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Creating an Agile, Customer-Centric Culture for Long-Term Success

It takes a well-functioning team across multiple disciplines to create successful marketing results. While individual employees may stand out, the collective strategic work is what achieves winning and sustainable ROI. Long-term success depends on supportive leadership and nimble teams that keep up with changing times while building valuable lifetime customers. To successfully reach North Star goals, organisations must focus on developing an agile, customer-centric culture.

Culture is the outcome of shared values, goals and practices within an organisation. It is not static and can shift depending on the company's growth and maturity or the nature of competition or innovation in its sector. A customer-centric organisation continually focuses on improving customer experience, with a shared understanding from the top down and bottom up that doing so will improve business performance. This means every employee can see their role in serving and creating better customer experiences. This does not mean the company ignores its employees, but rather that the company succeeds when customers have a better experience and buy more or often.

Agile culture means keeping an openness to change and an appreciation for making decisions that are subject to evaluation and evolution. It encourages experimentation and learning over fear of failure. An agile culture is built for flexibility today and in the future, adapting, adjusting and learning through successes and failures. This helps organisations to move rapidly and find greater success.

Leadership plays a key role in creating, supporting and maintaining an agile, customer-centric culture. Leaders set behavioural standards and enforce them through their actions, the activities they reward and the things they overlook. If an organisation claims to be customer-centric, but leaders only reward employees who cut costs at the expense of customer experience, mixed messages are sent. However, when efficiency is used to benefit the customer, leaders can have the best of both worlds.

Building or changing a culture isn’t going to happen overnight, but shifting towards agility and customer-centricity is possible with leadership buy-in. Prioritisation is key - customer-centric activities or initiatives must be prioritised, or else it sends a clear message that customer-centricity takes a back seat to other priorities when push comes to shove. Additionally, resistance to change is natural, so organisations must have a reason and purpose for the change, involve their team in planning the change and ensure consistent messaging.

An agile, customer-centric culture sets an organisation up for success. When customer interests are aligned with company objectives, and employees are motivated to create great customer experiences and are rewarded when they achieve that, the organisation stands out. Ultimately, an organisation must have supportive leadership, nimble teams and a focus on customer-centricity to reach North Star goals and become a category leader.

Originally reported by Martech:
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