For many executives marketing (still) means colourful pictures in advertisement and brand building related activities (Some even reduce the challenge to applying the four P’s to their marketing department). If customer orientation is understood well and applied properly it is one of the most important drivers for corporate success. As research in the last years has shown, companies that think and act "Customer First!" can improve their competitive position and gain superior returns than others (especially against those focusing solely on the shareholder value).
In the context of the Asian markets, Customer Centricity will become one of the main drivers for superiority for a couple of reasons:
1. Dynamic developments of customer needs
The first reason stems from dynamic developments of the customer needs. In markets, that are driven by increasing demands of more educated and sophisticated customers, Customer Centricity is helping to gain superior market (and business) understanding and to deliver a more valuable, yet differentiated, offering.
2. Competitive advantage
A second aspect is the competitive advantage that is gained by addressing customer needs more actively than the competition. As early movers companies gain advantages that lead to lower investments as barriers to entry are developed and result in cost to compete for laggards turning to customer centric approaches.
3. Improving the input/output ratio
Third, while many companies and industries in Asia are challenged to improve their productivity, customer centricity will be one of the main drivers to improve the input/output ratio as a superior offering not only enables companies to improve (or at least keep) their price position, but it will be supporting more benefit focused offers that really meet the expectations of the served customer segments. Examples and cases from different industries show that companies increase productivity by using a set of different practices, e.g.:
- Combining (customer driven) differentiation and (competitive) cost leadership,
- Delegating tasks to the customer or
- Innovative business technologies
The Centre for Customer Centricity will not only conduct research programs on these issues but also develop executive training programs (open enrollment as well as in-house) in order to help companies in Asia to improve their market and customer orientation.
Faculty and Affiliated who are currently working in the Centre for Customer Centricity is Prof. Dr. Marcus Schoegel.