Marketing is undergoing a much-needed makeover to better align sales and business results. Old ways of thinking are not going to deliver the results needed. A shift in focus is already underway.

Customers, stakeholders, influencers, decision-makers and consumers all require renewed attention. JoDee George, in writing about the subject stated, ‘Finding new thinking and new marketing strategies that move the needle is essential. And the solution is relatively simple: Put people, not product, at the center of everything you do. To be clear, people are your target audience.’

The solution is relatively simple, states Ms George. ‘Put people, not product, at the center of everything you do.’ People are your target audience.

She adds, ‘People are whoever is an important audience that you spend time thinking about, developing content for and considering how to contact. People are who you need to persuade to buy whatever it is you’re selling. 

Melody Yan further noted the benefits of people-first marketing were multiple. First, it drives conversations. It strengthens the engagement of your brand across audiences, channels and campaigns to maximize your ROI. Second, it increases your brand’s memorability. A Study by Yahoo! demonstrated that personalized creative is 54% more engaging and 45% more memorable than generic creatives. Third, it provides real value. Provide relevant and compelling content that specifically parts the needs, interests and pain points of your target audience. Fourth, it captures your customer’s attention. A study by Microsoft Corp. found that the average attention span is eight seconds. Presenting a personalized message will allow you to capture your audience within this fleeting window.

Lauren Drell noted that it’s important to look at consumers as people because each brand, product or service has a particular job to be done, in their lives. If you don’t understand what people want to achieve in their lives, we will never be able to say how our product, service or brand can engage and partner them in their lives. You have to understand them as people first and then understand them as consumers next. “People insights” have a critical influence on how we communicate with them, what kind of product benefits to offer them, when and where they would appreciate it the most.

Taking a customer-first approach in marketing is not a one-time strategy, but rather a continuous effort to add value to potential customers. It requires marketers to proactively find new ways to personalize messaging and incorporate your customers into your marketing strategy. Create opportunities to talk to your customers, and leverage their feedback to refine your buyer personas, and how to engage them across the customer journey. Placing your customers at the forefront of your marketing will ultimately lead to higher conversions and brand loyalty.