Anyone with a customer is an enterprise. We wrote Enterprise One to One for anyone with a customer.
As the Interactive Age arrives, every enterprise will have to learn how to treat different customers differently. That's what Enterprise One to One is all about.
Before you read Enterprise One to One, you might like to know a little about how this book got its start. In our first book, The One to One Future: Building Relationships One Customer at a Time, we proposed a radically different way of doing business, given the new reality of faster, more powerful computers and increasingly interactive media. To deal with this new reality, we proposed a new kind of competition--a customer-oriented competition we called one-to-one (1:1) marketing. Instead of selling one product at a time to as many customers as possible in a particular sales period, the 1:1 marketer uses customer databases and interactive communications to sell one customer at a time as many products and services as possible, over the entire lifetime of that customer's patronage. This is a strategy that requires a business to manage customers individually rather than just managing products, sales channels, and programs. While the traditional marketer gauges success in terms of market share growth, the 1:1 marketer also measures share of customer.
When we were writing it, we considered The One to One Future a warning--a wake-up call for businesses and organizations of all kinds. We were writing to business managers who recognized the beginning of the end of the mass marketing era but had no other flag to rally around.
Our book caused a stir. Tom Peters read it and said we made his "close to the customer" axiom from In Search of Excellence "pale by comparison." What has pleased us most, however, is the variety of companies around the world that have enthusiastically embraced 1:1 strategies. It's obvious that 1:1 marketing has hit a major strategic nerve in the business community.
* Pitney Bowes reduced attrition at one end of its mailing systems business by 20 percent, growing its market share and shrinking its cost of sales in the bargain.
* Management attendees at BellSouth's Internal Leadership Institute are now being trained in the principles of 1:1 marketing, to enable the company to survive and prosper when telecommunications regulatory protections are removed.
* NCR is launching a worldwide consulting practice in 1:1 marketing under the name Total Customer Management, designed to assist the firm's data warehouse customers to make full use of their information technology capabilities.
* BroadVision has launched new software for the World Wide Web which permits a Web site owner to practice 1:1 marketing by customizing Web pages dynamically, in real time, to the individual specifications and needs of individual browsers.
One result of all this activity has been that more questions have been raised by our own clients and others, and we have done a great deal more thinking about the topics we first raised in The One to One Future. In our consulting practice we have found that as straightforward as they might sound in principle, actually implementing some of the strategies we advocate is often not so easy.
The most common error most firms commit when preparing to create one-to-one relationships with their customers, is underestimating the degree to which every facet of the enterprise needs to be involved in the process and integrated into the actual customer relationship. Probably the second most common error, however, is overestimating the amount of change required to begin an orderly transition from product-based aggregate-market competition to customer-driven competition. In most cases, the benefits of 1:1 marketing can be measured and proved without a wholesale restructuring of a firm's current sales and marketing system, although often the results of such testing will lead the enterprise to plan such a restructuring sooner rather than later.
It is not necessary for you to have read The One to One Future in order to get the full benefit of Enterprise One to One. We wrote the first book as a "why-to" book. Enterprise One to One, by way of contrast, is a how-to book--a tool kit chock-full of practical, experience-based advice. The tools in this particular kit will enable any enterprise to assess its own situation realistically, gauge the benefits of the kind of change that will be necessary, and then plan rationally how to make that change.
If our experience is any guide, Enterprise One to One can hardly represent the last word on 1:1 marketing. There will be many additional ideas and strategies generated by the businesses already engaged in this kind of competition, as well as by those just now figuring out how to make the transition. We expect this book to be distributed around the world, and we hope it is successful, but even as it is going to print, more tools are being invented, more examples are being documented, and more strategies are being hatched. One of the advantages of being at the center of this movement is that we often learn of new and interesting developments in a variety of different industries well before the mainstream business press writes about them. If you want to stay abreast of these developments, or if you'd like to find out about our own latest thinking on a particular topic, or if you have something of your own to share with us, please feel free to visit us at our Web site (http://www.marketing1to1.com).
The word "enterprise" can be defined as a daring project or undertaking, and this is, indeed, exactly what we are proposing in Enterprise One to One. Treating different customers differently is not a strategy that can simply be grafted onto any firm's existing systems and operations. Instead, it represents a radically different, even daring, orientation for the enterprise, and requires an integrative approach, with a variety of enterprise functions all working together.
To implement the principles outlined here, you'll have to get the CEO actively involved sooner or later. Most business authors dream of writing a book that the CEO will read and then require everyone in the organization to buy. Our hope for Enterprise is to have a book that everyone in the organization will read, and then require the CEO to buy. For any enterprise to succeed with the strategies proposed in Enterprise One to One, the CEO will have to drive the change across divisional and functional boundaries throughout the organization. There is no other way.
Who should read this book? You, if you have a customer, or if you work for an organization that has customers. Read it if you want to survive and prosper--and keep your customer--in the Interactive Age.
--Don Peppers and Martha Rogers