Thursday, 29 September 2011

The changing world of 'Know your customer'

Knowing your customers used to be a marketing issue. The more you know and understand what your customers want the better you serve them, the happier they are and the more likely you get return business. In our iMedia sense we may need to apply this from two angles – understanding our clients, and understanding their customer base. You might, for example, indicate in the scoping phase of the project, that you can – for a cost – get market intelligence on their customer base to aid targeting them more effectively interactively. They may have this intelligence already and offer it to you if you ask. You would perhaps have needed the first set of information on your client prior to this when you were winning the project. (There are many companies that offer to find intelligence on customers such as Onesource)

But things have got more complex, of course. Now the waters are muddied by the Know your customer (KYC) legislation that has been out in place for anti-money laundering initiatives. You may need to consider this angle when implementing any project in the financial services sector. See the pwc article April 2011, for more on this.

But let's get back to the marketing sense of know your customer. This is good business sense and the basics are covered in a Business Link Guide.

Knowing your clients goes hand-in-hand with knowing your competition, since if they are offering more services for the same or less money, it is easy to see why your clients might migrate to them, especially in the present stringent financial climate. You'd better be sure of your own reputation/branding if you want to counter any client's comparison with cheaper services being offered, or take the hit. Again, the basics are outlined by Business Link.

So, do you know your clients' business well enough to define their needs? Do you know their customer bases well enough to proffer goods and services to them in a way that is visible to your clients? Do you keep an eye on your competitors so you are in tune with your own sector and what it is offering at what cost?

All these are necessary and yes, I know there are so many other things taking up your time too.

1 comment: