I was again reminded of Buffett's observation as I began to read this book in which Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen share their thoughts about "what really influences customers in the age of (nearly) perfect information" about almost everything.
As they suggest, "There's a fundamental shift in consumer decision making. Instead of relying on relative evaluations, for the first time in history consumers have the tools to assess the absolute value of things. So what? This means that consumers are likely to make better decisions (on average) and that marketing is changing forever because people will rely less on proxies for quality such as brand names, loyalty, or positioning. Now what? All this gives rise to the need for a new framework and approach to marketing, which we call the Influence Mix."
These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Simonson and Rosen's coverage.
o What Drives the Shift from Relative to Absolute? (Pages 10-17)
o The Surprising Power of Noise (25-28)
o A Peek at Planet Absolute (40-43)
o Checks and Balances (52-56)
o Brand Volatility (65-68)
o Opportunity Knocks, and, On Satisfaction (82-88)
o Practical Implications of Classifying Consumer Into Adopter Categories (94-98)
o Organic Segmentation (105-107)
o So What's Your Customers' Mix? (123-126)
o New Rules. New Roles (134-135)
o A Major Shift (151-155)
o Measuring Satisfaction (155-158)
o Segments and Locations on the Continuum (168-170)
o New Tools -- New Choices (179-183)
o The Pace of Things to Come (188-191)
When concluding their thoughtful and thought-provoking book, Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen observe, "Success in the new era is all about tracking what people want, and then providing them with absolute value. Will relative forces still play some role in people's decisions? Of course. Will we see more and more decisions that are based on merit, on substance, and on the experienced quality of products and services? Absolutely." In months and years to come, creating or increasing demand for a given offering must take into full account the fact that consumers no longer hope for or even expect absolute value; they will demand it...and they should.
on 20 February 2014
This book is the best marketing book I have read in over a decade, in fact it is the best business book I have read as well. The authors clearly explain how consumer decision making has changed due to the advent of the internet, social media and direct consumer feedback. They then take you on a journey to explain how this change in customer decision making completely turns marketing on its head, destroying many cherished ideas and beliefs. If you are in marketing and want to secure your future I would recommend you read this book from cover to cover, and then start again with a notebook - which is what I am off to do now!
on 10 February 2014
The book's basic thesis is, I'm sure, sound but like so many 'good idea' books it becomes a bit repetitive after a while. But that's ok, the reader can skip through the last few chapters as I did. What could have been done is to consider the application of reviews and comparisons on other sectors like financial services, health services and local services like plumbers and electricians, in fact on the whole service industry.