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(How to) stop pretending that you're customer-centric

(How to) stop pretending that you're customer-centric

The world has changed. Users demand exceptional brand experiences. Google rewards good experiences and customer-centric thinking. Surviving means putting the consumer first.

But your CEO doesn't give a damn about user experience. Your marketing manager only obsesses about conversion rate and revenue. Your channel teams are judged on visitor volumes and acquisition costs. Your organisation runs on dashboards which ask, "How many people did we get to the website? How many of them did the thing we want them to do?" You're the opposite of customer-centric - and all of the feel-good, aspirational Instagram content and Facebook video you produce doesn't change a thing.

It's time to change the way we think about success for brands, content, and marketing. It's time to help users do what they want to do - and to make a ton of money in the process.

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Jono Alderson

June 11, 2022
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  1. @jonoalderson (how to) Stop pretending that you're customer-centric

  2. @jonoalderson Web development Jono Alderson Technical SEO Strategy + analytics

    Data science + eCRM Consultancy + Futurology Performance + security
  3. @jonoalderson

  4. @jonoalderson Ouch

  5. @jonoalderson Let’s start with some audience interaction

  6. @jonoalderson Hands up if… You think that ‘UX’ is something

    which SEO should heavily influence
  7. @jonoalderson Hands up if… You think that ‘reputation’ influences clicks

    and conversion
  8. @jonoalderson Hands up if… You think that ‘brand’ is a

    ranking factor
  9. @jonoalderson Now...

  10. @jonoalderson Keep your hands up if… Your organisation is customer-centric

  11. @jonoalderson Keep your hands up if… Your content and social

    strategies clearly connect to your core business
  12. @jonoalderson Keep your hands up if… You deliver excellent customer

    experiences
  13. @jonoalderson Keep your hands up if… You’re competing on loyalty

    and retention
  14. @jonoalderson Keep your hands up if… Your SEO strategy &

    performance is judged on how well you win hearts and minds
  15. @jonoalderson Keep your hands up if… Your content strategy is

    judged on how well you influence brand recall & preference
  16. @jonoalderson Keep your hands up if… You’re running PPC ads

    to your educational and inspirational resources to influence consumer perception of your brand
  17. @jonoalderson

  18. @jonoalderson http://bit.ly/2bayMFQ

  19. @jonoalderson Chances are...

  20. @jonoalderson You’re probably not customer centric

  21. @jonoalderson You’re profit/money/growth-centric

  22. @jonoalderson You’re focusing on visits and conversion rates

  23. @jonoalderson "How many people did we get to do the

    thing we want them to do?"
  24. @jonoalderson Those are your KPIs, right?

  25. @jonoalderson But that's the opposite of customer-centricity

  26. @jonoalderson

  27. @jonoalderson Maybe that’s fine?

  28. @jonoalderson After all, that’s how capitalism works Profit/money/growth are our

    best proxy for success/value
  29. @jonoalderson But that does raise an interesting question...

  30. @jonoalderson Why not just be evil?

  31. @jonoalderson Because being evil comes with social and reputational cost

    Reputational cost = acquisition cost = less growth
  32. @jonoalderson So, why not just be good?

  33. @jonoalderson Being good comes with $$$ cost $$$ cost =

    reduced capabilities = less growth
  34. @jonoalderson You’re balancing good and evil across multiple dimensions

  35. @jonoalderson Product/service quality. Cost. Reach. Innovation. Differentiation. Customer service. Technology.

    Geography. Speed. Personnel. Training. Systems.
  36. @jonoalderson

  37. @jonoalderson But now, balance isn’t enough The cost of entry

    continues to decrease, and disruptors can win on almost any dimension.
  38. @jonoalderson ...And losing on any dimension can mean being outranked

    for competitive head terms
  39. @jonoalderson “Best LCD TVs 2018” “Compare LCD TVs” “Best LCD

    TV” These all have different intents, and you can’t win just by being the biggest or richest or good or evil
  40. @jonoalderson And ‘winning’ often isn’t enough to win

  41. @jonoalderson Slides: http://bit.ly/2sVgPE9 Videos: http://bit.ly/2ERBkmI

  42. @jonoalderson So, how do you compete?

  43. @jonoalderson

  44. @jonoalderson Google’s paradigm has to disproportionately reward good consumer experience

    ...Otherwise, people (might) use other search engines*
  45. @jonoalderson So... Good consumer experience means greater visibility

  46. @jonoalderson ..and greater visibility means greater opportunity for commercial outcomes

  47. @jonoalderson Wait, consumer experience? Not customer experience?

