How you can deliver greater business value

For businesses to protect margin and grow revenue in the future, a focus on customers is more crucial than ever before. We call this Customer Obsession – a fixation to drive strategy and actions that deliver greater value for the customer by embedding the customer’s real perspectives at the heart of a company. To continue to learn how different businesses are benefitting from this approach, we asked a select group of high-performance CMOs how they maximise the impact of marketing for their organisations.

Why is customer obsession so important?
  • Customer obsession helps focus a brand, product or service on delivering differentiation that customers value on an emotional not just rational level.
  • This value helps drive customer acquisition, engagement and retention, which boosts profitability, customer lifetime value, trust and advocacy.
  • Ultimately, customer obsession helps businesses grow – a study published in the Harvard Business Review demonstrated that brands which connect emotionally generate 52% more incremental customer value.
What are some of the best practices in delivering business and marketing through customer obsession?
  • Develop strategies that can influence customer feelings not just action.
  • Create business objectives that are rooted in helping customers.
  • Fuse customer data and human insights together.
  • Champion customers in Boardrooms and across organisations. Ensure the organisation is always asking “what does it mean for the customer?”
  • Have very high curiosity about customers to bring their human stories to life.
  • Ditch presenteeism in favour of creating collaboration within fluid teams.
  • Look for the key leadership characteristics of empathy, determination, humility and a service mindset which we’ve found common in the best customer obsessed leaders.

In a world where change is the only constant, customers have an ever increasing number of brands to choose from. At the same time, what that brand means to a person continually shifts and evolves as their needs constantly change. It is only the brands that authentically deliver what customers truly need or desire that will succeed and endure. Businesses need visionaries who can deeply understand their customers’ moods and minds on a human level in order to deliver true customer value. It is these visionaries who are able to develop the type of emotional customer connections that form and strengthen mutual and personal relationships, creating a type of engagement through which change can flow more easily.

Through Savannah’s collective 75 years of experience in marketing and customer leadership and by speaking to a range of expert contributors, we explore what it means to be customer obsessed and how leaders are creating customer obsessed businesses today.


Why customer obsession is important
  • Only when leaders understand the humanity of customers as real people, can teams provide greater value for them.
  • Customer obsession can help focus a product or service business to deliver differentiation that customers value, to drive engagement, boost retention and protect margin, but while this differentiation should flex, purpose endures.
Key leadership characteristics for delivering customer obsession
  • It takes a blend of empathy, determination and humility to create learning collaborations, and a true service mindset to be a customer obsessed leader.
What leaders can do to create customer obsession
  • Define the purpose and culture for customer value
  • Set objectives which create customer value
  • Set strategy for what customers feel, not just what they do
  • Fuse customer data and human insights together
  • Champion customers in boardrooms and across organisations
  • Develop customer obsessed people and teams
  • Have a growth mindset of learning and customer curiosity
  • Create a culture of collaboration, not just presenteeism, from multi-functional teams

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