukraine. The last eighteen months has seen global conflict and fears of recession, which has created uncertain times. Ultimately forcing businesses that want to survive to adapt. Partnering with brands, as opposed to transactions between businesses, offers more long-term security. Customer obsessed organisations offer a more personalised- consultancy style approach- in which both parties can really get to know each other. And that’s how trust is cemented once they’ve committed to buy. Customer success teams that are consistently pushing to offer the best in customer service can be a game changer for retention.

The buyers of today are increasingly a millennial generation.

In fact, “millennials now account for 73% of B2B purchasing decisions” according to a 2022 article by CEO World magazine. A generation who, at a young age witnessed and embraced the switch over from analogue to digital tech, and also generally value more ethical, transparent ways of doing business. Customer first strategies can still exist in a digital market. What’s more, they offer more long-term security, stronger relationships between the buyer and the business and ultimately care more about the customer needs. 

Switching to Customer First.

Transitioning to a customer-first strategy is a long-term commitment that requires dedication, cross-functional collaboration and a deep understanding of your customers’ needs and preferences.

Here’s a few of the first marketing activities you can conduct to begin your transition to customer first:

  • Customer Research. Start by understanding your customers’ needs and paint points through surveys, interviews, and data analysis.
  • Develop buyer personas. Once you’ve done the research, create detailed profiles of your ideal customers to help you personalise your marketing and sales efforts.
  • Customer Feedback. Make gathering success stories, concerns, and suggestions from your customers a regular priority. Of course, this serves as an opportunity to adapt the product, but also demonstrate you are committed to providing an exceptional customer experience.

In a digital world where it’s easy to feel detached from each other, perhaps customer first strategies offer a more human way of doing business? One thing’s for sure, customer first strategies are here and the B2B businesses putting customers at the epicentre of their business models are seeing some impressive results.

If you’re interested in updating your marketing strategy. Talk to us today.

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