March 15, 2021

Types of Customer Development

There are many ways to navigate Customer Development. All tactics are serviceable, all have a place.

Influencer-Based Customer Development is popular, of course. Find an influencer, pay the person with products or cash or whatever, collect the orders. It is not a method to build anything long-term, and it is a method that allows you to navigate the Acquisition phase effectively.

Merchandise-Based Customer Development is a common strategy, one that works wonders. When Kohl's adds Sephora to their stores, they're employing a Merchandise-Based Customer Development strategy. In theory, the strategy works well across all stages.

Addressable Customer Development is most effective, of course. Email, Notifications, Print, it's a series of tactics designed to speak to an individual.

E-Commerce Customer Development is the process of merchandising the online pages the customer browses. Creative, personalization, merchandise assortment, they all fit together.

Mass Advertising Customer Development is like when Stitch Fix advertises on television. Costs are likely high, but it is a key way for a brand with sufficient long-term value to find new customers.

Digital Customer Development focuses on paid search, SEO, retargeting, general social media, etc.  The tactics are highly effective in the Acquisition stage.

Vendor-Based Customer Development is littered across everything you read. OMNICHANNEL! The strategies work ... when applied properly. When applied in a manner that benefits the vendor, well, just take a look at the ruined retail landscape for examples of the damage created by Vendor-Based Customer Development. The best marketers apply Vendor-Based strategies appropriately. Average marketers cut-and-paste, leaving their brands harmed.

There are many other examples ... no need to go into more detail here. Your job is to leverage each tactic appropriately, within each of the five stages of Customer Development.

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