Being customer-centric & stakeholder-centric can change the game

Today, while checking Twitter, I noticed #Swiggy was trending and the story unfolding was – “Whistleblowers Blow up #Swiggy’s House of Cards!” As reported in a leading daily, “A blog post that has been co-authored by four disgruntled employees has blown the lid off the much talked about food-tech startup Swiggy”.  Swiggy swung into the act and announced that the blog post is targeted at maligning the reputation of Swiggy as an organisation.

Yes, this brings to the forefront the importance of being stakeholder-centric in reputation. And, also simultaneously throws into focus the fact how game-changing it is to be customer-centric in marketing (here it is internal customers).

Being stakeholder-centric can change the game

First, let’s look at – being stakeholder-centric. Managing stakeholder relations is a key skill. This builds the reputation of organisations. Effective management of stakeholder relationships is crucial to resolving issues facing organisations. By using their influence, stakeholders hold the key to the environment in which an organisation operates; they can also have an impact on its financial and operating performance. So, effective management of stakeholder relations (internal and external) is integral in PR and organisational activity.

Going back to the books, a stakeholder is any person, group or organisation who have a stake in the organisation’s environment around. Having a stake – something at risk, and therefore something to gain or lose as a result of corporate activity.

The aim of stakeholder relations management is to influence stakeholder attitudes, decisions, and actions for mutual benefit. The stakeholders need to gain from the relationship or they may not be sufficiently motivated to cooperate. The main steps in stakeholder relations management are – to identify and prioritise stakeholders. Then use stakeholder planning to build the support that leads to success.

The benefits of using a stakeholder-based approach are:

  • The main stakeholders’ views can be used to help shape reputations at an early stage.
  • Gaining support from powerful stakeholders can lead to the success.
  • By communicating with stakeholders, you can ensure that they know what you are doing. This means they can support you actively, when necessary (like when your reputation takes a beating).
  • You can anticipate what people’s reactions may be, and build into your plan the actions that will create a winning reputation.

Being customer-centric can impact storytelling

What does it mean to be ‘customer-centric’ in marketing? It gives a definite shape to the story-telling. Customer-centric marketing occurs when a company’s customers’ needs and desires are top priority. The goal of customer-centric marketing is not just to acquire high-quality customers, but also to retain them, building strong, lasting relationships. Putting the consumer first is vital to marketing success – whether it is content, internal transformation or getting customers involved in the brand story. To become increasingly customer-centric today, brands are adapting and transforming, internally and externally.

The idea of customer-first is not new. To meet consumers’ changing demands, brands need to constantly refresh their approach. User-generated content and emotive storytelling are becoming critical. This customer-centric approach has spinned off major trends in marketing, including disruption, emotive storytelling, user-generated content and diversity.

To unify the brand promise all the way through the organisation – is the key challenge for marketing, without which, a brand cannot consistently deliver its promise to consumers. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that every aspect is aligned to the brand promise.

Being customer-centric, helps brand achieve certain benefits:

  • Customer-centric marketing helps align company goals  It’s all about focusing on the big picture and understanding the customer’s journey in customer-centric marketing. You need to understand how visitors interact with their brand so they can better communicate with their potential customers. Understanding customer-centric marketing is critical in making a sale. By providing the content they need, you will engage your customers with information they want.
  • Customer-centric storytelling helps brands connect with customers  Storytelling to paint a picture – that’s was customer-centric storytelling focuses on. It taps into the emotions of the customer experience and the joy that comes with a good experience. This means customer-centric marketing isn’t just for your advertising programs. Consider the customer’s wants and needs throughout every step of their buying journey. The question is: how can you make this experience not just acceptable, but enjoyable?

So, it is indeed game-changing to be stakeholder-centric and consumer-centric.

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Shree Lahiri
Shree is the Senior Editor at Reputation Today and hopes to move from one focus area to another in the editions that will be released this year. Having worked in Corporate Communications teams, she has experience of advertising, public relations, investor and employee communications, after which she moved to the other side – journalism. She enjoys writing and believes the power of the pen is indeed mighty. Covering the entertainment beat and the media business, she has been involved in a wide range of activities that have thrown open storytelling opportunities.

She can be reached at: @shree_la on twitter

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