Successful Organizations are a Product of Successful Marketing
L. McTier Anderson’s 1987 article, “Charting a Smooth Course for Marketing’s Seven C’s,” provides a practical framework for marketing management. Anderson suggests that an appreciation of the significance of the 7Cs of the marketing discipline - customer orientation, change, competition, communication, credibility, creativity, and commitment - can help managers choose analytical tools and techniques and develop effective marketing strategies and plans.[i] As business professionals, one way we can better understand marketing principles, is to study the distinguishing characteristics of successful organizations and how ...view middle of the document...
“In Business Week’s first-ever ranking of the best providers of customer service, we set out to find the service champions, but also to dig into the techniques, strategies, and tools they use to make the customer king,” writes McGregor, Jesperson, Tucker and Foust (2007). The results crowned ‘service legend’ USAA as the No. 1 Customer Service Champ, “where great customer service is a founding, fundamental principle.” [iv] That was 2007 – and USAA has been on the list every year since.
“Although few large companies have such a specialized focus, managers everywhere could learn plenty from USAA about coddling customers,” writes J. McGregor in the 2010 article detailing specifics of Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s annual Customer Service Champs top-ranking companies. “In almost everything it does, the financial-services outfit puts itself in the spit-shined shoes of its often highly mobile customers, many of whom face unique financial challenges.”(2010)[v]
Karen Pauli, research director of consulting firm TowerGroup claims: "There is nobody on this earth who understands their customer better than USAA."[vi] So how do they do it? USAA knows how to serve its armed forces customers and the unique financial issues they face. The company was founded in 1922 by a group of 25 Army officers who got together to insure each other's vehicles. Today, the company continues to foster this level of identification with its customers beginning with employee training. New hires attend sessions where they dine on MREs (meals ready to eat), which troops consume in the field, try on gear such as Kevlar helmets and flak vests, and receive deployment letters to help illustrate the financial decisions customers face at such an emotional time. (para. McGregor p41).
Another market leader in the customer orientation category (and a regular on Business Week’s Customer Service Champs list) is Nordstrom Inc., an apparel company known for its outstanding customer service and accomplishments in creating an outstanding ‘customer experience.’ From inviting atmospheres, huge inventories, and personal ‘thank you’ notes from sales staff, Nordstrom’s has “created a culture where customer service is singled out, honored and rewarded.” [vii] Perhaps that’s why 28% of 19,000 customers surveyed by a recent IBM pole (higher than any other store in its group) pledged their loyalty and recommendations for the retailer.
It was Peter F. Drucker, commonly referred to as the father of modern management, who first asserted that: “There is only one valid definition of business purpose: To create a customer…”[viii] Drucker stressed that a firm understanding of customers’ ever-changing needs, wants, and preferences was the driving force for business success. He would no doubt agree that Southwest Airlines is an honorable mention with regards to customer orientation. In a 2010 Marketing Management article, Locander and Luechauer state “Unless you have been...