Vision Report

Competitive Strategy In The Age Of The Customer

Only Customer-Obsessed Enterprises Can Survive Disruption

October 10th, 2013
David M. Cooperstein, null
David M. Cooperstein
With contributors:
Alexandra Hayes , Elizabeth Ryckewaert , Josh Bernoff


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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Forrester helps business and technology leaders use customer obsession to accelerate growth. That means empowering you to put the customer at the center of everything you do: your leadership strategy, and operations. Becoming a customer-obsessed organization requires change — it requires being bold. We give business and technology leaders the confidence to put bold into action, shaping and guiding how to navigate today's unprecedented change in order to succeed.