The Customer Learning Curve: Creating Profits from Marketing Chaos / Edition 1

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The Customer Learning Curve examines every aspect of selling a product or service from the customer's point of view. It enables you to take an integrated, customer-centered approach and help move the customer through the learning curve more effectively. It helps you cope with too many choices, deal effectively with disruption, make midcourse corrections, assess the progress of a new product or service, and assist top management in making good choices. Companies need a strong model for understanding customers, but their approach is often piecemeal because each department focuses on a different component - technology, price, service, communications, and distribution. This book starts with the premise that a company's most important marketing process is the one that goes on in the customer's mind. From the customers' perspective, the company's division of labor is irrelevant: The mental process of learning about, deciding to buy, purchasing, and using a product or service is a single continuum. That continuum is the Customer Learning Curve (CLC), that ranges from customers having a need (but perhaps not even knowing it) to being loyal — repeat users. The CLC is a proven model, grounded in years of research and consulting with business-to-business and consumer goods companies-companies that have consistently achieved breakthrough results from their CLC-guided marketing efforts. This book will give you the information you need to join these marketing success stories and make the CLC work for your business.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
[The Customer Learning Curve helps Earthlink deal with the disruptions it faces almost routinely, says its president.] During times of change, strategic marketers are faced with a combination of too much new information and the chaos of trying to organize the information usefully. The Customer Learning Curve provides a framework for sorting through and making sense out of the overwhelming amount of information available today. Getting information is not the problem. It's understanding it and taking correct action in these disruptive situations that's the challenge.

Tools like the Customer Learning Curve have made a significant contribution to making world-class product management a source of competitive advantage and a means to serving our clients better at JPMorgan. It is a prime example of the power of the Customer Learning Curve's client-centered, fact-based approach to marketing that we've begun to implement.

The second advantage is that it provides a road map for finding the right numbers and crunching them. Spreadsheets made it easy to crunch numbers, and the Internet made it easy to find numbers, and now Hellman and Burst make it easy to put the two together so that a reasonably thoughtful practitioner can do the right analysis with the right data. This book should be on the bookshelf of anyone who has a task like "prepare annual marketing plan" on their to-do list.

The most important marketing process takes place in your client's mind. I never cease to be amazed at how the customer's perspective integrates organizational silos (marketing, sales, customer service and operations) and serves as the pathway to breakthrough results. This book is full of uncommon knowledge about common problems. It serves as the cornerstone of our client engagements.

The post-purchase steps of the Customer Learning Curve offer genuine insight and valuable ideas that we are using to ensure continued success. With the aid of this book, an organization can easily identify and concentrate on improvement steps while acquiring tips on addressing these opportunities.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780324226676
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 11/14/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Karl Hellman is co-founder of Resultrek, an international management consulting firm specializing in strategic marketing, marketing skills development, and customer relationship management. Mr. Hellman has built three successful consulting practices over his 23 years as a management consultant and has worked with more than 1,200 strategic marketers to help them improve their results. Currently his client base is divided equally between telecommunications (clients include MCI/WorldCom, SBC, BellSouth, Telefonica, Telia, et al.) and energy companies (clients include Southern Company, Northeast Utilities, Commonwealth Edison, Midlands Electrical Board, et al.). He is a sought-after speaker on marketing effectiveness, strategic planning, idea generation, and customer satisfaction. His writings have appeared in Telephony, Public Utilities Fortnightly, and Marketing News. Mr. Hellman holds a BA in Economics from Beloit College (Phi Beta Kappa, Cum Laude) and an MS in Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences from Northwestern University. He may be reached at

Ardis Burst has worked as a marketing manager, consultant, and teacher since graduating from Harvard Business School in 1976. She has written two other books, The Management Game and The Three Families of H.L. Hunt. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Table of Contents

1. Marketing Chaos, and What to Do About It 2. Who Needs What Your Company Sells? 3. Who Is Aware of Your Offering and Its Benefits 4. Who Can Access Your Product or Service 5. Are Your Customers Motivated? 6. What Influences Purchase? Pricing and Selling Your Product or Service 7. Who Learns How to Use Your Product or Service? 8. Do Your Customers Experience Value? 9. Are You Creating Loyal Users? 10. How to Create Profits from Marketing Chaos References Index

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