Podcast Episode

Inside the Customer's Mind: Unveiling the Secrets of Customer-Centric Marketing

with Shana Brewer

Episode Notes

Shana Brewer is a dedicated professional who combines her love for animals with her skills in audience engagement to assist businesses and nonprofits. An active volunteer in a boxer rescue organization, Shana is deeply invested in the welfare of dogs. She advises groups on pinpointing and understanding their target audiences, with a strong emphasis on connecting with fellow animal lovers and previous rescuers. 

Jeffro and guest Shana Brewer discuss the importance of customer-centric marketing. Shana shares her expertise in guiding businesses towards understanding their target customers, addressing their needs, and creating a seamless and personalized experience. The conversation delves into common mistakes made by businesses, the value of starting with “why,” and the significance of consistent messaging across multiple channels. 



  1. Keep the buyer journey simple.
  2. Understand your customers.
  3. Start with ‘why’.


Connect with Shana Brewer

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shanafbrewer/


Connect with Jeffro

Website: https://www.frobro.com

Social Links: https://www.tiktok.com/@frobroweb


00:00 Digital marketing is just marketing with technology.

05:21 Customer-centric marketing means understanding the buyer’s journey.

07:28 Keep it simple to avoid overwhelming customers.

12:38 Nonprofit hired digital agency, ads didn’t work.

14:52 Skipping customer knowledge leads to ineffective marketing.

18:56 Understanding customers crucial for effective marketing efforts.

20:20 Gratitude for guest, listeners; focus on customers.


Shana Brewer [00:00:00]:
Research actually shows that a customer has to see something 7 times before they make a decision and make that purchase. 

Jeffro [00:00:19]:
Welcome back to Digital Dominance. If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, you’ve probably figured out that digital marketing is really just marketing with the added benefit of technology. That’s why we’re constantly talking about marketing principles and not just how to deliver the optimal Facebook ad configuration for maximum ROI because every campaign is different, and you need to know who you’re talking to and what they care about. It’s not about figuring out the magic incantation to suddenly Go viral. We are going to have some deep dive episodes soon where we get into the ins and outs. Customer centric marketing focuses on creating a seamless and personalized experience for target customers. And today, we have the pleasure of hearing Shaina Brewer enlighten us on this topic. Shaina is a seasoned marketing professional with almost 20 years of combined experience within various industries from Technology, entertainment, consumer goods, and nonprofits.

Jeffro [00:01:15]:
She is currently serving as a senior manager of global marketing campaigns at a global software company, And she enjoys providing her marketing expertise to small business owners and nonprofits during her free time. That in itself tells you just how passionate she is about marketing. So thanks for joining me today, Shaina. Welcome to the show.

Shana Brewer [00:01:32]:
Thanks, Jeff. Happy to be here.

Jeffro [00:01:33]:
Yeah. I’m excited. So, Shaina, customer centric marketing Sounds like it just means putting your customers first, but I have a feeling there’s a bit more to it than that. So can you give us your overview?

Shana Brewer [00:01:43]:
Yeah. Absolutely. How I see customer centric marketing is really get into the hearts and minds of your target customer and really understanding what are their pain points, what do they wanna see from your business, from your solution, What are things that keep them up at night that you can help them with? Really, it’s just keeping the customer first like you said it. And with your marketing, making sure that you’re addressing the customer’s needs.

Jeffro [00:02:15]:
So it it seems like someone would be It would be easy for someone to just dismiss this and say, well, of course, I’m customer centric. I’m the cheapest option on the market, or we have the best guarantee around. But, I mean, there’s more to it. So how do you draw that out and kind of take that next step where it’s actually a little bit more meaningful and you really are in your customer’s shoes?

Shana Brewer [00:02:32]:
Yeah. So, usually, what I like to tell businesses or some of my nonprofit, The, organizations that I work with first is to really think about your target audience. Who is the the target audience that you’re going after. So, for example, I volunteer with a boxer rescue organization. I am a dog lover, and so I really wanna help this nonprofit to succeed. So I Have them think about who’s their target audience that is going to support their mission of rescuing homeless boxers. It’s probably going to be dog lovers like myself or animal lovers or people who have stirred or rescued dogs before and really getting to the mind of that customer profile. What are they thinking? Where are they in terms of online communities? Where do they get their information? So a good way to start is to have that target customer in mind.