  48. @jonoalderson (not all of your customers) Google is assessing the

    experience of all of your visitors
  49. @jonoalderson So you need to worry about everybody who might

    visit your website ...and everybody who chooses not to.
  50. @jonoalderson Being “customer-centric” isn’t enough

  51. @jonoalderson How consumer-centric you are directly impacts your commercial performance

  52. @jonoalderson Everyone, everywhere* *not to scale People who might feasibly

    ever buy from us Where we should invest the majority of our marketing People who might feasibly ever visit our website
  53. @jonoalderson

  54. @jonoalderson Because senior stakeholders are naturally risk-averse.

  55. @jonoalderson ...and this is all a bit woolly...

  56. @jonoalderson ...whilst other channels gave them lots of safe, predictable

    numbers.
  57. @jonoalderson It’s their job to not screw up ...not to

    gamble on opportunity
  58. @jonoalderson NB: that’s why they still under-invest in SEO, social

    and content
  59. @jonoalderson ...and anything else which isn’t last-click

  60. @jonoalderson ...and why they’ll only invest in audience/consumer marketing to

    solve immediate problems
  61. @jonoalderson </rant>

  62. @jonoalderson So…

  63. @jonoalderson Google mandate that you must provide good experiences to

    your consumers.
  64. @jonoalderson So you pitch your CEO... ...and anecdotally, they’ll “get

    it”
  65. @jonoalderson “Of course I understand that we need to be

    consumer-centric, and that our reputation plays an important role in consumer purchase decisions” - Your CEO
  66. @jonoalderson

  67. @jonoalderson “I can’t justify this expenditure without a demonstrable return.

    Spend all of the marketing money on PPC and generate more leads/sales” - ALSO Your CEO
  68. @jonoalderson

  69. @jonoalderson This isn’t an education problem

  70. @jonoalderson It’s a risk-aversion problem...

  71. @jonoalderson ...it’s a persuasion problem

  72. @jonoalderson ...it’s a data problem

  73. @jonoalderson ...it’s an analytics problem

  74. @jonoalderson Imagine for a moment...

  75. @jonoalderson What if we could make consumer-centric marketing more measurable?

  76. @jonoalderson IT’S ALREADY MEASURABLE

  77. @jonoalderson </rant>

  78. @jonoalderson Measurability isn’t the problem.

  79. @jonoalderson The problem is with our storytelling

  80. @jonoalderson So if you want to be more consumer centric...

  81. @jonoalderson You need to connect your consumer-centricity story to the

    money story.
  82. @jonoalderson

  83. @jonoalderson But it’s hard to do join the dots Channels!

    Systems! Attribution! Stakeholders!
  84. @jonoalderson You need to fix your whole organisational outlook, objectives

    and measurement strategy You have to extend your reach beyond SEO and PPC
  85. @jonoalderson

  86. @jonoalderson It’s okay I have a framework*

  87. @jonoalderson When you change how people are measured, you change

    how they behave.
  88. @jonoalderson We’re going to change the way your hippo behaves

    Using only a single sheet of paper
  89. @jonoalderson

  90. @jonoalderson Objective Goal KPI Performance Make lots of money Sell

    lots of stuff to everybody who visits our site • # transactions • £ sales revenue 6/10 7/10 Be loved by everyone Make content which people like, share and read • Visitors to our blog • Newsletter signups • Referral entrances to blog content 3/10 2/10 1/10 Objective Goal KPI Performance Make lots of money Sell lots of stuff to everybody who visits our site • # transactions • £ sales revenue 6/10 7/10 Objective Goal KPI Performance !?
  91. @jonoalderson

  92. @jonoalderson Objective Goal KPI Key Segments Performance Be known as

    the leading brand in our market Produce content which people discover and read # new organic+referral+email visitors to blog posts (per month) Category, author # average comments-per-post (rolling) Grow our owned and earned audiences # Active new email signups Double YoY revenue Increase sales revenue from digital channels # qualified sales (per month) where the sale had digital attribution Department, channel, product £ qualified sales revenue (per month), where the sale had digital attribution Increase customer lifetime value % of new consumers via the website making a repeat purchase within 3 months (rolling, YoY) Channel, source, campaign, keyword, gender, geographic region, entry page Average time between repeat purchases (rolling, YoY) Provide the best customer experiences in our market Provide great content and help users find the information they need % task completion rate (per month) Entrance page, Channel, source, campaign, keyword % satisfaction rate (per month) Delta % against average competitor satisfaction rate (roling) Compete on marketing efficiency Maintain a high conversion rate to sale % visitors to macroconversions (per month) Channel, source, campaign, keyword, call type Increase self-service actions on the website £ value of microconversions (per month) Microconverion, channel, source, campaign, keyword Ensure that audience-centric activity drives commercial outcomes £ qualified sales revenue (per month), where the sale had audience campaign attribution Campaign
  93. @jonoalderson

