Traditional "push/pull" marketing no longer works. Even highly-touted customer relationship initiatives are failing. Smart companies are pioneering an entirely new route to higher margins and sustainable competitive advantage: customer advocacy. This book reveals how it works, why it works, and how to make it work for your company.
In today's environment, you must build unprecedented trust among customers who have more information, options, and sophistication than ever. You must transcend "relationship marketing" to focus on maximizing customer interests and deepening customer partnerships. It's not easy. But if you do it, you gain immense opportunities your competitors simply can't touch.
Glen Urban offers a complete blueprint for getting there. You'll learn how to improve on all eight elements of customer advocacy, from transparency to partnership. Urban answers frequently asked questions about advocacy strategies, helping you identify and overcome your most significant obstacles. Then, drawing on new case studies, he shows how to align culture, metrics, incentives, and organization, driving effective advocacy throughout your entire organization.
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About the Author
Glen Urban is a leading educator, prize-winning researcher specializing in marketing and new product development, entrepreneur, and author. He has been a member of the MIT Sloan School of Management faculty since 1966, was Deputy Dean at the school from 1987 to 1992, and Dean from 1993 to 1998.
Urban's research focus is on management science models that improve the productivity of new product development and marketing. For example, in a methodology he devised called Information Acceleration, he uses multi-media computer technology to simulate future sales of products such as cars, computer systems, telecommunications, and drugs.
Information Acceleration emerged from Urban's earlier ground-breaking work in premarket forecasting for frequently-purchased consumer (nondurable) goods called Assessor. Since the Assessor concept publication, it has been used to forecast the success and profitability of more than 3,000 new consumer products around the world. Dr. Urban's recent research is to develop a trust-based marketing system on the Internet. An extension of the Information Acceleration research, the system uses pickup trucks for a prototype Web site that integrates attribute screening, expert advice, collaborative filtering, and community interaction. This is being extended to understanding how the click stream from such an advisor/customer dialogue can be used to discover unmet needs. Finally research is underway to find the determinants of trust on the Internet and design a real-time adaptive experimentation system to increase the levels of trust on a Web site.
Trained initially in engineering and businessearning a BS in mechanical engineering in 1963 and an MBA in 1964, both from the University of WisconsinUrban went on to earn a Ph.D. in marketing at Northwestern University in 1966. He is co-author of six books, including Digital Marketing Strategy (2004), Design and Marketing of New Products (second edition, 1993), Advanced Marketing Strategy (1991), and Essentials of New Product Management (1986). He has also published more than 30 articles on premarket forecasting of new products, test marketing, product line planning, leading-edge users in new product development, and consumer budgeting. His papers have won several prestigious awards, including two O'Dellsin 1983 and 1986for the best papers published in marketing research. In 1996 he received the American Marketing Association Paul D. Converse Award for outstanding contributions to the development of the science of marketing, and the Journal of Marketing award for best paper in that year. In 1999 he was winner of the American Marketing Association and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Charles Coolidge Parlin Award for recognition of a body of work in marketing research. In 2000 he presented the Wroe Alderson Lecture at the Wharton School.
With two other researchers, Urban founded Management Decision Systems, Inc., a marketing consulting firm that merged with Information Resources, Inc. in 1985. He also co-founded Management Science for Health and its spin-off John Snow, Inc., both consulting firms specializing in international healthcare and family planning that have grown to several hundred employees worldwide. He co-founded Marketing Technology Interface, Inc., a company that uses multimedia computing to support strategic new product design, which merged in 1993 with Mercer Management, a consulting firm. In 1998 he co-founded InSite Marketing Technology, a software firm for trust-based marketing on the Internet (sold to Silknet in October 1999). His newest firm is called Experion Systems and was founded in December 1999.
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Table of Contents
About the Author.
1. Now Is the Time to Advocate for Your Customers.
Watch Out for Growing Customer Power!
How Should Your Company Respond?
What Is New Here?
The New Tools Work Well.
The Paradigm Is Shifting–Pioneers Will Gain Advantages.
What You Will Learn in This Book.
2. The Internet Creates Customer Power.
The Internet Is Pervasive.
The Travel Revolution.
Sources of Customer Power.
Auto Buying–It Is Not Your Father’s Buying Process.
Customer Power Is Healthy.
Power Has Been Granted.
3. The Balance of Push and Trust Is Shifting.
The Balance between Push/Pull and Trust/Advocacy.
The Balance Is Shifting in the Travel Industry.
In Automobiles the Shift Is to Trust.
Health–The Need for Trust Is Increasing.
Power, Balance, and Impact.
4. Customer Power Is All Around You.
Industries Are Changing Dramatically.
Converging Forces Are Amplifying the Impact of the Customer Power Shift.
The Paradigm Is Shifting.
5. Theory A–The New Paradigm.
Rules of Traditional Push/Pull Marketing.
The Mcgregor Revolution in Organization Theory and Its Analogy in Marketing.
Rules of Marketing Based on Theory A.
Antecedents of Theory A.
Advocacy in Marketing Leads to Advocacy-Based Management.
6. Where Are You Positioned on the Trust Dimensions?
Where Are You Positioned on the Overall Trust Dimension?
Where Are You Positioned on the Trust Components?
7. Is Advocacy for You?
Does Advocacy Fit You?
Building an Advocacy-Based Strategy.
8. Tools for Advocacy.
Building the Foundation of the Advocacy Pyramid.
The Dream Versus Reality in CRM.
Continuous Learning to Build Trust and Cross-Channel Coherence.
Building Trust with a Virtual Trusted Advisor.
“Listen In” to Learn Customer Needs.
Building a Virtual Advocate.
New Tools Are Emerging.
9. Questions and Answers about Customer Advocacy.
Will Customer Advocacy Really Work?
Can You Trust Your Customers?
What Is the Role of Advertising in a World of Customer Power?
How Widely Can You Apply Customer Advocacy?
Is Customer Advocacy Really a Paradigm Shift?
10. Moving to Advocacy.
Empathize with Your Customers.
Change the Culture of Your Company.
People, Measures, Incentives, and Organization.
Consistency and Coordination.
Trust for All Stakeholders.
Vision, Courage, and Passion.
Building the Total Pyramid.
11. The Advocacy Imperative.
What Is Most Important to Remember?
The Future of Trust and Advocacy.
The Advocacy Imperative–If You Do Not Do It, Your Competitors Will!
The Advocacy Checklist.
The Challenge of Customer Advocacy.
Afterword: Author’s Note.