Shana Brewer [00:03:44]:
It could even be, like, thinking of them as a person. Like, this is Jane. She works at the local library, and she loves to rescue dogs in her spare time. Right? Like, thinking about that one perfect customer and really getting into the minds of that customer.

Jeffro [00:04:03]:
It’s it’s kinda sounds like a peel the onion situation where the more you analyze your campaigns, your website, your emails, The more you’re going to find those things that you can fix or improve, but I also feel like you’re gonna recognize the assumptions you’re making the more you do that. Because if you just say, oh, I think this person would do x, y, z, but if you actually start interviewing them or talking to them, you might find something different. Is that been your experience?

Shana Brewer [00:04:26]:
Yeah. Absolutely. You bring up a good point because with marketing, everything’s about data analytics and getting insights from your data. So If you have a website that you’re already managing, look into the analytics because there’s demographic fake information there. There’s really good insights Dominance a customer enters your website, maybe how long does it take for them to donate or how long does it take for them to purchase a product? Definitely leverage the data to your advantage to learn more about your customers.

Jeffro [00:05:01]:
Okay. So that’s a good place to start. Let’s say you look at your data, you figure out some things, you make some changes, but you don’t just walk away and never revisit that. Right? What’s the feedback loop For this customer centric approach, how do you refine and optimize and adapt over time? Because as you change something, maybe you realize, oh, I I overdid it or I underdid it and kind of continue to narrow in on that.

Shana Brewer [00:05:21]:
Yeah. So another part of this kinda Customer centric or customer first marketing is also looking at the buyer’s journey or customer journey. Me. So it can be referred to interchangeably as either buyer’s journey or customer journey. And a lot of different research companies and organizations Gens usually have 3 stages of the buyer’s journey, which starts with awareness first and then consideration and then decision. And so if you think of just us as consumers, We all go through that journey of awareness is, first, I’m trying to purchase a car, And I’m doing my research online. What type of cars are reliable? What’s the price points for these cars? Do I want a EV or an SUV? Right? There’s so many options. So I’m in that awareness phase because I Am aware of what I need, but I don’t know what’s out there.

Shana Brewer [00:06:26]:
So that’s the awareness stage. And then the 2nd stage is consideration stage where I’m now doing all my research and kind of knowing what are my options out there. Maybe it’s a Honda, a Tesla, BMW, etcetera, and I’m kinda evaluating against all of these. And then comes the decision stage, which that’s your convert time, right, to really get that customer to convert or make that decision or purchase the product, purchase your service, whatever. And that is going to be when You finally get their buy in to buy your product or purchase your service. So think about kind of that journey from awareness to decision and what you can offer them or help them in getting from awareness to decision.

Jeffro [00:07:22]:
Is there value in adding more detailed steps within those 3 stages, or is that just overcomplicating it?

Shana Brewer [00:07:28]:
I think it’s better to be simple, especially if you’re lacking on resources. You know? You’re a small business, Nonprofit, if you don’t have enough bandwidth or hands to kinda monitor the journey. And another big part is Creating the content that matches to each journey, you don’t want to confuse the buyer. Like, Too much information out there also is not good because you still want to nurture them and help guide them through the process of when they’re first learning about your product or service to when they finally make that decision. So I would say I would on the side of simplicity just to make sure that you’re not overwhelming your target customer.

Jeffro [00:08:19]:
Okay. And it sounds like not overwhelming yourself either because if if you’re creating all that extra work, you can’t keep up with all that. So that brings me to the next Phase would be, let’s say, you do have a little bit of resources and you have multiple channels. Right? Another aspect of providing a seamless experience is making sure there’s consistency across Those channels. So can you give some examples of what that might look like?

Shana Brewer [00:08:39]:
Yeah. So that could also be called multichannel or sometimes referred to as omnichannel marketing too to make sure that you’re providing a seamless user experience across offline channels and online channels. So let’s say We’ll take the car example again. Let’s say I’m in the market for a Honda. I’m loyal to Honda cars. So I’m in the market for Honda. I see a print ad in a magazine, and then I go to the website and look up Honda cars. You you wanna make sure that it’s a consistent messaging, consistent brand that you’re not confusing the buyer.