  94. @jonoalderson Getting started is easy

  95. @jonoalderson Get some integrated on-site survey data in your analytics

  96. @jonoalderson Start with getting task completion rate and satisfaction rate

    in your analytics “How well are we enabling our consumers to do the thing they want to do?”
  97. @jonoalderson

  98. @jonoalderson 1. “What did you come here to do today?”

    (list) 2. “Were you able to do it?” (Y/N) 3. “How would you rate your experience?” (x/10) 4. “Any other comments?”
  99. @jonoalderson 1. “What did you come here to do today?”

    (list) 2. “Were you able to do it?” (Y/N) 3. “How would you rate your experience?” (x/10) 4. “Any other comments?”
  100. @jonoalderson 1. “What did you come here to do today?”

    (list) 2. “Were you able to do it?” (Y/N) 3. “How would you rate your experience?” (x/10) 4. “Any other comments?”
  101. @jonoalderson 1. “What did you come here to do today?”

    (list) 2. “Were you able to do it?” (Y/N) 3. “How would you rate your experience?” (x/10) 4. “Any other comments?”
  102. @jonoalderson Now pivot on task, channel and landing page

  103. @jonoalderson http://blog.immeria.net/2009/11/iperceptions-deep-dive-in-behavioral.html

  104. @jonoalderson “We have loads of visitors from this channel who

    land on that page, who say they’re looking for these things but that they can’t find them”
  105. @jonoalderson

  106. @jonoalderson effectiveexperiments.com

  107. @jonoalderson Okay. That was step one.

  108. @jonoalderson Objective Goal KPI Key Segments Performance Be known as

    the leading brand in our market Produce content which people discover and read # new organic+referral+email visitors to blog posts (per month) Category, author # average comments-per-post (rolling) Grow our owned and earned audiences # Active new email signups Double YoY revenue Increase sales revenue from digital channels # qualified sales (per month) where the sale had digital attribution Department, channel, product £ qualified sales revenue (per month), where the sale had digital attribution Increase customer lifetime value % of new consumers via the website making a repeat purchase within 3 months (rolling, YoY) Channel, source, campaign, keyword, gender, geographic region, entry page Average time between repeat purchases (rolling, YoY) Provide the best customer experiences in our market Provide great content and help users find the information they need % task completion rate (per month) Entrance page, Channel, source, campaign, keyword % satisfaction rate (per month) Delta % against average competitor satisfaction rate (roling) Compete on marketing efficiency Maintain a high conversion rate to sale % visitors to macroconversions (per month) Channel, source, campaign, keyword, call type Increase self-service actions on the website £ value of microconversions (per month) Microconverion, channel, source, campaign, keyword Ensure that audience-centric activity drives commercial outcomes £ qualified sales revenue (per month), where the sale had audience campaign attribution Campaign
  109. @jonoalderson Now you need to connect the HIPPOs to the

    consumers You’ll need five things
  110. @jonoalderson

  111. @jonoalderson 1. Help stakeholders realise that they don’t have a

    shared set of definitions for success 2. Extract their knowledge (and opinions) 3. Define the goals & KPIs 4. Demonstrate segments, define targets 5. Define an implementation roadmap
  112. @jonoalderson

  113. @jonoalderson 1. Help stakeholders realise that they don’t have a

    shared set of definitions for success 2. Extract their knowledge (and opinions) 3. Define the goals & KPIs 4. Demonstrate segments, define targets 5. Define an implementation roadmap
  114. @jonoalderson “What are your business objectives?”

  115. @jonoalderson “Double year-on-year revenue” “Provide great customer service” “Be more

    efficient” “Have a high conversion rate” “Get 600 more email opens per week”
  116. @jonoalderson Objectives must increase revenue, decrease cost or improve brand

  117. @jonoalderson Objective Be known as the leading brand in our

    market Double YoY revenue Provide the best customer experiences in our market Compete on marketing efficiency
  118. @jonoalderson 1. Help stakeholders realise that they don’t have a

    shared set of definitions for success 2. Extract their knowledge (and opinions) 3. Define the goals & KPIs 4. Demonstrate segments, define targets 5. Define an implementation roadmap
  119. @jonoalderson Goals objectives - nonsense + specifics = tactics

  120. @jonoalderson Objectives often require multiple goals

  121. @jonoalderson Objective Goal Be known as the leading brand in

    our market Produce content which people discover and read Grow our owned and earned audiences Double YoY revenue Increase sales revenue from digital channels Increase customer lifetime value Provide the best customer experiences in our market Provide great content and help users find the information they need Compete on marketing efficiency Maintain a high conversion rate to sale Increase self-service actions on the website Ensure that audience-centric activity drives commercial outcomes
  122. @jonoalderson

  123. @jonoalderson

  124. @jonoalderson KPIs Ultra-specific technical definitions

  125. @jonoalderson “Increase sales revenue from digital channels”

  126. @jonoalderson “Increase sales revenue from digital channels” • # Conversions

  127. @jonoalderson • # Conversions • # Qualified macroconversions “Increase sales

    revenue from digital channels”
  128. @jonoalderson • # Conversions • # Qualified macroconversions • #

    Qualified macroconversions “Increase sales revenue from digital channels”
  129. @jonoalderson • # Conversions • # Qualified macroconversions • #

    Qualified macroconversions • # macroconversions (valuable form submissions, valuable phone calls, and offline conversions which cite ‘web’ as source) “Increase sales revenue from digital channels”
  130. @jonoalderson Think outside of the box Don’t use any stock

    metrics
  131. @jonoalderson Introduce audience-centric KPIs How many people did you help?

  132. @jonoalderson Interweave your commercial and audience KPIs to prevent silo’d

    behaviour.
  133. @jonoalderson Don’t worry about how you’re going to track your

    KPIs (yet)
  134. @jonoalderson http://bit.ly/2tWeYiK Understand that different page types have different success

    metrics
  135. @jonoalderson Objective Goal KPI Be known as the leading brand

    in our market Produce content which people discover and read # new organic+referral+email visitors to blog posts (per month) # average comments-per-post (rolling) Grow our owned and earned audiences # Active new email signups Double YoY revenue Increase sales revenue from digital channels # qualified sales (per month) where the sale had digital attribution £ qualified sales revenue (per month), where the sale had digital attribution Increase customer lifetime value % of new consumers via the website making a repeat purchase within 3 months (rolling, YoY) Average time between repeat purchases (rolling, YoY) Provide the best customer experiences in our market Provide great content and help users find the information they need % task completion rate (per month) % satisfaction rate (per month) Delta % against average competitor satisfaction rate (roling) Compete on marketing efficiency Maintain a high conversion rate to sale % visitors to macroconversions (per month) Increase self-service actions on the website £ value of microconversions (per month) Ensure that audience-centric activity drives commercial outcomes £ qualified sales revenue (per month), where the sale had audience campaign attribution
  136. @jonoalderson 1. Help stakeholders realise that they don’t have a

    shared set of definitions for success 2. Extract their knowledge (and opinions) 3. Define the goals & KPIs 4. Demonstrate segments, define targets 5. Define an implementation roadmap
  137. @jonoalderson Segments ...define reporting requirements

  138. @jonoalderson Objective Goal KPI Key Segments Be known as the

    leading brand in our market Produce content which people discover and read # new organic+referral+email visitors to blog posts (per month) Category, author # average comments-per-post (rolling) Grow our owned and earned audiences # Active new email signups Double YoY revenue Increase sales revenue from digital channels # qualified sales (per month) where the sale had digital attribution Department, channel, product £ qualified sales revenue (per month), where the sale had digital attribution Increase customer lifetime value % of new consumers via the website making a repeat purchase within 3 months (rolling, YoY) Channel, source, campaign, keyword, gender, geographic region, entry page Average time between repeat purchases (rolling, YoY) Provide the best customer experiences in our market Provide great content and help users find the information they need % task completion rate (per month) Entrance page, Channel, source, campaign, keyword % satisfaction rate (per month) Delta % against average competitor satisfaction rate (roling) Compete on marketing efficiency Maintain a high conversion rate to sale % visitors to macroconversions (per month) Channel, source, campaign, keyword, call type Increase self-service actions on the website £ value of microconversions (per month) Microconverion, channel, source, campaign, keyword Ensure that audience-centric activity drives commercial outcomes £ qualified sales revenue (per month), where the sale had audience campaign attribution Campaign
  139. @jonoalderson How you visualise performance is the most important bit.

