Rethinking Marketing - HBR
May 1, 2012

Companies have powerful technologies for understanding and interacting with customers, yet most still depend on mass media marketing to drive impersonal transactions. To compete, companies must shift from pushing individual products to building long-term customer relationships. The marketing department must be reinvented as a “customer department” that replaces the CMO with a chief customer officer, makes product and brand managers subservient to customer managers, and oversees customer-focused functions including R&D, customer service, market research and CRM.

Preventing Breakups
September 1, 2009

Why? Everyone who’s ever been dumped wants the answer. Many never know the reason. But companies that use dashboards as a retention tool are not only finding out why; they’re figuring out when their beloved customers are showing signs of leaving so they can take the necessary steps to successfully woo them once again.

The Crash of Two Iconic Business Models — 1
January 8, 2008

Most consumers know that their buying and bill-paying habits are closely monitored by the three great credit rating agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. What is less understood is the highly complex algorithm of scoring—taking all that bill-paying data on an individual and determining the chances that he or she will fail to pay a credit card charge or default on a loan. The dollar amount of credit extended and the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) charged are pinned to a consumer’s score. The unquestioned master of scoring alchemy is Fair Isaac, on whom some of the blame for the sub-prime crash—and perhaps the coming

Beware The Jane Syndrome
November 15, 2007

E*Trade and Wachovia are the latest casualties of the subprime debacle—the bundling of bad mortgage obligations and selling them off as individual investment “opportunities” to greedy, senseless suckers. It’s the biggest bust since the Dot-Com Implosion of 2000, where $4 trillion worth of capital evaporated, and harks back to “Tulip Mania” (1636-37) and the South Sea Bubble (1711). How can this utter stupidity be explained? Let’s start with the rarified game of curling and a woman named Jane, whose last name I have mercifully forgotten. What is going on in business is what I call “The Jane Syndrome.” You’ll also find The Jane Syndrome

How to Play ‘Gotcha!’
November 1, 2007

Last March it was announced that New Century—a giant lender of subprime mortgages—was going out of business, followed in August by the Chapter 11 of American Home Mortgage. Many economists predicted that this subprime debacle had a long fuse. On October 24, 2007 came the announcement that Merrill Lynch was forced to take an $8.4 billion hit in the third quarter caused by a revaluing of the bonds backed by subprime mortgages. Merrill Lynch stock fell 5.8%, its credit rating was downgraded and the overall loss for the quarter was $2.4 billion. Last August 23rd, this e-zine took off on the subprime mortgage crash.

Corporate Strategy Hits My Nabe
October 4, 2007

I live in Center City Philadelphia six blocks from Independence Hall. Around the corner is Philly’s hangout for mostly kids—what Gourmet magazine called “raffish South Street.” There you can get tattooed, body pierced, tanned, a fine Philly cheese steak at Jim’s, hear live funky music every night at TLA and foul stand-up routines at a comedy club, buy sex toys at Condom Kingdom, and eat at any of 40 neighborhood restaurants ranging from D+ to A+. If you’re a HOG, you will find Mako’s Retired Surfers Bar & Grill, where you will meet and greet other Harley-Davidson owners from all over the country. Plus,

Editor’s Notes: We’ve Got Engagement
July 1, 2007

This past weekend, I spent 15 minutes on the phone with my bank waiting to tell the first available representative that I lost my ATM card. My lengthy delay was kicked off by the announcement that Wachovia had been ranked No. 1 in overall satisfaction compared to other top financial institutions. Needless to say, my hopes were raised for a speedy fix to my problem, but instead I paced agitatedly from one side of the living room to the other. In truth, however, I have to admit that I was losing my patience after just five minutes of wait time, even though I called during

Making a Complex Business Consumer Friendly
May 25, 2006

Looking at the New Breed of Bankers May 25, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 41 IN THE NEWS Internet banks draw raves Many like the convenience and higher interest rates, but it's not for everyone. NEW YORK--Higher interest rates initially drove Nick Sayers to the Bank of Internet. But he soon realized it's more convenient, too. Sayers, 26, a private-equity investor in Chicago, is one of a growing number of Americans ditching their neighborhood brick-and-mortar accounts. Others are moving the bulk of their money to virtual banks like Bank of Internet, which can offer better rates because they don't have to

February 1, 2003

By Paul Barbagallo In just four decades, the U.S. Hispanic market has more than quadrupled in size, from 6.9 million potential consumers in 1960 to more than 35.3 million in 2000. Hispanic buying power is increasing faster than that of any other minority group, notes Jeff Humpreys, director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business. The U.S. Hispanic population currently represents approximately $600 billion in total household spending. Humpreys projects that by 2007, Hispanic buying power will top $926.1 billion. "There's been a huge boom," confirms Lori Collins, director of business development, FocusUSA, a list