The Rise of Consumer Power

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9780130670434: The Rise of Consumer Power

At the beginning of the 21st century, the expansion of the Internet made it possible for consumers to wrestle control away from both the retailers and manufacturers. Local production and distribution – the two hallmarks of the Production Century – were no longer critical factors. Consumers can obtain information on almost any product or service, regardless of where it is produced, and can have it delivered from almost anywhere to a convenient location at a price.

In the Consumer Century (21st century), consumers are no longer satisfied with mass produced products or services. Consumers want solutions that work for them. Along with the demand for customized products, comes a demand for one-to-one communication. Companies that do not adapt to this new reality or prepare for the changes in this marketplace are doomed to failure. Developing business processes that are interconnected and consumer-facing require changes in structure, employee skills, training programs, and reward systems. As Albert Einstein said, "We cannot solve today’s problems with the same level of thinking that created the problem in the first place"

In the Consumer Century, companies need to take an "outside-in" approach. Using an outside-in approach that begins with consumer perceptions, activities, and decision-making requires a new mindset for promotion activities. Companies need to create interactive, customized, personalized materials.

Business processes in general, and promotion activities specifically, need to begin with the consumers – who they are, what they want, how they want to receive products, when they want to purchase, and what price they are willing to pay for the value provided. Once you have this information, you can then plan a strategy, you can then define an organizational structure, and you can then create a business process. However, strategy, structure, and process must all be based on the consumer.

Your consumers are your most precious resource. Learn about them, learn from them and use that knowledge to integrate your marketing communication program.

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About the Author:

Camille Schuster (Ph.D., The Ohio State University) is a Full Professor of Marketing at Xavier University, Faculty Associate at Arizona State University, and President of Global Collaborations. Dr Schuster has worked with leading executives in ECR (Efficient Consumer Response) and GCI (Global Commerce Initiative) development activities since 1995. She has presented keynote presentations, breakout sessions, speeches and workshops in more than 20 countries around the world.

Her speaking, training, facilitating and coaching activities are grounded in reality based on experience gained primarily through data gathering, and collaborative project development with global business executives, in small, mid-size and large, multinational companies, as well as industry associations. As a member of the Global Scorecards Committee, she has worked with middle management; services; retail & manufacturing companies; faculty; and been on panels with leading business executives.

Dr Schuster has published articles in a number of academic journals, such as Journal of International Consumer Relationship Management, Journal of Public Affairs, Journal of International Marketing, Journal of Global Marketing, Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management and others. In addition, she has co-authored a book with Michael Copeland from Procter & Gamble, Global Business: Planning for Sales and Negotiation, and The Consumer or Else! . . . Consumer Centric Business Paradigms, co-authored with Don Dufek from The Kroger Company. Both have been well received by business and academic audiences around the world.

Review:

Camille Schuster delivers a practical, clear, intelligent road map for aspiring business leaders of the 21st century. -- Stuart Passon, Vice-President & Corporate Account Executive, DowBrands, Retired

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