Main Messages, Ideas, and Implications
Nowadays, there is a need to transform marketing based on the opportunity for direct interaction and customer cultivation. The formation of long-term relationships is the key message revealed in the article Rethinking Marketing by Rust et al. (96). At this point, a customer-manager-driven organization should be employed to serve customers rather than merely promote brands and products. In other words, the paramount message of the article is the necessity to shift from the traditional marketing process to the new one driven by relationships and technology.
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The main idea is that today’s companies have various technologies and tools to understand their customers by exploring their evolving needs and wants and meeting their expectations, thus creating consumer value. For example, Business to Business (B2B) companies, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Marketing Return on Investment (Mktg ROI), Research and Development (R&D), and other instruments are to be used to design and maintain competitive strategies. Another idea is associated with the role of a customer manager, who is expected to express a company’s marketing information and marketing mission.
As noted by Rust et al., T-shaped people, who have a broad knowledge of the sphere they operate in and are also proficient in some issues, present the most beneficial option for the position of a customer manager (98). They are experts in extracting insights and interpreting customer needs by focusing on market targeting.
The given article contributes to the improvement of customer departments in companies that strive to advance their performance as well as attract and retain more customers through building long-term relationships. It helps to understand that the implementation of marketing strategies and technologies would promote customer lifetime value, profitability, equity, and a share of the latter. It should also be emphasized that the article outlines several significant points of a marketing shift, making it clear for readers that while initiating the transition from traditional marketing, it is advantageous to focus on a complex of instruments and strategies.
10 Discussion Questions
- What was your reaction to the given article? Do you agree with its ideas?
- If you were a customer manager, what strategies would you use? Why?
- What do you think is the main strong point of the article?
- What are the weak points and limitations of the article?
- Compare product-manager driven and customer-manager driven relationships. Why do companies need to reinvent marketing?
- What does a company cultivating customers look like?
- What is the role of market research and development as a customer-facing function?
- What is the difference between B2B and B2C companies? Focus on their strategies and provide examples.
- How this article’s ideas may be improved?
- Did the article change your attitude towards marketing? How?
- This article is quite interesting as it presents new ideas that seem to be relevant to today’s environment and customers’ expectations. Therefore, one should agree with such an idea as the adoption of new marketing principles.
- Having read the article, it became evident that the selection of a marketing strategy depends on different factors, including a company’s size, target audience, product, etc. However, the focus is to be made on establishing relationships with customers.
- Among the strengths of the given article, one may note its clear structure and reasonable ideas. The authors properly explain their assumptions and provide vivid examples to support their views. Diagrams and images also contribute to understanding the article’s main points.
- The article fails to provide a reference list and citation of credible sources that were used in the course of its preparation and composition. It would be better if the author outlined some reliable books, statistics, or websites, so that readers may proceed with exploring the identified topic. The limitation of the article is associated with the focus on the US context, the insights regarding which cannot be generalized to a broader perspective.
- The key difference between compare product-manager driven and customer-manager driven relationships lies in marketing orientation. If the former targets a product promotion and mass marketing, then the latter strives to engage individual consumers by creating value. The companies need to change their marketing approaches as the second one is more suitable today.
- A company cultivating customers has a customer-oriented structure, while it especially concerns marketing departments. Such a company is also characterized by the first-order business and the position of a chief customer officer (CCO).
- Since customers’ needs and preferences change with time, it is essential to conduct market research and development in a constant manner. Improvements and adjustments compose the expected outcomes of R&D.
- B2B companies address other businesses and have more than one level regarding decision-making processes. B2C companies are those in terms of which the target is the customer (restaurants, websites selling goods, etc.).
- Further research may contribute to the development of the mentioned ideas. In addition, the consideration of more examples may reveal potential failures and ways to improve.
- Yes, the article helps to consider the situation from a different angle and understand that companies need to shift from old marketing approaches to remain competitive by meeting customers’ expectations and trying to anticipate them.
Rust, Roland T. et al. “Rethinking Marketing.” Harvard Business Review, vol. 88, no. 1, 2010, pp. 94-101.