Abstract: In order to maintain a competitive advantage in various industries it is important for companies to shift strategies and structure across the organization to be customer centric. In the past, companies have focused on vastly dispersing information to market their products to customers; however, companies are now shifting their marketing strategies to construct a two-way relationship between businesses and consumers. To implement this change, companies have transformed their marketing departments into “customer departments” and have replaced the CMO with a Chief Customer Officer (CCO). The CCO’s responsibility is to execute the company’s customer relationship strategy and oversee all “customer facing functions”. Rust, Moore, and Bhalla found that successful CCO’s removed obstacles that obstructed the flow of customer information throughout the organization. Brand Managers must become customer managers and no longer be focused solely on the sales of their products, but more globally on what the customers are asking for which will result in higher profits for the company. Lastly, functions such as market research, research and development, customer relationship management, and customer service must shift focus from their independent silos to cultivating customers for the entire company. The implementation of a customer centric strategy will result in new incentives based on customer lifetime value metrics in order to maintain sustainable health for the company. This strategic shift will soon be the only way to sustain a competitive advantage.
Authors: Roland T. Rust, Christine Moorman, and Guarav Bhalla
Published: January – February 2010
Link: Harvard Business Review