Whether B2B or consumer brand, purchasing decisions are people-driven. We asked our PR and growth experts about great customer-centric communications strategies and PR campaigns.
Get inspiration for a customer-centric approach and use these insights to build stronger connections with your customers.
"Patagonia’s Worn Wear campaign is a long-term customer-centric campaign that focuses on building trust with customers through sustainability measures. Within the program, customers can return used outdoor clothes that are in good condition in return for credits. As well, Patagonia offers repair guides that teach customers how to fix their products when they wear out. Rather than purchasing new apparel, the company encourages customers to reuse their old clothes. As a part of the campaign, they launched the "Worn Wear College Tour", aimed at visiting college campuses and fixing students’ clothes. And produced a short movie under the tagline ‘The Stories We Wear’ set in Patagonia’s repair center. It highlights customers sending their well-worn items for repairs and explaining why a particular item is important. The campaign tells a larger story by showing the people who cherish Patagonia products and the memories they create wearing them. These actions demonstrate to customers that Patagonia values sustainability over profits. As a result, customers feel appreciated and motivated to buy again."
"Customer-centricity in PR campaigns improves brand value, enhances operational efficiency, and is also more beneficial for sales. Zappos is renowned as a customer service company that sells shoes as a secondary offering. It’s a brand most famous for its perfect-fit PR campaigns, which get to know customers at a very detailed and individual level. So much so that one time, a CS rep was on a call with a client for the better part of 11 hours!
Takeaway: Most brands approach PR campaigns with a one-size-fits-all strategy. But like Zappos’ products, it’s more about brands finding a perfect fit for every consumer. This means more segmentation and a closer eye on minute customer details, which can be obtained via social, social media, email, you name it."
"I believe that Promptly Inquiring about the Best Quality is one of the best customer-centric communication methods. At every stage of the customer life cycle, the focus should be on the client. Instruct your sales force to ask perceptive questions that enable them to uncover the customer's deepest motivations, fears, and desires. After that, you should remind them to pay attention to the responses you get."
"Reframe Your Messaging: Keep the focus on your customer and how you can make their lives easier, not the features of your product or service. It's important to be creative and to think outside the box when crafting messages that will engage people.
For example, if you're a B2B business, consider how you can break down complex concepts into easy-to-understand ideas that appeal to a broad audience."
"One example is Apple's "Shot on iPhone" campaign. This was a global marketing campaign that featured photos and videos taken by iPhone users. The point of the campaign was to show how great the iPhone's camera is and how anyone can take amazing photos and videos with it, regardless of their level of experience.
Another example is Nike's "Just Do It" campaign. This long-running ad campaign features athletes from all walks of life overcoming obstacles to achieve their goals. The message of the campaign is that anyone can be a Nike athlete, no matter what their circumstances are. And that message resonates strongly with Nike's target audience.
There are many other possible ways to run a customer-centric PR campaign, so get creative and think outside the box!"
"In my opinion, one of the most effective methods of customer-focused communication is to offer consultation services. The first step in a customer-centric sales approach is to identify the problem, and the second is to help the customer implement a suitable solution. Consultative selling is a technique that your sales staff should learn. They should be capable of placing the customer's needs first by actively listening, making suggestions, and developing individualized solutions. Initial contact resolution rates (the percentage of customers whose needs are fully met on the first contact with a company, whether by phone or email) will also increase as a result of your team's more consultative approach. You'll see a rise in client happiness and goodwill toward your business as a result."
"I believe we previously relied on the "marketing funnel" to monitor the client journey. But the introduction of search engines and automation caused a significant disruption. There is now a new funnel. Or flywheel. Or map. Or whatever you determine it to be. No two customer journeys are identical. But if you're attempting to attract new clients, there is one thing you must have: material that demonstrates your value to them. Indirect marketing facilitates relationship building with your target audience. You are not a salesperson saying, "Here we are, buy our product!" By producing helpful material, you demonstrate that you are a customer-centric firm. Your material must appeal to the appropriate buyer at the appropriate moment. It must also align with the many buyer profiles you've developed. Consider the above customer journey map for an 18-year-old purchasing auto insurance.. For the feeling stage of the bond and enjoy part, you may develop a how-to movie about maintaining a new car in excellent shape. Be as creative as possible. There is a vast amount of content that would benefit your clients in real time that you could develop for each section of the map."
