2018 has been an interesting year for ROAM, with the businesses experiencing growth and winning multiple awards. As marketers, our biggest win, however, was on the change of ROAM values during the 2018 leadership summit to Trust, Impact, and Users first – all geared towards serving our users better. A common rule we live by as marketers at ROAM is that “a marketer is a user’s advocate”. That is why aligning on this with all the other departments at the group level is music to our ears. So let’s dive into user-centricity, shall we?
Who is a User?
More often than not, we interchangeably use the words, user and customer, to mean the same thing, which they aren’t. In the simplest of terms, a user uses a product/service while a customer buys a product/service. A customer could also be a user for a brand but a user might not necessarily be its customer. Confusing much? A customer is the source of revenue stream for a business/brand.
Let’s look at an example of Google, the search engine. Someone looking to buy a car and types “car for sale” on the google search bar is a user. On the other hand, the automotive company that pays Google to show the cars for sale on the search results in form of an advertisement is the customer. Makes sense?
What Is User-Centricity?
A brand is user-centric when its entire focus is on making its users happy. Putting their satisfaction first above all other business objectives. Sounds like another marketing cliche’ but in actual sense, it is a very effective strategy for sustainability and contributes to the overall success of a business.
The most important step towards achieving user-centricity is having a deep understanding of the business’s users. What are their values? What do they prefer? What limitations do they have? Having clear insights into the users will help a brand to efficiently address their pain points by providing customised solutions focused on their needs and goals.
Why Be User-Centric?
The reality is that there is a paradigm shift in the way brands operate. Brands have realised the importance of advocacy as opposed to promotion. We are moving from not only positioning products on users’ minds to also being part and parcel of their daily lives, walking with them through their life’s journey. Brands should not only care about how users perceive their products but also how it will change their lives.
A user’s mind is a well-informed busy space. Thanks to the ever-growing digital world, there is a competitor somewhere with the same offering and using the same advertising channels. So, the only way for brands to have a competitive edge is by offering a unique and valuable experience which can only be achieved when brands analytically focus on user needs.
In conclusion, users are the heart of any business. As ROAM, we strive to be Africa’s most user-centric marketplace by creating value in the services we offer to have a positive impact on our users’ lives; hence the change of our values to focus on User-Centricity.