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The authors present a powerful and tested approach that helps managers see a business’s every action through the eyes of its customers. This approach is organized around the values that matter most to customers: Acceptability, Affordability, Accessibility and Awareness. Taken together, these attributes are called the "4A’s." The 4A framework derives from a customer-value perspective based on the four distinct roles that customers play in the market: seekers, selectors, payers and users. For a marketing campaign to succeed, it must achieve high marks on all four A’s, using a blend of marketing and non-marketing resources.
The 4A framework helps companies create value for customers by identifying exactly what they want and need, as well as by uncovering new wants and needs. (For example, none of us knew we "needed" an iPad until Apple created it.) That means not only ensuring that customers are aware of the product, but also ensuring that the product is affordable, accessible and acceptable to them.
Throughout this book, the authors demonstrate how looking at the world through the 4A lens helps companies avoid marketing myopia (an excessive focus on the product) as well as managerial myopia (an excessive focus on process). In fact, it is a powerful way to operationalize the marketing concept; it enables managers to look at the world through the customer’s eyes. This ability has become an absolute necessity for success in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace.
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Dr. Jagdish Sheth is a renowned scholar, futurist and world authority in the fields of marketing, strategy and globalization. He is Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing in the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, USA.
Dr. Rajendra Sisodia is Professor of Marketing at Bentley University, USA and the founder/Chairman of the Conscious Capitalism Institute. His previous books (both with Dr. Sheth) include The Rule of Three and Firms of Endearment.Review:
'This book, however, was written in an almost Socratic dialogue style that is valuable to all types of readers, which is, needless to say, quite an accomplishment by the authors. The "Market Value Coverage Audit" and "Mini-Cases" add further value to this excellent work. With the rapid development and use of social media and social business concepts, particularly in marketing, this reviewer hopes the authors will address this topic in future revisions of this valuable work. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All marketing collections.' - S. A. Schulman, CUNY Baruch College, CHOICE
‘As a long time practitioner of the 4Ps seller-oriented toolbox of marketing, I welcome the more customer-oriented 4As toolbox to be employed before undertaking to set the 4Ps. Sheth and Sisodia are to be complimented for their insightful development, application and illustration of 4A thinking.’-Philip Kotler Northwestern University, USA
‘This is a splendid book for the neophyte and accomplished manager alike. Sheth and Sisodia combine razor-sharp analyses with useful action plans and in the process teach us how to think better about market opportunities and how to apply the 4As framework to advantage. A model of exposition, this book brings to life principles and policy guidelines with new diagnoses of both market successes, from the Aflac Duck to buying shoes on the web with Zappos, and market failures, from Apple's, yes Apple's, Newton to Ford's Edsel. Focus is on learning how to be a better analyst manager and innovation implementer and sustainer. Meticulously argued and illustrated, this book will make the reader better able to succeed in the knowledge economy and beyond. Two thumbs up!’-Richard P. Bagozzi University of Michigan Ross School, USA
‘Jagdish Sheth and Rajendra Sisodia have teamed up to develop a powerful treatment of customer-centric marketing, The 4 A’s of Marketing. Built around the notion that the customer is the dominant actor in most markets, The 4 A’s of Marketing identifies four roles of customers to which marketers must respond if they are to be successful. Written in an engaging and highly accessible style, this book is filled with real world examples that illustrate the concepts and ideas it offers. It is "must" reading for every marketer and contains especially sage advice for marketers who want to return the marketing function to a central role in the strategic planning of firms.’ David W. Stewart University of California, Riverside, USA Past Editor, Journal of Marketing and Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science
'[The authors] contend that marketers need to build their strategies around four A’s: a product’s acceptability, affordability, accessibility, and awareness. These dovetail nicely with what the authors identify as the customer’s four distinct roles as seeker, buyer, payer, and user [...] Sheth and Sisodia offer dozens of case studies of companies that have succeeded because they understood the four A’s or failed because they didn’t' - BizEd, July/August 2012, p60
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