Shana Brewer [00:09:29]:
Like, oh, I see this print ad, but why is the website completely different? Different colors, different messaging. So you wanna make sure that just consistent across the board from your print advertising, direct mail to emails, social ads, your website. So making sure that it’s seamless and consistent from offline channels to online channels and vice versa.

Jeffro [00:09:56]:
Gotcha. Now if an owner’s only been marketing on 1 single channel and they want to be more customer centric, does that mean they automatically need to Start doing some multichannel marketing to reach people where they are?

Shana Brewer [00:10:08]:
Yeah. Absolutely. That’s a great question because Research actually shows that a customer has to see something 7 times before they make a decision and make that purchase. So it’s not just going to be that 1 direct mailer or that 1 ad necessarily. It’s going to be multiple touch points where they’re like, oh, yeah. I saw this the other day. I’m going to finally go buy that product because I’ve seen it so many times in so many different places. Right? And so I think it’s hard to Justify that it’s just this 1 marketing touch point that’s going to lead to that purchase.

Shana Brewer [00:10:51]:
You need multiple touch points and at multiple channels to really reach that customer.

Jeffro [00:10:57]:
So if you have a higher ticket offer, does that require more than 7 touch points?

Shana Brewer [00:11:02]:
Yeah. Yeah. And let’s say, you know, I’ve worked for many technology companies. That’s going to be even harder because now you’re looking at a buying committee versus just an individual consumer. So let’s say if I am a CIO shopping for some Latest technology, I’m not the only one that’s making the decision. I need my IT team to test the product. I need to get buy in from potentially our COO, our chief, operating officer, and get the budget needed from our CFO, our financial officer. So it becomes this buying committee where now all these people are trying to evaluate the solution and come to a consensus together.

Jeffro [00:11:55]:
Right. So that goes back to kind of knowing your customer, right, and where they’re at and how they’re even going through this process. So if your customer is an individual, They’re going to be buying things in a much different fashion than a corporation because as you said, the corporation could have a committee. They’re gonna be a lot more focused on The details, the ROI, the implementation strategy, whereas an individual might be initially more swayed by the psychological or the emotional Outcome of buying that thing, and then maybe they justify it with the, you know, the logic of the reasons that you give after. So I can see how that can make a big difference. Do you have a case study you can kinda walk us through that you helped the client with or a project you worked on to help increase the customer centricity of the marketing?

Shana Brewer [00:12:38]:
Yeah. So one thing one recent example I have in mind is a nonprofit fit I’ve been working with as their board secretary. And I came to the marketing discussion a little bit too late in that they had already hired a digital agency to try to increase their donations for this nonprofit. And so the digital agency, of course, they’re trying to make a click buck. I felt like They were kind of taking advantage of this nonprofit organization, but they sold their services as in, Hey. We can do these paid social ads for you, and you’ll be able to increase your donations by this much. And so without really explaining the the logic and really understanding the nonprofit’s customer, They just started these paid social ads that didn’t appeal to the target audience was was more like a shock factor kinda clickbait versus actually appealing to the emotional response of that target audience. And so in the end, although there was clicks, there was no additional donations.

Shana Brewer [00:14:03]:
That nonprofit did not see any pickup in donations. And, of course, this digital agency Kinda scoffed it off as, oh, well, you need to run these ads more. You know? It’s not it’s not enough of a time frame. And I get it. Like, yes. Like, advertising, you need some more time for it to take effect, but they were just using the wrong approach because they didn’t take into consideration the target audience and that the target audience wanted more education around this nonprofit. Fit. You know? They’re they’re think about how we would go about making a decision.

Shana Brewer [00:14:42]:
Like, we want information. We want education first versus directly donating to a nonprofit that we know nothing about. So

Jeffro [00:14:52]:
Right. So they skip that first step of Of knowing the customer. Right? Because it it’s like, you know, if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So a lot of agencies, maybe they start an ecommerce or Something, and they’re used to just, okay, turning on the ads, crank it out, but selling that widget is gonna be a lot different than getting someone to donate to a nonprofit, for example. And it sounds like the ads they came up with were all sizzle and no stake, and that wasn’t a good choice for this particular application. So That’s a great example. Alright. So what are some other common mistakes that business owners make when they’re trying to figure out their marketing and be more customer centric?

