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9 min read

5 key strategies to take your customer obsession to the next level

Membership content | Customer Marketing

This article derives from a presentation from the Masters of Product Marketing event in October 2022. Catch up with all content with our OnDemand platform. For more exclusive content, visit your member dashboard.

Hello, my name is Sally Revell, and I'm delighted to be able to share five key strategies that will take your customer obsession to the next level. I’m the Head of Product Marketing at Google Cloud for their Infrastructure and App Ecosystem, but all the thoughts and opinions I share here are my own.

The best-in-class customer-obsessed brands

Let's kick things off by looking at a handful of brands that exemplify customer-centricity. Amazon is an obvious one. Part of their mission statement is that they strive to be the world's most customer-centric organization, and the services that we know and love – like Amazon Prime’s same-day delivery – are all based on customer insights.

Next up, we have Etsy. Do you remember in the early days of the pandemic when there weren’t enough masks and they put out a call to sellers to start making them? Within a month, there were 20,000 sellers making masks, and 12 million masks sold through Etsy.

That shows an incredible understanding of the market. They understood what their customers needed and took action to make those things available.

Patagonia’s another one. They just made the incredibly bold customer-insight-driven move of donating the entire company to fight climate change. And there are many other examples – Kroger, Lowe's, Rothy’s – all customer-obsessed organizations with valuable lessons to teach us.

For these organizations, customer obsession is part of their DNA. The CEO or founder has made it a priority. However, that’s not necessarily the case for everybody. Many organizations may well be customer-focused, but they're not customer-obsessed. Today, we’re going to turn that around.

Customer focus vs customer obsession

I want to share a little bit about the difference between being customer-focused and customer-obsessed. We’ll see how you, in your role as a product marketer, can become more customer-obsessed and take your customer experience to the next level.

Jeff Bezos is seen as the father of customer obsession. There’s a super famous quote from him: “We’re not competitor obsessed; we’re customer-obsessed” and I know it to be true – I worked at Amazon for four years.

Everything the company does starts from the customer and works backward, whether that's an event they're planning, a video they're shooting, or a new product they're ideating. It's incredible, and it results in incredible experiences, services, and products.

The customer isn't this ethereal anonymous being, although in large enterprises, and especially in B2B, we often fall into the trap of thinking they are. Behind every transaction is a human being with feelings and needs. They want to be excited. They want to be engaged.

Written by:

Sally Revell

Sally Revell

Sally Revell is the Head of Product Marketing at Google Cloud.

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5 key strategies to take your customer obsession to the next level