Your customers are truly changing
Over the past years, customers became more connected, hence more and better informed. The more they are socially connected and informed, the lower their brand trust. Today customers, both in B-to-B and B-to-C markets, are surveying before making their decisions. They learn with interest about interactions their peers have recently experienced and form their own opinions. Word-of-mouth has become more important. This also explains the increased popularity of YouTube videos within their purchase decision process.
This affects the way business should interact with customers. In the past, businesses invested in creativity and product development and emphasized their marketing efforts on explaining their added value. Today, customers decide for themselves what value means to them. They own their experiences!
The trick is to better understand what they want, desire, dream of. In order to increase loyalty you will have to work on personal relevance. This means it is no longer enough to merely understand customer behavior. You will need to know WHO your customers are, what they DREAM of, what they VALUE and PREFER. That really is a challenge. You will need to listen with more empathy than ever before!
This means you will need new models, systems and tools. The currently used marketing and customer research tools have become obsolete. Today, you need to see and experience for yourself how your target group lives your brand/company/business interactions. Only then, you will be able to close the gap between what you believe matters and what really matters.