    Bullet charts are your secret weapon.
  140. @jonoalderson “Something’s gone wrong “Everything’s fine” “It’s champagne time!”

  141. @jonoalderson Objective Goal KPI Key Segments Performance Be known as

    the leading brand in our market Produce content which people discover and read # new organic+referral+email visitors to blog posts (per month) Category, author # average comments-per-post (rolling) Grow our owned and earned audiences # Active new email signups Double YoY revenue Increase sales revenue from digital channels # qualified sales (per month) where the sale had digital attribution Department, channel, product £ qualified sales revenue (per month), where the sale had digital attribution Increase customer lifetime value % of new consumers via the website making a repeat purchase within 3 months (rolling, YoY) Channel, source, campaign, keyword, gender, geographic region, entry page Average time between repeat purchases (rolling, YoY) Provide the best customer experiences in our market Provide great content and help users find the information they need % task completion rate (per month) Entrance page, Channel, source, campaign, keyword % satisfaction rate (per month) Delta % against average competitor satisfaction rate (roling) Compete on marketing efficiency Maintain a high conversion rate to sale % visitors to macroconversions (per month) Channel, source, campaign, keyword, call type Increase self-service actions on the website £ value of microconversions (per month) Microconverion, channel, source, campaign, keyword Ensure that audience-centric activity drives commercial outcomes £ qualified sales revenue (per month), where the sale had audience campaign attribution Campaign
  142. @jonoalderson “How do I set targets?”

  143. @jonoalderson http://bit.ly/1rzdCop

  144. @jonoalderson Your dashboard must fit on one piece of paper(!)

  145. @jonoalderson 1. Help stakeholders realise that they don’t have a

    shared set of definitions for success 2. Extract their knowledge (and opinions) 3. Define the goals & KPIs 4. Demonstrate segments, define targets 5. Define an implementation roadmap
  146. @jonoalderson Objective Goal KPI Key Segments Performance Be known as

    the leading brand in our market Produce content which people discover and read # new organic+referral+email visitors to blog posts (per month) Category, author # average comments-per-post (rolling) Grow our owned and earned audiences # Active new email signups Double YoY revenue Increase sales revenue from digital channels # qualified sales (per month) where the sale had digital attribution Department, channel, product £ qualified sales revenue (per month), where the sale had digital attribution Increase customer lifetime value % of new consumers via the website making a repeat purchase within 3 months (rolling, YoY) Channel, source, campaign, keyword, gender, geographic region, entry page Average time between repeat purchases (rolling, YoY) Provide the best customer experiences in our market Provide great content and help users find the information they need % task completion rate (per month) Entrance page, Channel, source, campaign, keyword % satisfaction rate (per month) Delta % against average competitor satisfaction rate (roling) Compete on marketing efficiency Maintain a high conversion rate to sale % visitors to macroconversions (per month) Channel, source, campaign, keyword, call type Increase self-service actions on the website £ value of microconversions (per month) Microconverion, channel, source, campaign, keyword Ensure that audience-centric activity drives commercial outcomes £ qualified sales revenue (per month), where the sale had audience campaign attribution Campaign
  147. @jonoalderson http://bit.ly/29mFsgZ

  148. @jonoalderson

  149. @jonoalderson Congratulations! Your organisation is becoming more consumer-centric.

  150. @jonoalderson Ok, let’s rewind and summarise

  151. @jonoalderson Search engines reward audience centricity Improved experiences = improved

    performance
  152. @jonoalderson Organisations don’t can’t think this way So you need

    to join the dots for them
  153. @jonoalderson When you change how people are measured, you change

    how they behave
  154. @jonoalderson ...and you always have permission to say... “I think

    we can measure success in a better way”
  155. @jonoalderson So when you develop a measurement framework which makes

    audience centric behaviour important...
  156. @jonoalderson ...and you trap stakeholders into committing to a better

    definition of success..
  157. @jonoalderson You can begin to grow investment in consumer-centric marketing

    and improve your performance
  158. @jonoalderson

  159. @jonoalderson You can use this framework for other activities, too.

  160. @jonoalderson

  161. @jonoalderson

  162. @jonoalderson GOOD LUCK!

  163. @jonoalderson

  164. @jonoalderson | @distilled @jonoalderson