A rigorous and lucid contribution to the literature on contemporary marketing theory.

THE CUSTOMER CENTRICITY PLAYBOOK

IMPLEMENT A WINNING STRATEGY DRIVEN BY CUSTOMER LIFETIME VALUE

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. 

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61363-090-7

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Wharton Digital Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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