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Information Masters: Secrets of the Customer Race

ISBN: 978-0-471-98801-4
300 pages
June 1999
Information Masters: Secrets of the Customer Race (0471988014) cover image
...Less than five percent of the world's firms achieve the full potential of their customer relationship initiatives.... The rest are caught in its paradox...

The core message of Information Masters is simply that the frenzied race back to customers is being won by those who have developed a broad and deep customer information competency. The winners have accomplished this by balancing technology with investments in the predominantly "non-technological" determinants of customer information competency - people skills, processes, organization structure, culture, leadership, and information itself.

"You might think it's lack of technology that accounts for your inability to forge stronger, more rational and cohesive relationships with your customers, but John McKean's excellent study shows that technology is likely to be the least of your worries. Information competency is the result of the people you have in place, the processes they follow, the culture of your firm, and many things other than technology. Don't start your journey toward CRM without reading this book!"
Don Peppers, co-author, The One to One Fieldbook: The Complete Toolkit for Implementing a 1to1 Marketing Program (Doubleday, 1999)

"Managing customer relationships is too important to be left to the technologists to figure out. McKean has nailed it when he forces you to consider and evaluate the other 'stuff' - people, processes, and culture, and, by the way, the data itself is awfully important."
John Peterson, AT&T Vice President, Database Marketing

"Gaining competitive advantage from information is not as much a technological challenge as it is about people, culture, and leadership. John illustrates and quantifies a better way to build an information advantage to serve both customers and shareholders."
David Overton, Vice President, Merchandise Planning, Sears

"Getting closer to customers is a business imperative - but it's all too easy to become seduced by the latest technology promises and consultancy mantras. John McKean offers an invaluable insight into the real drivers of success which organizations serious about CRM must put in place."
Robert Wyllie, BA (Hons) APMI, Group Database Marketing, Scottish Widows

"The revolution in information technology is undermining many traditional business models and creating untold confusion. But in confusion lies opportunity. McKean shows how to see past the mesmerizing advances in computers and communications to create a coherent business strategy that draws on both technological and non-technological capabilities."
Professor Erik Brynjolfsson, Director of the MIT Program on Electronic Commerce and Marketing, MIT Sloan School of Management

"One of the greatest business challenges is not the mastery of new technologies, but the creation of a culture able to keep pace and grasp the opportunities these technologies present. This is nowhere better illustrated than in John McKean's pursuit and exploration of that enigma, the profitable customer, through his book Information Masters."
Trevor Dukes, Business Systems, W H Smith

"In the first decade of the new millennium, customer information competency will be understood as one of the great differentiators between 'great' and 'mediocre' organizations; John McKean's book identifies the characteristics of those organizations that possess customer information competency and he provides a roadmap for firms seeking to achieve it. For information-based organizations, reading this book will not only save needless expense, but it will help improve overall focus, marketing productivity, and profit."
James Bauer, Vice President, National Consumer Services, Chase Manhattan Bank

"McKean's landmark book offers the best insights I've seen into our biggest challenges for building profitable customer relationships in the digital age . the non-technological ones."
Glen Kaiser, Director of Marketing and Information Systems, AT&T WorldNet

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1. Customer Masters are Information masters

2. Masquerade of a Hidden malaise

3. Mass-Market Customer Information Legacy

4. Litmus Test for Customer Information

5. Historical Approaches for Customer Information Initiatives

6. Seven Elements of Customer Information Competency

7. Rewards of Customer Information mastery

8. Relative Information Mastery by Industry

9. Customer masters in the 21st Century

Conclusion
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John McKean is Executive Director of the Center for Information Based Competition, which advances the thinking on how firms in customer-intensive industries achieve competitive advantage from applying customer information. He is called on by the world's leading firms to guide them through the tumultuous process of transforming their information legacies into customer-based information competencies for the 21st century. He is frequently invited by the world's leading firms to spearhead global customer information forums. John McKean's real world customer information work is balanced with the academic rigors of guest lecturing at MIT Sloan Graduate School, postgraduate work at Harvard University, and a Master's degree in Business and an undergraduate degree in Economics. E-mail: informationmasters@att.net
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