One of the marketing influencers I follow on LinkedIn wrote a post recently asking if people were considering moving off LinkedIn to places like TikTok. Speculating how do you know what the next big thing is going to be? And when to jump to it?
What stuck out for me was a comment from one of his other followers. To paraphrase: That follower’s customers are on LinkedIn today. His customers are slower to transition to new things. They aren’t jumping to TicTok. So, he is staying on LinkedIn.
It was the message I needed to hear at the time. I hope you benefit from me sharing it.
I love innovation. It’s part of my DNA. So, I want to try things out. Experiment. For me, that’s especially true when it comes to innovative technologies. Maybe not so much in terms of marketing channels.
I love the Gretzky phrase that you shoot to where the puck is going to be, not to where it is now.
But often your customer isn’t there yet.
Being customer centric is about keeping pace with where your customer is today. Delivering what they need in the present.
Embracing innovation – especially in terms of how we work and connect with customers – is often more about where you customer will be tomorrow. It’s often more about your business than about them. After all, you still want to be in business tomorrow.
So how do you balance the two goals?
I love the phrase that you meet your customer where they are. And in some ways, keeping pace with where they are in terms of technology change and business change is about that too. Even if you are someone that naturally wants to jump ahead and be a trailblazer.
I recommend you need to you apply the 80-20 rule. Depending on your business it can be the 70-30 rule. Or the 90-10 rule. Whatever rule works for your business.
Focus the bulk of your business and your core messaging on where your customer is today. While still exploring, learning and experimenting on where you think they will be tomorrow. And sprinkle that in in what you do.
Specifically, for me that means that I focus more and more on personalization and digitization. At the same time, I am exploring real time decisioning and digital transformation.
Even though I am intrigued and interested in the latter, often my ideal customer is still working on doing the former better. And I can be of value to them today.
Do you have a similar conundrum in your industry sector? What do you do to match the speed of your customers? What do you do to stretch and grow and anticipate where they will be tomorrow?
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