When companies talk about Customer Centricity it is often from an Inside-Out perspective. A “Look, there are our target customers – go get ‘em” approach, supported by a “Buy what we’ve got, now” marketing and sales stance. In truth, this is a parody of Customer Centricity.
Genuine Customer Centricity only happens when an company organises with and around its Customers. This requires, first and foremost, the adoption of an Outside-In perspective; recognition that Customer Value is the value perceived by a customer.
In fact, our interconnected, always-on world has made this Outside-In, Customer-perceived-Value-led approach a ‘must have’ capability if sustainable success is to be achieved. The Outside-In view allied to “pull” marketing is the only way that the virtually unlimited opportunities of the 21st century will be enabled.
And there is a wonderful literal example of the Outside-In view: the photograph of Earthrise taken by the Apollo 8 crew on Christmas Eve 1968. (Thanks to NASA for the image.)
To be able, for the first time in human history, to see our home from the outside in was awe-inspiring – wonderful and scary in equal measure. It changed everything. To see this “mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam”, as Carl Sagan so beautifully described our “pale blue dot”, surely prompts all of us to think more carefully and to act more responsibly towards our home.
And that same Outside-In perspective prompts all of us to think more carefully and act more responsibly towards our actual and prospective Customers. The joy of this is that the outcomes are better both for the Customers and for the organisations that adopt such an enlightened approach.