Customer Centricity: Simple in Principle; Nuanced in Implementation

This week I have the privilege of finally taking a couple of days for myself, nevertheless on behalf of the shop here to brainstorm, converse, and maybe even problem-solve with fellow marketing executives all focused on consumer and customer marketing in the digital age.

Wednesday and Thursday 9-10.Dec I'll be in San Francisco attending Wharton's 2nd annual Customer Centricity Summit.  The theme is at the center of our wheelhouse here at C[IQ]: "Using analytics, behavior, and loyalty initiatives to understand, deliver, and retain the customers that matter most."  If I had any nit about that theme, perhaps it might be "that matter most."  All customers matter.  And the insights we gain from all customers should help not just retain and sustain a select few, but determine ways to increase and expand all of our customer relationships.

I submit that the concept of business being "customer-centric" is a no-brainer.  What I hope to increase my intelligence about is addressing the sometimes thorny issues of change agency.  We repeatedly witness with our clients the challenges of transitioning from being "product-centric" to becoming "customer-centric."  Everyone nods in approval that this must be done to survive, let alone thrive in the digital age, where truly now the customer decides, and no one else.  But then come the politics, the process, the turf, the incumbency, legacy, and the fear of change.

Its not enough to pay lip service by coding "change" as "innovation."  Safe words alone won't do it.  I am looking forward to hearing candid discussion about best practices for shifting business mind-sets from being product-centric to customer-centric.

I'm also excited and looking forward to much learning and sharing about what's working and what isn't -- in all aspects of customer engagement management.  It should be a great couple of days, in our city by the bay.