"I believe humans have been telling stories since the beginning of time. It is how we interact and communicate with one another. It is also how we engage others with us. And marketing is all about attracting prospective clients. Storytelling does not emphasise numbers or data to demonstrate how a product functions. It displays. This is the distinction. And it will distinguish you from your competitors. Google's Year In Search movies are an excellent example of brand storytelling using content. Each year, it compiles user data to determine the most-searched terms."
"Regardless of whether they are front- or back-of-house, I think businesses should find ways to facilitate direct employee-to-customer communication. After all, every worker has an effect on the customer experience, however small, and everyone can gain from talking to actual customers to gain insight into their perspectives and experiences. When employees travel for work, they are required to stay in Airbnb rentals because the company views hosts (those who rent out their homes) as customers. When employees need to travel to the Airbnb headquarters for meetings, the company asks that they stay with hosts instead. Plus, staff members and hosts alike take part in an annual event where they can reflect on the previous year and look ahead to the coming one. While it may not be possible for businesses to have as much direct employee-customer interaction as Airbnb does, leaders can still encourage it by providing opportunities for employees to observe focus groups, sales and support calls, customer visits and ride-alongs, co-creation labs, and customer events like advisory board meetings and industry conferences."
"Be honest and stay true to your brand's story, mission, and values. This seems easy. However, it might be tempting for businesses to speak to customers in a way that differs from their brand.
Do Good Things
Building a PR campaign with a "How are we going to bring in more business: mentality" perspective is simple to be sucked into. I'm not saying that goals and ROI aren't significant. However, when you create PR efforts with this mentality, you frequently lose sight of the goal of the campaign, which is to connect with your target audience. Make your audience your PR North Star instead, and allow them to direct your campaigns."
"Customer-centric PR campaigns are all about putting the customer first. That means taking the time to understand your target audience and thinking about their needs and wants before developing your messaging. It also means creating a campaign that is responsive to feedback, so you can continue to improve and adapt as you go along.
Some great examples of customer-centric PR campaigns include American Express' "Small Business Saturday" initiative and Apple's "Today at Apple" program. Both of these campaigns are designed to connect small businesses with customers and help promote shopping locally. They also emphasize customer service, which is a key component of any successful customer-centric campaign."
"By treating your company culture as an asset, you ensure that you're striving for a customer-centric atmosphere. In addition to fostering meaningful and empathetic relationships with your customers, you also must extend that empathy to your team. Establish solid communication and trust your team. Empower your employees to make decisions and work with customers in ways they see fit."
"Companies are very lucky today that they can rely on data to help fuel their decisions regarding customer needs and demands. Without data, we would have to rely on our own best guess and common sense. Good PR campaigns are aware of where customers are spending their time online, and how the key demographic is experiencing your product. I think good PR campaigns have a sense of what the customer's future expectations are of your brand, while also adhering to their past and present feelings, too. It is crucial to implement all variables of the user experience into PR campaigns and never expect a one-experience-fits all type of media."
"I think a largely underrated part of enhancing the customer experience is by promoting your website in a sufficient way, and having an amazingly organized website that customers can turn to whenever they have questions, concerns, or interests. A solid website platform will contribute to positive customer satisfaction and increased loyalty across users."
"Your hiring should be done while keeping your customer's happiness in mind. Employees are the front-facing personnel who will shape many consumer interactions. Regardless of function, prioritize recruiting personnel that are aligned with customer-centric thinking and the value of the customer experience at your company.
Company culture should be linked to customer outcomes. A customer-centric approach will encourage employees when actions can be connected to outcomes. For example, real-time documentation of strategies to minimize customer wait times or make transitions easier for a customer might highlight effective strategy execution."
"Nordstrom is another company whose customer-focused approach helps it raise its retention rate. They provide a range of individualised services to make the potential client feel valued rather than like just another customer.
To enhance service and product discovery, the business has in particular introduced the Nordstrom Analytical Platform (NAP). This model is used to forecast the new KPIs and shopping preferences of each consumer. At Nordstrom, more than 100 AI models are employed every day. The business has developed a fashion map where AI predicts customer preferences by combining natural language conversations with photographs and data from social media. Instead of using less tailored keyword searches, this is an alternative strategy for interacting with clients. One of the many reasons Nordstrom continues to rule the retail industry is due to their AI marketing tools."
