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Marketing Essay

1842 words - 8 pages

that CRM is managed by the IT group, 31% by sales,
and only 9% by marketing. Yet CRM is, ultimately, a
tool for gauging customer needs and behaviors—the
new customer department’s central role. It makes
little sense for the very data required to execute a
customer-cultivation strategy to be collected and analyzed
outside the customer department. Of course,
bringing CRM into the customer department means
bringing IT and analytic skills in as well.
Market research. The emphasis of market research
changes in a customer-centric company. First,
the internal users of market research extend beyond
the marketing department to all areas of the organization
that touch customers—including ...view middle of the document...

instance, when P&G managers
responsible for the Max Factor
and Cover Girl brands spent a
week living on the budget of
a low-end consumer, they were
acting like customer managers.
The experience gave these
managers important insights
into what P&G, not just the
specifi c brands, could do to
improve the lives of these
We’d expect the most
eff ective customer managers
to have broad training in the
social sciences—psychology,
anthropology, sociology, and
economics—in addition to an
understanding of marketing.
They’d approach the customer
as behavioral scientists rather
than as marketing specialists,
observing and collecting
information about them,
interacting with and learning
from them, and synthesizing
and disseminating what they
learned. For business schools
to stay relevant in training
customer managers, the
curriculum needs to shift its
emphasis from marketing
products to cultivating
Integrating R&D into the customer
department is a good way to
make sure product decisions
refl ect real-world needs.
January–February 2010 Harvard Business Review 99
1 2 3
features and value into hit product off erings is legendary.
Among its customer-focused innovation
tools is Nokia Beta Labs, a virtual developer community
that brings users and developer teams together
to virtually prototype new features and products, inviting
even “wacky ideas” that may never make it to
the marketplace. (Nokia adopted a diff erent strategy
in the United States, using far less customer input,
and has seen its market share slide.)
Examples abound of companies that create new
value through the collaboration of users and producers:
Mozilla’s Firefox in the web browser category,
P&G’s Swiffer in the home cleaning category, and
International Flavors and Fragrances’ partnership
with B2B customers like Estée Lauder in the perfume
market. In a world in which the old R&D-driven models
for new product development are giving way to
creative collaborations like these, R&D must report
to the CCO.
Customer service. This function should be
handled in-house, under the customer department’s
wing—not only to ensure that the quality of service
is high but also to help cultivate long-term relationships.
Delta Airlines, for example, recently pulled
out of its call centers overseas because cultural differences
damaged the airline’s ability to interact with
North American customers. Delta concluded that
the negative impact on the quality of customer relationships
wasn’t worth the cost savings. Now, when
customer service gets a call, a representative immediately
identifi es the caller’s segment and routes
her to a customer-service specialist trained to work
with that segment. The...

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