A detailed strategy focuses on making a business efficiently responsive to customers.
In his debut book, Fader (Customer Centricity, 2012) made the case that an emphasis on customer satisfaction was a superior scheme to one that concentrated on product. In this work, he and debut author Toms fully explicate the meaning of such a tactic—“customer centricity”—and argue that it’s more commonly embraced than understood. The authors define customer centricity as “a strategy that aligns the development and delivery of a company’s products and services with the current and future needs of its highest valued customers in order to maximize these customers’ long-term financial value to the firm.” A business’s patrons aren’t homogenous and shouldn’t be treated as such—some simply promise more overall value, or “customer goodness,” over time. The authors describe a “predictive measurement” that allows one to estimate the total future benefit likely generated by a consumer: “customer lifetime value.” The authors recommend and thoroughly explain, in language mercifully light on technical business jargon, a “customer relationship management” system that governs both the acquisition and retention of consumers and relies on the targeted use of available data and the efficient allocation of limited resources. In addition, they apply their assessment of customer worth to an impressively comprehensive approach to corporate valuation that essentially includes the patron base as a measurable asset. The knowledge and expertise of this authorial pair are beyond reproach: “Fader is the Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania,” and “Toms is executive director and cofounder of Wharton Interactive.” For such a brief monograph, an extraordinarily vast intellectual landscape is covered in a way that is easily digestible. In addition, the authors don’t shy away from shattering conventional wisdom, especially evident in their treatment of demographic segmentation and personas as marketing tools. This should become an authoritative introduction to customer-centric business strategies.
A rigorous and lucid contribution to the literature on contemporary marketing theory.