"The key to a good PR campaign is to put forward ideas and stories that tug at people's heartstrings. This is the key to being memorable, to remaining relevant amongst a saturated market. Do not be afraid to be vulnerable, or to tell a story that you have been hiding behind for some time. A PR campaign is the perfect opportunity to be authentic and express stories or hardships that have inspired your business to be what it is."
"One of the greatest advantages of using digital marketing is your ability to use interactive content to increase consumer engagement with your brand. Whether you are using a blog or your social media platform of choice, interactive content such as video mini-lessons, infographics, opinion polls, and quizzes provides entertainment and information to potential customers. This can make your marketing materials more memorable for consumers, which makes them more likely to become customers and/or engage with your brand in the future."
"Good customer-centric PR campaigns are those that make the customer feel heard and important.
For example, a company might announce that it's changing its policies or procedures in response to feedback from customers. Or it might launch a new product or service based on suggestions from customers.
Another way to put the customer first is by featuring customers in your marketing materials. This could mean featuring happy customers in ads or social media posts, or highlighting their stories in blog posts or other content.
Customer-centric campaigns are always about putting the customer first and making them feel like they're part of the process. If you can do that, you're well on your way to running a successful customer-centric PR campaign."
"While a company's history is interesting if you want to captivate a listener, talk about their interests or passions. Learn from the pros and understand what you sell and why people buy it. The consumer is the focus at all times. For example, Apple promotes a set of ideas or a style of thinking, not computers. Zappos illustrates how a company can succeed with a model that prioritizes customer satisfaction and service. They promote this brand in all facets of their business plan by identifying themselves as a service firm selling shoes, apparel, and accessories."
"Instead of squandering resources on self-serving PR that neither your consumers nor the media are interested in, consider taking a stand for a worthy cause. Consider your company's vision and values, as well as those of your target audience, and figure out how to transform these into concrete, customer- and community-focused actions. Put the needs of your consumers and the world at large before those of your business. One simple strategy is to form an alliance with a charitable group whose goals are consistent with those of your business."
"I believe customer-centric public relations efforts need to be present where target audiences congregate. Local media outlets, rather than their national counterparts, are a good choice for a new apparel boutique's public relations campaign. Get your foot in the door by sending pitches to regional newspapers, style magazines, and blogs. These regional periodicals are frequently enthusiastic in covering start-ups and unique company proposals. Building modest press hits can lead to greater media possibilities in the future, which is another reason to start with local magazines."
"This, I believe, beautifully segues into our following part on the significance of interaction in customer-centric marketing. And we're not simply talking about engaging your audience with your material. Social media engagement is bidirectional. If you want anything, you must offer it. People enjoy it when their preferred brand interacts with them. Restaurant chain Wendy's developed its name by responding with snark to nasty comments. It is an excellent method for fostering brand loyalty. Because you are demonstrating that you care about your customers. You do not abandon them after they purchase. However, involvement does not consist just of responding to social media comments. Engagement can be achieved by the content itself. Consider the guitar manufacturer Fender, for instance. "
"I would think that loyalty programmes are an excellent indicator of a company's customer-centricity, with the greatest instances benefiting both the brand and the customers. The HHonors programme of Hilton Hotels is one of them, with its rewards system regularly developing in response to member feedback. It modified the programme so that guests may earn more points with each stay, attain "Elite" status for their loyalty, and use rollover nights. The key here is that Hilton's prior system was operating flawlessly, providing consistently excellent customer feedback and a stellar reputation in the industry. To guarantee that it does not rest on its laurels, the brand leverages data and client input to continually enhance the customer experience. This helps to manage inventories and satisfy consumer demand by offering customers greater flexibility for a somewhat higher price."
"I would think that the capacity to develop a community and use it to strengthen consumers' long-term loyalty is a trait of a customer-centric company. Make-up brand Glossier is one of these businesses, utilising its social media community to guide product development and customer service. As a result of the extremely committed and engaged readership of her former blog, Into the Gloss, there has always been a high amount of online fan engagement. This network of beauty enthusiasts plays a vital part in the brand's marketing and product line, a method called co-creation by Glossier. This essentially implies that it leverages social media insights to develop more relevant and targeted products. This technique does not utilise crowdsourcing, but it assures that its audience feels valued and listened to. As a result, Glossier focuses on social sharing and word-of-mouth marketing, as well as rewarding its most vocal customers with special rewards."
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