person on phone looking at computer

The Secrets of Customer Centricity – Part 4: Operational Alignment and The Role of AI

By Kara Trivunovic, GVP, CX Studio. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been examining how brands can put customers at the center of their marketing efforts. Turns out, achieving customer centricity is easier said than done. It’s a blend of people, process, and technology, and requires both planning and optimization to get it right. 

If you missed the previous three installments, you can find them here:

This final installment explores the importance of operational alignment and how marketers can leverage AI to augment and accelerate their centricity efforts. We’ll also pull together the strategies from our previous installments into a blueprint you can use to adopt a customer-centric approach.

Operational Alignment: The Glue that Holds it Together

Our previous posts talk a lot about the nuts and bolts of customer centricity, but one of the most important elements is reaching a consensus within your organization. As we uncovered in Part 1, customer centricity isn’t just a strategy—it’s a mindset. It’s not enough to just say that you are customer centric, everyone in your company needs to live it every day.

To make this happen you need operational alignment. This means that every part of your company – people, processes, and technology – are working in concert to provide the best customer experience. When everyone is working toward the same goal – making customers happy – you start to see real change.

From Insight to Action

Operational alignment is key to moving from understanding to action. In a customer-centric organization, customer feedback and insights drive decision making. It’s not enough to just know what your customers want. You need to create a feedback loop that constantly feeds knowledge to every part of your business.

When all your departments are aligned, important information can come from anywhere. Say your data team discovers a new customer trend. When teams are working congruently, this information doesn’t remain siloed. Product teams can use it to inform product decisions, service can adjust how they interact with customers, and marketing can use it to craft messaging that really resonates.

Operational alignment directly improves the customer experience and ensures that no matter how a customer interacts with your company – online, on the phone, or in person – they get the same great, consistent experience.

The Role of AI: Individualization at Scale

Finally, we can’t discuss customer centricity without touching on AI. Rather than viewing AI as a threat to traditional marketing roles, it should be embraced as a powerful tool that marketers can use to move closer to the holy grail of truly individualized customer experiences.

For decades, marketers have tried to personalize the customer journey, and we’ve gotten pretty good at it. But the fact remains that to reach the next level of individualization, we need lean into the machine. There are simply too many variables and too much data. AI acts as a partner, handling the analytical heavy –lifting, and allows marketers to focus on the human-powered emotional intelligence and creativity that define exceptional customer experiences.

Better Customer Insights

AI can analyze vast amounts of data to uncover deep insights into customer preferences, behaviors, and trends. That information can then be used to predict future actions, allowing marketers to stay one step ahead by anticipating needs and preferences.

More Personal Content More Quickly

AI can tailor content, recommendations, and offers to individual customers in real time, based on their past interactions, preferences, and behaviors. This level of personalization, which would be impossible for a human, ensures that each customer feels uniquely valued and understood—fostering loyalty and increasing engagement.

Streamlined Content Optimization

AI makes it easy for marketers to create and optimize content that resonates. Through multi-variate testing, AI determines which campaigns perform best across various channels and audience segments, enabling marketers to fine tune their messaging, tone, and delivery. By continuously learning from customer interactions and feedback, AI keeps content relevant and fosters meaningful relationships  and retention.

The Blueprint for Customer Centricity

As we’ve uncovered, customer centricity is a journey, not a destination. It’s a shift in thinking that will help you meet your customers where they’re at and help make your organization more resilient in the face of uncertain economic times.

Below is a four-step blueprint that draws on all the strategies we’ve shared in our series to help your organization transition to a more customer-centric mindset.

Step 1: Foundation

Set the stage before you start work. Take stock of your people, your processes, and your technology, and get buy-in from key stakeholders so you have air cover as you begin to make organizational changes. To be a truly customer-centric company, all departments need to be on board, and everyone needs to be working toward a shared goal.

Step 2: Understanding

Success comes from treating your customers as people, not audience segments. This means moving beyond simple demographic data like age, income, and marital status. To be customer centric you need to combine zero-, first-, and third-party data to get a sense of the actual person. Who are they? What products do they like? What channels do they prefer? Are they price sensitive? Do they shop in store or only online? By creating a holistic picture of each individual, you can create stand-out experiences that set your brand apart from the competition.  

Step 3: Alignment

At the end of the day, customers are people who like to be spoken to…well, like people. This means that every single touchpoint needs to be relevant and connected. Today, there’s a razor thin margin of error and a poorly timed marketing message can destroy brand credibility. By integrating data from all corners of your marketing stack, you can create 360-degree view of your customers and build connected communications that guide them through the entire buying journey.

Step 4: Scale

Finally, you need to be able to communicate at scale. You can’t be customer centric unless every customer gets the same excellent, individualized experience. This requires adopting AI-based technology that can parse through massive amounts of data and automate the personalization process. By integrating AI into your day-to-day operations, you can free up valuable time and resources to focus on strategic projects that help keep your customers engaged.

Need Help Transitioning to a Customer-Centric Approach?

We’ve hope you’ve enjoyed this series on customer centricity. As we’ve learned, it’s not enough to just understand your customers, you need to apply what you know about them in a way that is meaningful to both your customer and your business.

Remember, customer centricity is something you need to keep working at day after day, week after week. Make sure you have the right partner to help you achieve your goals, and don’t hesitate to ask for help along the way.

Want to see Zeta in action?

The Zeta Marketing Platform empowers businesses to offer highly tailored experiences driven by AI.
Zeta Marketing Platform


Thanks for your interest in Zeta. To see a demo please complete the form.

Thank you!

Your request has been sent. We will be in touch with you shortly.