We’re rolling out a new feature on our blog this week, Wall Street Wednesday. In our Wall Street Wednesday posts we will be discussing topics and articles in the Wall Street Journal each week and how these topics are related to inbound marketing and sales.
This week we’re talking about Microsoft’s search for a new CEO and the importance of creating a customer-focused culture in your business.
On August 28th the Wall Street Journal had an interesting piece in their Marketplace section titled, “Microsoft: 11 Fix-It Strategies.” They brought together a group of diverse perspectives on the qualities that Microsoft needs to look for in their next CEO.
It was Paula Long’s observation that stuck out to me. Paula is the CEO of DataGravity Inc. and she said:
What does Microsoft stand for today? Is it productivity tools, or tablets or something else? The market doesn’t know anymore, and Microsoft’s next leader needs to communicate that mission clearly.
This point is applicable to Microsoft, as well as many other businesses.
- What do you stand for?
- What is your mission?
- Where is your focus?
Should this be an idea that starts at the top, drips down through the organization, and the customer is the last to learn about it? I don’t think so.
Mission should start with a crystal clear understanding of your customer. Focus on things that are important to them.
Create buyer personas that help your entire organization align with a vision of who the business is supporting.
Place your unique value propositions and positioning statements on top of those buyer personas. Hone your message to focus on the needs, pains, and dreams of your target customer. This is what today’s buyer expects.
For the first time in history, the buyer holds most of the cards. Salespeople no longer hold the key to information. Information is at the fingertips of every buyer, just a Google search away.
Zappos, Amazon, and Apple are thriving because they understand their customers and they understand how they help them live better lives.
You don’t have to be a multinational company to focus on your customers. Start today by creating a detailed buyer persona to better understand who you’re working with and how your marketing, sales experience, and service can make their lives better.