Consulting Insights

Customer-Centric Marketing: How To Take Action On This Buzz-Worthy Topic

Customer-centric strategy is one of the most buzz-worthy topics in marketing today, but are marketers really doing it well? According to recent studies, only 14% of marketers feel customer-centricity is core to their company’s current strategy¹.

Every day, we help clients take meaningful steps to find, win, and keep their most valuable customers. A customer-centric strategy is one that places the customer at the center of all marketing decisions and is key to a successful marketing strategy. In this article we will share where brands are falling behind and how marketers can use Ovative’s approach to placing the customer at the center of your marketing strategy. 

Why Being “Customer-Centric” Is Vital to Success 

Customers are the lifeblood of any business and similarly, should be at the heart of any marketing strategy. The importance of delivering a best-in-class customer experience has never been more vital, and customers reward brands that prioritize them with loyalty and leave brands who do not. In fact, 2/5 consumers are ditching brands with poor customer experience.² Factors that influence the decision include personalization, multi-channel touch points, and customer service.3  

Today, only 14% of marketers say that customer centricity is a hallmark of their companies.1 As marketers, our goal is to identify applicable and valuable groups of customers and uniquely position our brand and products to them. This requires a thorough understanding of the customer, their needs, and their motivations – which is often gathered through deploying digital channels and analyzing omni-channel data, a challenging feat for most companies.  

Our Approach 

Understanding customer industry trends and how customers fit in your business goals at every step enables marketers to drive impact. Ovative’s approach to customer-centricity starts with taking the time to understand and segment your customer base, then define full-funnel strategies to meet them, and test and activate upon your learnings to improve your marketing effectiveness.  

Segment Your Customers 

Identify critical customer groups and segment them based on how they shop with you (value-based segments) and/or why they shop with you (psychographic segments). This involves defining and understanding their needs and wants, and effectively engaging with high-value customers along their purchase journey based on data-driven findings.  

Questions to ask: 

  • How should I segment my customer base to maximize marketing efficiency and revenue growth? 
  • How can I better understand who my most valuable customers are? How can I find more of them? 
  • How can I activate against previous segmentation and persona work? 
  • How can I reflect my customer-centric strategies in a way that shows my marketing plans are working to achieve my company’s business growth goals and objectives?  


Develop Full-Funnel Marketing Strategies 

In order to reach their audience segments, marketers must create strategies rooted in the customer journey, inclusive of multiple digital touchpoints on paid and owned media. Strong customer-centric marketers understand each touchpoint’s role in the customer journey and then produce messaging and creative  that is right for the audience at that point in the journey, they define key performance indicators (KPIs), and measure how the customer responds. Customer-centric marketers also step back and look across the entire journey, asking customers about their experience and using digital data to understand where improvements can be made. 

Questions to ask: 

  • Do I have messages and creative aligned to each audience and stage in their journey? 
  • Are we utilizing CRM audiences in our marketing efforts to reach (or exclude) current customers from marketing efforts and to build look-alike audiences to high-value customers? 
  • Are we utilizing platform audience capabilities (Affinity, In Market) to ensure we are spending on high-value audiences? 
  • Are my digital efforts working together to convert customers? Am I effectively retargeting and remarketing? 
  • Are we listening to customers and looking at the data to understand where they are dropping off or unhappy? Where was the experience disconnected across channels or platforms? 


Test, Measure, and Activate  

Turn theory into practice by developing a strong testing and activation roadmap, supporting traditional and digital full-funnel strategies, including audience strategies, investment approaches, channel strategies, and contact strategies. A customer-first testing roadmap requires advanced measurement capabilities to understand how your marketing is reaching customers, driving increased lifetime value, and effectively growing your customer base. Learn more about Ovative’s Measurement Maturity Scale and how your brand can move the needle in our latest article here.

Questions to ask: 

    • Am I measuring the value of my customers and customer-first marketing strategies with the right KPIs? 
    • What insights and learnings can my media teams use in their activations today? Are we sharing the right customer insights for media teams to make smarter decisions? 
    • Are we positioned with creative, messaging, and imagery to rapidly test? 
    • What tests are on the roadmap this year to increase existing customer value? What tests are on the roadmap to increase my customer file? 
    • What is the right balance of tests and “just-do” changes to put my customer first? 


Taking a customer-centric approach to marketing requires that you identify and prioritize the right customer segments, build full-funnel strategies to reach them, and rapidly test, measure, and activate on your learnings. With only 14% of marketers reporting their organization is successful at putting the customer-first, marketers have a lot of work to do to ensure they will find, win, and keep their most valuable customers.   

Are you ready to put the customer at the center of your marketing strategy, but don’t know where to start? Contact us to learn more!  

Ovative is a digital-first media and measurement firm seeking to transform the measure of marketing success. At Ovative, we help brands move the needle. We are curious. We value your brand. We want to see you succeed. Connect with us to learn more! 


1 | CMO Council, Mastering Adaptive Customer Engagements, October 2018 

2 | eMarketer, More than 2 in 5 consumers are ditching brands with bad CX, April 2021 

3 | eMarketer, Customer Experience 2021, March 2021 

Grant Griebenow

Senior Director, Retail Media

About the Author

Grant is a Senior Director of Retail Media at Ovative Group, where he partners with clients across industries to unlock enterprise growth. At Ovative, Grant solves problems and drives impact with customer-centric marketing and measurement strategies. Prior to joining Ovative, Grant spent 8 years at Target Corporation leading projects and teams in marketing analytics, customer insights, and strategy development.... Read More >>

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