Wharton Executive Education Offers New Online Course in Customer Centricity

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Marketing Professor Peter Fader brings together global experts and executives to explore the evolving subject of customer centricity in new online course “Strategic Value of Customer Relationships.”

The Wharton School has announced the application period for its new online-only executive education course is now open. The Strategic Value of Customer Relationships, a new online course on customer centricity, acknowledges that the ways firms go to market, the way they develop products and services, and how they distribute and market them, is changing.

The course, to be held online from March 3 through April 27, 2014, is led by world-renowned Wharton Marketing Professor Peter Fader, co-director of Wharton’s Customer Analytics Initiative and named a “Professor to Watch” by the Financial Times. It is designed to help executives discover the true value of their customer data, selling more effectively to existing best customers and finding new customers with similar behavioral tendencies. Participants will learn how to build a strategy—based on marketing analytics—around their best customers instead of their best products. A mix of video lectures, case studies, live and recorded teaching sessions, group projects, and online classroom discussions will be used.

During the eight-week course, Fader will also interview a number of global experts on customer centricity. These experts include: Zachery Anderson, VP of Marketing Science and Analytics, Electronic Arts; Michel Vounatsos, President, Customer Centricity, Merck; and Bernd Skiera, Professor of Electronic Commerce, Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany. They will share insights and practical knowledge from the front lines of business and research.

Enrollment is limited to a small, select group of executives who have demonstrated a specific business challenge to address with this approach to customer relationships. Fader and professional Wharton teaching staff will provide weekly feedback and assessments. In live classroom forums, participants will explore the subject and learn from one another’s experiences as they mine their customer data and apply key metrics to determine who to target, and how to target them. The course is not for credit and will not count towards a degree.

“Today, a lot of firms are talking about the idea of customer centricity,” says Fader. “The problem is it isn’t very well understood. Different people have different advice for whether, how, and when to pursue it. We want to bring clarity to this idea of customer centricity. We want to help managers make more informed decisions about whether it’s the right strategy for them and what it really means.”

Fader explains that the course will provide a unique and dynamic learning experience. “The purpose of Strategic Value of Customer Relationships isn’t only to inform you about the idea of customer centricity, but to get you to understand how you can bring these ideas into the workplace right away. We’ll have exercises every week. Participants will have a chance to take some of the concepts and test-drive them in their organizations and also share some of their learnings, observations, and feedback with me and other members of the class. The whole point here is not only to learn new ideas, but to be able to execute them in the marketplace immediately.”

Fader, who is also the author of Customer Centricity: Focus on the Right Customers for Strategic Advantage (Wharton Digital Press, 2012), notes, “I’m excited to get this opportunity to continue to both teach about customer centricity and go beyond what’s in the book. I’m looking forward to an ongoing conversation with the executives in this course to explore these ideas.”

Watch the attached video to hear Professor Fader discuss the advantages of capitalizing on customer analytics. For more information or to begin the application process, contact Wharton Executive Education Customer Care at execed(at)wharton(dot)upenn(dot)edu or call +1.215.898.1776.


About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates ongoing economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduateMBAexecutive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and a powerful alumni network of more than 92,000 graduates.