Shana Brewer [00:15:28]:
Yeah. I would say one thing that I do see, especially from small businesses and nonprofits with little resources is that they are trying to do too much all at once and be too many things to too many people. Going back to what we were talking about about simplicity, I think it really benefits a business to really be simple and think about how to do things in a more targeted fashion. And so One thing that I can say that I I really like is Simon Sinek’s start with why approach. Have you heard of this before?

Jeffro [00:16:18]:
Oh, yeah. Definitely.

Shana Brewer [00:16:20]:
Yeah. So Simon Sinek, he is a very, business leader and author, and he had this TED Talk in 2009 all about this start with why Golden circle concept. And it states starting with y in the middle. It’s It’s 3 concentric circles, so starting with why and then how and then what. Whereas customers or not customers. Businesses normally wanna start with the what and then the how and the why. So I’ll do I’ll do kind of the wrong way first, which is starting with the what. Take Apple, for example.

Shana Brewer [00:17:07]:
This was a example that he uses a lot in his talk. So Apple, if they were doing it the wrong way, they could just be like, hey. We sell phones. And how we have stores and you can purchase it from our cell phone providers and then Why? It’s like at that point, when when customers hear the why, they’re like, oh, it’s just a phone. Like, what’s so special about that? Right? But what Apple was really good at was starting with a why first. So when they first started with their computers, They wanted to be different, and they wanted to challenge the status quo. That was their why. And then for their how is They design really beautiful and user friendly products.

Shana Brewer [00:17:56]:
And then for the what is like, well, we sell computers and phones too. And then it just became this phenomenon because people were embracing that, like, apple y. Like, Oh, like, these devices are so different and so user friendly, so, like, aesthetically pleasing that I want this phone. So I think I would say businesses, they kinda try to be too complicated and and and not have a clear messaging, not have a clear vision, you gotta start there first. You gotta start with why first.

Jeffro [00:18:36]:
Yeah. Well, it it you gotta be relatable. Right? And you gotta know who you’re trying to relate to. So know your customer and then focus on making something they can connect with. And then once you get to the what, it’s a no brainer because they’re already bought in to you, because they’re aligned. They’re like, okay. This is a type of thing that I wanna be a part of. And so you’re not even selling at that point.

Jeffro [00:18:56]:
You’re just like, yeah. Do you want this? And, like, yes, definitely, please. It just makes it a lot Easier. You just have to put in that upfront work. So thank you for kinda sharing all that with us and kinda putting it in that perspective because I think that can help people really Wrap their heads around why this matters and why it’s worth doing that effort. You know, we talk about knowing your customer a lot, and it’s not just an annoying step. Like, this is a A crucial thing that underpins all of your marketing efforts, every bit of copy that you write, every promotion that you put together, you know, it’s gonna be a lot more effective if you You’ve done this well. It’s like greasing the skids.

Jeffro [00:19:33]:
It’ll go a lot more smoothly. So if you guys listening wanna go connect with Shaina, you can find her on LinkedIn. Her profile link will be in the show notes. Shaina, do you have any final thoughts for us?

Shana Brewer [00:19:42]:
I will say this is definitely something that I champion, this customer centric approach, making sure that you are very clear in why your business exists, what you can offer to the customer, But really coming it from the angle that you can help the customer, whether it be to save time or to educate them on something. Instead of kinda touting your own business or products, like, always think about what you can provide to the customer and making them your priority.

Jeffro [00:20:20]:
Awesome. Well, there you have it, folks. Thanks again for being here, Shaina, and thanks to everyone listening. Go focus on your customers, and I’ll see you in the next episode.

© 2016 – 2024 FroBro Web Technologies

27472 Portola Parkway #205-241, Foothill Ranch, CA 92610

info@frobroweb.com | Privacy Policy

Scroll to Top
FroBro Web Technologies