by Damien Edmonds.

Growth or Customer-Orientated Growth?

Welcome back – Australia Day and Valentine’s Day have been and gone, the traffic’s back on the road, so 2018 has well and truly begun!

Over the summer holiday, a colleague informed me his organisation’s main objective for 2018 was growth. He said in this time of disruption and change, his board considered the organisation to be going backwards unless they grew by more than 7% this financial year.

According to Deloitte, Queensland will have the strongest economic growth of all the states in each of the next four years, with annual economic growth never dropping below 3.5%. This is compared to 3.1% in Victoria and 2.8% in New South Wales.

That leaves you to find another potential 4%+ in order to not remain stagnant or go backwards!

Value Adding and Continuous Improvement

Some people focus on cost cutting in the pursuit of growth, rather than value-adding for their customer.

Routes to customer-orientated growth:

Being an advocate of customer management, we can see that there are many ways to add value.

  • Have you developed your value proposition? An external tagline, the proposition is a promise of value for your various customers. It is developed purely with those customers in mind (because without them, you don’t have a future!). and seeks to clarify what value (or benefit) you will deliver to them. Having this kind of clarity immediately also helps you generate better word-of-mouth with your stakeholders.
  • Have you mapped out your business model with your team? The Business Model Canvas is hands-on tool that fosters understanding, discussion, creativity, as well as analysis. In particular, it looks to identify which customers your organisation is looking to serve, as well as ways to generate revenue streams. Osterwalder and a team of 470 co-creators published the Business Model Canvas – an excellent model to further develop your ideas about your model for monetizing data.
  • What about conducting TOWS or SWOT analyses? TOWS is a tool for strategy generation and selection; SWOT analysis for audit and analysis. One would generally use SWOT at the beginning of the planning process, and TOWS later as you decide upon ways forward.
  • Rather than aiming for a transformational-change, decades ahead of your competitors, consider continuous-improvement. In particular, aim to service your customer better; everyday, everybody, everywhere. The best process is to regularly evaluate the feedback from your customers against your organisation’s goals. e.g. Toyota’s international focus on reliability.
  • Researching your customers / stakeholders.When was the last time you asked others what they thought? Have you spent time to:
    • Identify your core stakeholder segments and
    • Understand a day in the life of those segments?
  • Market research projects help you to read others’ minds and make effective decisions – mystery shopping, focus groups, surveys and brand perception analysis.
  • Facilitation exercises involving key decision-makers, bringing them together to discuss key topics – creating opportunities for your service, your customers and your organisation’s success.

If you are chasing Growth, then consider ‘customer-orientated growth’ in the year ahead.

If you’d like to discuss this further, email me at

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