Is the customer no longer always right? 21st century marketing has become much more complex

One of those truisms in the marketing world is that “the customer is always right.” We have listened to it to boredom and from multiple sources in the most diverse ways possible. It is what the waiters think before the heavy customer who protests everything (or rather: what their manager tells them when they can no longer endure more changes and requests to eliminate groceries). It is what marks returns in some stores and what customers implicitly guide when they threaten to sink the reputation of some tourism industry with comments on the web.

However, a recent study has just shown that the customer is not always right and that the companies that start from that idea are not the most competitive, at least with the rules of the 21st century market.

This does not imply assuming that the customer no longer matters or that the company is the great queen and the one who makes all the decisions, but rather understanding that the market is much more complex and that the idea of ​​giving everything the consumer says for well it is excessively reductionist. To make a good marketing strategy and even to create an optimal customer experience, there are many more things to consider.

This is what has been determined by a study by the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas, which has analyzed what successful companies do and has marked this paradigm shift as a conclusion. The marketers who have been more successful with their strategies in recent years, they point out, have not focused on their consumers, period, but have worked in a more holistic way on their presence in the market.

Rather than putting their client ahead of everything else, they have struck a balance between many more elements. They have worked to build relationships between industries, carefully studied how and what their products are used for, and even cared about consumers in general, whether or not they are their customers.

As research leader Sebastian Hohenberg explains, marketers have traditionally been told that “companies can grow organically by focusing on their consumers and doing things better than their competition.” It is what “the bulk of companies still believe.” “But that is not what the best companies of these times are doing,” he adds.

Better economic results

Researchers have created a concept, “marketing excellence”, to group these ideas and positions. To demonstrate that it is much better than the previous model, they used two meters. On the one hand, they analyzed the return of a possible investment in the stock market in companies that fit this model and in those that follow a traditional one. The investment was always $ 100, but the profits were not the same. In the traditional ones it gave 744 dollars and in the excellence ones 1,313.

In addition, they collected data from those companies that they had identified under the new model to see what they were doing. In general, these companies think more at the ecosystem level and are more willing to get out of their comfort zone, both to find opportunities and talent and to create value.

A different product design

And, finally, they also change how they deal with product design. Their vision is more comprehensive and more focused on the end user.

They think about all the needs of the user and how it impacts their product, even if the relationship is not direct. This is why having a team with diverse skills and knowledge is so important that it helps to see different lines and problems more fully.