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Competitive Strategy In The Age Of The Customer

Only Customer-Obsessed Enterprises Can Survive Disruption

October 10, 2013

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  • By David M. Cooperstein
  • with Josh Bernoff,
  • Alexandra Hayes,
  • Elizabeth Ryckewaert

Why Read This Report

Empowered customers are disrupting every industry; competitive barriers like manufacturing strength, distribution power, and information mastery no longer create competitive advantage. In this age of the customer, the only sustainable competitive advantage is knowledge of and engagement with customers. The successful companies will be customer-obsessed, like, Macy's, and Executives who lead customer-obsessed enterprises must pull budget dollars from areas that traditionally created dominance — brand advertising, distribution lockup, mergers for scale, and supplier relationships — and invest in four priority areas: 1) real-time actionable data sharing; 2) contextualized customer experiences across touchpoints; 3) sales efforts tied to buyers' processes; and 4) content-led marketing and customer interactions. Those who master the flow of relevant data and improve frontline customer staff will have the edge. (Note: This report is an update of "Competitive Strategy In The Age Of The Customer," originally issued to clients on June 6, 2011.)

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Table of Contents

  • Disruption Is Upon Us
  • Welcome To The Age Of The Customer
  • You Want To Compete? Get Customer-Obsessed
  • Customer-Obsessed Enterprises Invest Differently

  • Customer-Obsessed Enterprises Will Redefine Business Fundamentals
  • Supplemental Material
  • Related Research Documents